Beach City Brokers
Focused on providing the highest quality of service for the real estate needs of our clients at the beach.
Beach City Brokers is an independently owned business which has specialized and grown with the distinguished communities along the southern California coast.
Because we have grown with our communities, our full-time real estate professionals have intimate knowledge of each community's character, mood and growth potential. Due to the fact that the majority of our associates live in the communities we serve, they can readily meet the unique challenges and problems families encounter in selecting their new homes. Drawing on their extensive knowledge of schools, recreational facilities, shopping requirements and transportation our associates are able to better satisfy the special family housing needs of their clients.
Our intimate knowledge of people and firms at the beach assures our clients of not only the highest quality of service, but superlative attention to detail, communication from beginning to end, and all at competitive rates.
Most of all, Beach City Brokers are people ... and it is because of these dedicated people you can feel confident that all of your real estate needs will be handled in a trustworthy, professional and efficient manner.
The best indication of Beach City Brokers strength and professionalism is the tremendous number of South Bay homeowners who have enjoyed working with us. Beach City Brokers has grown to be one of the most successful independent brokerages in Los Angeles county. Which means that you can ask your neighbor about us ... and learn even more about the benefits of working with Beach City Brokers.
Location is the single most important factor in determining the value of your home. And it may be as minor as which side of the street the property is on.
Prospective buyers will always compare your property against competing properties. Buyers will perceive value based upon properties that have sold or are available in the area.
Property values are affected by the current real estate market, which is, in turn, affected by many other factors.. Since we cannot manipulate the current real estate market, a flexible marketing plan should be developed which analyzes the current marketing conditions, and the individual features of your property.
The condition of the property affects the price and speed of the sale. As prospective buyers often make purchases based on emotion, first impressions are very important. Optimizing the physical appearance of you home will maximize the buyer's perception of value.
Pricing your home properly from the beginning is an important factor in determining the length of time it will take to sell it.
Reviewing your marketing plan every two weeks will assist you in adjusting the asking price to accommodate the current market conditions.
These properties are currently active on the market and are similar to your home. They are your competition if you decide to list now. Compare these asking prices to the actual selling price of properties which have already sold.
a) Are they realistic?
b) Can you price your property lower and be a stronger competitor?
These properties are currently in escrow. The actual sales price will not be publicly available until after close of escrow. Think of them in the same manner as currently active properties, but remember that they have an accepted offer and that it is probably fairly close to the asking price.
a) Compare these asking prices to the actual selling price of properties in the "Sold" section.
b) Are they realistic?
c) Can you price your property lower and be a stronger competitor?
The following properties have sold within approximately the past six months. They are the closest recent comparables to your property, in location, size and amenities. The prices shown are the actual sales price as recorded in the Multiple Listing Service.
Before deciding on an asking price for your property:
a) Drive, or walk, past the sold properties;
b) Compare the physical condition of your property to those already sold;
c) Compare the neighboring properties to those surrounding your home;
d) Look for both the positive and the negative aspects of your property compared to those already sold.
Marketing your Property
When you are ready to sell, we will devise a marketing plan for your home. We will look at the following potential scheduled activities. Not all are useful in every case. This is just one of the times where your agent gives "added value" by knowing what activities will contribute to the success of your sale, versus those which will add a burden with no benefit.
We will enter your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), order a "For Sale" sign to be placed at the front of the lot, install a lockbox and begin marketing your home. This is when the clock starts ticking on the most important two weeks in the process.
Multiple Listing Service
The MLS is the most effective sales tool. Nearly every agent in the area uses the MLS to find available property for his or her buyers. Agents from many different companies will call to schedule showings for prospective buyers.
The lockbox we will install on your property holds a spare key to your home. Only agents who have a special electronic "key" can open the lockbox. This "key" opens the lockbox and simultaneously records the agent's identification in the lockbox memory. Placing a lockbox on your property makes it easier for an agent to show it. The easier it is to show, the more likely it is to be shown.
New listing flyer
Over the years we have designed a marketing flyer which allows the strong points of your home to show through at their finest. Please don't expect to see long, detailed descriptions of your property. In our experience, most Buyers skim over the flyer, looking for highlights that signify the home will meet their needs. Our flyers are designed to provide maximum photographic input to the Buyer and to stimulate a desire to learn more about your home and schedule a visit to personnally see how it fits their needs.
Flyer stand in house
The flyer inside your home will usually be nearly the same as that outside. Depending upon the neighborhood and the current market conditions, we may vary them slightly.
