Deciding to dive into the California real estate market is definitely not a decision to take lightly. The real estate process is a long and involved one.
The first step is to read over the real estate laws in California and check out the ones that specifically handle ‘For Sale by Owner’ in California. See how they apply to you and what the terms are. From there, you can determine what is possible for you and what isn’t.
The next crucial step is to look at the real estate market in California and see how well it’s doing. There are many different things that must be considered, such as but not limited to: demographics, interest rates, and government policies. Also take a moment to look over your finances and assets. This is always valuable information to have under your belt as a seller or buyer.
Once you’ve reviewed your resources, you can then sketch out a reasonable budget. For example, cutting out commission fees in California may save you up to 6% in final closing costs, made possible by sites such as beycome.com. They’re known for cutting out the middleman and acting as your virtual agent. Instead of taking your money away like a traditional agent would, they give you the money instead.
Even though it is all too tempting to put your home up for sale right away in order to sell it as soon as possible, you won’t get the results you’re looking for without first assessing it for repairs and renovations that need to be done. You wouldn’t want to buy a house that’s run down, would you? Neither would someone else! Take the necessary time to make repairs and renovations, which will in turn make your house more appealing to the eye. It is strongly recommended that you make room in your budget for repair efforts to avoid the seller having to do it his or herself.
Buying a house in California is an exciting decision. After all, it’s home to the illustrious Hollywood, and totes gorgeous natural landscapes such as the Yosemite National Park nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Because of these features and an extensive list of more, California has a plethora of different real estate options to look into. However, before jetting off to the Golden State, check out your finances to see what options you can realistically afford. Fret not, you won’t have to come up with the money for a downpayment solely out of pocket. Matter of fact, there are many different mortgage packages.
203k Rehab Loan
However, before getting a mortgage, there are some initial steps that need to be taken first. First, look at your credit score. It isn’t a secret that greater credit scores will have better terms than not so great scores. Also, try not to apply for credit before you’ve properly closed your home. Additionally, it is advantageous to look into getting a pre-approval.
Pre-approval is when you’ve been formally approved for a loan by a lender. As mentioned above, good credit is beneficial to have. Money down, savings, and steady employment are three more important factors. Unfortunately, all mortgages require initial fees, but you can save some money during this process using better.com.
Documentation is always important to have, ensuring that the process of buying real estate in California goes without any hitches. Generally, it helps to have:
Social Security Numbers
Addresses for Involved Properties
Proof of Homeowners Insurance
The process is much cheaper when you avoid hiring a real estate agent, who would only cost more unnecessary money. Buy a home in California for much cheaper by utilizing services like beycome, who cut out the middleman and credit you money back in return.
Buying a home is more than picking out the first one that jumps out to eye. While aesthetics are certainly important and should be one of your main considerations when shopping around, there are other pertinent questions to address as well. Good questions to ask yourself are: is the home in the middle of the action? Or is it more secluded from the hustle and bustle of the city? How far is it from your place of work? Your doctor’s office or gym?
Privacy is also important, but people have different degrees of tolerance in this regard. Assess the home in question to see the level of privacy is one you’re comfortable with.
Once you’ve already detailed your basic needs, it’s time to look at the actual structure of the home. California has a plethora of different neighborhoods, such as Brentwood, Studio City, Venice, and more. Depending on where you live, you’ll be exposed to different characteristics that make each neighborhood unique. These styles typically come with:
Closets and other Storage Spaces
Number of Rooms
Numbers of Floors
Garages or Parking
Numbers of Porches or Decks
While these are all very important attributes to consider, the outside is just as relevant as the inside. While the home may fit the aesthetics you are looking for, what about other factors like if the neighborhood has higher crime than you’re comfortable with, or if there is heavy noise pollution? These are all things to consider before purchasing a home.
