Category: Sellers


Will 2017 Be the Year to Finally Move Forward with a New Home?

If you’ve been considering making a move in the Los Angeles area, now may just be the ideal time to move forward, before prices start to increase later in the year. While the local housing markets had a somewhat uneventful year in 2016, this may be poised to change in the coming months.

According to Zillow, the median home price in the Los Angeles, California area went up 8.4% over the past year, placing the average home value in the area at just below $604,000. However, over the next 12 months, it is anticipated that home values could rise by roughly 3%.

While the 3% figure is considered to be average across the board – and across the U.S. – it could still have an impact on what you end up paying for a home between now and the end of 2017, which could in turn provide just enough incentive to act now rather than waiting until later.

If you are in a position to move forward, keep in mind that the homes that you see listed in the newspaper and online aren’t typically the only choices that you have. By working with a well established realtor in the community, you can also have access to homes that may not yet be publicly listed, and also to those that may not technically be “listed” at all.

By going this route, you may have the ability to not only find your ideal home, but to also reduce the amount of competition you would otherwise be up against when submitting an offer to purchase.

For more information on finding your perfect new home in 2017, as well as for a free, no obligation analysis of your current home’s value, contact me.


Choosing An LA Realtor: Agents vs Brokers

agents vs brokers

We’ve been talking about different strategies relating to hiring a real estate broker and the types of questions you should be asking during the interview process to insure that you hire someone qualified and trustworthy. This, as we have mentioned, is quite possibly the single largest investment you will make so it’s crucial you hitch your wagon to a horse who can really win the race.

Here is tip #5: Go Big – Agents vs Brokers.

Size Matters: Many real estate agents are also brokers (me, included). The difference between agents vs brokers?  A broker has the highest level of training and credentials, more so than just an agent. A broker can do everything an agent can do with added responsibilities and expertise. My legal training allowed me to achieve this title. Another added bonus: brokers can oversee other agents and actually run and own a real estate firm. Despite being legally allowed to do this, many brokers choose to work under the umbrella of an established firm. I belong in this category. While I don’t NEED to hang my shingle under Coldwell Banker, I choose to do so for a variety of reasons.  Mine is the top producing Coldwell Banker office in America and I am number 10 out of 82,000 CB agents across the globe.  That means I have access to the highest producing agents and all of their clients all over the world! Our network is enormous, endless and the most active in the business. When a client hires me, he knows that I can get the word out about his property to this astounding labyrinth of individuals in every neighborhood worldwide.  For well over 100 years, Coldwell Banker has been in this business, buying and selling houses.  It is a trusted brand that is second to none. The levels of experience that comes with that reputation, spread out among 3,000 offices in 49 countries is huge.  Representing this organization speaks louder and does much more than if I opened up a small office of my own or worked from home, even though I could do that, too. Beyond that- with size comes the ability to market much wider than working in a smaller brokerage house.  Yes, you’re hiring one agent but he comes with the support of over 80,000 other individuals. Not to mention all the support staff, managers, marketing experts and clerical help. You know what they say about marriage: you’re not just marrying your spouse but the entire family? In residential brokerage, that is a huge benefit and will ultimately result in a more successful outcome for you, the client.

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Choosing A Realtor Part 4: Real Estate Marketing

Real Estate Marketing

Tip #4: Real Estate Marketing

When choosing a solid real estate professional to help sell or buy your next home, there are many factors to consider. We are sharing with you the tips we feel are most important in deciding who to hire and have already covered a few of the basics: does this person work full time or is he just a hobbyist? Is he/she a true neighborhood expert? If this person is related to you, is he/she just as qualified to do a great job? If not, it’s important to ignore family pressure and don’t let it weigh upon your decision regarding who to hire. Always remember that real estate is most likely the single most expensive investment you will ever make. Who to hire to help navigate the process is extremely important and shouldn’t be entered into lightly.

Supermarket- Before hiring a potential agent to sell your home, it’s crucial for you to learn about his/her real estate marketing plan and get all of his promises in writing. A good agent will be able to articulate where and how he advertises your property. Every licensed agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is essentially the bible for buyers and sellers. This is the most current and up to date tool that agents will use to share with buyers, sellers and other agents what properties he has for sale. So, putting a property on the MLS is a no-brainer that everyone will do. But dig deeper. Who is taking the pictures that will show your property in the best light? Who is writing the description that will highlight all the features that will help get your house sold?  Ask who the agent currently uses for these services. If he says he does all of that himself, move on to the next candidate (unless he has a background in both photography or professional writing- but the chances of this are slim). If he claims to use other people to help in these areas, ask who they are and whether or not you are responsible for paying their fees (a good agent will not expect you to pay for these services. The only thing you may be on the financial hook for during this process is if there are damages in your home that would appear in the photos. You will likely be responsible for paying to patch up a hole or two or repaint a wall if it’s truly awful.  If a professional stager is brought in at your request, you may be expected to cover that cost, as well).

