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SoCal home sales drop for 3rd straight month

October 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The government figures about 20 percent of all homeowners in the U.S. owe more than their property is worth, and that's affecting the housing market in a negative way. Home sales in the Southland have dropped for the third straight month and year-to-year. In September 2009, over 21,000 homes sold. This past September only 18,000 sold, for a slide of 16 percent.

On the other hand, the price of homes in the Southland is up.

In Los Angeles County the median price is $340,000, up three percent from last year. Orange County is up nearly four percent to $445,000. Riverside County had the largest rise of over eight percent to $200,000 and San Bernardino is up seven percent to $160,000. Ventura County is the only county to fall at one half of one percent to $370,000

If you need to sell your home in this turbulent market, then you better be ready to go to battle with some of the tactics that successful sellers use:

  • Price it right -- Forget what it would have sold for three or four years ago.
  • Get an appraisal -- Home sales fall apart when a home doesn't appraise for the selling price.
  • Curb appeal -- A brown lawn is not a selling point. Look at your home through a buyer's eyes.
  • Pick the best broker -- Which means the real estate broker with the best track record.
  • Hire a stager -- Stagers have tricks to make your home look like a model home.

In the meantime, there's trouble over foreclosure practices by the major banks with accusations banks tried to take over homes before they were even in foreclosure. White House officials say they will investigate those banks that violated the law by illegal evictions.

"They certainly can face fines from us and they can face legal action from homeowners," said White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs.

A federal task force is meeting Wednesday to discuss the foreclosure crisis.


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