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The Importance Of Staging Your Home

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“My house doesn’t need to be staged to sell” might come to your mind when you are listing your home.

Oftentimes, you are absolutely right. Pretty much every house will sell sooner or later. However, even if conditions are perfect and your house sells quickly, you may have been able to increase the selling price with proper staging.

So what exactly do home stagers do? A home stager is similar to an interior decorator – with expertise in planning and choosing colors, fabrics, and furniture, and arranging them all in a way that makes your home look its best. A good home stager brings a few extra things. The focus is not on creating a home that matches your taste and need, but instead on making your home appeal to a range of tastes. The purpose of staging is to present the home to the buyers in the best possible light and to help people fall in love with your place.

Your first showing is probably not an Open House on a Sunday noon, in the Internet’s age the first showing is long before the potential buyers arrive at your doorstep. The listing photos of your property, along with the description and all the listing data, make the difference whether your home matches the buyers imagination of their future dream home or not. Accordingly, you will be placed on the “want-to-see-in-person” or “do-not-see” list. This is why staging your home before taking the listing photos is so important!

Your house needs to stand out from all the competition, and great photography can absolutely help with this.

Furthermore, staging makes it easy for a potential buyer to imagine how they will live in the property and it might suggest the lifestyle that the buyer will aspire to. If you give people the feeling of “this is it, I could imagine to live here”, you are about to receive an offer on your home.

Statistics have shown that professionally staged homes sell on a conservative average for 8-10% more (*see link below). If your home sold for 800K unstaged it probably would have sold for about 864K staged.

It’s up to you which way you want to go, but home staging can certainly make the difference between a standard listing and an exclusive one.



Southern California home prices soar but sales tumble in December

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By Andrew Khouri
January 14, 2014, 10:52 a.m.

Southern California home prices posted a sizable pop in December, bucking a months-long cooling trend.

The median sales price across the six-county region reached $395,000 last month, a 2.6% gain from November and 22.3% over the year, DataQuick said Tuesday. It was the first significant month-over-month increase since June, a rise the research firm attributed to fewer distressed sales and demand that has outstripped supply.

Sales tumbled 9.2% over the year and rose less than normal from November, evidence of the constrained inventory available for home seekers. Buyers scooped up 18,415 new and resale houses and condos last month, the lowest level in six years.

GRAPHIC: Southern California’s housing recovery

“Sales have fallen short of the same period a year earlier for three consecutive months now, and the pitifully low inventory is the main culprit,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in a statement. “The jump in home values over the last year suggests we’ll eventually see a lot more people interested in selling their homes, which would help ease the inventory crunch.”

The December data cap a whirlwind year for Southern California real estate. Home prices rose swiftly though the first half of the year, as investors and families battled over a meager supply of homes for sale. Bidding wars proliferated amid record-low mortgage rates and some experts raised concerns a bubble could form.

The market cooled through the summer and beyond, a slowdown caused by waning demand amid affordability constraints and a typical seasonal pullback, experts said. Home listings also expanded in the summer in many markets, although inventory remained tight.

It’s unclear if December’s strong price gains foreshadow a renewed price surge and the spring home buying season will provide a better look into the market’s health. Most experts predict tamer price appreciation this year than last, in part because of higher mortgages rates.

QUIZ: How much do you know about mortgages?

Investor activity continued to fall in December, although it remains elevated. Absentee buyers, mostly investors, purchased 26.2% of all homes sold last month — the lowest level since November 2011.

More homes also sold in mid-to-high cost neighborhoods, driving the median price up, DataQuick said. The median is influenced not only by a rise in values but also a change in the mix of homes selling at any moment; it is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less.

Last month, the number of homes that sold for $500,000 or more rose 11.9% from a year earlier. Sales of lower cost homes went the other direction, plunging as inventory in those neighborhoods remains tight.

Many homeowners there owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth, limiting their ability to sell. Furthermore, investors have scooped up many homes in relatively affordable communities to flip or rent out.


Real Estate Representation: What Are the Different Types, and What Do They Mean?

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When you work with an agent in a real estate transaction, you’re either a client or a customer of that agent. There is a difference, and it’s important.

A client has a brokerage relationship with a Realtor®: The client has signed a contract and is legally represented by that Realtor® and the Realtor®’s brokerage. Every other person who’s party to that transaction is considered a customer of that Realtor®. The Realtor®’s primary fiduciary responsibility is to the client.

In real estate transactions, there are two main types of representation:
◾Seller representation: If you are selling a property and enter a brokerage agreement with a Realtor®, that Realtor® and their firm become your representative during that specific transaction. They are legally obligated to represent you and your financial interests as a seller.
◾Buyer representation: If you are buying a property and enter a brokerage agreement with a Realtor®, that Realtor® and their firm become your representative during that specific transaction. They are legally obligated to represent you and your financial interests as a buyer.

Representation is straightforward if the buyer and seller agents are affiliated with different companies. However, when the agents on opposite sides of the transaction work for the same brokerage, representation and agency become more nuanced and complex.

These are the four most common types of agency and what they mean:
◾Seller agency: A Realtor® from Brokerage A represents the seller in a transaction. This Realtor® looks out for the best interest of the seller in the transaction, and owes the buyer honesty and any material facts about the listed property that are needed to make an educated decision.
◾Buyer agency: A Realtor® from Brokerage B represents the buyer in a transaction. This Realtor® looks out for the best interest of the buyer in the transaction, and owes the seller honesty and any material facts that are needed to make an educated decision.
◾Dual agency: One Realtor® from Brokerage A represents both the buyer and the seller in a transaction. This Realtor® represents the buyer and seller equally and owes confidentiality to both parties. Realtors® in a dual-agency relationship facilitate the entire transaction and may not provide full advice to either party due to confidentiality.
◾Designated agency: Real estate Brokerage A represents both the buyer and seller, with one Realtor® from Brokerage A representing the seller and a separate Realtor® from Brokerage A representing the buyer. The brokerage represents the buyer and seller equally, owes confidentiality to all parties and may do nothing to the detriment of either the buyer or the seller.

That’s a high-level overview of representation and agency. But it’s important to note that agency law varies from state to state, and not all agency types are covered in this article. To see what applies in your state, please consult a licensed local real estate broker in your market.