Home prices have continually rose over the last 7 years and this is how the majority of South Bay Homeowners built their wealth by buying South Bay Real Estate at the bottom of the market! One thing to consider when it comes to South Bay Real Estate appreciation affecting your return on investment (ROI) is the fact that appreciation combined with leverage offers huge returns! If you buy a property for $50,000. and it appreciates to $550,000, your property has made you a 10% return However, you likely did not pay all cash for your property and instead you effectively used 90% of the bank's money... If you consider that your 10% down payment ($50,000.) actually has doubled your original investment, which is effectively a 100% return on your investment.
With mortgage interest rates still under 4.6% and down payments available under 15%, South Bay Real Estate is one of the easiest assets to leverage. The South Bay has higher demand than other parts of Los Angeles and people want to live here and raise their children at award winning public schools districts such as Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes and Torrance Unified School Districts to name a few.
When you decide to buy or sell a home, you are entering into one of the biggest financial decisions most people ever engage in. A lot of money will be involved and you understandably want to get the best experience you possibly can. This is why you need an exceptional Real Estate Team working for you. You need an advocate who will ensure you get what you need – whether you are buying or selling. Not all Realtors are created equal, though, so it is important to know how to screen them if you want to improve your experience.
We’re Bindu and Sam Xavier, local Realtors with RE/MAX Estate Properties and we would like to share our expertise on why it is so important to make the right agent or real estate team selection.
Why You Need a Realtor
Let’s answer this question first, because without knowing why you need a Realtor you may hesitate to do the work required to choose a good one. A real estate agent is a professional involved in buying and selling houses. It is this professional-level ability that you are paying for. Consider when you need to repair or upgrade your car. Yes, with the right tools you can spend a weekend – or weekend after weekend – doing the work yourself. It may even turn out great. However, it will also take substantially more time than it would be if you took it to a professional.
Buying or selling a home is similar. You can find the tools to do much of the work yourself, but your chances of getting professional-level results – especially in a reasonable time frame – are low. This may be OK when it comes to changing your oil, but when you are dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars – it pays to hire a professional.
10 Questions to Ask When Interviewing Realtors
So you have decided you want to work with a Realtor. You just need to know how to find a good one. Again, like a mechanic, there are some great Realtors out there and there are some not-so-great Realtors. You want a great one. Take the time to interview potential candidates using these ten questions.
1. May I contact some of your references?
Every agent should have a list of references that you can talk to about his or her work. If you are buying, you probably want to talk to other buyers who have worked with the agent. If you are selling, ask for the number of some other clients the agent has sold for. You want to get a good idea of how this person works and how satisfied the clients are. Also, you want to make sure he or she has been working recently. The market changes and you want someone who is successful now.
2. Is the area growing or declining?
If the agent has been working for very long, he or she should have a good handle on how different areas are doing. You might see a heck of a deal in a new house, but the agent might see a cheap house in an area that is only going to decline in value. This is important information you need to make an informed purchase. See how this agent rates different areas of town you are considering. This is the type of question that a good buyers agent should have no problem answering. In fact you want an agent that know the area like the back of his or her hand.
3. How many clients are you currently working for?
There is no perfect answer to this question, but it is important to ask it anyway. You want an agent that is sought after, but not one that is overworked. If the agent has 50 clients he or she is working for that you will probably not get the one-on-one attention you prefer. If the agent only has 5 clients, this may be a part time job for him or her – or the agent is just not well-recommended. Look for a Realtor who has somewhere in between a handful of clients and a number that is probably unreasonable
4. What are your fees?
You might as well get this out of the way at the beginning. First, you want to know what the agent will charge you for selling your home or for finding you your dream home. Most of the time you will find that agents prefer to take a percentage – typically around 5-6 percent depending on your location. This may be something you can negotiate – or not. Also, determine what the stipulations of his or her contract will be. Are you locked into using this agent? If so for how long? What if you are dissatisfied? These are all questions that should be answered to your satisfaction. You may find a buyer on your own by accident or find a dream home without any help from the agent.
5. Can you get me a FREE CMA of the area?
A comparable market analysis (CMA), also known as comps, lets you see what homes have recently sold in your neighborhood as well as those that are currently for sale. This can give you valuable information in either pricing your home or determining what you should be offering on a property. Depending on what side of the fence you are on this is critical information your Realtor should be providing you.
6. Do you work in a team or solo?
This is important because it lets you know how heavy the workload is of the agent, as well as whether you will be communicating directly with him or her. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Find out the agent’s work style to see if he or she is a good fit. If the agent you are interviewing does work in a team find out if you will be working with someone else as well. If so you will want a handle on this agents qualifications as well. The last thing you want is to be handed off to a junior partner who doesn’t have the same skill set as the person you thought you would be working with.
