How To Sell Your Home During The Holidays

It’s a known fact that the real estate market slows down during the holiday season. Not surprising, most people wouldn’t necessarily find it “joyous” to move out or move in during such a festive time. However, there are a lot of advantages to selling one’s property during this holiday period. So, if you’re serious about selling your home, here are some tips to help you sell during the holidays.


Deck the halls, but don’t get carried away. 

Homeowners regularly put their home’s best foot forward during special times of year, yet merchants ought to be mindful so as not to try too hard on the stylistic theme. Decorations that are too big or too plentiful can swarm your home and distract purchasers. Likewise, avoid alienating buyers by picking general fall and winter decor rather than things with religious affiliations.

Hire a dependable realtor. 

That’s somebody who will work hard and won’t ghost you during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. Ask your peers as to whether they can recommend a listing agent who will go above and beyond. One who will exceed all expectations to get your home sold. This will give you time to relax and give you more opportunity to enjoy the season. 

Source serious buyers. 

Anybody house hunting during special times of year should have a valid reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target purchasers who are on a cutoff time, including but not limited to, individuals relocating for work, financial backers on charge cutoff times, undergrads, staff, and military faculty, on the off chance that you live close to a military base.

Price it correctly. 

Regardless of  the season, a house that is evaluated low for the market will cause purchasers to feel optimistic. Rather than making small value decreases over time, many realtors encourage sellers to cut their costs prior to putting a home up for sale.

Prioritize curb appeal. 

When fall hits and the trees begin to lose their leaves, retaining the exterior of your home turns out to be more significant. Bald trees make for a  more exposed home, so finish up the paint, tidy the drains and maintain the yard. Keep in mind the buyer’s safety by ensuring steps and walkways are clear of snow, ice and leaves.

Take first rate real estate photographs. 

Once the weather cools down and the days shorten, homebuyers are probably going to begin their house hunt from the comfort of their own homes by browsing on the Internet. Establishing a good first impression by offering an abundance of complimentary, top-notch photographs of your home. If you can, have a summer or spring photograph of your home accessible so they can see how the property would look all year-round.

Make video tours. 

You’ll get less walk-ins during the holidays because of the cooler climate, less daylight, and vacation plans. Be that as it may, shooting a video tour and posting it on social media might draw in house hunters who don’t have the opportunity to truly see your home or would prefer not to venture out. 

Provide a place to get warm.

Make your home feel comfortable and welcoming during showings by keeping the interior warm, playing delicate traditional music, and offering hand-crafted festive treats. When you encourage purchasers by investing more energy into your home, you likewise give them a greater opportunity to appreciate its best elements.

Offer seasonal joy through financing. 

Lenders can be Scrooges nowadays, however in the event that you have the means, why not offer a home credit to a genuine buyer? You could get a decent rate of return on your cash.

Unwind — the New Year is not too far ahead. 

Holidays are stressful enough with presents to buy, meals to prepare, and family members to spend time with. Pause for a minute to remind yourself that if by chance you don’t get to sell now, you can always try again next year, which, fortunately, will only be a couple of days away.


The Big Story

Where can home prices go from here?

Quick Take:


Highs (price) and lows (inventory) in the housing market

Income is one of the largest predictors of home price growth, second only to available supply. Consumers have more money to spend, which in turn drives up prices. But the increases in income haven’t kept up with the rise in home prices, especially in the last two years. In 2020, home prices increased 10% according to the Case-Schiller 20-City Composite Index, while median income decreased by 1%.

The disconnect between income and home prices is happening for two reasons. First, the ability to take on debt means that income doesn’t necessarily need to increase at a 1:1 ratio with home prices. Second, the pandemic changed buyer preferences, increasing the demand for homes and dropping inventory to previously unseen lows. 

