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

Jim Klinge
Cell/Text: (858) 997-3801
klingerealty@gmail.com
701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 300
Carlsbad, CA 92011


Category Archive: ‘Realtor’

No Code?

The State of California doesn’t have a Code of Ethics…..

This article is Part Two of a series arguing for the reinstatement of the Department of Real Estate (DRE)’s code of ethics. If you haven’t already, take a look at Part One, which provides context for the current vacuum in California ethical standards.

Why a code of ethics?

Every public-facing industry, especially one as complex as the real estate industry, is in need of common standards of practice. Presently, the code providing those standards for California real estate agents is far from an ideal set of rules governing an agent’s conduct in service of the public.

The code in question is a generic product of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), which NAR’s state-level manifestation, the California Association of Realtors® (CAR), has commandeered as its own.

Real estate practice is rooted in state codes, cases and regulations aimed at protecting residents of that state, and as a result, this national code of ethics is frequently ill-fit to the unique marketplace of California. NAR has next to nothing to do with California, where principals might have little to no personal knowledge of the agent representing them (especially in urban population centers), and have no choice but to operate under a general set of expectations for licensee conduct.

Further, the Department of Real Estate (DRE) has continuously pushed the NAR code as an acceptable standard for those California licensees who also happen to be Realtors®. As we discussed recently, the state nixed the DRE’s code of ethics in 1996, and California has consequently been left without a California code of ethics for the real estate industry — a situation the DRE could rectify.

But before we can argue for the reinstatement of the DRE code of ethics, we need to understand what’s in it. What are we arguing for? And maybe more critically, what are we arguing against?

Read article here:

Link to Full Article

Posted by on Jul 11, 2018 in Ethics, Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training | 0 comments

Welcome, Incumbents

The way to sell houses is turning into a jumbo bowl of jambalaya now, and this version toes the fiduciary-duty line by gathering investor offers, instead of making cash offers themselves.

Reprinted with permission from the author Mike:

A Keller Williams team in Phoenix recently launched OfferDepot, an instant offer play, to “help with all the confusion with cash offers vs bringing your home to market.”

Why it matters: This is the first move from a traditional real estate company into the instant offers space.

The idea that traditional real estate incumbents would enter into the iBuyer’s instant offers party isn’t new. Back in February, I wrote:

“…the more successful Opendoor becomes, the more of a threat they become to industry incumbents, which forces them to respond. The most logical response from a major player such as Realogy or Keller Williams would be to launch their own iBuyer program.”

This isn’t a top-down corporate initiative on the part of Keller Williams. Rather, this is a local team reacting to the rising interest in iBuyers and pushing to stay relevant.  The Keller Williams team isn’t buying houses directly. It is collecting inbound leads from potential sellers, gathering information on the home, receiving instant offers on their behalf, and presenting everything back to the home owner (including an option to list the home on the open market) in a comparative analysis.

We can speculate as to the reasons this Keller Williams team decoded to jump in to the fray:

  • It doesn’t want to miss the boat. Whether it’s Opendoor raising another $325 million or Zillow jumping in with both feet, interest in the space has never been stronger. Traditional real estate agents — and Keller Williams  — are in the business of selling homes. Why would they let this new model pass them by? Doing nothing is not an option.
  • A one-stop-shop. It’s relatively easy for traditional agents to bolt on an instant offer service, thereby turning them into a one-stop-shop for home sellers (and negating the need to contact an iBuyer like Opendoor or Offerpad).
  • Seller leads are super valuable. This is another form of lead generation for traditional agents, with each request representing a likely customer.

Implications for iBuyers

In my previous analysis, I summed up the major implications of incumbents entering the instant offer space. The first deals with the user experience:

“Make no mistake, the offer and the experience from the incumbent is going to be bad. They’re simply not set up to provide the same quality of service as Opendoor.”

The online experience isn’t great. In a design reminiscent of the mid- to late-90’s, users must struggle through a form to submit their home’s information. It’s a far cry from the premium experience Opendoor strives to offer its customers through the entire process.

But it works. It does what it needs to and collects leads. And it is this dilutive effect that is the biggest implication to dedicated iBuyers like Opendoor. As I wrote in that same analysis:

The proposition from the incumbents will be poor, but it will be enough to soak up a portion of the demand in the market and take momentum away from Opendoor and other iBuyers.”

