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Earth, Wind and Fire

For any fan of R&B music — any fan of music, period, really — it is impossible to think of the 1970s and early ’80s without recalling the shiny, groovy, exuberant sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire. And no man had a greater impact on them than founding member Maurice White, who died Thursday at 74.

Shining Star, That’s The Way of the World, September, Sing A Song,Fantasy, Reasons: White helped write all of these hits. The onetime sessions drummer, who played with Ramsey Lewis’s jazz trio in the ’60s, also served as EWF’s principal producer as its music — steeped in jazz and funk as well as Latin influences, but as luxuriantly pop-savvy as any AM radio classics of the time — segued seamlessly into the disco era and eventually embraced electronic textures.

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Wednesday Rock Blogging | 0 comments

California Coastal Commission

crystal cove

The direction of the California Coastal Commission will be in question today.  Hat tip to daytrip for sending in this article:

An excerpt:

“The California Coastal Commission staff is one of the most difficult bureaucracies to work with, I believe, in the entire United States,” said Fred Gaines, a lawyer and lobbyist who has represented owners of oceanfront homes such as the actor Dustin Hoffman and the director Steven Spielberg. “They put severe limitation on property owners’ right to use their property.”

Jana Zimmer, who served on the commission from 2011 to 2015, said environmentalists were unfairly characterizing the intentions of the board, which she said regularly ratified staff recommendations.

“I am extremely troubled that some of the environmental leadership in this state has resorted to black-hat-versus-white-hat, Trump-like tactics in their zeal to retain Lester at all costs,” she wrote in an essay in The Santa Barbara Independent. “The issue is not whether retaining or terminating Lester will protect or destroy the coast. This is a false choice, and the polarization it has created is unnecessary.”

Read the full article here:

the edge

Coverage by the SD Reader:

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Local Flavor | 2 comments

Klinge Realty Goes to China!


China’s leading international real estate show is coming up next month.  The 11th Annual Overseas Property & Immigration & Investment Exhibition will be March 5-7 at the Shanghai International Conference Center Natatorium.

It is the #1 real estate exhibition in Mainland China!

Buyers were purchasing properties right off the photos at the display booths last year, and they expect another good year in 2016.

Klinge Realty’s listings will be prominently displayed – join in!

If you want your property to receive direct exposure to Chinese investors, contact Jim the Realtor at (858) 997-3801 or

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Klinge Realty, The Future, Thinking of Selling?, This Is America, Why You Should List With Jim | 1 comment

From the Street


A few real-life occurrences this month – and it’s only February!

It happens regularly that out-of-staters will call me after arriving for a preliminary visit. They are respectful about being very early in the process, and really just want to drive around by themselves to get a feel.  I love the opportunity, because I am happy to give them some quick advice, and a handful of homes to drive by.  Call anytime!

Jerry called on Monday – we spoke for less than five minutes, and then he emailed me this response:

Great speaking with you yesterday!

Took your advice, was in and out of the car a great deal, did visit the house in Solana Beach, and then drove around South Carlsbad.

Your analysis is spot on. Really appreciate your honesty. As for me, I will have to rethink what I’m looking for. You were right, $1 million or so doesn’t really get you anything.

Continued success and best wishes!

A million dollars ain’t what it used to be!


When a listing agent was informed that her list price was 9% higher than the model-match comp that closed in November, she filed this response:

Hi, the seller has showed plenty of flexibility. But the buyer can not get it at last year prices. I hope we can work together.


Agents hate when sellers and buyers get together prior to closing.  Myself, I never minded much, because we’re all big boys and girls here, and if something went wacky, I’d find a way to resolve.

But I had a case where we were wrapping up our inspection that began at 8:30am in the morning.  The seller had agreed to it, but didn’t leave the house and is now rambling around in her bathrobe.

The buyer and us (Donna and I) are outside on the patio, waiting patiently for a sewer-pipe camera scan to complete.  The seller opens the glass slider and says, “I need to get ready for work, so go wait in your car”. The tone, and the attitude, were worse than the words.

It was more than insulting – it was downright rude, and worthy of cancelling the sale on the spot.  But because I think of every issue in monetary terms, I thought to myself, “that’s going to cost you $5,000.”

I reel in my buyer, and to compensate, we agree to request a $5,000 credit.

The listing agent witnessed the carnage, and knew there was a problem.  The sale negotiations had already been tough because the sellers wanted more from this sale to be able to purchase their next home out-of-state.  But home valuations don’t work that way.

Thankfully, the agent agreed, and when I told her that the $5,000 credit was life or death, she heard me.  Additionally, I told her that if this sale cancels, I felt sorry for her because trying to re-sell this house would be a nightmare.  The sellers would want more, and do less.

The sellers objected to the credit, so the agent threw in the $5,000 herself.

It was a very smart move – make a little something, and move on.