Yard sign & riders
The "For Sale" sign will tell everyone who drives by that your home is available. Our name and telephone number will be on the sign and we will place flyers describing your home in an information box attached to the sign post. There is no reason for a buyer to knock on your door and we strongly recommend that you not invite absolute strangers into your home. Reputable agents will call in advance and present you with a business card immediately upon meeting you. Anyone else should be referred to us.
The Internet has become an important part of our marketing program. Your home will appear on a large number of real estate related web sites, including our own www.carlandarda.com site. A large, and growing, percentage of potential buyers use the Internet prior to purchasing. This emphasizes the need for quality pictures, organized in an easily accessible manner, and augmented with clear, appealing description of the home and amenities.
Traditional advertising in newspapers and magazines has all but ceased in our area. We continue to consider hard-copy use as part of our over-all marketing campaign. However, we seldom use traditonal advertising venues without extenuating circumstances.
Brokers' Open House
(PV=Tues 12-2pm, RB & Torr=Thurs 12-2pm, HB & MB=Fri 12-2pm)
The Brokers' Open House is an opportunity for all the non-BCB agents working in your area to see your home quickly and conveniently. On the designated day for your geographical area, we will host a 'lunch' from Noon until 2:00pm and invite all the local agents to view your home.
Targeted mailings to the people in your neighborhood is another key component of our marketing. Your neighbors have access to dozens of friends, relatives, and co-workers. They are an invaluable source of referrals, since they probably already have a positive attitude about your area. We've found many neighbors are already actively watching the market for friends or relatives who want to move into the area.
Neighborhood canvassing in the form of walking through your neighborhood and personally telling your neighbors about your property is a powerful tool in our search for a buyer. A positive recommendation from a neighbor is often the deciding factor.
Public open house (Sat/Sun 1PM-4PM)
Public Open Houses are held on most weekends, when prospective buyers are out looking for their new home. We believe strongly in exercising every possible opportunity to display your property to potential buyers. From 1:00pm until approximately 4:00pm on Saturday and/or Sunday we will ask you to leave your home in our hands for a Public Open House.
On Going Activities
There are several things we will be handling as ongoing activities. These are essential elements of the marketing process, but often go unmentioned. At any time, we may be engaged in putting your home in front of a potential Buyer by doing one of the following tasks.
- Buyer showings
- Agent inquiries
- Public inquiries
- Review of marketing results
We review the Marketing Plan after two weeks, comparing it to actual results, and make recommendations for change. If your home is properly priced, properly staged and available for showing, you should have an acceptable offer within two to four weeks, dependent upon the season and market conditions. If your property is still unsold at that point, we will probably recommend a price reduction. The hardest home to sell is one that has "gone stale" after sitting on the market several weeks.
Negotiating The Sale
Negotiation is a critical aspect of our service. You have an offer. Now what? Are the price and terms acceptable to you? If so, accept it and we'll open escrow. If not, we'll work together to determine whether you should write a counter offer or simply reject the offer. Stay calm! Emotional responses give away your position! The last thing you want is for the buyer to know your motivation well enough to "push your buttons." Don't automatically counter the offer just to see if the buyer will give you a better price. Some buyers have a psychological need to go through a "negotiation phase," but some are only interested in the end result and will refuse to barter. Our experience pays off at this point. We know the negotiating process, the other agents involved and the techniques necessary to get the best price. We can advise you as to what is most likely to have importance to the buyer and to you.
We coordinate the escrow while you get ready to move. Once you have an accepted offer, our job shifts to working with the escrow officer, making sure everyone keeps their contractual commitment. The escrow officer is the "neutral stakes holder" who collects all the promised goods and then disburses them to the proper party at the end of the process. Part of our service is to make certain that all the escrow events occur in a timely manner. If you have previous experience from another state, escrow may be entirely foreign to you. Many states require that the purchase be consummated in an attorney's office with all parties present.
Disclosures are among the most important documents of your escrow. There is a formidable list of government mandated "consumer-protection" statements you are required to provide to the buyers. These range from the possible presence of lead-based paint, to the proximity of your home to state defined hazard zones. We will ensure that all required disclosures are provided to the buyers. We will also order the natural hazard reports from a licensed, insured geological engineering firm, and have the fee billed to your escrow account.
The termite inspection and treatment (if necessary) is almost always part of your contractual obligation to the buyer. You will be asked for a professional certification that the property is free of wood-destroying pests. We will schedule a termite inspection for you. If treatment or damage repair is required, we will also schedule that for you and have the cost billed to your escrow account.
The buyers' home inspection. We will work with the buyer's agent to schedule a professional inspection, at the buyers' expense. We will be present to represent you at the inspection. The buyer may, or may not, ask for repairs based on the results of the inspection report. You are obligated to make repairs in accordance with the warranties in your purchase contract. Many sellers authorize us to negotiate some repairs as a "good faith" gesture. If repairs are needed, we will schedule and coordinate with the contractor of your choice, or we can identify appropriate contractors for you.