It’s simple economics. If we assume the demand remains constant, the addition of supply will dilute the amount of business any one iBuyer receives.

There will also be more customer confusion as incumbents get into the game. When Opendoor was the only option in town, it was simple. But now there are a variety of choices: multiple dedicated iBuyers (Opendoor, Offerpad), a popular web portal (Zillow), a tech-enabled brokerage (Redfin Now), and a traditional real estate agent (OfferDepot). What’s the difference? Who do I trust? It’s difficult to explain the various propositions to consumers.

At the end of the day, that’s good for traditional brokers and agents (as they can soak up additional demand), and bad for dedicated iBuyers (because of the dilutive effect and customer confusion).

This is just the start! Expect a lot more activity in this space by the incumbents. It’s only a matter of time before a big incumbent launches a well-funded, well-designed initiative. And it may not stop at just presenting offers on an iBuyer’s behalf…

Link to Article

Posted by on Jul 2, 2018 in ibuyer, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor | 1 comment

Redfin Wants Link Back to Listing Agent

The thing that got me fired up was Glenn insisting that portals include a mandatory HTML link back to the listing agent (in fact, Redfin authored the new verbiage to be approved by N.A.R.).

The current rule is that the listing agent has to be mentioned, and Redfin includes the requirement in fine print at the bottom of each listing.  On the right, they pitch you hard to tour the home with them, which I’ll live with.  It’s their website, and if I don’t like it, I can always build my own.

Why does Glenn want the listing agents to get more exposure?

He says that if there is a link back to the listing agents, they will be more likely to input more listings onto the MLS, instead of ‘pocketing’ them.

He doesn’t supply any evidence to support such an idea, and it is unlikely that the listing agents who want to double-dip the commission will give it up easily.  This idea only makes sense as an alternative if we are going to eliminate pocket listings, Coming-Soons, and Sold-Before-Processings.

But nobody is suggesting an end to those techniques.

Since Zillow legitimized the Coming-Soon in 2014, major real estate brokerages and even some MLS companies have followed suit and offer their listings on their website prior to MLS exposure to the open market.  The Coming-Soon genie is out of the bottle, and adding a link back to the listing agent isn’t going to change it.

Is Glenn just an out-of-touch CEO hoping to befriend the industry?  No, he’s not, and we’ve seen previously that he has the killer instinct.  He said this HERE:

“I think he had no idea what kind of savage beast master he was dealing with,” Kelman said.  He continued: “We are wild, freaking animals. You can’t sell more houses for less money any other way. You’ve got to fight and claw for it.”

He owns one of the major portals. If he thinks putting an HTML link back to the listing agent is a good idea, then he should do it himself on Redfin’s website to demonstrate his commitment, and see how it goes.

But he hasn’t done that, which makes you think he is up to something else.  Just like everyone else in the industry, he wants to double-dip more of his own listings, so he can finally put that nickel in his investors’ pocket.

Posted by on Jun 29, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Scams | 2 comments

Opendoor is Deceitful

In the video below, a Las Vegas realtor compares an actual offer from Opendoor to what happened when he put the home on the open market.

But it’s the deceit that is note-worthy.

The first number supplied by Opendoor was the average market time, which they said was 75 days for the zip code.  But the actual MLS data showed 22 days, and then the agent sold this house the first day on the market.

Opendoor also packed an extra 2% in costs for seller concessions when selling with a realtor, which is untrue.  Buyers don’t ask for concessions in our pricer market, let alone in Las Vegas when houses are selling over list price.

No surprise that flippers use the lowest comps they can find – that’s expected.  But they also stack enough other false evidence that, in the end, is what sways the seller to go that route.

Opendoor’s final estimate twisted the numbers to show that the seller would make $11,000 more money by selling to Opendoor, rather than listing with an agent.  But the client actually cleared $15,416 more with a realtor!

Flippers have no obligation to tell you the truth – they say whatever they want. Get a second opinion!  If timing is an issue (quick closings are one of the big benefits they push) – then I will give you a quote today, and get you into escrow as fast as you need.

