Category Archives: homes for sale

Open Homes: The Advantages to YOU

1916CedarSketch

See the property in the sketch? That’s 1916 Cedar Street.  I’ll be holding it open this Sunday from 2:00 to 4:30.

No, it’s not my listing, but that doesn’t make any difference. I have held a lot of homes open in my 23 plus years of real estate, and I know what it takes to represent any property in the East Bay very well.  Of course, the first step is to find out as much as I can about it as I can.  Information like:

  • The neighborhood.  Being a local boy, I know this and other East Bay neighborhoods very well and can discuss what it might be like to live there.
  • The meaning of “Golden Duplex”, of which this is one, and the advantages to the buyer.
  • The current refurbishments and updates of the property
  • The home’s original Craftsman style and charm
  • Etc. Etc.

These, and other information a buyer might need, are the value added to the opportunity of seeing a home for sale first-hand. Many times, the on-line photos don’t tell the whole tale.  Also, a good agent will help you see beneath the staging to the intrinsic value of the home itself.

Open homes are a tool you can use to your benefit when you’re looking to purchase a property. Don’t be afraid to talk to the agent.  Any information you glean will help you increase your knowledge of local real estate and thus your ability to fine-tune your search for properties.

We’re here to help. If you’re already working with an agent, simply mention that to the representative at the open home and ask your questions. They’re happy to answer any you have anyway. That’s the duty they owe their seller. It’s the main reason they’re there.

If you don’t have an agent, talking to the one present is a great way to interview that person to see if you have a connection. Many agent/client bonds begin at open homes.

So come by 1916 Cedar on Sunday and say “Hi”. I’d be happy to discuss local real estate with you!

Call me if you’d like to buy or sell a home in the East Bay. I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook or linkedIn.

If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Costs of Selling in Berkeley: RECO, PSL, and More

cost-to-sell-home

Many home sellers have no idea of the hidden costs of selling a home in the East Bay.  In Berkeley, for example, authorities are empowered with enforcement of the city’s Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (“RECO”) and the Private Sewer Lateral ordinance (“PSL”).  Compliance with both is required by law at point of sale.

Right now, RECO work will have to be completed before a sale can close escrow.  RECO limits the expense it can require for compliance to ¾% of the selling price—for reference, that would be as much as, but no more than $3,000 for a sale at $400,000.  It may be possible to find a contractor who will complete the work and accept payment from escrow at closing, and a buyer who will agree to pay—this is of course dependent on finding a willing buyer, which is easier now since the housing market is so hot in Berkeley,

If a previous (recent) owner of your property obtained a PSL certification—no further action will be needful.  If not, then it’s on you.

A termite inspection will cost around $250; a general home inspection, $4-500.  These are excellent investments, very likely to result in a sale higher by ten times the inspection costs, or more. Professional cleaning and staging will cost $1,000 to $1,500—again, an excellent investment.

Highest-price sales are of homes with comprehensive pre-sale reports and disclosures, professionally cleaned and staged.  Because staging requires that the home be vacant, and you haven’t found a home to move into,  the cost of lodging for you and your family must be factored in.

I can help explain all these costs and organize a strategy for dealing with them.

With a week’s notice I can arrange all of the work to be completed and the property to be market-ready within 2-3 weeks of its becoming vacant.  A full market exposure takes 10-12 days, and (with RECO repairs during escrow) you would be liquid 30 days after you accept an offer.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough that sub-prime preparation and presentation can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in potential sales proceeds.  To be specific: if you simply do not wish to make these investments I believe you can still get multiple competing offers, but only with a low listing price the expectation of a sale for less.

Call me.  I’m standing by and eager to help. 

If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Super Site and discover properties on the market neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Give me a call if you’re thinking of  buying or selling a home, and for all your other real estate needs.  Just phone 510-527-0174 .  I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Weird Wednesday: The Trouble with (some) Contractors

WWChina-Skyscrapers

There’s a cliche when it comes to hiring contractors to work on your home: they will never finish when they say they will.  Maybe if we had prefab units, like they do in this building in China, the estimates would be closer to the mark.

Knowing home  improvements might take longer than you think is important information if you’re improving a home that you’re planning to sell.  (And speaking of which, here’s a link with some pretty creative ideas in that regard.)  Timing is important, and making sure the job is done right is essential.

