A good first impression is a surefire way to get top dollar for your home!

Remember when you were a kid and your mom would tell you to always look your best so that you would make a good first impression?  That is the same advice I give to my clients who are preparing their home for sale.

It’s always a good idea to consult with your REALTOR about any necessary improvements prior to listing.  Your REALTOR knows what improvements are necessary and what will get you a good return on your dollar.  For example, I recently went on a listing appointment and the owner had decided to replace the carpet in all of the bedrooms.  Under the carpet were hardwood floors.  I recommended that she pull up the carpet and simply expose the wood floors.  As it turned out the floors were in great shape, she literally saved over a thousand dollars.

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Are you thinking of making a move?  Don’t gamble with your biggest asset, call me today to find out how you can get top dollar for your home!

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WAIT! Before you sign that listing agreement…..

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Perhaps you have interviewed agents or possibly you had an agent randomly knock on your door or preferably, you were referred to an agent. What ever the case may be, you are ready to list your home. Before you sign that listing contract be sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the agreement.

I recently learned out about a local agent that required the seller to sign a 1 year agreement. That’s almost unheard of these days! Most sellers want to sell as soon as possible so why would they put their trust in an agent who isn’t confident about selling their home in a reasonable amount of time? Remember, we are talking about one of your biggest assets here. Let’s go over some of the basics.

Listing period: The average listing period is anywhere from 3-6 months. If your agent is requesting a longer period of time be sure to find out exactly why. Remember you can always extend the listing before the original agreement expires.

Compensation to broker: Once you have negotiated the total amount of commission be sure that you are clear about how it is divided between both listing and selling agents. This is especially important if you are listing with a discount agent because if they aren’t offering a reasonable portion of the total commission you probably won’t have much activity which brings me to the next subject.

MLS: Be sure you are clear about when your home is actually going into the Multiple Listing Service. Some agents will exclude you from the MLS so that they can double end the sale. This means that they will represent both you and the buyer allowing them to receive the full amount of the total commission.

If you are thinking of making a move, call me today! I will be more than happy to explain everything you need to know about selling your home.

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6 things you didn’t know you could do at the Americana

On Monday mornings Pacific Theatres offers newly released films for parents with small children and infants, nobody will mind if your little one fusses.

Also on Monday, enjoy any bottle of wine from the wine list at Bourbon Steak for 50% off.

On Tuesday mornings from 11-1 there is a Kids Club offering activities music and other entertainment. Click here to sign up for the newsletter. There are also several places where kids can eat free on this day, click here to see where.

On Thursdays at 7PM Barnes & Noble offers story time for kids 4+.

Start your Sunday mornings with a free yoga class with LuLuLemon Athletica at 9:30, meet on the green and don’t forget your yoga mat!

Every day the Valet offers complimentary parking for bicycles.

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Architecturally Significant Homes For Sale-Glendale

Architecturally significant homes are all the rage these days!  Here are a couple of great properties that hit the market this week.

2948 Graceland Way

2948 Graceland Way $1.050,000

1401 N. Central

1401 N. Central #12-$359,000

2568 St. Andrews

2568 St. Andrews $849,000

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Out of the closet

When preparing your home for sale it is important to clean out and organize your storage spaces.  It’s okay to stuff things in the closet if you are entertaining or something, but if you have your home listed for sale it’s a totally different story.  When your closet is busting at the seams with junk, it pretty much shouts “this home is too small!”.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 1.36.39 PMAre you considering a move?  Give me a call today and let me help you with the details.

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The importance of professional photography

I always tell my sellers that their first showing is via the internet.  Let face it, today’s buyers are searching all of the real estate websites and their agents are searching the MLS.  If your property doesn’t stand out on the internet, don’t expect to get much traffic.

The photo you see below is of a bathroom in a $2,000,000+ condo in Pasadena.  It’s hard to imagine that any seller would find this photo acceptable.  Unfortunately there are many sellers who just assume that their agent is doing a good job.  The harsh reality is, that there are a lot of agents out there who don’t properly market their listings.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 3.48.24 PMProfessional photography makes all the difference when it comes to marketing your home.  If you click here you will see a view home in Glendale.  The view was the biggest selling point and there is no way an amateur photographer could capture this amazing view.  The view shots literally sold this home!

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DTLA Dark Nights is Almost Here!

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Celebrate the ups of being Downtown at L.A. LIVE‘s most exciting night – Dark Nights – featuring live musicians, performers, artists and indie craft vendors AND unbeatable $5 food & drink specials at participating L.A. LIVE restaurants! Don’t miss out on Downtown’s best night of the month!  Click here for details.

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Things to do in LA

Let’s  face it, you really don’t have to try too hard to find something fun to do in LA.  Here are a few of my favorite things to do.

Elysian Park-I absolutely love this trail!  It’s an urban oasis with spectacular views of downtown.  Elysian Park is LA’s oldest park and everyone should experience this trail at least once!

Guisados Taco‘s-I had the privilege of growing up with authentic Mexican food, so when I say this place has the best tacos in town, I mean it!  Guisados has locations in Boyle Heights, Echo Park and Downtown.

Echo Park Lake-Okay, you have driven by many times but have you ever just parked the car and taken a walk around the lake?  WHY THE HECK NOT?  This historical landmark is another place that everyone should experience at least once.

Secret Stairs-As an LA native, I am totally blown away at how many people don’t know about these stairs.  Click on this link, buy the book and get your walking shoes on!  This is such a fun adventure for the first timer!

Tierra Mia-Before you head out to the stairs you may want to power up with some coffee.  I recommend the Horchata Frap!

Whatever you do this weekend, DO SOMETHING!


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Is is a safe neighborhood?

This may come as a surprise but that’s a pretty tough question for a Realtor to answer, you see we aren’t really supposed to say whether a neighborhood is safe or even quiet.  We are supposed to tell you to check with the local law enforcement agency for crime stats because the answer can be speculative.

For example, I consider my neighborhood of NW Glendale safe however, there has been a rise in burglaries in my neighborhood.  In fact a few of my neighbors that I know personally have actually had their homes burglarized.  Knowing that, it wouldn’t really make sense if I told you that my neighborhood was “safe”.  Especially considering the fact that everyone has their own idea of what they consider to be safe.

The other day I saw a notice posted all over my neighborhood informing neighbors that several neighbors had their cars broken into.  If you follow Glendale PD on Facebook, you will see that they have quite a few posts with photos from surveillance cameras showing suspects breaking into homes.  There is no denying that we have experienced a rise in crime here in Glendale.

So what is an ethical Realtor like myself supposed to do?  Should I tell you that my neighborhood is unsafe?  Obviously I am not going to tell you that it’s a perfectly safe neighborhood.  My job is to inform you in the best possible way and your job as a consumer, is to research these concerns yourself.   Together we will arrive at making the right decision, and that is one of the things I love the most about my job, helping you make the right decision!

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What is a “boomerang buyer”?

The year 2015 will be known as the year of the “boomerang buyer” – a term referring to people who have lost their homes to foreclosure or short sale and are looking to buy again.  The percentage of these buyers is expected to rise this year as more and more former homeowners become eligible to purchase again.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:  Conventional loans often require a two-year wait for short sellers who can make a 20 percent down payment, a four-year wait with a 10 percent down payment, or a seven-year wait with 5 percent down. Borrowers who lost a home in foreclosure and defaulted on their mortgage often have the longest waits of up to seven years before they can qualify for a new conventional loan.

Thinking of making a purchase this year?  Call me today and let’s make sure you are qualified, it’s the first step you need to take before purchasing a home!

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