Tips To Speed Up Your Home Sale

September 27th, 2018

Have you ever wondered what you can do to speed the process of selling your home? What are buyers looking for when they visit your listing for the first time? There are important aspects of every home that will attract or repel potential buyers.

The layout of the house, the paint color, garden and yard, furniture staging, and features like solar and parking can be the difference between a buyer making an offer or moving on to the next home. The good news is that there are a some tips and tricks that sellers should pay more attention to and maybe adopt to a couple of these ideas.

What is the first thing that buyers see when they visit your home for the first time? The exterior and the property surrounding your property. Buyers want to see a well maintained property, not a home that is run-down. The home should have fresh paint, a great driveway, and a freshly groomed yard. Driveways can make or break a deal because parking is always an issue. If the driveway is too steep or not big enough, a buyer might not even bother looking at the rest of the house. Ease of accessibility is very important.

Another great idea is to make your home appear bigger than it actually is. You can choose lighter paint colors on the walls or adding mirrors to create the illusion of space and transfer of light. Strategic lighting around the home can make a positive difference.

If money is tight for the homeowner, and hiring professional to make changes to the home, a great solution is to have the homeowner grab some tools and get to work on making little manageable improvements all around the home. Little things like fixing lights, patching holes on the walls, repairing appliances will help. The internet has given us a great source for how-do videos and step by step instructions for the do-it-yourself worker.

Finally, the price of the home can indulgence the traffic of potential buyers. Is your home priced too high or too low in relation to the market? You do not want your home to be sitting on the market for a long period of time. Buyers will sense that the home has not sold for a reason. They might try to use this to their advantage in negotiations. Fair market valuation which is in line with the current market is a necessity for a quick sale.

And if you follow these simple tips, you may be able to sell your home faster than you ever thought you could.

New home for sale

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It’s Better To Rent Than To Buy In Today’s Housing Market

September 21st, 2018

Is it better to buy a house, or rent? For a long time home prices were lower because of downturn in the housing market and attractive mortgage rates. Home ownership was possible for many people from all socio-economic communities.

Home ownership has proven to be a smart investment. In addition to having a place to live owners benefit from the increase in equity that is created when the market improves. Interest on home mortgages are tax deductible, lessening the tax burden for the owners. When it comes to making decisions about colors, flooring options and personal effects, it is the owner who gets to express themselves. Homes prices have soared in our area and owners have enjoyed the gain.

Renting a home can be an attractive alternative for those who do not want to buy, or are unable to secure the financing. There is freedom in renting. The responsibilities associated with maintaining a property can be overwhelming. Repairs can be very expensive and inconvenient. Renters are only responsible for the damage they have created. There is a certain freedom that goes along with renting. Not being tied down to a property can make a lot of sense for those whose jobs are unstable and the likelihood of needing to move is a concern. But renters don’t have the security that owners have. A lease will protect both landlord and tenant, but renters can be asked to leave when it is inconvenient for the renter to locate another place to live. Having no authority over the property can be a disadvantage.

The last ten years in the housing market has been good for home ownership. In 2008 when the stock market crashed, home prices fell, creating an opportunity for first time buyers to participate. Market fluctuations are normal and even healthy for a vibrant market. In just the last decade, the prices of homes in our area have tripled from they were in 2006.

There is a high demand for homes and not much supply. Competition for affordable housing is intense. Renters face huge price increases in order to remain in the area. As the value of the home increases, and supply tightens, the rent usually increases as well. A fixed rate mortgage gives the homeowner a level of stability that is very important part of being able to finance a purchase and keep the house that is often a home, not just an investment.

The good news is although home prices are dramatically higher than they were years ago, other aspects of the economy are on the rise. The employment rate has never been better in years, interest rates are low and buyers are encouraged. The need for new home building in our area is being discussed in many circles as prospective home buyers are increasing in number daily.

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Home Repairs: Not As Easy As It Looks!

September 14th, 2018

Once you purchase and own a home, the amount of work that goes into maintaining a home can be overwhelming. The list of potential problems that may arise with no notice at all is long; blown electrical circuits, leaking hot water heater, toilet running, septic/sewer back-up, dripping faucets and on and on. Being totally dependent on professionals to fix typical home repairs can be expensive and inconvenient. The handy homeowner who can try their skills at the repairs is valuable indeed. But, what about everyone else?

