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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Aug. 9, 2008

Walking Away from Pasadena Home Listings

I love helping home buyers and home sellers around Pasadena with their real estate needs. My passion, though, is helping sellers market and sell their homes for the highest possible price and in the quickest possible time.

An unfortunate real estate trend for me personally in this real estate market is that I have been walking away from listings. It seems like there are a lot of unreasonable sellers in the Pasadena market place recently.

I had 3 listing appointments over the last two weeks and decided NOT to work with any of these home sellers.

Here are the top 7 reasons for me NOT to list your home:

  1. Unreasonable sales price: It seems that there are a lot of uneducated or oblivious home sellers in Pasadena. Let me say this - NO REALTOR EVER SETS THE PRICE FOR A HOME! A final sales price is a function of the real estate market. It's what a home buyer is willing to pay and a home seller willing to accept. There are clear real estate market statistics and indicators that drive the suggested price of a Pasadena home. I do not make them up. I can not change them at will. Multiple Listing Service and companies like Altos Research can provide comprehensive market statistics. OVERPRICING a home will only ensure that your home will sell for much less than what it is worth. I refuse to take a home listing that is overpriced and offer home sellers false hope. There are enough real estate agents out there that are willing to do that.
  2. Sellers refusal to Stage their home: Homes that are not staged properly will not sell for the highest possible price AND they will sit on the market, and sit on the market, and sit on the market. Did I make my point yet? I do not want to waste my time or the seller's if they are unwilling to stage their home.
  3. Sellers that refuse to clean their homes and keep them clean during the listing agreement. That's pretty self explanatory. Some people are willing to spend more time on getting their car ready for sale than their house.
  4. Sellers that refuse to give access to showing their house. So... what you're saying is that you want to sell, but show it only when it pleases you? Selling a home is quite frankly inconvenient. If you live in the house that you are selling, it's even more difficult. You lose a lot of your privacy. But, to sell the home successfully, easy access is needed to the house.
  5. Sellers insisting on paper advertising. Most buyers now come from the internet. I spend a lot of time and money optimizing my seller's home listings so that these homes are found quickly and by many potential buyers. I refuse to placify sellers who just want to see their home photo in LA Times or Pasadena Star News. Did you know that LA Times is no longer publishing a Real Estate section? Why? Because it doesn't work! When you hire me to sell your job, trust me to do just that. I am fully incentivized to sell it quickly and the highest possible price. After all, I do not get paid, until you do!
  6. Sellers insisting on continuous Open Houses. Open Houses do not work effectively. Some Open Houses, especially at the beginning of a home listing period are absolutely necessary. For example, broker's open house, twilight neighborhood open house. Consistent open houses are only good for realtors. They are ways to find buyers - not for your home mind you, but for other available homes. Open Houses can lead to theft as in the recent number of San Marino home thefts during Open Houses. Again, Mr. & Mrs. Seller, please trust me to do my job and protect you and your investment.
  7. Sellers that argue with me over commission and contract period of the listing. Now... I can write, and probably will shortly, an article on commissions. Let me suffice it to say that you as a seller have options. You can choose to sell your Pasadena home yourself. You can sell it with a discount broker. Or, you can sell your home with me and get more in your bottom line. My home listings consistently sell for 3.1% more than the Pasadena Foothill Board average and sell 12% faster than the average*. I leverage the latest technology and social media marketing to ensure that your home sells quickly and for the most money. And, you can cancel your contract with me at any time with 24 hours notice. I take the risks, not you Mr. Home Seller.

So if you are a serious and motivated home seller in or around Pasadena, please call me. I'd love to work with you. If not, please call another agent or just try selling your home yourself.

* Statistics based on 2004 and 2005 data

Aug. 7, 2008

Monrovia Real Estate - State of the Housing Market Report

If you are living in Monrovia or are thinking about relocating to Monrovia, you've come to the right place.

