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Posts from the ‘Trusted Resources’ Category

Does A Realtor’s Involvement in Community Influence Your Decision to Work with Him/Her?

The California Association of Realtors says, “yes.”  What are your thoughts?

Actively participating in animal support groups, including horse rescue and Pedro Pet Pals, is something important to me. If you’d like to get involved, please let me know.

“We trusted them completely. They truly know their business.”

We really appreciate our clients and it’s a joy to be able to read their notes and letters to us letting us know we’ve served them well.

When my husband and I decided to sell our home, we were introduced to Clint Patterson and Leslie Stetson through a friend of mine.  Never having sold a home before, neither my husband or myself had any idea what the process would entail.  We were very fortunate to have Clint and Leslie help us sell our home.

They listened to our questions and concerns and were very honest with us.  When we asked questions, we wanted the truth and did not want to hear what they thought we wanted to hear.  To us, this was very important and because of this, we trusted them completely.  They truly know their business.

We never felt like we were being rushed nor pushed into anything.  Whenever we had questions (which were often), they always returned our calls and took the time to speak to us…never rushed.  We also never felt like we were just a source of income to them.   We always felt like they were there for us and us alone.  They worked very hard for us and whenever they had any type of suggestion, we listened, and they were so right on so many things, God bless them.  If we had not listened to them, we probably wouldn’t have sold our home.

 I would recommend Clint and Leslie to anyone I know looking to buy a home in the South Bay.  They’re both gems and I keep in touch with them whenever possible.

Terry and Dave L.

How to Use Comparable Sales to Price Your Home

house-value-factorsBefore you put your home up for sale, understand how the right comparable sales help you and your agent find the perfect price.
How much can you sell your home for? Probably about as much as the neighbors got, as long as the neighbors sold their house in recent memory and their home was just like your home.

Knowing how much homes similar to yours, called comparable sales (or in real estate lingo, comps), sold for gives you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home. The trick is finding sales that closely match yours.
What makes a good comparable sale?

Your best comparable sale is the same model as your house in the same subdivision—and it closed escrow last week. If you can’t find that, here are other factors that count:

  • Location: The closer to your house the better, but don’t just use any comparable sale within a mile radius. A good comparable sale is a house in your neighborhood, your subdivision, on the same type of street as your house, and in your school district.
  • Home type: Try to find comparable sales that are like your home in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, basement (having one and whether it’s finished), finishes, and yard size.
  • Amenities and upgrades: Is the kitchen new? Does the comparable sale house have full A/C? Is there crown molding, a deck, or a pool? Does your community have the same amenities (pool, workout room, walking trails, etc.) and homeowners association fees?
  • Date of sale: You may want to use a comparable sale from two years ago when the market was high, but that won’t fly. Most buyers use government-guaranteed mortgages, and those lending programs say comparable sales can be no older than 90 days.
  • Sales sweeteners: Did the comparable-sale sellers give the buyers downpayment assistance, closing costs, or a free television? You have to reduce the value of any comparable sale to account for any deal sweeteners.
    Agents can help adjust price based on insider insights
    Even if you live in a subdivision, your home will always be different from your neighbors’. Evaluating those differences—like the fact that your home has one more bedroom than the comparables or a basement office—is one of the ways real estate agents add value.

An active agent has been inside a lot of homes in your neighborhood and knows all sorts of details about comparable sales. She has read the comments the selling agent put into the MLS, seen the ugly wallpaper, and heard what other REALTORS®, lenders, closing agents, and appraisers said about the comparable sale.

More ways to pick a home listing price

If you’re still having trouble picking out a listing price for your home, look at the current competition. Ask your real estate agent to be honest about your home and the other homes on the market (and then listen to her without taking the criticism personally).

Next, put your comparable sales into two piles: more expensive and less expensive. What makes your home more valuable than the cheaper comparable sales and less valuable than the pricier comparable sales?

Are foreclosures and short sales comparables?
If one or more of your comparable sales was a foreclosed home or a short sale (a home that sold for less money than the owners owed on the mortgage), ask your real estate agent how to treat those comps.

A foreclosed home is usually in poor condition because owners who can’t pay their mortgage can’t afford to pay for upkeep. Your home is in great shape, so the foreclosure should be priced lower than your home.

Short sales are typically in good condition, although they are still distressed sales. The owners usually have to sell because they’re divorcing, or their employer is moving them to Kansas.

How much short sales are discounted from their market value varies among local markets. The average short-sale home in Omaha in recent years was discounted by 8.5%, according to a University of Nebraska at Omaha study. In suburban Washington, D.C., sellers typically discount short-sale homes by 3% to 5% to get them quickly sold, real estate agents report. In other markets, sellers price short sales the same as other homes in the neighborhood.

So you have to rely on your real estate agent’s knowledge of the local market to use a short sale as a comparable sale.

By: Carl Vogel | HouseLogic

The Rolling Hills Market Report: 2015 Real Estate Year in Review

RH-news-Jan-2016-coverThank you!

As we begin 2016 and look back on 2015, we would like to thank our valued clients, friends and neighbors for the trust and confidence that they place in ius as we work to assist and advise you on  real estate matters!

