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Chico CA Real Estate

Chico Homes

Sandi Bauman
CA DRE# 01932995 | Lic# 01460929
Chico Realtor

2571 California Park Drive Suite 200 Chico, CA 95928
cell: 530-864-5407
email: [email protected]

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Chico Sellers

6 Tax Facts Chico Home Sellers Should Know


Ready to sell? Call the Top Chico Listing Agent for guidance. In 2011, Sandi Bauman and her Team sold more than 170 properties. The average Chico Realtor sells 10. It would be our pleasure and privilege to discuss your unique property. Call 530-864-5407 or email [email protected]

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Short Sale vs. Foreclosure. Which Is Best For Me?

When your mortgage payments are no longer affordable, you have several options to consider. For homeowners in this situation, two of the most common courses of action are short sale or foreclosure. But what is the difference between short sales and foreclosures – and which is the better option for most homeowners? Read on to learn more about short sale vs. foreclosure.

What is the Difference Between a Short Sale and a Foreclosure in California?

Short Sale: In a short sale, a lender agrees to accept less than payment in full to allow the homeowner to sell the property. Lenders are willing to allow a short sale when they conclude that accepting a short pay will result in a higher payoff for them compared to foreclosing on the property.
To qualify for a short sale, lenders generally require the property owner to have a hardship. The lender requires a hardship letter from the homeowner explaining the hardship and outlining why he/she wants to sell the home. Hardships do not always have to be of a financial nature. Short sales do negatively impact a homeowner’s credit but not generally as severely as a foreclosure.

Foreclosure: In a foreclosure, the homeowner has stopped paying the mortgage and the lender takes over the home to recover their principal investment. Foreclosure is usually not a favorable option for the lender or the homeowner, as it results in a black mark on the homeowner’s credit rating that will last for years. Before beginning the foreclosure process, lenders in California must contact the homeowner to explore alternatives before foreclosing on the home. After this process is completed, the lender is allowed to file a “Notice of Default” which starts the foreclosure process. After 90 days have passed, the lender must perform some legal procedures, and may then file a “Notice of Trustee’s Sale,” which alerts the homeowner to the auction date of the home. This document is served to the homeowner and a copy is posted on the property itself. This process generally takes 21 days, but delays often occur due to possible short sales or the filing of bankruptcy and/or lawsuits.

Which is the Best Option – Short Sale or Foreclosure?
Foreclosure is almost always considered the last resort for the homeowner because it is so damaging to one’s credit score. An experienced short sale negotiation team, like the Sandi Bauman Team at Chico Homes, can help you short sell your home, while trying to reduce the credit impact the homeowner will experience. If you’re considering a short sale, you should keep in mind that most real estate agents do not have the knowledge or resources to successfully complete a short sale. And if they do, they may not address critical issues during the process. Make sure you do your homework prior to listing your home for sale as a short sale!

Need help with your Chico Short Sale?

Let’s explore your distressed property options in Chico.  We also handle  most of Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties! For a confidential consultation with The Sandi Bauman Team short sale negotiators, call 530-864-5407 or email [email protected]

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Most Common Pricing Mistakes, Chico CA Real Estate


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Top Ten Legal Mistakes Chico Home Sellers Make

Getting ready to list?

Allow The Sandi Bauman Team! at Chico Homes help you to avoid these critical mistakes.

Top Ten Legal Mistakes Chico Home Sellers Make

Sandi Bauman

Chico Homes and The Sandi Bauman Team!

Broker/Owner/REO Director


cell: 530-864-5407 fax: 530-899-7425

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Nearly Half of Listings in California Receive Multiple Offers. Consider Selling Your Chico Property!

It’s a state wide statistic. Nearly half of all listings in California are now receiving multiple offers. If you’ve been waiting for the Chico market to rebound, this may be a good time for you to list and sell your Chico Home.

