Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/14/2018

When people hear the term "modular" a few things come to mind. Standardized, easy to assemble, minimalist, and modern. When you hear the words "modular furniture" there's probably only one thing that comes to mind: Ikea. There are, however, a wide selection of stores (online and brick & mortar) that offer furniture to fit your minimalist lifestyle.

Reasons to go modular

Form follows function. This statement should be as true in the world of decorating as it is throughout the sciences. However, many times we buy items that are large and bulky; mistaking quantity for quality. In the world of modular furniture, form is everything. Here are some reasons you may want to start buying minimal furniture:
  • If you move often. Do you relocate for work every few years? Are you a student or young professional who does a lot of jumping around apartments? In a workforce that is increasingly freelance and online in nature, there are fewer bindings holding us back from moving.
  • If you like low-maintenance. Modular furniture is perfect the the person who likes to set something up easily out of the box. You won't have to worry about complicated maintenance or difficulty finding parts because modular furniture tends to be highly standardized.
  • If you're a space-saver. Are you the type to try to take advantage of every inch of free space in your home? Alternatively, do you like to give your home a spacious atmosphere through smart decorating? Modular furniture is intelligently designed to take advantage of space. Modular furniture pieces like sofas are often able to be reconfigured or rearranged in different pieces so you can place them in corners or sparsely around the room to open up space. Similarly, they often contain interior storage space for things like blankets and pillows.
  • If you have a refined taste for space. Modular furniture is at the cutting edge of home technology. Therefore it often boasts visually-appealing, minimalist form and modern color schemes. Like any industry, style varies between makers. But generally modular furniture companies tend to stay current with trends.

The biggest names, the best prices

Since modular furniture is an up-and-coming industry, there are a number of stores to choose from, some even with brick & mortal locations. Here are some of our favorites.
ikea
Not much needs to be said about IKEA. They started with one man in Sweden and now have locations in over 40 countries. IKEA is the standard by which all other modern furniture stores are weighed against.
vitsoe
Vitsoe keeps it simple with three basic modular "systems." Chairs, tables, and shelves. One of each system could easily fill a room. Their designs are minimalist and space-saving, which is evident by the "nesting" tables which fit into one another.
way basics
If you're looking for simple, lightweight and affordable storage and shelving, Way Basics is where you should start your search. They specialize in storage cubes and they take the humanitarian and environmentalist approach to doing business.
urban outfitters
They may seem like a strange addition to this list, but Urban Outfitters--the paragon of urban hipsterdom--has a surprisingly great selection of modular furniture items in their online shop. They do an excellent job of fusing vintage style with modern function.  





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/7/2018

Selling a home may seem exceedingly difficult, particularly for a first-time property seller. However, if you receive an offer on your residence that falls just short of your initial expectations, you may be able to negotiate with a homebuyer.

How you handle a negotiation with a homebuyer may dictate how quickly you sell your residence.

If you're unwilling to understand a homebuyer's point of view, you risk missing out on an opportunity to get the best results from your home sale.

On the other hand, if you stay calm throughout a home selling negotiation, you may be better equipped to understand a homebuyer's perspective. This may help you find common ground with a homebuyer and ensure you can speed up the home selling cycle.

What does it take to remain calm during a home selling negotiation? Here are three tips to help home sellers maintain their composure throughout a negotiation.

1. Keep Your Emotions in Check

A home selling negotiation can be stressful. But home sellers who manage to keep their emotions in check can boost their chances of a quick home sale.

If you feel stressed during a home selling negotiation, don't hesitate to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Remember, your ultimate goal is to sell your residence. With the lines of communication open, you and a homebuyer can work together to ensure all parties involved in a negotiation are satisfied with the end results.

2. Look at All of the Options at Your Disposal

If a home selling negotiation goes south, there is no need to panic. Instead, consider all of the options at your disposal, and you'll be able to determine how to proceed from here.

For home sellers, it is essential to note that many homebuyers are on the lookout for high-quality residences in cities and towns around the country. Thus, if a negotiation with a homebuyer fails to work out, you can continue to promote your house on the real estate market.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-have for many home sellers, and for good reason. This housing market professional will handle a home selling negotiation and ensure you can seamlessly navigate the entire home selling journey.

Typically, a real estate agent can negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf. He or she will keep you up to date about any homebuyer requests and offer honest, unbiased home selling suggestions. As a result, you can receive expert home selling guidance and make informed decisions at each stage of a home selling negotiation.

A real estate agent also will respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time. That way, this housing market professional will make it simple for you to alleviate stress in a high-pressure home selling negotiation.

When it comes to handling a home selling negotiation, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble remaining calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a homebuyer.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/31/2017

One of the toughest choices to make when selling a home can be choosing a bidder. Often because sellers don’t expect this to be a difficult decision! It seems like it would be straightforward. You might think you should accept the first offer or maybe you’re in the camp of accepting the highest bid. And while both of these choices are valid there are other factors to take into consideration. Factors that can make selling your home even easier and relatively hassle-free.

One of the biggest fears people have and one that really throws a wrench in the process is potential buyers backing out of a deal or asking for pricey repairs. And for this reason, I suggest looking closely at all of your bids to review the concessions and contingencies each contract contains as well as the type of financing each buyer will be utilizing.

