Bay Area California Real Estate Blog and News

What makes a good negotiator in real estate?


What makes a good negotiator in real estate?  Everyone knows that real estate transactions require negotiations. So what makes one a good negotiator? As a mother of a six year old, I witness first hand that children are the fiercest negotiators around. They will badger, bully, manipulate and pout relentlessly until they get what they want. But are they good just because they get their way?  I often see adults utilize these tactics. After all, this type of negotiating can be very effective. However, this style can backfire and lead to bigger problems down the road after the transaction closes. Not to mention the adversarial environment causing anger and frustration...

Marin County Home Prices going up. Bay Area and National Real Estate Sales improving too.

Spring is in the air and the Marin real estate market has awakened - with more force than ever before. I have not seen this activity since I started my real estate career in the early 2000s. Two weeks ago, I represented a buyer on a property in Corte Madera. We knew that competition was going to be tough. Yet, I was very surprised to learn there were 23 other offers! This may have been an extreme situation, yet multiple offer situations are increasingly common. As long as inventory remains low it is easy to predict that the prices will continue to surge. For you who are planning to buy this spring/summer, no worries. It is still a great time because prices are still "relatively low" and mortgage rates are still SUPER low! Somehow the current market conditions seem to be as desirable for buyers as it is for sellers.

I found an interesting article...

Homes in Marin That Make You Fall in Love


Ask any realtor and they will tell you that some homes do make you fall in love from the moment you walk through the door. I turned to syndicated columnist Marni Jameson to find out why some homes cast a magic spell and how you can invite love and romance into your home.

Romance comes from the root word, ‘Roman' and refers to something that has a lost and beautiful past. Think of the hundreds of couples who marry each year in old farmhouses, weathered estates, stately mansions and beautiful gardens. What do these places have in common; a rich history with a storied past, a place that invites love and day dreaming.


19885 State Route Highway 1, Marshall CA 9 - A Dream Realized!

19885 State Route Highway 1, Marshall CA 9 - A Dream Realized!


Some things truly are worth fighting for and the purchase and transfer of 19885 State Route Highway 1 in Marshall California on Tamales Bay was worth the fight!

My clients, and dear friends, had a dream of owning a house on Tamales Bay. A dream that has followed them through the adoption of a child from Ethiopia, the birth of two more children, the purchase of a 3 unit Condo building in San Francisco and now year's later, kids in their teens and 20's, their dream has come true!

One beautiful Sunday afternoon at an event in the Presidio San Francisco, Picnic In The Park, we were enjoying tasty food truck fair...

Short Sale Relief for your Home

If you wondering about a short sale for your home, you’ll be happy to learn that the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was extended through the end of 2013!

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act extends mortgage cancellation relief for home owners and sellers through preventing taxes on the portion of their mortgage debt forgiven by their lender.

Short sales have represented a large sector in the housing market -  this extension is seen by many as good news for housing market.  According to the U.S. Foreclosure & Short Sales Report™ complied by RealtyTrac, the last quarter of 2012, showed short sales as representing 19 percent of residential home sales in the United States. See the full report by clicking here.

According to RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist, the increase in short...


3 Things to Know Before Deciding Where to Buy a Single Family Home

In preparing to buy your first home, there are many factors to consider.  With price and interest rates still low, "Now is the time to buy!"  Below are 2 charts created by C.A.R with helpful information for first time buyers; take these steps to begin the process of buying your first home

  1. What is the entry level price for a single family home in the area I am interested?
  2. What will my monthly payment be, including property taxes and insurance?
  3. What is the minimum qualifying income needed to by a home in the area I like?

FHA Insurance Premium Costs Soon to Increase

FHA (Federal Housing Authority) loans are a great option for home buyers who would otherwise be precluded from financing due to compromising factors such as limited down payment funds, poor credit ratings, or insufficient income or assets. The FHA does not actually offer financing. Instead, it insures higher risk loans -and the cost of this insurance is paid for by every borrower who gets an FHA loan. Nonetheless, for those lacking other sources of funding, FHA loans have been a bargain, opening the door to home ownership for millions buyers with down payment funds of as little as 3.5% of the purchase price.

Over the past few years, the cost of FHA loans has steadily risen through increases to the one-time, Up-Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) and the annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) that borrowers pay on a monthly basis. The one-time UFMIP is currently assessed at 1.75% of the base loan amount being financed. The UFMIP cost is expected to remain the...

Cheer Up Home Buyers - It Could Be Worse!

What a crazy new year’s this has been in the housing market! To give you a little insight on how badly people want homes let me tell you about the 3 homes my clients put offers on just this week. One place had 13 offers, one had 16 and the last place had 36 offers and sold for $150,000 over the listing price which was set at just $589,000! I feel for all you buyers out there, but it could be worse and here’s why.

Why are people so desperate for homes in this seller’s market? Because they are trying to lock in these historically low interest rates while homes are still reasonably priced. But both these low interest rates and low home values could be rising soon… and fast, because as the market gets stronger the interest rates will come up with it since people don’t need as much as an incentive to buy anymore.


Sales of Million Dollar Homes in Marin Increase | Jonathan Jacobs


More homes in Marin valued at a million dollars and up sold in 2012 than any year during the past five years. A total of 963 of such properties exchanged hands last year as reported in the Marin IJ. That's an increase of 34% over the totals in 2011. In fact, California hasn't had this many houses sell for $1 million or more since 2007 either, with 26,993 in 2012. That's a year-over-year jump of 27%.

The Marin town with the most homes selling for $1 million or more was Mill Valley with 215, ranking...