Pasadena Real Estate - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Buying or Selling Your Home in Pasadena!

Greater Pasadena real estate market trends, valuable news about market conditions, including foreclosure information in Pasadena and surrounding cities plus much more.

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May 21, 2009

Pasadena Condos for sale: South Lake Avenue District

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May 21, 2009

Pasadena's New Construction - Lake@Walnut condos for Sale

Everything you ever wanted in new luxury condos is coming your way!

ADDRESS:  931 East Walnut, Pasadena California


There’s a new residential building about to make its public debut in one of Pasadena’s hippest locales. You could be among the first to reserve your new home in advance of the general public and choose from the most creative live/work spaces, flats and town homes in town.

Lake@Walnut promises to be Pasadena’s quintessential “Where it’s @” address, with everything you nliving-room at Lake@Walnuteed to live the chic, cosmopolitan life just a short walk, drive or Metro jaunt away.

With an inviting lobby, cool club room and fantastic fitness center, not to mention a lushly landscaped courtyard for mixing and mingling, complete with a fountain, barbecue and outdoor fireplace, this is truly urban living at its best in desirable Pasadena.

See all condos for sale available at Lake @ Walnut today:


READ MORE:  Pasadena real estate update 2012 – see luxury home sales.

Irina is a Top Realtor and the founder and President of Pasadena Views Real Estate Team™. She is available to assist you in all of your Real Estate transactions. Email or call her today at (626)629-8439.

Are you relocating to Pasadena?  If so, take a look at our 365 Things To Do In Pasadena® .  Call us at 626-629-8439 to schedule a time for your free home buyer or home seller consultation!

May 17, 2009

Pasadena California Real Estate Market Report for April 2009

What an interesting and challenging month it has been for Pasadena's real estate market!

Last month, as I was writing the real estate market update, I felt that Pasadena real estate was on the rebound. We started seeing multiple offers and multiple buyers. Inventory of Pasadena homes and condos did not see an increase though and remained pretty steady at 80 or so units for single family homes. Pasadena condos stayed around 40 new units per month and townhomes were still around 20 units per month.

April 2009 has shown an increase in activity for Pasadena's real estate. More home buyers are joining in the search for that perfect home driven by low interest rates, federal as well as California incentives and lower home prices.

Many renters are realizing that they are able to afford their first Pasadena home. Their purchase power increased tremendously with low interest rates and many are using FHA programs to get into homes with only 3.5% down. This is driving an increase in Pasadena home sales especially under the $500,000 price range.

Pretty amazing, isn't it? There were 85 homes sold under $500,000 in 2009 year to date vs only 31 in 2008! First time home buyers are out there in droves and are competing for the inventory.

A Pasadena home seller who hires a great real estate agent and prices their home correctly can expect to sell it quickly and for more money.

Read More: Top 10 Home Seller Mistakes

Okay, we've seen the volume, now let's take a look at the actual Pasadena real estate market performance for April 2009:


  1. Inventory of new listings once again remains pretty steady - no major increase. In fact, the number of newly listed condos and townhomes in Pasadena has decreased significantly.
  2. Number of Pasadena homes, Pasadena condos and Pasadena townhomes in escrow has increased which means that the volume of closed sales next month will be higher.
  3. Price per square foot of sold properties for Pasadena homes, Pasadena condos and Pasadena townhouses has increased.

This all points to a turn around in Pasadena's real estate market. Stay tuned for next month's update.

