The buyers cancelled the second escrow on Brava yesterday.
We have had a dozen cash offers, so after the first cancellation I went back to the others and got them to bid it up to $690,000, which is a miracle when the highest offer was $675,000 in the first round.
Other agents since have said, ‘oh, you picked the wrong buyer’. But I’m going to give the high bidder a chance to close every time – I think I have that obligation. If they would have stuck, I would have been a hero.
There is more of a chance that end users will hang in there, but with flippers it tends to be cut-and-dry, and all about the money. There has been some concern about the 2019 market being soft(er), but it’s not stopping them from wanting to buy. They just want to fine-tune the price!
This is a neighborhood with zero lot lines, which you can see in this photo (in yellow). Each home has the exclusive use of one side yard, instead of splitting both sides. You can touch your neighbor’s house, but it does give you more usable space.
I don’t think there will be a noticeable discount needed for the flipper to resell a zero-lot-line house. There are several neighborhoods in Carlsbad, Encinitas, and Carmel Valley that have the zero lot lines, so it’s not that rare.
A quieter Sunday at the open house – about half the people as the crowd on Saturday, which makes you think that the internet advertising is what brings them and they are happy to wait until the first open house:
Hat tip to Eddie89 for alerting us to how the sale turned out:
A bidding war recently broke out over a prime piece of California real estate — and it wasn’t for a tiny San Francisco condo.
In this case, a dozen offers were made for an entire town, the 19th-century mining hub of Cerro Gordo, on 300 acres in the Inyo Mountains outside Lone Pine, Calif. It was listed for for $925,000 in June and closed on Friday the 13th for $1.4 million.
“I would say the date was very coincidental,” says listing agent Jake Rasmuson of Bishop Real Estate. “Strictly by chance but very fitting for the property.”
The seller accepted an offer from a group of Los Angeles investors who plan to preserve the relic of the American West and keep it open to the public.
“We did have higher offers, however the sellers really liked the buyers’ proposal and liked the buyers’ plan,” says Rasmuson.
Cerro Gordo has been in the hands of the same family for decades, and though privately owned, it was open to the public for tours. The owners were hoping to sell to someone who appreciates the property’s history.
The buyers are Brent Underwood, who founded the youth hostel HK Austin and Jon Bier, who runs a public relations firm catering to athletes. The two teamed up with other investors to make the purchase; they include Ryan Holiday, former director of marketing at American Apparel; Tero Isokauppila, CEO/founder of superfood company Four Sigmatic; Brendan Gahan, CEO/founder of Epic Signal; George Rutolo, owner of The Whisky Bars; and Kelley Mooney, an en executive at Hulu.
“We want to maintain the historic nature of the property while introducing amenities that will allow more people to enjoy this piece of American history,” Underwood says. “We have spent a lot of time with the current owners and caretaker to learn the history of the place. I’ve read all the books I can find on the town. I can’t express our excitement to be able to continue the care of this beautiful location.”
He adds that they also hope to eventually add overnight accommodations and events such as writing retreats, concerts, photo shoots, theater and more.
Silver was first discovered in the hills of Cerro Gordo in 1865, and in the following years prospectors flocked to its rich veins of silver. It became known as the “silver thread” to Los Angeles and silver was loaded onto mule trains and taken to the city. The town population swelled to some 5,000 at its height and quickly dwindled when silver prices dropped in 1877.
“We want to create a place that pays tribute to this historic part of American history,” Underwood says.
Choosing the right realtor to sell your home is critical.
It’s not life-or-death critical. We’re just talking about the extra 5% to 10% that is available when effective marketing creates maximum urgency – and the agent’s skills and salesmanship creates competition between buyers to achieve a top dollar sale.
Here’s what I do:
I conduct a thorough pre-listing inspection to determine the best improvements to make prior to hitting the market. Repairing the visual dings, doing ‘clutter patrol’, and implementing any staging where needed to maximize the appeal to buyers. I focus on bang-for-the buck; spending as little as possible with max results.
I recommend an attractive price – one that is retail-based for the location and condition, and makes the buyers feel like it’s worth checking out.
I have professional photos done and include my own video tour to help sell the buyers on the value of the home, instead of playing elevator music. I won’t include a Matterport 3D tour, which is the worst thing any agent could do for you. The buyers can view every nook and cranny in the house, so they keep looking until they find something they don’t like – and then give up. The goal of marketing is to get the consumer interested enough to jump in the car and check it out in person.
Inquiries – I handle all inquiries myself, and I answer my own phone. My focus is to gauge the interest of the buyer or agent, and help to sell them on the house. Redfin and most big agent teams have showing requests handled by a separate and unrelated third-party called Showing Suite, and they miss out on a critical opportunity to pick up intel about the interested parties that I use later in the negotiations and bidding war.
