With a passion of story telling and a talent for natural charisma, Ivan takes advantage of his knack for having an on camera personality in many avenues. Videos have become such a huge asset to getting information out to the public, so we use it in many avenues including showcasing properties, updating viewers to recent real estate news, speaking engagements, interviews, speaking panels, and more.

Who pays for utilities?

It varies. Finding out what utilities are included is absolutely essential. Ask about water, sewer, gas, garbage pickup, Internet, and cable TV. You’ll also want to find out how heat is provided if you’re responsible for paying for it. In Los Angeles, there a are lot of places that have been converted into living spaces without the proper residential permits—a garage that’s been turned into a one-bedroom, for instance. If you are living in one of those illegal apartments, you should know that you still have the same protections that any other tenant would have. Get information up front before you have committed to a lease.

Do you need a guarantor?

Your landlord will almost definitely do a credit check and will want proof of income from you. In some cases, landlords will decide you can’t qualify on your own and will ask you to get someone to guarantee the loan for you. A guaranteer agrees to be responsible if you don’t pay the bills, which is a big financial risk for whomever signs your guarantee. If you can avoid having a guaranteer, all the better as you won’t have to put a family member or friend in a difficult position of putting their credit on the line for you. A Rent Guarantor is the legal term for an apartment co-signer, or a person that agrees to be legally responsible for the apartment, its condition, and the money owed for rent. Landlords want responsible renters, yet often due to history or a lack of experience, it can be hard to justify that they will be good renters.

How much do you need to move in?

Most landlords require you to pay more than just the first month’s rent when you move in. In fact, you typically need to come up with first and last month’s rent as well as a security deposit. Depending upon the monthly rent you’ll be paying, this can be a significant sum of money. And, landlords may ask for even more, requesting an additional deposit if your credit isn’t great or if the building is in-demand. Deposits may sometimes be negotiable, so if the upfront costs are too high, ask your landlord if there’s flexibility. This also a benefit of using an agent to assist you.


Should I try to avoid being at home when the house is shown?

ABSOLUTELY! You should definitely plan to be out of the house during any showings or open house your sales professional has scheduled. Buyers often feel uncomfortable speaking candidly and asking questions in front of the Seller. You want them to feel as free as possible to picture your house as their “dream home.” Hence, always be gone for showings. Before you leave, get the home in “show form.” Turn on all the lights, open all window shades, turn on some low music in the background, activate any waterfalls, spray some air freshener, and take your pets with you. This is the best way to get your home show-ready before leaving. The home will be light and bright, and ready to go!”

When should I turn off the utilities after selling my house?

Call the utility companies to have them perform a final reading on the day the buyer takes possession. The buyer will need call to have the service transferred to their name. Make sure you have the contact information for all your utilities (phone, Internet, water, sewer, gas, electric, trash, cable or satellite) before you start. Determine shut-off and activation dates. These dates depend on when you’re moving. We recommend having your utilities shut off the day after you move out. This way, you’re not in the dark as you move! Have your account numbers ready. Hang on to your most recent bills or take note of your account numbers so you can easily provide them when calling to schedule the switch. Make sure you pay any balances. While you have the utility company on the phone, ask about any final balances. Make sure to take care of those before your shut-off date. Leaving a balance unpaid could affect your credit rating. Give a forwarding address. Provide each company with your new address in case you have deposits to be returned, or a final bill to pay. Conduct a final meter reading when moving out. Once you’re ready to turn off the lights and leave, check your meters. Make a note (or take a picture with your phone!) of the reading on the meter in case of any disputes.

Should we sell before we buy another home?

Check with a lender first to learn if this is an option. Ask yourself if you are willing and able to carry two mortgages and deal with the stress that comes from physically and financially maintaining two homes. An experienced agent should be able to guide you to a good decision. Selling before buying is the way most people buy a home as the proceeds from the sale of a current home is usually required to buy a new one. Even with the cash on hand for the down payment, it is much harder to qualify for a new mortgage while carrying debt on the existing home. Bridge loans are available specifically for those who are buying and selling a home simultaneously. You get a short-term loan to cover the down payment on your new home before selling your old one. You could also get a home equity loan, or HELOC, but you may not be able to list your house right away.

