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Luis Montejano- Sotheby's International Realty's Blog

By Luis Montejano | Broker in Riverside, CA
  • Why Well Priced Homes Sell for More – A Guide to Pricing Your Home for a Quick Sale

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Los Angeles County  |  November 21, 2011 9:16 AM  |  471 views  |  No comments
    By Luis Montejano, Broker Associate and Realtor in Los Angeles (Sotheby’s International Realty, Los Feliz)

    Many realtors will tell you that price is the biggest factor when selling a home. Because price is based on multiple subjective factors, however, deciding on how much to ask for a home can be difficult. Selling a property quickly, especially in desirable communities like Hollywood or Silverlake, seems like something that wouldn’t be a challenge, even in a buyer’s market; but that price can make the difference between a quick sale and having the property sit on the market for longer than you’d like.

    The first thing to consider is Fair Market Value. The best way to figure this out is to compare your home to other homes that are either on the market within a 2-
    5 mile radius of your home, or properties that have sold within the last six months within that same radius. After compiling a list of each with your realtor, compare your home’s amenities to similar properties and how much they are priced for, or how much they eventually sold for. This should allow your realtor to assess the Fair Market Value of your home—other options, like paying for someone to assess the property, or visiting local open houses, are also available.          

    For a quick sale, it can be worth it to lower the price of the house below the Fair Market Value. Again, in popular communities, this can seem counterintuitive. When you’re looking for a quick sale, though, it can be worth it: even in popular, attractive neighborhoods, this is an option worth considering. In fact, pricing your home a little lower than you might like can lead to the property selling for more in the end; buyers will go over your initial price to make sure they get a house in a popular area that they see as being reasonably priced.

    If you’re considering selling your home, it’s worth it to remember that price is everything. In neighborhoods like Hollywood, Eagle Rock, or Silverlake, it’s easy to think that your home will sell itself—but in the end, selecting a reasonable price, even one that’s a little below the Fair Market Value, is key to selling your home quickly. Setting the right price for your property won’t just help it sell quickly, either; competitive pricing can, in the end, help your home sell for more than it would have otherwise!






  • How to Sass Up and Add Curb Appeal To Your Home - The art of real estate seduction and selling your home fast!

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Los Angeles County  |  November 21, 2011 9:10 AM  |  495 views  |  No comments

    By Luis Montejano, Broker Associate and Realtor in Los Angeles (Sotheby’s International Realty, Los Feliz)

    Your home may be beautiful on the inside—well maintained, full of personality, space, and light, boasting beautiful fixtures and amenities—and it may be priced to sell. You’ve probably poured a lot of time and effort into making sure every inch of your interior is attractive to a potential buyer. Problem is, if the exterior of your home doesn’t boast that same level of care, aesthetics, and, well, “oomph!” nobody’s going to bother seeing your granite counters and brand-new shower.

    Curb appeal is an incredibly important part of selling your Los Angeles home. It makes the difference between finding a buyer and languishing on the “for sale” ads for months. So how do you give your house the little something extra? For starters, focus on your entryway. Front doors are the focal point of any house; if yours is drab and lifeless, there’s nothing to make people stop and look. Hitting your front door with a coat of paint, new fixtures, or a wreath can make an enormous difference; if you’re really feeling daring, installing a custom wooden door can really make the exterior pop.

    The rest of your exterior is just as important. If your garden looks neglected, your railings aren’t fresh, or your siding needs repair, your house simply won’t be as desirable. Try replacing or painting older railings; add plants, either in containers or in garden beds, to fill up negative space; weed, prune, and clean up existing garden beds; consider re-painting or re-siding your house if it looks shabby. These steps are simple, but important—and don’t forget the ever-important “little things.”

    Symmetry in the entryway of your house is a sleek, and surprising, way to make your home look sophisticated and welcoming. Dressing up your mailbox, or adding outdoor light fixtures, make a home unique and help you stand out from the rest of the houses on your street. Flower boxes or shutters also provide little touches that can make an enormous difference.  When you’re selling Los Angles homes, remember that “oomph!” counts, and it counts a lot. No matter how beautiful and well-cared for your home is on the inside, if it doesn’t reflect that on the exterior, nobody’s going to be uttering that crucial phrase: “honey, stop the car.”



  • For Sale By Owner – A Cautionary Tale

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Los Angeles  |  November 4, 2011 7:34 PM  |  526 views  |  4 comments

    Luis Montejano, Broker Associate and Realtor in Los Angeles (Sotheby’s Int’l Realty, Los Feliz)

    for sale by owner Los Angeles(1)We could talk about irony, but instead let’s talk about how Colby Sambrotto, founder of the DIY home selling site ForSaleByOwner.com, needed the help of a realtor to sell his New York condo. After trying to seal the deal on his own for 6 months, Sambrotto had to bite the bullet and bring in a professional to sell his Chelsea home, then priced at $2 million—which, consequently, was the same price he bought it for in in 2007.

    Sambrotto decided to bring in broker Jesse Buckler, whose first move was to target a new set of buyers by upping the asking price to the tune of $150,000. By doing this, Buckler intended to attract a certain kind of buyer from a source not previously tapped by the $2 million price tag—something Sambrotto clearly didn’t consider. Buckler was quoted saying, ‘At first he wouldn't let me increase the price… I told him I know what I am doing—the market is picking up.’ Sure enough, Sambrotto’s property sold for $2.15 million soon after due to Buckler’s interventions.

    We can’t blame Sambrotto for trying. There is one major advantage to selling your home without the help of a professional: more money in your pocket—specifically, because you don’t have to pay your Los Angeles realtor any commission. But on the other hand, when you sell your home yourself there are other costs to consider… costs to the seller that might outweigh the benefit of the monetary savings. Without a realtor, you don’t have the help normally provided for things like contracts, advertising, showings, negotiating proposals, etc. Simply put, selling your home on your own is a lot of work. And sometimes, you might find that even with all that hard work you can’t make the sale happen… even if you’re Colby Sambrotto.

    And while it was certainly true for the DIY tycoon that teachers are not necessarily doers, we shouldn’t write off selling your own home completely. If you take the proper steps, a “for sale by owner” transaction could be in your future. But if you think you might want to sell your home for $150,000 above your asking price, you might want to consider getting the help of a realtor. Here in Los Angeles, that Realtor is Luis Montejano.

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