The process of home inspections prior to buying the house only goes so far. Plenty of issues can develop after the owners gets the keys to the house. The necessity of hiring a contractor in an emergency is stressful. Even though there are many reputable companies that charge fair and reasonable fees, not everyone has the budget that can withstand the financial hit. So, the homeowner who has the knowledge and do-it-yourself will to tackle home maintenance problems can be way ahead of the game.

The internet has made many of us weekend experts. Endless YouTube videos showing and discussing the how-to’s of plumbing, electricity, drywall, painting, flooring and even framing propel seemingly unskilled homeowners into dynamic fixer-uppers. The isles of Home Depot are filled on the weekends with eager home owners who are trying to figure it out and make it work. One may even find a retired contractor working for the store to help out with some free advice.

What did we all do before the internet? Step-by-step instructions with an accompanying video is at our finger tips. We can master anything! Change out that toilet. Replace those old electrical receptacles, tile that bathroom floor. The feeling when a job is well done is amazing. And, the hard work and effort of the home owner is rewarded as he or she reaps the benefit of that work. Working on the house can be fun, entertaining, challenging and satisfying!

But, a word to the wise, many projects are dangerous and should only be taken on by a professional. A 220 volt electrical circuit can kill. Water from burst pipes or fire sprinklers will ruin a home, resulting is dramatically expensive repairs. Roofing may look easy, but it isn’t.

Nobody wants to pay fees for permits, but there are some good reasons to get permits. First, it is the law. Homeowners can do repairs on their own homes without a license, but there are building codes and regulations that need to be followed in order to keep the house to code and work is completed correctly. Secondly, a well-meaning home owner may overlook some very important safety requirements that may cause problems down the road. Also, when selling the home it is good to have a record to prove that the work was done legally. The building department will make sure that the work is done correctly.

Learning how to do repairs on our homes is empowering. But, not everyone has the inclination to take on the difficult and dirty tasks, fulfilling or not. For the manger and supervisor types finding professionals to help home owners with their projects ca be frustrating. Waiting for contractors in the middle of the day, who may or may not keep the appointment, is inconvenient. Finding reputable professionals can be challenging. Referrals from other home owners and friends can fast-track the work of getting multiple estimates, but not every relationship is the same. Some contractors work well with one client, while not so great with another. Again, the internet can provide reviews for contractors and repair people.

Owning a home is part of the American dream! However, the dream comes with responsibilities and need for maintenance. We live in a wonderful time when there is so much information to help home owners keep their property in top shape.

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A Happy Pet Is A Happy Life: Millennials Put Pets First When Buying A Home:

September 12th, 2018

What is the first thing you might think about when looking for a home to purchase? Location, location, location! Yes, the neighborhood is important. But other factors are proximity to work, good restaurants and other conveniences that are close or even within walking distance of the home. And, of course the price and condition of the home are the difference a buyer making an offer or passing on the property. However, the new generation of home buyers has desires and needs in addition to the traditional ones. “Millennials”, for lack of a better name, are considering their pets when seeking a new home. Quality of schools and safety are typical concerns for families and their four-legged children are no exception. About 73 percent of Millennials own a pet. 89 percent of those who purchase homes have a pet. Pets are considered children and their safety, comfort and happiness is important to the new home buyer. So, what exactly are the needs of animals?

Outdoor space. Animals need to go outside. Many properties have yards and outdoor space around the house. For those that don’t, a convenient park or beach is vital. The dangers of predators are always a fear. Coyotes, mountain lions and even neighbor’s pets can prove to be a problem. Animals naturally age and become weak and fragile. A long flight of stairs could be an unnecessary hardship. Excessive noise, barking dogs left alone for the day, gardeners blowing leaves, garbage collectors, and unfamiliar people passing the property can all contribute to the quality of life for the pet.

Pampered pets require a higher level of personal care and attention. Access to luxury services is a necessity for the pet owner who will spare no expense when it comes to the care of their furry babies. Veterinarians, grooming salons, and pet supply stores that carry high end products are all taken into consideration when purchasing a home for their pets.

