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Chico CA Real Estate

Chico Homes

Sandi Bauman
Chico Realtor

2571 California Park Drive Suite 200 Chico, CA 95928
cell: 530-864-5407
email: sandibauman@sbcglobal.net

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My Opinion on Things

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My Opinion on Things

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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For your sake, as a buyer, PLEASE make sure you have an REO competent Realtor!!

Please. I’m begging. If you are a buyer looking to purchase a foreclosure property, do your best to ensure that you’ve hired a Realtor well-versed in REO transactions. I can not stress this enough!

I just stopped in the middle of submitting an offer on an REO property in Paradise, CA to write this. It is so frustrating to me when I see offers come in from well-qualified, strong buyers who have unfortunately chosen the wrong Realtor for the job.  The Realtor may very well be an excellent choice on a normal, retail purchase transaction. However, REO is a niche market, and not all Realtors take the time and effort to learn the nuances, and therefore effectively represent their client. I have seen Realtors make the same mistakes repeatedly, despite my efforts to provide them with the exact information they will need to ensure the success of their clients. It’s mind boggling!

I would suggest specifically asking your prospective Realtor about the number of REO transactions they have closed.  Hopefully they will answer truthfully.  Another good question would be regarding the percentage of accepted offers versus the number of offers they have written. While we are all new to REO at some point, the key is to find a Realtor that has the willingness and inherent ability to learn the necessary differences between an REO transaction and a retail transaction.

If, as a buyer, you are coming to the table with a strong desire to purchase the property, and you’ve got your cash in hand or a prequalification letter in place, you don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by hiring the wrong Realtor!

Invest the time. Know your Realtor. Does he KNOW REO?

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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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When Business Gets in the Way of Blogging

 

Business, for me, sometimes gets so crazy I feel that I’m barely keeping my head above water.

Every couple of months, it just seems to hit all at once! I find myself working 12-15 hour days just to stay on top of the details.

As much as I’ve disliked not attending to my blog regularly the past couple of weeks, I’ve had several critical transactions in front of me that necessitated my full attention. 24 hours a day doesn’t seem quite enough, let alone leave time to do any blogging!

I’ve worried a great deal about what my peers and readers must be thinking when I disappear from the blogosphere.

It’s occurred to me that I might appear to be inconsistent, undisciplined, or untrustworthy. I can’t tell you how much the idea bothers me, or how far from the truth it actually is! Unfortunately, I am not superhuman, and something has to give. In this case, it is posting to my blog.

I have made the business decision to NOT delegate critical tasks to a team member, and above all, quality customer service is imperative.

When seriously stretched for time, I choose to focus my efforts on clients that need my immediate attention.

The good news is this: when YOU are ready to move forward, you can rest assured that my attention will be on YOUR transaction- not on procuring new Chico buyers and sellers, blogging, social networking, or anything else that takes time away from your file.

After all, YOUR deal is the most important of them all, is it not?

Thank you for your patience!  Though I might take a break now and then, I will always be working to bring helpful posts to The Pink Couch.  Some days are just harder than others!!

 

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A Day in the Life of a Chico Realtor

Chico CA Real Estate agent“…

There are days, like today, when I feel I have the greatest job in the whole wide world. Other days I seriously have to wonder, but today was a good day, so we’ll keep our focus there. I truly enjoy the work I do when I have the opportunity to connect with people and make a real difference.

Living in Chico CA.  Sunset
Read the rest of this entry »

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Chico CA Realtor: Do You Want Yours Black and White or Sugar Coated?

Sugar coated gum drops
I recently had a client tell me that I was a “black and white” Chico CA Realtor.
“Of course I am!” was my first thought.
“Why would you want me to be any other way?” was my second thought.

I wouldn’t want my lawyer, or accountant or doctor to sugar-coat the truth for me. Why would a buyer or seller not want their Realtor to be straight up? We had a very interesting, light-hearted debate over lunch as to the virtues of “telling it like it is” versus “sugar-coating” (my term, not his). Given the excellent company, great Mexican food and a couple of Coronas, the discussion was enjoyable and thought-provoking, to say the least.

