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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


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Home Seller and Buyer Tips

Are you thinking of selling and/or buying this year?

Here are some ideas to hopefully give you an edge in conquering what usually ends up being the 1% to 2% difference between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!

Home Sellers

  1.  Our listing agreement suggests getting a home inspection prior to hitting the market. It’s a good idea; fix what’s wrong in advance, and then give buyers a copy to demonstrate your pride of ownership.
  2.  Know where you are going to move, and only hit the open market when you are 100% committed to selling. You might get an offer the first day!
  3.  Showing the house is inconvenient but necessary – the more you do it, the better your chances.  Be ready to show the house on the day it hits the open market – and expect dozens of lookers to visit in the first 7-10 days.
  4.  Do two things to make a great first impression; spruce up the curb appeal and insist on top-quality photos.
  5.  Be smart about price – make it attractive, and you’ll stand out.
  6.  Ask agents about bidding war strategies, and recent experiences.  Spreading out the offers on your coffee table and picking one isn’t a strategy.
  7.  Avoid gimmicks like range pricing or ‘coming soon’.  A clean, straight-forward approach is attractive to buyers.
  8.  Determine if a company brand name is a benefit or a crutch.
  9.  Real estate ‘teams’ means you get passed around. Make sure to identify who handles the buyer inquiries, and that they are top-notch sales people.
  10. The buyers you want to attract – the ones that pay too much – are represented by lousy agents who don’t know the difference.  Get Good Help – hire a listing agent who can carry any agent to the finish line.

Home Buyers

  1. See more houses in person.  You have to keep your chops up, because low inventory causes complacency.  If all you do is shop online, you’ll look for any reason NOT to buy, and stay home. But there are no perfect houses.
  2.  Start looking at least six months before your lease is up.
  3. There aren’t many rules, and every listing agent is different.  Work with an agent who has a track record getting buyers to the finish line.
  4.  Don’t expect much from sellers regarding repairs.
  5.  Be open to fixers. To get more comfortable, line up contractors in advance and ask for a sample quote so you know what to expect.
  6.  Expand the target zone, but buy in a great school district.
  7.  If affordability is an issue, compromise on size before location. You can always add on later.
  8.  Properly evaluate the negatives, and the appropriate discounts.
  9.  Know what to do in a bidding war.
  10.  Your agent should suggest an offer price, and a strategy behind it.

These are some basic, general tips, but the best thing you can do is to get an experienced agent on your side – someone who is closing at least one sale per month (check at zillow).

I am available, and would love to assist you! JtR

klingerealty@gmail.com

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links | 0 comments

Zestimate Accuracy – Wack!

Did you notice that the zestimate wasn’t listed in the Real Estate Online Tools?

It is wackier than ever!

Last year, we saw the zestimate be hundreds of thousands of dollars too high on a custom home west of the I-5 in Leucadia – and once I inputted the listing on Zillow, their zestimate went higher:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They claim to always be improving their algorithms, but this new example is hard to explain.  On my latest listing in a very normal tract neighborhood in NE Carlsbad, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  I just sold the exact same model for $810,000 in December, but maybe they are slow to update?  The zestimate of my new listing was $744,222:

But once I inputted the listing on Zillow last Friday, the zestimate zoomed to $851,243!

Does it mean that Zillow has finally jumped on the bandwagon and are supporting their Premier Agents with zestimates that come in around the list prices!!!  If their primary concern was placating their paying customers, the Premier Agents, this would be a good way to do it!

Here is today’s zestimate – back where we started, with 5s instead of 2s – how can it fluctuate up and down 14% over five days??

I guess when you look at a zestimate, you can only hope you are looking on the right day!  14% swings over 5 days? Could it be any more unpredictable?

Save

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links, Zillow | 6 comments

Real Estate Online Tools

Eddie89 suggested another innovative website for home shoppers – a website that assigns a score to each house based on sound quality.  Scores are 1-100, and the higher the score, the quieter:

www.howloud.com

Other tools include:

Google Maps/Earth,

crimemapping.com

walkscore.com

city-data.com

Mello-Roos (need APN)

Supplemental Property Tax calculator (need APN)

and the closest Starbucks!

At city-data.com, you can search by zip code and find all the demographics you have ever imagined (though some of it is dated).

The more-analytical folks could draw up their own scorecard!

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links | 1 comment

Inventory Watch

While the new listings were normal this week, new pendings erupted:

Week
New Listings
New Pendings
Feb 6
101
55
Feb 13
89
55
Feb 20
92
57
Feb 27
66
73
Mar 6
102
66
Mar 13
99
59
Mar 20
93
82

The lower-end market is evaporating right before our eyes:

Date
Number of Listings Under $800,000
Avg. List Price Per SF
Aug 29th
63
$401/sf
Today
19
$462/sf

In an area of 300,000 people (between La Jolla and Carlsbad), there are only 19 houses for sale priced under $800,000, an all-time record low.

The average list-price-per-square-foot has gone up 15% in six months!

Click on the ‘Read More’ link below for the NSDCC active-inventory data:

Read More

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment

Check the Master Bath

PoH

From January, 2016:

Anyone who has looked at homes lately can attest to the surprising conditions in which people live.  The lack of maintenance transcends all price points too.

But it’s nothing money won’t fix.

Buyers should surrender early on……and expect to spend at least $25,000 to $50,000 on any house they buy.  It’s easier than trying to find the perfect house that doesn’t need anything.

But looking at houses then turns into a job of making lists of the repairs required. Is there a way to short-cut that process, and just use one simple gauge to know if the house could be a money pit?

When I enter a house, I still walk straight to the backyard first.  It is there that you will find the items that are hard or impossible to fix; yard too small, road noise, neighbors looking in, over-sized pools, etc.

Once we’re past that test, and everyone is getting comfortable with the interior layout, I make my way to the place where you can find the most clues about the seller’s pride of ownership.

The Master Bath – a place where the sellers spend time every day.  The most extreme conditions exist too – high use of hot and cold water, steam and mold conditions, multiple plumbing functions, venting, several appliances in use, laundry processing, etc.  There’s a lot of action going on in the master bath!

With all the action, is somebody keeping up with repairs?

If any room is going to be well-maintained, it is the master bath.  It’s not that big, and the moving parts are simple – a towel rack, a toilet-paper roller, lighting, fan, grout, window, sinks – easy stuff.

Plus, every guy wants to keep his wife happy – so if he is going to fix anything, it will be here.

No need to get into any personal items – just checking the hardware:

  1.  Are the towel racks secure?
  2.  Toilet-paper roller intact?
  3.  Drywall outside the shower or tub wet or damaged?
  4.  Adequate electrical outlets?
  5.  Toilet secured tightly to floor?
  6.  Toilet works properly?
  7.  Sinks drain normally? (two sinks are a must)
  8.  Adequate water pressure at sinks and shower?
  9.  Fan is quiet? Window works well?
  10.  Any sign of biological discoloration?
  11.  Baseboards are dry and tight?
  12.  Mirrors look good?
  13.  Ample lighting?
  14.  Mineral deposits on glass doors?
  15.  Shampoo bottles have a home?
  16.  Solid coat of semi-gloss paint?
  17.  Crisply-applied caulk, especially around the shower faucet?
  18.  Solid and tight grout lines?
  19.  Door that locks easily?
  20.  Is the floor of the sink cabinet dry?

If you are in a hurry or tend to get caught up in the excitement of looking at houses, then just concentrate on what you see in the master bath.

If you check off every item above, then the rest of the house should be in good shape too.  But if the sellers aren’t maintaining this room that has complex features but simple fixes – especially when on the market – then they probably haven’t done much to keep up the rest of the house either.

Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Buying?, Tips, Advice & Links, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent | 4 comments

Cantarini Ranch

The area south of Cannon Road and College Blvd. is one of the last big parcels to be developed in Carlsbad.  Rather than throwing up as many stucco shacks as possible, the original plan was to build luxury homes on half-acre parcels. They’ve been trying to get it done for almost 20 years!

Here’s what it is like to be a builder – the timeline of progress:

http://cantarini-hollysprings.com/cantarini-hollysprings.com/Project_History.html

The blue S is where Sage Creek HS is located:

Save

Save

Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 in Builders, Carlsbad, Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Building? | 1 comment