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Category Archive: ‘Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer’s Agent’



Have you seen the remark, “Back on market, no fault of property”?

Well then……..whose fault was it?

The agents.

Somebody allowed the buyers and sellers to believe they had a deal.  Rarely is it intentional – and almost always it’s due to a condition that could have been remedied in advance, if both agents were on their game.

When a buyer does want to cancel, it is their agent’s duty to craft a real whopper of an excuse so there is no conflict in getting the deposit back.  As a result, the real reason for cancelling is rarely known.

The most common excuses:

  1. Buyer didn’t qualify.
  2. Some other babbling, semi-conscious drivel.

There is no excuse for getting offers accepted with buyers who don’t qualify.  The frenzy is over, so there is no reason to rush an offer before the lender has taken a full application and has had it underwritten.

I’m even reluctant to believe that the buyer got laid off – come on, they had no idea that their job was in peril?  It’s hard to believe any employee would be out shopping for homes if they thought there was any unrest at work.

But it is a great excuse for cancelling – how can the sellers blame you?

If the excuse given is just a smoke screen to ensure the deposit is returned, then what was the real reason?  Could there be a solution to the real reason?

Two places where agents screw up:

  1. Don’t verify the prequal (for buyers who really cancel for that reason).
  2. They don’t try to save the deal.

Upon being notified of an impending cancellation, listing agents rush to their computer and quickly mark the listing BOM (back-on-market).  Many will add ‘no fault of the property’ (which is really code for ‘flaky buyers’, ‘stupid buyer’s agent’, or both), and the listing agent goes back to their prayer vigil.

If the listing agent took the best of many offers received during the first week, then you can’t blame them for being confident that other buyers might still be interested.  But if they’ve been struggling for weeks or months to find a buyer, the writing is on the wall – the price isn’t working.

Price can fix anything.  Either agent can take the initiative too.

It happened to me yesterday.  My buyers and I went the conventional route, and conducted the home inspection after our offer was accepted (which included a seller’s counter-offer insisting upon a 7-day inspection period).  We scrambled to complete the inspection promptly, but it revealed enough problems that my buyers said ‘forget it, let’s cancel’.

But because I had also gotten repair quotes on items we thought could be an issue, I was at least able to put a price on it.  I urged my buyers to consider buying the property, if the price was right.

They said they would buy it, if I could get the seller to knock off $20,000.

We had made our offer the first day the house was on the market, and according the the listing agent, there were multiple offers.  The $20,000 reduction seemed like a tall order, but anything is possible!

I went to work on crafting a powerful and compelling case on why the sellers should do it (without including any repair quotes or complaints because those just start a fight over what is worthy).

I included a concession (a must) that if agreed, we would release all contingencies the same day, and that we would close in two weeks.

The sellers agreed to the $20,000 reduction.

For those who wonder why you should have me assist you with your real estate needs – this is it.  In every sale, there are opportunities where agents can make or break a deal.  I know they are coming – I’m looking for them – and I find ways to save deals and create a win-win for all.

Isn’t that what you want?

Get Good Help!

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 7 comments

Insist on Video

unknown hurdles

Thanks to daytrip for sending in this article:

An excerpt:

One in five Americans who bought a home in the past two years said they had made an offer on a home they had never visited, based on a poll of 2,100 recent buyers conducted for Redfin by SurveyMonkey. People who paid more than $750,000 for their homes were particularly likely to make a blind bid, with 53 percent of them submitting an offer sight unseen. So were millennials, 30 percent of whom made such an offer.

Buyers:  Are you making offers sight unseen because the top-quality online presentations, or because you know that you can always back out later?

Sellers:  Are you worried that buyers are submitting offers without seeing your house, and once they do, they could back out?  You should be!

Most listings only include photos of granite slabs, stainless appliances, and the latest in modern bedding.

With so many buyers making offers without seeing the houses, doesn’t it make sense to have the most complete online presentation possible?  Yes it does!

What is the answer?  Jim the Realtor video tours!

I’ve completed over 2,000 YouTube video tours and regularly use them to sell houses – it is the closest thing to being there.


Because of the audio.  Instead of goofy elevator music, you hear my honest assessment of what you are looking at on the screen.  It is healthy for buyers and sellers!

Get Good Help – hire Jim the Realtor!

Later today we are filming the ‘Making of a JTR Video’. The blog post will be here later tonight!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 3 comments

Fall 2015 Reality Check


We can talk, can’t we?

Houses that have been on the market for more than 60 days (which includes 507/1,079 = 47% of NSDCC active listings) missed the hot season.

Buyers presume,

“If it hasn’t sold by now, something is wrong with the house, or the price.”

Some people use the days-on-market statistic has a primary search feature. Even if the list price has been reduced, just the longer market time can cause buyers and agents to miss the longer-listed properties.

So not only are those listings easier to pass up, the buyer pool in general is shrinking due to the time of year.  It’s too easy for them to pack it in.

It’s going to get tougher for the older listings to find a buyer, unless they get aggressive on price.  But how many sellers will knock 5% to 10% off their price?  Not many.


1.  The list price has to be at least 10% wrong if not selling for months.

2.  Most unsold listings aren’t that far off.  Buyers would be interested in many of the active listings at 10% to 15% under list.

3.  Sellers are reluctant to chop that much off their price.

4.  Buyers have to take the initiative.

My game plan here:

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Bubbleinfo TV, Listing Agent Practices, Market Conditions, North County Coastal, Thinking of Buying?, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 2 comments

Suspicious Comps

The comps haven’t mattered much during our frenzied market.  But with things settling down a bit, we might see comps matter more.