This post will be updated monthly, around the first week of the month, for the previous month and will give you key real estate market indicators for Monrovia California. Bookmark this page and visit it each month to see how Monrovia homes and condos are faring in today's real estate market.

If you are already an Monrovia homeowner and would like to get a monthly email sent to you with real estate activity around your Monrovia home, please click here to request your real estate monthly market report. This very comprehensive real estate market report will be emailed to you weekly and will give you a clear idea of real estate market trends.

If you are seriously considering selling your Monrovia home, condo or townhouseand would like a private consultation, please contact me at 626-627-7107 or

Monrovia Real Estate Market Report for the month of July 2008:

The median sales price of Monrovia Single Family Residence (SFR) has dropped from the high of approximately $650,000 last year to just around $575,000 as of August 3rd. The average price for last month is running in the low $513,000 range. The price per square foot has dropped accordingly and the market time is increasing to over 4 months.

The summer months have held pretty stable with most of the drop in price taking place in the winter and spring.

One of the concerns, potential buyers raise was the recent shooting at the Monrovia high school. In speaking with Monrovia residents, the general concensus is that the school and Monrovia police department are taking the necessary action to address the issues that lead up to the shooting.

Overall, this is a wonderful family community with older, character homes and stable long term residents.

All the real estate indicators are pointing to Monrovia presenting opportunities for buyers.

Single Family Residence Jul-08
New Listings 27
Total Listings 161
Sales Pending 23
Homes Sold 24
Listings Expired 12
Average Days on the Market 144
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $350
Average Selling Price $513,854
Condos and Townhomes Jul-08
New Listings 9
Total Listings 20
Sales Pending 11
Homes Sold 6
Listings Expired 6
Average Days on the Market 224
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $302
Average Selling Price $418,000

Data taken from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)

If you are interested in beginning your Monrovia house search, please click on the search home link here.

For weekly updates on real estate market activity, please feel free to request market analysis reports with detailed information by clicking here. These reports are gathered and updated by Altos Research and will be emailed to you with my compliments.

Posted by Irina Netchaev 626-627-7107

Aug. 5, 2008

Sell Your Pasadena Home in 30 days or Less - Part II

In the previous post, Sell Your Pasadena Home in 30 Days or Less, we discussed the basic formula for selling your home. There are three parts to your selling success:

  1. Preparing your Pasadena home for sale.
  2. Determining a price for your home.
  3. Deciding how to market your Pasadena home.

Today, I wanted to go into a bit more detail on the type of marketing and advertisement methods that are available in today's Pasadena real estate market.

We talked about the importance of bringing "eye balls" to see your home. Exposure is of utmost importance in getting the highest possible price for your home and selling it in record time. The more people that see your home, the more opportunity you have in selling it well.

To fully market your home today, it is imperative that you put the power of the internet to work for you. Internet, not only, exposes your home to the immediate real estate market consumers, but it also is an extremely powerful tool which will bring buyers that are thinking of relocating to Pasadena.

We already know that we need to have your home listed in the local Multiple Listing Service. Please note, that in Pasadena there are several Multiple Listing Services (MLS). We have ITEC which is part of Pasadena Foothill Association. And, there is IMRMLS, which is part of Arcadia Realtors Association. Please make sure that your Pasadena home is listed in one of these MLS services. If it's listed in one, it's listed in both through the magic of new computer programming that was recently implemented.

If you have a realtor friend who is working out of the area, who will be listing your home for you. Not the best idea, but that's a different post. Please ensure that your real estate agent contacts one of these MLS services and enters your home there.

MLS Listings are very different. How do you make your Pasadena home stand out?

  • Make sure that you have a wonderful, detailed and honest description of your home. You want people to read the description and want to visit your home to see if it's the right home for them. You need to create the emotion of really, really wanting to see your home.

