Friday, October 2, 2015

Multiple Offer Strategies | Buyers and Sellers

Whether you are Buying or Selling Manhattan Beach Real Estate, it is fairly common these days to find yourself in a multiple offer situation. Your strategy can in large part determine the outcome.

If you are selling you want to evaluate offers on at least 3 criteria:


While it is very easy to become enthralled with the highest price that is offered, if that buyer is not motivated and their terms are terrible the price may not be as attractive as it appears to be on the surface.

For example, as a listing agent if I understand the "why" of why someone wants to be I can get to their motivating factor. The family who has outgrown their 2 bedroom condo and needs a larger SFR is always more attractive to me than the renter who wants to own but has not other motivation. Also attractive are the buyers who may have been relocated and are in temporary housing with their personal items in storage. Best of all are the buyers who have already sold their current home and are on a leaseback. They have to find a place to live. So understanding need vs want who has to do something can help determine who your strongest buyer is.

The buyers who have to find a place to live are more likely to be more reasonable when it comes to terms, repairs, timelines and everything else that can derail a deal.

Part of the terms to evaluate are financing terms. Unless it is an all cash offer, how much are they financing and who is the lender. I always prefer to see a strong direct lender than a mortgage broker. Are there one or two loans. What can prevent the loan from closing.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Selling a Home In Manhattan Beach CA? Free Staging Offer

There's no doubt about it: professionally staged homes sell for higher prices and usually faster as well.

Here's why.
  • Your listing must look inviting and be presented in the best possible manner. Many buyers have toured new construction homes that have been staged, well maybe not in Manhattan Beach, but other areas and associate staged with new. And we all know everyone would prefer new.
  • Staging, when properly done, evokes an emotional response. Your stuff, or mine for that matter may also get an emotional response but maybe not the one we want!
  • The home will photograph better as well as appear more inviting in videos, 3D Tours, and other promotional material. 
  • Staged homes appeal to the widest range of buyers.
Think about it. Have you ever purchased new clothes for a job interview, first date, or other important event? Had you hair cut? Gone on a diet? Sure you have. And you did that because you had one chance to make a first impression. Same with your house.

Learn more about my FREE staging offer.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Manhattan Beach Condominiums and Townhomes for Sale

While most of the homes in Manhattan Beach CA are SFRs, you will also find some condominiums for sale. By condominiums, we are referring both to the flat style (apartment) units, of which there are not very many as well as townhomes, both attached and detached. In fact, many of the stand alone properties you see in the Manhattan Beach Sand Section are condos even though they are freestanding buildings.

Year to date there have been 275 closed sales in Manhattan Beach. Of those 62 have been condo or townhouse. That's 22.5% of the market. Currently of 68 active listings 9 are condo or townhouse. That's 13% of the market and is what we are seeing in the graph below. I have a few thoughts as to why this is happening which are entirely subjective and speculation.

  • Many of these properties can easily be turned into very lucrative rental units, either full time or short term (Airbnb or VRBO) whether the later is "legal" or not.
  • There were a number of units acquired at the height of the market (peak purchase) and the equity may not be there yet to sell. While SFRs have done extremely well in 90266, the data we are seeing isn't as positive for the townhouse market.
  • Loans are more difficult for townhomes in the super jumbo market.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What Repairs do I Have to make to Sell My House in Manhattan Beach?

Manhattan Beach CA Homes for Sale

"My Buyers Just Had a Home Inspection. What Repairs do I Need to Make?"  This is one of the most common questions I get from home owners during the sales process and it is a great question.

Unless you have previously negotiated anything as part of the purchase contract, in most instances the answer is "None" other than those required by CA state law, the city, or the lender. So, let me address those items first.

Smoke detectors, CO2 detectors and water heating strapping are required by CA state law. Manhattan Beach has a toilet retrofit requirement.

Sometimes an appraiser will note a repair to be made as a condition on the appraisal report. It might be wood damage (termite or dry rot) or maybe the heat doesn't work. The lender may then require that repair to be made. But other than that anything else would have to be on the Buyer's "Request for Repairs". (Yes, another real estate form.)

My professional belief is that the request for repair should be just that: fix certain broken items. Unfortunately buyers (and sometimes their agents) mistakenly use the RR form as a request for improvements. The most common one I see is to replace the roof. Well if the roof is leaking that's one thing but just because it is old and nearing the end of its useful life, doesn't mean the buyer gets a new one. As I always say, if the house had a new roof I would have priced it higher!

At the other extreme you will see what I consider very small and petty items, ie wall outlets. A little bit higher up the chain are electrical panels. Some, particularly those manufactured by Zinsco do need to be replaced, Home inspectors hate those.

As a buyer you may be better served getting a seller credit or renegotiating the price than having the seller do the repair. The simple reason is that if you have it done you know it will be handled to your satisfaction. If the seller does get an item repaired ask to see the invoice as proof the work was done.

As a seller, you are also better off giving the buyer a credit because you do not want the buyer coming to the final walk through and making further issues regarding repair work. As always, if you have any questions regarding repairs of anything else related to the purchase or sale of Manhattan Beach Real Estate please feel free to call or email.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Manhattan Beach Home Prices | NOT a Bubble Says New Report

If you own Manhattan Beach Real Estate you have to love the price appreciation you have seen over the past 2-3 years. In fact, single family houses in some Manhattan Beach neighborhoods have seen price increases of over 30% over the last 18 months.

