Meet Booker Howard
Welcome to my website!
I am Booker Howard, a seasoned real estate professional that prides myself on my in-depth knowledge of the Long Beach area and all this community has to offer.
Whether you are buying or selling, my team and I understand that the process can be exciting, but also, stressful. We focus on taking the pressure off of you so you can make the best decisions for you and your family. In my business, I am known for great customer service, consistent communication and attention to the details to ensure you have a positive experience. My team and I are here for you 24/7 – call or email me anytime! I look forward to helping you buy or sell your home.
Top Buyer TipsTop Seller TipsRecent Articles
How do you compare similar properties?
Location is the primary factor homeowners can’t change about their property. Some buyers consider the condition of the property, but cosmetics can easily be upgraded with a little home renovation work. So we start by finding the right neighborhoods and communities.
What's the number one thing that can go wrong with the purchase?
On the buyer side, we primarily deal with appraisal or inspection issues, but we do our best to set expectations accordingly to prepare our buyers.
Things can go “wrong” for a buyer when their mortgage financing hits a speed bump, which is why I prefer to work with experienced lenders who can prepare us up front for any possible challenges.
How do you know if a neighborhood is safe?
By law, real estate agents are not allowed to give an opinion on a neighborhoods safety rating, however there are a number of online resources provided by local and national law enforcement that will allow buyers to do their own research.
My advice to buyers is to visit a neighborhood during the morning, afternoon, evening and night to get a feel for what type of activities are happening at different times of the day. Visiting a neighborhood also allows you to experience traffic patterns, which are obviously important to consider.
Rent or Buy?
This is a personal decision based on lifestyle, financial or employment security and the anticipated time someone plans on spending in a particular area.
The math works out differently for everyone based on their short or long term financial goals, but I try to separate the concept of what “home” means to someone from what their investment goals are.
What's the first thing sellers should do to get prepared?
We have to establish clear priorities and expectations between speed to close and net-revenue to the seller.
Depending on whether we are in a buyer’s or seller’s market, speed to close may impact net revenue due to how competitive we have to be on price and concessions to the buyer.
We also need to prepare a move-out plan based on where they are moving and if they will be buying or renting. Again, impacted by the state of the market.
Should sellers renovate their home before listing it for sale?
Minor cosmetic upgrades could help bring a slightly higher offer, but I encourage sellers to resist the temptation of spending a bunch of money if their primary goal is financially influenced.
If comparable properties are similar in age and condition, then buyers are already prepared to do their own renovation work, and therefore have set their own pricing expectations based on their budget or type of financing.
Is it better to buy first or sell?
If the seller is using a mortgage to purchase their next home, their lender tends to answer this question for us.
The market plays an important role in this decision as well. In times of low inventory, sellers may need to wait until they have secured their next home before they list.
We’ve experienced conditions where buyers have spent months competing with other buyers on listings that receive multiple offers within the first hour. So in that circumstance, the buyers are confident that their home will sell quickly.
Either way, it is important for sellers to have a plan for making that next move, especially if a mortgage is involved.
What can a seller do to prepare their home to show?
Clean the clutter. Buyers are trying to imagine their stuff in your home, and anything you have of yours just gets in the way.
Remove as much as possible from the countertops, cabinets, closets, bathrooms and living areas. Stage the furniture in a manner that opens the rooms up and gives the appearance of more space.
Lighting helps as well, so make sure bulky decorative window coverings are taken back and upgrade lightbulbs in key areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms.
Recent Articles from Booker Howard
How to Triumph in a Bidding War - With a record low number of listings this spring, more buyers may be finding themselves in a bidding war for the home they want. CNBC recently highlighted a few tips on how buyers can be successful in a bidding war, including: Set the maximum price from the start. Home shoppers should factor in the monthly ... more Mortgage Rates Decline - For the first time this year, the average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate has retreated, back to 4.44 percent this week after rising for nine straight weeks, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate was 4.46 percent the week prior. Mortgage rates are moved by Treasury ... more CoreLogic: Home Prices Shoot Up Again - Home prices started 2018 on the rise, according to new data from CoreLogic. During January, single-family home prices were up for the sixth consecutive month with a 6.6 percent year-over-year gain year over year; prices were also up by 0.5 percent from December to January. Four states recorded double-digit year-over-year home price spikes: Washington (12.1 ... more