I conduct the open house extravaganza myself. We effectively advertise and have 25-100 people attend every open house. The crowds help to create the Fear of Loss; where interested parties realize they better step up quickly and pay more than they thought so they don’t lose it. Nobody does open house like I do.
Once offers are pouring in, I qualify both the buyers and agents myself. Other agents can get swept away by sappy love letters, or by all-cash buyers and not give due diligence to every offer, or ignore the buyer’s agent and their critical role in getting to the finish line.
Virtually all agents will ask for highest-and-best offers, and then help the seller to pick their favorite. It feels exciting, and all can say they played the game. But I create an auction-like competition where buyers participate in the final outcome, rather than passively hope their blind bid is enough. It takes aggressive salesmanship to accomplish this, and it’s where I pay for myself with a specific strategy to achieve a top-dollar sale (I am registered as an auctioneer with the State of California).
Donna has been our troubleshooter-in-chief for the last twenty years, and is our secret weapon. She bird-dogs every sale to the finish line and beyond, and as a result, we rarely have an escrow fall out. Our clients feel informed and well-served, with every detail covered in advance.
My last thirty listings have averaged an SP:LP ratio of 99% (selling within 1% of list price), with an average of 20 days on market – and half of them sold in ten days or less. Commissions are described HERE, and you’re only paying a little more than Redfin to get the maximum service available.
I am happy to give you a free consultation in person, or by phone or email!
It’s been an old wives tale that listing agents can’t disclose to a buyer’s agent the price and terms of competing offers. I found this at the N.A.R. website:
Real estate brokers may, unless prohibited by law or regulation, “shop” offers. Therefore, REALTORS® assisting purchasers in formulating purchase offers should advise those purchasers it is possible that the existence, terms, and conditions of any offer they make may be disclosed to other purchasers by sellers or by sellers’ representatives except where such disclosure is prohibited by law or regulation.
Competing buyers are more likely to respond favorably if you give them a number to shoot at. Sharing the price and terms of other offers is a way to create a slow-motion auction effect, which benefits both sides. Buyers gain some transparency, and sellers get top dollar.
Driven by frustrated buyers who rolled over from last year and record-breaking lows in housing inventory, the 2018 spring buying season is expected to be one of the most competitive in years—but buyers are still optimistic about getting into their dream home, according to a survey conducted for realtor.com®.
“We’re only a few weeks into March and already seeing the market heat up,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com®, in a statement. “Holdover buyers hoping for greener pastures this spring are likely to find sparse options that require them to pay top dollar or make other concessions.”
And those holdover buyers are driving a large portion of the demand, according to an online survey of more than 1,000 active buyers conducted in early March by Toluna Research.
The home search has dragged on for more than seven months for 40% of respondents, the survey showed, while 34% have been searching for 4-6 months. About a quarter have been in the market for three months or less.
More than one-third, or 35%, of those surveyed indicated they anticipate “a lot of competition” this spring.
Perhaps because of that, buyers are thinking strategically about turbocharging their home search and getting an edge on the competition.
When asked how they are trying to get ahead, 42% of respondents revealed they are checking listing websites every day, while 40% plan to put more than 20% cash down. The survey also revealed that 33% are setting price alerts, 31% plan to put down a larger earnest money deposit, and 26% are willing to offer above asking price. Only 6% indicated they are not planning to use any special tactics to cope with competition.
“The majority of buyers are aware of the tough competition they’re up against this spring. Having been in the market awhile, they’ve likely lost a few homes to better offers, which has given them more time to save and up their bidding strategies,” said Hale.
If enough people see this…..maybe more will leave? I can help you with that!
Californians may still love the beautiful weather and beaches, but more and more they are fed up with the high housing costs and taxes and deciding to flee to lower-cost states such as Nevada, Arizona and Texas.
“There’s nowhere in the United States that you can find better weather than here,” said Dave Senser, who lives on a fixed income near San Luis Obispo, California, and now plans to move to Las Vegas. “Rents here are crazy, if you can find a place, and they’re going to tax us to death. That’s what it feels like. At least in Nevada they don’t have a state income tax. And every little bit helps.”
Senser, 65, who previously lived in the east San Francisco Bay region, said housing costs and gas prices are “significantly lower in Las Vegas. The government in the state of California isn’t helping people like myself. That’s why people are running out of this state now.”
Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, “lower income Californians are the ones who are leaving, not higher income,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of research and consulting firm Beacon Economics in Los Angeles.
He said housing is the chief reason people are leaving California, pointing out there are frequently bidding wars for what limited inventory of homes is available.
A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll of Californians last fall found that the high cost of living, including housing, was the most important issue facing the state. It also found more than half of Californians wanted to repeal the state’s new gas tax, which raised fees by 40 percent.
