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How to House Shop and Still Have a Life

How to House Shop and Still Have a Life

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03/18/2014

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Make the most of your home investment
ESTATE
Starting Over: The Stager Stages Her Own Home
BY CHARLES SCUTT
Content That Works
S

hopping for the right home can be an
exciting experience. But the cold, hard
truth is that your house hunt is a race

against the clock.

Perhaps your rental lease is soon to expire
or you want to move the kids into a new
home before the start of the next school
year.You\u2019re probably eager to sign on the dot-
ted line before interest rates creep up any
higher.And you can\u2019t help but look over your
shoulder and worry about the other persist-
ent shoppers ready to do bidding battle with
you for the same dream home. In this game,

you\u2019ve got to move fast.

That\u2019s why managing your time is impor-
tant. But you don\u2019t want to rush the process,
either.The solution is to get organized and to
trust in the expertise of a professional.

Real estate agents and brokers can make
the house hunting experience more efficient
by providing professional and accurate infor-
mation about the areas buyers want to
search, says David Barca, senior broker for
ZipRealty Inc., Emeryville, Calif.

\u201cAgents can help narrow searches,\u201d Barca
says. On home visits,\u201cThey can highlight
details that buyers might otherwise overlook,
and provide third party feedback on any con-
cerns or issues.\u201d

Be clear and pointed about your goals
with your agent.\u201cThe more the buyer com-

municates what is important to them, the
more efficient their agent can be, not wasting
the buyer\u2019s time showing them properties
that don\u2019t meet their \u2018must have\u2019 criteria,\u201d
Marguleas says.

Agents with good computer skills and
access to comprehensive Web sites can make
the home shopping experience easier and
faster for buyers, notes Anthony Marguleas,
owner/broker of A.M. Realty in Pacific
Palisades, Los Angeles.Via the Internet, agents
can screen properties, e-mail photos and
details and send buyers virtual tours, maps,
details of schools and more.

In Marguleas\u2019 office, for example,\u201cWe set
up a dedicated Web site for clients to view
any properties relevant to their search and e-

HERE IS A MAKEOVERstory from

my own life. In December of
2002, the 350-year-old California
white oak in our back yard came
crashing through the roof. It
destroyed our home and nearly
took our lives.We were unhurt,
but our home was a wreck.The

rain that poured through the
openings in the roof damaged
much of our furniture.We had to
move out and soon began plans
to rebuild our home.

We found a beautiful, brand

new house close by to rent.The
owner told us that he planned to
sell it within a year or so, and
was delighted to find out I was a
professional stager. He asked me
to stage the house with my furni-

ture when it was time to sell.

We moved in with a few sal-
vaged odds and ends, but no
major furnishings.The challenge
was to find new furniture that
could be delivered quickly,
which would fit in the rental and
later into our reconstructed

MAKEOVERSby Kit Davey
AD / SPONSORSHIP
AD / SPONSORSHIP
REAL
YOURNEWSPAPER.COM/HOMES
How to House Shop and Still Have a Life
Real estate agents and brokers can make the house hunting experience more efficient by providing professional and accurate information.
andA
WITH PETER G. MILLER
Q

They Say I Owe, I Say No. How
Do I Clear Up My Mortgage
Tiff?

Q:My mortgage was paid in full

in December of 2003, yet the mort-
gage company says I still owe
money and credit-reporting bureaus
show the loan as unpaid. What can I
do?

A:By any chance, are there fees or penalties still
outstanding?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) you have
a right to challenge credit report items that you feel are
factually inaccurate. Send a letter by certified mail with
a return receipt requested, with copies of documents
(not the originals) supporting your claim, to each of
the major credit reporting agencies. In most cases cred-
it bureaus then have 30 days to respond.

Also, under the Real Estate Settlement and
Procedures Act you have a right to send a \u201cqualified
written request\u201d to your lender if you believe there is a
problem with your loan.The lender must acknowledge
your letter within 20 days after receipt.Within 60 days
the lender must either correct the account or deter-
mine that it\u2019s accurate.Again, provide copies of docu-
ments to support your claim and send everything by
registered mail with a return receipt requested. Speak
with an attorney for further information.

Q: I have a Web site to sell my own land. Can I
list someone else\u2019s land on my Web site for sale
without being a real estate broker?
A:In general terms and with some exceptions, you

need a broker\u2019s license to represent another for a fee
in the sale, purchase, rent, exchange or management of
real estate.

A publication issued primarily for the purpose of list-
ing or selling real estate also may require a brokerage
license. However, such rules have been challenged as
abridgements of the First Amendment.As an example,
in forsalebyowner.com v. Zinneman, California\u2019s law
prohibiting the right of unlicensed Web sites to adver-
tise real estate was struck down last November.

Given that limitations on Web site advertising may
still exist in other jurisdictions, it would be prudent to
contact your regulators to determine their view in light
of the recent California decision.An attorney can pro-
vide detailed advice.

Q:We have a rental property that produces
$1,000 a month free and clear. We now want to
sell but must exchange for tax reasons. Does it
Ask our broker
Comstock
\u2018Get Your Ducks in a Row\u2019:
\u00a9 2005 Content That Works \u2013 All Rights Reserved \u2022 contact us at 866-6CONTENT or CONTENTTHATWORKS.com for licensing information.

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