Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Does the Title Realtor Actually Make a Difference

What Is a Realtor and Why Should I Use One?

 



Did you know that the word Realtor is a valuable registered trademark that has been the subject of many court battles? You see, the folks who started using the word created an entire set of criteria regarding who could use the word and what it means in terms of service.


Just released! You can add $10,000 or more to the sale price of your home by following the steps offered in this exciting new book by Whit Prouty. Don't be fooled by the current hot market place. How you plan for the sale of your #1 asset will matter. 
Learn about staging and how to price. Get the latest scoop on what you should spend a few dollars on to make the house ready. Learn why the real estate agent you choose really matters. That and much more in this information packed book. Now on Amazon at http://bit.ly/LARealtor


So according to Investapedia:

What is 'Realtor'

A real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors, a professional association. Realtors include agents that work as residential and commercial real estate brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and other real estate professionals. More than 1 million real estate agents are realtors, and the term is a registered trademark. Realtors must belong to both a local association or board and a state association.

BREAKING DOWN 'Realtor'

Realtors are expected to be experts in their field and must follow the NAR's code of ethics, which requires agents to uphold specific duties to clients and customers, to the public and to other realtors. Among its many requirements, the code of ethics says that realtors "shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction;" "shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing and other representations;" and shall "pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client" while treating all parties to the transaction honestly.
 So, a real estate agent doesn't need to conform to these principles. Seems to make sense that everyone would want the person working on the largest investment in their financial world to follow the Realtor code.

Friday, July 7, 2017

4-Plex for Sale Easy Walking Distance to the Grove and Farmer's Market

Four Large Two Bedroom/Two Bath Units Close to the Grove  6,261 sqft


Incredible Location in the Beverly Grove area means incredible Opportunity. This jewel is just East of Fairfax and just North of Beverly, around the corner from CBS and The Grove. 
This is one of the largest 4-Plex Properties in the immediate area. All units are 2 bedroom and 2 bath with formal living room, dining room, kitchen with dishwashers, and individual laundry.  
 Original Spanish character is found throughout. Units have been updated at different times and have newer appliances. The roof was replaced approximately 10 years ago according to seller. Mostly copper plumbing, and foundation has been bolted. Detached 4 car garage in the back. 
Owners currently occupying unit #3 (327 N Genesee) and can be delivered vacant after negotiated possession. Interior viewing of units with accepted offer.  


Just released! You can add $10,000 or more to the sale price of your home by following the steps offered in this exciting new book by Whit Prouty. Don't be fooled by the current hot market place. How you plan for the sale of your #1 asset will matter. 
Learn about staging and how to price. Get the latest scoop on what you should spend a few dollars on to make the house ready. Learn why the real estate agent you choose really matters. That and much more in this information packed book. Now on Amazon at http://bit.ly/LARealtor

Details

$2,549,000
Price cut: -$51,000 (6/23)
Official property, sales, and tax information from county (public) records as of 07/2016:
    • Quadruplex (4 units, any combination)
    • 6,261 sqft interior
    • 4 Units
    • 8 Bedrooms
    • Lot Size: 6,375 sqft
    • County: Los Angeles
    • 8 Bathrooms
    • Built In 1931
    • Tax Rate Code Area: 0-067

    Cal BRE#: 01303275
    (310) 962-6942 mobile

11360 Sunshine Terrace, Studio City, CA 91604 For Sale - 4/6 and 3920 square feet

Spacious Hillside California Spanish Home just blocks from Ventura Blvd. Open House July 9





Welcome to Racing Green Design. This Sexy, Modern, California Spanish is organically set into the Studio City hillside, yet easy access to Ventura Blvd restaurants and shops. 
Designed to function, the residence delivers wonderful public spaces with views of the Valley or back onto the hillside. 
Not a typical 2-story home, the split levels offer easy movement through the living space. A stunning kitchen is outfitted with Thermador appliances, custom cabinetry with color-option remote interior lighting, and a large, eat-at island. 
Beyond the kitchen, there is a wonderful Snug for getting cozy while catching a show on the flat screen. 
The master bed suite is delicious with all of the expected accoutrements. Three other bedrooms with en-suite baths are found in the home. 
Upon entry, you'll find a powder bath and direct access to a grand-sized garage. Back on the upper level, a three quarter bath has easy accessibility to the lounging deck, spa and pool with infinity edged waterfall.


