Tuesday, August 22, 2017

5 Tips to Successfully Navigating Multiple Offers

In the present Sellers' Market, if you price a property properly and it shows well, multiple offers are common. Here are tips to navigate those offers to get to the highest and best.

1.  Don't take the first offer you get.  Set a date to review offers and ask for the loan preapproval,  proof of funds and information about the buyers up front.  Usually a week is plenty of time to get the best offers with the most motivated buyers.  It can be noted in the listing.  This way you don't have buyers and agents panicked to get in and making impulsive decisions that they may regret later.

2.  Highest Offer isn't Always the Best.  When reviewing offers, consider the type of loans versus cash.  While buyers with VA or FHA loans may offer the highest offers, even above the asking price, remember if the appraisal comes in lower than the inflated purchase price, you may have to lower the price to match the appraisal since these buyers don't have a lot of cash reserves.   While buyers don't like to show you that they have lot of cash, you will want to look at the cash reserves if they are trying to outbid other buyers.   Strong cash offers can be the best.  They do not have to have an appraisal contingency and can close quicker.

3.  Increased Good Faith Deposit.  While the typical good faith deposit is 1%, some buyers are putting down more.  However, they don't take any risk of losing any of it, and at the most 3%,  unless they back out after releasing all of their contingencies in writing.  So the money that a buyer puts down in good faith shows motivation.

4.   Shorter Contingencies Time Frames.  Look for the shorter contingency time frames.  The motivated buyers can definitely shorten up their physical inspection periods.  Appraisal can be ordered within the first week.  With a full preapproval, loan contingencies can be shorten to 17 days.

5. Other Terms to Consider.   While having the sellers moved at the close of escrow is always best, sellers often need  more time to close up their old house before moving to the new one.    So a buyer may want to consider being open to allowing the seller to remain in the house for a few extra days to move their equity to close up their new home.

For other Home Seller Tips see  Home Sellers Don't Burned

Virginia Hall
Keller Williams Realty

Thursday, August 3, 2017

10 Tips on Dog Etiquette When Buying or Selling a Home 

by Medina James

Buying or selling a home can be quite an adventure. You’re facing a big, exciting change and there’s so much to think about. So much, in fact, that it’s easy to get lost in the excitement and forget about the needs of your pet. This guide to dog etiquette when buying or selling a home will help give you peace of mind about your pup during the process.  


It’s really happening, you’re buying a home! You’ve spent hours looking at homes online, making a checklist of all the things you want in your new home - a breakfast nook, a porch, a fenced backyard for the dog. Now it’s time to start getting out and looking at properties. If you’re like a lot of people then your dog is part of your family and it’s tempting to want to bring them along when looking at properties, but that’s not a good idea.  

Here are five tips on dog etiquette when buying a home:  

                For more information:  
                1. Visit ​rover.com​ to find a drop-in pet sitter in your area 
                2. Visit ​cesarsway.com​ for help with preparing your dog to socialize 
                3. Visit ​realtor.com​ to learn more about escrow 
                4. Visit ​hgtv.com​ for more information on open house etiquette 
                5. Visit ​ada.gov​ for more service-animal-related guidelines 


When you’re selling a home, there is a lot to consider as a dog owner: What will you do with the dog during showings? What’s the best way to get rid of pet odors and other signs of a pet? Are you okay with potential buyers bringing a dog into your home?  

The guide below offers five tips to help you prepare: 

               For more information:  
               1. Visit ​rover.com​ to find a place to board your dog 
               2. Visit ​thebalance.com​ for expectations on scheduling showings 
               3. Visit ​bhg.com​ for other tips on decluttering 
               4. Visit ​getridofthings.com​ for advice on eliminating pet odors 
               5. Visit ​realtor.com​ to learn about other things to discuss with your realtor 

Buying or selling a home is so exciting! Armed with our guide to dog etiquette you’ll feel confident that your pet isn’t forgotten in the hubbub. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

5 Ways to Destroy a Home Loan Approval

When buying a home, you don't want to do the wrong things.  There are 5 key things that buyers should NEVER do until after the close of escrow:

1. Buy any Large Items (such as cars, appliances, computers, TV's, etc)  that require a credit check or a withdrawal from your bank account.   Credit checks can actually lower your credit score and a
drop in your verified funds can result in a loan denial.

2. Change Your Marital Status.   This could impact how you hold the title.

3.  Change Jobs.  Your loan may be denied due to a job change.   Lender may re-verify your credit and employment at the last minute.

4.  Switch Banks or Move Your Money to Another Institiution.  This can affect your loan approval.

5.  Paying off Existing Accounts unless your lender requests it.  If timely payments are made and kept below 50%, certain long standing revolving credit accounts can have a positive affect on your credit.  However, if your lender tells you to pay it off, follow their direction.

For more buyer tips, see Selecting the Best Home Buyer Representative and Search for Homes on Your Phone.

Virginia Hall
Keller Williams Realty

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kitchen Design: Three Trends That You Need to Be Aware of Before You Renovate

Renovating your kitchen is an excellent way to improve its look, increase the value of your home and
appeal to a more diverse range of home buyers if you decide to sell.  However, a kitchen remodel can
easily cost $10,000 to $20,000 or more, which is why you want to make choices that you can live with.  Learning more about some of hottest trends can help you decide what you want and don't want in your kitchen.

