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Dorene Slaivtz’s Blog

By Dorene Slavitz | Agent in Culver City, CA
  • What about Low Income or Disabled person..can they ever have a home?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Westchester  |  May 14, 2014 1:25 PM  |  307 views  |  No comments

    Think about a HUD home

    These properties can be purchased by:

    • Any qualified buyer that has written proof of pre-qualification by a mortgage lender
    • Any qualified buyer who can provide proof of funds if purchasing with cash
    • Any HUD approved non-profit organization. This incudes places who specifically work with low income buyers such as Habitat for Humanity, Regional Centers etc.
    • It would benefit you to look into all the programs that are available. Buying with another person is also a possibility.

    H.U.D.  strictly enforces fair housing laws. If you are financially qualified buyers, you can purchase a HUD owned home, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or familial status.

  • The In's and Out's of the Real Estate Sales

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Westchester  |  January 28, 2014 8:11 AM  |  498 views  |  No comments

    Real Estate Negotiations

    The In's and Out's of the Real Estate Sales

    Buying and Selling Real Estate is more than a simple unemotional transfer of money and signing of documents. There is often an exchange of negotiation points that are important to all the parties involved. Knowing what is involved and how to successfully negotiate a sale, will result in greater satisfaction to all parties.

    Consider these points

    1. Know your seller, Know your buyer

    Motivation for the sale is important to know. Does the seller need and want to sell? What is the reason? Is there a time factor involved?

    What motivates the buyer? Does the buyer need and want to buy? Why did they choose your neighborhood over another? What is important to the buyer?

    Case in Point.(seller) In a recent transaction, a property was put on the market by a family with a new baby. The mother had just been transferred to Valencia from Los Angeles, which meant hours away from home and a stressful commute. The buyer who could guarantee a quick close of escrow(under 30 days) was the one who was able to get this property, even though other offers were higher.

    Case in Point (buyer) A sale was lost because the owners refused to negotiate some small points that would have made the sale. The buyers wanted the appliances that were in the home, while the seller inexplicably refused to include them, even though the buyer's gave a full price offer with few contingencies.

     Study the Comps

    Your Realtor will provide you with comparable sales. You will have a very good idea oil what similar homes in the area have sold for and which homes never sold due to overpricing. There's really no good reason to overprice (or overpay) for a property when all parties have this information.

    Don't expect to get a nice property for a low ball price, it's just not going to happen. By the same token, no one is going to overpay for your house, when another down the street is lower.


    Both sides should have Options. What will you do if  you can't get  the price you want for your home? Will you lower the price? How much? How long are you willing to have your home on the market?

    For the buyer, you should have other homes you are looking at. This is a tactical advantage since the seller will know you are also looking at other property. It also takes some of the pressure off of you as the buyer, to have more than one possible property in consideration.


    Face Time

    The best negotiations involve personal meetings between parties. It's very advantageous to have your Realtor meet with the Buyer's Realtor. A personal meeting will bring words, voice and your body language all into the equation, which is essential during negotiations.

     The Buyer Agent will have spent countless hours with their clients so, they will be able to best represent the buyers, and to clear up any misunderstandings. Presenting the buyer's qualifications and putting the seller at ease about the transaction.

     Believe it or not, electronic communication can sometimes be too impersonal. Sellers would like to know about the buyer who is moving into their home Buyers would like to know about the sellers and more about the community. Set up a personal meeting, it will make  a difference.

    Case in Point

    In a recent transaction a house was on the market with two buyers. One buyer was a cash investor, who was going to "rent out the house to students." The other buyer was going to make it a family home and was looking forward to a big family gathering for Thanksgiving. The all cash offer was for more, yet the owners took the buyer who wanted a family home. It was their home and they wanted another family to love it the way they did. This information got to the sellers via the personal meeting between the Realtors.

  • Three things to know when Selling your home

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Culver City  |  January 28, 2014 8:09 AM  |  514 views  |  No comments

    Three things to know when Selling your home

    Your house is worth “fair market value”.  What does that mean? Fair market value is comparing your house to similar homes that have sold nearby over the last three to six months. Most real estate agents offer a CMA which will compare values but a really good realtor will have a handle on what is going on in your neighborhood precisely, and know what buyers are paying in your area. Price is the number one selling point for any home.

    Whether or not to do home improvements or repairs before putting a house on the market is a common question. I say Yes and get a pre listing inspection done as well. Be prepared to fix.