7. How do you market homes?
You want an agent that takes advantage of all marketing avenues. Not only the more traditional ones like the Multiple Listing Service, but also other avenues like some of the top real estate portals like Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia. What is important to understand here is that nearly all Realtors use these vehicles but a much smaller percentage will do what is necessary to make your home stand out in these places. For instance you should be demanding vivid photography, well thought out descriptions of your homes best features and even a video tour. The real estate marketing channels are changing all the time. Make sure the agent is up to date on what works and what doesn’t.
At the moment one of the great things to find out is whether the Realtor is going to be using any social mediachannels like Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter to market your home. Social media is used daily by millions of people. It only makes sense to be in front of some of them!
8. What is really wrong with my home?
You need someone that will tell it to you straight. Get the scoop on what is undesirable about your home and how the Realtor will work with what you have to get you the best price. The last thing you want is a “yes man”. While you might think it is great if you have found a real estate agent who agrees with everything you say that is not the case. You want an agent who is not afraid to put you in your place and answer the tough questions.
9. How will you stay in contact with me?
You want and need to know what is happening with your home. Make sure the agent prioritizes regular communication. Some people like email other prefer the more old fashion method of picking up the phone. Find an agent that will accommodate whatever way you like to communicate.
10. What experience do you have?
You want an agent that has done the work you need done before, and done it well. This is why references are important. Whether you are selling or buying you want an agent who has expertise in that end of the business. Most of the best real estate agents specialize in one or the other. It is very rare for example to find an agent who is representing a lot of sellers who also has the time to go out and show multiple homes during the week. Most agents are not able to juggle too many balls without their service levels suffering.
When you take the time to ask the right questions when interviewing a real estate agent you will have a much more pleasant & profitable experience. Xavier & Xavier are proven, local and experienced Realtors with RE/MAX Estate Properties and we service the entire South Bay Area and Palos Verdes Peninsula! Please lets us know how we can assist you or anyone you know who is looking to buy or sell real estate. Whether it is a first time home purchase or experienced move up buyer or seller, we have you covered with Xavier & Xavier Team's 5 Star Level of Service and backed by the best name in real estate, RE/MAX!
Best of luck with buying or selling your next home!
Bindu and Sam Xavier
Xavier & Xavier Team
RE/MAX Estate Properties
Visit Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamandBinduXavier
Cal DRE #01449986 & 01818247
Part of Xavier & Xavier Weekly Blog Posts “Amazing South Bay Living”
There’s an abundance of places to play in the Redondo Beach real estate region. Parks are scattered about town providing playgrounds, athletic fields, recreation centers, walking paths and much, much more. A devoted city team keeps facilities in tip top shape while advocating for this close-knit community.
Anderson Park consists of just over a dozen acres. Children love to come here and spend time jumping and climbing on the playground. Tennis and basketball courts are usually filled with competitive spirits. Seniors living in Redondo Beach take advantage of a wealth of amenities in the Anderson Senior Center. The center is utilized for social gatherings, wellness checks, art, hobbies and fitness classes.
Get back to nature in Hopkins Wilderness Park. Local wildlife thrives within the forest, streams, pond and meadow interwoven together on this piece of Redondo Beach real estate. The Elm campsite is for day use and friends often share picnic lunches and happy moments. Overnight campgrounds are in the park too. Plenty of residents pitch tents and roast marshmallows over the campfire while telling stories into the night. The Get Smart Water Garden is a favorite place to linger. Flora and fauna planted here are water wise and drought tolerant. Native species intermix with other flowers and plants which attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Learn more about how to recreate this beauty in your own backyard garden here.
Energy is high in Dominguez Park. Home runs are hit and strike threes called on two little league fields. Kids get crazy with laughter on the playgrounds. Families bring their pups to the dog park where separate sections await big and little breeds. Tails are wagging throughout the the three acre dog run. Dominguez Park holds a bit of history too. Historic buildings have been relocated to the land to preserve their treasures. The City Historical Museum is found in the Queen Anne Building providing a glimpse back into the past.
Many additional parks are found throughout the Redondo Beach real estate region. Learn more about their specifics, and spend some time in them today.
Torrance real estate sets sights high. At the Western Museum of Flight, history is alive and the future eagerly sought after. Expertly displayed classic airplanes create inspiration among visitors. Historical exhibits brilliantly tell stories of the past. Special events and classes teach all about the timeline of aviation and what’s coming up in the field.
Patrons take their time exploring the grounds. Aircrafts on exhibit feature several of Northrup’s successes including the Northrop YF-17 Cobra and F-5A Freedom Fighter. This Torrance property also contains one of only three Northrop JB-1 Bats remaining internationally. Dubbed a World War II “Buzz Bomb” the amazing plane is truly an irreplaceable piece of history. Target drones and miscellaneous jets also earn positive responses. An impressive aircraft model collection rounds out the exhibit comprising of over 300 pieces including wind tunnel and plastic scale models.