Shopping for homes is a very exciting time! While embarking on this journey, try not to rush through it. Put together a well thought out list of qualities you need in a home, while adding more cosmetic qualities that aren’t necessarily a deal breaker but certainly a bonus. Keep in mind, it’s totally okay to change your plans! This is completely normal and expected.
When you are looking to start shopping for homes in California, it’s important to look at all your options. It’s often a good idea to put together a well thought out plan to find the neighborhood and house that most closely fits the description of the plan you detailed. Also, it’s completely fine to change your plans! This is expected and natural. Just make sure to adjust accordingly.
Preparing a list of relevant questions for the home seller is crucial! Don’t be shy during this step. After all, this is your potential new home. There is seldom anything off of the table.
How do the price comparisons look?
How long have the homes in question been listed for sale by their owner?
Is there a deadline?
How much time do you have to make a decision?
Why are the owners selling the home?
Has it recently been refurbished, redecorated or renovated?
Are there any association fees?
What are the current utilities like?
Do not be afraid to ask questions.
As you can see, the process of purchasing a brand new home isn’t a quick and simple process. There is a lot to consider! However, with proper planning, you’ll be able to make the most informed decision.
While the Internet is a great resource for finding information, it certainly isn’t the only one. No matter what, actually visiting the houses you’re interested in isn’t a step you want to miss. Go to open houses, or even try to schedule a private showing of the property by the homeowner.
When you finally get the opportunity to tour the real estate, capitalize on this opportunity! Take plenty of notes and pictures so that you can refer back on them later. This is especially good if there’s anything broken or faulty. The same goes, and perhaps is even more important when a security deposit is involved, for renting an apartment as well. Have sufficient evidence of the initial state of the home, apartment or condo you decide to move into.
When you’re finally ready to sign the lease to your brand new home, keep in mind that the final step isn’t necessarily swift and breezy! There’s more that goes into just signing your name on a contract and receiving the keys. Through comparative market analysis, check out other homes in the area and see if there’s any room for you to negotiate.
Preserving your time is important. You don’t want any problems to affect your offer and the contract agreed upon between you and the home seller. This is why contingencies are important—they act as legal safety nets so that you can back out of a contract if certain conditions arise. You can add as many or as little contingencies as you want, as long as they are agreed upon by both parties. Beware though, you’re not the only one who can back out of a legal contract. The seller can too if you scare him or her with too many contingencies! Here are a few contingencies:
Home inspection Contingency
Home Appraisal Contingency
Having too many contingencies is especially true if you’re competing over a hot piece of real estate with many candidates. Get in touch with a professional to speak about shortening certain contingency periods or waiving them entirely.
Also, in these scenarios, it is often good to display your level of commitment for buying the home to the seller. Consider it from the seller’s point of view: they don’t want the buyer to be flaky. Help eradicate this fear by providing a cover letter, opinions on the home, and even an increased earnest money deposit.
When trying to beat out other candidates for a highly coveted property, learning the art of bidding is important. If you bid too low, you run the risk of the seller rejecting your offer. If a bidding war begins, you need to be prepared to fight with other buyers for having the most attractive offer.
The main takeaway is this: home sellers are ultimately looking for the most committed buyers so that their time isn’t wasted. They also want to sell quickly, which is impossible to do if they’re bogged down with financial issues or you dragging your feet due to uncertainty. Negotiate your terms as quickly and concisely as possible, which should increase the probability of you getting the keys to your dream home.
Now that contract finalizations are in the process, this doesn’t mean you can quite relax yet. Closing costs are still imminent, with lender and third-party fees usually between 2-6% of the final purchase price. The average process takes between 30-45 days, unless you sign up for a service like beycome that closes 12 days faster than the industry average and refunds you a significant portion of the closing fee.
Getting to the closing table as quickly as possible once contracts are finalized is always advantageous. Make the earnest money deposit, inspect the real estate, order the title, and purchase insurance. Once all those steps are completed, submit the cashier’s check for down payment and closing costs. Once the escrow is closed and the relevant paperwork is done, you are officially a California homeowner!