The agent understood that spending additional weeks or months on this case could be more time wasted, and it might never sell.  But rarely do agents consider all of the possibilities.  Instead, agents should make the deal.


This is the year that negotiations are going to matter again.

Get Good Help!

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Klinge Realty, Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 5 comments

Real Estate Video Wars

Two videos – the first by Zillow, which is another heart-string tugger, and the second by, a ‘mockumentary’ which provides no real proof or explanations – and never mentions that the reason Zillow is missing a few listings is because realtors refuse to upload there (or that agents are unaware that listings aren’t auto-uploaded):

The link to the story:

An excerpt:

“It’s a fight to win the hearts and minds of consumers and we really ultimately believe we have the best offering,” said Andrew Strickman, head of brand and chief creative at

As the No. 2 in the online real estate market, has moved aggressively, especially this year, to market its services to consumers. Its largest national ad campaign to date launched in May to positive reviews, which featured actress Elizabeth Banks and was directed by actor Fred Savage. That branded work, tagged “Real estate in real time,” continues.

In 2014, spent $16.1 million compared to Zillow’s $56.4 million on measured media, according to Kantar Media; however, in 2015 through September, has already spent $34.5 million versus $35.9 million for Zillow, according to Kantar data. wasn’t always the underdog. In fact, the 20-year-old service, which is also the official website of the National Association of Realtors, was the No. 1 visited online real estate site until about four years ago, Mr. Strickman said. Part of the problem was that had focused on real estate agents instead of consumers, but when new players like Zillow and Trulia came along “with a more consumer-oriented promise, we found ourselves challenged,” he said.

It’s been three years since changed strategies to target consumers and launched its first consumer advertising. Mr. Strickman said the tactics are working. In the last year, its consumer audience has grown 45% and now averages around 46 million unique users every month, he said.

In November, had 46.5 million visits for a 10.8% share of hits in the real estate category, second to Zillow, which had 101.7 million visits for a 23.7% share, according to Hitwise.

The new work is meant to highlight the listing advantage has over its competitors, based on its own research that shows it has an average 20% more Multiple Listing Service inventory nationwide than Zillow. Four 15-second spots will run on Facebook and YouTube, while a longer 2-minute film will run on Facebook and Unruly, with plans to expand to more publishers after Jan. 1.

“Any of the major (real estate) search portals would fool themselves thinking that consumers only use one portal. Most consumers go to more than one portal, but when they find differences between those portals in the same market and same Zip code, that can be really confusing,” Mr. Strickman said.

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future | 1 comment

Seller Contingency

2016-02-08 10.24.49

Are you thinking of moving, but want to sell your house first, and use the proceeds to buy the next one?  It is the preferred path.

Most every homeowner has substantial equity now – transferring it to the new home is best accomplished by selling and buying concurrently.

But when potential sellers casually look around at the standing (unsold) inventory, they don’t see anything worth the bother.  If a good listing does pop up, the listing agent doesn’t want to consider your offer that is contingent upon selling your home that isn’t on the market yet.

If it is easier selling than buying, how can we pull off both?

  1.  Trust that there will be new and better choices coming to market.
  2.  List your home with me, subject to finding a suitable replacement.
  3.  I’ll find a buyer for your home who is willing to wait 30-60 days.
  4.  Be as flexible as possible on the criteria of the next home.

We have a form just for sellers in this predicament, and if you can’t find a suitable house to buy, you are under no obligation to sell.

Recently, I have done a couple of these successfully.  With the tight inventory, buyers are being more flexible about timing.  They are already starting their search well before their lease is up, and a slightly-longer process (1-2 months) can suit their situation too.

  • It helps to see houses in person.  Let’s take a tour of the latest listings that might suit your needs, just to get a good feel of what to expect for the money.  The personal tour will help get you familiar with the process too.
  • It helps to have your house ready to sell.  Have me over for a consultation of what tuneups you might needs to maximize your selling price.
  • It helps to have an agent who represents buyers and sellers.  If you have different people on each end, the comfort level isn’t the same – and you don’t get a package deal on the commission.

Here is the verbiage from our form – you are protected!

seller contingency

Contact me today to discuss it further – now is the time!

Get Good Help!

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

More Multi-Gen

This is an increasing trend that has many effects on the overall market – both good and bad. From

An excerpt:

That’s exactly how it works for Jennifer Michaels and her mom.

“Sometimes, it’s a quick little, ‘Hey, honey how are you?’ and other times we’ll play a board game together out here, but I literally have gone three days without seeing her,” said Michaels.

Economics certainly plays into the multigenerational mindset, but there may be a cultural shift as well.

“The baby boomers were just very unique; they are really the only generation in history that would move out of the house as soon as they go out of high school or college,” said Burns.

Lucy Abbott likes the security in knowing that if she has a problem, help is just a hallway away, but that is more of an added benefit than a driver of her living situation.

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Downsizing, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Market Conditions, One-Story | 3 comments