Pasadena Real Estate Market Statistics for February 2009 through April 2009:


Single Family Residence Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09
New Listings 86 80 83
Total Listings 305 286 314
Sales Pending 57 78 95
Homes Sold 37 57 64
Listings Expired 51 36 34
Average Days on the Market 120 93 109
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $348 $349 $369
Average Selling Price $548,151 $687,300 $638,835
Median Selling Price $470,000 $542,500 $550,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 35.7 21.7 21.3
Condos Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09
New Listings 46 44 36
Total Listings 205 168 148
Sales Pending 29 23 30
Homes Sold 13 28 25
Listings Expired 19 25 23
Average Days on the Market 177 136 278
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $325 $315 $344
Average Selling Price $342,577 $391,946 $405,000
Median Selling Price $337,000 $337,250 $330,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 68.3 26.0 25.7
Townhomes Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09
New Listings 22 21 15
Total Listings 83 77 70
Sales Pending 17 13 18
Homes Sold 5 18 8
Listings Expired 17 6 8
Average Days on the Market 135 173 162
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $342 $338 $346
Average Selling Price $455,200 $494,583 $442,710
Median Selling Price $375,000 $485,000 $413,340
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 71.9 18.5 42


Search all homes (single family residences) for sale in Pasadena MLS (Multiple Listing Service):


For property details on these Pasadena homes, please visit Pasadena homes for sale.


Search All Pasadena Foreclosures or Bank Owned Homes for Sale (MLS - Multiple Listing Service)

READ MORE:  Pasadena real estate update 2012 – see luxury home sales.

Irina is a Top Realtor and the founder and President of Pasadena Views Real Estate Team™. She is available to assist you in all of your Real Estate transactions. Email or call her today at (626)629-8439.

Are you relocating to Pasadena?  If so, take a look at our 365 Things To Do In Pasadena® .  Call us at 626-629-8439 to schedule a time for your free home buyer or home seller consultation!

Read More:

Pasadena City Guide

Take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit

Considering new construction? Don't miss $100 million tax credit

Property Title Insurance? Learn all about it!


If you are thinking of buying a Pasadena home, Pasadena condo or townhouse, please give us a call for a comprehensive and free consultation. We can be reached at 626-629-8439.

May 13, 2009

Pasadena California Home Buying Process - Title Options

Many questions come up for home buyers as they go through the home buying process. One of the most important ones is how do I hold title to my new home?

It's a critical question that has both tax and estate implications.

So... What is Property Title Insurance?

Title insurance policies protect a real estate owner, i.e. Pasadena home owner or lender against loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances, or defects in the title to the Pasadena property purchased, or the incorrectness of the related search.

In other words, when you buy your Pasadena home or Pasadena condo, you want to make sure that the title is free and clear. The deed to your home which you get upon the transfer of the property from seller to you is merely an instrument that transfers the right of ownership. It doesn't prove that the seller is actually the clear owner, and it does not eliminate claims or rights that others may have in the property.

What does Property Title Insurance Cover?

Title Insurance protects against claims from various defects such as another person claiming an ownership interest, improperly recorded, fraud, forgery, liens, encroachments, easements and other items that are specified in the actual policy.

How does Title Insurance Work?

A title company will conduct a thorough search and evaluation of the Public Records. It will look for situations that may cloud the title to your new home, such as:


  • Are all property taxes and special assessments paid?
  • Does anyone have special rights to the property that would limit your home ownership?
  • Has the death of a former owner or the filing of a will affected title to this property?
  • Are there undisclosed heirs or spouses of the home seller?
  • Are there any lawsuits or claims recorded against the property itself? Any suits or judgements filed against the home seller?

Could there be hidden risks?

Claims that can not be discovered by examination of the PUblic Records are called "hidden risks" and they could arise long after you have purchased your Pasadena property.

Here are just a few of the most common hidden risks that can cause a loss of title or create an encumbrance on the title:


  • False impersonation of the true owner.
  • Forged deeds, releases or wills.
  • Deeds by minors.
  • Misinterpretations of wills.
  • Liens of unpaid estate, inheritance, income or gift taxes.
  • Fraud

The great thing about obtaining Property Title Insurance is that unlike most forms of insurance, you would only pay for the title policy once and it insures your property title for as long as you or your heirs own the home.

What are Common Ways of Holding Property Title if You Own Property with More than One Person (Co-Ownership)?

Title to property owned by two or more persons may be vested in the following forms:

Community Property - Property owned by married couple or by registered domestic partners.

