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October 2016

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I can offer the highest levels in real estate expertise and professionalism. Don’t hesitate to contact me and allow me to help guide you through that process!

Paul Lupi
Realtor CalBRE#01992906
paul.lupi@bhhscal.com   |   (310) 801-7579
http://www.lupirealty.com

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HOME IMPROVEMENT TIP

Five Best Kitchen Remodeling Tips

When you shop for a home, what do you look for in the kitchen? Granite counters? Storage? Breakfast bar? Sparkling stainless appliances?

If you’re buying an older home like most buyers, you may have to update to get the look and features you want. Here are five tips to get started.

  1. Work with a kitchen design professional. They’re trained to help you solve the most challenging kitchen problems and to work within your budget. A kitchen designer can recommend contractors and oversee all installations to make sure they are done correctly. Some can serve as contractors for a turnkey job.
  2. Hire qualified contractors. Cheaper isn’t necessarily better. Check references, licenses, and make sure their subcontractors are also bonded and insured.
  3. Consider the age of the home for a more organic look. For example, mid-century linoleum floors are more in fashion now than ever before. New patterns and colors in tile can mimic wood or stone for easy upkeep. Try porcelain instead of wood on cabinets for a sleek minimalist look.
  4. Be willing to compromise on costs or space. Cut the expense of new cabinetry by replacing some uppers with trendy open shelving. Splurge on granite for the island, but finish the other countertops with a workhorse stone-like laminate or tile.
  5. Don’t try to save money by doing work you aren’t qualified to do. You may be able to install flooring or a backsplash with a friend and a tutorial, but if a job requires a license like an electrician or plumber, it’s best to hire a professional.

HOMEBUYING TIP

Renegotiating After the Home Inspections

Negotiations don’t necessarily end when you and the seller sign the contract to purchase. You have the right to have the home you’re buying inspected for soundness, which you can include as a contingency to your offer. That way, if the inspection reveals a serious issue, you and the seller can address it through renegotiations.

During the inspection process, the inspector is required to tell you about the condition of the appliances, heating and cooling, electrical and plumbing systems, foundation, roofing, exterior materials and so on.

Depending on where you live, you may also get separate inspections for pests and environmental issues such as radon. You’ll also learn if your future home is up to current building codes and what needs to be done to bring it up to code.

Once the inspections are complete, you have to decide if any problems found are worth renegotiating. It’s a risk because your existing contract is no longer in force and the seller is free to accept another offer. Renegotiate only for a system that is unsafe or expensive to replace.

Most sellers expect to make reasonable repairs and replacements if the inspection reveals an issue that wasn’t obvious when you first agreed to terms. As long as communication remains open and civil, the seller should have as much desire to make the sales contract work as you do.

SELLER’S ADVICE

The Seller Who Tests the Market

When you see the market rising, it’s tempting to price your home even higher than nearby homes that recently sold. So you tell your listing agent that you want to "test" the market to see if you can get even more for your home.

Sometimes, it’s appropriate to choose a list price higher than recent comparable sold homes, but that strategy seldom works unless the market is climbing rapidly. If you’re looking for a quick, hassle-free sale, you need to decide which is more important – getting more for your home or moving on to your new life somewhere else.

Let’s say your neighborhood’s highest, most recent home sale was $500,000, and your agent suggests a listing price of $510,000. You want to test the market at $530,000 - which is $20,000 more than your agent recommends, and $30,000 over the latest comparable.

Your home hits the market at $530,000 and has tons of showings the first week. Your strategy is working, except that you don’t receive any offers. By the second week, there are few to no showings. Agents are reporting back to your listing agent that their buyers said your home “needs work,” or that they “found something more suited to their needs.”

After months of making two mortgage payments, your home finally sells at $518,000. Meanwhile, you paid months of overhead to get $9,000. You actually lost peace of mind and threw away a lot of money.

Overpriced homes simply take longer to sell. If you’re tempted to “test the market”, remember that the market will test you.

TRANSACTION ADVICE

What Are Pocket Listings?

The MLS cooperative, or multiple listing service (MLS), allows members to provide homebuyers more choices and to give sellers more opportunities to sell their homes. Members agree to share their listings with other members within a reasonable time, typically between 24 hours to a week after the listing agreement is signed between the seller and the broker.

Marketing a home takes time and preparation for the seller and the listing broker. The seller needs time to prepare the home for sale - declutter, paint, plant fresh flowers, repair fences, stage the home and so on. The listing broker needs time to present the listing to the MLS with photos, tours, descriptions, tax roll data and showing information.

Until the listing agreement is signed, the home stays “in the pocket” of the broker, who is free to contact trusted agents and their own qualified buyers and tell them the home is coming to the market.

Why are pocket listings useful? The broker can sell the listing before competitors learn the home is available. The broker’s buyers benefit because they have the first opportunity to view the home and make an offer. Sellers can get their homes sold quickly.

So how does a buyer hear about a pocket listing? A broker will reveal a pocket listing only to a buyer who is qualified to buy that particular home, who understands the home isn’t show-ready or on the open market. The buyer must be prepared to act quickly and make an offer that is attractive enough for the seller to accept.

 
 
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CalBRE#: 01992906
3130 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 100 Santa Monica, CA 90403
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