REALTORS®: Home Staging Cuts Time on Market

Home staging offers a distinct advantage for sellers: a speedy sale.


Sixty-two percent of sellers’ agents believe staging a home cuts down the time it spends on-market, with the majority believing it “greatly” reduces the window, according to the new 2017 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents believe staging a home helps buyers envision themselves living in it, and 40 percent believe it prompts buyers who first saw the home online to visit it in person.

2017 Home Staging Report (PRNewsfoto/National Association of Realtors)

Staging can also have a positive effect on home value. Thirty-one percent of buyers’ agents and 29 percent of sellers’ agents believe it adds anywhere from 1 to 5 percent, while 13 percent of buyers’ agents believe 6 to 10 percent and 21 percent of sellers’ agents believe 8 to 10 percent. The cost of staging is often fronted by the seller or sellers’ agent.

Buyers’ agents caution, however, that staging is only beneficial if the home is staged to appeal to general, not specific, preferences. Most buyers’ and sellers’ agents believe the living room is a key space to stage, as well as the kitchen, the master bedroom and the yard. They also believe decluttering, depersonalizing and a deep clean—beyond staging—are essential for a show-ready home.

Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents stage all of their listings before placing them on the market, while 14 percent only stage listings that require it. A near-even 37 percent do not stage their listings at all.

“REALTORS® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”


2017 Home Staging Report (PRNewsfoto/National Association of Realtors)



Posted on July 10, 2017 at 6:51 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Sellers |

Single Family Homes by Area – SOLD in June 2017


Source:  iTech MLS

   Location # Homes Average Average Average Avg. Days
SOLD Square Ft. Price/SF List Price On Market SP % LP
La Canada 30 3774 $ 635 $ 2,354,730 43 96.62%
Montrose 0  —
La Crescenta 30 1604 $ 569 $ 822,163 44 102.13%
Tujunga  22 1446 $ 436 $ 559,165 41 103.00%
Sunland  29 1446 $ 444 $ 591,735 30 100.55%

Posted on July 5, 2017 at 7:20 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Market Stats |

Decor that Adds Value to Homes


A home’s price is based on many factors that can’t be changed, such as location, square footage, and age. While these fixed factors may seem like an end-all-be-all, you can present your home in other ways that may add perceived value for buyers. A full overhaul or shiny new kitchen are not the only options — choosing the right home decor can go a long way in bringing buyers.




Here’s a look at some top accessories and decor choices that are easy to snag and that just might help your clients reach that perfect selling price.



Ask any designer:  De-cluttering a home is one of the most effective ways to get it off the market and into the hands of a buyer. A cluttered, messy, cramped space can instantly detract potential home buyers.  After all, how can they visualize their family in this new home when all they can picture are piles of junk and countertops filled with toiletries?  Clutter may also send the message that the home does not provide enough room for the buyer’s needs.

Show buyers that your home offers plenty of space for all of their belongings.  External storage, like a pretty chest, a shelving unit, or an armoire is a great way to add a decorative element while allowing more room to store paperwork, movies, linens, desk supplies and other unattractive items that don’t add to the space.  Internal storage, like decorative metal bins or wicker baskets, are perfect for uncluttering bathroom cabinets and closets where buyers may sneak a peek.  Now you can present a more airy feel and cleaner sight lines in the home.


Window treatments

Whether it was in our first college apartment or an old family vacation rental, we’ve all experienced just how uncomfortable it is to be in a space with dusty, weathered, outdated window treatments.  Next to decluttering, window treatments can make a big difference in breathing new life into a home. The right window treatments can highlight and complement the home’s best features — from its natural light to backyard views — and can offer the top selling points of built-in privacy and improved energy efficiency (high on the list of many potential buyers).


Good idea to replace broken and outdated blinds with new blinds, cellular shades or roman shades.  They’re easy to install, and with a wide variety of finishes available, they’re a versatile and functional choice.  Drapes are also a quick fix, especially in living and dining rooms.  They add vertical interest and cohesiveness to a room, showing buyers a refined space.



It’s important to make the home appealing and cozy to visitors, but with a polished look that gives buyers something to aspire to.  Replace any well-loved duvet covers, bath towels, rugs, pillows or throws with fresh ones.  Swap out overstuffed bookcases with carefully placed books, baubles, and a piece of art or two.  Tuck away stacks of old magazines and remotes, and adorn tables with a chic tray and a few coffee table books.


It’s all about introducing fun yet neutral accessories that add to the overall theme of the house without filling the space with too much clutter. Show buyers how their new home could be a showpiece, and it’s sure to add to their perceived value.