Link to video:

https://www.facebook.com/gafford2/videos/10155312061946750/

Posted by on Jun 29, 2018 in ibuyer, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor | 5 comments

Redfin is Deceitful

Glenn Kelman of Redfin has been deceiving the public since the day they started the company, and he gets away with it because we don’t have a watchdog department or any enforcement of truth-in-advertising.  We live in a society where anybody can say anything and never be accountable to the truth.

I’ve had enough, and I’m not going to take it any more.

Here are examples:

  • He says Redfin agents sell houses for $3,000 more than traditional agents.  But you can only measure that if we sold the same house on the same day!  He is using averages of different sets of homes, which is apples and oranges – yet it was one of their featured statements on their website for a long time.
  • He says that his sellers save $9,000 over traditional agents.  You can say you charge a lower rate, but you can’t calculate the actual savings until you have the sales price.  Agents don’t sell houses for the same price – houses sell for different prices depending on the agent’s method and expertise.  If I sell the house for $10,000 more than you, then the sellers would MAKE an extra $1,000.  It is deceitful for him to make such claims.
  • He says you will ‘close without a hitch’. A Redfin agent told me yesterday that 100% of his deals have a hitch.
  • He says they are full service.  But then you send out the $50 girl with the least experience of anyone on your team to show buyers around?  If you are ‘full service’, then you should have your BEST agents showing homes.
  • His home-flipping device, Redfin Now, is the biggest conflict-of-interest in the history of real estate.  With Zillow’s Instant Offers, at least they send their staff people to give you a quote to purchase your home, and then direct an independent agent to give you a second quote.  But Redfin offers the whole package together.  But you can’t have it both ways – either you advertise that you are a full service realtor, and thus have a fiduciary duty to get the best deal possible for the seller, OR you are a cash buyer.  But they run their flipping platform off their same website.

They know it’s a conflict too, and have a disclaimer at the bottom of the page:

Can you read print that small?  Me neither, so I got out my magnifying glass.

This is what it says:

Redfin Now is a separate company owned by Redfin.  Agents representing Redfin Now represent Redfin Now only and do not represent sellers in the sale of your home.  If you decide to sell to Redfin Now, neither Redfin nor Redfin Now will represent your interests regarding the sale of your home. For this reason, it is recommended that you seek independent representation in the sale of your home.  You may be able to sell your home on the open market for more money than Redfin Now’s offer price.

People who are drawn to a ‘full-service realtor’ website should get a fiduciary consultation only – that is what’s in their best interest.  If you are running a separate company that buys homes, then it should be on a separate website.

  • The latest is Glenn saying that portals should include links that direct the consumer back to the listing agent.  He says that it will encourage listing agents to stop ‘pocketing’ their listings, and sell them on the open market instead.  But Redfin does the ‘Sold Before Processing’ to their sellers too, so you can’t help but think Glenn has an ulterior motive.

He has lost millions of dollars every quarter since they started 13 years ago – it seems like he will say anything to try to catch up.

Consumer beware!

Posted by on Jun 28, 2018 in Fraud, ibuyer, Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Scams, Why You Should List With Jim | 8 comments

Turbulence


https://twitter.com/bradInman/status/1011730002570719232

For an industry that has been stagnant and mostly unaffected by disintermediation/disruption over the last couple of decades, you get the feeling that change might be afoot now.

It’s asking a lot, but what we really need is transparency.

We are at the fork-in-the-road where agents and consumers alike want and need to choose between the traditional model of selling homes, or one of the newfangled disrupter ways.

But the services being offered are blurry.  The disrupters call themselves realtors, and say they provide the same full service.  Big teams say because they’ve sold so many homes that their way is the best.  Individual agents get caught in the middle somewhere.

If every agent described exactly what they do to earn their fee, then at least the consumers might be able to compare apples-to-apples.

Every agent has their 100-point marketing plan, a fabulous support team, and is in the Top 1%.  Let’s go beyond those basics.

To make it easier for consumers, let’s boil it down to the most important part of the equation – what is the one critical question to ask an agent?

‘Who and where are you at the point of sale?’

The frenzy has simmered down, and we’re back to the regular hand-to-hand real estate combat in the streets.  This is when buyers and sellers need real and effective guidance on when to make the deal.