My office represents a lot of buyers. Our agents and our buyers are definitely feeling the pressure of the competitive market. Buyers in lower price ranges, especially, are really struggling to get into a new home. We write the best, cleanest offer we possibly can for them, at the very top of their price range, only to get beaten out by an investor, or another buyer with a little more cash. It is quite disheartening for the buyer and agent alike. There quite simply is not enough inventory to satisfy the need, especially the the $225,000 or less price bracket.

What does this mean for you, Mr. or Mrs. Chico Seller? It means, that if you price your property at or very near market value, you’re going to sell it. FAST. If you’ve been hoping the last 5 years or so to see the end of the dropping market, your time to sell might have finally come.

Don’t hesitate to Sandi Bauman (530-864-5407) for a free listing consultation. When you’re ready to list, it’s important to choose a Broker with a strong reputation for production, ethics, and current market knowledge. Sandi Bauman and her Team sell within the top 1% of agents in the Butte County market area!

Time to sell your Chico property!

Time to sell your Chico property!

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Who says homes never sell during the holidays?

This home in Chico, CA only had 27 days on the market, from list to close. 

 Thanks to a well-coordinated effort, both buyer and seller accomplished their goals. 

The key ingredients to a successful transaction?

1.  Seller lists property at or near market value in a declining market.

2.  Buyer comes to the table prepared with a current prequalification letter.

3.  Both Buying and Selling agents swiftly address concerns in the negotiation stage.

4.  The lender is expedient and professional.  (Special thanks to Corina Lemmus, Bank of America)

5.  Realtors, lender, and title company work in concert to meet the needs of their clients.

chico ca real estate sells during holidays

Chico CA real estate does sell during the holidays!

 Some happy new homeowners were just handed keys only 2 days before Christmas! 

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Sellers: Please LEAVE So That I Can Sell Your House!


Despite the fact that most sellers have undoubtedly been counseled by their Realtors to leave during showings, a large number of sellers choose to remain.


After a recent, painful, house-viewing excursion with some home buyers on a search for Chico CA real estate, I feel the need to approach the situation head-on.

You seem, Mr. and Mrs. Home Seller, to not comprehend how detrimental your very presence is to the sale of your property. If you fully understood the repercussions, I am certain that you would work with the Realtors, not against them.

For most home buyers, your being in the house makes for an uncomfortable showing. It’s hard for a buyer to freely explore a property and excitedly converse with family members when you are hanging on their every word and following their every move. Buyers may not feel that they can discuss the negatives of the house, for fear of insulting you. Similarly, they may not want to display too much enthusiasm, because a poker face is an important aspect when negotiating, and they don’t want you to think they LOVE your house. Lastly, they don’t feel they can roam at will to discover all the house has to offer. Many buyers are so conscientious about your overhearing them, they refuse to discuss their thoughts until we have made it safely into the car!

Although you think you’re being helpful by providing us with a running commentary and guided tour, you are shooting yourself in the foot! More often than not, the things you find fascinating and important hold very little interest to the buyer. They don’t want to hear about how your mother’s uncle suggested you put the laundry room near the kitchen, but you, in your infinite wisdom opted to put it near the bedrooms instead. They also don’t want to hear about your special tupperware drawer, your cat’s litter box problem, or your weight issues after switching your thyroid medication. As a seller, you might be saying to yourself, I NEVER get in the way… I only point out the positive factors that will help sell my house! Yeah… ok. I have endured endless “showings” of Chico property performed by well-meaning sellers and it’s a rare situation indeed that a seller doesn’t deter from the task at hand.

Keep in mind that the buyer is trying to picture himself in the house, along with his furniture, his family, and his activities. Professional home stagers will encourage a seller to remove all items such as family photos, excess furniture, and clutter to facilitate the buyer’s bonding with the property. The goal is to remove the distractions so that the buyer can figure out how he can make the space his own. The focus should be the bones of the house, not on YOU! By attending the showing, you defeat the very purpose of “staging” the house for sale, and many buyers will resent the disruption.

Real life examples!

