How to Choose a Listing Agent

With so many listing agents out there, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. By interviewing various listing agents in your area, you can find out who will go the extra mile with the sale of your home and who won’t. Here is a list of questions you should consider asking any listing agent you interview:

How much can you sell my home for?

If you’ve found that two listing agents state they can sell your home for $400,000 and a third one states $500,000, the third one is likely exaggerating in order to attract you. Opt for a listing agent who is realistic about sales price.

How much real estate did you sell last year?

Previous performance often indicates future results. That’s why, you should find out how much real estate each listing agent you interview sold last year. Refrain from hiring anyone who was not successful in the past.

What are your marketing strategies?

You’ll find that some listing agents put a great deal of time and energy into marketing homes while others make no or minimal effort to do so. By asking listing agents how they will market your home, you’ll get a better feel for how many eyes may get in front of it.

How do you track online listing activity?

Since your home will likely receive three times more traffic the first week it’s listed, you should select an agent that can track online activity and give you an update on the performance of your home. You could then use this information to alter your listing if necessary.

What is your method for following up with open house attendees?

Many listing agents arrange open houses to market homes. Ask the listing agents you interview whether they have a specific method for following up with open house attendees. They should be able to keep track of serious open house leads and collect valuable feedback about your home.

Do you have a specialty?

While some listing agents focus on starter homes and condos, others sell luxury homes. Try to figure out the specialty of each listing agent you interview so that you know whether their experience is valuable for your particular situation.

Do you consider yourself readily available?

If your listing agent is only available on certain days of the week because of another job or commitment, your home may not sell in a timely fashion. Ask listing agents about their availability and avoid hiring anyone who seems overly busy and won’t be able to be there for you when you need them.

What is your commission rate?

In most cases, the commission rate will be about 6% and split with the buyer’s agent. You may come across listing agents that offer to negotiate their commission. While it may be tempting to choose them, keep in mind you’re paying for a professional service and you should choose someone based on their experience and quality of work rather than their reduced commission rate.

Asking these questions to multiple listing agents will help you get the greatest possible return on your investment and locate the most qualified buyer.

Contact The Shevins today for a consultation on anything
Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.

2018 Planned Rate Hikes and How Home Buying Will Be Affected

Interest rates can affect many aspects of your financial life and are driven by the monetary policy decisions of the Federal Reserve. Major banks use these monetary policy decisions when borrowing or lending funds.

The Federal Reserve agreed to raise its key interest rate of 1.25% to 1.5%., the third increase in this rate in 2017. The raised rate will push up rates for credit cards, adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit. Its effect on fixed-rate mortgages will not be as pronounced.

Mortgages typically come with 15 to 30 year terms which is far longer than short-term borrowing affected by the federal funds rate. Therefore, mortgage rates which have been below 4 percent for the majority of 2017 are not as sensitive to the incremental rate increases.

How the Interest Rate Increase Will Affect Individuals Seeking a New Mortgage and Homeowners With An Adjustable Rate

The individuals that are most vulnerable to this rate increase are those who are seeking a new mortgage or already have one with an adjustable rate. If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, the rising interest rates may affect your rate when your introductory period ends.

You may want to consider refinancing your adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed-rate one without extending the term of it. Opting for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage may also decrease the total amount you pay in interest.

In addition, if you’re considering buying a home through a new mortgage, you should expect an interest rate for a 30-year mortgage to rise to about 4.40 percent, up from the current 3.95 percent rate.

How the Interest Rate Increase Will Affect Homeowners With a 30-Year Mortgage

In the event you already have a 30 year mortgage, the increased interest rates will not affect your monthly payments. This may make it tempting for you to stay in your current home and keep the interest rate you locked in rather than selling your home and applying for a mortgage with a higher interest rate.

How the Interest Rate Increase Will Affect Homeowners With a Home Equity Line of Credit

If you have a home equity line of credit, your rates will likely increase, meaning your payments will increase as well. It’s important to understand that even if your payments do rise, this is because the Fed believes there has been improvement in the economy and there will be more economic growth in the future. You may find that you get a raise at work or find a higher paying job.

How the Interest Rate Increase Will Affect Rental Property Owners

If you own rental properties, the rate increase may help you out because more people will be tempted to rent rather than buy a home. Increases in occupancy and rental rates can increase the value of your real estate.

By doing whatever you can to keep your interest payments low and paying off your debt as soon as possible, you can ensure that increased interest rates have a less drastic effect on your mortgage and financial situation.

Contact The Shevins today for a consultation on anything
Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.