Community Property with Right of Survivorship - Property owned by married couple or by registered domestic partners. This form of holding shares many of the characteristics of community property but adds the benefit of the right of survivorship similar to title held in joint tenancy.

Joint Tenancy - Property owned by two or more persons, who may or not be married or registered domestic partners, in equal interests, subject to the right of survivorship in the surviving joint tenant(s).

Tenancy in Common - Property owned by any two or more individuals in undivided equal or unequal fractional interests.



Pasadena Real Estate Guide

Pasadena City Guide

If you are thinking of buying or selling a Pasadena home, Pasadena condo or townhome, please give us a call for a comprehensive and free consultation. We can be reached at 626-629-8439.


Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California

(626) 629-8439

Posted in Buyers
May 9, 2009

New Construction in Pasadena under $400,000

I visited new condos built on Lake Avenue with a client yesterday. We were looking to buy newly built condo in Pasadena under $400,000. I have to say that once again, I was very impressed with the condos at Lake@Walnut.

The building itself is wonderful. Plenty of open space and fresh air corridors. Outdoor patio seating area allows residents to mingle and spend time with family and friends. The club room is beautifully appointed and inviting.


Lake@Walnut patio

New construction in Pasadena is so rare that this condo development is a breath of fresh air. Seriously... each new condo comes with beautiful Kitchen Aid Stainless Steel appliances including a refrigerator. The developer is also offering Whirlpool Duet or Duet Sport washer and dryer. Custom flloring and window coverings are part of the purchase price.


Lake@Walnut appliances

There unit mix is 50% 1 bedroom condos and 50% 2 bedroom condos with some live/work spaces mixed in. There are 9 different models or as Lake@Walnut developer refers to them "residences" to choose from and 2 live/work floor plans to choose from.


Lake@Walnut living room

I looked at two 1-bedroom condos that were available for sale on the 4th floor. The views were spectacular facing South Lake giving you an ultimate urban feel. Each one of the units was close to 1,000 sq. ft. of living space. One condo was available for only $352,000 and the other for $362,000 - remember this is brand new construction! The HOA (Home Owner Association) dues were in the low $200s.


Lake@Walnut Pasadena City Views

In my opinion, this is one of the best buys if you are looking for newly built condos in Pasadena. Prices for 2 bedroom condos range in the $500,000 to $600,000 range.

If you are interested in more information or would like to visit the show room to look at the models, please call me at 626-627-7107 or email me at As nice as the sales staff at Lake@Walnut is, you really need to have your own buyer representation - an advocate who will work for you and ensure that you get the best possible service, attention and all the perks that the developer offers.

The developer insists that your first visit is with a real estate agent so that you are registered and represented. Otherwise, the sales staff representing the developer will be working with you.

Compare that with the only 1 bedroom condos available for sale right now in Pasadena:

Address Price Sq. Ft. Year Built
101 W Howard St Pasadena, CA 91103 $499,900 670 1914
461 N Garfield Ave Pasadena, CA 91101 $142,900 636 1901
771 N Garfield Ave Pasadena 91104-4216 $425,000 1380 1900
1462 N Catalina Ave Pasadena, CA 91104 $349,000 744 1922
1809 N Los Robles Ave Pasadena, CA 91104 $375,000 464 1908
1395 El Sereno Ave Pasadena, CA 91103 $215,000 812 1923
459 N Mar Vista Ave Pasadena 91106-1122 $269,900 695 1923

READ MORE: Get your share of $100 million in tax credits from the State of California

See a sampling of Lake@Walnut condos for sale:



For more property details, please visit New Construction in Pasadena - Lake@Walnut

Other relatively new developments in Pasadena can be seen below:


For additional property information on these newly built condos, please visit new construction in Pasadena - condos for sale. This list includes all the newly built Pasadena condos, not just 1 bedrooms.


If you are thinking of buying or selling a Pasadena home, Pasadena condo or townhome, please give us a call for a comprehensive and free consultation. We can be reached at 626-629-8439.



Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California

(626) 629-8439

Posted in Pasadena
May 1, 2009

Pasadena Showcase House of Design 2009 is here!