Death Valley National Park: This gorgeous natural park straddles eastern California and Nevada. Some of its key features involve: Titus Canyon, littered with colorful rocks and a ghost town, and Badwater Basin’s salt flats, the lowest point in North America! Want to check out some rattlesnakes? Go to Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
Alcatraz Island: This small island offshore from San Francisco, California, has a ton of history! Initially, the island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, and a federal prison. Now, the island is open to tours, with visitors being able to reach the island in a little under 15 minutes by ferry ride. Aside from hosting and operating the oldest lighthouse on the West Coast, it has a plethora of natural features as well such as rock pools and a seabird colony.
Disneyland California: This is a must-see for the family! Being the first of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, this gem opened up on July 17, 1955. Stay busy at the parks’ 7 exciting lands with attractions such as: racing through the desert, the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, racing around the world, or even playing with Ariel underneath the sea!
Hollywood Walk of Fame: Check out Hollywood’s most illustrious stars. The walk of fame comprises more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars that line the sidewalks for 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and 3 of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. Some honorees to look for are: Walt Disney, Hal Roach, and Muhammad Ali.
La Brea Tar Pits: Want to see a bunch of fossil fuels packed into one place? Stop here! La Brea Tar Pits are a group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed in urban Los Angeles. Natural asphalt as accumulated over a period of tens of thousands of years, preserving the bones of trapped animals. La Brea Tar Pits is a registered National Natural Landmark.
Universal Studios: Universal Studios is a film studio and theme park in San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. Come visit one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood film studios that’s still in use! During your visit here, you can: explore a plethora of rides and attractions such as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, dining at treats such as Three Broomsticks™ and Hog’s Head™, shopping at the various Universal Studio stores, and more!
Chinatown, San Francisco: San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest one in North America and spans 24 blocks. Enjoy a day here, exploring the mainy shops at your leisure, as well as authentic Chinese food!
Ferry Building Marketplace: Stop in for some of the best food of your life at this spot located in the busy Embarcadero on Market Street. Enjoy vendors like The Hog Island Oyster Bar, Blue Bottle Coffee, Humphry Slocombe, and more! You can also stock up on produce and fruit through the market’s full farmers market. Want to stop by a night? Totally fine. Dine at the Michelin-recommended restaurant The Slanted Door.
Palm Springs: Even though it’s known to be nearby the legendary music festival, Coachella, it has a plethora of other exciting components as well. Located in the Sonoran Desert, it hosts stylish hotels, fashionable restaurants, chic boutiques, and exciting entertainment venues. Known as the “Playground of the Stars’, this charming location is worth visiting.
University of California, Los Angeles: UCLA is a public research university located in the Westwood district of Los Angeles. It is also the second-oldest undergraduate campus of the ten-campus University of California system. As of 2017, the school touts 24 Nobel laureates, three Fields Medalists, and five Turing Award winners.
University of California, Berkeley: Berkeley is a top-ranked public research university in the United States. It is located in the city of Berkeley, with a spanning campus that encompasses 1,232 acres. Berkeley has a plethora of innovative programs, with a program that fuses business and engineering released in 2016.
University of Southern California: A private research university in Los Angeles, California with roots as the oldest private research university in California. If business is your passion, USC has historically educated a large number of the nation’s business leaders. The university’s location has also used its location in Los Angeles to establish relationships with research and cultural institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim.
Stanford University: Stanford is a private research institution in Stanford, California. The university is known for its academic strength, wealth, and proximity to Silicon Valley (perfect for students interested in software engineering), ranking as one of the world’s top universities.
California Polytechnic State University: Cal Poly is a public university located in San Luis Obispo, California, known for its “learn by doing” philosophy which encourages students to combine theory with practice to solve real word problems.
University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The university also touts three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation, and anteater mascot. The university has 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs.