READ ALSO: Words that Sell Your Home

  • Use lots of photos. Now... when I say lots of photos, let me clarify. Use GOOD photos. Please do not place photos that are out of focus, or show messy rooms, or are crooked, or show a ton of ceiling, or showcase your furniture. Remember, you are trying to sell your home. MLS services allow anywhere from 25 to 30 photos per listing. Put up as many photos as the service allows. Buyers love to be able to see photos of homes, especially buyers that are thinking of relocating to Pasadena.

Photography Tip: Use a wide-angle camera! It's very difficult to photograph a house without one.

    • Front of the house photo
    • Back yard
    • Entry
    • Bedrooms
    • Living Room (preferably several views)
    • Kitchen (preferably several shots from different angles)
    • Bathrooms
    • Pool & Spa (if you have one)
    • Garden
    • View of the surrounding area (street, etc)
    • Special features of the house (think what made you buy this house, photograph it and put it up on the MLS)

READ ALSO: Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words

  • Videotape your home. Yes... you heard me, video your house. Not only should you video the home, you should narrate the video and talk about what made you buy your house, what you loved about living in your home, what did you love about living in Pasadena, why the buyers would want to purchase your Pasadena home, etc. Trust me on this... it works!

Place your video on . I video tape my clients' homes all the time. Out of town buyers love that! Even the buyer down the street will love it. There are other services that I use to upload your video to. The more the merrier.

  • Create a Flash Presentation or a Virtual Tour. Companies like do a wonderful job of hosting these presentations and distributing them to additional search engines.

In my next post, we'll talk about creating a real estate home brochure and other ideas to help you in selling your house. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions. I can be reached at 626-629-8439 or via email at

Aug. 5, 2008

Alhambra Real Estate Market Report - July 2008

If you are living in Alhambra or are thinking about relocating to Alhambra, you've come to the right place.

This post will be updated monthly, around the first week of the month, for the previous month and will give you key real estate market indicators for Alhambra California. Bookmark this page and visit it each month to see how Ahambra homes and condos are faring in today's real estate market.

If you are already an Alhambra homeowner and would like to get a monthly email sent to you with real estate activity around your Alhambra home, please visit our real time real estate market page and sign up for your real estate monthly market report. You will not be contacted by me or anyone on my team and the information will be generated automatically via email based on the criteria that you list.

If you are seriously considering selling your Alhambra home and would like a private consultation, please contact me at 626-629-8439 or email us.

Additional Alhambra Real Estate Market Reports:

Alhambra Real Estate Market Report - August 2008

Alhambra Real Estate Market Report - September 2008

Alhambra Real Estate Market Report for the month of July 2008:

The number of new homes for sale (SFR) almost doubled in July with the number of home sales remaining the same as in the last couple of months. Price per square foot is moving down as well. There is several months of inventory for Alhambra home buyers to choose from.

Single Family Residence Jul-08
New Listings 21
Total Listings 61
Sales Pending 17
Homes Sold 15
Listings Expired 8
Average Days on the Market 62
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $350
Average Selling Price $505,133
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 20.3
Condos and Townhomes Jul-08
New Listings 11
Total Listings 39
Sales Pending 11
Homes Sold 12
Listings Expired 7
Average Days on the Market 84
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $305
Average Selling Price $406,708
Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 21.1

Alhambra Real Estate Market Report for the month of June 2008:

Single Family Residence Jun-08
New Listings 12
Total Listings 54
Sales Pending 14
Homes Sold 13
Listings Expired 9
Average Days on the Market 112
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $414
Average Selling Price $511,692
Condos and Townhomes Jun-08
New Listings 14
Total Listings 45
Sales Pending 11
Homes Sold 8
Listings Expired 7
Average Days on the Market 66
Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $280
Average Selling Price $373,238

Alhambra Real Estate Market Report for the month of May 2008:

Single Family Residence May-08
New Listings 11
Total Listings 62
Sales Pending 19
Homes Sold 13
Listings Expired 9
Average Days on the Market 92
Average Selling Price $483,669
Condos and Townhomes May-08
New Listings 15
Total Listings 47
Sales Pending 10
Homes Sold 10
Listings Expired 5
Average Days on the Market 146
Average Selling Price $400,180
Aug. 3, 2008

Sell Your Pasadena Home in 30 days or Less

Sell Your Home Quickly

So you're thinking of selling your Pasadena home. Great!  You've come to the right place. This is the first post of a multiple series on how to sell your Pasadena Home.

