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Archive for April, 2012

Most housing prognosticators have forecasted a semblance of normalcy for the overall recovery in 2012. As the glut of good news continues, home buyers are stepping up in an effort to take advantage of great home values, before they start ticking up. The lure of historical low-interest rates have kept buyers focused on buying sooner than later. In many cases, there’s one important missing ingredient, where’s the houses. The dilemma for many buyers today are the minuscule number of properties to choose from. With such a long loan commitment, who can blame a buyer for waiting for the right home and not just accepting an undesirable second chose.

The unfortunate aspect with limited inventory and gobs of buyers are many of these prospects are interested in the same property. This scenario has created multiple bids on a number of homes. The quantity of homes will pickup as we move into the Spring and Summer months. The supply of buyers will also increase during what is considered the buying season, assuming interest rates do not escalate. More than likely we will continue having many buyers with the same good taste bidding on the same property.

Some homeowners that have hesitated selling for various reasons have filtered back to the market, with the goal of down sizing or purchasing a more spacious home. These owners have gotten wind of the upsurge in buyer activity and are taking advantage of the situation, along with the ridiculously low mortgage rates. For the last five or six years, sellers had no ability to call their own shots, buyers were in complete control. Sellers now have some sense they are in control of their own destiny.

The foreclosures and short sales will plaque the market for the next few years and many owners either can’t or won’t compete against those market-busting properties. Those under valued homes will probably keep many traditional sellers on the sidelines for the time being. Some markets with fewer distressed homes or short sales, like Davis, California have stabilized more quickly than our neighboring communities that have a majority of properties under-water or bank-owned. Buyers will continue battling other buyers for the same well priced homes and those sellers will be gratified for the clout they now possess. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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With the flurry of real estate sales, many sellers are feeling brash when it comes to pricing their property. The disparity in home values from street to street can be significant. There’s not a scientific explanation why a buyer would pay thousands more for the identical home around the corner, every buyer has their own interpretation of value. The three major attributes location, condition and price have always been the factors that determine how successful a homeowner will be marketing their home. There’s not much a seller can do about location and in some cases condition is restricted, due to the sellers financial standing, but the price will influence whether a property actually sells or not. At the right price, there’s a buyer for every home.

An owner can hire an appraiser or have a local real estate professional give them a comprehensive market analysis to supply an estimate of value in hopes of pinpointing the right price. Sellers are taking a huge risk in not following the time-tested doctrine of properly pricing their property. it’s been proven over time that owners that price their home correctly upfront will garner more value than owners that stray from reality. A home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. Homeowners have to take into account the glut of foreclosures and short sales, because the buyers loan appraiser certainly will.

One action sellers can take that has become very popular is the auction or a date to review all bids. This maneuver can only work with distinct homes that have special qualities, like a great location. The other important considerations using this approach would be a competitive asking price and the market is currently depleted of anything similar to the home being auctioned. It’s difficult expecting bids on a home when there are four other comparable properties on the market. I recently used this technique on a home in Davis and received three bids at higher than asking price. The owner was obviously satisfied. No matter the direction a seller takes, price will always be the deciding factor in whether any home sells or sits. Buyers will continue buying fairly priced homes and rejecting those properties that have inflated prices. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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With the UC Davis Picnic Day falling on the warmest day of the year so far helped create a great atmosphere for the 98th annual celebration. Estimates had 75,000 people converging into Davis for the festivities. Things were rather quiet on the UCD campus throughout the day with sporadic problems reported and about two dozen citations handed out.  The combination of alcohol and hot temperatures did put a damper on the days activities as night fall set in and the party shifted to downtown Davis. That’s when the excitement got started with too many young people drinking too much booze.

After years of negative headlines, many establishments, businesses, fraternities and sororities made a pledge called the Picnic Day Covenant to limit alcohol consumption. The covenant had little effect on the number of arrest that were on track to equal last years total, but citations appeared on the decline. Downtown probably felt like the wild west last night without the holsters and pistols. There were long lines that formed outside of bars waiting for wristbands that allowed them indoor access. One popular hotspot cleared out the restaurant and patio after the crowd exceeded it’s capacity. The manager stated “They were a lot more rowdy than we’d like”. Police were called when a fight broke out on the patio. The business opened back up within an hour.

