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Come hear the mystery of the “Dead Sea Scrolls”! Special Rotary Program.

The Santa Rosa Sunrise Rotary Club is having a special program, This coming Friday, April 25th, on the mystery that is the “Dead Sea Scrolls”. We are delighted to have Dr. Weston Fields, curator and Dead Sea Scrolls Institute Director, speaking on this fascinating topic at a dinner evening program at Sally Tomatoes Event Center in Rohnert Park. See flyer below for all the information.

The Dead Sea scrolls first discovered years ago in caves, have been revealing mysteries of the Old Testament. Many of the scrolls continue to be discovered and reveal even more information of ancient beliefs. Dr. Fields will explore How and WHY these scrolls are so important to religious bodies and faiths.  To order tickets on line go to THIS LINK and then click on the flyer below. You’ll be led to our PayPal account. OR conversely, call Mike Kelly for tickets: 707-322-8503.

Join us for the fascinating story of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Join us for the fascinating story of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Spring has sprung and Real Estate is on the move….Buying, selling, downsizing. What to do with ALL that stuff?….It’s time to call on Kimberlee Foster of “Chucket!”

April 13, 2013; Santa Rosa, Ca.

The Real Estate Hour 9-10am KSRO 1350 AM, Sundays.

Kimberlee1-150x150Selling? Moving? Downsizing? ..or just plain fed up with all the “stuff”!

Have no fear. Kimberlee Foster joins us again with some tips on getting organized, whether it’s before a move, moving into a new home…or just organizing your life. FYI; I’ll be taking a lot of notes  ;-)

Kimberlee, through her company, Chucket -Organizing and Relocation Services,  offers home or office organizing and downsizing, with an emphasis on downsizing for seniors.  And, if you are moving,  she’ll manage all the details, from downsizing years of possessions to planning all the details of a move into smaller quarters.

From your initial complimentary consultation* to the “final sweep” of your home, Chucket will handle all the details based on your needs and preferences: inventory/assessment (what goes and where/what stays), overseeing movers, packing/unpacking, designing floor plans, setting up and personalizing your new home, coordinating auctions, estate sales, home cleaning, staging and realtor services. Serving Sonoma County, California.



Free 30 minute consultation

Call Kimberlee Direct at;  (707) 495-0778.

3 OPEN HOUSES THIS WEEKEND! April 13th–Santa Rosa,CA

We are grateful for all the terrific listings our clients have entrusted us to bring to market. Here is a list below of those being held open THIS Sunday, April 13th 1 to 4pm!

3310 Jeremy Court, Santa Rosa.  This Sunday 1 to 4pm  $935,000  4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, “In the Grand Style”–Absolutely stunning home in the Northeast area of Santa Rosa above Montecito. Allison will greet you along with Jennifer Foster of Umpqua Bank.

Craftsmanship, design touches, sophisticated color palette--come see this beauty high above the hills overlooking Montecito.

Craftsmanship, design touches, sophisticated color palette–come see this beauty high above the hills overlooking Montecito.

familyroom1_700 masterbathroom_700

1937 Neotomas Avenue, OPEN HOUSE, Today, Sunday 1 to 4pm

Come by this Sunday, April 13th between  1 to 4pm, and view  this stunning home located in Bennett Valley on a no through traffic street. Custom front yard landscaping invites you to linger under the grape arbor on the brick patio. Many families nowadays enjoy greeting neighbors and are spending MORE time in the front yard. Invite your neighbors onto the patio and create a mini-block party!  CLICK HERE for view our virtual tour of the Home.

Single level in Bennett Valley on quiet "No-Through" traffic street!

Single level in Bennett Valley on quiet “No-Through” traffic street!


Don't leave big bucks on the bargaining table!

Don’t leave big bucks on the bargaining table!

Hold a “First Time Seller’s” Seminar! The real estate bottom has come and gone–we’ve created new first time SELLER’s with EQUITY! They need to move on up! Show them How! 

#1–With ANY seminar–Don’t have it at YOUR OFFICE! Find a neutral spot such as community room, senior center hall, etc. Consumers don’t WANT to come into the bear’s den! I had a friend who spent a ton of money, time, energy on promoting a first time homebuyer fair only to make the mistake of having it at HER real estate office and it bombed.

#2–Why  a FIRST TIME SELLER’S SEMINAR? Most Realtors also have a first time homebuyers seminar. IN our “Wine-country” area of the San Francisco North Bay we have super low inventory, bidding wars for homes and First timers being beat out by “boomers” moving down and offering cash for homes. They constantly beat out our first timers. A Realtor will have to have a huge log of motivated buyers who can really deal to get a home in our area. In our marketplace our value took a 60% drop when the market imploded. But we are back big time.

#3–We went up 35% in the last three years and our median home price in the county went up 10% in ONE month with a new median home price over $500,000. We have EQUITY sellers again who purchased REO or foreclosed/short-sales homes starting in 2008 and now are MOVING ON UP. Couples who got a great deal on a home in the low $200′s during our REO market have homes now worth in the high  $300′s to early $400K range. They bought a nice 3/2 of 1100-1200 sqft but now have TWO kids and need more space! They have NEVER SOLD a home!