Yes... you can use the services of a Pasadena Real Estate Agent. Or, you can choose to sell your Pasadena homeby yourself. Either way, Pasadena home sellers have to follow a home selling process.

Prepare your Pasadena Home for sale:

Before you consider advertising or marketing your Pasadena home, you need to make sure that it's in market ready condition. That involves several steps:

  • Go through each room of your house and be honest with yourself about the items that need to be repaired or replaced. Come on... you know what I mean...
  • Order a pre-inspection by a California licensed real estate home inspector. You can get a list of Inspectors from CREIA , California Real Estate Inspection Association or just give me a call and I'll recommend a few. Buyers will do it the moment they open escrow. Why be surprised later or give the buyers and additional negotiating power, especially in today's real estate market.

READ MORE: Save Thousands of Dollars with Home Inspections.

  • Get rid of clutter. Clutter is translated to thousands of lost sale dollars. Trust me on this. I've seen it time after time.
  • Take down most if not all of your family photos. Buyers want to picture themselves in the house, not YOU, the seller.
  • Take a look at the outside of your house. Does it need paint? How is the landscaping? Will buyers be able to get to your front door without tripping over tree roots or toys left outside. Is the front door painted and welcoming? Are there cobwebs covering the entry?
  • CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN - now that you've made the necessary repairs, start cleaning furiously - windows, floors, carpeting, BATHROOMS (yes... go to the extremes - take a q-tip and run it around the base of your toilet - what do you find?) Make your home SPARKLE! As you clean, just tell yourself that you're cleaning for $s!
  • Hire a Stager. When I sold my own house last year, I hired a professional home stager to stage my house.
    Staging is absolutely critical in today's real estate environment. If your house is staged it will sell faster and for more money - guaranteed!

READ MORE: What is Staging

READ MORE: Make a Great First Impression

Determine a Price for your Pasadena Home:

After preparing your Pasadena home for sale, pricing is the most critical part of the selling formula. If your Pasadena home is overpriced, it will just sit on the market. Let me repeat this, it WILL sit on the market! The longer your home is on the market without offers, the less negotiating power you will have, the less you will sell your home for.  Simple, isn't it?

Pricing is not easy. It takes a lot of data, experience and knowledge of the market.

  • Start out by looking at the comparables for your area for a minimum of the last three months, but you really need the last 6 months or so. When I say "your area", I don't mean the whole city of Pasadena. Look at a quarter mile radius of real estate activity around your home and at the zip code of your home and only then at how Pasadena real estate market is doing in general.
  • Identify real estate market trends. What is the absorption rate for your area? How long has it taken other Pasadena homes to sell? What is the going price per square foot? Are Pasadena homes selling close to asking? What is the inventory volumes are like? What is thebuyer's index for the area. I think you get what I'm getting to. Know your numbers inside and out. Your potential buyers will! I have free market report tools on this website that you can subscribe to. Whether you sell your home yourself or choose to have a Real Estate agent help you with this process, please use them. Be informed!

READ MORE: Pasadena Market Real Estate Report

  • Know your competition! How many homes are available for sale in Pasadena right now? Go see each and every one of them. What do these homes have that yours don't? How are these Pasadena homes priced? How do they compare to yours? Ask yourself, if you were looking to a buy a house in your Pasadena neighborhood right now, which house would you buy given the going priceYOURS or someone elses?
  • Revisit real estate market trends weekly! We are in a changing real estate market. You need to be on top of the real estate activity and trends.

