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Kieran Jackson, REALTOR, SFR's Blog

By Kieran M. Jackson | Agent in 91316
  • Landlord Tips!

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in West Hollywood, Rentals in West Hollywood, Investment Properties in West Hollywood  |  October 15, 2012 6:37 PM  |  547 views  |  1 comment
    Becoming a landlord can often be a lucrative, yet exhausting challenge. If you are thinking about rentting out your property, or you're already a landlord... Here are some tips you can use to better manage and maintain your property!

    1. Screen your tenants thoroughly.
    Don't rent to ANYONE before checking out their information thoroughly (credit history, references, and background). Unsufficient screening and loose tenant selection too often results in problems -- tenants that don't pay, destroys your property, or lets their seedy friends move in. Your real estate agent will have a standardized application for your prospective tenants. Or, you can use a generic written rental application to properly screen your tenants if you do not have an agent. Contact me for more information, and a FAQ, on how to screen and select suitable tenants.

    2. Get your lease in writing.
    Be sure to use a written lease or month-to-month rental agreement to document the important facts of your relationship with your tenants -- including when and how you handle tenant complaints and repair problems, notice you must give to enter a tenant's apartment, and the like.
    All real estate contracts a year long or more, are required to be in writing!

    3. Handle the security deposit properly.
    Use a fair system of setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits. Inspect and document the condition of the rental unit before the tenant moves in, to avoid disputes over security deposits when the tenant moves out. Your real estate agent has a document that is used specifically for this purpose.

    4. Make repairs and maintain your property well.
    Stay on top of maintenance and repair needs and make repairs when necessary, not just when requested. If your property is not kept in good repair, you'll alienate good tenants, and tenants may gain the right to withhold rent, repair the problem and deduct the cost from the rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions, and/or move out without needing to give notice.

    5. Provide safe and secure premises.
    Do NOT let your tenants and property be easy marks for a criminal. Assess your property's security and safety, and take reasonable steps to protect it. Some easy steps you can take include installing proper lights and trimming the landscaping. those are both rather inexpensive as well.

    6. Provide notice before you enter the propery.
    Learn about your tenants' rights to privacy! Notify your tenants whenever you plan to enter their rental unit, and provide as much notice as possible, at least 24 hours or the minimum amount required by state law. For state-by-state information, see Chart: Notice Requirements to Enter Rental Property, State by State.

    7. Disclose ALL known environmental hazards.
    If there's a hazard such as lead or mold on the property, tell your tenants. Landlords are increasingly being held liable for tenant health problems resulting from exposure to environmental toxins in the rental premises. Contact me for more information on the Disclosure of Lead Based Paint Hazards.

    8. Oversee your property managers.
    Choose and supervise your property manager carefully as well. If a manager commits a crime or is incompetent, you may be held financially responsible. Protect your assets by thoroughly running a background check and clearly spell out the manager's duties to help prevent problems down the road.

    9. Obtain property insurance.
    Purchase enough liability and other property insurance. A well designed insurance program can protect you from lawsuits by tenants for injuries or discrimination and from losses to your rental property caused by everything from fire and storms to burglary and vandalism. For more information, see Tenant Injuries: Landlord Liability and Insurance FAQ.

    10. Resolve disputes with your tenants.
    Try to resolve disputes with your tenants without lawyers and lawsuits. If you have a conflict with a tenant over rent, repairs, your access to the rental unit, noise, or some other issue that doesn't immediately warrant an eviction, meet with the tenant to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If that doesn't work, consider mediation by a neutral third party, often available at little or no cost from a publicly funded program.
  • Understanding The Short Sale Process

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in West Hollywood, Home Buying in West Hollywood, Foreclosure in West Hollywood  |  October 9, 2012 9:33 AM  |  479 views  |  No comments
    With the countries economy seeming reluctance to bounce back to shape, hundreds of thousands of homewoners are facing foreclosure. And while many of them will find ways to save home, for most of them a Short Sale offers a win-win scenario.