In my opinion, the contracts that we utilize to transfer Chico CA Real Estate ARE pretty “black and white.” An entire team of lawyers worked together to ensure they were as accurate and airtight as possible. They constantly review and adjust them. I believe it is in my client’s best interest to respect the contract and the authority it has, rather than test the system and jeopardize the possibility of realizing his real estate goals. Not to mention the issue of opening himself up to other possible negative consequences (IE: loss of deposit, delay in obtaining a property, loss of prime interest rate, etc.)

For instance: if the contract specifies that the good faith deposit is to be deposited into escrow within 3 days, I recommend that the client deposits it within 3 days. Period. There is no wiggle room. The buyer has defaulted if he chooses NOT to deposit within 3 days, and the seller can cancel the contract should he wish to do so. To me, this is very black and white, and I will explain it as such. You either follow the rules, Mr. Buyer, or risk losing the house to a buyer who does.

As a Chico CA Realtor representing a client, I will call it as I see it, because it’s my job to protect my client’s interests. Oftentimes, I find the client simply does not understand the contract or the possible repercussions of not following it, and therefore behaves in such a way that he risks the very goals towards which he is striving. I simply don’t have it in me to sugarcoat the negative possibilities. For most people, a real estate purchase is one of the largest and most important of their lives. I feel they deserve to understand the full scope of the situation.

I of course respect my clients opinion, and ultimately their course of action, even if the client makes decisions contrary to what I am suggesting.

My only concern is that they are properly informed prior to doing so.

My valued client’s take on it was that a Chico Realtor should only offer feedback with a soft touch, even if it means watching the client shoot himself in the foot. My problem with “sugarcoating” is that I think it’s a mistake to not give a client all of the facts with which they can weigh their decision.

Realtors that will tell their clients what they want to hear in order to secure their business are unfortunately a dime a dozen. The sad thing is, the client is done a disservice when they aren’t told the entire truth, and they aren’t being properly represented.
Looking forward to more posts like this?

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

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What Am I Thankful For…

by guest writer Mike Wiegert, broker, Chico Homes


At this time of holiday cheer and good will towards men, I really feel the need to express my gratitude and thanks for the many blessings in my life.

First there is the love of a healthy family and friends. Next, I’m grateful for my own personal health and well being. I’m thankful that none of my sons are involved in an unnecessary war in a desperate land thousand of miles from home. I’m grateful that I live in a community like Chico, CA where a day never goes by without a hearty greeting from someone I’ve haven’t seen for a while. And I can’t forget to mention how thankful I am to be a Realtor in these times of prosperity and exceptional market conditions.

WHAT? WHOA! STOP! HALT! SCREECH!

What did that idiot just say? Is that the same market that we’ve heard about with desperate sales situations and real estate salespeople jumping off bridges or scurrying to find other skilled occupations. (Would you like fries with that?) Yes, that’s the market I’m talking about.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

We’ve all read horror stories sensationalized by our newspapers nationwide about the failing real estate market. We heard about how the bottom is falling out, and how families have lost tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity in their homes. We know about foreclosures and short sales being on the rise.

Did you see, however, an article that stated that by Thanksgiving week, members of the Chico Multiple Listing Service had sold and closed $825,000,000 in real estate since January ONE?

That’s EIGHT HUNDRED AND A QUARTER MILLION, PEOPLE!

Gosh, that really sounds terrible to me. Did you also read that the highest sales volume in Chico MLS history was the record year of 2005 at a whopping $1,250,000,000? At the current rate, Chico CA Realtors are projected to sell $927,000,000 in Chico CA real estate or about 74 percent of the volume of sales of that highest, greatest real estate sales year of all time! Year 2007 is shaping up to be the third largest volume of sales in Chico Multiple Listing Service history.

I’m thankful that mortgage rates are staying at historical lows, often in the high fives to low sixes. At risk of sounding like your Grandpa, I remember selling (or trying to sell) real estate in Chico, CA in the eighties when interest rates were in the 18 to 20
percent range. The point is that interest rates are incredibly low, and it’s a fantastic time to buy. If you read my article last week about short sales, it was a shout out to all the buyers out there. We’re talkin’ OPPORTUNITIES, PEOPLE!

I’ll leave you with this thought: you can read all the sensational negative news available, but remember that our local market is strong, and it’s a great time to be involved.

Have you every heard anyone say, “I wish I hadn’t bought so much Chico CA real estate in my lifetime.” I didn’t think so. How about, “I wish I had bought MORE real estate!”

I rest my case.

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

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Short escrow? Get your ducks in a row BEFORE you make an offer.