If you choose a discounter, inexperienced agent, or get stuck with an assistant, you will get a tepid response.  Their lack of experience at guiding you to make the right decision when everything is on the line will cause them to be conservative, and not commit.  You will be left to your own devices.

When you choose a great agent, he delivers facts and opinions for you to use to make the right decision on the spot – that is real guidance.

This is where consumers need the real help, but the industry fails miserably because when you need us most, we’re not there.  We don’t insist on having top-quality help in place at crunchtime.

It hasn’t mattered in the full-blown frenzy – buyers just pay the price or higher, and everyone is happy.  You don’t need much help then.

But now that sales are receeding, and more homes are lying around not selling, real help is needed to figure out what to do.

Sellers are always prone to add a little mustard to their price, and without proper guidance on when to accept a lower offer or when to reduce their price, they can miss the selling window and chase the market down.  Buyers can pay too much and regret it later, or not enough and miss out on a good match.

Get Good Help!

Posted by on Jun 27, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Market Conditions, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop | 2 comments

Full Service

Being a realtor isn’t as glamorous as it looks, because somebody has to handle the little problems too.  Here the buyer’s agent couldn’t get the door open, and called me to do something about it.  Once the sale is closed, most listing agents get busy with their next deal, and leave the other agent hanging.

Not me – I want the other agent to look good in the eyes of his clients.

Posted by on Jun 25, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Hire Jim to Sell Your Home

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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!

Posted by on Jun 25, 2018 in About the author, Auctions, Bidding Wars, Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 5 comments

A State-Load of Haters

This guy popped off at the DOJ hearing a couple of weeks ago, and the story has kept making the rounds:

So you think things don’t get rough in real estate and feathers don’t fly when agents’ commission money is at stake? Ha. Listen to what Joshua Hunt, founder and CEO of discount-fee realty brokerage Trelora recently said here at a meeting of the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department.

Trelora, which is based in Denver, charges home sellers a flat $2,500 to list their home and allows them to pay agents another $2,500 for bringing in buyers, no matter the price of the house. Hunt told the meeting, which was organized to examine the present state of competition in the real-estate market, that competing brokers and agents loathe his firm’s business model because it reduces the total commissions they receive.

“We’ve had bricks thrown through car windows,” he said, “we’ve had our cars egged, we’ve had hate mail sent to our sellers” — all because Trelora clients don’t pay enough in commission dollars, split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent.

Many competitors won’t even show Trelora-listed homes, said Hunt. “I’ve got a list here of 719 brokerages in Denver” that will not show Trelora properties unless the seller agrees to pay the buyer’s agent 2.8 percent to 3 percent of the sale price as commission. On a $500,000 house that’s a big difference — $2,500 versus $14,000 or $15,000.

Hunt has also fought pitched battles with local Multiple Listing Services insisting that they allow consumers — not just agents — to see the full commission splits on listings. That means disclosing the buyer’s agent’s cut of the pie — which many buyers don’t know and don’t ask about — as well as the listing agent’s.

I called the Denver Metro Association of Realtors today.  They have a little over 500 real estate offices in Denver.  So every single brokerage – including those that charge less than Trelora – won’t show his listings, plus another 200 phantom brokerages.

Virtually every agent in the state hates him?

https://therealdeal.com/2018/06/22/paying-the-right-commission-is-ultimately-up-to-you/

Posted by on Jun 22, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor | 3 comments

Purplebricks Integrity

Here’s a good example of how sketchy the discounters are being with their advertising.  It’s bad enough when they claim that they provide the same service as traditional agents, without providing any proof.

But this video – produced by Purplebricks themselves – gives you a great snapshot of their real integrity.  When asked, “Don’t I have to pay with the possibility of my property not selling”, the expert says, “No…..not really.”

But the answer is yes – you have to pay $3,699 whether the home sells or not.  It takes more prodding by the questioner to get her to deliver the right answer, but it’s still vague and evasive:

The local Purplebricks agent told us that the reason he went there was because he couldn’t hack it anymore as a regular realtor – he needed the salary to live.

If what you got for the money was transparent, the consumer would be better served. But instead, we get peppered with even more lies and deceit paid for by VC money in an attempt to win over the consumer before they figure it out.

Posted by on Jun 19, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Scams | 15 comments