    Here are a few factors to help with understanding the short sale process...
    • The mortgage is in arrears or foreclosure. Banks give loans, in order to make money. If the mortgage is not paid, the bank is not making money. The bank must remedy this situation, as quickly as possible.
    • An REO is a liability, not an asset. Banks remedy for the mortgage not being paid, is often foreclosure. The bank takes the property that has been offered as security for the loan. However, it often takes the bank months, or longer, to get an REO on the market, sell it, and get their money out of it.
    • The property is in poor condition. Usually when a homeowner can no longer afford to make their mortgage payments, they can't afford the maintainence of the property either. It's in the best interest of the bank to sell the property to a new owner as quickly as possible, before the quality of the property deteriorates.
    • The homeowner has hardships and cannot afford the payments. As detached from the human condition as banks can often seem to be... They are people too. Banks understand that hardships can, and do, happen. When someone experiences a legitimate hardship, banks often will do their part to reach a solution that is best for all parties involved.
    • New homes in the area are being chosen over existing homes. With property investors coming in to many neighborhoods and "flipping" REO and other homes into rehabbed and seemingly new properties, banks know that selling their inventory will become increasingly difficult.
    • The area or neighborhood has depreciated in value. With the value of houses down across the boards, banks know that many of the outstanding mortgages are now underwater. There is nothing that can be done about this, as a willing and able buyer will only pay market value for a property.
    • The bank’s shareholders are concerned when there are too many defaulting loans on the books. This is understandable, as a bank that makes/services mortgages loans, the health of their books is contingent upon a healthy amount of their loans being paid on time.

    1. Find a property owner in distress. Go to my web site for a list of short sale properties on the market in Los Angeles' west side.
    2. Put a deal together with the homeowner. Negotiate the best price for the homeowner and the buyer. The best price will take into account the market value of the property. Rely on your real estate agent's expertise on reaching the market value of the property.
    3. Have the homeowner sign a “Release of Authorization” form. The experienced agent acting in the best interest of the homeowner will have this form signed. The agent will need this document in order to discuss the mortgage with the homeowner's lender. You can see a sample of this document at my Seller's Resource page.
    4. Fill out a sales contract for the amount your client wants to offer the bank and have the homeowner sign it. The buyer's agent will help the buyer prepare their formal offer. Once the formal offer is ready, the buyer's agent will present the offer to the owner, or the owner's agent.
    5. Contact the Loss Mitigation department at the bank and prepare the following:
    • Your cover letter explaining your client’s hardship.
    • The sales contract. Here in California, this will be a standardized C.A.R. form contract.
    • Justifying comps in the area. proper comparables will serve as proof to the bank that they are getting a solid offer for the property
    • Pictures of the subject property, if possible. Photographs of the property can show the bank what condition the property is in.
    • A net sheet or closing statement. This shows all parties involved in the transaction, where every penny in the transaction will go. this is for full disclosure of the funds.
    • A signed hardship letter from the homeowner. This will serve as proof to the bank of the homeowner's hardhip. Find a sample hardship letter here.

    There are more resources for both buyer's and seller's at my web site, KieranTheRealtor.com

    Kieran M. Jackson, Realtor, SFR, Hollywood Hills Real Estate Agent
  • Bank of America Updates Their "Short Sale Relocation Assistance Program"

    Posted Under: General Area in Los Angeles, Home Selling in Los Angeles, Foreclosure in Los Angeles  |  July 11, 2012 2:59 PM  |  533 views  |  2 comments

    Clients could receive $5,000 to $30,000 in relocation assistance 

    If you are financially distressed, of course you want to avoid foreclosure. bank of America and myself are here to help!

    Bank of America is now offering enhanced relocation assistance. Qualified homeowners who initiate a Preapproved Price Short Sale (without an offer) could be eligible to receive $5,000 - $30,000* in relocation assistance and owe no more on their mortgage with the sale of their property, depending on the investor involved. 

    Let's not miss this LIMITED-TIME OFFER to get you the help you need by initiating a Preapproved Price Short Sale today!

    Determining your eligibility is easy:

    Once I initiate your short sale, BofA will quickly evaluate you to determine if you qualify for the enhanced relocation assistance.

    You must participate in one of the Preapproved Price Short Sale Programs, such as:

    • HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives)
    • Bank of America's Cooperative Short Sale Program

    Specific investor participation and eligibility criteria do apply to these programs.

    If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for the enhanced relocation incentive, you may still qualify to receive $2,500 - $3,000 in relocation assistance from government- and bank-sponsored programs. 

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q: How can I find out if I qualify for this limited time offer?
    Call a me, Kieran Jackson, your BofA short sale specialist, and NAR certified Short Sale Foreclosure Resource at 1.213.632.8484
    Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

    Q: Do I have to do anything special when initiating or completing the short sale?
    A: No. Your agent, Kieran, will act quickly by initiating the short sale at 
    Equator.com.  And remember, this is a limited-time offer that you won't want to miss out on.

    Q: If my short sale is initiated with an offer, will it qualify for this enhanced relocation assistance?
    A: No. Short sales initiated at the time an offer is received do not qualify for the enhanced relocation assistance funds. So let's not wait. Let's get your short sale process started TODAY!