“The rate at which California has been losing people to other states has accelerated in the past couple of years, in part because of rising housing costs,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist with employment website Indeed.com.
This is the fourth installment of my essay on the future of real estate sales. I’ll send this along to Brad Inman, who is gathering thoughts for a leadership conference at the end of March, so they have my perspective from the street.
The unconscious desperation among agents is ripping apart the formal agreement between brokers to share listings. The environment is going the way of commercial brokers, where exposing listings to other agents is a last resort.
We see it happening – there is the occasional article – but without vigorous intervention by realtors themselves, the MLS will slowly disintegrate and be picked apart by outsiders.
Sadly, the sharing of listings is what is best for sellers, buyers, AND realtors, but the greed and desperation among agents gets in the way.
What Can Be Done? What Are The Choices?
Individual agents can adopt a full-transparency program, starting with publicly describing the specific services they offer, and their commission rates. If consumers took the time to educate themselves about the differences between agents, at least they would make better decisions than they do now. It’s unlikely that this will happen, because agents are lazy and won’t bother, unless forced to do so.
We can hope that N.A.R., C.A.R., big brokerages and other industry titans will address this specific problem, and implement changes to save the MLS and broker cooperation out of a commitment of doing what’s best for consumers. Probably the least likely of these five to actually happen.
We can have big leadership conferences where outsiders will speculate how the disrupters will pick us apart, piece by piece.
We can wait for the government to intervene.
We can do nothing, and watch the broker cooperation via the MLS – which is the best thing for everyone involved – die a slow but certain death.
We can hope that somebody will find an answer. But it would have to include ways to eliminate agent shenanigans, invigorate consumers, and be a forward-thinking solution that benefits all.
The inquiry might start with creating a national MLS, or electing a real estate czar, or encouraging agents to keep their word and quit cheating their own customers out of what’s best.
But what if a thing was the answer?
The solution is LIVE AUCTIONS.
We can easily incorporate them into our regular business as the process to select the winning bidder. All other selection processes used today are subject to the listing agent tilting the table – with a live auction, all participants will be watching, and able to determine the actual winning bidder.
Could there be shill bidders who run up the price? Yes, but let’s insist that every buyer is represented by a realtor – that way, at least the agent’s reputation is on the line.
Live auctions would keep listing agents and buyer-agents employed, though the fee structure may be in flux. But our commissions are already under attack, so let’s take a chance that consumers will agree to pay a reasonable fee for these live auctions, and the other additional benefits provided by realtors.
A live auction doesn’t have to be a showy, champagne-filled soiree with a fast-talking auctioneer. They can be as simple as gathering the buyers around the living room, in a rather informal setting.
I am offering the live-auction strategy to my sellers as the fairest and most effective way to select a buyer, and let the full transparency be the best way to reach top-dollar.
Here’s an example – catch the winning agent’s comments at the 9-minute mark:
When you find the right home, don’t lose it. Get Good Help!
NAHB regularly conducts national polls of American adults and home buyers in order to understand new trends and preferences in the housing market. This is the third in a series of posts highlighting poll results, as presented during the 2018 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, FL. See previous posts on tiny homes and driverless cars.
A recent poll revealed that most prospective home buyers actively involved in the search for a home have been looking for a significant amount of time. In fact, 61% have been trying to find a home to buy for three months or more, while the other 39% have been looking for less than three months.
The natural follow-up question to those who have been unable to find a home after searching for three months or longer is why?
Forty-two percent say they ‘can’t find a home at a price I can afford,’ 36% ‘can’t find a home with the features I want,’ 34% ‘can’t find a home in the neighborhood I want,’ and 27% were able to overcome all these obstacles but ‘continue to get outbid whenever I make an offer.’
This result shows there are several important reasons why prospective buyers haven’t been able to pull the trigger, but the most important one is lack of affordability – not being able to find a home at a price point they can afford.
The graph above shows that we’re heading into multiple-offer season, and whether you are buying or selling, you should work with an agent who is an expert in handling a bidding war.
In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, seller’s agents who closed a sale are asked “How many offers were received for the most recent property you sold in the past month?
Among seller’s agents who closed a sale in December 2017, the respondents reported they received 2.2 offers (which means sellers received between two to three offers) on their most recent sale, according to the December 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.The number of buyer offers on a home has remained unchanged in the past two years. Why so?
On the one hand, an improving job market tends to prop up the number of buyer offers, assuming the same level of homes listed for sale. Yet in reality, the number of homes being offered for sale have fallen to their lowest level since January 1999 (3.2 months’ supply in December 2017), and this has pushed up prices, dampening demand. Since January 2012, the median home price of existing homes sold has increased by 60 percent.
The number of buyer offers exhibits a seasonal fluctuation, with the number of offers tending to peak in April through June, as households plan their move/relocation around the school opening in August/September.