Just released! You can add $10,000 or more to the sale price of your home by following the steps offered in this exciting new book by Whit Prouty. Don't be fooled by the current hot market place. How you plan for the sale of your #1 asset will matter. 
Learn about staging and how to price. Get the latest scoop on what you should spend a few dollars on to make the house ready. Learn why the real estate agent you choose really matters. That and much more in this information packed book. Now on Amazon at http://bit.ly/LARealtor

  • Price: $2,395,000
  • Status: Active
  • Type: Single Family
  • MLS ID: 17-230796
  • Updated: 6/27/2017
  • Added: 56 day(s) ago
  • Viewed: 35 times

Interior

  • Rooms/Areas: Master Bedroom, Formal Entry, Living Room, Walk-In Closet
  • Number of Fireplaces: 2
  • Fireplace(s): Living Room, Master Bedroom
  • Eating Areas: Breakfast Counter / Bar, Dining Area
  • Appliances: Dishwasher, Freezer, Garbage Disposal, Gas Dryer Hookup, Refrigerator, Vented Exhaust Fan, Built-Ins, Range Hood, Range
  • Flooring: Wood

Rooms

Bathrooms

  • Total Bathrooms: 6
  • Full Bathrooms: 2
  • 3/4 Bathrooms: 3
  • Half Bathrooms: 1

Bedrooms

  • Total Bedrooms: 4

Other Rooms

  • Laundry: Individual Room

Additional Information

  • Pool: Yes
  • Pool Description: Heated and Filtered, Negative Edge/Infinity Pool, Waterfall
  • Spa Description: Gunite, In Ground, Gas Heated, Private Spa

Exterior

  • Deck/Patio: Open Patio

Parking

  • Parking Type: Garage (Two Doors), Garage Is Attached
  • Parking: Direct Garage Access

Location

  • County: Los Angeles
  • Driving Directions: Ventura to Tropical to Sunshine and Home

School Information

  • Elementary School: Carpenter Comm. Charter
  • Middle School: Walter Reed Middle School
  • High School: No. Hollywood Senior High

Heating & Cooling

  • Cooling Type: Air Conditioning
  • Heating Type: Central Furnace

Structural Information

  • Architectural Style: Spanish
  • Structure Type: Single Family
  • Common Walls: Detached/No Common Walls
  • Square Feet: 3,920
  • Sq. Ft. Source: Seller
  • Year Built: 1930

Lot Features

  • Property View: Hills View, Valley View
  • Lot Size (Sq. Ft.): 8,683
  • Lot Size Source: Public Records
  • Zoning: LAR1

Financial Considerations

  • Price Per Sq. Ft.: $610.97

Disclosures and Reports

  • Special Conditions: Standard Sale
  • Legal Disclosures: Take Property As Is, Commission to Buyer Agent
 
Cal BRE#: 01303275
(310) 962-6942 mobile

Monday, June 26, 2017

Los Angeles Residential Real Estate Likely to Rise Another 40% - The Facts


 
Folks want to live in Los Angeles. Who could blame them?

Absolutely No Evidence of Bubble in LA Real Estate Market


There a plenty of pundits trying to get credit for calling the next pop of the real estate bubble. While forces far beyond reason can and do create serious shifts in any market, every data set available to us at this time points to higher prices.

The Los Angeles residential real estate market is filled with complexity, so no one can claim to know the future of prices in LA County. However, the stability in the current market with continuous year over year price increases has many clear factors creating that direction. In particular, folks are staying put longer and drying up the supply. This post will speak primarily to the owner-occupier, but the information will apply equally to investment purchases.

