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

Robotic Real Estate

Below is the evidence put forth by a Bay Area realtor to show two things:

  1. Redfin home-value estimates are tied to the list price, and their estimates are increased as they gauge the traffic.
  2. Buyers are assuming the Redfin estimates to be accurate, and rely on them when making an offer.

In the beginning, zestimates were thought to be wildly inaccurate, and dismissed. But now that portals have been around this long, are consumers putting too much trust into the data received? It appears so.

Are buyers satisfied with internet values now?  Are they subconsciously thinking that the estimates are close enough AND that everyone else does too?

Will future home values be determined by internet traffic?

Click below for his case:

Read More

Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtors Talking Shop, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 5 comments

The Long Road Ahead

Things that blow out deals are usually avoidable, and are easy to identify in hindsight. In this case, the agent let the buyers pick a roofer out of the book, which is a terrible way to do business. He gets paid the same whether he blows the deal or not, so of course he tells the buyers the house will fall down some day. No wonder he has great reviews – think of all the homebuyers he saved from buying a regular house, and are still renting!

But the most important lesson is how the agent handled the situation once a concern has been identified.  Buyers are counting on their agent for expert guidance, which should include pointing out that there are no perfect homes out there, and let’s find a way to deal with the imperfections – because in this case, the house had far more positives than negatives.

But instead, the agent – who had been telling me that everything was fine – just sends over the cancellation form in the dead of night.  She didn’t give me any more opportunity to address the concern (even though I has already provided ample evidence), or try to fix it herself.  Instead, once her buyers objected, she just cancelled.

This is where we will see the last nine years of a bull market come back to haunt us.  There are plenty of agents who got into the business since 2009 that not only consider themselves one-percenters, but have built teams and are riding a high horse.  But they have never had to handle buyer objections.

Expect a long, stagnant, bumpy market ahead.

Get Good Help!

What did I do? I went back to the second-place finisher and sold it to them.

Posted by on Sep 5, 2018 in Auctions, Bubbleinfo TV, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 2 comments

Should Buyers Wait?

Should buyers wait a while to see what happens to the housing market?

Are we just seeing the usual end-of-selling-season malaise when where all of the motivated sellers have succeeded, and just the OPTs are stacking up?

Or has the market shifted…..for good? Is this the peak?

I think it depends on your needs:

  1. Only buying a premium property – then stay in the hunt. In the last downturn, the prices of the premium properties held up well – most had less than a 10% decline in value, and that’s before people started hoarding real estate (not selling for any reason).
  2. Only buying a single story – then stay in the hunt.  The one-story market is red-hot, with demand far out-stripping supply, especially in the newer-home or view categories.
  3. Willing to buy a fixer – be patient.  Buy when you see the appropriate gap of 5% to 10% between the creampuffs and the ones that bark at traffic.  If the home is in original condition, the gap should be larger.
  4. Only want to steal a property – very unlikely in the near-term.  Sellers aren’t that motivated, and only a small minority might consider selling for less than 5% of list.

We should be in a stagnant state for months, as everyone waits to see what happens next spring.  But I think buyers will be similarly picky then too.

We’ll see the same or similar psychology take over the whole country at the same time – which is the way it always happens.  What needs to adjust is the sellers’ trend to expect more than what the last guy got.

Here is a discussion guided by our friend and realtor Tom Stone about the market in Sonoma County (follow the link) – and check the comment section too, where Tom mentions the solution. Hat tip Eddie89!

Link to Full Article on Wolf Street

 

Posted by on Aug 16, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Thinking of Buying?, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 3 comments

Millennials Have Regrets

We might be seeing some whipsaw effect with today’s buyers being overly cautious. Either that, or we’ve ran out of the buyers who jump in too fast or too high, and just the deliberate ones are left:

Millennials aren’t exactly jumping for joy after purchasing their homes.

About four in 10 millennials are already homeowners, according to a new survey of over 600 millennials (age 21-34) by Bank of the West.

Yet it turns out that 68 percent of them are feeling buyer’s remorse — almost double the amount of Baby Boomers who say they have regrets.

“Millennials are so eager to become homeowners that some may be inadvertently cutting off their nose to spite their face,” says Ryan Bailey, head of Bank of the West’s retail banking.

Here are the biggest areas of remorse.

Overspending on the down payment

Roughly four in 10 millennials felt they made poor financial choices when it came to purchasing their home. Part of the problem seems to revolve around the down payment. The survey found one in three millennials dipped into their retirement accounts to pay for their homes — a trend Bailey calls “alarming.”

“Borrowing from your retirement may make sense in special circumstances, but it’s definitely not a recommendation,” Bailey tells CNBC Make It.

To keep from getting squeezed, think about what you can afford as a monthly payment, and don’t forget to include taxes and insurance in your calculations, Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, tells CNBC Make It.

Use filters on home search sites and price alerts to make sure you’re not shopping for a home above your budget. “Don’t fall in love with something that’s already out of your price range,” Hale says.

Underestimating ongoing costs

When you buy a home, the expenses don’t stop once you move in.

Millennials understand basic costs, such heating and electric bills, but Bailey recommends also considering how much time and money it could take to mow the lawn, clean the house or deal with leaky faucet.

