Never Sell an Empty House!

Here are a few reasons to: Never Sell an Empty House!


People don’t buy houses-they buy homes: Buyers often are drawn to a warm feeling of home that furniture and accessories provide.


With no furniture there is no sense of size or purpose: Empty rooms are not inviting and hard to determine what size furniture will work within them. Also some rooms are difficult to know what the intended purpose for the room is. It can be a dining room or family room or den, etc? Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a room.. If it is designated it at least gives the buyer the initial use and often will spur ideas of possibilities.


When rooms are empty buyers focus on negative: It is much easier to notice a not so perfect paint job or crack in the wall when the room is empty. There is simply nothing else to focus on!


Two mortgage payments are expensive! A vacant home typically takes twice as long to sell and usually sells for less! Don’t take this chance is staging a home is within your reach.


If you are planning on selling your home and would like a personal evaluation please give me a call at 949-275-6544 or email to schedule an appointment. Selling a home is stressful, but putting your best home forward can help alleviate some of the anxiety.

Double Dip?

There are many predictions about the state of our economy. There is definitely a school of thought for the double dip recession. Some of the signs that are used to predict the future are not faring as well as everyone hoped including housing construction. We have seen some improvement over the last few months. Home sales were up until July when they took a definite plumet. The last I heard a few days ago was 27%. Ouch! Still prices in California overall continue to rise. It was just reported that San Bernardino was up 10% which is helpful to hear since that area was hit very hard in price decreases.

Some outspoken analysts fear housing may drive us back into recession. Over all though, it would seem that households and businesses are all in a period of thrift and cautiousness right now. Some are calling it a “pause” which seems appropriate to me. Only time will tell and the next 6 to 12 months should be critical. 

I am still hoping for the best! We are all very tired of recession and it would be nice if we could “Eat, Drink and be Merry! This is the theme at the Pageant of the Masters this year and it seems very appropriate. Good show if you can catch it. It will be over soon!

Back Up offers

If you are actively searching for a home on the mls you may come across a status that states “back up” offers. This status is referring to a home with an accepted offer to purchase and indicates an active escrow. However, since our current contracts allow 17 days in which to look over all disclosures, obtain loan approval, etc. and to then sign off all contingencies the seller will often be looking for back up offers. This allows for an offer to be submitted and possibly accepted under the condition that it is in back up status and will only be considered upon the cancellation of the current escrow.

Homes are selling very quickly right now so best to check the status for “active” to be sure you have a good chance of purchasing the home  or you could be wasting valuable time waiting only to find out the escrow will not cancel. Not to discourage anyone from putting in back up offers because sometimes escrows fail for one reason or another but best not to count on it too heavily. If you are interested in finding a home you might want to register your search for the email update program. This will notify you by email if a new listing comes on the market that matches your search and give you the best odds of submitting your offer quickly.

Clouds on Title

Distressed property sales are becoming a significant part of the real estate market landscape. Wall Street took our mortgages to a new level with Credit Derivatives’ and MERS. These are now poised to bring potential problems with the chain of title.  Here is a thought-provoking article written by professor of real estate, George Mantor, which uncovers some of the potential title pitfalls with foreclosures and short sales and the impact it could have on the home buyers and Realtors.


If recent court decisions are any indication, we are headed for an explosion of litigation in this area.


And now, Massachusetts Courts have revealed the possibility that unlawful foreclosures, dating back to 1989, might be invalidated and that buyers of foreclosed properties and short sales may have clouded titles.


The implications are enormous for title companies, bankruptcy attorneys, real estate agents, those facing foreclosure, and those who have lost their homes


To read the full article please follow this link



“Good Deal” or No Deal?

Recession is a terrible thing to waste. In any downturn someone is having an upturn. For many it is a time of opportunity! Buy low-Sell high.  That is the typical advice for the stock market. However we know that is not what most people do. It is a natural instinct to sell when prices are falling. And it is usually what everyone else is doing! The same idea applies to real estate. Most people will actually wait until prices are well on their way “up” because they do not want to miss the “bottom”. Problem is the bottom goes by without any notice and suddently the news will be “prices are rising”. 

What is a good deal anyway? Is it just about getting a lower price than the asking price? Do you consider how much lower the price is today than it was at the peak of the market just 3 years ago and caclulate the savings? Do you consider how much the price will likely increase over the next several years and calculate the rewards?  If you are not considering these points when looking for a “good deal” you are probably not getting any deal. Many buyers are writing multiple low price offers and consisently losing out. This results in No Deal! No deal is not a good deal! 

Is the glass half empty or half full? Even if your home is worth less (and it surely is) this is a great time to “move up”.  Home prices have fallen across the board making that dream home you have had your eye on much closer to reality! And if you move up now instead of waiting you stand to improve the amount of your increased profit considerably in the next upturn since homes in the higher price ranges appreciate at a higher dollar per percentage. Couple that with the chance of interest rates increasing (inflation always follows recession) than the price of that new home could be considerably more if you wait

Inventory has decreased dramatically over the last few months. With the spring season just beginning the scene is set for a possible “sellers market” I know it is hard to believe but it could happen.  If you see your self in any of the above scenarios and would like some assistance with your real estate plans please give me call or visit my web site to start your search for your next home. I look forward to hearing from you!