Leslie & Clint


Read our 2015 Real Estate Year in Review for Rolling Hills



Summer’s Almost Here – Time to Hit the Trails

Summer is almost here and it’s a great time to hit the trails, take in the beautiful scenery of Rolling Hills and other hiking venues in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  With over 50 miles of private hiking and equestrian trails in the City of Rolling Hills, it’s like having a park in your back yard!  There are a couple things for you to keep an eye out for to keep your hikes pleasant:


As the weather warms up, we are seeing lots of new growth and blossoms on the trails. So be aware of poison oak (toxicodendron diversilobum). Its leaves contain a compound that causes a rash on human skin.

Poison oak is widespread throughout the mountains and valleys of California. It thrives in shady canyons and riparian habitats. It commonly grows as a climbing vine with aerial (adventitious) roots that adhere to the trunks of oaks and sycamores.

Symptoms of contact with poison oak are commonly streaky rash with red bumps that turn into weeping blisters. The rash may last 1-3 weeks, but the symptoms usually peak between the 4th – 7th days.2

First Aid for Poison Oak Exposure
1. Strip off clothing and place them in a plastic garbage bag. Get into a shower as quickly as possible and wash skin with cool water and soap that does not contain oils. Washing the resins from the poison plants off your skin within 30 minutes of exposure can prevent most allergic reactions. You can apply rubbing alcohol or OTC cleansers to skin to dissolve poison oak oils. If you are outdoors without access to either a shower or cleansers, then rinse your body off in a running stream. Scrub under fingernails with a toothbrush. Discard toothbrush afterwards.

2. Avoid scratching the rash and blisters. Breaking the skin allows bacterial to enter the wound.

3. Cool off. Apply cold compresses or icepack for 10-15 minutes. Also allow the area to dry instead of rubbing it with a towel if you get the rash wet.

4. Take a lukewarm bath. Use an oatmeal bath product or an aluminum acetate soak.

5. Apply topical creams or lotions. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can provide some relief from itching.

6. Take antihistamines if topical remedies don’t work. These medications can be taken orally or applied as a cream. Antihistamines generally offer only mild relief from the symptoms of poison ivy, but if you take oral medications before bedtime, their combination of anti-itch and drowsiness-inducing effects can help you get some rest.


The second thing to stay alert for are rattlesnakes. The most common species in this area is crotalus oreganus helleri, aka Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.

Rattlesnake bites are the leading cause of snakebite injuries in North America. However, rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened; and if treated promptly, the bites are rarely fatal. The most important factor in survival following a severe envenomation is the amount of time elapsed between the bite and treatment. If antivenom treatment is given within 2 hours of the bite, the probability of recovery is greater than 99%.1

Here is some advice from Chris White, DVM, a local mobile veterinarian ( on how to avoid the risk of snake bites, for you and your dog that may accompany you on your hikes:

1. Know your environment. Rattlesnakes aren’t typically in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic, although they will occasionally sun themselves in the middle of an open trail. If you and your pet go into grassy fields and trails, there will be a higher likelihood for rattlesnake exposure.

2. Keep control of your dog at all times: It’s fun to let your pet run and explore, however, all it might take is your pet putting his or her nose into a wood pile in response to the sound of a rattle, and it’s too late. Make sure dogs are controlled on a leash at all times in rattlesnake populated areas.

3. Rattlesnakes are reptiles and require constant thermoregulation of their body heat. Avoid rattlesnake environments by hiking in the morning. As the sun rises, the snakes will be sunning themselves to warm up for the day, and may be more likely to be in the open. Also, avoid twilight and early evenings in these areas, in that this is prime hunting time for these snakes, and they are more likely to be foraging for their dinner. Finally, rattlesnakes, may not be out in the open as much during a hot day, as they may easily overheat; they will typically be burrowed in gopher holes, or under protective brush, wood, wood piles, or rock piles. Avoid such areas during the day.

4. If you regularly go to places where rattlesnakes are present, consider going to your veterinarian and getting your pet the rattlesnake vaccine. It is a series of two vaccines 1 month apart. It will give you and your pet additional time to get to your vet for comprehensive medical assistance in the event that your pet is bitten. In following years, the vaccine is done on an annual basis to maintain protection.

Hikers are advised to keep their distance when encountering a rattlesnake on a trail and allow the snake room to retreat. Caution is advised even when snakes are believed to be dead; rattlesnake heads can see, flick the tongue, and inflict venomous bites for up to an hour after being severed from the body.

In the case that you are bitten, the recommended emergency response is the following, although data on the effectiveness of first aid techniques for rattlesnake bites is limited:

1. Remain calm and retreat from the snake at least 15 feet. Arrange to have the victim transported to a medical facility as soon as possible.

2. Remove restrictive clothing items (rings, bracelets, watches, buttoned shirts, etc.) from the victim.

3. Splint or otherwise immobilize any bitten limbs and keep them below heart level. If (and only if) the victim is more than 1 hour away from a medical facility place a lightly constricting band (that admits one finger beneath it) above the bitten area to prevent the systemic spread of the venom.

4. Keep victims calm; put them at rest; keep them warm and give them comfort and reassurance (which will lower their heart rate, slowing the spread of the venom). Keeping a victim’s heart rate down, however, this should never interfere with getting him or her to a medical facility.1

In no case should tourniquets be used, nor should any incisions or suction be applied to the wound.

I hope this helps you enjoy and stay safe on your hikes!  Happy Trails!


1 Wikipedia

2 Wikihow