    • Roof problems
    • Problems with wiring or other electrical issues and heating
    • Dry rot or other pest problems
    • All cosmetic issues


    Do I Need to Hold an Open House?

    Open houses are probably one of the most hotly contested issues within the real estate. Many agents feel that they are exhausting, don’t work, and refuse to hold them. Then there’s the agent who holds open houses because she’s read the statistics and understands that there is a chance the perfect buyer is among those who will view the house on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. That would be my opinion.

    About 45 percent of potential homebuyers will visit an open house, according to the NAR. That figure represents almost half of the buyer pool – a large enough group to safely assume that your buyer may be among those!

    Ask your Realtor if they are familiar with your neighborhood. Find out how they will market your home. Your Realtor should have a good idea of how home are found, and purchased by potential buyers so that your marketing is directed effectively.

  • How do "lease options" work?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Beverly Hills, Home Selling in Beverly Hills  |  November 11, 2013 10:10 AM  |  660 views  |  No comments

    When a potential buyer is not yet in the able to buy a home. A lease option could work for them.

    A lease option combines a lease agreement with the option to purchase the property at a future date.  Within 12-24 months, part of the lease payment would go toward the down payment forfuture purchase.  A  purchase price can be placed into the contract, making this very attractive to buyers.

    At the end of the lease period, the buyer can look for  a mortgage for the remaining principal for the sale of the home.  If the buyer decides not to exercise the lease, the seller still has full ownership and would keep all of the money paid during the lease period and keep the home.This is very common with lease options and should be considered carefully by the buyer.

    Lease option payments are substantially  more than a standard lease, so this income compensates the seller for not having the property on the market.  If the buyer does not exercise their option, the seller is then free to sell the home to another buyer.

  • What's with the "Low Inventory" of homes for sale?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Playa Vista  |  October 28, 2013 11:31 AM  |  558 views  |  No comments

    What's with the "Low Inventory" of homes for sale?

    Home prices are getting  higher,  yet the economists say, we will see an increase in sales.

    There is a good reason for this, the higher prices entice owners to sell their homes. With more homes on the market, this will help to alleviate inventory shortages. 

    Many sellers are still waiting out the market to see if  home prices rise more. If they have no pressing need to sell, some have taken gone this route,

    Some others may still not have the equity in their homes  to motivate them to sell. Counties with more mortgage issues have the least inventory for sale now. If you have followed the housing news, you can predict where the shortages will be...and where they will not be.

     If prices continue to rise, inventories or property for sale should also rise.

  • How to protect your privacy when Selling your home.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Culver City, Home Selling in Culver City  |  October 25, 2013 5:53 PM  |  664 views  |  No comments

    How to protect your privacy when Selling your home.

    Is your personal information safe? Before a home goes on the market and home buyers start to come through, a smart seller will relocate confidential information..

    Don't leave mail around.
    Lots of sellers leave piles of opened mail neatly stacked on the kitchen counter. This type of personal item should be put away from curious eyes.

    Diplomas and Wedding Photos Notwithstanding that all personal items should be removed, sometimes sellers overlook the obvious and leave things on the wall that are not anyone's business. I would remove all personal items as much as possible from the home.

    Knick Knacks

    Pack up and put away all collectables. Sometimes buyers bring children and those items are irresistible to little hands.(big hands sometimes too)



    Remove it from the home and keep it with you or put it in a safety deposit box until the house sells


    Contents of Closets

    Buyers will want to investigate closets to see what kind of clothing storage is there. I would depersonalize the closets as much as practically possible.


    Cabinets and Drawers

    These will be opened, keep personal items out of drawers.



    Buyers don't expect the garage to be in empty, so take advantage of that and store non essential items that are not valuable in the garage.

  • Dorene's Pet Peeve!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Culver City, Home Selling in Culver City, Home Ownership in Culver City  |  May 26, 2013 6:54 AM  |  1,769 views  |  No comments
    Un Permitted Construction

    While it might be tempting to hire inexpensive workers, and to skirt obtaining the necessary building permits to build additions on your home, don't do it! It may cost you in time and inconvenience when you try to sell your property and find out that the work has to be demolished before a potential buyer will be able to get a loan to buy!
    Un Permitted work is considered to be "poor work" and obtaining permits protects you by demanding the minimum in safety standards for the construction. Better to do without then add things to your home that actally take away from it's value and make it almost impossible to sell.
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