First and foremost I must set eyes on the property to start the process of determining value. I will tour the property, and at this time, I may take some videos and/or photos to use later and to re-fresh my memory if needed. After this initial walk-through, I’ll have a face-to-face meeting, (if the sellers are in town at the time) or set up a conference call with clients to go over my thoughts on the property, ask questions, and discuss with the sellers why they feel their property is special, what’s unique about it, etc. Upon touring the property, I’ll begin the comparative market-analysis process; the process in which the subject property is measured and compared against recently-sold and listed like-properties. (As shown on the next page.) Supply and demand of the current market is evaluated, and market-appreciation and/or depreciation is taken into consideration as well. And, of course, updates, upgrades, remodeling, great views, proximity, furnishings, curb appeal etc., are all thoroughly considered. It is important for a seller to understand the pricing-process, so that they have confidence in my strategies, as this will give them the education needed to appropriately respond-to and negotiate-with, any incoming offers. (Along with my guidance, of course!) In order to get top-dollar for a property, it needs to be priced TO SELL from the get-go. If priced well, a property will sometimes receive multiple offers, therefor driving up the selling price. On the flip-side, if a property is overpriced, it will sit on the market longer, become stale, drop in value and price, and the buying-side will have much more negotiating power.
Do you use Social Media to market your properties?Live Mammoth2020-09-15T22:01:32+00:00
Social media, and the marketing connected to such sites at Instagram and FaceBook are becoming an ever more important marketing avenue. I have successfully used these platforms to advertise and sell properties, and can tell you that they these methods are very underrated by many agents.
Tell me about the MLS listing and Open HousesLive Mammoth2020-09-15T22:01:14+00:00
Once a listing agreement is signed, and professional photos are taken, your home will be inputted into the Mammoth Lakes Multiple Listing Service where it will become LIVE on the internet and all the listing information will be automatically delivered to such sites at Realtor.com, Zillow and Realtor’s personal websites. (Again, why good photos are so important!) When the listing goes live, it will be automatically emailed out, to potentially thousands, of interested buyers through our MLS auto-email notification system.
Every Thursday between 9-11am is our local “broker preview.” This is when all the newly listed properties are held open for the local Realtors to view. It’s very important to entice agents to see the property first-hand so I usually offer coffee and some sort of non-messy breakfast item. (If you advertise food, they WILL show up!) ;)
It is also beneficial to host open houses on busy weekends; it’s a great way to get potential buyers in to see the property and create some buzz and word-of-mouth marketing. Open houses in condo-complexes can be particularly lucrative. Many times we’ll see owner-neighbors stumble in to check the place out for a friend or a collegue that may be looking in that particular complex. (Friends buy vacation residencies nearby their friends!) Also, many nightly renters will rent at the same complex over and over again, and when they see that there’s a place for sale in that complex, they’ll jump on the opportunity!
Is professional photography important?Live Mammoth2020-09-15T22:00:52+00:00
Yes, Yes, Yes! You should not hire a Realtor that isn’t willing to professionally photograph your home.
Almost all buyers start their property search online, and it is critical that the images of your home accurately reflect and compliment the subject property. Professionally photographing your home is absolutely necessary to help bring buyers through the door.
I partner with a couple of amazing professional photographers for all of my listings, no matter the size and condition of the property; one for interiors and another for exterior/drone/aerial footage. The photography fee is included in my services, with no cost to you. I’ll choose up to 30+ of the best images to showcase your property online. Also, when deemed appropriate, videography is offered as well. This consists of aerial footage to highlight the area and situation of the property, as well as interior video shots. A short video is created to highlight the property, and this footage is used for marketing online, as well as emailed to potential buyers.
I can’t stress enough how important professional photos are in this online world. (Most of the photos in this presentation are from previous listings of mine, to give you an idea as to the quality.)
What sort of closing fees will the seller pay for? How much does selling a home cost?Live Mammoth2020-09-15T22:00:30+00:00
Unfortunately, selling a home isn’t cheap! The seller is usually responsible for paying the majority of costs. The seller pays the commission which is customarily 5-6% of the listing price. This is split between the buying and selling agent. The seller also pays for the title insurance, and other miscellaneous reports that are legally required for a property sale. If you’d like to know in more detail what you’ll be paying out, you can ask for an “estimated closing statement.” This will break down all the costs associated with selling a property. Just ask!
How long does it take to get a home on the market?Live Mammoth2020-09-15T22:00:00+00:00
This totally depends on personal preference and how you use your property. If you’re a “skiing” family, and don’t visit as much in the summer, then you may prefer the Canyon Lodge/Village/Eagle Run area. However, if you visit year-round, and love summers, then you may want to opt for something quieter and in a more nature-centric meadow-setting, like Snowcreek.
ALL AREAS OF TOWN RENT OUT WELL if the property is updated and nicely furnished. (This is always asked!) Properties by the Canyon Lodge area rent really well in winter, and maybe less in Summer. Meadow properties, and properties further from the slopes may rent a bit better in summer, but maybe not as well in the winter. The Village area rents well all year long, and is probably the hottest area for rental-requests, but you’ll also pay a premium for a property in this area.