Because home price increases outpaced income growth, homebuyers needed to take on more debt to buy a home than they would have a few years ago. But due to the drop in interest rates, the monthly payment, even on a higher-priced home, becomes more affordable. For every 1% decrease in a 30-year mortgage rate, the price of the home can increase 13% without a change in monthly payment (and vice versa). For example, the monthly payment on a $1,000,000 mortgage at 4% is almost identical to the monthly payment for a $1,130,000 mortgage at 3%, a $130,000 difference. 

The pandemic also changed buyer preferences. Rather than spending roughly half of our time at home, which is the norm, we were faced with endless time in our living spaces. (You remember — you were there.) As of September 2021, the United States has 59% fewer homes on the market, and 53% of that happened in the last two years. We were happy to see more homes on the market in the second quarter of 2021 because the increased supply helped satiate the high buyer demand, but we are already seeing the seasonal shift to fewer homes coming to market. Inventory will likely remain super low in the coming fall and winter months. 

The market remains competitive for buyers, but conditions are making it an exceptional time for homeowners to sell. Low inventory means sellers will receive multiple offers with fewer concessions. With so many moving parts in real estate transactions, working with an experienced real estate agent is essential in smoothly navigating the entire buying and selling process.


The Local Lowdown

The market is cooling but it’s still not a buyers’ market.

We break down three luxury areas in Los Angeles as follows:

Quick Take:


Single-family home prices moved like stocks in 2021

The growth rates in 2021 are highly unusual and unsustainable in these three luxury markets; for example, home prices would more than double every five years at a 15% growth rate (every four years at 20%). After huge single-family home price appreciation in the first half of the year, it made sense that prices pulled back in the summer months. From July–October, home prices declined in North Beach and the South Bay but remained historically high. West Side prices were the only exception, as they continued to appreciate and reached record highs in October. 

More supply, no problem

Despite the mild increase in single-family home inventory in 2021, we’re still at historic lows. August and September are typically the months with the highest inventory every year. In 2021, total inventory didn’t come close to last year’s level and was even further away from pre-pandemic levels. Even though we’re seeing some price correction after the first half of the year, the sustained low inventory will lift prices. Sales have been incredibly high, again highlighting demand in the area.

Homes are selling fast — really fast

Homes are selling extremely fast for these luxury markets. The Days on Market reflects the high demand for homes in these neighborhoods.

Months of Supply Inventory (MSI) quantifies the supply/demand relationship by measuring how many months it would take for all current homes for sale on the market to sell at the current rate of sales. The average MSI is three months in California, which indicates a balanced market. An MSI lower than three indicates that there are more buyers than sellers on the market (meaning it’s a sellers’ market), while a higher MSI indicates there are more sellers than buyers (meaning it’s a buyers’ market). Currently, single-family home MSIs are historically low, indicating a sellers’ market in the South Bay and a more balanced market in North Beach and the West Side.


Our team is committed to continuing to serve all your real estate needs while incorporating safety protocol to protect all of our loved ones.

In addition, as your local real estate experts, we feel it’s our duty to give you, our valued client, all the information you need to better understand our local real estate market. Whether you’re buying or selling, we want to make sure you have the best, most pertinent information, so we’ve put together this monthly analysis breaking down specifics about the market.

As we all navigate this together, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’re here to support you.

– Dominic Pietrangelo, LIC #01860025

What is an Initial Deposit?

If you’re buying or selling a home in Southern California sometime soon, you’ll likely have to deal with the Initial Deposit.

The initial deposit is a negotiated amount to pay and to be held in escrow when the buyer and seller have reached an agreement on the sale of a property. It’s usually 1-3 percent of the purchase price, the latter being more common here in Souther-California. The initial deposit constitutes a “good-faith” gesture that after you have paid the deposit, you will not continue looking for other homes.  But besides this fact, there are other things a buyer should know about the initial deposit than the ones stated above, and this blog is going to answer your questions. 

Is it required to pay the seller earnest money?

It is not required. Earnest money is not required according to the rules of California real estate, but it is legal to offer to the seller. Many of the properties being offered for sale in Southern California are experiencing multiple offers from buyers all competing to get their hands on a dream home. It’s why many offers are being presented with an initial deposit of 3%. Buyers showing this kind of good faith will be more likely to leave an impression on the seller which can be one of the deciding factors.