1. I recently accompanied a buyer on a showing in which the seller was the tour guide. The woman was bright, bubbly, and extraordinarily full of personality– a true pleasure to meet. We got to hear all about her children, her cooking abilities, her extended family, the history of the building of the house, and her hobbies. When we finally made it back to the car, both the buyer and myself were at a complete loss as to the details of the house. Did it have granite? Where was the 3rd bathroom? Did we actually see the bonus room?? We had no idea, but we could tell you how many kids she had, and what her husband did for a living.

2. A home was advertised as being a 4 bedroom, 3 bath property. After nearly an hour listening to the seller expound on the virtues of the home, we were finally shown the “4th bedroom” which was actually a room so small that you couldn’t fit a twin size bed in there. Considering the buyer had a very strict need for 4 functional bedrooms, the house wasn’t appropriate. Instead of discovering the flaw within the first 2 minutes, we were forced to endure an hour of meaningless banter. The buyer was so infuriated that she refused to even consider the minor remodel possibilities of the home which would have rendered the house functional for her family.

3. I once showed a house during which time the sellers planted themselves on the porch with cocktails and appetizers. The home was so small they were able to monitor our visit every step of the way. Upon exiting the house, they cleverly (or so they thought) addressed every concern the buyer had mentioned while in the house. The problem was that my buyer was extraordinarily unusual in every sense of the word. He had very eccentric views on relationships, politics, and day to day living. The sellers managed to offend him several times over as they chattered on thinking that they were coming across as charming and informative. Despite the fact that the house was a perfect fit for him, he left the property focused instead on how much he disliked the current owners. Shortsighted, on the buyer’s part, I know. However, having spent an inordinate amount of time with that particular buyer, I had learned to avoid his hot spots and feel strongly that I could have sold him that house had the sellers not unwittingly killed the deal for themselves.

Sellers, please keep in mind that you chose to list your home with a professional Realtor rather than trying to sell the house yourself. You must allow the Realtor to do the job! Try to remember that most of us sell properties full time, to earn a living. We put a great deal of time and effort into learning the art of marketing and negotiating real estate. We want to sell your house!

Most importantly, as the buyer’s agent, we have the advantage of knowing the client’s particular interests, needs, and deficiencies, and can therefore appeal to them more effectively than you can.

If you have important details that the average Realtor or buyer will not recognize upon viewing the property, there are very effective ways to provide the information without being intrusive or distracting.


  • Leave photographs of your home taken throughout the seasons. Is your home breathtaking in the fall or spring? Do you have an amazing garden? SHOW US with pictures.

  • Leave notecards or flyers on pedastals or attached to doorways to explain special features, materials, warranties, or interesting history about the room or area.

  • Work with your listing agent to compile a binder with all sorts of interesting facts, inspections, pictures of floor plans, or anything else that you would like to share. Leave it in a place that invites the visitors to peruse it.


If only, Mr. and Mrs. Seller, you could please LEAVE, we could do a better job of selling your house!

P.S. That doesn’t mean exiting the house as we are trying to enter. I know you’re dying to see what the new buyers look like, and you just want to say “hi”, and you just have a couple of things you want to share with us that are really important, and you just want to offer us iced tea and cookies, and you’re just trying to be welcoming… but please leave BEFORE we get there!!

P.S.S. If you don’t want to give your potential buyers the heebie-jeebies, don’t sit in the car or across the street in your neighbor’s living room watching us with binoculars. You might think you’re being sneaky, but we can see or feel you there, and the overall effect is not a good one!

This particular post sparked quite a reaction from my fellow Real Estate Professionals. SELLERS, if you weren’t already buying my opinion, please peruse the thoughts of over 70 other Realtors by clicking here!


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Chico Buyers and Sellers: Is a Lease Option the Right Option?


by Mike Wiegert

“Mortgage Meltdown” or “current mortgage crisis” are terms we commonly hear these days to describe an astonishing lack of real estate financing options. 100 percent financing, stated income and loans for borrowers with marginal credit, once common two or three years ago are now a thing of the past. In fact, these frivolously used loan programs were largely responsible for the hyperinflation in real estate prices seen during the first five years of the new millennium and the now subsequent alarming rate of foreclosures and short sales. Due to a lack of “easy” financing programs, we’re starting to see some of the creative techniques of home selling once popular in similarly slow real estate markets creeping back into use. One of the most commonly used methods of acquiring real property in times of stringent financing requirements has been the Lease Option Purchase.