University of California, Davis: Home to the Aggies, UC Davis is home to go-getters, change makers and problem solvers. Since opening in 1908, the university has already established a reputation for top-notch academics, sustainability, and school pride. The campus spans over 5,300 acres in the city of Davis, an exciting college town of 68,000 located in Yolo County.
The Sunset Strip: If you’re looking for an electrifying night out, The Sunset Strip is the place you need to be. The 1.6-mile strip of Sunset Boulevard is nestled in the vibrant city of West Hollywood.
Station1640: This cozy bar sits in the middle of the growing Cahuenga Corridor, earning its name as a Hollywood staple. The theme of the bar is inspired by
the underground subways of New York City, with incredible work by Los Angeles’ best graffiti artists spanning walls throughout the venue.
Sound Nightclub: The club came together with one vision in mind: to bring an evolving and always-exciting entertainment venue to Hollywood. With 3D mapping and custom video content, as well as a one-of-a-kind surround sound system, guests are offered an unparalleled clubbing experience. Some cool features include a: sunken dance floor, multiple full-service bars, and even a gourmet kitchen for onsite catering!
Zelda’s Nightclub: Zelda’s Nightclub is a sleek, upscale nightclub with state of the art sound, lighting, and an elevated DJ booth, home to Coachella Valley’s most illustrious spinsters! The club also touts fully stocked bars, as well as an incredible VIP package that includes extensive top-shelf liquors and champagnes.
OMG: OMG is one of the biggest LGBTQ nightclubs in San Francisco and what’s not to love about this place? Fairly priced drinks, fast service, and great music all make this venue a fun place to hit up on a Friday or Saturday night. There’s also a weekly comedy show that features some of the bay’s best comedians—with free cover!
Avalon Hollywood: Avalon is one of Hollywood’s most historic landmarks, with notable performances such as the Beatles’ first west coast performance in 1964 and ABC’s hit television show The Hollywood Palace. Avalon Hollywood is centered right in the heart of the town, at LA’s busiest intersection of Hollywood and Vine.
Hunter’s Palm Springs: Hunter’s Palm Springs is located at the center of gay nightlife in downtown Palm Springs, serving quality drinks, dancing, and entertainment every night of the week. Enjoy other exciting features like karaoke, cabaret, happy hour and special events.
The California Club: The California Club is a members-only private social club, historically established in 1888 in downtown Los Angeles, making it the second oldest club in Southern California. The building was resurrected in 1930 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
Coming up with an attractive sales campaign to adequately advertise your property and entice potential buyers as an FSBO in California takes time and dedication. The first step involves planning your budget and seeing what you can realistically afford before putting your house on the market. Can you afford a professional advertisement campaign? If you can’t, no worries! Social media is oftentimes more effective than its counterpart, generating visibility for your home. Put your property on large social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat and more!
Additionally, see how much money you can relegate to hiring an inspector for your home. Can you pay for repairs and/or renovations should they arise? What will the closing costs look like? These are all important questions to ask yourself so that there are no surprises later on down the line.
‘California for sale by owner’ is a highly searched keyword on the Internet, meaning that homes underneath this keyword will receive a significant amount of organic traffic as well. However, while the interest is definitely there, this doesn’t mean you can assume a high asking price. Matter of fact, if you don’t take the proper precautionary measures and do the necessary research, putting your home on the market might end up costing you. Rest assured, there are many informative resources online that will help you through the real estate process and save you money rather than lose it.
Doing a full inspection of your home is important, as to ensure that it is in top shape when being sold to potential buyers. Figure out any potential issues throughout your home, rating them on a level of urgency. If the problems are easier to fix, you can reasonably handle them yourself if you’re particularly handy (if not, Youtube is your friend!) However, if the issues are more complex, you then have to look into your budget and assess what you can afford in terms of professional help. If you can’t repair everything, figure out the issues that are more dire.