Can I get the money back?

There are a few ways to get it back:

1)The initial deposit will go directly towards the purchase price at the close of the sale.

2) The purchase agreement spells out the contingencies upon which the buyer can cancel the deal and have the money returned. Certain circumstances like findings during the inspection, a problem with the appraisal, or the buyer’s inability to secure financing may all be contingencies that allow the buyer to cancel the transaction. At the same time, if the buyer does not remove these contingencies in writing during the time specified in the purchase agreement, the seller has the right to cancel the transaction and the initial deposit will be returned to the buyer.

3) Seller is unable to secure another property for themselves. In the event that the seller has a contingency in place to find a replacement property and is unable to close on their new home, they can cancel the deal in writing, and the deposit will be returned.

What happens to the money at closing?

The initial deposit provided by the buyer is held in escrow and will be applied directly towards the purchase price (or other associated costs) at the close of the sale. Escrow will factor in the whole initial deposit into your closing costs and downpayment.

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To get a better understanding of the initial deposit and how it works you can review the California Residential Purchase Agreement.

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If you have any questions or concerns about the initial deposit or anything else related to real estate, feel free to call me at 323-497-2596

Address: 1636 Queens Rd West Hollywood, CA 90069

Neighbourhood: Hollywood Hills 

List Price: $3,950,000


The place:

Just beyond privacy walls, lies this magical Mediterranean revival. Enter through the private courtyard and into this ultra-stylish home with high-end designer finishes throughout. Expansive split level open plan with distressed hardwood flooring mixed with imported tile. Retracting walls of glass and refurbished wood eliminate any barrier between indoor and outdoor living, leading to a multi-level deck with salt-water pool, al fresco dining, multiple sitting areas with fire pit and dramatic exterior fireplace, and a newly built BBQ area. Gourmet kitchen featuring Stainless Steel appliances, stone counters, and breakfast bar connects with the dining room and opens to the living room with a Spanish tiled fireplace and additional lounging area. The upper two levels house three ensuite bedrooms, including the large primary retreat with a fireplace and a sizable walk-in closet. The main level also features a 4th bedroom which has been converted into a state-of-the-art recording studio, as well as a professional vocal booth inside the attached two-car garage, laundry room, and hallway bath. Surround sound, security cameras, alarm, and pre-wired intercom throughout. This romantic and opulent villa – offering a sophisticated and authentic aesthetic along with a private, quiet, and zen-like living experience is conveniently situated just above the Sunset Strip. 

(Description from the listing)


Why we love it:

Just based on the description alone, we can tell that this property used to belong to someone who’s in the music industry. The house is so fit for a music star! We’re not spilling any tea, though. State-of-the-art recording studio and surround sound, this home is equipped to give its new owner the best sound experience. But of course, that’s not our only favorite feature! We’re absolutely in love with the saltwater pool, and al fresco dining with an outdoor fireplace! It’s a home that allows social distancing which is fundamental now in this day and age while also giving its owners more room to move, work, and post-Covid entertaining. Its attached two-car garage gives the owner privacy ——-  Anyone would feel like a celebrity when living in a house like this! 

More Features:

This beautiful home with a lot size of 6,320 sqft and 3,570 sqft livable area was first built in 1977. With great things coming in 4s, this luxury property nests 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, and a total of 4 parking spaces. 

By the numbers: 

Selling price: $3,950,000

In property taxes: $2,535/mo

Square feet: 3,570 sqft

Fireplace: 2

Car Garage:  Attached two-car garage 

The Tour:

Main Entrance
Al Fresco and Outdoor Fireplace
Living Space
One of the Four Bedrooms
One of the Four Bathrooms
Kitchen

Listing and pictures courtesy of Denise Rosner | Realtor® | DRE# 01902808 | Keller Williams Realty

Los Angeles Skyline

How Property Taxes Are Determined

As we all may know, or to those who don’t, the first installment of property taxes is due November 1st and are delinquent after 5 pm on December 10th. After that, they will be delinquent and a 10% penalty will be added to the tax dues. If December 10th falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are not delinquent until 5 pm the next business day. We, at Landon Pacific Realty, decided to help inform our amazing clients with how property taxes are determined through this blog!