For example, one thing to look for is earnest money. This is money in an escrow account either held by the real estate agent or the buyer and seller and shows the buyer’s commitment to their bid. It gives the buyer more time to sort out their financing but is also seen as a guard against the buyer walking away mid-agreement.

What is the stability of a buyer's financing? What institution is it coming from? Do a search online to learn more information about each buyer’s finance provider. A buyer may pay in cash, offering a larger down-payment or be pre-approved for a loan.

Sometimes buyers will also include a contingency in their contract to not begin payment until they have sold their own home. If this is something you are not comfortable with this bid might belong in your “No” pile despite a higher bid or down payment.

Are they asking you to cover any expenses? They may ask for the attorney review fee to be waived, inspection fees to be covered or costly repairs to be made before closing. Again, are you okay with covering these costs? Do the math to see if these requests bring down the value of the bid. Depending on how much of an investment they are asking for you to make this could create a less enticing bid.

Sometimes, choosing a bid is less about the numbers and more about convenience. If you are in the middle of shopping for a new home yourself, bidders who offer flexibility on the move in/out date could move to the top of your “Yes” list. Sometimes buyers want to keep furniture or appliances from a home, which could make moving a much lighter load.

If your head is spinning from all of these different factors to take into consideration when choosing a bid, that’s okay! This is why working with a real estate agent is so beneficial. Look to your agent for advice when weighing out the benefits of each bid and on making the final decision.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/24/2017

Ready to submit an offer on a home? Putting together a proposal that stands out in a home seller's eyes is key.

With the right home offer, you can improve your chances of securing your dream house without delay. Plus, dedicating time and resources to put together a home offer that works for both you and a home seller is sure to accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

How can you improve your chances of submitting an offer that a home seller is sure to accept? Here are three tips to help a homebuyer submit a standout home offer.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage.

In many instances, a home offer may be contingent upon financing. And if a homebuyer has to secure financing after submitting a proposal, this individual could risk missing out on an opportunity to purchase his or her dream house.

Comparatively, a homebuyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage will have the necessary financing in place when he or she submits an offer. As a result, this individual's offer may stand out from other proposals, particularly to a home seller who wants to speed up the home selling process.

2. Consider a Quick Home Inspection.

Don't ask the home seller for 15 or 30 days to conduct a home inspection. Instead, be ready to conduct a home inspection as soon as possible.

You may need only a few days to set up a home inspection. As such, if your offer includes a request for five or 10 days to complete a home assessment, it may stand out from others.

Also, if you find your dream home, you may want to consider purchasing the house "as is." Doing so may allow you to forgo negotiations between a homebuyer and home seller after a home inspection.

If you submit an "as is" home offer, you will be able to learn about the condition of a property before you buy it. However, after a home inspection, you will be unable to ask the home seller to complete repairs. At this point, if you find the house fails to meet your expectations, you can either walk away or buy the home in its current condition.

3. Add an Escalation Clause to Your Offer.

An escalation clause can help you compete against other homebuyers in a fierce real estate market. It enables you to increase your offer by a set amount over any other bids to a certain level. As a result, including an escalation clause in your home offer can help you avoid the risk of overpaying for a house and improve your chances of securing your dream residence at the same time.

Ask your real estate agent to include an escalation clause in your home offer. Your real estate agent can help you submit the perfect proposal, and ultimately, boost your chances of getting a "Yes" from a home seller.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can bolster your chances of getting the right house at the right price.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/17/2017

A nightmare home selling experience is something that every home seller wants to avoid. Fortunately, we're here to teach you the ins and outs of selling a house so that you can minimize the risk of problems that could lead to a nightmare home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid a nightmare home selling experience.

1. Study the Real Estate Market Closely

You don't need to be a real estate market expert to find ways to maximize the profits from your home sale. Instead, you can study the real estate market closely and gain the insights that you need to price your house competitively.

Remember, a home seller's goal is to optimize the value of his or her house. To accomplish this goal, it is paramount to establish the right home price from day one. Otherwise, a home seller risks alienating buyers with a price that is too high, or missing out on profits due to a price that is too low.

Take a look at the prices of available houses in your area that are similar to your own. This housing market data will enable you to see how your residence stacks up against the competition so that you can price your house accordingly.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection

A home inspection usually is completed after a home seller accepts a buyer's offer. However, a home seller who conducts an inspection before listing his or her residence can increase the likelihood of a profitable home sale. Perhaps best of all, this home seller can avoid the danger of a buyer requesting home repairs or a price reduction later in the home selling cycle.

During a home inspection, a property expert will evaluate your residence both inside and out. This property expert then will provide a comprehensive report that details his or her findings.

Examine a home inspection report. That way, you can find out about your house's strengths and weaknesses and take the necessary steps to transform various weaknesses into strengths.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. As such, this real estate agent can serve as a guide throughout the home selling journey and help you immediately identify and resolve any potential home selling hurdles.

For example, an experienced real estate agent can provide you with a wealth of housing market data before you list your residence. This housing market professional will help you make sense of assorted real estate data and ensure that you can establish a competitive price for your house. He or she also will promote your house to the right groups of buyers and help you enjoy a quick, seamless home sale.

When it comes to selling your home, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can avoid a nightmare home selling experience.




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