Three Tips on Pricing Your Home Correctly

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Pricing your home for sale is a calculated and strategic form of art. Using the average price per sq ft and multiplying it by your homes sq ft is no way to come to a price point. You need to think about all the qualities of your home that makes it different from the one next door (good or bad). Not only is every home different but every seller is different. Here are three tips to consider in pricing your home.

1. Identify what your top priority is for selling your home.
In today’s market, many seller’s are experiencing a multiple offer situation. While this may be an ideal position to be in, it can also feel overwhelming and in some cases it can be an emotional process. However, if you are clear about what your main goal is before you list your home for sale, you will be able to assess your options clearly and make a solid and quick decision.

2. Consider your best and worst case scenarios before, during, and after the sale of your home.
You can start by asking yourself some of these questions: Do I need to sell quickly? If yes, what is the absolute lowest price I am willing to sell my house for? What price will I be happy with if I only get one offer and it is for asking price? What is the amount of money I need in net profits to purchase my next home? Are there any issues with my house that will cost the buyer a significant amount of money to fix? If I price my house at the top of the market, am I willing to miss out on potential buyers that won’t consider anything in this price point? If I don’t receive any offer after a few weeks on the market, am I comfortable making a price reduction? How often am I willing to make a price reduction? How long am I willing to list my house if it doesn’t sell?

3. Learn about all the comparable homes in your neighborhood.
Keep in mind that although it is important to know the asking prices of current homes for sale, it is more important to know what most recent closed sale prices are in your area. Another thing that some people miss exploring are the homes that went on the market and never sold. These homes are called “expired listings” and they are your best indicators for over priced homes.

Having an experienced, knowledgeable, and honest agent help you through this process will be your key to pricing your home correctly. He or she should be able to recognize what is important to you and help you figure out a price that will deliver the results your are looking for. Of course, I am always here to help in any way possible and I offer free home evaluations to anyone that is interested in knowing their home value. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have a question or would like a consultation. 310.387.4693 or laurenw@hmsold.com

New Listing! 2616 W. 143rd Place, Gardena

Check out this beauty!

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3bed/3bath
Approximately 1,380 sq ft and 6,625 sq ft lot.
Asking $449,000

Beautiful turnkey home with pool! Like new with upgrades throughout including laminate wood floors, double pane windows, recessed dim-able lighting, and new paint inside and out. Kitchen features gorgeous porcelain tiled floor, quartz slab counter tops, stunning backsplash throughout, new stainless steel appliances, and an open concept to the dinning and living room areas. Huge backyard includes pool, large grass area left to the imagination for endless possibilities, and a separate gated area away from pool, perfect for pets or kids to play. Bonus room features an additional guest bathroom, den area, and large bedroom with attached bathroom. Bonus items include new garage door and water softener. Must see in person to truly appreciate!

Please pass this information to anyone you think would be interested! Contact me directly for questions or to schedule a showing: 310.387.4693 laurenw@hmsold.com

Open house Saturday 5/9/15 1-4pm!

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What’s Up Redondo!

I’m proud to introduce our new website and instagram page! I’ve partnered up with one of South Bay’s top producing agents, Michelle Accetta, and together we are having a blast connecting Redondo to What’s Up in Redondo. Check us out and be sure to follow us on instagram!

www.whatsupredondo.com

www.instagram/whatsupredondo.com

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It’s Here! New Listing in Tustin!

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15212 Wesley Way, Tustin CA 92782

First open house will be this weekend Saturday 4/18 and Sunday 4/19 1pm-4pm.

Beautiful & rare corner unit located on the green belt in Camden Place listed for the first time since it was built in 2007!  Situated away from busy streets and inner units, this condo has front-door access to the green belt park, views of Saddleback mountain, and is South-facing inviting in sunlight from three sides throughout the day.  First master suite is located on the lower level with full bathroom and easy access to laundry room and two-car garage.  Main level features a chef’s kitchen with expansive granite slab counter tops and stainless steel appliances including gas range.  The open concept is perfect for entertaining and helps the chef feel included in activities going on in the dining room and living room. Main level also features guest bedroom, second full bathroom, media nook, gas fireplace ,and spacious private balcony with views of the green belt – perfect for summer BBQs!  The entire top floor serves as a sanctuary, fully dedicated to an enormous master suite with walk in closet, master bathroom, double his/her sinks, jacuzzi tub, separate stand up shower, and linen closet.  Entire condo is pre-wired for the Internet and cable with convenient outlets in all three bedrooms and living room.  Home has been professionally cleaned, newly painted, and carpets have been professionally shampooed ready and waiting for it’s new home owners to move in right away!