A lease option basically means you are leasing or renting a Chico property with an option to buy it at a future date. The future price of the property should be fixed at the time the lease-option is signed.

Usually there is an up-front payment of some amount to purchase the option. The amount can vary. Sometimes the monthly payment is larger than normal and the excess is used to purchase the option. In some cases, the option money can be applied toward the down payment for the later purchase of the home.

The problem with most lease option agreements is that although most buyers using this type of sales agreement actually do intend to purchase or execute the agreement within the stipulated period of time, they rarely end up buying the home. Buyers using the lease option agreement most often do so because they cannot qualify for a home loan. Although they expect their financial issues to change, most of the time they find that they still cannot qualify. The process of qualifying for a mortgage requires a gamut of components, ie., credit, documentable income and savings verification. A would be buyer using the lease option agreement means well, but frequently is unable to resolve adverse credit issues and subsequently is unable to complete the transaction and loses the option money consideration.

BUYER BEWARE: A buyer wishing to enter into a lease option agreement may do so with all good faith. A well written lease option agreement will include a provision whereby upon the onset of the agreement, a Preliminary Title Report is issued by a Chico Title Company disclosing all the known liens, encumbrances and legal claims that may be attached to the property. The best title report in the world isn’t going to reveal that the Seller may be in financial trouble and a foreclosure may be just around the corner. Although the lease option agreement will stipulate that the Seller is to continue to make the monthly payments and taxes and maintain the property insurance, it’s certainly conceivable that a less than honest Seller may elect to accept a buyer’s option money and discontinue paying on the property.

A few months down the road, an unsuspecting buyer may find that the home in Chico is now in foreclosure and after the title reverts to the bank or an auction buyer, they may be faced with an eviction notice.

Of course, the buyer will have legal recourse against the seller but may not have the financial means to proceed against the him. In most cases, the seller will have used the option money deposit to resolve other financial difficulties and not have the resources to remedy a judgement against him. A possible solution to this dilemma, is for the parties to agree to leave the option money in a neutral escrow, until such time that the option is either executed or the lease option agreement is terminated.

Whatever creative proposals are considered, as always, when engaging in a complicated real estate transaction, do so with a trusted real estate professional or attorney who can explain all the ramifications of the sale.

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Which Chico Realtor Should You Hire to Sell Your Home?

by Mike Wiegert

So life takes another turn and now it’s time to get down to the business of selling your Chico home. You’ve been told that you should interview three or more Chico Realtors to determine who is most suitable to accompany you on your journey. Your agent needs to be honest, knowledgeable, experienced, successful and above all, your advocate when dealing with a buyer.

Your deductive reasoning tells you that you want to interview one agent who has worked with someone you trust. Another inner voice tells you to call the largest company in town and get their top producer. Maybe a third option is that nice Mr. X down the street who waves every morning.

Now here come the Chico Realtors with their smiling faces, newly pressed business suits and freshly washed luxury cars. Oh gosh, they all seem so nice!

Realtor number one is impressive. He has really done his homework and presents you with all the competitive sales and listings in your neighborhood.. Although complimentary of your home, he spends the time to make you aware of some of your home’s weak points and areas that you could improve to get a maximum price for your home.

Realtor number two crosses the threshold in a blaze of glory. You are instantly made aware that she has been salesperson of the month for an infinite period of time and that no one knows real estate like she does. Your home will fit nicely into her stable of homes and it really reminds her of the house she just closed down the street. She rushes off to ninety more appointments that day and presses her glossy real estate card with all the discount offers on the back into your now trembling hand.

