Perspectives on Real Estate -- from an Insider

I just read an article that talked about how "Access" to a home can limit the ability for it to sell quickly. It seemed to me to be advocating that all homes have Lockbox access. 

In my experience people do not buy homes simply because they were able to see it the moment that it came on the market. 

When I am working with my clients, I spend time getting to know them, how they live, what they do on the weekends, what their kids like to do -- so that we can find the best community -- and the best neighborhood for them -- in their price range. 

If we have to schedule an appointment because it is difficult for the seller to show their home on short notice -- but it is in the right neighborhood -- all of my buyers have been willing to accommodate that. 

Additionally, I have found that unfortunately too many agents don't respect showing requests and will enter when they want to if they see a lockbox. To protect my clients when I do put a lockbox on the home, I require that they get a specific code from me. That way I can speak to them and help them understand more about the home and appropriate times for showings. 

I'm curious to hear your experience as either a home buyer or a home seller as it relates to ACCESS to a home.

Posted by Melanie McShane on October 14th, 2016 2:07 PM
There are so many things that we are supposed to do every day -- exercise, floss, meditate that we are all living in a world of overwhelm!  I completely understand that!  Kids, work, the house... someone or something always needs our attention.  So those things that we are "supposed" to do -- almost never get done. 

But I want to encourage you to take care of 3 things -- not today -- but over the course of the next few months.  And I have something that might help with at least one of these things!

Over the past few weeks I have spent time with some friends and past clients.  I love seeing and hearing what people are doing at their homes and what changes they are making.  I don't love to hear when things go wrong!  But those are the stories that I have been hearing.  

So I am going to start with the first one -- at my own place.  When we moved into the house that we are renting, I mentioned to the landlord that I was seeing termites.  Yeah, yeah he said... Well, guess what!  2 years later and he wants to paint.  The painters are all telling him that because of extensive termite damage in the eaves that they have to REPLACE the wood rather than just paint it.  Yep -- that wasn't what he was hoping for.  Had he treated the termites initially -- before it became a problem -- he wouldn't have a huge expense.  

The second story was from a friend who kept complaining about how different rooms in her home were not getting cool.  She climbed up into the attic herself and found that her AC vents were completely disconnected and so two rooms were not getting any cool air -- but her attic was.  I simply Heating and AC check-up should have caught a problem of disconnected vents. 

Finally -- the worst story...  A friend returned home from their holidays to the stench of sewer in their home.  While they were away, the sewer line backed up into their home.  Five months later -- after an environmental company had to tear up carpeting, cut out walls, and the sewer line was replaced, they are finally getting back to normal.  The first thing she told me -- "I am going to get my sewer line checked every year from now on!"  Tree limbs, crumbling sewer lines, earthquakes... they all impact your sewer line.

So after hearing these crazy stories that all ended up wasting people's money I wanted to find a way to help my clients avoid any of these issues.  I contacted a termite company that I have worked with for many years -- BAD TERMITE.  They are willing to give my client's a $25 discount on a termite inspection.  The price will vary depending upon the size of your home.  Give them a call -- ask for Erick -- and tell them that Melanie gave you their number (818)838-0313

I am always here for any of your real estate needs!!

Melanie

Posted by Melanie McShane on August 29th, 2016 1:51 PM
When it comes to real estate -- nearly everything is negotiable.  BUT there are many factors that will determine how much you should push and when.

Closing costs are one thing that buyers may ask for during the initial negotiation of a purchase contract.  

What exactly are closing costs??  

In every real estate transaction there are many expenses that people seem to forget about.  Title insurance, escrow costs, and commissions are just the beginning.  As a seller you may also have to pay for :
  • state mandated disclosure reports
  • HOA fees
  • termite work
  • messenger fees
  • city fees
  • county taxes 
  • city taxes
  • property taxes
It begins to feel overwhelming...

And then, the buyer asks you to pay for their closing costs -- they also have escrow and title fees to pay -- as well as lender fees, insurance costs, inspections, appraisals.  

Yeesh... so many costs!!

So if you have your own expenses to pay, why would you ever consider paying the buyers costs?

In a buyer's market -- when inventory is high, prices are flat or declining, and days are market are increasing, then the buyer has more leverage.  In some cases buyers are coming in with just enough money to purchase the home and they really don't have extra funds to cover all of the costs.  In other cases, they simply feel that the home is worth the price that you have it listed for, but they need a concession on something.  With some loan programs, the lender may require that the seller pay certain fees.  VA loans often have these stipulations. 
In a seller's market - when inventory is low, prices are increasing, and day on market are decreasing -- you may have multiple offers and no request for a credit from the buyer.  It is less likely that you will have this come up. 

So there is certainly no standard answer regarding whether or not you should pay closing costs for a buyer. 

Always remember that when you are selling your home -- if you reject an offer -- you are in effect purchasing your home for that price.  

If you have any questions about real estate, I am always happy to help out. 


Posted by Melanie McShane on August 10th, 2016 1:42 PM

In my mind, a successful negotiation is not where one side has pulverized the other. You don't "win" a negotiation; you get the best possible outcome for your clients while doing the least harm. No one should leave a negotiation angry. After all, you never know when you might have to negotiate with the same people again. When it comes to negotiating on behalf of my clients, I keep the following in mind:


Set the stage: I like a location that's quiet, neutral, pleasant, and away from distractions and confusion. It’s best if everyone turns off their devices, and refrains from calls or texts during negotiations.


Be prepared: I never enter without my homework. I verify any outstanding facts before the negotiation begins. (Later fact-finding can cause a negotiation to bog down!)