The future of science and aviation technology depends on the children of tomorrow, and the Western Museum of Flight is determined to fuel a love for avionics in today’s youth. Programs include the impressive KLAS (Kids Love Aviation Science). Held onsite, the program focuses on a mission “to expose the next generation to the educational and inspirational dynamics of flight.” The curriculum was developed to lead Southern California children towards fields in aviation and science. Classes feature STEM principles as well as hands on activities. Students living in the Torrance real estate region get an inside view to actual aircraft materials, cockpit controls, maps and more.
Convenienlty located in the Torrance Airport at 3315 Airport Drive, Red Baron #5, the museum is close to residents living in the greater Los Angeles area and beyond. General admission is only $5.00 making trips affordable for most budgets. Children under 12 are admitted for free. The Western Flight Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stop in for a visit and let the spirit of adventure take hold.
Southern California beaches boast sun, surf and volleyball games. At Volley Camp Hermosa individuals can learn from the experts right on Hermosa Beach property. Professional volleyball players share their skill sets with students from around the world. Classes are great opportunities for athletes of all levels. Whether looking to learn the game or improve on technique this is the place to start.
The Hermosa Beach real estate region proudly wears its title of “Mecca of Beach Volleyball, and Volley Camp Hermosa shares in that pride. Located at 2nd and the Strand, the ambiance on the beach is energetic and enthusiastic. Setting the scene, Volley Camp courts are the first by the bathrooms facing the ocean.
Players of all levels are welcome to partake. Classes are designed for one and all including those first stepping onto the sand or regular gamers. Introductory instruction features basic conditioning and fundamentals including serving, spiking and ball control. More advanced players work on setting and defense mechanisms such as attack vision and decision making. Classes specific to beach volleyball are popular especially fitness and conditioning for the sand: core work, joint health and mobility.
Seven day camps are great for the hardcore volleyballer. Partnering with local hotels, out of towners feel right at home. Individuals choose their own schedule from seven classes on up. Some even get the opportunity to join local tournaments and meet professional volleyball players after observing their amazing practices. Take a sneak peek at the upcoming Hermosa Beach property camp schedule here.
Private lessons are also available and great for fine tuning specific skills. Privates are geared both toward individual players and teams of up to eight if desired. Reservations for Camp Hermosa Volleyball classes and camps can be made online or by calling 234.752.9824.
When you get serious about selling your home, the chances of your selling it quickly for top dollar will improve considerably if you list it with a real estate sales professional. If you doubt this, consider the fact that nine out of ten homes sold today–more in some markets–are listed with a professional real estate agent.
Listing your home places it on the local Multiple Listing Service that is subscribed to by a majority of real estate sales professionals. Through the MLS listing, your home is assured of getting the widest possible exposure to the market place.
Some buyers shop the home market on their own, but most save time and money by using the services of a real estate sales professional. Ask yourself which homes the real estate agent is going to show the prospective buyers homes listed on the MLS or those that are not?
If you still want to try to sell your own home, be aware that you will face stiff competition when it comes to attracting qualified buyers as your home will not be listed for sale and shown on the Local CRMLS. Contact Xavier and Xavier Team Today at 310-866-7598 to Schedule a Listing Conversation!
Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!
You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.
We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.
West Torrance real estate is coveted because of its renowned public school district, coastal breezes, manicured homes, shopping epicenters and close location to the beach communities of Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach in the Greater South Bay Area of Los Angeles.
If you are thinking about buying a home in West Torrance, there is an abundance of recreational and cultural opportunities that await. With so many attractions in the South Bay area, many tourists miss the hidden gem of Torrance and Redondo (RAT) Beach, 1.5 sandy miles offering some of the most scenic escapes of South Bay real estate.
West Torrance real estate is also renowned for its public parks, totaling no less than 40. Perhaps most notably is the 44-acre Wilson Park, where you can experience a bit everything from a gymnasium, a treehouse, barbeque pits, walking course, fish pond, a roller hockey rink, batting cages, a bustling farmers market, softball fields and even a miniature train ride for the kids.
One of the biggest considerations when buying South Bay real estate is the quality of schools, and West Torrance schools get an A+ grade. If you purchase a house in West Torrance, your children will be enrolled in one of the top rated schools in California. It has an impressive history of students moving onto graduate degrees.
If you are in the market to buy a house in West Torrance, you can visit our West Torrance Home Search Link at: West Torrance Homes For Sale
Sam and Bindu Xavier are Full Time Husband and Wife Team with REMAX Estate Properties land we look forward to guiding you on your journey of finding your next West Torrance home! Call or Text 310-866-7598 Today!