Decide how you will market your Pasadena Home

You've done the hard work - your Pasadena home looks great. It's been staged. You know you priced it correctly. Now... how will you market your home?  Create a budget, especially if you are selling your home yourself.

  • Newspaper Marketing - one of the most expensive marketing methods to date in the real estate community. Also, not very effective. Even Los Angeles Times decided to pull back on the size of their Real Estate Marketing section.  Check to see if there are local papers or publications in your specific area that are more budget friendly and make sense to use.
  • Internet Marketing - now that is where the action is.  Effective means of advertising that has a very wide reach. Here are just some of the websites that you should be utilizing. I have a list of hundreds of websites that my Pasadena Home Listings are entered into. 
  • Market to the Real Estate Agent community. It is imperative to let the local real estate professionals know about your Pasadena home for sale. Whether you sell your home yourself of not, the chances of a real estate agent representing the buyer are overwhelming. Remember exposure to buyers is key. The more eye-balls you get on your home, the faster it will sell. Think of how you will marke to these agents. Will you deliver flyers to local real estate offices? Will you email to them? Of course, if you use the services of a professional real estate agent, they will do this for you. Interview your agent first and specifically ask them how they intend to market your home to other real estate brokers.
  • Market your home to the people that already live in your neighborhood. You'd be surprised to how many of your neighbors know someone that wants to live next to them. Friends? Family members? The possibilities are endless. Don't take your neighbors for granted. Her're a couple of ideas: 
    • You might want to have a special Neighbors Only Preview Open House
    • Create a CD presentation to distribute to your neighbors. Just in case they
      are busy and can't visit the Open House
    • Send out letters to them letting them know that you're selling.

I hope the formula for a successful home sale above will help you understand the process of selling your Pasadena home. This should also help you determine whether or not selling your home by yourself is a good, viable option for you. Stay tuned for more in this series focusing on additional necessities like completing disclosure paperwork, drafting and reviewing real estate contracts, creating a flyer, etc.

READ MORE: Part II of the Series

In the meantime, feel free to leave specific questions in the comments section and I will address them as part of this home selling series.
Happy selling!

Irina (626) 629-8439

Aug. 2, 2008

Pasadena Mortage Rates Report: August 1, 2008

Pasadena Real Estate Mortgage rates for August 1, 2008. Loan amounts up to $417,000:

3/1 ARM 5.500%

5/1 ARM 5.625%

7/1 ARM 6.125%

10/1 ARM 6.250%

30 Yr Fixed 6.250%

All rates offered to the borrower with 1 point cost. Rate quotes assume a purchase transaction with a 20% down payment, 720 credit score, and full income qualification. Rates are subject to fluctuation. Custom rate quotes and rate lock advice are available by calling (858)-777-9751 .


Next 7 days: Slightly Lower

Next 30 days: Slightly Lower

Next 3 months: Neutral

This mortgage rates report is offered courtesy of Brian Brady. Contact Brian for more information about a home loan or apply online.

Aug. 1, 2008

San Marino Real Estate - Broker's Open House and Market Update

Every Thursday is a Broker's Open House day in San Marino. This is an opportunity for San Marino real estate agentsto preview all the homes that were listed in San Marino for the week. This also gives an opportunity for San Marino sellers to showcase their homes and make sure that they are well presented to potential buyers and real estate agents.