Click here for the full listing with more photos and details
Virtual tour:
Contact me directly with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
310.387.4693
laurenw@hmsold.com

Video Tour- 395 W. 15th Street, San Pedro

Hi Everyone!

Here’s a video tour of my listing in San Pedro. It definitely gives you a better feel for all of the amazing upgrades this home features inside. From a new foundation, copper plumbing, laminate wood floors, granite counter tops, cabinets, AC and furnace, security alarm system, and much  much more, this home is gorgeous! Let me know if you or anyone you know would like to live in this charming home, I’d be happy to send over more detailed info and schedule an appointment to view it! 310.387.4693 laurenw@hmsold.com

396 W 15th Street, San Pedro from Lauren Weber on Vimeo.

New Listing In San Pedro!

Hi Friends,

I have a new listing in San Pedro which is a charming Victorian cottage style home with 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and upgraded throughout with asking price of $499,000. This house is a must see to appreciate all the quality work that has gone into it. Please let me know if you or anyone you know is interested in setting up an appointment to view it. I’m sad to see my past clients leave the South Bay but so excited for them to start a new journey in their lives. Check out this link to see the full listing with details and contact me with any questions.

http://mrmlsmatrix.com/matrix/shared/GhVzdF6CmmFd/39615thStreetW

(c) 310.387.4693
laurenw@hmsold.com

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Tech Talk – WeMo

Yesterday I learned about this cool new modular system called WeMo presented by Belkin. It is a home automation system that allows you to control as much or as little of your home as you like straight from you smartphone. So for example, if you forget to turn off your lights or heater you can do so while you are away. I’ve included a youtube video with more examples of what you can do with this system.

My favorite package is the LED lighting starter kit for $99 which gives you two bulbs and one WeMo Link. Check out the amazon listing HERE

I can see how this will become the future of all our homes. Let me know your thoughts and if you have any other tech apps or appliances that you think will be dominating the housing industry.

Tax Calendar

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Just a friendly reminder that property taxes are due November 1st and will be considered delinquent if not paid by December 1st.

Many clients inquire about taxes and how they are handled in a sale due to the tax year begining in July and sales occuring at random through out the year. Please see below for a general idea of how the proated tax cycle is handled and for important tax dates to mark on your calendar.

Tax proations
Closing date
July 1   No Prorations
Aug 1   Charge Seller 1 month  /  Credit buyer 1 month
Sep 1   Charge Seller 2 months / Credit Buyer 2 months
Oct 1    Charge Seller 3 months / Credit Buyer 3 months
Nov 1   Collect 1st Installment Taxes From Sellers Account
Credit Seller 2 months  /  Charge Buyer 2 months
Dec 1   Charge Buyer 1 month  /  Credit Seller 1 month
Jan 1   No Proations
Feb 1   Collect 2nd Installment Taxes From Sellers Account
Charge Buyer 5 months / Credit Seller 5 months
Mar 1   Charge Buyer 4 months / Credit Seller 4 months
Apr 1    Charge Buyer 3 months / Credit Seller 3 months
May 1   Charge Buyer 2 months / Credit Seller 2 months
Jun 1    Charge Buyer 1 months / Credit Seller 1 months

Important Tax Dates:
July 1    Beginning of fiscal year Owners to be informed of new values
Sep       In mid September tax rates set
Oct        Tax bills mailed last week
Nov 1    First Installment Due
Dec 10  First Installment Delinquent, if not paid
Jan 1     Assesment Date
Feb 1    Second Installment Due
Mar 1    Taxes on unsecured roll due
Apr 10   Second Installment Delinquent, if not paid
Apr 15   Last day to file Homeowners, Veterans and Senior Citizens Exemptions
Jun 8     Publication date for delinquent taxes

I hope these dates help you in your planning but if you have any questions please consult your CPA.

Have a great rest of the week!

