In the present economy, is it good time to be a buyer in the Bay area?
It is always a good time to buy Real Estate. If you look around, the richest people on the planet are real estate investors because the land value never depreciates like stocks. It is especially a GREAT TIME to buy now as the home prices and interest rates are still at a historical low combined with $8000 tax credit incentive which expires April 30, 2010.
My advice to New Home Buyers is: make sure what you want, where you want, how much you can afford and BE REALIST. Make sure you have a steady job. Get pre-qualified before you start looking. Also, look for a Realtor who you can trust, who is honest, genuine, hard working who would try and get you best deal possible. A Realtor who would actually guide you in searching for the right home for you.
Many people have purchased houses in the highs and now are stuck with the mortgages and the house. Can you suggest any pointers to follow that would help sellers to get out of this situation, with out affecting their credit or future home buying power?
It always breaks my heart to see people lose their homes. To get out of this situation, lot of people have tried to do loan modification program that the government introduced early last year. Some people were successful but lot of them either do not qualify for the program or they were unsuccessful due to sheer length of time it takes to re-modify. I am excited to let you know that we recently introduced a Principal Reduction program (it is not a loan modification) that allows owners to reduce their principal and keep their homes
Is it safe to do short sale?
In my opinion, Short sales are the last resort you want to take. Short sales are very lengthy process in general. The asking price generally does not represent the actual market price and is adjusted by the lenders in the process causing buyers to back out of the offer. Also, sometimes the owners, out of frustration of losing their home, tend not to care for their homes anymore and resort to damaging their homes. Buyers generally tend to lose money out on short sale deals.
What is in your opinion most critical when buying a house?
In Real Estate, the mantra is Location…Location…Location… Of course the home is going to cost you more initially for the location but the appreciation will be much higher as well. Know what you want in a home and stick to your needs rather than your wants.
Many out of state buyers do look for opportunities to buy in the bay area. Do you have specific relocation packages to send out to buyers?
Yes, Century 21 is a global company and we do offer relocation packages along with a name of a great agent who would be able to serve the buyers’ needs.
We have many willing sellers in the market now. What are your recommendations for sellers in the Bay area?
Today’s sellers should be realistic in pricing their homes well. Pricing high will only cause their neighbors’ home to sell. Also, buyers in bay area are different in the sense that they are looking for homes that are well maintained and staged or shows well or are vacant.
Could you suggest top three things that sellers in the bay area, should consider, to make their house more marketable?
Show your home well. 2. Price it right. 3. Find a Realtor who offers an aggressive marketing plan for your home. (don’t look at the commission rate but look at what he/she has to offer you for your money). Selling it quickly means less mortgage payments, moving to your new place sooner and no headaches keeping the house spotless for months at end.
What impact will foreclosures have on the market here in Bay Area and in California?
According to analysts, we will see more foreclosures for next two years or so even though the present foreclosure inventory has decreased significantly as more buyers and especially investors are zapping up these properties for quick resale profits. With the economic recovery on a slow pace, we are going to see home prices increasing but it will be a gradual increase.
How did you get interested in real estate business? Why did you choose to work for Century 21?
My background is in Pharmacy but after staying home with my kids for a while, I thought of starting a business and work on my own terms. I always love helping others and put a smile on their face and I thought what could be a better business than Real Estate. In real estate, people make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives and they need an honest professional who could educate and guide them well so they can make an educated decision.
Century 21 Real Estate is the franchiser of the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization. It provides comprehensive training and marketing support for its agents. It is always good to know that I have a backing of a large company and can pass that confidence to my clients. In addition to that, as I mentioned earlier being a global company it/we offer relocation packages which are being very helpful to serve clients in need of relocation.
What would you say is the biggest misconception that people have about Realtors?
I have heard that Realtors are perceived as car salesman and not as professionals whose advice and guidance are very important and should be trusted. People are making the biggest investment of their lives so they should NOT be compared by the commission they offer but rather how professional and knowledgeable they are at their work, their ability to negotiate and their enthusiasm to help you.