We also track and review documents such as escrow instructions and amendments, the preliminary title report, city building report, HOA documents, the Grant Deed, the termite reports, and, of course, loan approval for the buyer, on your behalf. Unless there's a problem, or your signature is required, you will often only hear that they have been handled.
Recording & Close of Escrow is the thing we're all looking forward to. That's a two step process where the title company physically takes the paperwork to the County Recorder's office for recording, followed by the Escrow Officer issuing checks to all the involved parties. Unless other arrangements have been made, this is the point where you turn over possession of the property to the new owner. We will make arrangements for delivery of the Closing Statement and your check to you, and delivery of the property keys to the buyer.
Staging your property
Marketing your home is one of our critical tasks. We will, however, need your assistance and cooperation to prepare your home for showing. Unless the plan is to sell your house at "lot value" to a developer/builder, your next step is to remove any clutter, and clean until the house sparkles. As the seller, you need to recognize that most buyers want a "turn-key" home. It's a rare buyer who is willing to clean a carpet, re-paint a room or landscape the yard before (or even after) moving in. More importantly, that rare buyer is expecting steep discounts in exchange for the work.
Your home can be sold more quickly and at a better price by implementing some of the following tips for the best ways to show your home to potential buyers. Put yourself in the place of the buyer and assess your property as though you were looking to buy it. What improvements could be made to enhance its attractiveness? Early in the process, we will introduce you to specialists who can recommend changes, and in most cases are available to help implement those improvements.
- Show it off from the street. A well-kept, neatly landscaped property will help act as "bait" to lure the potential buyer in to see your home. Waste containers should be out of view and the lawn freshly trimmed. Fertilizing a few weeks prior to listing will help your lawn look lush and green. If your yard needs work, now may be the ideal time to convert it to a xeriscape. Given several years of drought, many in Southern California have replaced water-hungry lawns with plants able to survive our arid climate with minimal water and care.
- Woodwork should be free of chipped or cracking paint. Walk around your property looking for surfaces that are deteriorated, or looking dingy. A thorough cleaning may be enough, but if necessary, repaint.
- The entry is important. The front door should be clean or freshly painted. Brass knobs should be polished with brass cleaner. You might consider placing a planter of fresh flowers on your front porch.
- Minor repairs can help tremendously. Repair all loose doorknobs and cupboard hinges, dripping faucets, stained sinks, loose or missing caulking, sticking doors and windows, and damaged or missing window screens.
- Clutter is unattractive. Neatness makes a room look larger. Work-out rooms, sewing rooms, laundry rooms, home offices, basements and attics should be as organized and clutter free as the main living space of your home.
- Lighting does wonders. Drapes, curtains and miniblinds should be open to allow plenty of light in your home. An open, airy feeling generates comfort and welcomes the potential buyer into your home. Turn on all the lights when showing your home at night or on a dark day. Use brighter bulbs if necessary.
- Closet space is a plus! Neat, well-organized closets appear large. Larger closets help sell homes.
- Bathrooms should sparkle. Remove stains from sinks, toilets and bathtubs, including hard-water spots on shower walls and doors. If drains run slowly, unclog them. Hang fresh towels on towel racks.
- The kitchen should be extra clean. It is usually the most closely inspected room in the house. Make it bright and attractive. The emptier it is, the larger it will appear. Avoid dirty dishes in the sink or on counters. Counter top appliances should be kept in cupboards. Clean the ventilating hood over the stove. Replace or repair worn-out flooring.
While the home is being shown.
Most showings will occur during business hours when you are gone. We strongly advise that you not be home during showings. When the seller is present, buyers tend to hurry through the property. You don't want that. You want them to spend time looking, to become comfortable, to imagine themselves living there.
If you must be home when an agent comes to show your property, make yourself 'invisible.' Go for a walk around the block, visit a neighbor, step outside, or go to a remote room. Do your best to allow the potential buyer an opportunity to fall in love with your home.
If even that isn't possible, keep the following in mind:
- Turn off the stereo or television so the buyer and Realtor can talk undisturbed.
- Keep pets out of the way - preferably out of the house.
- Never apologize for the appearance of your home. Let the trained Realtor answer any objections.
- Don't tag along or force conversations with the buyer or agent. If they have questions, they'll ask. If you are asked a question, answer it, then stop talking. Remember this cardinal rule ... "Anything you say or do, can and will be used to the buyers' benefit."
- Refer questions about price, terms and other sales factors to your agent. We are practiced at the art of knowing what to say, what not to say, and when.