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge! more “
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. more “
We first encountered Jim back in 2010 when we were looking to move from Pismo Beach, CA to to San Diego area. We had been having a difficult time finding (1) finding a realtor and (2) being able to see a home since we were so far away. Then we found Jim. He made the process really easy – he was able to take incredible video tours of the homes and it was as if we were there touring the homes ourselves. once we found homes we really liked, we took a trip to see it in person. One of the things we really liked about Jim was that he was honest with us about the homes and advised us weather a home was a good buy or not. He was not just out to quickly sell us a house just to make a commission. He really cared about ensuring we found the right one. more “
I have followed Jim’s BubbleInfo blog from the early days of the bubble when “real estate could only go up in value” and I knew him to be a straight shooter who would not sugar coat properties nor gloss over their faults.
So when we decided to move back to California after 7 years in the more “
Jim met with us prior to listing – provided guidance on preparation, detailed information and stats regarding local market conditions. He was invaluable for providing contacts for repair and improvements that would provide return on investment. Our combined efforts, strategy and his attentativeness more “
Jim and Donna Klinge are an impressive team. They work extremely well together and back each other up, as well as their clients, along every step of the way. Their expert guidance made a tremendous difference in the experience we had, both buying a new home and selling our previous home of 40 more “
Since Zillow only allows me to write 1 review per real estate transaction, per team of agents we worked with, this is going to be a super long review.Review on Jim Klinge:
Jim Klinge is the quintessential real estate agent, the “broker’s, broker” of real estate agents. My husband and I reached more “
by Louie and Tim Cook
Jim and Donna are the BEST of the BEST! Their knowledge, professionalism, work ethic, and devotion to their trade are unrivaled. It was refreshing to have worked with a pair of professionals who truly understand the meaning of customer service, a lost art in our opinion. Despite living over 3,000 miles away on the opposite coast, Jim and Donna were with us every step of more “
Jim found me a multi family property that we purchased as an investment (Please see my review of Donna Klinge for details on how it went). But the bottom line is this: I never would have found this property, which cash flows right out of the gate, if it weren’t for Jim pointing me toward that house. It just was not on my radar, even though I consider myself a savvy real estate troll. Jim is giving of his time, and his intelligence. And he is also transparent and truthful. And I think he is funny, which is helpful in stressful situations like RE transactions. Jim and Donna have earned every last penny they made from our deal — and in fact they deserve more. And that is why I will use them for my RE transactions the rest of my life. Thank you, Jim and Donna! more “
I can’t say enough about Jim and Donna. Jim got a great price for us and negotiated well. Donna walked us through escrow, handling vendors, and negotiating everything we asked for in the request for repairs. They are know exactly what they are doing and I’ve already recommended them to two other people. more “
I followed Jim’s blog for several years and decided to contact him (along with several other realtors) when an out-of-state work relocation required me to sell my home in San Marcos, Ca. At our initially meeting, Jim spent a significant amount of time discussing pricing options, strategy, as well… more “
Honesty. Integrity. Professionalism. Dedication. Commitment. Jim and Donna Klinge hold these attributes in abundance. They have acted as both our buyer agent and our seller agent delivering highly relevant insight into local market conditions, spot-on advice to maximize the home’s value, and unparalleled management of the transaction process… more “
I cannot imagine a better experience! Jim was our broker when my husband and I bought our first house. Jim never pressured us or glossed over anything. He was patient, knowledgeable, and helped us buy our dream home. His office was detail-oriented, always responsive and we closed in 30 days! The excellent service didn’t end when we bought our house, either, the Klinges have given us excellent and fast referrals along the way. We feel privileged to have worked with such a consummate professional and appreciate how rare this level of skill is. Jim is simply the best in the field. more “
Jim and his team are top flight. He knows the market better than anyone, and his team ensures the deal goes through without a hitch. There’s always something at the last minute, but you’d never know it with Jim and his crew. I’ve bought and sold houses with Jim as my agent over the years, and I wouldn’t use anyone else. Save yourself the headaches and potential costly mistakes… more “
Buying a house is one of the most emotional,exciting, and sometimes confusing milestones you’ll reach for in your life! Being a buyer in this market can make it even more interesting! My husband and I have been looking to buy for a year, and when the time came we wanted a realtor team that would be on our team! Being that I’m a business woman and was 7 months pregnant, I wanted, NEEDED, communication, dependability, and consistency! The Klinges went so far above and beyond … more “
Jim was recommended to me when I bought my first house here in the US five years ago. He and Donna explained the whole process and it was a great experience to work with them. Not surprisingly, when my company asked me to relocate my first choice was to work with them again… more “
I have followed Jim’s real estate blog for years and by the time I got ready to sell my townhouse I felt I knew him both personally and professionally. At our first meeting he was prepared with recent comps and listings for the area… more “
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