DIY Tip: Cutting Dark Tile

Have you tried marking a dark colored black, brown, or blue tile with a marker and couldn’t see the line to make the cut? So you don’t need to guess while making your tile cut, you can put blue painter’s tape on the section where you’ll be making your cut. Mark your line on the tape with your straight edge. Once you make the cut, peel off the tape and you are done.

Hope this helps in your DIY home project!!

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

November 24, 2014

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For Sale by Owner

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics

  • FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2013. The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

  • FSBO methods used to market home:

    • Yard sign: 36%

    • Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 28%

    • None: Did not actively market home: 32%

  • Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:

    • Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%

    • Getting the right price: 13%

* Statistics and chart from the National Association of Realtors

Seen from the chart, the percentage of sellers selling on their own has been gradually decreasing since 1991. The percentage has decreased by about 50%. With home searches starting online with buyers, sellers need to have their listing syndicated to all the major real estate sites such as Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc for maximum exposure to all potential buyers.

With litigation on the rise and real estate disclosures increasing and continually changing, hiring an experienced and qualified Realtor to guide and have the proper paperwork completed will lessen the burden that FSBO sellers expressed as the number one difficult task.

From a Realtor’s perspective, one reason not to sell FSBO (For Sale by Owner) is to avoid the onslaught of Realtors who will call and drop by your home to try and list your home. Realtors are a persistent bunch and generally do not stop until the home sells or gets listed with an agent. It is not uncommon for an FSBO to get more calls from Realtors trying to list the home than qualified buyers.

Another reason listing as a FSBO may not be the best idea is that buyers are aware that a FSBO seller is trying to save on the commission paid to Realtors and will account for that in their offer as they want a deal as a buyer also. Many FSBO sellers cooperate with the buyer’s agent and pay them for bringing in a buyer. If that is the case, then a FSBO seller is saving only half the commission that would be paid to a listing agent.

Wondering if there is any reason why a seller should consider being an FSBO when selling? There certainly is: If the seller already has a buyer lined up who is willing to pay fair market value, then selling FSBO may make sense. If that  is your case, I would be glad to put you in contact with an escrow officer to get your home sold without agents involved (this would apply to Ventura County properties).

Happy Home Selling!

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

October  16, 2014

Home Warranty

Typically, buying a home is the largest purchase people make. Whether new construction or a complete fixer, every property deteriorates with each passing day. So what can be done about it? For starters, buyers can ask the seller to pay for a one-year home warranty when an offer is submitted (this is renewable after the year). Sellers often agree to give a warranty as it assures the buyer and seller that issues that arise within the first year (be aware that home warranties have limited coverage) will be repaired through the home warranty company. If you are currently in escrow and already had your buyers’ inspection, you can request repairs be done on the property or ask for a credit based on what work you believe the home needs. The seller does not need to agree to any of the repairs, but it is smart to ask. Getting a home warranty is a good idea even if the sellers choose not to agree to one.

As you can see from the picture, this gas line has seen better days! My clients smelled gas within their home that they recently purchased in the Montalvo, Ventura area. The deteriorated gas line did not show up on the buyer’s home inspection report when my clients were in escrow. And to our knowledge, the seller was not aware of this issue. Due to the need to repair the gas line as soon as possible, my clients immediately had a plumbing contractor come out to fix the gas line. The home warranty reimbursed my clients for the repairs. Before you get a home warranty, it is important to verify that the warranty will reimburse you for covered items if you choose to use a specific contractor and pay out of pocket.

Although I do not recommend a specific home warranty company, here is a list of a few that I have seen purchased: American Shield, Old Republic Home Protection, Fidelity National Home Warranty, First American Home Buyers Protection, CRES Home Warranty by HISCO, and Buyers Protection Group.

When a seller does agree to pay for a one-year home warranty, it’s a win-win situation, as the seller knows items neither party were of aware of will be repaired. (Please be aware that home warranties are limited in nature, and it is recommended that buyers of the home warranty do their due diligence to their satisfaction.)

Chris Chin |Broker & Owner

October 7, 2014