In March, we discussed who pays more than they should, and why:

Today, let’s point out which comps are the most suspicious.  Both sellers and buyers should proceed with caution when using these comps:

1.  Sales prices above list prices.  Bidding wars have been the norm, but the eventual sales price was thrown out there by somebody who was trying to win the contest, not pay market value.  They probably waived the appraisal contingency too, so there aren’t any checks and balances in place.  Just because one crazy nut was willing to pay that price doesn’t mean there will be others willing to do the same.

2.  ‘Sold before processing’.  How can it be considered market value if the market never had a say?  Rarely do they have a full description or ample photos so you don’t even know what was sold, or why.  Sometimes these are high-priced, where you wonder if the seller and listing agent thought they’d never get the same price on the open market.  But usually they are lower-priced.

3.  Dual agency.  When the seller’s agent represents the buyers too, how do you know what happened at the moment of impact?  Be wary of those that closed for a deep discount under list.

4.  Long-timers.  Have you seen those properties that have been on the market for months without lowering their price, then all of a sudden they sell for full price, or close?  Sure, the market can come up to meet them, but it just smells fishy to me that buyers wouldn’t demand to pay less for a property nobody else wanted for months.

5.  Comps that went pending when hottest (Jan-April 2015).  Today’s market is still good, but for the rest of 2015 it won’t be sizzling like it was when rates were 3.67 – 3.77% earlier this year.  Buyers are going to want to pay a little less than before to compensate.

6. Weak buyer’s agent on the sale.  Inexperienced or desperate agents don’t stop their buyer from over-paying.  The inexperienced agents are usually unaware themselves.  The tricky ones are the big teams who just use the leader’s name on every sale – but you suspect it was an assistant who handled the sale.

Tip of the Day: Examine the photos from the buyer’s perspective.

Buyers have never relied less on their agent – they have all the comps at their disposal, and they will interpret as they see fit.  Your accuracy about the comps is only half the battle – understanding the buyers’ position and how to add value to their interpretation is essential too.

Get Good Help!

Call Jim!

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Market Buzz, Market Conditions, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 1 comment

No Excuses

Recently a seller (through their listing agent) was justifying their full-price counter-offer with a pending model-match that they said was in escrow at $15,000 OVER its list price.

The pending listing was in an inferior location and had no obvious features that would compel someone to pay over list price.  It had been on the market for almost 3 months, was ‘re-freshed’, and then still took another month to find the buyer.

Last week it closed for $42,000 UNDER the list price.

Three thoughts:

1.  If it ain’t closed, it doesn’t count.  There could have been an excited buyer in the beginning who got suckered into paying over list, but when the market is getting a little crumbly around the edges, buyers are more likely to come to their senses a few days later.  However, that seller had likely told his neighbors about his good fortune by then, and the braggadocio spreads quickly.

2.  There are a lot of new agents.  Since the frenzy began, over 50,000 real estate licenses have been issued in the state.  These agents have only known a frenzy condition, and are used to telling their buyers to offer over list.  But they haven’t had much experience with keeping a deal together.

3.  Revelations about the sale are not required to be disclosed in the MLS.  There is a ‘Concessions’ box in the MLS for listing agents to complete when marking a listing sold, but it’s a suggestion, not a requirement.

Regardless of what actually happened, once the sales price is published, it becomes the #1 fact that buyers will use to make decisions about what to pay for the next house.  Zillow and the other portals don’t have an ‘excuse box’ for anyone to clarify what happened in a sale – and if they did, buyers would still want to shrug them off.

Putting a value on an house is an inexact science, and everyone has a different opinion.  Future buyers will always look to skew down the value of the comps – even if there was a good explanation for a low sale, it won’t get full traction.

Get good help!

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 3 comments

National MLS and The Future

There has been a movement within the industry to create a broker-owned MLS to compete with Zillow/Trulia.  I’m not sure they see it as competing with Zillow/Trulia – but that will be the eventual contest, unless they can co-exist.

The cost to create and maintain such a website is one issue. But the other is the advertising of other agents on my listings.  Unlike Zillow, the new National Broker MLS website will only allow the listing agents to be displayed on each listing – see the discussion here:

Whether the big brokerages recognize it or not, buyer representation is being elbowed out, and we are barreling towards single agency.

Eventually there will just be the big listing teams that dominate the portals, and buyer inquiries directed to the in-house ‘buyer agents’.  But with those being mostly newer agents who work for the listing agent, there won’t be much actual ‘representation’ delivered to the buyer.

Buyers will be instructed to pay the seller’s price, or hit the road.  The end result isn’t much different than it is now, with so many sellers today willing to wait for their price.

With less-rigorous pricing and agents pulling for the sellers only, buyers will be left to their own devices.  Will the National MLS, Zillow, HGTV, or other sources give buyers enough to be comfortable without representation?  Probably, because buyers don’t know what they don’t know.

Zillow and the other portals are helping to take the place of real buyer agents.  As a result, buyers will just hunt for houses that make them feel good, confirm online that the price is within a reasonable distance of the last comp, and place their order with the listing team.

The environment will favor the flippers, and anyone else who pours fix-up money into their house before selling.  How many times do you see a flipper or a turn-key property get an extra bump in price just because they look so good?  It happens a lot today, and it should keep going in that direction.

In the meantime, the buyers will be under-represented, if at all.

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Listing Agent Practices, The Future, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 5 comments

I’m Here to Help

Blog reader ‘just some guy’ mentioned today that when he first thought about buying a house, he assumed I would be too busy to help, or that I just work the upper prices ranges.

He found out different – we stuck together for more than a year until he and his family found the right home.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, I have plenty of time for you.  The phone number you see here is my cell phone – call or text any time, and let’s at least have a conversation!

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 4 comments