Rentability-aside, many buyers request to be in areas from where they are able to walk to shops and restaurants. If this is the case, then perhaps an “in-town” location might be best. And, remember, buses run regularly, year-round, to most areas of town. When trying to figure out what area you should purchase in, I would first decide what Mammoth offers that is MOST important to you and your family. This will naturally direct you into the most suitable
Condo vs. a Home. Which Should I Buy?Live Mammoth2020-09-16T15:09:34+00:00
In Mammoth, the most differentiating factor between the two is nightly rental allowance; for the most part, condo-projects are located in areas zoned FOR nightly rental allowance, while homes are not. (To be clear, most single family homes are NOT able to be rented out on a nightly basis.) Some other things to think about when deciding between the two, is yearly maintenance. The elevation and mountain-weather takes a toll on properties here. Roofing, siding, windows, leaks, ice-dams, snow removal, etc. These are all things that need addressing on a yearly basis. So, while some clients can’t fathom paying such high condo-HOA fees every month, this sort of upkeep is all covered by the HOA, so there won’t be much out-of-pocket maintenance-costs. In regards to single family home maintenance, you’ll have to find contractors and arrange for this upkeep yourself, and/or have a property manager that helps in this regard. Many condo-complexes have amenities such as a pool, hot-tub, sauna, tennis courts, etc., that are especially nice for young kids and visiting families. Single family homes tend be quieter, you’ll have more anonymity, and you won’t be sharing a wall with anyone. You won’t have to deal with the influx of nightly-renters, and/or other owners visiting on weekends and during busy holidays, and you won’t ever have to fight for a parking spot. SO, they both have their perks the deciding factor for most buyers usually comes down to personal preference and the importance of nightly rental allowance.
Is it easy to cancel an escrow?Live Mammoth2020-08-27T17:59:17+00:00
While I don’t recommend going into any escrow with cold feet, the answer is YES. The escrow period begins with a 17 day contingency/ investigation period. HOA docs are reviewed by the buyer, multiple seller disclosures are reviewed, the buyer’s physical inspection takes place, the appraisal is ordered, etc. If the buyer is unhappy with ANY of the findings on these docs and investigations, or financing falls apart for any reason, the deal can easily be canceled.
Is it possible to place an offer sign-unseen?Live Mammoth2020-08-27T17:58:46+00:00
Yes! FaceTime and videography makes this very possible, and I’ve closed many deals sight-unseen. While it’s not the best case scenario, if a hot property hits the market, and the buyer is not in Mammoth, it’s sometimes necessary.
Should I use a local lender?Live Mammoth2020-08-27T18:08:54+00:00
The lender doesn’t have to be “local,” but they need to know Mammoth’s market. Resort lending comes with its own set of hurdles, and nuances and you’ll want to use someone who has already dealt with these problems and has closed deals in spite of them. So while you might feel some loyalty to a lender-friend or someone you’ve used for years, it’s not always worth the risk.
What does the monthly HOA fee cover? What is considered an average monthly HOA fee?Live Mammoth2020-08-27T17:57:36+00:00
Most commonly, the condominium monthly HOA fees (Home Owner Association’s Fee) cover: exterior maintenance of the condo-project including roofing, siding, window repair/replacement, chimney cleaning, upkeep of grounds and yard-care, snow-removal, trash service, water, and amenities maintenance (including hot-tubs, pools, tennis courts, spas etc.) Oftentimes, cable and internet are bundled in to monthly HOA fees as well, which makes for a much more affordable tech-package than
having to pay for these things individually. HOA fees in Mammoth tend to be considered “high,” compared to other areas. This is due to the elements that we live in at 8,000 feet; snow, ice, rain, sun, and wind are not easy on building structures. Snow removal alone is extremely expensive. Most HOA fees in Mammoth are $500+, even for a one bedroom.
Is it difficult to find a contractor for remodeling/updating?Live Mammoth2020-08-27T18:09:01+00:00
Unfortunately, it can be. It all depends on the time of year, and how booked out the local contractors are. However, not all hope is lost! I have many great references for general contractors, electricians, plumbers and handy-men that do GREAT work. Just be prepared that things move in “mountain” time around here.
As a buyer, do I need to pay a realtor for helping me?Live Mammoth2020-08-27T17:49:12+00:00
No, only the SELLER’S agent pay out a commission that is divided amongst the selling and buying agents. A buyer’s agent works for free until a deal is closed. The buyer does not pay a dime toward any work that is done, viewings, meetings, negotiations etc.
Will I get a better deal going direct to a seller’s agent?Live Mammoth2020-08-27T17:48:43+00:00
No, no, no. And frankly, I’m surprised that dual agency is still legal! (This is the same agent working for both the buyer and the seller during a transaction.) It’s virtually impossible for an agent to equally represent both sides of a transaction. Think about this; a seller and an agent will sometimes have worked together on multiple deals for many months or years, and oftentimes end up friends. Would you want this same Realtor that is working for the seller negotiating on your behalf? Of course not. Hire your own Realtor to get the representation that you should.
Do I need to be in Mammoth during a transaction/escrow?Live Mammoth2020-08-27T17:48:23+00:00
No. In fact, it is most common that a buyer IS NOT IN MAMMOTH for the entirety of the transaction including property investigations, doc-signing, meetings with contractors, etc. I will be your eyes and ears during the escrow process. With Mammoth Lakes being as remote as it is, thank goodness for FaceTime and electronic signatures!
Why should I use a local Mammoth Lakes agent, and not my home-town realtor?Live Mammoth2020-09-16T15:07:03+00:00
It’s understandable that a buyer would like to use an agent from their home-town with whom they already have a relationship and a rapport with. However, the Mammoth Lakes Board of Realtors is a “non-reciprocal” board, meaning that we have no obligation to work with out-of-area agents. Trust me, this is in the best interest of a prospective buyer; local agents KNOW the market, know the comps, all “ins and outs” of differing areas of town, the reputable contractors, and all the different zoning ordinances/disclosures etc. Need I say more?! If you want to be well-represented throughout a transaction, and not over-pay, then you must hire a local agent.
Navigating the Home-Buying process can be difficult, and you’ll need an agent that you can trust.