History: We are not at a new top. We are just now reaching parity with 2007 in nominal terms. When adjusted for inflation we are still 12.4% below 2007. No one knows how far above the old top we will go, but 30% would not be unheard of. Thus, we might have more than 40% to go before reaching the top.

Where to start? Let’s begin with history. The Los Angeles residential real estate market is famous for wild swings. Everyone whose has lived here for more than a couple of decades will tell stories of the house they should have purchased (e.g. Venice in 2001.)

However, regardless of the swings, the LA market has moved ever upward. Each correction is followed by a new top. Of course, each top is followed by a selloff of 30% or even more.


Just released! You can add $10,000 or more to the sale price of your home by following the steps offered in this exciting new book by Whit Prouty. Don't be fooled by the current hot market place. How you plan for the sale of your #1 asset will matter. 
Learn about staging and how to price. Get the latest scoop on what you should spend a few dollars on to make the house ready. Learn why the real estate agent you choose really matters. That and much more in this information packed book. Now on Amazon at http://bit.ly/LARealtor
Supply: The lack of supply is going to continue, and will drive up prices and rents for at least another 3-4 years.

How is the Spring 2017 market doing? Generally, other than an economic crisis, there will be some evidence of topping as homes take longer to sell, or sellers start dropping their price. As of this writing, the average days on market in LA County is 40 days. It is common in flat markets for homes to average 90 days or longer to sell. Continued shortages of quality properties for sale or rent in Spring of 2017 suggest a continuation of the strong market.

Moreover, due to permitting difficulties and a lack of places to build, it is unlikely that even bullish builders can flood the market within the next 30 months.

Affordability: The stats don’t tell the entire story. There are plenty of folks who can afford to pay more.

What about affordability? We’ve all read the headlines that LA residents can’t afford these rents and/or purchase prices. Read a bit further and you’ll find out that LA is undergoing a massive demographic shift. Those who can’t afford the prices are moving out. Those who can are moving here from colder and less interesting places.

LA is now a World Class City like London, NYC, or San Francisco. The tech folks are moving in to LA, because the nerds are just like everyone else. They love sun, beaches, snow boarding, and night life. The gentrification of DTLA is absolutely stunning in the transformation and the pace of change. With two incomes in the six-figure range, you can afford a lot of house. So the incomes of the folks who live here don’t need to go up. The incomes of those moving in need to be high enough to afford the housing.

Wealth: If you have enough wealth, you don’t need a lot of income to afford a home. If you have wealth and income, you can afford a lot of home.

The wealth effect. We are currently undergoing by far the largest transfer of wealth in human history. Baby boomers are inheriting from their parents, and many are already “helping” their kids and grandkids just like earlier generations. If grandma makes a big enough down payment, the monthly payments are more affordable. Expect this factor to only get bigger and bigger over the next decade.

Another huge wealth effect is the amount of equity currently in homes. After the meltdown of 2008, the equity has shot up with many homeowners owning their properties outright. When it is time to move, these folks have all cash or a very large down payment. Once again, the affordability isn’t in question based on income.

Weather and Beaches: There is no expectation that the lure of LA will be over any time soon. We are a land of immigrants.

In addition to an influx of US citizens from Seattle, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and other tech hot spots, Los Angeles is a draw for those seeking to immigrate into the US. If you pay close attention while walking down the local mall, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the ethnic makeup of Los Angeles is heavily made up of recent arrivals.

Some of these folks are coming for school. Others because they have employment offers or want to establish a business here. Some are merely attempting to offshore some of their wealth. Foreign buyers have represented a large part of the purchases over the current boom.

Rent-Price Index: Landlords are still able to get higher rents, and that is currently keeping the ratio quite acceptable. If rents stagnate, then it could be evidence of a top.

A consistently accurate way to measure housing prices is to take a look at the housing price compared to the rental income that home could provide. This makes great sense as residential real estate investors will move out of the market place if this ratio doesn’t make sense. Moreover, the “crowd” seems to sense when it makes more sense to rent or more sense to buy on a purely economic basis.