Actually, this year the Showcase House of Design is in San Marino right on the border of Pasadena and just steps from South Lake Avenue Shopping District. It is truly a magnificent Italian Renaissance Revival estate built in 1917. This gorgeous property was designed by the renowned Pasadena architect G. Lawrence Stimson and has over 10,000 square feet of living space and sits on 2 acres of land.

Rumor has it that this estate belongs to one of San Marino's past city mayors. It's a huge honor to have your home selected to be the Showcase Design home. At the same time, it takes a lot of patience on the part of the owner because they have to move out months ahead of time to allow designers the time to work their magic.




It is interesting to note that Pasadena's Showcase House of the Arts is an all volunteer organization with members donating their time and talents since 1948. They originally started out as The Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee, and adopted the Pasadena Showcase House of Design as their annual benefit in 1965. It is one of the oldest, largest and most successful house and garden tours in the nation. For more information please visit Pasadena's Showcase House website.

I love visiting the Showcase House of Design each year not only to see the amazing transformation and vision of individual designers, but also to visit the shops and restaurant which is catered by Wolfgang Puck. The shops have the most amazing selection of beautiful, hand made gifts - perfect for Mother's Day! I always stop by Wick'd Bean Candle display and load up on my favorite scent - Champagne and Apricot.

The Shops and Restaurant at Showcase hours are:

Tuesdays 9 am to 5 pm

Wednesdays through Friday 9 am to 9 pm

Saturdays and Sundays 9 am to 5 pm.

Closed on Mondays.


The Showcase House Entry Hours:

Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday - 9 am to 3:45 pm

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - 9 am to 7:45 pm

Ticket times are scheduled on the quarter hour.

Closed on Mondays.


To order tickets, please call 714-442-3872 or visit


Ticket Prices are from $30.


READ MORE: Pasadena Real Estate Guide

Do you have $52 Million to spare? Extraordinary Pasadena luxury estate

April 29, 2009

Pasadena Real Estate Guide - Everything you ever wanted to know about buying or selling a home in Pasadena California

Pasadena California is the place to be! I get phone calls constantly from home buyers saying that they want to live in Pasadena. Pasadena California is wonderfully located. It's close to the beach and it's close to the mountains. Pasadena is minutes from downtown LA. Pasadena is a walkable city. It is filled with restaurants specializing in the most delectable cuisines, spectacular museums, boutiques, and coffee houses.

Pasadena has historic and character homes like California bungalow and craftsman. Homes that literally have been built from a box and still grace our historic and landmark neighborhoods. Pasadena has tree lined streets. Pasadena is known for its Rose parade and its Rose Bowl.

No wonder we have so many people relocating to Pasadena!

This post is a compilation of articles that I have written on my various Pasadena real estate websites. This post will be updated constantly as new information is available to help you buy a Pasadena home. This is your ultimate Pasadena Real Estate Guide!

pasadena california real estate guide


How do you find a great real estate agent?

Here's a fun post with a hilarious video. I get a kick out of it every time I see it - How to find a great real estate agent. Don't forget to place those hidden cameras during your Open Houses. :-)

Does your real estate agent utilize the latest technology tools to sell your home and help you buy your home?

The real estate market has changed. What's the saying? "Out with the old and in with the new." Well, it's quite true in many ways. If you are interviewing for your Pasadena real estate agent, take a look at this post - Is your real estate agent using cutting edge technology?

Have you seen the funny looking QR codes?  What do they do? Read How to Use QR Codes to Market your Home.

How do you interview your Pasadena real estate agent?

Every real estate agent market the homes they list a little differently. What does your real estate agent do for you?


How do you calculate your home buying affordability? Here's great advice from our lender of choice - Calculating Your Home Affordability.

Tips for getting more home for your money – stretch that $. Read 5 tips for getting more home for your $.

Every industry, real estate included, has its own “rules of the game”. It is important to understand the proper etiquette when you are shopping for a home in Pasadena.

An absolutely “must read” when buying a home – 9 Stupid Things Buyers do to Mess Up their Home Purchase.