Police Departments from Davis, Woodland, Winters and West Sacramento patrolled the streets by car and foot on Saturday evening, aggressively enforcing the open container law and attempting to keep an orderly constraint on the downtown streets. Even with the potential monetary loss, a number of downtown businesses thought outside the box and locked their doors for Picnic Day. Police also patrolled other heavily student populated sections of town in search of potential out of control parties. A couple of parties near campus where actually closed down due to disorderly obnoxious revelers. Outside of many Sunday morning hangovers and a few bruised egos from those that spent the evening in our local jail, there were no major injuries reported during the weekend jubilation. On the whole, this years Picnic Day was tame compared to years past. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blog, join my professional networks at Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and our surrounding communities.

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It might feel like it as a home buyer, but you have not signed your life away after putting your John Henry on the Real Estate Purchase Contract. Attorneys prepare these contracts with consumer protection in mind for both buyer and seller. Buyers are protected with numerous contingencies in place and sellers are guarded by the timely requirements stipulated in these agreements. By the time a buyer gets to the purchase contract phase, their loan status has been initiated to the point the lender feels comfortable enough to supply the buyer with a pre approval letter. This letter is a required necessity with the presentation of any purchase contract.

The California Residential Purchase Contract gives the buyer 17 days to thoroughly investigate the home. They can have as many inspections as they deem necessary during that period of time. A whole house inspection is an absolute must for any home, regardless of the age of the property. This inspector checks all of the components with a fine-tooth comb checking for any defects. A whole house inspector is a jack-of-all trades but a master of none, therefore they can call out a problem but can’t diagnose the issue. A professional in that field should thoroughly analyze the defect. A heat and air company would inspect the heater and air conditioner as an example. Any defects found can be negotiated between buyer and seller.

The lender has conditions that have to be met, probably the most important being the appraisal of the property. The majority of properties appraise at value, which puts the buyer one step closer to becoming a homeowner. The occasional home that does not appraise to value will require some concessions, normally by the homeowner. Buyers and their lender have to work expeditiously in getting the loan processed and finalized with the usual closing taking from 30 to 60 days.

The sellers have obligations and time restraints they have to meet. Any seller required repairs should be completed prior to close of escrow and in time for the buyer to perform a final walk-through verifying repairs were completed. All personal possessions not conveying with the property have to be removed and sellers are encouraged to have their property professionally cleaned at move out. With both parties following the rules of the contract can increase the chances of a win-win situation for all participants. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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What could be worse than having a property on the market for months and not receiving even a nibble from a buyer. Possibly getting a humiliating lowball proposal might have equal footing. That’s the conundrum for a home buyer that finds a property, that’s been proven to be overpriced. Should they make an offer that’s more in tune with fair value or by-pass the home completely. On the other shoe, should sellers negotiate with a buyer that makes an offensive proposal or refuse to respond at all. Both of these scenarios are based on the circumstances of both parties.

Some of the factors that might provoke a lowball offer would be the length of time the property has been active, the longer, the more likely. Another determinant could be a less than motivated buyer or as was mentioned earlier, the home is just overpriced. Some buyers are blindly making multiple lowball offers, hoping one sticks. Then you have those well-informed prospects that are making fair offers, even though the price does not meet the sellers false impression of value. Even when sellers are prompted by their realtor to price their property correctly, sometimes it takes that reasonable offer to create a reality check. Is a lowball offer worse than no offer at all is in the eye of the beholder.

If sellers stonewall making necessary price adjustments, their home becomes inconsequential to buyers and realtors will use that home to sell other more attractively priced properties. Any proposal, no matter how crummy should always be acknowledged and countered. The chances are slim if both buyer and seller are not willing to negotiate and sellers will never know unless they reply. Even if buyers agree to overpay for a property, the buyers lender will not blindly orchestrate a loan for this overpriced home. There are too many well-priced properties for a buyer to aimlessly bid on a pricey house.