Security for animals is also a big worry for new home buyers. How close is the property to a busy street or freeway? Is the home in the countryside where wild animals and predators roam? Is there fencing around the property? Are there any dangers that may cause injury to the pets? When looking for properties it can be difficult to know what potential problems may be lurking around the corner. It is not until the new home owner lives in the neighborhood for a while that the true character of the area is revealed.

Millennial’s are choosing to purchase homes in lieu of renting because it is hard to find a rental where animals are allowed. Many landlords will not rent to tenants if they have an animal. Animals can be very destructive. Carpets need to be replaced; flooring, walls and doors may be damaged, requiring repairs after the tenant leaves. And, some people are allergic to animals. Subsequent tenants may suffer from the precious tenant’s pets. Most landlords believe it is not worth the risk to rent to pet owners. Millennial’s are presented with the problem of getting rid of their pet, or finding another solution. The solution is making a mortgage payment rather than paying rent to a homeowner with rules.

A happy pet is a happy life!

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Declining Interest in Construction Jobs

September 7th, 2018

Young People Don’t Want Construction Jobs. That’s a Problem for the Housing Market.

The Construction business can be difficult and have unanticipated problems. It is becoming increasingly apparent that there is a drought in the number of young people seeking work in the construction industry. In the not too distant past construction jobs were a good opportunity for young people who may not have gone to college to earn great money. The work can be physically demanding, but on the job training with an experienced crew can accelerate a young person’s earning potential. On the job training and learning a skill is not taught in college. Yet, today’s young job seekers are not as interested in construction work as much as they have been ten years ago. This trend is affecting the housing market.

The construction industry have always relied on a significant amount of laborers who will work for low wages. The undocumented immigrant community has been willing to work for lower wages, helping contractors and developers maintain the healthy margins that keep them in business. But studies are showing the construction business has seen a decline in the number of illegal construction workers as well. There is a shortage of laborers in American construction companies, most notably in the Northeast and California.

During the 2008 economic downturn the construction industry took a significant hit. Skilled craftsmen and laborers were forced to seek employment outside of the construction industry. Immigrant labor often returned to their home country because the lack of work. The industry has been improving, but has yet to regain what it lost in 2008.

So, what can be attributed to explain the lack of interest by young people to be involved in an industry that has historically been positive for them? Many parents teach their children that the best career path starts with a college degree, not working on a skill or trade. It is difficult to raise a family and purchase a home with a job in construction.

A housing shortage arises because there are fewer homes available on the market. Home prices are increasing as a result. And, there is a decline in new homes being built.

Additionally, the cost of labor and materials has increased. Many construction companies do not want to take the time and bear the expense of training unskilled workers. The pool of skilled laborers is competitive, thus forcing prices higher and potential profit for the builders lower.
The lack of interest in construction jobs is unfortunate. Learning a skilled trade and how to run a business is invaluable. Indeed, the work is physically demanding and can be inconsistent in terms of steady income. Young job seekers have benefited from the technology boom of computers, the internet, and cell phones, but they have missed the advantages of learning how to build something with their hands.