The LA market tends to fluctuate between 15 and 24 on this formula. If the rent is $5000 a month, that would be $60,000 a year. If you multiply that by 15, that home is worth $900,000. If you multiply by 24, the home is worth $1,440,000. The current price to income ratio in LA is 17.1 according to Zillow. Once again, this suggest that we are far from overpriced.

Obviously, one can make the argument that both rents and prices are too high, and LA is experiencing a bit of a building boom in apartments right now. However, no pundit I’ve read seems to think this boomlet in apartments will solve the shortage.

No More Vacant Land: Alternative ways to increase supply are not viable. If supply doesn’t increase, and demand remains steady or goes up, prices must follow.

Less closely tied to the value of residential property, but still a factor, commercial, industrial, and raw land do impact overall real estate values. If homes and apartments are hard to find right now, these three categories are almost non-existent in LA County. This means builders have no place to build. The one exception is retail, but because office and commercial is so tight, retail properties that come on the market are often converted to employee or warehouse space.

No one who knows LA has any doubt that there is little land that hasn’t been built on. The ocean and the mountains have set the limits, and like other similar cities, this land limitation will also drive up prices. OC’s prices are already higher than LA, and the Inland Empire is where folks are heading who can’t afford LA.

Mortgage Interest Rates: Interest rates on mortgages will probably go up, and this will affect sales prices.

Mortgage interest rates continue to sit close to historic lows. Someday they are likely to go up to historic averages around 5.5% - 6%. There is no doubt that this will put downward pressure on prices as the cost of the mortgage will affect affordability. If this increase is slow enough, the impact may not be substantial. A 1% increase on a $1,000,000 home with 20% down adds about $650 per month to the cost. This would suggest that prices might have to drop 10% to offset the interest.

Our earlier assessment was the prices will go up another 40%. If interest rates go up by 1 or 2%, this might result in prices only going up 20% or 30%. Historically, at some point, there will be a 30% correction.

Long Term Strategy: If you plan to own a home or a string of homes over the next 10 – 50 years, don’t worry too much about where the market is today.

Buying high seems like such a bad idea, but if you are buying for the long term, even if you might move to another home in the future, your initial purchase price will have little to do with your long term economic benefit.

Huh?! I don’t blame you. It took me a while to get my arms around this one. As long as you stay in a purchased home, you will not “realize” a profit or loss. Say you buy a home for $500,000, and it drops in price to $350,000, but you don’t sell. Later the home goes up to $480,000 and you sell. You lost money, but you now take your stake (down payment), and you are investing in the next home in the same market condition of the one you’re selling. Somewhat depressed. So you sell at a bargain rate and also buy at a bargain rate.

In the opposite situation, you might sell for $700,000, but all the homes you hope to buy have also gone up 40%. You sell at a high price, but you have to buy at a high price. The only time any of this matters is when you sell the last time and leave the market.

The Economy: Crazy things happen (1999, 2008), so the economy could always spin downward. Right now that seems to be the least likely of scenarios.

What about the economy? We are part of the strangest economy in the last 70 years or longer. We have very slow growth, but it has been protracted over the past 7+ years. While this created long term problems for many workers who were unemployed or underemployed, we seem to have now reached some kind of stable growth, with low inflation, and employment at good numbers.

Since we have not seen wage growth even at “full” employment, one has to suspect that many in the workforce are still substantially underemployed in both their position and hours. If the economy continues this anemic growth rate, those with good jobs and decent income and wealth may continue to love the economy (see the stock market.) However, this would not be good for those who are still underemployed or who have given up.

On the other hand, if the economy starts to grow at 3%, there should be better jobs and hours, creating a demand push on wages. This will help many to afford more rents and higher home prices. Either way, the economy looks to be our friend for the next several years when it comes to demand for housing.


Summary: If you are thinking of buying a house, whether it is your first or your 10th, the primary motivation for moving now is the interest rates. Buy before they go up!! As noted in the 9th observation, it won’t matter in the long term if you overpay. But as noted in the first eight observations, there is little likelihood that home prices are going down any time soon.

