‘What Is My Home Worth’? Ah, the million dollar question. Today, I’m give you tidbits to figure out what your home is worth. The classic thing that everybody does is go on Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, to see what their home is worth. And while that’s a good starting point, it definitely is not going to give you the best answer possible. And that’s because algorithms and computers do not take very specific factors into account. I have a whole other tidbit that you can find on my YouTube channel about Zestimates and how they’re calculated. But in order for you to know what to list for, the first thing you need to do with your realtor is look at comps. Actually your realtor should be looking at comps. And when I say comps, I don’t mean all the homes that have sold that have the same specs as yours within your entire zip code. That is too broad.
You need to look at what I like to call your micro neighborhood. You need to first of all, look at your home and your lot and find homes that have sold in the recent past three to six months that are similar in lot size and also are they a flat lot or is yours on a hill? That’s something that you need to take into account as well. The layout of your home, so inside your house, how is it laid out? You can’t know that, but your realtor who is a neighborhood expert, should have a good sense of those homes that have sold and walked inside of them to know functionally how well they were laid out compared to yours. Indeed, a functional layout is one of the top things that can affect the price.
Are you wondering if you can cancel the contract once you are in escrow on the purchase or sales of a home? Watch your tidbit of the week to find out!
By Caroline Abkar, REALTOR
By Caroline Abkar, REALTOR | December 12th, 2019
Are you about to begin a house project that requires digging?
Did you know that you can call 811 or go to DigAlert.org to submit your request for a free service where utility operators will be sent out to mark the locations where you have utility lines underground? It’s California State Law to call 811 so for any projects that require a permit! Even if your project doesn’t require a permit, it’s still a good idea to submit a request, for your safety and your neighbors’.
By Caroline Abkar, REALTOR | October 8th, 2019
You may have heard the news and seen their ads everywhere. What an iBuyer is, is a company that will offer to buy your property very quickly, all cash, with an online offer, sight unseen. Think Zillow Offers, Redfin Now, Offerpad, Opendoor. These are all iBuyers.
Now why do they do this? Why do iBuyers offer to buy your home sight unseen, all cash? Well, it’s because their model is based on providing you as a seller all the convenience, compared to the traditional models. That way, you can sell very quickly and they claim that it’s almost hassle-free. There is a risk with this model that they need to bear and account for. iBuyers are volume based companies, buying a lot of homes and they’re buying them all cash, but they’re also making their profit up front. They’re not making the profit when they resell the house later on with a markup. Making a profit up-front at the time they purchase the home means that for you as a seller will be netting much less for your home compared to the traditional model. Research shows that we’re talking up to 15% less.
So if you’re a seller who desperately needs the cash, you’re moving out of state, out of country, you absolutely need to move and you cannot wait the 30-45 days or however long it may take on the open market, then you may really be considering an iBuyer’s offer. But again, you need to understand that that convenience absolutely comes at a cost. Take this example provided by Fidelity Title:
What this shows is that the net difference between using a Realtor in a traditional open market model vs an iBuyer is $93,217 for a home that it worth $680,000. That is how much less you walk away with as a seller in exchange for a quick close. Therefore, it’s very important to understand the cost of that convenience and remember as well that if what you’re looking for is a quick all cash offer, a good established Realtor will have partnerships with local investors who will offer all cash and no contingencies for your home as well to make it hassle free. So don’t forget that option, and make sure that you’re doing your homework and you’re thinking of all the possible scenarios in order to make the best decision for yourself when the time comes to sell your home.
About the author: Caroline Abkar is an established San Diego Realtor and Bay Park resident who is absolutely passionate about the community as well as representing her clients in selling and acquiring the biggest investment of their lives. She will go above and beyond for those who place their trust in her. You can contact her anytime at 619-808-4804.
By Caroline Abkar, Realtor – 9/23/2019
Buyers always ask me: when is the best time to buy a house? Turns out, realtor.com crunched numbers to figure out exactly when the best time to buy a house for 2019 is and it is… right now, right this week!
Statistics show that there will be north of 26% less competition for buyers out there with many families having already settled in time for back to school. In addition, homes that did not sell over the summer are seeing increased market days which in turn equates to motivated sellers. There is also some new fall inventory hitting the market as we speak, with sellers wanting to close their transaction before the end of 2019. Realtor.com projects a 6% increase in inventory starting this week. Throw in the low interest rates, and it’s the perfect home buying environment out there.
I am sharing my top 5 tips on to get that deal. It’s all in my quick video!
About the author: Caroline Abkar is an established Realtor and Bay Park resident who is absolutely passionate about the community as well as representing her clients in selling and acquiring the biggest investment of their lives. She will go above and beyond for those who place their trust in her. You can contact her anytime at 619-808-4804.
Everyone knows about Zillow’s Zestimate’s and millions of users look them up, but how accurate are they and can you use them at face value?
The key items to remember after watching this video are the following:
- Zillow’s website describes Zestimates as a starting point. It should not be used a a final sales price. They also encourage discussing the home price with a professional.
- Zillow has not been inside your home and does not know the specifics such as location, lot shape, functional layout, views, upgrades, traffic patterns, and walkability.
- Zillow’s Zestimate uses data points from homes in a much larger geographical area than your neighborhood. Each neighborhood has its own characteristics and desirability though, which also need to be taken into account.
- Zillow’s Zestimate does not take into account the current market conditions i.e. the other comparable homes for sale at the same time as your home, and how your home compares in price, condition, and location. That will help you ensue you are positioned for success!
Please remember to always partner with a knowledgeable professional who will look out for your best interests, from start to finish!
Questions? Comments? I’m happy to help.
A home warranty is very different than a homeowner’s insurance. While homeowner’s insurance covers damage to your home, a home warranty will cover the appliances and systems in your home, including but not limited to your refrigerator, oven, garbage disposal, microwave, dishwasher, water heater, furnace, A/C, plumbing, sewer line, pool.
There are various plans and options to choose from depending on what you are looking to get covered. Often times, the cost of replacement your appliance or system is higher than the yearly cost of maintaining a home warranty. Your decision may also depend on whether all your appliances and systems are new and still under manufacturer warranty.
There is typically a service call fee each time you submit a claim for someone to come out and look at your defective item, and it can range anywhere from $60-75/call depending again on which home warranty company you choose.
This table extracted from Home Warranty of America‘s brochure shows the cost of replacement of common items:
There are many home warranty providers to choose from, and it’s a good idea to compare your options to see what makes most sense to you.
I’m always happy to help if you have any questions or need a recommendation!
By Caroline Abkar | Windermere Homes & Estates | October 2018
The California Association of REALTORS® submitted the ballot initiative for Proposition 5 stating that almost 75% of homeowners 55 and older haven’t moved since 2000 in fear of the moving penalty they cannot afford. With elections right around the corner, there is so much information out there, much of which is unfortunately incomplete or plain biased. You may think I am partial as a REALTOR®. Truth is, I am a big proponent of making informed decisions in all aspects of life so let’s take a deep dive into Proposition 5 as well as the main arguments in favor and against this initiative so that you feel equipped and confident when voting.
In order to illustrate the impact of Proposition 5, I will use a real life example (clients’ name changed to protect privacy).
Thank you for stopping by! I recently joined Windermere’s stellar team and with that process came this brand new website which provides awesome features for you: my readers and followers. This also means that I am sorting through all my blogs posts to bring back the most relevant ones here and also carve time out to keep bringing you valuable and fun content.
Don’t forget to sign up for Neighborhood News right here on my Homepage for the very latest market trends and statistics for any zip code you choose. It’s the most up-to-date and relevant way to stay on top of YOUR areas of interest!
Caroline Abkar , REALTOR®