There is no disputing the fact that Chico, CA is currently in what is commonly known as a “Buyer’s Market.”

That is FABULOUS news for all the buyers out there who have patiently been waiting for this day. The inventory is high, the prices have dropped, and the interest rates are still phenomenal!

Now is the time to get a great deal! fall leaf floating on Cal Park Lake, Chico CA

A “Buyer’s Market” is a wonderful thing. A Chico, CA home that might have cost $400,000 in 2005 may only set you back $350,000 today. On average, prices seem to have corrected between 10 and 15 percent for residential properties.

I have noticed a growing trend with buyers. In an effort to get the absolute lowest price on a property, they attempt to entice the sellers with a very short escrow period. For some sellers, a quick sale in this market is a dream come true! They need out from under that house payment, and will gladly accept less than asking price just to be DONE.

However, when representing a seller, I have had to caution against signing the first contract we see, simply because the buyer promises to make it the pain go away with a 10 day escrow. The offer to close in 10 days is an empty one if the buyer has not done his homework.

The following items must be taken into consideration to close an escrow quickly:

  • Is the buyer preapproved?
  • Is the lender local and knowledgeable about our issues and resources?
  • Is the lender willing to commit to closing on time?
  • What kind of loan product is the buyer applying for? A VA loan, for instance, is highly unlikely to close in less than 30 days.
  • What inspections does the buyer request? Well potability tests may require 14 days or more to obtain results.
  • Can we get the appraisal completed immediately?
  • Will repairs be required by the lender to fund the loan? If so, is there a contractor available to bid, complete, and final the work within a days notice?

An escrow that closes quickly can be a wonderful solution for both the buyer and the seller, but it doesn’t happen without forethought, preparation, and a willingness for all parties to be focused on immediate results.

If you are a buyer, hoping to get the best deal of the year by offering to close quickly, get your ducks in a row BEFORE you make an offer. No seller in their right mind will accept your offer if you aren’t prepared to close the deal.

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Shopping for Chico foreclosure property? Give me a call- I’m currently working with several REO departments on bank-owned Chico property. Sandi Bauman 530-864-5407

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

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Lenders beware: How to lose a Chico, CA Realtor (and therefore buyer) in 3 days.

I would say, as far as Chico CA Realtors go, I’m fairly easy to get along with. I typically play nice with my peers. My end of the work is done in a thorough manner, and on time. If, as a lender, you do your job well and respect my clients, I will happily recommend you to future Chico, CA buyers.

That is, I’m easy to work with UNTIL you tick me off.

If I feel that an unethical action (or lack of an ethical one) on your part has jeopardized my clients in some way, then be prepared to make it right. On the client’s behalf, I will hold you as accountable as I can. You probably won’t like it much…. just so you know. Once we get them taken care of, I won’t be bringing you any new business.

How to lose a buyer in 3 days (or less!)

1. Ignore phone calls and emails.

2. Intentionally leave off or reduce known fees on the good faith estimate.

3. Quote them one rate when you are fully aware that they won’t qualify.

4. Assure me that you can close the loan on time when you won’t be doing so.

5. Tell us that the buyers are prequalified for a specific loan, when in fact, you haven’t done the work.

6. Assure me that you have everything you need to close when you HAVE NOT received all documentation.

7. Bait and switch my buyers at the closing table. That interest rate better be pretty darn close to the quoted one!

8. Abandon us at the closing table. You should be there to explain any and all concerns the buyer has regarding his loan papers.

9. Be incapable of admitting that you don’t know, or have made an error. I’m not perfect, and don’t expect anyone else to be. If you make an error… just say so! Don’t run us around and waste more time.

Whew!!  (I’m glad I got that off my chest).

It frustrates me to no end when a lender does not represent his or her clients with an ounce of honesty, fair dealing, common courtesy or professionalism. That client is supposed to be the one we are both protecting!!

Lenders: If you’re looking to lose a client, a Realtor, and any potential for future business, any of the above actions should get you there in no time at all.

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Buyers: If you need assistance locating a competent, Chico, CA lender to assist you in your home buying experience, feel free to call me for a recommendation! I can be reached at 530–864–5407. It’s wise to choose carefully, in order to avoid the nightmares, and save time later!

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

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Sandi Bauman (Chico Homes): Real Estate Agent in Chico, Butte County, California
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