Okay, so you have an accepted offer, you down payment is lined up… what will you be paying in closing costs? Read what kind of home closing costs should I expect during escrow?

Did you know that there are two types of closing costs when purchasing a home: Understand the difference between recurring and non-recurring closing costs.

What are home purchase contingencies? And, can the escrow be cancelled by a seller? Yes… read how at Pasadena home sale escrow can be cancelled by a seller.

When you buy a home in Pasadena, it’s usual and customary to put a 3% earnest money deposit. Make sure that you understand how to protect that hard earned money by reading the fastest way to lose your earnest money deposit.

Now that you found your home, what kind of inspections should you be ordering? A physical home inspection and sewer line inspection at a minimum!

One of the things that home buyers need to decide on while they are in escrow is how to hold title. Take a look at Property Title Insurance – What is it for and what are your options?

Congratulations you bought your new home!  Keep it safe - please read Lock Bumping - How to Avoid it!

And you are now ready for some IRS Tax tips - see Top 10 Tax Tips for Property Owners.


How to Sell a Home:

8 Tips to Follow BEFORE Listing Your Home For Sale

Sell Your Home in 30 days - Part 1 - how to prepare your home for sale and price it correctly!

Sell Your Home in 30 days or less - Part 2 - how do you make your home stand out? Why should a real estate agent show your home vs. your competition? What differentiates your home from the rest of the available inventory?

Top 5 Tips for Showing Your Pasadena home - find out what things to keep in mind as you place your home on the market to ensure that your home will be seen and shown to its best advantage.

Did you know that there are power words that will help sell your home? Really - there are! Take a look at The Power of words to sell your Pasadena home.

We all love photos. The more photos the merrier. When I talk with a potential home buyer, they always want to know if there are any additional photos of a home that they are interested in. Of course, we're doing so much research on line when thinking of buying a home. Pictures truly are worth a thousand words!

Marketing your Pasadena property: Property Brochure - the do's and don'ts.

Ever wondered how real estate agent come up with home prices? Read Pricing Your Pasadena Home to Sell.

Do you know that most homes for sale in Pasadena need a termite inspection?  Read Termite Inspection Explained.

Here's a checklist to help you prepare for the buyer's inspection - Home Selling Inspection checklist.

Proper Seller Etiquette?

Seller Bloopers: What not to do when you are selling your home!

Ready to sell your home?  Read HELP ME SELL MY HOUSE


For property information and specifics, please click on the links below:

Search All Pasadena Homes for sale

Search All Pasadena Condos and Townhomes for sale

Search All Pasadena Bank Owned or Foreclosure property for sale

Click on the Pasadena zip code below for a list of homes (SFR) for sale in tht zip code:








Do you need an ARM? Learn whether or not an adjustable rate mortgage is for you.


The chart below will show you statistical trends in Pasadena for the last five years, the full report with analysis can be found at Pasadena's Real Estate Housing Analysis and Trends for 2003 through 2008.

State of the Pasadena housing market - update by Leslie Applton, Chief California Association of Realtors economist.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a Pasadena home, Pasadena condo or townhome, please give us a call for a comprehensive and free consultation. We can be reached at 626-629-8439.



Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California


Interested in more information about Greater Pasadena Area cities, check out our City Guides below:

Alhambra City Guide

Altadena City Guide

Arcadia City Guide

Eagle Rock City Guide

Monterey Hills City Guide

Pasadena City Guide

San Gabriel City Guide

San Marino City Guide

Sierra Madre City Guide

South Pasadena City Guide

And, if you are interested in fun activities to do, take a look at our 365 Things To Do In Pasadena® page.

Thinking of selling your home? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Irina Netchaev at (626) 629-8439 to discuss what is happening in today’s Southern California Real Estate Market.



April 28, 2009

South Pasadena's Dusty Deals(TM) List (Home Buys) for April 2009

South Pasadena's inventory of new homes for sale is on the decline. With only 9 new homes on the real estate market and 5 condos and townhomes, it's no wonder that this month's Dusty Deals™ list is so minimal.