There will always be those ill-advised lowball offers, that tactic has been around as long as homes have been bought and sold. But a seller should not be alarmed with this maneuver, they should consider this an opportunity that did not exist prior to the lower than thrilling offer. You can’t win the Lottery unless you play and you can’t sell a home until you receive an offer. Maybe not the best comparison, but you get the point. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks at Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Whether you’re buying a home or selling a property, choosing your realtor wisely can be the difference between success and failure. For consumers, it probably feels as if there are more realtors available than cars on the road. Just like cars on the road though, some agents run smoother than their competitors. Prospects should be as diligent in selecting the right realtor as they are in finding the right home. Everyone has their own personality and the endearing qualities that make a great realtor should be adaptable to the party they’re representing. First and foremost, the agent should be accessible. There’s nothing more frustrating than a voicemail that’s not returned for days or the loss of a home because your chosen realtor was not available to show the property. Buying or selling a property is not an undercover job and prospects are not looking for a secret agent.

Buyers Agent: Some realtors specialize in working with home buyers. Patience, fortitude and understanding are at the forefront of the characteristics that make a buyers agent. Open houses or word of mouth from a satisfied client are excellent avenues to find a realtor that works well with buyers. Buyers have no obligation to work with any individual realtor, but committing to just one will give you a better alliance than playing the field. Work exclusively with a local realtor that knows the market,is honest and conscious of your needs and desires. Combine those attributes with accessibility and you have a paradisiacal buyers agent.

Sellers Agent: Sellers have to make a contractual agreement with a real estate professional, unlike the buyer. This makes finding the right realtor even more essential. It’s difficult firing an agent that’s under contract, unless there’s an egregious mistake or an unkept promise. Choose this agent WISELY. This agent should be aggressive, honest, willing to go the extra mile and have a large Internet presence. An exceptional sellers agent stays in constant contact with their clients with updates and feedback. They also do the grunt work like encouraging the owners to make necessary price adjustments or home alterations. Passivity is not a good quality for a sellers agent.

Dual Agents: This is a buyers agent and sellers agent rolled up in one. This realtor is working with the seller and negotiating on behalf of the buyer. The dual agent has to mediate with caution and realize both parties have expectations that need to be met. If either party feels even a hint of neglect, then this agent can’t consider themselves a true dual agent. Some real estate offices are basically outlawing dual agency for fear of conflict of interest. It takes a special realtor to earn the title of dual agent. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home,scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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Let the blame game begin as the independent task force investigating the pepper-spray incident at UC Davis released their findings. As with most segments of society, no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. The findings gave a scathing account of that November 18th tragedy that drew worldwide scorn. Chancellor Linda Kathehi drew the ire and most of the criticism from the task force report for failure to make it translucent that police should not use force in removing Occupy Davis activist from the Quad. Lt. John Pike from the UC Police Department made “objectively unreasonable decisions” by dousing about a dozen students with pepper-spray.

Many serious mistakes and tactical errors were made from the Chancellor down through the police ranks. There were little justification or rationale for forcefully removing the encampment on that calamitous November afternoon. “Repeated failures in the civilian, UC Davis administration decision-making process put the officers in the unfortunate situation in which thy found themselves, shortly after 3 pm that day.” reads the investigative report. The report goes on to state the first flub was when Kathehi first suggested deploying police at 3 pm, instead of the early morning as police elsewhere in the UC system and around the country had done when clearing Occupy encampments.

Campus leaders were erroneously concerned that many of the protesters were outsiders with no affiliation with UC Davis, as they failed to follow-up on reports by Student Affairs staff that the encampment appeared to be populated by students. Lt. Pike’s deplorable decision to use pepper-spray wasn’t supported by the evidence. Though onlookers and some protesters partially encircled police, none acted against the police, the report stated. Campus leaders and police did not follow state mandated guidelines for planning or executing such an incident. Some folks believe the police felt threatened when they were encircled by the protesters, the report felt that claim was hogwash, as any trained and experienced police force should be able handle that situation without resorting to violence or pepper-spray.

This report opens up a Pandora’s Box as numerous lawsuits are sure to follow. There’s a lack of leadership from top to bottom and enough blame to go around. This is a case study that will be evaluated and studied by Police Departments and universities for years to come. This is a painful occurrence and a saga that has no end in sight. Stay tune. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks at Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

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