I had a contractor–hired by the seller– on one of my listings.  He not only took way too long to get the job done, but made some pretty crucial mistakes.

The home was an elegant property in the Berkeley Hills.  There was a termite report that the contractor was supposed to address. Instead, he decided that the work done was unnecessary since he himself didn’t see any termites.

I worked under the assumption that he had done what he was supposed to have done, so was floored when the buyer’s inspection revealed that the work required was unfinished.   The buyer’s backed out of the deal. They decided that, because of this omission, they couldn’t trust the work the contractor had done in other areas of the home either.

Needless to say, he went on my “never hire” list.

I’ve since formed relationships with contractors that I find reliable and honest.  I’m happy to share if you need one.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Open House Hazards

My wife has trained me when it comes to buying clothes.  Her mantra, when I hold something up for her approval, is always:

“Have you tried it on?”

In real estate, Open Homes are equivalent to heading for the changing rooms at your local clothing store.  A buyer has to see if the home fits their lifestyle before they can think of buying it.

Open Homes, however, carry certain risks.  C.A.R. has this terrific graphic designed to help sellers avoid some of the pitfalls.

SafetyFirst

An experienced agent like myself is aware of these risks and will be sure to tell you how to maximize your security so you will have a successful and safe Open House.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be glad you called.

Please check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my online presence. I have two sites I made just for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

Carbon Footprint Savvy? Want HIGH Walk Score East Bay Homes

walk

Walk Scores identify properties that are close to all the amenities and conveniences you’d want for your practical and entertainment needs.  Lately, a lot have shown up on the MLS, and I capture them and put them on my web site as a service to my buyers.

If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods on my What’s Next Homes website.  This site has several pages dedicated to homes in various great East Bay neighborhoods that have walk scores from 80-90 (described as very walk-able), all the way to 90-100 (walker’s paradise).  Most are also close to special Berkeley Area attractions.

How’s that for bringing your enjoyment up and your energy needs down!

MyREAlert, Coldwell Banker’s Home Search engine, is one stop shopping for walk score properties or any that you specify in terms of price, size, and location show up in your email as soon as they appear on the MLS, and everything else you might want to know about the neighborhoods are also included.  Call me at 510-527-0174 and I’ll sign you up!

I’m eager to make buying or selling your East Bay Home a breeze,  AND REMEMBER: I’m never too busy, even during game days, to field your questions regarding Bay Area real estate, or to handle your referals.

If you or your friends or relatives are interested in specific information from a local agent about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area,  give me a call at 510-527-0174.  You’ll be glad you did.

Or check me out on facebook, linkedIn or online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Mobile Devices, Real Estate, and YOU

Having worked in IT in the very early days, before I became a real estate broker, it amazes me to see how much power and capability hand held devices have.  In the olden days, whole rooms were devoted to computer systems that still couldn’t do as much as your average I-Phone.  It boggles the mind.

For example, using my mobile  I got to stay abreast of the first game of the World Series while composing an offer for one of my buyer clients.

My clients, in fact all my buyers,  work their mobile devices to find their dream homes. These terrific tools help them them find homes that match their desires, analyze neighborhoods, evaluate schools, figure out their home mortgages, and generally make their property search simpler and more informed.

MobileFriendly
MyREAlert, Coldwell Banker’s Home Search engine, is one stop shopping for information like that.  Properties that you specify in terms of price, size, and location show up in your email as soon as they appear on the MLS, and everything else you might want to know about the neighborhoods are also included.  Call me at 510-527-0174 and I’ll sign you up!

I’m eager to make buying or selling your East Bay Home a breeze,  AND REMEMBER: I’m never too busy, even during game days, to field your questions regarding Bay Area real estate, or to handle your referals.

If you or your friends or relatives are interested in specific information from a local agent about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area,  give me a call at 510-527-0174.  You’ll be glad you did.

Or check me out on facebook, linkedIn or online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

WARNING! RENT SCAMS IN THE BAY AREA

buyersimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my Blake Street co-listing went on the market, I was surprised by how many people called me asking if it was for rent.  We checked our sites and saw that it was clearly marked as a home for sale, so where were these rental inquiries coming from?

Today a new client called about a property in Oakland. She found it on Trulia, and thought it was for rent.  She said:

“There is an individual trying to rent the house.  I inquired and was told I was approved to rent the house but they needed me to send money to get the keys to view it.  Is the house for rent?”

