310.740.0302
310.740.0302

Buyers Guide

  1. What if I make a purchase and the VALUE DROPS FURTHER?
    Before purchasing a property, consider the market indicators. Have there been several quarters of dropping prices? Have there been few sales? Have homes been sitting on the market for a long time? Then, perhaps waiting to purchase is a wise decision.On the other hand, there are ways to “hedge.” First of all, if you have real estate buyer concerns, partner with a strong, competent agent who will support you in making value choices in properties, will negotiate aggressively on your behalf and who has an excellent reputation commanding attention and respect from other agents.Second, purchase only when you are fairly sure you will own the property for at least 3-5 years. If prices drop a bit more, you will be happily living in your own home and will not have to worry about a temporary decline. Down markets typically rebound in 3-5 years. Finally, choose a property that needs improvement such as an updating of the kitchen and bathrooms, minor floorplan changes or more appealing exterior details.
  2. How do I negotiate to avoid “OVERPAYING”?
    First of all, it is very important to remember that the listed price of a home might not be in line with the property’s actual market value. Some properties are undervalued and some are overvalued. Therefore, our goal is to determine for our clients how much the listing price is under or over market value.Specific indicators of market value include construction quality, architectural details, neighborhood characteristics and proximity to positive and negative elements that can affect value now and in the future.Statistical elements must also be reviewed. For example, the number of homes listed for sale and sold, and the chosen home’s qualities relative to the neighborhood. Those qualities might include how the home compares in square footage, lot size and so on. Is it the largest and most beautiful home in the area? Or is it the smallest and in need of repair?Non-statistical or qualitative considerations include finishes, floorplan, landscaping and, most important, personal appeal to you, the potential buyer.
  3. How do I determine the right PRICE POINT for my purchase?
    The key points here are research and negotiation. Research should be conducted on your own and with your agent. Look at recent stats, including the listing and selling prices of properties above, below and at your budget range. Check out different areas. Your friends probably will give you lots of advice and war stories, which you should screen through your own experience since some of the anecdotes will be rumors with little foundation in fact.Negotiation is best handled by a strong, experienced agent who can balance and weigh practicality and objectivity against your naturally more subjective and emotional approach. This will allow you to move on to another property efficiently if your negotiations do not lead to a purchase of the one you chose initially.How do I determine the right PRICE POINT for my purchase? The key points here are research and negotiation. Research should be conducted on your own and with your agent. Look at recent stats, including the listing and selling prices of properties above, below and at your budget range. Check out different areas. Your friends probably will give you lots of advice and war stories, which you should screen through your own experience since some of the anecdotes will be rumors with little foundation in fact.Negotiation is best handled by a strong, experienced agent who can balance and weigh practicality and objectivity against your naturally more subjective and emotional approach. This will allow you to move on to another property efficiently if your negotiations do not lead to a purchase of the one you chose initially.
  4. How do I prevent getting slammed for REPAIRS after I purchase a property?
    Getting expert professional advice even before you make an offer is one of the best ways to avoid trouble down the road. Contractors and others will often walk through a property to provide advice for a potential buyer. They will generally do a cursory look at no cost, or a more thorough one with payment for their time.You can also do a comprehensive “general building inspection” prior to making an offer. The procedure usually takes 2-4 hours, depending on property size, and costs around $400-800. Usual this more extensive inspection is done after price has been negotiated and escrow has been opened. There is a customary 10-17 day buyer contingency period for this.Following the general building inspection, individual visits by other professionals such as a plumber, foundation expert, drainage expert and others are common. These inspections give buyer useful and sometimes vital information. Although surprises can still occur, they are rare when comprehensive professional inspections have been done.
  5. Where do I carve out the TIME to search, get pre-qualified, make offers and so on?
    Time seems precious and elusive in our 21st century. Begin your search slowly by checking out properties online in your spare time, or by setting aside a few minutes or an hour a day. Websites such as www.sothebyshomes.com, www.themls.com, www.realtor.com and my www.joansather.com are good places to begin. Drop by open houses on a Sunday when you are out and about anyway, solicit experiences and recommendations from your friends and business associates and explore a few neighborhoods by going to farmers markets and restaurants, and by taking walks and hikes. Then, interview a couple of Realtors over coffee, lunch or in your home or office. I am always happy to meet with prospective clients at their convenience, so please feel free to contact me anytime.