Well what if I told you there is more to come and the party won't be over anytime soon? Better yet, what if someone a lot smarter than me said it?

Here's some quotes from a recent report I read:

LA's position as the most unaffordable big city to buy a house in the whole country and its prices that recently surpassed pre-recession prices might seem to be heading toward a real estate bubble situation, but actually the market's about halfway through a solid recovery, says the UCLA Anderson Forecast released just today. Oh, whew! The real estate market's comeback started in 2012; prices have risen 27 percent since then, says KPCC.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Manhattan Beach Home Buyer Tips

We’ve been in an unprecedented Seller’s Market for the last few years in many neighborhoods in Los Angeles County. Many properties in Redondo BeachManhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach (collectively the “Beach Cities”) are receiving multiple offers, often very quickly and over the asking price. In fact, depending on the specific price range and neighborhood upwards of 50% and in some instances as high as 70% of the properties that sell in the first 30 days do so at or over the asking price. I repeatedly see Buyers, both my clients and others I meet at my listings, repeatedly making some variations of the same 3 basic mistakes. Here’s what you should do and not do in today’s market as a buyer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Manhattan Beach Townhouse for Sale | Closed Escrow

Very large East Manhattan Beach Detached Townhome

My buyer clients just closed escrow on this huge townhouse in East Manhattan Beach proving that sometimes good deals do exist:

"5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, Open Floor plan, 2 car direct access garage, detached town home with no HOA, gated private yard. 3088 sq. ft of living space on 3 levels, featuring 2 separate living areas, outdoor view decks, dining area, open kitchen. Walk to MB Award winning schools, park, dining and shopping."

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hill Section House for Sale with Pool!

217 Larsson St: Stunning Contemporary Hill Section home. The perfect home for entertaining & family activities. This 3,700 square feet home is well laid out anticipating your family's needs. Four bedrooms plus office & large private yard with a salt water pool and spa. The open, reverse floor plan is designed to take advantage of the sweeping city views or tree top views from most windows. The "Cook's" kitchen is the focal point of the room with top of the line appliances, granite counters, an enormous curved breakfast bar, center island, walk-in pantry & built-in breakfast nook. The kitchen flows to the large, open family room with double wood slider doors that open to a huge wrap around deck and staircase to the private yard. The Master suite has an attached room that can be used as an office, nursery or retreat. The second living area has a spacious deck with fabulous city views, a fireplace & built-in custom cabinetry with wet bar & wine fridge. The guest room is ensuite and tucked away for maximum privacy. Other notable features include: Andersen windows, 8 foot solid interior core doors, Santos Mahogany hardwood flooring throughout the entire home, air conditioning, tasteful decorator window treatments, custom paint, surround sound and custom built-in cabinetry.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Manhattan Beach Real Estate Market Trends | Recent Closed Sales

Manhattan Beach Hill Section Santa Barbara style house

Year to date there have been 238 closed sales in Manhattan Beach through the end of August making the August sales of 30 properties sold just about match the rolling average for the year (29.75).
The median price was $1,950,000 for August home sales which is higher than the year to date median of $1,800,000 inclusive of August. 

The lowest price sale was for a townhouse on Manhattan Beach Blvd that went for $830,000 and the highest price was (no surprise) a house on the Strand that sold for $14,000,000 after 7 days on the market. The Strand sale was actually the highest priced sale for the year in 90266.

There were 13 sales above the MLS list price and 11 below and yes that does mean the other 6 were exactly at the MLS list price. All in all about 2/3 sold at or over the list price.

The Sand Section (MLS Area 142) continues to dominate activity with 9 sales. The lowest priced property that changed hands in the Sand Section was a 1 bedroom, 1 bath 528 SqFt house on a 1351 SqFt lot. I'm going to assume that one was sold for lot value. Listed at $1.8M it went for $1,916,000 "all cash" because let's face it, how do you get that one to appraise?

I think the nicest and most livable (in its current condition) Sand Section property was a townhouse at 2310 Vista Dr. Built in 2002, 2419 SqFt and super modern. Sold for $3.4M which was $1K above the list price.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Probate Sale in Manhattan Beach CA

Single Family House East Manhattan Beach

Probate may be the closest thing we get to a distressed sale these days. Well sort of. There are currently 3 probate sales in Manhattan Beach CA. FYI, some probate sales require court confirmation and others do not. Not all probate sales require the overbid process. If you are considering buying a property that is being sold as a probate sale, best to understand the difference.

1751 Curtis Ave: Beautifully remodeled 5 bedroom 4 bathroom home in East Manhattan Beach! With an open floor plan and large windows and skylights, abundant natural light brightens this amazing home. New hardwood flooring throughout first floor. Remodeled kitchen with all new stainless steel appliances, new cabinets, and new caesarstone counter tops. The kitchen flows naturally into the family room which has large French doors that open to a beautiful back yard and patio, making this space ideal for entertaining. The second level has all new carpet and a total of 4 bedrooms including the large master bedroom with fireplace, private balcony, and large bathroom.

Listed for $2,550,000 and does not require court approval. 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, built in 1993, 3749 SqFt on a 7494 SqFt lot.