California Prop 10 Affecting The Real Estate Market

September 4th, 2018

Proposition 10 could have a very real impact on the housing market and home owners who rent out heir properties. What is Proposition 10? This coming November voters will go to the polls to vote for or against local governments being able to establish rent control ordinances. Property owners would be restricted in the amount they could rent their properties for.
The “Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act” is a California law established in 1995. The law put limits on government efforts to impose rent control ordinances on certain types of residential units; single family detached homes, condominiums and newly constructed multi-family residential are deemed exempt. In addition, the law prohibits municipal vacancy control.
Proposition 10 would repeal the Costa Hawkins Act. If Proposition 10 passes the California State Legislature this coming November, the real estate market will be negatively affected. Prop 10 could mean big changes for both landlords and tenants. Currently, if a tenant moves out, the landlord is permitted to raise the price of the unit in line with the rental market. Property owners bear the burden of maintaining and doing repairs on the property. Being able to adjust the rental price is an important part of managing rental properties.
The state’s housing crisis is real. The problem is a housing shortage, not enough supply for an increasing demand. Our housing market is already unstable for both property owners and renters. Creating more restrictive laws would just make things worse. We need to protect both the landlords as well as the tenants.
Finding a safe and affordable place to live has become increasingly difficult for too many people; low income and middle class families, students, and those new to the rental market are faced with huge challenges. Housing prices also affect business owners who employ these struggling renters. Employees routinely spend over half of their income on rent, far more than the national average.
Proposition 10 is not a remedy to California’s housing crisis.
Builders are willing to develop dense housing projects, multiple unit dwellings and low income designations for those who qualify. But, many Californians are against increased building because of their affects on the environment and quality of life in our communities. Increased traffic, crowding, water supply issues negatively impact our communities.
Those opposed to Proposition 10 include the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. Proposition 10 would create a poor incentive for investors seeking to build new homes. This will, in turn, negatively affect the housing supply in California.
The passage of Proposition 10 would increase the gap between low income and middle class families. Many landlords will be driven out of the rental market because of the financial burden. Property values will be at risk; a 30% decline is estimated. The bill would influence the housing market in the long term. Contractors and investors are putting their current and future work on hold until after November to see how this all plays out.

Real Estate for the 21st Century

August 29th, 2018

Real Estate for the 21st Century:

Keller Williams is in the process of achieving new heights with the mobile phone application Kelle. Kelle is your very own personal assistant that can help you access everything Keller Williams has to offer while you are on the go. One product associated with the Kelle application is known as KWCommand. So, what exactly is KWCommand?

KWCommand will allow you to do everything you need to do, thanks to the Lab’s process which is constantly creating and developing the next and best technology. The many features of the KWCommand include the Goal Manager, the Calendar Manager, Contact Manager, Design Manager, Listing Consult, Deal Manager, Campaign Manager, Referral Manager, Leverage Manager and SmartPlans.

One important tool of the KWCommand is the Goal Manager, also known as CGI. The Goal Manager is an important piece of your dashboard. It showcases all the goals and progress that you and your team have been making.

The Calendar Manager, as well as the Contact Manager, will help you organize and to perform at your highest productivity. The Calendar Manager is a combination of Office 365 and Google Calendar. In this application, you will work more efficiently and better organized. You will enjoy less stress during your day when this technology helps you to schedule appointments and manage your time. The Contact Manager is a great tool to keep all your contacts in one place and easily accessible whenever and wherever.

“Sketchhouse”, also known as The Design Manager will be your go-to place for exploring creative ways to develop and showcase your business to clients a prospects.

If you have difficulty providing data to your clients about your listing, the Listing Consult, or “Listing Presentation”, will be a great tool to show your client the latest market trends in order to value their home for the best possible price and a quick sale. The Listing Consult provides the agent with the best tools to create a time efficient and cost effective atmosphere.

When the agent wants to get down to business, The Deal Manager tool will be their best friend. The Deal Manager tracks and manages all offers, documents and communications with clients all in one place. A cool feature with the Kelle App is that Kelle and Command will do all the work; they will remove the tedious manual data entry task. As an agent, all you have to do is validate the information. This feature is in tune with the goal of the application, which is to allow the agent to focus on dollar-productive activities.

Campaign Manager, Referral Manager and Leverage Manager features are where you will be able to find the aids which help to create cost effective campaigns. They provide a place where agents can come together to earn their next listings and an environment where you can recruit new agents to your team.

The little blue book for a real estate agent will be the feature called SmartPlans. SmartPlans will automate your daily routine. SmartPlans will help agents with checklists, marketing, recruiting and so much more. SmartPlans will help make your life more streamline and simple. It makes a lot of sense!

Forbes -Keller Williams One of America’s Best Employers!

May 15th, 2018

The 10 Happiest Companies to Work for in 2018.

Keller Williams is in great company, Nike, Adobe, Chevron, Intuit and 5 others.

Forbes Names Keller Williams One of America’s Best Employers!


Check out our Lasted Edition Outfront Magazine

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An exciting time for Keller Williams since its beginning in 1983

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5 year comparison