    Q: Is the enhanced relocation assistance eligible to non-owner-occupied properties?
    A: Yes, it is available to non-owner-occupied properties.

    Q: Will the relocation assistance funds be reported on the HUD-1?
    A: Yes, funds received at closing will be documented on the HUD-1, and a 1099-MISC will be issued.

    Q: Can the relocation assistance funds be used to pay off existing liens?
    A: Yes, the homeowner may use funds to pay off existing liens or to help with relocation expenses.

    Q: Is the enhanced relocation assistance added to any other incentives, such as the HAFA or Bank of America Cooperative Short Sale Program incentives?
    A: The homeowner incentive will be inclusive of the $3,000 HAFA incentive. For example, if the homeowner is eligible for $5,000, then $3,000 will be from the HAFA funds and the remaining $2,000 will be from Bank of America homeowner incentive funds.

    Click here to read the press release.

    * The relocation assistance payment is calculated based on the appraised value of the homeowner's property.  The total amount will be no less than $5,000, but no more than $30,000.  The payment will be delivered at the time of closing if the homeowner complies with all terms and conditions of the Short Sale Agreement, which include but are not limited to the following: a full walk-through appraisal must be completed and the homeowner must satisfy all junior liens and provide clear title for the property (the relocation assistance payment can be used to clear those liens).  The short sale must close by Sept. 26, 2013.  If the homeowner does not comply with all terms and conditions of the Short Sale Agreement, they will not receive the relocation assistance payment.  The amount of any deficiency and relocation assistance will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the appropriate 1099 Form or Forms.  We suggest that the homeowner contact the IRS or their tax preparer to determine if they have any tax liability.

  • The importance of having a GOOD short sale agent!

    Posted Under: Foreclosure in West Hollywood, Property Q&A in West Hollywood, Credit Score in West Hollywood  |  May 24, 2012 7:13 PM  |  426 views  |  No comments
    Good evening homeowners.

    I was reading an email from one of my colleagues about short sales, and thought I'd share some of the concepts he brought up, that I too find very important. In order to handle your short sale successfully, you need an agent that understands the short sale process. You need an agent that will take control of the short sale situation from the get go. An agent that will help you prepare in advance of what to expect. One that knows what he/she is doing, and is strong enough in our negotiation skills so we do not have to accept whatever bone the banks want to throw us.

    • In a short sale transaction, an agent is not submitting an offer to your lender. We're actually submitting a contract. You as the seller have already accepted the offer, now we're asking your lender to accept a "short" payoff so a contingency can be removed from the CONTRACT, and the deal can close. Submitting an offer to the lender to see if they will accept it, is wasting time and clogging up the system.
    • The lender is NOT a party to you (the seller) and the buyer's  contract. They do not control the purchase price and the commission. They do have control over how much they are willing, or able, to accept as a payoff.

      If this payoff figure is too high then a solution needs to be found. The solution may be to have you sign a promissory note, raise the purchase price or lower the expenses of the deal (commission) etc. Lowering the commission in the deal does not mean that a hard working and invaluable agent doesn't deserve or can't get a  FULL commission as agreed in the listing agreement. You can bring cash to closing to pay the difference and/or they can sign a note to your Broker.
    • Just because your lender, investor or PMI company asks you to sign a promissory note, a great agent would still put 110% effort forth into attempting to negotiate the amount of this note downward or may even be able to make it go away. PMI companies almost always ask for a promissory note to be signed when you can afford to make payments. Be prepared for it. If you have funds in the bank, IRA, mutual fund and/or decent income chances are they will be asked to pay a promissory note. This should be ascertained at time of listing. I always ask my seller's to complete a thourough financial package prior to listing the property.
    • Your agent's job is to do the best I can to help my qualified short sale clients to salvage their credit. It is your sole decision on whether or not to sign a promissory note. Your willingness to sign a note needs to be established at time of listing so we don't waste your's or your agent's time, and can instead take advantage of other options that may be available to you.
    • When a MI company, Investor or Lender comes back requesting the you to sign a note, your agent can interpret this as an acceptance of  short sale request. Now all that needs to be done is negotiate the note. I've seen a note request for as much as $135,000 negotiated down to ZERO. The reason this was possible was because the Sellers truly could not afford to pay. If you are attempting to do a strategic short sale, you should be prepared to contribute to the loss.
    • Your agent's commission should not be an issue in a short sale. A good agent is cognizant, before listing your property, what lender is being negotiated with and how much commission they will "allow". Almost all are 5% to 6% if there are two Brokers... and 4% if there is only one Broker.
    • Friends, a lot of agents are suffering on short sale transactions because they don't know what they are doing. Sellers are also suffering because they are hiring them.
    • Short sales are very serious business and need to be treated as such. Sellers need to seek legal and tax advice and then hire a Broker/agent that understands the process.