As noted above the market for homes is extremely tight with very little supply of better homes in the better neighborhoods. That’s why you should call Whit Prouty to help you find the perfect home for your needs. Whit knows the LA County real estate market and is currently very active in the Santa Monica real eastate market, as well as MDR, Silicon Beach, and everything West of DTLA. Call Whit now at 310-962-6942.















Saturday, May 20, 2017

Stunningly Beautiful And Modern 4 Bedroom, 4.75 Bath Home For Sale in Studio City

Studio City Residence Now Available! Call Whit Prouty Today!





Built in 1930, this Spanish style residence is built right into the hillside, offering views of the valley and easy access to plenty of restaurants and shops along Ventura Blvd. You'll love the uniqueness of the design of this 2-story split level home! The kitchen is fully equipped with Thermador appliances, custom cabinetry and a large, eat-at island. The master bedroom suite is gorgeous and will surpass your expectations. Three other bedrooms with en-suite baths are found in the home as well. On the upper level, a three quarter bath has easy accessibility to the lounging deck, spa and pool, with infinity edged waterfall.

Watch a short video of this home:


Open House TOMORROW - May 21st 2017 from 2:00-5:00 pm

Call Whit Prouty today to discuss this house or other real estate matters!
(310) 962-6942
www.whitprouty.com

Monday, April 3, 2017

Don’t Trust Your Zillow.com Home Value Estimate – Could Be Off by $50,000 or More!


Zestimate®: $969,249 
Zestimate Range  $853,000 - $1.05M


Zillow Says They've Improved - Now Only 6% Wrong


Ed Jones (not a real person) was ready to move to a nicer home. Like millions of homeowners, he went to Zillow to see what their Zestimate of his home’s value would show. He was pleased to see that his house was worth $750,000.  After expenses, he figured he’d have $200,000 to invest in his dream home. 

Zillow showed homes like the one he was hoping to purchase to sell for around $1,000,000.

Ed called a real estate agent. The agent did some serious research on the value of Ed’s property, and recommended setting a price of $695,000. Ed wasn’t happy. His entire plan was based on getting $750,000 like Zillow showed. He insisted on listing at that price.

Much to the agent’s surprise, a buyer made an offer right at $750,000, and Ed eagerly accepted. They began the escrow process and Ed quickly found a great house and signed the contract. Ten days later, Ed’s excitement turned to despair. The appraisal came in at $705,000. The buyer said he couldn’t afford the $45k increase in the down payment, and Ed didn’t want to come down to the appraised price, which wasn’t enough to fund his plan. The deal fell apart and Ed had to back out of his contract.


Just released! You can add $10,000 or more to the sale price of your home by following the steps offered in this exciting new book by Whit Prouty. Don't be fooled by the current hot market place. How you plan for the sale of your #1 asset will matter. 
Learn about staging and how to price. Get the latest scoop on what you should spend a few dollars on to make the house ready. Learn why the real estate agent you choose really matters. That and much more in this information packed book. Now on Amazon at http://bit.ly/LARealtor


Zillow actually states that their Zestimates are off, on average, by 6%. That is 6% in either direction. That means that on average your $750,000 Zillow Zestimate could really mean your home is worth $705,000 to $795,000. Of course, it could be off by more than that, since Zillow says that this is how much they are off, “on average.” 

There is no intent in this post to disparage Zillow. They are providing a fine service, and they are constantly working to improve their methods. They compare final sale prices with the presale Zestimate to determine their average error, and they have improved their system from an average of 8% off down to just 6% off at this time.

The real point of this post is that you don’t want to rely on Zillow or any other system that is deriving an estimated value on your home using algorithms. You need to have the advice of a seasoned professional to determine the current market price of your home. Getting this number right will dramatically effect how much traffic you generate to look at your home, which will correlate directly with how many offers you get. The more competition, the higher the final deal.

