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Home Appraisals Can Cause Sales Problems 11-29-2012

The local real estate market has been steadily improving since the beginning of 2012. However, it has also been experiencing increasing difficulties with appraisal and financing of the home purchases. Some of these issues are directly related to stringent lender guidelines, and many escrows are challenged by problems because of the appraisal process. The appraisal process is often slower than it used to be, which has delayed escrows beyond the closing date.

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The Unreliability of Online Home Evaluations 10-30-2012

I recently received a call from a local homeowner asking for a quick home evaluation. After I explained why I would need to see inside and around the home in order to provide a professional estimate of value, I was pressed to at least provide a range of possible value. The homeowner reacted to the conservative range that I gave her by telling me it was “way off,” because she had already gotten online figures from Zillow and Trulia and felt they were more accurate.

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Seasoned Agents Offer A Myriad Of Services 09-06-2012

Many people think that all a real estate agent does is to list a home or property, have a sign put up, enter it into the Multiple Listing Service, show it when asked to (or have a lockbox with key access for key with other agents) and then write up a sales contract and process the escrow paperwork. The role of a real estate agent is far more involved and of vastly of greater significance than those are me minimum activities might suggest.

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Seller Alert - The Market Has Shifted 09-04-2012

For several months, the Westside real estate market has experienced a steady recovery with both average list and sales prices increasing by more than 4%. The inventory level of homes available has dropped significantly over the past year, resulting in increasing frustration for buyers who are well qualified but unable to find a suitable home. As a result, there has been a steady building up of pent up demand over the last several months.  

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Identifying Local Property Price Direction Changes 06-05-2012

I have recently been asked how it was that I was able to identify the month in which the Pacific Palisades real estate market began a gradual upward move having reversed a downward price movement a few months earlier. The inquirer wondered if there might be some source of information that could be helpful in identifying such future price direction changes.

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Definite Signs of An Improving Market 03-05-2012

A few weeks ago we observed there were some indications that the Palisades housing market may have begun to turn in favor of sellers. With the benefit of two complete months of home sales records available now, we are able to verify that indeed a market shift may be in progress. The number of sales for the first two months of 2012 were identical to the same period last year, but the time it has taken to sell them is 13% less this year.

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Current Market Appraisal Challenges 03-01-2012

Over the last several years we have written about “deal breakers” that have often come up during the sale and/or purchase process. During the last two years, the transactions have mostly been challenged through the loan and appraisal process, even though loans are finally more available than they had been for more than a year.

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Is The Local Market Turning? 02-08-2012

In the past few months, the stage may have been set for a possible nationwide real estate recovery. The Federal Reserve has determined to do everything possible to maintain 60-year low levels of interest rates for the next two years. Lenders have finally begun to loosen up underwriting standards for the approval of home financing. Many lenders are now willing to provide financing with 20% down in price ranges they had been limiting to 25% down. The widely-expected flood of foreclosure properties has never occurred in the Palisades. Many potential sellers have chosen to remain on the sidelines until prices show signs of increasing, thus limiting the inventory of homes available for buyers to select from.

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Pacific Palisades Housing Market: Looking Back and Forward 01-06-2012

As we begin the year 2012, the number of homes available for sale in Pacific Palisades is quite low.  There are only 70 homes on the market, which is 22 percent less supply than at the beginning of last year. 

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Who Pays for What in a Residential Real Estate Transaction 12-05-2011

We are often asked by both sellers and potential buyers what the various expenses are in the process of their sale or purchase of a home. The following is a summary of the traditional distribution of expenses associated with these transactions. It should be noted that many of these items can be negotiated by both parties as part of the Purchase Agreement, excluding some expenses that may be required by the City or the buyer’s lender to be paid specifically by the seller.

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