Posted on June 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Sellers |

10 Best Ways to Get Organized for a Big Move

Make your next move smooth, short and sweet with these tips for preparing, organizing and packing

Whether you are going across town or across the country, moving an entire household can bring on meltdowns, even among the best of us. But by beginning the planning process as soon as you know you will be moving, you can minimize stress and increase the likelihood that everything will go smoothly on moving day and afterward. Read on for 10 sanity-saving ways to get ready for the big move.

Posted on June 20, 2017 at 7:56 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Buying and Selling |

5 Tips for Buyers in a Tight Housing Market




WASHINGTON (May 12, 2017) – When inventory is low, home prices tend to go up. Attempting to purchase a house in this type of market can make the already complex process of buying a home even more overwhelming. To help buyers successfully get through the buying process in a tight inventory market with as little stress and difficulty as possible, the National Association of Realtors® has these five suggestions:



1. Determine and stick to a budget. Before beginning the house hunting process, prospective homebuyers should receive preapproval from one or more lenders to verify the amount of money they are qualified to borrow. Then, after taking into account additional costs of ownership such as taxes, utilities and insurance, buyers should determine a final budget they can comfortably afford. When listings are scarce, bidding wars can drive up prices, so buyers must be prepared to walk away if the asking price surpasses their budget.


2. Identify desired neighborhoods and home wants versus needs. When housing inventory is tight, buyers may need to compromise on what they believe they want from a home. Certain wants, such as stainless appliances or hardwood floors, can be added later. However, if a buyer wants to be in a specific school district or have a decent sized backyard, those cannot be addressed later and must be taken into account during the house hunting process.


3. Be ready to make a decision quickly. In a seller’s market, homes rarely stay on the market long, so when a house that is in their budget and checks off all of their needs come along, buyers should not hesitate. Buyers should be ready to submit an offer quickly, or they may risk missing out on the home altogether.


4. Bid competitively and limit contingencies. It is tempting to submit a low offer as a starting bid, but in a seller’s market buyers need to put forward their highest offer from the very beginning or they are likely to lose out on the home. It is also important to remember that in multiple bidding situations it is not always the highest offer that is most attractive to the seller but the one with the fewest contingencies. Removing restrictions related to the sale of a current home and being flexible with things like the move-in date can make a bid stand out to a seller.


5. Work with a Realtor®. All real estate is local, so it is important to work with an agent who is a Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, and who is familiar with the areas and neighborhoods the homebuyers are considering. Realtors® are the most trusted resource for real estate information and have unparalleled knowledge of their communities; they can give buyers the competitive advantage needed in a tight market.



The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Posted on June 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Buyers |

A Seller’s Market? Consumers Express Diverging Sentiment on Home Buying and Selling in May


The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased 0.5 percentage points in May to 86.2. The slight decrease can be attributed to decreases in three of the six HPSI components being larger on net than the three increases.


The net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy a home reached a record low after falling 8 percentage points, while the net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home reached a record high, increasing 6 percentage points.


This is only the second time in the survey’s history that the net share of those saying it’s a good time to sell surpassed the net share of those saying it’s a good time to buy. Americans also expressed greater belief that mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months, with that component increasing 5 percentage points. Finally, the net share of consumers who think home prices will go up fell by 5 percentage points this month.


“High home prices have led many consumers to give us the first clear indication we’ve seen in the National Housing Survey’s seven-year history that they think it’s now a seller’s market,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “However, we continue to see a lack of housing supply as many potential sellers are unwilling or unable to put their homes on the market, perhaps due in part to concerns over finding an affordable replacement home. Prospective homebuyers are likely to face continued home price increases as long as housing supply remains tight.”


Home Purchase Sentiment Index – Component Highlights

Fannie Mae’s 2017 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased in May by 0.5 percentage points to 86.2. The HPSI is up 0.9 percentage points compared with the same time last year.

  • The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home fell 8 percentage points to 27%, reaching a new survey low
  • The net percentage of those who say it is a good time to sell increased by 6 percentage points to 32%, rising from last month’s decline to a new survey high.
  • The net share of Americans who say that home prices will go up decreased by 5 percentage points in May to 40%.
  • The net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next twelve months rose 5 percentage points to -52%, following the trend from last month.
  • The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job fell 6 percentage points to 71%, back near the level seen in March.
  • The net share of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 5 percentage points to 18% in May.