The repair process is more organized and easier to handle when you create a list of questions in advance. Good questions to consider are:
What were other homes sold in your area like?
Is your home in a better or worse state than they were during the sale?
How many repairs can you handle yourself?
Is the damage severe enough to require professional help?
Once you’ve done all you can in terms of fixing up your home and making it pretty, then it’s finally time to talk to potential buyers. But, before you can start this process, you still need to come up with an asking price. This isn’t a number that can be put together loosely, for you run the risk of being wildly outside of the market norm. Rather, some research is required. To do this efficiently, start looking at other homes for sale in California and determine a baseline depending on candidates in your particular area. Pay attention to homes that are similar to yours that sold in the last quarter.
Remember to exploit popular headlines like “California for sale by owner” or “home for sale by owner in California” so that you can check out your competitors. From there, gather all the listing prices you find and calculate a rough average.
Capitalize on headlines like “California for sale by owner” or “home for sale by owner in California ” to find your competitors. Gather a list of prices and calculate an average to see what your baseline listing price should roughly be. The average cost of a home in the California is $440,000, but that might not be the case for your home, depending on factors such as location and condition.
You don’t need to be a potential buyer to go to an open house. Matter of fact, going to open houses is invaluable for you as a home seller. This will give you insight into your competition so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly. From your research online and in person, coming up with an appropriate listing price should be straightforward. Merely determine what qualities make your home stand out from other homes in your area, and see what qualities you can realistically add to gain an edge. For example, from your research, you may pick out that granite kitchen countertops are a hot trend in the real estate market right now. If you can afford it, refurbish your kitchen to include granite countertops. Then, you can charge more for this feature. Additionally, look into tools like home valuation analysis to confirm that you have an accurate and fair listing price.
Once you’ve done your renovations, your home valuation analysis, and your house has an official listing on the Internet, it’s time to go through an effective marketing plan. This is easily the most crucial step of the home selling process! After all, having no visibility to your listing is the fastest way to ensure that you’ll start losing money.
The first tool that you should look at utilizing is the Internet. Everyone, or mostly everyone, uses this search engine. Exploit this. You can use social media for a powerful and cheap marketing campaign, using popular hashtags like ‘#forsale’, ‘#JustListed’ and ‘#realestate’ on sites such as Instagram and Twitter. There are also thousands of websites online dedicated to for sale by owner in California. For example, Craigslist is still an incredible useful online classifieds service that will generate visibility to your listing.
Listing on your Local MLS
Listing on top real estate sites
Full listing on beycome
Virtual Tour & YouTube© Video
Printable promotional items
Full legal offers online
Home Visit Manager
Open House Scheduler
As useful as the Internet is when it comes to advertising, there is always significant power in reaching out to your local audience through newspaper classifieds. The cost isn’t bad either, with pricier options hovering around $301.60 for an advertisement in the New York Times. However, that’s the New York Times. A classifieds in your county newspaper will likely be far cheaper. Yard signs and fliers are also classic ways to advertise your listing that will help spread the word.
However, when making an advertisement, it is important to make it visually pleasing to the eye. After all, we’re sensory beings and will naturally focus on the most capturing advertisements! Not a creative? That’s fine. Try seeking out your local pool of graphic artists, writers, photographers and the like to contribute to making your advertisement attractive. Avoid your listing becoming just another boring headline when you have a solid marketing plan.
Additionally, make sure to point out all the attractive and convenient sites surrounding your home. The buyer would definitely enjoy hearing about places such as schools, malls, and other entertainment venues surrounding their potential new home. Real estate close to areas of interest are always pined for.
A lot of people want to move to the Golden State! Because of this, real estate is thriving in a plethora of cities. Your house is seen as attractive based on this factor solely, so exploit it. Erase all the unnecessary fees that come with hiring a real estate agent and take on the process yourself. beycome believes in you, and will work with you to get rid of commission fees, hit-or-miss agents, and slow results by helping you be proactive and own your deal.
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