And what advertising will your agent do beyond the MLS? This is important for you to know up front so there are so surprises down the line. Strong agents will be able to show you examples of how he/she markets your property in a variety of different ways, AT NO COST TO YOU! If an agent starts the sentence by saying, ‘Sure I can do that handsome, all color flyer hand delivered to the entire neighborhood but it’s going to cost you a few thousand dollars…’ just do yourself a favor and move along to the next candidate.

You have the right to have your property marketed as widely and extensively as possible. Anyone who claims to do this should feel confident to put it in writing. Anyone who does less should not earn your business.


Choosing An LA Realtor Part 3: Friends & Family

Choosing an LA realtor

Choosing An LA Realtor Part 3: Friends & Family

Interviewing for the job of being your realtor is extremely important and should not be taken lightly. Is it a question of life or death? No, of course not!  But choosing an LA realtor with a good portfolio can make the difference between making a lot of money or none at all from selling your property. He also holds the keys (pun intended!) to your financial future by possibly introducing you to the home of your future. A good realtor plays a crucial role in this process and you should interview a variety of potential professionals with great care and thoughtfulness. Tip number three: be wary of keeping it All in the Family.

Situations can get tricky when you have this major asset to buy or sell and all of a sudden you’re faced with the dilemma of whether or not to use the real estate services of your niece, sister, uncle or great cousin twice removed. Just because you have a family member who works in real estate doesn’t mean you should trust that person with handling your transactions.  Approach the decision as you would if this person was not actually related to you. If you trust that he/she has the experience, tenacity, motivation and professional capabilities to do the job as well as anyone not related to you, then you can consider using him or her. Remember, though, if you’re not happy with the services your relative is providing, it’s not too comfortable to fire a family member and then sit down to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner together. What’s nice about this profession is there are referral fees. That means you don’t necessarily have to hire your long lost cousin who just passed his license exam, however, you can extend to him a referral fee or even suggest he share the listing with someone who has more experience. That could actually be a win/win. You can provide an opportunity for your relative to get his feet wet in a transaction and shadow someone who you may trust a little bit more to do a better job.

Try not to let anyone make you feel guilty about this decision. You are doing what’s best for you and your family by hiring someone who’s the best candidate for the job. It’s not your responsibility to be the nice guy in this situation. Sure, there may be some hurt feelings about it in the beginning, but ultimately you need to be pragmatic and make the decision that makes most sense for you. Just because you share DNA with this person doesn’t mean he’s the most qualified to make you the money you deserve.

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Choosing A Realtor – Find A Neighborhood Expert

Find A Neighborhood Expert

One of the biggest financial decisions you can make is whether to buy or sell a residential property. To help navigate this often rocky, tumultuous road, it’s important you take great care in selecting a Realtor you trust. One way to hire the best person for the job is to come to the interview armed with a list of questions, the answers to which should help determine who is the most qualified to work for you. We’ve talked about the importance of hiring a full time versus just a part time agent. Next you should find a neighborhood expert.

Find A Neighborhood Expert

Block Captain- Ask any potential Realtor you’re thinking of hiring whether or not he/she is a neighborhood expert. What does that mean? Basically, where is the ‘farm’ (or perimeters of streets) he currently markets to and how long has he been busy in this particular area. Get specifics! Ask how many properties he’s sold and the average dollar amount per square foot he was able to get. A true neighborhood expert will be able to share details not just about his own listings but for all the other listings currently on the market in a specific neighborhood. What’s also special about hiring a true local expert is his access to the much coveted ‘pocket listings.’ These are listings that are not wildly advertised but an agent has inside knowledge about a property that could be sold off market, often at a bargain for the buyer. Mr. John Smith who’s lived on his street for 50 years is most likely not going to whisper his desire to quietly sell in the ear of Mr. New in Town Agent. On the contrary! A real neighborhood expert is often considered the eyes and ears of the area. There’s an often correct assumption that the local Realtor knows what’s going on with new constructions, building codes, Homeowners Associations, schools, new buyers, etc. If you have your heart set on buying in a specific neighborhood, it behooves you to research whom has done a lot of business in the area and then interview him as well as his competitors (there are usually multiple experts in larger, more lucrative neighborhoods). Once you establish who the experts are, then the decision as to who to hire is often made based on other criteria. Hiring a local expert is certainly not the only reason to utilize a Realtor services, but it sets a crucial foundation that should be acknowledged. If knowledge is power, then a local expert is the mightiest weapon in your real estate arsenal.

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Choosing A Realtor – 24 / 7 Service


Let’s say you’re in the market to either buy or sell a property. Your first job is to hire a realtor to help you navigate the process. Most educated and savvy people think they can act as their own realtor and maybe some can do that successfully. It’s my humble opinion that those who go down this road are doing so at a disservice and should hire a professional to handle all aspects of buying and selling instead. Why? Your property, whether it’s what you currently own or what you’re hoping to acquire, is your most valuable asset. I wouldn’t trust a mechanic to perform a heart transplant.  In other words: you need an expert in any particular field and real estate is no different. So, before embarking on this journey, hire a realtor you trust and someone who’ll handle all the details so you can concentrate on what YOU do best.  But how do you know you’re hiring someone truly first rate? By asking a series of questions and following these helpful tips!