Time Your Home Sale!

Even in this time of uncertainty, when home values seem to be difficult to track, there is something to be said for timing your home sale! Spring brings renewed hope and has typically always been the best time to sell. This year holds promise for being a very good year! Here is how the seasons break down:

  • The best selling season is  Spring! The day after Super Bowl generally rings in Spring for the real estate sales market. Optimal time to find a home and move in by the end of the school year. This allows school age children additional time to settle into thier new homes and adapt before school begins.
  • Summer is the next best time. The hot summer months help sell homes with pools. The fall school year is definitely the motivator to find and secure a home before the new school year begins. 
  • By early fall many buyers have left the market. Often we will see a resurgence in October and November but generally from October through February is the best time to buy a home if you are looking for a bargain! Many homes will be reduced in this time period so don’t let this happen to you. 

Always sell based on supply and demand: When there are more buyers than homes for sale (sellers market), sellers are able to obtain better prices and terms; when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, sellers may have to reduce their price and perhaps make other concessions to sell their home. Also, keep in mind that it is easier to sell in a low interest rate environment- which is what we are enjoying today-when more buyers can qualify for a home loan

Currently many neighborhoods have little to no inventory (competition?) and interest rates are historically low. The  economy and real estate market may still be struggling but these two factors are worth considering if you are thinking of making a move this year. The home buyer credit is also still in play until April so this will add to the demand through the next couple of months. 

Can the market stand on it’s Own?

Feds Say: It’s Time the Market Stands on its Own
April 1 will be the first day that the Federal Reserve will end its debt purchase program and allow the struggling U.S. mortgage market to operate unassisted. As a result, the Fed is predicting mortgage rates could rise about three-quarters of a percent to about 6 percent according to a statement by Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.

There is a fear here in the states and apparently in the worldwide court of opinion that the U.S. government is simply printing money to use to purchase mortgage-related securities. Analysts say this is largely contributing to the decision by the Fed to pull back. If that fear caused a sell-off of U.S. government bonds, it would push borrowing costs substantially higher and derail the economic recovery.

As in any decision of this magnitude most likely it will be evaluated and adjusted as needed. Inflation always follows recession and must be monitored closely to keep it in check. If they can!

Timing is everything!

The market is showing signs of improving “right now” Is it time to buy?

Home prices in the Southland, which sustained one of the nation’s biggest declines, are rising, propelled by buyers eager to snatch up deals on deeply discounted foreclosure properties.  Outlying areas such as the Inland Empire  and Central Valley are continuing to struggle and will probably do so for some time. However, pockets of recovery are beginning to emerge and Orange County is certainly one of these communities that is posting a gain in sales numbers and pockets of price increases. Market share of foreclosures and short sales is very low as inventory decreases it is shortening the  market time for current homes available for sale.

Some may thnk that California would continue to be a poorly performing state based on the depth of the value loss, but Californians have learned to think like speculators over the years. Speculators know you buy when the news is still bad and market timing means you don’t wait until the market starts going up.” 

If you are thinking of catching the bottom of the market you might want to get started now! There is certainly talk of a shadowy foreclosure inventory looming on the horizon but if it does materialize it will sell quickly. There is much demand for this type of property

Reasons to Sell your home during the Holidays

Here are some great reasons to put your home on the market during the Holidays!

1. Holiday decorated homes are very appealing.

2. Many people want to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.

3. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays.

4. Serious buyers have fewer houses to look at during the holidays, so you have less competition.

5. By selling now, you can specify a delayed closing or occupancy until early next year if you desire.

6.  You may still restrict showings during your personal family events.

Bottom Line? By listing now you may have fewer actual showings, but more qualified and motivated buyers

The Reason? You have less competition, resulting in a quicker sale

Currently inventory is dwindling and spring may bring new competition. There are many buyers looking for homes today!!!

Call Mary Burke at 949-275-6544 or visit my web site and complet a short form to find out what your  home is worth in the current market.

California Housing Market Turns Corner

California has turned the corner in the housing down turn according to the California Association of Realtors! Increased sales and increasing prices could lead to a Sellers Market. We are not there yet but click here to read the article by LA report Daniel Taub

The holiday season is a great time to find your new home! Many buyers will be preoccupied with finding the best bargains at the store. However, savy home buyers will find thier best bargains in the middle of the holidays.  Inventory has decreased and there is still a lot of competition. Prices are starting to creep up but no significant changes at this time! Calculate the difference between higher prices or higher interest and you will see the time to act is NOW! 

Vist my web site and search the listings to find your new home! The time to get started is today. If you would like to discuss your real estate plans give me a call at 949-275-6544. I look forward to hearing from you!

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