Source:  Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI)  –  June 2017

Posted on June 8, 2017 at 3:48 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Buying and Selling |

Single Family Homes by Area – SOLD in May 2017


Source:  iTech MLS

   Location # Homes Average Average Average Avg. Days
SOLD Square Ft. Price/SF List Price On Market SP % LP
La Canada 25 3131 $ 687 $ 2,113,160 54 98.34%
Montrose 1 1704 $ 490 $ 825,000 11 101.21%
La Crescenta 18 1758 $ 532 $ 877,038 34 103.02%
Tujunga  19 1598 $ 423 $ 616,960 31 102.05%
Sunland  24 1737 $ 389 $ 619,600 27 103.62%

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Market Stats |

RIP Forever Homes: Millennials More Inclined to Move

a young couple celebrate getting the keys to their new home by taking a selfie in the garden .



Say goodbye to the idea of a “forever home.” No, I’m not talking about taking home a rescue pup. Instead, I’m referring to the antiquated idea of buying that dream house and living there forever.  A recent community survey from Taylor Morrison showed that over half (56 percent) of homeowners no longer believe in the forever home.


To get these results, Taylor Morrison employed Wakefield Research to survey 1,000 U.S. adults who have purchased a home in the last three years, or who are likely to purchase a new home in the next three years. While the study focused on homeowners of all ages, it’s clear that millennials (the next gen of homeowners) are way beyond the forever home trend. Fifty-eight percent of millennials believe that the forever home is dead, and expect their home to evolve as their life does. From a growing family to a new job or a lifestyle change (buh-bye bar scene, hello golf course!), millennials want their living situation to be adaptable.


According to the survey, a third of millennial buyers intend to live in the next home they buy for less than 10 years, and 80 percent are equally or more interested in a newly constructed home over a resale home.


 Zoe Eisenberg, RIS Media’s Housecall – May 24, 2017 

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 3:58 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Buying and Selling |

That Old Home Decor Isn’t Always a Bad Thing





Some home shoppers say they’re drawn to these homes for the quality construction, distinctive design, and nostalgia, The Wall Street Journal reports.“The number of people looking for time-capsules houses [has], I’ll go out on a limb and say, exploded,” says Pam Kueber, who maintains a list of time-capsule homes on her remodeling blog,  Some real estate professionals are even specializing in mid-century or un-remodeled homes.


Ed Murchison with Virginia Cook, REALTORS®, in Dallas says that over the past five years he’s noticed more young home shoppers seeking Mid-century Modern homes, and they’re willing to pay a premium to get them, too. AMC’s “Mad Men” TV show may have been inspired buyers to appreciate 1960’s design.  So that means popcorn ceilings, shag carpeting, peach bathroom tiles, and baby-blue cabinets are hardly a turnoff to some select home shoppers. Indeed, Robin Miller was drawn to a home with such features that was built in the early 1960s in Weaverville, Calif. She purchased the home and plans to leave the retro design intact.


“It’s almost like the less you do, the better because it almost distracts from the architecture that’s already there,” Miller told The Wall Street Journal.


Many time-capsule homes are from the post–World War II housing boom. However, they are in short supply: Many of these homes have since been remodeled.  “We may be seeing the last era of true time-capsule houses in America,” Kueber says.


Real estate professionals say it’s not always smart to renovate a time-capsule home if you have one as your listing. There could be a niche audience out there looking for it.  “Once you remodel a house out of its time period, you have to perpetually remodel every 10 years to keep up with what’s fashionable,” says Alyssa Starelli with Living Room Realty in Portland, Ore. “But if you maintain it in the period it was, it always suits the house.”


For buyers who do find a time capsule home, they should also be vigilant about the condition of the home since it is older. For example, they should assess the home for building code violations and safety hazards, such as lead paint, asbestos, and non-tempered glass in windows or showers, Kueber says.


Source: “Life Inside a Time Capsule,” The Wall Street Journal (April 27, 2017)    


Posted on May 22, 2017 at 9:03 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Sellers |

Curb Appeal: A Little Goes a Long Way

 Low-cost landscaping reaps benefits when it comes to curb appeal and home value.
According to the Appraisal Institute, homeowners spend between $1,766 and $3,227 on landscaping projects – and the expense is well worth it.
Updated landscapes can boost home values by up to 12 percent.
“Curb appeal is important to both appraisers and potential buyers, and homeowners don’t have to spend a lot of money to get it,” says Jim Amorin, president of the Appraisal Institute.  “In fact, it’s important that upgrades don’t exceed neighborhood norms.”
Inexpensive improvements ideal for adding value include planting perennials, power-washing walkways, raking grass clippings, replacing outdated flower pots – and sealing decks, driveways and/or patios.

Source:  Appraisal Institute



Posted on May 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Posted in Sellers |