Tip #1

Clock Watchers- You may know someone who’s a realtor or maybe have a friend of a friend. You may have noticed a realtor’s marketing and made a cold call based on that. However you make initial contact, one of the first questions you should ask anyone looking to work on your behalf is whether or not he is a full time or part time realtor. This is actually very important. There are many people out there who have taken the classes and passed the licensing exam who are then technically real estate agents but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a wide variety of other commitments (whether professional or otherwise) that take away their attention from you, their client.  It’s important to ask any potential realtors if they work full time or part time. Some people find themselves out of work and choose to pursue real estate as a stop-gap to fill their time and earn some money in between their chosen careers. Some are retired hobbyists and don’t consider real estate their actual professional field but merely a way to keep their minds engaged and days busy.  When hiring an agent, you want real estate to be his one and only focus and career. Not unlike an on-call doctor, you need your agent to be available to you at all (and often inconvenient) hours. You don’t want him to keep you waiting while he’s auditioning for a commercial or dropping you in favor of that business opportunity that finally came through.

So, the first question you need to ask a potential agent is whether or not this business takes up all or just a portion of his attention. If he says real estate is the perfect job because it allows him to work with enough time to pursue other interests, the smart choice would be to seek professional help elsewhere.


Cheviot Hills & Beverlywood Home Values Continue To Rise!

Cheviot Hills & Beverlywood home values continue to rise, as seen in the below recently released Market Climate Map from the MLS. As you can see below, the median sale price for westside areas such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Culver City, Palms Mar Vista, Beverlywood and Cheviot Hills continues to steadily increase. These figures indicate that home values are at an all time high since the recession, making it a great time to consider selling in west Los Angeles. Cheviot Hills & Beverlywood home values

Cheviot Hills & Beverlywood home values 2

I hope you enjoyed this blog, if you would like to keep up to date on the Los Angeles real estate market, make sure to like our Facebook page.

If you would like to know how much your home is worth in the current market, or if you have a real estate question, feel free to contact me.



Tips for Moving Homes With Kids – Part 9

moving homes

Moving homes is stressful, moving homes with kids can be a nightmare. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make the whole process as painless as possible. We have come to the end of our list for tips on moving homes effortlessly with children in tow. Our final suggestion is to honor how they, as individuals, say goodbye.

Bid a Fond Farewell:
Everyone says goodbye differently and your children are no exception. Some respond better to seeing images of friends saying goodbye and there are no shortages of ways to create photo books that your children may enjoy.  Scrapbooks are another nice way to keep mementos, pictures and notes that your kids’ friends may compile for them to take along to their new home. Social media can be very helpful tackling this issue, as well. Keeping in touch via Facetime,  Facebook or Instagram means never really needing to say goodbye at all.  Let your children know that while they may miss seeing their friends in person every day,  saying ‘hello’ is often just a click or phone call away.

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Tips for Moving Homes With Kids – Part 8

homes with kids

Moving homes with kids can be a slippery slope, but with some careful planning, it doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience. We’ve given you seven tips so far to help make the transition to a new home a bit easier. Today’s tip is extra fun!

There goes the neighborhood!:

Spend some time with your kids and do some research about your new surroundings. Will he/she be going to a new school? Drive past it and show him/her the route from your house to campus. Maybe there are some interesting shops, restaurants and ice cream parlors nearby. These are points of interest for your children and should be explored to make them excited about their new home. If your move isn’t too far away, maybe spend an afternoon walking  around and introducing yourself to your new neighbors.  You never know, maybe there’s a child your child’s age. Today’s stranger may be tomorrow’s new best friend!

Some websites that can help you learn about points of interest in your neighborhood as well as local events are as follows:


We Like LA

LA Weekly

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Tips for Moving Homes With Kids – Part 7

Tips for Moving Homes

We’re talking about the difficult Part of what makes kids tough to deal with sometimes is they’re opinionated and sometimes we are too busy and self-absorbed with what we’re doing to give them a chance to be heard. So, today’s tip for successfully moving homes while handling your children: give them a job to do.

Help Wanted:

Children really do value being heard so to ensure a smooth move-in day, it behooves you to let them help in making a decision or two that pertains to the house. Do you have a playroom set aside for their use? Maybe they can offer suggestions as to what color the walls should be.  Perhaps they could pick out some art for the walls in their rooms. Maybe it’s a small linen closet at the end of the hall but they had a hand in choosing where the shelves should go. Whatever you decide to do, let your little ones have some ownership of one or two decisions. Obviously, they should be limited and politely guided so that your living room or kitchen doesn’t end up a bright shade of magenta! But a little really does go a long way in terms of letting them feel like this is their house, too.

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