Probate vs. Trust sale

What is a probate sale?
When a homeowner passes away and leaves behind a last will and testament that indicates how the decendent wants their property and assest distributed. In most cases the last will and testament are subject to “probate” in order to pay off debts of the decendent or to liquidate the assets. A probate sale is overseen by a court proceeding that administers the estate of an individual.
Purposes of “estate administration” include:
1. To determine that the decendent is in fact deceased.
2. To establish the valididy of the will.
3. To idendify the heirs and devisees of the decendent
4. To settle any claims that creditors may have against the estate of the decendent.
5. To distribute the property.

What is a trust sale?
In a trust sales court approval is usually not necessary, but there may be a legal requirement to give notice to certain interested individuals. A trust sale is very similar to a Standard Sale, except the trustee is exempt from disclosing any known material facts that may affect the value of the property (due to the trustee typically not being a resident of the property). Although the trustee is typically the main point of contact of the transaction they must manage the trust estate solely for the benefit of the beneficiaries and keep the beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the administration. The trustee cannot profit from the trust and has a duty to take reasonable steps to control and preserve the trust property and to make it productive.

Some may argue that it is best for a homeowner  to establish both a last will and testament and a living trust however, I advise that you consult with your attorney to determine what is the best option is for your situation.

Below is a simple video that described the benefits of having both.

Capital Gain Tax Exclusions

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Hello my Weber Weekly readers! This week I wanted to address capital gain taxes and guidelines on how to avoiding these. First, let me clarify that capital gain taxes differentiate tremendously between investors verse people who use their property as their primary residence. Today I will be elaborating on the latter- primary residence property.

Homeowners Exclusion Rules under 2013 California Real Estate Tax Law states that:
-Single homeowners can exclude up to $250,000 of capital gain from taxes
-Married couples filing jointly can exclude up to $500,000 of capital gain from taxes
-Unmarried people who jointly own a home and separately meet the test can exclude up to $250,000 of capital gain from taxes

Three tests that qualify for Homeowners Exclusion Rule:
1. Ownership: Seller owned the home for at least two of the five year period before the closing date.
2. Use: Seller used the property as a principal residence for two years of that five year period.
3. Waiting Period: The exclusion wasn’t used during the preceding two year period.

Qualifications for married couples:
1. They must file a joint return for the year.
2. Either spouse meets the ownership test (described above).
3. Both spouses meet the user test
4. Neither spouse has recently excluded a gain fro the sale of another home after May 6, 1997
If either spouse does not satisfy all these requirements, the exclusion is figured separately for each spouse as if they were not married. This means both spouses may qualify separately for part or all of the $250,000 exclusion under 2013 California real estate tax law.

If you do not fall within these guidelines you may still qualify for a partial or prorated tax break.
-Moving  due to unemployment
-Doctor recommendation to move
-Unforeseen circumstances ie: death in family, divorce, nursing home move.
The portion of this tax break would be calculated on the portion of the two-year period which you lived there. For calculations you would take the number of months you lived there before the sale and divide it by 24.

Calculation example and what to include in deductions:
Many people do not know to include items such as closing costs and capital improvements as part of their deductions in capital gains. For example people would assume if they bought a house for $100,000and sold it for $400,000 it would be a gain of $300,000 which is $50,000 over the exclusion. This is incorrect.
Things you can deduct include:
-Closing costs
-Broker’s commissions
-Title insurance,
-Advertising costs,
-Administrative costs
-Escrow fees
-Inspection fees
-Legal fees (if any)
-Tax basis in the property
(Your basis is the original purchase price, plus purchase expenses, plus the cost of capital improvements, minus any depreciation and minus any casualty losses or insurance payments).

After implementing some of the deductions and using the same example above it would look more like: They bought a home for $100,000 sold for $400,000 but invested $20,000 in home improvements, $5,000 in fixing up the place and $25,000 in closing costs leaving them with NO capital gains tax at all.

***Because every home, sale, escrow, and individual cases are different I would advise that you consult with your CPA or tax attorney before making any claims and to make sure you are deducting as much as you are allotted for***

I hope this week’s blog has given you a better insight on how capital gain tax exclusions work. As always, please fee free to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like to be pointed in the right direction of a great tax advisor.