Living in your Sold Home After Close of Escrow

After the closing, may we stay and rent our old home from the new owner until we are able to move into our new home?

This option can only be explored once you find a buyer. You may discuss your needs with your agent and he/she can determine if the buyer is both willing and able to postpone their own move into the house. To play it safe, the buyer may also charge a refundable deposit, just like any landlord would. Not all buyers will be willing or able to give you a rent-back – remember, they’re moving too and likely have to give their current home notice or have sold the home they were living in. Also, there’s always the chance that damages could occur while the seller is living there. That’s why, if you plan to have a rentback, expect to have a holdback deposit of anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000. Typically, lenders won’t accept anything longer than 60 days.

What Should I Avoid When Selling My Home?

There are certain home selling blunders that some sellers make that can kill a home sale before it even gets going. One of the most important steps to selling a house is determining the right price — the price that will let you sell in a reasonable amount of time, for a profit that you’re comfortable with. Pricing too high can deter buyers. Get the timing right: To avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of your primary residence, you’ll need to have lived in the home for at least two of the last five years. Not doing repairs: Even small defects can turn buyers off. If they walk through your home and find loose doorknobs, leaky faucets or wall dings, they’ll wonder if you’ve been neglecting bigger issues in the home as well. Finally, don’t let your emotions get in the way: To successfully sell your home, it’s important to separate your emotional connection to the home from the details of the transaction. It can be hard to negotiate with buyers when you love your home, but acting like a professional is important.

How Long Will It Take To Sell My Home?

Similar to the question about staging or selling a home empty, the length it takes to sell a home is not concrete. There are many factors that contribute to the amount of time it will take to sell a home. These are some of biggest contributing factors that impact the amount of time it takes from listing date to closing date: Current state of real estate market (seller’s market, buyer’s market, balanced market) Listing price – is it too high? What marketing strategies are used Buyers mortgage approval process And finally: Closing document review process

Should I Stage My Home Or Sell It Empty?

Many home sellers wonder whether selling a home staged or empty makes a difference. There are certainly PROs and CONs to both. In most home selling situations, a home shows better with furniture. Staring at a ceiling, floor and four empty walls make it hard for buyers to visualize their own belongings in the home. If buyers can’t picture themselves living there, they aren’t likely to buy it. Home staging can get expensive, however, If the cost to stage a home is thousands of dollars but the sale price would be thousands higher, it is likely worth staging a home. The answer to this question is not concrete and will depend on each sellers situation. It’s important that sellers ask their real estate agent what they think and why in order to make an educated decision whether to sell their home staged or empty.

What Should I Do To Prepare My Home For The Market?

Home sellers who prepare their homes for the market, in most cases, will sell their home for more money and in a shorter amount of time. There are certain steps that should be followed to make sure a home is market ready. Take care of major defects like broken windows or a leaky roof that could discourage buyers. Curb appeal is crucial to a good first impression, so make sure your home’s lawn is immaculate. Buyers want to envision their belongings in your home. Clean up by renting a storage unit for knickknacks, photos, extra furniture and other personal items. Organize closets and drawers. Messy closets give the appearance that your home doesn’t have enough storage space. Make every surface shine. From ceiling fans to floors and everything in between, clean your home until it sparkles. You might like your lime-green bedroom, but it may sour buyers. Paint your walls a neutral color that will appeal to a wide range of buyers.

What Are The Costs Of Selling My Home?

Another common question from home sellers relates to the costs of selling a home. Many home sellers don’t realize there are costs to sell a home. Since a home sale is one of the biggest transactions someone will be involved in, it’s critical to know what all the costs involved are. Below are some of the most common costs of selling a home. Brokerage fees/real estate commissions. Seller concessions – if seller is offering credits for repairs. Title search Home warranty – a standard inclusion when selling the home is to give the buyer a 1 year home warranty. Transfer taxes – different cities and counties have rules about what taxes there are for transferring ownership. Capital gain taxes Costs of various repairs from inspections. Existing mortgages or home equity loans.


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