Today, San Marino had a record 7 homes for sale open for broker's preview (2 homes were price reductions):

Address BR/BA Price Prce/Sq.Ft
2045 Sherwood Road, San Marino 3/2 $1,460,000 $803  
2070 Lorain Road, San Marino 3/2 $1,285,000 $740  
1870 Carlisle Drive, San Marino 2/1 $1,175,000 $698  
2769 Gainsborough Drive, San Marino 4/5 $2,399,000 $664  
2804 Carlaris Road, San Marino 5/3 $1,699,000 $568  
2734 Monterey Road, San Marino 4/3 $1,298,800 $566 Price Reduced
1479 Vandyke Road 3/3 $1,350,000 $546 Price Reduced

A San Marino Real Estate Market Snapshot:

San Marino Homes for Sale 47 at $649/sq. ft. on average

San Marino Homes Under Contract 26 at $572/sq. ft. on average

San Marino Homes Already Purchased by San Marino Home Buyers:

Month # of Homes Sold Price Per Sq. Ft. % of Sales Price to List Price
January-08 5 $612 101.86
February-08 6 $479 91.45
March-08 6 $668 107.03
April-08 7 $578 98.93
May-08 10 $589 102.35
June-08 11 $576 99.77
YTD 42 $582 100.51

Sellers, if these numbers

do not speak to you, let



  • The data is clear, San Marino Homes have been selling in the high $500s per sq.ft.
  • Current homes on the market are averaging almost $650 per square foot.
  • 4 out of 5 new listings this week are over $660 per square foot.
  • Inventory is INCREASING
  • San Marino's Real Estate market absorbs approximately 7 homes per month.
  • There are 47 homes on the market for sale.
  • This means that we have more than 6.5 months of inventory!

San Marino sellers, please understand San Marino buyers are looking at hard data. This information is being provided to them by their San Marino Realtors.

A copy of this week's San Marino report is available by clicking here - SAN MARINO REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORT If you would like to receive this report every week as it is updated, please email me.

Here are some of the latest San Marino homes for sale for your review:

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 San Marino?  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!

Aug. 1, 2008

The Power of Words to Sell Your Home

Okay, a quick Quiz: What sells Pasadena Homes?

  1. Location, Location, Location!
  2. Correct Pricing!
  3. Condition and Staging!
  4. Sales Words Used in the Multiple Listing Service!

Huh? Words sell homes? That's something new...

Well, experienced and successful Pasadena Real Estate agents have known this for quite awhile. Now, there's an article in The Seattle Times by Ann Brenoff that discusses just that.

Words matter. Wars have started over words. Civilizations have collapsed because of them. And, it appears the speed with which a house sells can be determined by them. Ann Brenoff

So, how can home sellers use words to give them the edge in selling their Pasadena house?

A study done by a Canadian professor, Paul Anglin, after analyzing more than 20,000 home listings, found that sales words not only affect the speed of home sales, but also the PRICE of a home sale.

Certain words can make your home sell faster and for more money. So roll up your sleeves and let's look at this together.

Words that help sell your Pasadena home faster and for more money are:

Handyman special

Beautiful (these homes moved 15 percent faster and for 5 percent more in price than the benchmark)

Curb appeal

Move-in condition (home listings took 12% less time to sell)

Landscaping (homes sold 20% sometimes)




Words that hurt:

Motivated seller (homes sold for 8% less in the study! In another study by Ronald Rutherford of University of Texas, afinance and real-estate professor, homes that listed "Motivated Sellers" in their description stayed on the market for 15 longer and sold for 4% less!)

Moving (homes sold for 1% less in the study)

Good value




New paint

Los Angeles Times

Another word: "MUST SEE" was not received well by home buyers and did not do anything statistically to improve the number of days a home was on the market before selling.

If you are selling your Pasadena home, review your Multiple Listing Service (MLS) description to see how your home is advertised and feel free to share this with your Pasadena Real Estate agent.

If you are selling your home by owner (FSBO), review all your marketing - MLS, flyers, etc and incorporate the words that sell.

If you are considering selling your home in and around Pasadena, work with a respected and knowledgeable real estate agent who can ensure that you get the highest $ for your home.

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July 30, 2008

Sierra Madre California Real Estate Property - Condos and Townhomes for Sale

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Posted in Home Staging
July 30, 2008

Sierra Madre Real Estate Property - Homes for Sale in California

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Posted in Homes For Sale