#4–Remember! You LIST TO LAST in our industry so let’s show them HOW to be a Seller and what the procedure entails. You can talk about pre-marketing issues such as home repairs, staging, feng-shui if that suits you, etc. What comes first–buying and selling or selling THEN buying? Show them your skill-set by explaining THEY are in the driver’s seat in this market. Show them statistics on your companies List to Sell %.  Let them know they can rent back for up to 60 days or if a cash deal on their home LONGER. One buyer who bought a listing gave our client one months FREE rent.   Selling first makes them powerful buyers as they are NOT contingent and have a BIG down payment.

#5–Many Realtors make the mistake of instantly seeking open houses to grab some buyers thinking this will happen much quicker than going out and LOOKING for new listings. We have buyers we’ve been working with for months and at NO fault of the buyers. They just keeping getting beat out or if an offer is accepted something unforeseen comes up in the inspections. We’ve also taken 8 listings in the last 45 days and all are IN escrow or soon will be. So remember–YOU LIST TO LAST in our industry. You can control 15 listing easily but 15 buyers? Good luck!

Flood Insurance in a Drought? Yup! You pay even on Sun Shiny Days!

Jan Loewen--Insurance Agent Superstar! And all around NICE person.

Jan Loewen–Insurance Agent Superstar! And all around NICE person.

And you pay BIG BUCKS for Flood Insurance even in drought conditions. The flood maps NEVER go away. Join us this Sunday as we discuss home owner’s insurance and WHAT to watch out for when buying a home. How much, on what? Tune us in this Sunday!

Alli and I are delighted to have insurance agent super-star, Jan Loewen on the show this coming Sunday. You may have heard much ballyhoo about the recent “Flood Insurance” legislation and how congress FINALLY passed new rules and regulations on this subject. Sure we’re in a drought, but your flood insurance bill is paid yearly and it can be VERY expensive. We will be discussing all of the following topics. Give us a call anytime during the show: 707-636-1350.

  • Flood insurance—Whatever you now KNOW –elevation certs, etc. Flood maps—how does ONE KNOW they reside in this zone?
  • Earthquake Insurance—two moderate ones in the north and south remind us this is EARTHQUAKE country. Is it a sucker bet? Huge deductibles?
  • What does FIRE insurance cover? How about personal property? Should one make a log or video of the homes interior? Special jewelry, paintings, prized antiques-separate appraisals?
  • What about auxiliary buildings—barns, shops, pump houses? Covered or need to be modified?

What about crop insurance? Water’s getting tight! This and YOUR QUESTIONS on the longest running real estate talk show in the North Bay!

CA License Number: 0B96725
Sherzer and Associates Insurance

CA License Number:  0814729

110 Stony Point Road  Ste. 120
Santa Rosa, CA  95401
Phone:  707-528-8483
Fax: 707-570-8942


The latest in Lending for Sonoma County and beyond! Sunday on the Real Estate Hour

Our "Loan Guy" Pete Phillippe

Our “Loan Guy” Pete Phillippe

We are pleased to have show favorite, “That Lender Guy”,  Peter Phillippe of Princeton Capital. Pete will be discussing the latest and BEST Interest rates, VA/FHA, lending requirements plus YOUR CALLS! Join us for what will surely be a “don’t miss” hour. Pete can be reached at: 707-481-2737 Cell  1-888-305-2473 eFax or peterphillippe@princetoncap.com

Buy…Sell…Sell…Buy? … or, What came first…the Chicken or the Egg?

As the percentage of “Equity Sellers” increases, and Homeowners can finally move around, many, including The Kelly Norman Team, are predicting that this will be “The year of the Contingent Buyer/Seller”….those who have a home to sell before they can buy. A very hard offer to get accepted in Sonoma County, Ca., as we remain in a very competitive “seller’s market”.  The alternative might be to sell and THEN buy…..leading to the age old question;

chicken-or-the-egg_7Here’s a great article we found that spells it out very nicely. We’ll be discussing this on today’s show; The Real Estate Hour with Mike Kelly and Allison Norman. 1350 AM KSRO, or streaming live on www.ksro.com.

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time

By Zillow   | Posted May 6th 2013 2:50PM


By Brendan Desimone

Now that the real estate market is picking up again, many people are looking to sell their homes at last. But when you sell, you have to move somewhere — which usually means buying another home. Buying and selling at the same time brings up a whole new set of challenges, but those who plan well in advance can make it happen smoothly. Here are five ways to successfully buy and sell a home at the same time.

1. Prepare to be stressed. Buying a home is stressful. Selling a home is stressful. When you do both at the same time, the experience is super stressful, not to mention emotional and difficult on many levels. You’re potentially carrying two mortgages or trying to time the purchase with the sale. There will be a lot of sleepless nights, worrying over finances and pressure to make a decision. It’s enough to ignite a family war.

Accepting upfront that this process will be extremely stressful will help in the long run. Know that most homeowners go through this, and there is success at the end of the long, dark tunnel. Plan everything as much as possible in advance. Do your homework. And take care of yourself. You’re going to be busier than usual.