It’s a good thing she called. I talked to the agent, and was assured the property was for sale.

THIS IS A FRAUD, and not an uncommon one: the thief scans for new listings, then advertises them “for rent,” with viewings subject to some kind of advance payment, then collects your money and disappears.  Or worse.

Always talk to a real estate agent. They can find out for sure if a home is really for rent or the object of a scam.

AND REMEMBER: I’m never too busy to field any of your questions regarding Bay Area real estate, or handle your referals.  If you or your friends or relatives are interested in specific information from a local agent about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area,  give me a call at 510-527-0174.  You’ll be glad you did.

Or check me out on facebook, linkedIn or online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Classic Craftsman in Great Condition OPEN 10/5 from 2 to 4

1540 Blake Street in Berkeley  

MLS #40673688

Built in 1932, this sunny Berkeley Bungalow in front is loaded with charming period details including hardwood floors, custom built-ins in the dining room, and a cozy breakfast nook in the kitchen. Both bath and kitchen have been updated.

The sweet & private rear cottage has its own yard and sunny deck. Rental income from stable, quiet tenant will offset part of the cost of owning these two homes.

This central Berkeley gem shows “Good transit,” “Very walkable” and “Bikers’ paradise!” at the Walk Score web site. It’s near parks, playgrounds, Dwight Way eateries and public transportation.

• Front: 2 bedrooms, 1 baths
• Rear: 1 bedroom, 1 bath
• Detached garage
• Fireplace in living room

OPEN SUNDAY October 5th FROM 2 TO 4:00

front
Blake Street front
living room, dining room, kitchen
living room, dining room, kitchen
living room, dining room, kitchen
kitchen with pantry and built-in breakfast nook
cottage front
cottage deck

For more information about this property call me at
510-527-0174.

For up to the minute information about local real state,  home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley and Bay Area, keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information from a local agent about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out on facebook, linkedIn or online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Home Sellers: Do You Know. . ?

floorplan

  • Exactly where your property lines are?
  • New additions to your property, like fences, should be on record.
  • That exact square footage and floor plans are a boon to buyers
  • Tax records may not accurately reflect your home’s current status

I have a client who wants to sell her fourplex.  I went to look at the property, and sure enough, it looked like a fourplex to me:  one two unit building in the front and another two-unit building in the back.

Mysteriously, on the public record it shows up as two two bedroom homes on a single lot.  Now she has to get that mistake straightened out with the county so it can be legally sold as a fourplex.

There’s a lot of information and misinformation that can show up when you’re selling your home.  A good agent will help you straighten everything out so when your home finally does go on the market there won’t be any ugly surprises.

Here’s a great list of items–courtesy of Coldwell Banker–that most potential home sellers don’t even think about when they’re considering selling their home. 

If you have a home you’d like to sell, you can see that there are a lot of buyers out there that want your East Bay property.  Give me a call at 510-527-0174 and let’s talk about the best sales strategy for YOU.

If you’re interested in specific information from a local agent  (me) about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out on facebook, linkedIn or online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

“It’s Not A Seller’s Market Anymore”– True or False?

home sales

Perhaps. . .

According to this article from Redfin SEATTLE – Aug. 29, 2014: 

“Homebuyers who have been willing to wait for better deals will be rewarded for their patience as sellers drop listing prices to meet buyers’ more value-focused expectations.  A slowdown in home price growth and a shift in pricing power from sellers to a more balanced market combined to cause this change in housing activity as the market transitions from summer to the fall buying season.

For the first time in five months, price growth was flat in July across all 35 markets {SFBA is mentioned} included in the report. That shift has been nearly nine months in the making from when sales began to first decline last November. As a result of this shift, the number of homes that sold above list price in July is down nearly 7 percent to 20.1 percent from 26.8 percent a year ago, the biggest drop of the year. ”

In the San Francisco Bay Area the drop was 18 percent, so the local market is similarly effected. The article continues:

“The selling season started late this year as part of a first quarter slowdown in the overall pace of economic growth. The carryover homebuyer demand and supply from earlier this year set the stage for a surge in sales over the next two months that will be stronger than any other in the past five years.”

front

cottage front
cottage front

For up to the minute information about local real state, including my new listing on 1540 Blake Street in Berkeley (pictured above: two homes on one lot),  home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley and Bay Area, give me a call and/or keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information from a local agent about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out on facebook, linkedIn or online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley