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Are you looking for an experienced agent to help you buy or sell a home? Contact Jim the Realtor!

Carlsbad
(760) 434-5000

Carmel Valley
(858) 560-7700
jim@jimklinge.com


Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Thinking of Buying?, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent | 3 comments | Print Print

Putting The Right Value On It

It sure seems like a frenzy when you hear about the lowest rates ever and Southern California median prices going up 17% year-over-year.  But there isn’t a rising tide that’s floating all the boats higher – lots of homes aren’t selling.  It would be simple to say that their price is wrong – but that’s obvious.

But why is it wrong?

It’s because homebuyers today are demanding quality.  Unlike during the rah-rah years when buyers only cared about staying short-term and moving up again, today’s buyers are looking long-term.  They are investing larger down payments and locking in an ultra-low rate on a 30-year fixed loan – and planning to stay forever.

This quality-based mindset brings a complication to the home-buying experience.  How do you know if you are buying a quality product? How do you pinpoint the value/worth of the many variables – and pay the right price?

You need to have an experienced eye to gauge correctly. This is a sticking point when tinkering with ideas to change the realtor experience.

Redfin has pioneered the salaried-agent idea, and wants to grow.

Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin, says he is looking to increase the company’s workforce of 400 agents nationally by 50% by the end of January. “I’m going across the country meeting with managers, and the only topic we’re talking about is hiring,” he said.

Earlier this year, the company ended up sending about half of its referrals to other companies because “demand outstripped the supply of agents,” he said.

Redfin is unusual among real-estate companies because it pays a salary and benefits to its agents instead of commissions. “Our model means we have to go long on real estate, and we did not go long enough,” said Mr. Kelman.

I love Redfin’s website and renegade spirit, but do they deliver on this critical component of being able to summarize a home’s variables, and put a proper value on them?  At a recent hot open house, the local Redfin field agent stopped by, and we had a nice chat.

She said that she was a stay-at-home mom, and just worked weekends opening doors for buyers.  Indeed, she had two sets of buyers visit back-to-back, and she stood by idly by while the people looked around.  She didn’t offer any advice or instruction, and in both cases the buyers left with a cursory good-bye exchange.

This agent commented further that she doesn’t write the offers.  If the buyers want to pursue it, they would contact the main agent, who writes all the offers.  The end result?  The buyers are faced with composing their offer with an agent who hasn’t seen the property, and who may write other competing offers too.

On their website they say that their associate agents “point out things you might miss”, but in this case there was nothing offered.  And if both sets of buyers wanted to write an offer?

If prices keep rising, buyers will want and expect even better quality – both in the properties they are considering, and in the advice they get from their agent.

I take great pride in identifying the good and bad components of each property, and being able to put a value on their worth.  People will say, “well can’t I just get a home inspection?”, but my analysis includes more than just the physical elements of the building.  I evaluate the worth of the location, view, lot size, house size, neighbors, etc. and their impact on resale – and how to factor them in to pay the right price today.

3 Comments

  1. We are using Redfin. We have been looking for a few years, and put a few offers in. One accepted that we backed out on after inspection, one we lost due to the buyer removing all contingencies, non-refundable deposit and going over the top on price… and one offer we took back after some second thoughts.

    We had a few different touring reps, some better than others. Our agent has even conducted tours with us when he isn’t busy with offers. As far as quality of Redfin tour reps I would think its similar to what you might get if just going with some agent you pick at random. There are a couple tour agents we really like and are good at pointing things out and offering their opinion when we ask.

    One thing I do wish we had when looking at homes is someone who has an eye for remodeling. There have been some original homes with small 1940′s kitchens that have not been updated that we have passed on because we just don’t have the eye for knowing what could be done to remodel, what walls can be taken out, how to maximize space. In that regard it would be nice to have someone there who has the experience to know what can be done. I love the JtR videos of the before and after, interviews, and discussions, especially the Tom Tarrant homes.

    If JtR was up in my area I would definitely be using him. But, since he isn’t I’m using Redfin.

    I like what Redfin has done with their website, bringing in all the information into one spot. I know what kind of a house I am looking for, I don’t mind spending time in the evening or mornings looking over the hot off the MLS listings. Redfin has also been good at getting me in same day and if not then at least the next morning. New listings/status changes pushed to my phone within minutes of them coming online.

    Attending open houses and meeting agents I am just not that impressed with what I see. A certain laziness in “If i list it, it will sell”. I don’t see that attitude with JtR. Having been watching his videos over the last couple years I definitely think he is one of the best at what he does… I just wish we could clone more of him for other areas.

  2. Thanks, the blog is my cloning device for now :lol:

    “A few years” is a long time. Have there been houses that you wished you would have bought?

    Because that is another benefit with me – I’m going to tell you when we’ve found a good buy, and how you should step up – including price. As a result, my buyers don’t miss many.

  3. There have been some that we wished we bought… but it is partly bad timing for us. Some medical expenses that ate into our downpayment and during that rebuilding of our 20% fund we missed a few nice homes.

    Now it seems like the more we save, the more prices are going up (because of so little quality inventory in our area).

    We could definitely buy something today if we wanted to settle for a worse neighborhood or school district.

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