Traditional Is Back
Trends come and go, but the classics remain constant. One of the hottest renovation trends is a more
traditional look. Homeowners today are no longer attached to trendy colors and modern designs; they
want homes that have a more traditional look and will retain that traditional look for years to come.
Experts predict a return to darker wood colors for cabinets, tables, counters and even floors. There are
also some reports that homeowners will use oil rubbed bronze and darker pulls and handles on cabinets and drawers as opposed to flashy and contemporary chrome accents. Other trends include rustic farmhouse tables, double porcelain sinks and natural stone counters.

Going Green
It's hard to go anywhere today without seeing or hearing about green decorating trends, and those
trends carry over into kitchens. Homeowners want products made from recycled materials and the
chance to "go green" at home. Adding a recycling center is just one of the hottest trends for the kitchen.  Designers also found that homeowners want counters and floors made from recycled or sustainable  materials. Bamboo is a sustainable construction material that works well in flooring applications.  Homeowners can also find counters made from old tires, soda bottles and other recycled goods.

Homeowners Want More Space
Ask anyone what they need in their homes, and the odds are good that many will say they need more
space. Recessed lighting is one trendy accent that adds more space and reduces the number of fixtures
and cords hanging down from the ceiling. Other ways to add more space include adding an island with storage to the center of the room and cutting down on the number of cabinets lining the walls.
There are a number of trendy ways that you can renovate and change your kitchen. Going green, adding more space and bringing in traditional elements are just a few of those ways. Talk with a real estate agent about other changes you can make that will add value to your kitchen.

Virginia Hall
Keller Williams Realty

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cost vs Value! 10 Top San Diego Area Home Improvements

Thinking about updating your home before selling?  You will want to consider the Cost of the improvement versus the actual increase in the sale value for San Diego area homes.     Here are the 2015 top 10 home improvement projects that pay back the highest value.    For every dollar you pay, how much will you get back on average.  See the online Remodeling full report

              Midrange Improvements              Cost vs. Value
1.     Siding Replacement (Vinyl)                     102.9%
 2.    Deck Addition (Wood)                                102.8%
 3.    Entry Door Replacement (Steel)                96.4%
 4.    Garage Door Replacement                          90.1%
  5.     Stone Veneer Accent                                    93.2%
   6.    Attic Bedroom Remodel                               82.0%
    7.     Entry Door Replacement (Fiberglass)      80.4%
    8.    Roofing Replacement                                    78.8%
     9.    Window Replacement (Vinyl or Wood)     78.4%
    10.   Minor Kitchen Remodel                                 77.8%

Before starting your home improvement projects, to prepare for selling a home, consult an experienced Realtor who can help guide you to avoid costly upgrades that might not add value to your home.   For more suggestions see 4 Tips Guaranteed to Sell Your Home.

Virginia Hall, CRS, ABR, CNE
Keller Williams Realty

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Santee/San Diego Castlerock Housing Development to Start Soon

Once the City of San Diego approves the grading, Pardee homes plans to begin construction during the first quarter of this year on the Castlerock housing development.  The master plan development (Map compliments of Castlerock Website) of approximately 430 single family homes will be located on the border of San Diego and Santee, across from West Hills High School at the base of the hillside north of Mast, just east of SR 52, between Medina Dr. and West Hills Parkway.    

The motto of the master planned community is “A Natural Environment to Live and Thrive”.   The homes will be located on an 18 acre parcel of the total 204 acres.   Each single home will be between 1,700 to 3,800 estimated square feet, and include energy efficient technology.   The architectural design elements will complement the Mission Trails design, capturing natural light and inland breezes.  There will be a tree lined entryway along Mast Boulevard with a public trail spanning the eastern edge connecting with Mission Trails Regional Park and Goodan Ranch to the north.   The development will include scenic multiuse trails, colorful drought tolerant landscaping, along with neighborhood parks.  Over 50% of the 204 acres is designated open space.  

For more information, visit the Castlerock website and watch their video tour.   Once the development is complete it will be annexed into the City of Santee, who will provide all of its public services.   

Virginia Hall  

Friday, September 11, 2015

Buying a New Car Can Sabatoge You Buying a New Home

It seems like buying a shiny new car and purchasing a home go together. Wrong!  Buying a car may feel like a necessity, but if you are planning to buy a home, wait until after.

Buying a big ticket item on credit before buying or refinancing a house can make the difference between qualifying and not.  It will ding your credit score, lowering it 40 to 60 points.  It will increase your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and may knock you out of the park.

According to Kenneth Harney, Nation's Housing, "auto debt accounted for 81% of the increase in non-mortgage debt a month mortgage holders over the past 4 years".

While buying a new car makes you feel financially successful, in reality owning a home is one of the best financial decision you can make. You have to have somewhere to live and the benefits of owning your home usually include tax deductions that you don't get with a car. 

Before buying a car, know that your DTI ratios are an important part of mortgage underwriting and are stricter and less flexible than they were a decade ago.   Keeping your DTI ratios below 45%, with a maximum 50% for FHA,  is important for obtaining a home loan.

So before buying a car or big ticket items on credit, consider what it will do to your DTI ratio and credit scores.  

Virginia Hall
Keller Williams Realty