Here are the fundamentals that you should know:

Property taxes are governed by California State law and collected by the county. The County Assessor must first assess the value of your property to determine the amount of property tax. Generally, the assessed value is the cash or market value at the time of purchase. This value increases not more than 2 % per year until the property is sold or new construction is completed. The auditor-controller applies the appropriate tax rates, which include the general tax levy, locally voted special taxes, and city or district direct assessments. The Tax Collector prepares property tax bills based on the Auditor-Controller calculations, distributes the bills, and collects the taxes.

Property tax in LA County is comprised of multiple factors. First, the general property tax levy is applied across the state of California. Next, voter-approved debt may apply, depending on where the property is located. If the property is in a school district or special district, an additional property tax will be applied. In compliance with Proposition 13, the general tax levy of 1 %, or $ 1 per $ 100, is applied as property tax by the state. Cities and local municipalities can levy additional tax on property. For example, the city of Los Angeles in LA County usually applies a property tax rate of .021297 to .029754 on top of the 1 % general levy. School districts taxes comprise the majority of a property tax, second only to the general tax levy. These rates can range depending on the school district and the given year. You can look up your real estate parcel on the LA County tax website to see what the actual property tax rate will be for the current year.

DID YOU RECENTLY SELL YOUR PROPERTY?

Although escrow prorates taxes and gives appropriate credit between buyer and seller, the actual taxes may not have been paid and you are responsible for any unpaid taxes at the close of escrow.

Read your escrow papers and/or title report to determine if any portion of the annual taxes was paid by the previous owner before the close of escrow. If any taxes remain unpaid call the Tax Collector and request a bill.

When you call, give the Assessor’s Identification Number from the previous tax bill; the property address; or the legal description.

State law stipulates that failure to receive bills does not permit the Tax Collector to excuse penalties on late payments.

Do’s and Don’ts of Property Taxes 

Do:

  1. Pay online at propertytax.lacounty.gov. eChecks are FREE and you can pay up until 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time on the delinquency date. See “Payment Options” on the enclosed insert.
  2. Utilize self-service options at propertytax.lacounty.gov: – Locate the amount due. – Review your payment history. – Learn to avoid penalties by understanding postmarks. 
  3. Enroll in our Property Tax Management System. Manage payment for properties you own. Visit propertytax.lacounty.gov for more information. 
  4. Call your lender – not the Tax Collector – with questions on impound/escrow accounts. Lenders may debit accounts up to several months prior to submitting the payment to the Tax Collector.
  5. Understand that the Tax Collector has limited authority under the law to cancel penalties. Review our Penalty Cancellation Policy on propertytax.lacounty.gov under “Self-Service Options.”

Don’t: 

  1. Wait until the last few days prior to December 10 or April 10 to pay your bill. If you pay close to the delinquency date and something goes wrong, you will not have the opportunity to correct it. 
  2. Pay your bill using online bill payment services which your bank or financial institution offers. See “Online Banking or Bill Payment Services” on the enclosed insert.
  3. Mail your payment without understanding the importance of postmarks. Review “Avoid Penalties by Understanding Postmarks” on propertytax.lacounty.gov under “Resources.”
  4. Ignore Supplemental Secured Property Tax Bills. Most lenders DO NOT pay them. Review our Supplemental Secured Property Tac information on ttc.lacounty.gov under “Property Tax FAQs.”
  5. Think the Tax Collector can cancel a penalty due to a good payment history. The Tax Collector cannot. Review our Penalty Cancellation Policy on propertytax.lacounty.gov under “Self-Service Options.”

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