Present a united front: I represent clients and have been hired to act on their wishes. At times I may not agree with their position, but I never share that with the other side. If I feel a client’s position is less than optimal, I only discuss it with them in private

Leave attitudes at the door: It’s very simple... treat everyone in the negotiation with respect, regardless of personal opinions. If anyone disagrees, disagree with the idea, not the person.

Watch non-verbal cues and body language: (Sorry, but I can’t reveal all of my secrets here... suffice it to say I take it all in!)

Hold something in reserve: I discuss concessions with my clients before hand and only offer these concessions when we absolutely need to concede something.

I don't harp about points that don't matter to my clients: Negotiations should never choke over a minor point. I like to get agreement on major points such as price and terms and put lesser items aside to return to later.


Never volunteer too much information: Knowledge is power in a negotiation. Telling the other side any information, however insignificant seeming, could weaken my clients’ position. On the other hand, I learn as much about the other side as I can.


If you ever need someone on your side in a real estate negotiation, feel free to contact me directly via voice/text at (818)599-1589 or via email at Melanie@MelanieMcShane.com.

Posted in:General
Posted by Melanie McShane on October 18th, 2011 8:50 AM
Header
Header_2
Listings Photo
$165,000.00
18125 AMERICAN BEAUTY DRIVE #176

Canyon Country, CA 91387



Beds: 3 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 948
Garage: 0 Built: 1983
 

This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Melanie McShane
Melanie McShane
(818)599-1589
www.melaniemcshane.com



 
  Visit this listing here
Posted in:General
Posted by Melanie McShane on April 28th, 2011 10:33 AM
  • Spring will be here before you know it and now is the perfect time to do a little bit of work on your home.  No need for a major overhaul, just do a few preventative maintenance chores to keep your home in tip-top condition!
  • Cleaning House: Secrets of a Truly Deep Clean

    Deep clean your house and you’ll brighten rooms and maintain your home’s value. Read

  • Spring Cleaning Guide

    Make spring cleaning less of a chore by following these smarter—and mostly greener—tips for this annual rite of homeownership. Read

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Posted in:General
Posted by Melanie McShane on March 4th, 2011 8:06 AM

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Posted in:General
Posted by Melanie McShane on June 3rd, 2010 1:52 PM
Header
Header_2
Listings Photo
$365,000.00
12165 Via Santa Rosa

Sylmar, CA 91342



Beds: 3 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 1871
Garage: 2 Built: 1999
 

Highly desired neighborhood in Sylmar -- gated Mountain Glen community. This fantastic 3 bedroom home is ready for you! Enter the home in the spacious living room/dining room area which has tile flooring and walk through to the open kitchen and family room. The family room has a view of the comfortable back yard where you can relax under your covered patio and enjoy the mountain view. Upstairs you will find 3 bedrooms plus a loft which makes a great play area for kids or home office.
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Melanie McShane
RE/MAX Olson & Associates
8185991589
www.melaniemcshane.com



 
  Visit this listing here
Posted in:General
Posted by Melanie McShane on February 21st, 2010 6:10 PM

I just finished crunching some numbers and thought it was interesting what I found.

During the month of January, there were 52 single family homes that closed escrow in Sylmar. On average these are 1,513 sq. ft. homes that were listed for $299,000 and sold for $303,000. The homes were on the market for about 44 days before going into escrow. Of the 52 homes, 22 were standard sales, 11 were short sales, and 18 were REOs. In terms of buyer financing, 20 buyers used conventional (20% down) financing while 17 obtained FHA loans. There were 7 cash purchases and 4 Veteran's loans.

It is very encouraging to see that 42% of the sales were standard sales and that prices are selling close to their list prices.

Condos and townhouses are still a different story.  There were 20 condos or townhomes that closed escrow during the month of January. On average these were 1, 320 sq. ft. homes that were listed for $197,500 and sold for $189,500. The homes were on the market for over 135 days before going into escrow. Of the 20 condos and townhomes that sold only 4 were standard sales -- 5 were short sales and 11 were Bank owned. In terms of buyer financing, 4 buyers paid cash, 9 used conventional financing, and 6 were able to obtain FHA financing.

There still appears to be some work that needs to be done regarding the condos and townhomes in Sylmar and hopefully we will see the prices stabilize a bit more.

If you are considering buying, selling, or leasing your home, please contact me. I will work hard to make sure that you are satisfied! I can be reached at (818)599-1589.

If you are interested in having this data for your specific area, please let me know -- I'd be happy to put it together.

Posted in:General
Posted by Melanie McShane on February 6th, 2010 5:29 PM

I had a busy Sunday and have several new listings coming to the market...

Mountain Glen - Fantastic family home
4 bedroom, 3 bath with city lights view
Short Sale - $365,000 + $125/mo HOA

Sylmar Manor - Senior Mobilehome Park
Beautiful 1980 Goldenwest in excellent condition
2 bedroom, 2 bath with newer roof, appliances, paint, tile flooring
$60,000 + $600/mo space rent

Santiago Estates
#460 - Lovely home with bright, spacious living areas, fireplace, sunny white kitchen, 3 comfortable bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, lots of storage. Courtyard patio has spa. Private backyard is wonderful for relaxing. Garage has been converted into bedroom. $130,000 + $1000/mo land lease

#563 - Beautifully upgraded 3 bedroom home with cherry laminate flooring, granite counters, newer appliances. Comfortable sized rooms and a 2 car garage. Short sale - $95,000 + $1,000/mo land lease

Contact me if you are interested in any of these properties!

Posted in:General
Posted by Melanie McShane on January 11th, 2010 8:47 AM