Softly a knock on the door is heard and upon opening you find Chico Realtor number three (and neighbor) enveloped in a warm and almost ethereal glow. Number three is not holding any competitive sales or listings, no fancy folders with glossy pictures of happy buyers and sellers, nothing at all. Just all smiles and warmth. Number three strongly disagrees with the market analysis of the first two. He knows this neighborhood. He lives here. Your home is better than everybody else’s. He can get you a lot more than the others. So now you are really excited! Realtor number three is soooooo nice, and he’s going to get you a lot more for your home, right?


Unfortunately, many sellers often choose the Chico Realtor or listing agent who suggests the highest list price, which is the worst mistake a seller can make.

In a market such as ours, the only opinion of value that matters is the buyer who makes an offer. Todays buyers know the market. They’ve researched the neighborhood and know what has sold and what hasn’t. Money is tight and they’re not about to part with theirs capriciously. They also know that if you don’t take their offer, some other motivated Seller will. Pricing a home is not an exact science but with proper knowledge of recent sales and competitive inventory these educated findings will put you close to the actual market value.

But now you’re caught in the trap. Number three has convinced you that he is the best Realtor for the job. What has just happened is called “he bought your listing”. Your agent makes a practice of preying on a common weakness, you love your home. You really believe that it IS superior to most homes in the neighborhood. I wish it was, but it isn’t. Your friendly Realtor will be calling you in the next 15-30 days complaining about poor market conditions and rising interest rates. He will beg you to lower the price.

Unfortunately, you will find yourself spending a lot more than the average market time to sell your “shopworn” home. More often than not you’ll get significantly less than the price you would have if you had priced it right the first time. Do you drive all over town looking for the highest priced meats and vegetables of the same quality? Real estate is not a whole lot different and the prudent Seller accepts this fact.

Next week, we’ll spend a few more “moments” looking at common mistakes Sellers can make.

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How NOT to Pick a Real Estate Agent!

Hiring the right real estate agent in Chico can mean the difference between a successful transaction and a potential financial and emotional disaster.

For most people, finding the right real estate agent is a difficult process. Successful Realtors and mortgage brokers alike witness the frustration and despair of buyers and sellers that are poorly represented. Honestly, it’s painful to watch. Save yourself the nightmare! Read on.

I ran across an article written by Rob K. Blake over at The Mortgage Insider Blog who sounded an awful lot like me! His article explained how NOT to hire a realtor, while mine specified how TO hire a Realtor!

Rob: Real Estate Help – How NOT to Pick a Real Estate Agent

Sandi: How to Hire a Chico, CA Realtor and Make More Money!

Rob says “Don’t be lazy. Do your own research. A significant chunk of finding good real estate help is getting educated yourself.”

Rob and I agree that your family, friends, and neighbors may not be your best choices when hiring a Realtor. Don’t feel obligated to entrust the largest investment of your life to Aunt Ethel, Cousin Clyde or neighbor Nate, just because you “know” a Realtor.

Rob made a very astute observation when interpreting information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If the average Chico real estate agent earns about $35,000 per year, they are only completing about 5 transactions!


Rob says, “Five closed deals per year hardly makes one a “pro.” In my mind, it makes them a rookie and at that pace, they’d stay a rookie for over 20 years. Hire the most experienced professional you can lay your hands on! The best way to determine experience is by the number of transactions an agent is handling monthly or yearly. The agent’s production is going to give you the best indication of how committed they are and how much real estate help they’ll provide.

I fully agree that experience and competence are highly critical attributes to consider when searching for a Realtor. However, I would also urge you to consider that not ALL top producers will be a good fit for each consumer. Some are ethical, nice people… some are not.

Depending on what you’re looking for in a Realtor, it’s important that you also connect with your real estate agent of choice on a personal level.

Shake their hand, look them in the eye, listen to them talk, and READ their blog! You can gain a lot of perspective about how your Realtor will work to protect YOU by investing just a few valuable minutes getting to know them.

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Looking to buy or sell Chico CA Real Estate? Need a Top Producing Chico Realtor? Call Sandi Bauman 530-864-5407 or email [email protected] Specializing in REO, residential, relocation, investment & ag property.

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