    If you are facing foreclosure, and would like to talk to a good agent to see what your optionsd are and find out if a short sale could be beneficial to you... Look for an agent that has the NAR® SFR (Short sale Foreclosure Resource) certification.
  • In the past week... Guess what city has had the most single family homes sold!?

    Posted Under: General Area in Los Angeles, Home Buying in Los Angeles, Home Selling in Los Angeles  |  March 17, 2012 3:19 AM  |  516 views  |  No comments
    From March 8th, to the 15th... This is how some of LA's best suburbs performed as far as closing single family home sales:
    • West Hollywood, 2 sales closed
    • Santa Monica, 7
    • Pacific Palisades, 7
    • Studio City, 7
    • Encino, 9
    • Burbank, 9
    • Sherman Oaks, 11

    Rancho Cucamonga has a whopping 42 single family residences close and transfer title this week! A big reason why there are so many closings in Rancho Cucamonga, is because out there you can buy a 6 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house, with an impressive 4,000+ square feet of living space for under $117 per square feet!

    That's amazing value for the money. CLICK HERE to browse currently available homes for sale in Rancho Cucamonga, NOW!

    Browse all of greater Los Angeles properties on the marking by CLICKING HERE.

    All the best,

  • The Beverly Hills Real Estate Weekly [Release #1]

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Beverly Hills, Home Buying in Beverly Hills, Home Selling in Beverly Hills  |  March 5, 2012 10:58 PM  |  500 views  |  No comments
    The Beverly Hills Real Estate Weekly [Release #1]

    Keeping you up-to-date with the newest hi-end listings the Beverly Hills real estate market has to offer!

    Curious about Beverly Hills real estate market and tghe best homes for sale in the best Beverly Hills homes currently available for sale. It's our goal to keep you aware of the activity in your city's real estate market. This information is not only useful to buyers and sellers interested in Beverly Hills, but also you, the well informed Beverly Hills resident!

    As of March 5th, 2012, there are  15 single family residences were brought to market in Beverly Hills. Of these 15 homes, the asking price varies from $595,000 to $11,500,000 and yes, this is a very dynamic range in value! There approximately 179 homes on the market in Beverly Hills, 28 of which have asking prices over $10,000,000!

    There were 5 escrows that closed this past week. The sold price range of these 5 homes started at $1,195,000 and rose to $9,400,000.

    Two properties in the Beverly Hills real estate market went to escrow this past week, and the prices of these two properties are $875,000 and $7,950,000.

    Click here to view The Current Beverly Hills Real Estate Market's Listings in REAL TIME.

    Click here to browse The Los Angeles Real Estate Market as a whole.

    Contact a Keller Williams Realty agent today. Why? Because Keller Williams Realty Hollywood Hills  is the cutting edge  real estate brokerage of today. Keller Williams Realty Sunset Strip IS Beverly Hills' leading real estate resource.  At Keller Williams Sunset Strip, we embrace the Keller Williams Realty Belief System...

    • Win-Win: or no deal
    • Integrity: do the right thing
    • Customers: always come first
    • Commitment: in all things
    • Communication: seek first to understand
    • Creativity: ideas before results
    • Teamwork: together everyone achieves more
    • Trust: starts with honesty
    • Success: results through people
    Contact a Keller Williams Realty today!
  • West Hollywood hills condo I will be holding open house Sunday Feb 26, 2012

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in West Hollywood, Home Buying in West Hollywood, Property Q&A in West Hollywood  |  February 24, 2012 1:19 PM  |  507 views  |  No comments
    I will be holding this really nice West Hollywood hills condo open this Sunday.

    This is a nice, 2 bed 2 bath condo with GREAT VIEWS from just about every window! The asking price is ONLY $499,000 and at this price, this type of property will NOT be on the market long. Take a look at the pics, below.

    View more information on this property at my website at KieranTheRealtor.com/featured-houses/1230-horn-ave-528/

    View more condominiums in the West Hollywood area that are also actively on the market by clicking: West Hollywood condominiums actively on the market and available now

    Click here to search the MLS for more Los Angeles Listings

    Learn about HUD Incentives, like how HUD will help you purchase this house for as low as 1% down

    Kieran Jackson, Realtor, SFR DRE #01903647
    Keller Williams Realty Hollywood Hills
    9000 Sunset Boulevard 11th Floor
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
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