Latest Hidden Hills Market Snapshot – November 2017

AVERAGE SALES/LIST PRICE
NOVEMBER 2017 | SINGLE/DETACHED HOMES
Average list price compared to average sold price of properties sold each month

 

PROPERTIES FOR SALE
NOVEMBER 2017 | SINGLE/DETACHED HOMES
Number of properties currently listed for sale by price range

 

PROPERTIES SOLD (UNITS)
NOVEMBER 2017 | SINGLE/DETACHED HOMES
Number of properties sold each month

 

% OF SALE PRICE TO LIST PRICE
NOVEMBER 2017 | SINGLE/DETACHED HOMES
Average sale price of property as percentage of final list price

 

AVERAGE SALES PRICE PER SQFT
NOVEMBER 2017 | SINGLE/DETACHED HOMES
Average Sales Price per SqFt for previous two years

 

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET SOLD
NOVEMBER 2017 | SINGLE/DETACHED HOMES
Average number of days it takes to sell a property

 

LISTING INVENTORY AND NUMBER OF SALES
NOVEMBER 2017 | SINGLE/DETACHED HOMES
Monthly inventory of properties for sale along with number of sales

 

Contact The Shevins today for a consultation on anything
Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.

Kris Jenner pays $9.9M for Hidden Hills mansion listed by Marc and Rory Shevin

Celebrity matriarch Kris Jenner has yet another new Los Angeles-area home to call her own.

Located in the ritzy Hidden Hills community, where daughters Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian West have also bought and sold homes in recent years, the six-bedroom house sits on more than an acre of land and features 9,400 square feet of living space.

Features include a home theater, game room, a barbecue area, and a roomy swimming pool and spa.

Jenner paid $9.925 million for the home, which is directly across the street from a property owned by Kardashian West and husband Kanye West. Though the residence looks like a pretty nice place to live, TMZ reports that Jenner isn’t necessarily planning on moving in and hopes to renovate the house for resale.

Tomer Fridman of Compass represented Jenner in the sale, and Marc and Rory Shevin of Berkshire Hathaway represented the seller.

Read the article here.

Contact The Shevins today for a consultation on anything
Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.

Top Smart Home Devices

Transforming your home into a smart home can make your life easier and more exciting. If you’re interested in smart home living, you should consider investing in several smart home devices. With these devices, you’ll be able to control your home’s lighting, appliances, media systems, temperature, doors and windows, and a variety of other functions. Let’s look at the top smart home devices that are currently on the market.

Auto Locking

All too often, people are in a hurry and forget to lock their doors when they leave their homes. Fortunately, this problem can be eliminated with a smart auto locking device like the August Smart Lock. If you don’t want to worry about yourself or another family member forgetting to lock the doors of your home, you should consider an auto locking device.

An auto locking device will lock your doors any time someone leaves your home and unlock them any time it detects that you or a family member has arrived. It can keep your home safe by helping you monitor it and prevent unwanted visitors.

Connected Appliances

Connected appliances will provide you with peace of mind and greater control of your home. By investing in connected appliances like a connected GE appliance that integrates with Amazon Alexa, you can receive timely alerts to problems or simply when your dishes are done. For example, if your refrigerator door is open or your dishwasher is leaking, you can be informed early on via your connected appliance. This way, you won’t have to worry about ever arriving home to a fridge full of spoiled food or a flooded kitchen caused by your dishwasher.

In addition, connected appliances give you the opportunity to be in control of your appliances remotely. You don’t have to be home to find out what’s in your fridge or preheat your oven. Your fridge can simply notify you of whether you have an item in stock while your oven can preheat itself so that you can save time cooking dinner on a busy evening. Lastly, with controlled appliances, you can find out when your fridge, dishwasher, oven, or another appliance is in need of maintenance or a repair.

Smart Thermostats

If you’d like to keep your home comfortable on both hot and cold days, a smart thermostat will allow you to do so in an efficient manner. A smart thermostat, like the ever popular Nest, will give you the chance to monitor and control your home’s temperature from your PC, smartphone, or tablet. Thanks to a smart thermostat, you can save on energy and ensure that your AC or heater isn’t running when there is nobody home.

Smart Light Bulbs

Smart light bulbs can do far more than just sit in a socket and light up the rooms in your home. If you invest in smart light bulbs, you can dim them without having to install any dimmer switches. In addition, you can control them from just about anywhere, change their colors, and play music if they feature built-in speakers.

Auto locking, connected appliances, smart thermostats, and smart light bulbs can improve your home’s safety and increase its energy efficiency while making day-to-day living more convenient and fun.

Contact The Shevins today for a consultation on anything
Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.