Whit Prouty has the kind of experience that will help you arrive at the best offering price for your home. There is no cost involved when you meet with Whit to go over the options and approaches that Whit uses to sell a home. Whit only gets paid when your home sells, and the higher the price, the greater the commission. So Whit has only your best interest at heart when he helps you market your home. Call Whit today at 310-962-6942.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Nine Things Homeowners Should Never Say to a Prospective Buyer



More Tips for Home Sellers in Los Angeles


You’ve listened carefully to every bit of advice your Real Estate Agent has given you. You’ve decluttered the inside of the house and improved the curb appeal with some bush trimming and touch up paint. You’ve agreed to market the house at the true market price. The pictures and videos are online, and the realtor open house has happened. It is time to let the public take a look at your beautiful home.

After all that work, wouldn’t it be a shame if one short sentence killed the deal? Unfortunately, you might be the one to make an innocent comment that results in the potential buyer beating a hasty retreat from any possible offer. Let take a look at nine ways to avoid such a catastrophe:

1.     The best way to avoid putting your foot in your mouth is to remove both your feet and your mouth from the vicinity. If your real estate agent is setting appointments when he/she can’t be there or has not recommended you be elsewhere when the prospects are coming for a viewing of your home, get a new agent. Successful, experienced agents will always make it clear that you should find any excuse not to be home when they are showing the house.
2.     Assuming you are talking with a prospect, here are eight remaining things to avoid saying. “We’re willing to come down in price,” would be number one for sure. Obviously this statement puts your agent at a disadvantage in negotiating the best deal for you. There are many variations of this theme, such as “We’d be willing to put on a new roof.” Don’t offer anything. Your deal is on the table. Let the buyer make an offer next.
3.     “We’ve had the house tented twice in the past 20 years. Termites are really pesky around here.” While you are responsible to point out flaws in the home itself, you are under no obligation to give information about the neighborhood, the environment, or the mean old man two doors down.
4.     “We need to close quickly! We are under a contingency on the home we are buying.” Lack of flexibility is the last thing the buyer wants to hear prior to an offer. Besides are you going to scotch the whole deal because of a detail in your current contract? Maybe your seller will negotiate that issue. There is no reason to talk about your plans, your needs, or your hopes.
5.     “I’d like to live here forever, but I just went through a horrible divorce and need something smaller.” Folks have all kinds of superstitions about disease, germs, even emotional illness. There is no reason to say why you are moving. It won’t cause them to feel sorry for you or effect their decision in any way. But if your aunt Isabelle was locked up in one of the bedrooms to keep her away from the children, that ghost could easily hurt the sale.
6.     You agent probably admonished you to get rid of any evidence of pets. Therefore it should go without saying that you don’t want to say “This backyard is just fantastic for dogs. Our Doberman’s love to scamper around back there.” Now your buyers will start scrutinizing every aspect of the house and grounds for evidence of stains, hair, smells, etc.
7.     “We raised our three children here over the past 30 years and have so many memories. I cry just thinking about leaving my home.” Nobody wants to feel like they are hurting another human. Even thought he buyer knows you want to sell and are offering to sell, they may get an upset stomach thinking that they will be the ones to push you into the streets.
8.     Never be defensive. You are likely to hear the potential buyer saying negative things about your home, neighborhood, or some amenities. It would be easy to become defensive. “I’m sure you can get by with one bathroom. We did it for all those years.” There is just no right way for you, the homeowner, to respond to most negatives. Let the buyer process the pros and cons.
9.     Any comment about politics, religion, college teams, or other similar hot buttons. Both parties to the transaction need to be at least emotionally neutral when making or accepting an offer. Knowing that the other party is your “enemy” in some way can cause just enough angst to quash the deal.

You do have a very clear legal requirement to disclose anything that could impact the value of the property, but your personal opinions, history, and emotional attachments do not have any bearing on value. They could, however, if spoken to the buyer, impact the deal.

When you use Whit Prouty as your agent, he will professionally prepare you for the showing of your home, and he will be available to show the house so you can be relaxing at some other place while he does the hard work of selling. To learn more about how to maximize the sale price of your home and sell it quickly, be on the lookout for Whit’s soon-to-be-published new book, 10 Keys to Selling Your LA Home.

You can also reach Whit on his personal cell at 310-962-6942 to set up an appointment.