Dusty Deals™ is a name that I've given to homes for sale that have been marketed for over 100 days. Are all of these great deals? Not necessarily. BUT, the sellers have been actively marketing their homes for a very long time and is probably ready to deal.

Why are these homes on the market still? The most likely reason is that they were overpriced to begin with. The first few weeks of marketing a home for sale are the most critical weeks for any seller. If the property is overpriced, or not marketed correctly, it gets stale. Local real estate agents ignore these homes and avoid showing them to their buyers.

Potential home buyers look these homes up on the internet or receive property listings from their real estate agents from the Multiple Listing Service, but wonder what is wrong with them since they didn't sell. My take on this is, if you are looking for a deal, these homes are the best place to start. Why? Home sellers are tired of showing their homes and most are ready to NEGOTIATE their price and SELL!

So without further ado, here's the very minimal Dusty Deals™ list for South Pasadena. Please note that there are no Single Family Homes on the market for over 100 days, only a few South Pasadena condos.

South Pasadena's Dusty Deals™ for April 2009:

Address BR BA Original Price Current Price Price /SqFt HOA MLS#
1810 Ramona Ave #26 South Pasadena, CA 91030 2 2 $380,000 $380,000 $292 $432 12114812
1035 Arroyo Verde Rd #D South Pasadena, CA 91030 3 3 $430,000 $430,000 $382 $150 640030215
6221 E Monterey Rd Los Angeles, CA 90042 2 2 $450,000 $450,000 $298 $255 642284967
1130 Huntington Dr #B South Pasadena, CA 91030 2 3 $499,999 $499,999 $348 $170 637791054
1946 Huntington Dr South Pasadena, CA 91030-4959 2 3 $529,800 $529,800 $321 $300 642313552
402 El Centro St #5 South Pasadena 91030-3054 3 3 $592,500 $592,500 $337 $505 642295205

List extracted from the Multiple Listing Service (ITEC)


I have previewed a few of these South Pasadena condos over the last few days and have to tell you that they were in terrible shape. Unkept and not clean, smelly and unpleasant to walk through. If you can see beyond that, this might be an opportunity.

All South Pasadena homes and condos for sale on the real estate market today:

For South Pasadena Property details, please visit South Pasadena homes for sale and South Pasadena conods for sale.


If you are thinking of buying a South Pasadena home, South Pasadena condo or townhome, please give us a call for a comprehensive and free consultation. We can be reached at 626-629-8439.


Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California


April 27, 2009

San Marino California - Housing and Real Estate Report for March 2009

San Marino California is a bit of a "humpty dumpty" - up again and then down again! What's going on?

Last month, San Marino real estate saw more inventory, but home sales prices and price per square foot dropped to the low $500s. Of course, this has to do with the fact that there was only 1 sale in the month of March. Just one home sold in a neighborhood with over 4,400 properties!

I also find it fascinating to see that the median price of San Marino homes in 2009 year to date is way higher, yes... I said higher, than in 2008. Take a look at the graph below:


san marino median price 2008  and 2009  as of April 24

April is going to be much more telling since there are 9 San Marino homes in escrow right now. Once these homes officially close escrow, we will see whether or not San Marino's real estate market is in step with Pasadena real estate and South Pasadena real estate.

READ MORE: Pasadena real estate is on the rebound and South Pasadena Real Estate statistics for March 2009

San Marino is also in the process of voting for Measure E, the parcel tax initiative to support San Marino schools during the California budget crisis. If you are interested in buying a San Marino home, you might want to learn more about Measure E.


READ MORE: Measure E for Excellence in Education in San Marino schools

San Marino Real Estate statistics for January through March 2009:

Single Family Residence Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09
New Listings 9 13 18
Total Listings 24 30 38
Sales Pending 4 4 9
Homes Sold 3 4 1
Listings Expired 6 1 6
Average Days on the Market 43 126 29
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $513 $631 $521
Median Selling Price $1,780,000 $2,049,000 $1,738,000
Average Selling Price $1,736,667 $2,147,333 $1,738,000
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 34.7 32.5 164.7


To see San Marino property details, please visit San Marino homes for sale.


