Monday, March 30, 2015

7720 Goodland closed and multiple offers are no fun

7720 Goodland in North Hollywood closed last week for $31,000 over asking.  We had fourteen offers.  I know that multiple offers aren't fun for buyers, but they are not fun for sellers either.  Of the fourteen, half were cash and half required a loan.  Half were above asking, half were below.  I had about 25 individuals asking me if I would write an offer for them.  I said no, because I hate doing dual agency in that situation -- the folks asking me to write are just looking for an angle in order to get their offer pushed.

If you're in a multiple offer situation, here's what NOT to do:
- Come in with a low price if the comparables don't warrant that.  Unfortunately, sellers are more interested in dollars than they are interested in your pretty face.
- Turn in incomplete offers.  Please make sure your agent checks all the boxes.
- Don't provide enough proof of funds to close.  I was surprised at how many buyers turned in offers without proof of enough liquid funds to cover the down payment and closing costs.  Or turned in old financial statements -- please make them current.  Or turned in financials that didn't have any of the actual buyers' names on them.  Yes, I know your parents love you but I need to see money in your name, not theirs'. Yes, we Realtors do look at that and, surprisingly enough, most of us can count.

The transaction went...okay.  The agent turned everything over to an unlicensed, untrained assistant, so that was a challenge.  And the buyer wanted to do additional inspections after she had already removed her inspection contingency.  But the transaction closed.

And by the way, we did NOT take an all-cash offer -- we took one with 20% down and a conventional loan!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A new Yelp review

Please check out my new Yelp review from the sellers of 5248 Ventura Canyon in Sherman Oaks. Josh and Danielle were dreams to work with even though they live in Cupertino.  Here at the house, we had a cooperative tenant family with four-year-old twin boys and a six-year-old, too, so showings were sometimes a bit noisy.  We received three great offers in 10 days and ended up taking the one that was $46,000 over list price. 

Of course, into each escrow a little rain must fall, and we had a kerfluffle towards the end -- I always love it when an inspector says, "That spot could be mold."  The buyers were true champs, though, and the sellers plus 3 different mold-inspectors and plumbers got everything fixed. The property closed today at $825,000.

Friday, March 13, 2015

4 beds, 3 baths, stand alone townhouse with attached garage and yard. How much would you expect to pay?

I will be bringing to market a delightful townhome next week.  It's in a gated community in North Hills/Van Nuys, and features 1630+ sf, is completely detached from other units but has its own, direct access two-car garage and includes a small, completely private yard for pets, gardening, or parties.  All spacious bedrooms are upstairs and there's plenty of closet space.  More info will be coming next week, but here's a question for you:

How much would you expect to pay? ______________ (your answer)

Nope! It's only $359,999.  That's right! This is not a "come-on" price, nor is it a short sale or foreclosure.  Is is one of the most incredible deals in the Valley, though, so please let me know if you're interested in seeing it.  It will be on the mls with lots more pictures on Monday.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Realtor has two brand new experiences. Neither of them were good.

Last week was quite a week.  I had two new situations that I've never had before in my eighteen years in practice.

First, a seller client passed away in the middle of our escrow.  I represent the buyer on this one.  This essentially puts a hold on the sale until all title issues can be cleared up.  It was a complicated deal to begin with as the seller was a FSBO (for-sale-by-owner).  What did I do on this one? Nothing, and let the estate take care of everything so we can close.

Second, I was blithely invited to commit loan fraud.  A potential buyer on one of my listings wanted to get a loan for x-amount of dollars, but also wanted to give the seller a lot of money outside of escrow so he wouldn't have to pay property taxes on the whole amount of the sale. (A property gets re-assessed by the County Tax Assessor when it changes hands.  In a normal sale, it is assessed at the purchase price.)  I pointed out that this is loan fraud, it's a federal crime, and I don't want to go to jail and neither does this buyer.  The buyer plainly didn't care.  What did I do on this one? I refused to write the offer, which would have been much lower than what the seller would have accepted anyway.

Sheesh! What will this week bring?

Monday, March 02, 2015

Studio City on the cheap

Everybody thinks Studio City is really expensive.  Some of the homes are. Some of the stores and restaurants are.  But some aren’t, as well, and I’m here to tell you how to save your hard-earned pennies in our neighborhood.
1.     You can eat relatively cheaply at Jinya Ramen, Cactus Tacqueria, Henry’s Tacos, Lemonade, Spitz, and more. The food at these places is delicious and cheap.  Okay, the first four don’t serve alcohol, but there’s…
2.       $2 beers at Jinky’s ALL DAY! $3 for craft brews! Really, now you have died and gone to heaven, right? And the food at Jinky’s is good and not expensive either.
3.       Get a massage for as low as $25/hour. You know all of those massage places along Ventura Blvd? With the neon signs in the window? Most of them are legit! Some have you leave your clothes on, but the massage is just as good.  I am not going to name my favorite place but it says “foot massage” in the window, and is cute, clean and peaceful.  
4.       Shop for clothes. There are lots of really cute clothing shops here, both in Tujunga Village and on Ventura.  For deals, though, check out Crossroads Trading Co. As they say, “Whether you call it recycled, resale, vintage or thrift, we call it Fashion.”  Want something a little more upscale? Great Labels on Ventura is exactly that at a discount.
5.       Lots of free recreational opportunities. Studio City is close to some of the best hiking/walking trails in L.A.  The famous Runyon Canyon, of course, plus Fryman Canyon, the L.A. Reservoir (3.5 miles around), and my personal fave, the L.A. River walks.  
6.       Acres of free parking.  If you’re willing to walk a bit to your destination, the lots behind the Laurel Canyon and Ventura intersections are huge and free. Not all day, of course, but you can easily park for two hours there.

Okay, this should get you started with enjoying the Studio City community without spending a lot.  Have I left out anything? Please let me know, if so.