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New Listing — Won’t Last Long!!!!!

New Listing — Won’t Last Long!!!!!

How often have we seen this exalted phrase in online real estate listings or pretty much anything else for sale? Then, we see the same ad is still on the market 90, 180 or even 365 days later.

Although generally I believe that we speak into existence the things that we truly want, I am at a loss as to how a salesperson thinks that simply saying “it won’t last long”, will make it so.  And then, I wonder what the definition of “long” is for these folks?

If something really won’t last long, saying that won’t make any difference.  Or, perhaps phrasing it slightly differently would have more impact?  What if the ad said, “Make sure you get your chance to see this property today?”

The real point here is whether it’s real estate or anything else, as the customer don’t you deserve to work with a professional that gives extra effort in thoughtfully approaching your needs? Of course you do!

So, I’ll close this short post with this:

Make sure you get your chance to work with the professional you deserve.  Call or text 661.375.7325 or email Sally@YourRealAdvantage.com today to discover our signature difference.

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What’s the 2018 Tax Law Mean for Real Estate in Tehachapi?

What’s the 2018 Tax Law Mean for Real Estate in Tehachapi?

NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) is projecting a 1-3% growth in home values in 2018 but says that in areas with higher housing costs there could actually be a decline in value.  Why is that?

The new tax law limits the state (and local) income tax and property tax deductions to $10,000 total.  That will definitely have a big impact in higher property value areas.  For example, a property valued at about $800,000 could expect to pay about $10,000 in property taxes leaving no “room” for a state and local income tax deduction.

There are also changes in the amount of mortgage interest that can be deducted, but for loans originated before the end of 2017 and closed before April 1, 2018, they get a pass.  Again, these changes generally affect higher property values.

Want more info?  This article from Market Watch has more details and a nifty calculator at the end that can give you an idea of your 2017 tax hit.  Check it out.

Want to talk about the strategy that might be best for you when it comes to buying or selling a home?  Email me at Sally@YourRealAdvantage.com or call/text me at 661-375-7325.

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Top 5 Things to Make Moving Easier

Top 5 Things to Make Moving Easier

For most people the thought of moving brings visions of boxes, checklists and potentially missed deadlines.  What if that weren’t true?  What if it could be relatively stress free?  Here are the top 5 things to do that will make moving easier and less stressful.

-1. Start with the right real estate representative.  There are a couple of reasons why this is so important but let’s start with making sure that you are using a REALTOR®, not just a licensed real estate agent.

Here’s what’s important about that…  REALTORS® are member of the local, state and national Associations of REALTORS® which means that in addition to the legal requirements any licensed agent must follow, they have voluntarily agreed to be bound by a more stringent Code of Ethics.  Violations of the Code of Ethics carry repercussions beyond those enforced by law.  This means you are more likely to have a better outcome in your transaction.

-2. Develop a strategy.  Once you have chosen your best representative, work together to get clarity around what is really important to you and then craft a plan to accomplish that.  Want a hint?  Most folks start a real estate conversation with, “I want 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large yard, etc.”  Experience shows that description is the container for what you want, but it’s not the thing you truly desire.  Figure out what that is and make sure you plan moves you in that direction.

-3. Stay open-minded.  Make sure your strategy includes the ability to consider alternatives to get the result you want.  Many times folks get so focused on what they thought they were accomplishing that they lose track of the ability to look for better solutions.

-4. Be ready to move.  Even before you know where you’re moving too, the process should begin with thinking about what you really want to move and what you may be ready to let go of.  Open every cabinet and closet and have a look behind the things you are used to grabbing from the front.  Do you really still need or want all of those items?

Keep in mind that the more you move, the more it costs — even if you are doing the packing and moving yourself!  Think about this, just having to get extra boxes to pack the stuff you may not want any more takes energy and effort even if the boxes themselves are free.  Now, you may need a bigger truck to load and transport all the extra stuff you really didn’t need or want anymore.

Another benefit of only moving what you truly want is that you may be able to sell some items, or donate them and get a tax deduction.  More savings of your hard-earned dollars!

-5. Communicate.  Stay in close communication with your REALTOR® throughout the process.  This can be a great stress reducer because experience shows that although buyers often are reluctant to ask questions or voice concerns when they do it makes the transaction much less stressful for them.

Curious about how this can work for you?  Call 661-375-7325 or email Sally@YourRealAdvantage.com today and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.  Let’s talk about how to get you from where you are to where you want to be!

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What’s the Best Way to Choose Your Real Estate Agent?

What’s the Best Way to Choose Your Real Estate Agent?

How do You Choose a Real Estate Agent that will Stand Out From the Crowd?

Choosing the best real estate agent to help you in the purchase or sale of your home can be a daunting task.  Most agents are spending thousands of dollars advertising to attract your attention.  In many cases, all that gets for you is someone that needs to churn out as many transactions as possible in order to cover the cost of all that advertising.

So what about online reviews on an agent’s website, Yelp, Google or other similar platforms?  That can be a good choice, but think about how useful, or not, those reviews might be.  Generally, a satisfied customer will be happy no matter what and so they will post a positive, glowing review about how great the agent was.

Curiously, I’ve read a bunch of these reviews and rarely find any that include a specific example of how that agent solved a difficult problem, made the seller money, or saved a buyer money.  Rarely do the reviewers talk about how the agent protected their interests, reduced or eliminated stress when dealing with high levels of complexity, or made them feel like education was a part of the process.

And, perhaps part of the reason is that many reviews are just fake.  It’s way to easy to go online, create a personality and write a positive review for yourself!  Even easier is just to have friends and relatives write reviews.  I recently came across an agent’s profile where the only review was written by her husband!  So, are these the kind of reviews you can trust?

On the other hand, what about negative reviews?  They may be more useful on several levels.  For example, I have an incredibly negative review on a website, not from my client but from the other party in the transaction!  I love this review because the reviewer says that I was not representing them and that I was looking out for my client and they couldn’t have their way because it was not what was agreed to in the contract.  Of course, those aren’t the words that the reviewer used, but any reasonable person would understand the unhappy reviewer was simply reflecting how well I defended and protected my client.

So if you are depending on online reviews, then I’d encourage you to read the negative reviews with more interest than the positive ones.

What about the sites that claim to have agents compete to get your business?  Think about this, a real estate transaction is highly complex, there are many laws that govern and a single mistake can cost you thousands of dollars.  As a seller, is getting an agent that will reduce their commission to sell your house in your best interest?  If they are willing to give away their own money that easily just to get your listing, what are the chances that they will truly work to protect your money when it comes to negotiating sale price, terms, repairs and so forth?

But is there a better way to find a really good real estate agent?

Yes, there is!  Notice the people you are in conversation with that are thinking about buying or selling or that have relatively recently completed a real estate purchase or sale.  Here’s another hint, when you are asking for recommendations, if the person just bought a house and you are thinking of selling, that may not be the best agent for you.  The buying process and the selling process have a very different focus, so the best buyer’s agent may or may not be the best seller’s agent and vice versa.

That said, if you want a better experience when it comes to hiring a real estate agent to represent you, call or text 661-375-7325 or email Sally@YourRealAdvantage.com to get my list of the top questions to ask when looking for the best agent to hire.  No cost, no obligation, it’s my free gift for you.

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