If you are thinking of buying a San Marino home or are interested in looking at neighboring Pasadena property, please give us a call for a comprehensive and free consultation. We can be reached at 626-629-8439.


Pasadena Real Estate Agents



April 27, 2009

Pasadena Buyers: Do you want to get your offer accepted?

I was reading Jana Coles post Technology, Yes, but always Verify and it occurred to me how many Pasadena agents still continue to fax over offers when representing their buyers.

When I started my career in real estate, I was taught to always present my buyers offer in person to the Listing Agent. Unfortunately, over the last several years, with the market in Pasadena, CA going through the roof, many Listing Agents would not allow presentation of the offer in person. Especially, with multiple offers, where we sometimes get 15 to 20 offers at a time, it would make going through the presentations very time consuming.

Since I represent many sellers in Pasadena and surrounding cities, I have always been amazed by the lack of care that Buyers Agents show to their clients.

Half the time, an offer would arrive without even a phone call from the agent.

The other half, the agent would call me, ask most, if not all of the right questions, and then knowing that it is a mutliple offer situation, still submit a very badly and sloppily written offer.

In any case, this post is not about how to write an offer. Its about how to SUBMIT an offer.

Now, to me, this is common sensical. When I represent buyers, I have to ensure that I not only sell my buyers to the seller, but I sell myself to the other agent.

At a minimum, this is what I would do:

Prior to writing the Offer:

  • Call the Listing Agent to introduce myself and ask about the property: Is the home still available? Did any offers come in? When will the offers be reviewed? What is the seller looking for in terms of escrow length? Where is the seller going to? Do they have a new home lined up? Are there certain providers that the seller and the agent are more comfortable working with or already have a relationship with? I always ask for any additional information that the Listing Agent thinks I should have.
  • Get together with my buyer to strategize on the best way to structure the offer. Agents, please listen carefully, the offer is NOT ONLY ABOUT THE PRICE! Terms are very, very important! How long should the contingency period be? Escrow period? Do we need a loan or appraisal contingency? How do we come up with the price? How much does my buyer want the property? THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE MY BUYERS OFFER STAND OUT FROM THE REST OF THE PACK!

Okay the offer is written, now what?

  1. I always recommend for the buyer to write an introduction letter to the seller. In this letter, the buyer has an opportunity to talk about themselves and why they like and want to live in the house. REMEMBER, A LOT OF SELLERS ARE ATTACHED TO THEIR HOME. They have many, many memories there. They want to have someone buy the home who will continue to love it as they did. And, if you get a seller that doesnt really care about who the buyer is, the letter will not hurt our position.
  2. I write a cover letter to the agent summarizing all the critical terms of the contract: price, down payment, earnest money deposit, escrow term, contingency periods, providers (escrow, title, home warranty)
  3. Attach a well written, PRE-APPROVAL letter from a respected lender. Make sure that the lender is aware that an offer is being presented. All good listing agents WILL CALL the lender to ensure the information is accurate and to ask additional questions.
  4. I make THREE copies of the contract. 1 copy for the Listing Agent, 1 copy for the Seller and an extra copy for the Transaction Coordinator or assistant. I usually put a post it note on each copy identifying who its for.
  5. I package the offer in a company folder with my business card. I put my cover letter on top, followed by the buyers letter to the home owner and the preapproval letter.
  6. The folder is then placed in an envelope and personally delivered to the listing agent. Call the agent first
  7. If the agent is not available and I had to drop the offer off at the listing agents office, I would call to ensure that the listing agent knows the offer is there waiting for them.

I cant tell you how many times, this simple presentation was able to separate me and my clients from the rest. I can attribute at least three offers that were accepted over the last four months specifically due to the way they were presented.

Remember our actions speak for themselves. Take the time to professionally package an offer the way you would want to receive one and GOOD LUCK!


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Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California


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