2. Meet with your agent early on. Owners often believe their home is worth less than what the current market will bear. That’s why it’s important to meet with your real estate agent early on, even months before you plan to buy or sell. Researching online valuation tools or doing basic research will help to guide you. But a local agent will help you understand your home’s true current market value and marketability. A good agent is in the trenches daily and knows your neighborhood and market inside and out.

3. Learn the market where you want to purchase. After getting some hard numbers for your home’s sale you need to do the same on the purchase side. What’s on your wish list? What are your priorities? Determine your needs and understand what you will get for your money on the purchase side. You need to know this to factor in how financing will work with the buy/sell. Also, understand that market. Is it more or less competitive than where you live now? How long can you expect to search for a home? This will factor into your sale timing. If you’re moving within the city or town where you live, your listing agent will likely serve as your buying agent. If you’re moving just outside your area, you may need to ask your agent to refer you to an agent knowledgeable about that area.

4. Know your numbers. Once you understand the numbers on both the purchase and the sale, you need to know your financing options. Many people today don’t have a strong-enough financial foundation to purchase another home before selling their own, so knowing this upfront can help you plan more appropriately.

Engage a local mortgage broker or lender and understand what kind of down payment you’ll need to make a purchase, given the price point and type of home you seek to buy. How much equity do you have in your current home, and is the equity available? Do you have enough of a down payment liquid and would a lender allow you to make the purchase before selling the home? Find out by going through the loan pre-approval process. A good, local mortgage professional is as valuable as a good real estate agent.

5. Make a plan. Now that you know your numbers, it’s time to come up with a plan and execute. The plan can vary greatly, depending upon any number of conditions. Some examples: Buying in a competitive market? Adding a contingency that your current home must sell before you buy probably won’t work.

• Selling in a competitive market? You may be able to negotiate with the buyer for a longer escrow or even a rent back. This would buy you time on the purchase side.
• Selling in a slow market and buying in a competitive market? Need the sales proceeds in order to do the purchase? Unfortunately, you’re in the worst-case scenario. Consider the option of selling your home first and moving into temporary housing. While not the most physically convenient, it could be less stressful.
• Need temporary housing? Start researching those options now well in advance

Understanding the variables: There are so many variables that can come into play when buying or selling. Each one may affect your decision-making process. Identifying and planning for the variables as much as possible early on will help you avoid sleepless nights, stressful days, or fights with your spouse or partner.


Buyer Top Tips on Dealing with Multiple-Offer Competition

Buyer Tips on Multiple offersHere in Sonoma County, California the real estate market is dealing with Homes attracting Multiple Offers from Buyers.  Here are Buyer techniques you might wish to try to standout from the other offers.

My last column addressed recommendations and a method of dealing with multiple offers from the homeowner’s perspective. Many of the buyers we are currently assisting asked, “Hey, what about us?” The big difference between the Seller and Buyer is the SELLER will reach their goals in quick order. Buyers, however, may be making an offer on their 5th property and getting a trifle disgusted with the process. Let us explore those strategies and tips we use with Buyers.

In my last column we discussed HOW to deal with multiple-offers are happening across the price spectrum but more importantly in the “hot” price points associated with various areas in the county. Any of the “entry-level” price points are STILL facing tight inventory with big demand. Many Realtors are advising Sellers to place the property on the market, have a general “Open House”, a “Broker’s Open House” and then set a date in the near future to “review all offers”. This is usually done 7 to 10 days AFTER a property hits the market. The question is how a BUYER submits an offer which will not only secure the HOME but stand-out and appeal to the Seller. Continue reading Buyer Top Tips on Dealing with Multiple-Offer Competition

Multiple Offers coming again? Sellers-How to avoid leaving $$$ on the table!

Don't leave big bucks on the bargaining table!

Don’t leave big bucks on the bargaining table!

Here in Sonoma County, California, “The Wine Country” our market is HOT! Multiple offers are happening again!

“Sellers are getting multiple offers? I thought the market cooled off?”  Yes, we are seeing multiple offers. Not 10, 15 or 20 like when the market was super wacky but more tempered, 3, 5, 7 offers. Why? Let’s analyze the current real estate marketplace in Sonoma County. The inventory of homes is not only at a “Winter” low but a historic low. Our MLS (Multiple Listing Service) has only 575 “Active” listings on the market for a countywide population of over 490,000. This is the lowest it has been in over 3 years.  A scarcity of homes, historic low interest rates and strong demand is fertile ground for “multiple offers”.

Savvy Realtors know this. They study existing pricing of the “competition” (other active listings) setting an attractive price BELOW overpriced homes languishing on the market creating BIG excitement and MANY OFFERS.

In the “hot” market we experienced in 2012 and part of 2013, properties were being snatched up with big multiple offer prices sometimes $25,000, $50,000, $75,000 over asking.  A seller taking the “first” offer left BIG bucks on the table. The seller would accept the first offer only to find higher offers in the wings. Sellers sought comfort in the knowledge, “I got my price.” But at what cost? Continue reading Multiple Offers coming again? Sellers-How to avoid leaving $$$ on the table!