You have many years of experience in this field. For you its a passion than a job. What advice would you give a young and upcoming Realtor on how to be successful and what pitfalls to look for and avoid?
Advice to anyone seeking this field..
First and foremost be ready to work very very hard. This is not an easy job nor an easy money.
Stay true to yourself and be genuine.
Be passionate in helping people as it is very rewarding (it does not always have to be a monetarily gain).
Always keep yourself abreast of the latest Real Estate News, trends, laws, developments etc.
Pitfalls to avoid..
Do not work for anyone at the cost of your professional and personal integrity . 2. Always set aside time for yourself and your family.3. Set your work hours and stick to it.2. Do not agree anything presented verbally, always have all agreements in writing 4. Only work with buyers who are serious and who are committed to you.
In your experience, what is the best philosophy you have found to live by?
Life is beautiful and precious So make the most out of it. Treat others as you wanted to be treated by others and DEFINITELY stay true to yourself.
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As a Realtor, I am always faced with this question: “So, how is the Real Estate Market today?”
My answer to this question is:
“Great…Great…Great.” Depending on what your financial goals are for future.
No matter when you buy a home it is always a great market. When you buy in sellers’ market, you typically tend to enjoy lower interest rates on your mortgage. When you buy in buyers’ market you typically have negotiating power with sellers and sellers tend to better present their homes in the form of remodeling, upgrading or better amenities to attract the buyers.
If you are selling your current home to buy a bigger home, then this is a good time to buy. Statistically, people buy their 2nd home 50% more expensive than their current home.
That means, for example, if the market has gone down by 10%, you will end up selling your current home 10% lower than originally intended price. But you are also buying your newer bigger home at 10% below market price.
Let’s take an example:
Current home price
25,000 (market down by 10% .. your loss)
$ 225,000 sell price of your current home
New home Price
50,000 (market down by 10% ..your profit)
$ 400,000 sell price of your current home
$50,000 – $25,000 = $25,000 of profit
Reverse trend will happen in a good market meaning you sell at 10% profit but you are also buying at a 10% loss which will result in your net loss.
The reason is simple. Real Estate is one of the best LONG TERM INVESTMENTS anyone can ever make in their life. Historically, Real Estate Market on average has always moved up.
The fact is that everyone needs to have a roof over their head whether you live in your own home or you live in someone else’s (rental property).
So the question is:
Do you want to make yourself rich by owning your home and building equity over years and enjoying lowered taxes or do you want to make someone else rich by handing them your hard earned money (i.e. rent) and also giving away your hard earned money to Uncle Sam in the form of higher taxes?
Of course you know the answer to that.
Going back to the question:
1. We have lot of housing inventory right now that means it is a Buyers’ market and sellers are more desperate and may be willing to negotiate or more readily work with your terms.
2. Generally the prices of homes have comparatively come down with few exceptions like in good school areas.
3. Even though the interest rate is fluctuating currently, current interest rates are actually still pretty good. You never know which way the market will go in future. If you buy now you can always refinance if the rates go down even further.
4. With election year coming up next year, the new candidate may try and improve market conditions for buyers which means there may be more buyers increasing the housing demand…which in turn may drive home prices up (multiple offers means more money out of buyers pocket).
5. Historically, end of every decade home prices have gone up…that means that if you may get good rate of return for your investment in just few years.
6. Real Estate business is a cyclical thing which means after a downturn there is always an upturn (the number of years may vary).
All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.
But if you’re still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to use one:
1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power — that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.
2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, Title Company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
Welcome to Sunnyvale California Real Estate Blog; I’ve created this blog as a way to show you the many options you have when looking to sell or buy property in Sunnyvale California.
My goal is to become your hometown resource for everything related to real estate in Sunnyvale, from news and local open houses to listings and events, ideas for buying your first home or securing that much needed mortgage and much more.