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Pamela Nelson's Blog

By Pamela & Diane | Agent in Studio City, CA

3/2/2011 - This market is crazy!

For anyone thinking of buying or selling in the current market, you will need patience galore!  Both buyers and sellers are confused, as is most of the real estate community, about what is happening or what is going to happen.  I, personally, think it is a great time to buy or sell - especially if you are staying in the same area.  Then it is an apples to apples transaction.  You may be selling lower than you would like, but you will also be buying lower than you would expect - so it all works out in the end.  It interest rates go up and prices come down, you might still be spending more for less property in the future.  Our biggest problem still continues to be the banks.  The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.  I tell every that I deal with at the moment that, if we close within 2 weeks of the scheduled close of escrow, we are on time.  The banks are not signatories to the contracts and, at the last moment (say last 3-4 days) they are prone to come up with new demands for the buyers to meet before they will give final loan approval and fund the loan.  And, if you are dealing with a "short sale" (meaning the seller owes more than the property is worth), you can expect to wait 4-8 MONTHS to close after the seller has accepted your offer - and maybe more, if it takes 4+ months for the bank to even assign someone to deal with the file.  So, PATIENCE!  FYI, there are also new requirements for the seller to comply with in order to sell their property: i.e. we now have to install carbon monoxide alarms in every property before close of escrow.  Carbon monoxide is not a real problem for the LA area because our weather is generally so good that there are doors and windows open year round, but we now have to do it.  And, they are talking about having sellers lever the sidewalks in front of their properties during escrow too - from tree roots, etc.  This could add several hundred dollars to each sale.  But there are good properties to be had for everyone!

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