“When you’re a homeowner, you can’t call your landlord to fix things, so you want to make sure you have a little extra cash in the bank,” Hale says.

It’s a big transition going from renter to homeowner, so make sure to take some time to learn about the maintenance costs associated with potential homes.

Settling for something that’s not quite right

Finding the right fit is as important as having the right budget when it comes to home ownership. The survey found that about half of millennials had regrets about the home itself.

One in five said they were frustrated by damages they found after moving in, while others said they discovered the house didn’t end up working well for their family.

To avoid unexpected expenses, experts recommend getting a home inspection before finalizing the sale. “Especially if you’re a first-time buyer or new to home ownership, you may not even know what to look for, so you definitely want to have the expert on your side,” Hale says.

It can also help to nail down what you really need in a home. Make a list of your must-haves before you start looking and know what you’re willing to compromise on, Hale says. It’s currently a very competitive market, so chances are, you’re going to have to make compromises.

In fact, about two-thirds of home buyers reported compromising on some sort of home characteristic, according to a survey from the National Association of Realtors.

“The more targeted your search is,” Hale says, “the more chance you won’t waste your time or get distracted by homes that ultimately aren’t a good fit for you.” Follow this advice, and you can avoid purchasing a home that you regret.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/18/most-millennials-regret-buying-home.html

Posted by on Jul 26, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Thinking of Buying?, Tips, Advice & Links, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent | 1 comment

Compass, Day One

The discussion about affiliating with Compass included trying to predict the future of the market, and realtors in general.

Historically, there has been a lack of widespread advertising because the realtor business was mostly mom-and-pop operations.  But now that big money is here, the advertising has grown.  Zillow has nailed it with their heart-felt messaging, which is appreciated by all.

But Purplebricks is running ads like this, and I think they are starting to have a negative impact on the industry in general:

Unfortunately we don’t have a truth meter or quality checker in this country, so people can say whatever they want, no matter how harmful to the consumer.

The problems with this series of commercials – they try to make you think:

  1. All realtors are the same.
  2. All houses sell for the same price, regardless of agent.
  3. You should shop for an agent based on cost.

These lies have been around for years, but this is the first time we’ve seen millions of dollars spent on TV ads to spread them.

I doubt they are going to make many consumers go to Purplebricks and pay up front for service (which is not mentioned in ad), but the damage to the consumer’s subconscious mind is being done.

The truth:

  1. Realtors, and the services they provide, are all different.
  2. The sales price of a house depends on who is selling it.
  3. Consumers should investigate what they are getting for the money.

I’m hoping that Compass will assist us with spreading the truth about selling homes.  Klinge Realty having a bigger corporate presence is a start, but some institutional advertising to re-affirm the truth would be helpful too.  I haven’t seen any Compass TV ads yet, but an educational advertising campaign would be very helpful for us, and the industry.

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

Two things I found impressive in my first day at Compass:

  1. Compass has recruited 168 top San Diego agents since opening in January.
  2. The Compass CEO, Robert Reffkin, called me to welcome us aboard.

Selling homes is an individual sport, so I know that the benefits of being with Compass will be determined by what I do with them.  Stay tuned!

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in Compass, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Realtor, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 16 comments

The Difference Realtors Can Make

Donna Klinge

Here are examples of some of the wacky stuff that happens in this business, and why it’s important to get good help:

We represented the buyers of House B, whose sellers were buying their listing agent’s personal residence (House A).

They had included in their listing agreement that the sale of House B would be contingent upon the successful purchasing of House A – but the listing agent forgot to include the contingency form in our documents.  As a result, the sellers were locked into selling their House B to my buyers.

When the discussions of repairs and termite work of House A got testy, it was revealed that the contingency form had been omitted from our House B deal.  The client called their listing-agent/owner, ‘unprofessional’, which set her off and she refused to do any repairs to her house.  The clients backed out of the purchase – but she was still their listing agent on our sale of House B, and the sellers only had two weeks left to get out of their house.

The listing agent went quiet, so the seller of House B called me directly for help.  Sorry, but my buyers wanted the house, and wanted to close on time.  He offered us $20,000 to cancel, but because the house and timing was such a good fit, we declined.

But I came up with a package deal. We would give him a rentback for up to 60 days at market rate plus deposit, if he gave us a credit for $7,000 for repairs on House B.  He took the deal.

2. When I’m the listing agent, I always meet the appraiser – no exceptions.  If you don’t, you’re just asking for trouble.  Another one where I had the buyers for a listing agent selling her own primary residence, and she doesn’t show up for the appraisal of the house she lives in!  The appraisal came in $12,000 under the sales price.

3. We are experienced at handling difficult situations, many of which are regarding repairs.  As the market slows down, the buyers will be more demanding about the condition of the home, and want things done their way (or the way their agent wants them done).

We sold a tenant-occupied condo that had a regular attic – how often does a tenant go into the attic?  In this case, the answer was ‘never’, and even if he had, he might not have noticed that lint was building up because the dryer vent did not extend through to the exterior.

The buyer had a logical concern about it being a fire hazard, and because we were happy with the price he was paying, Donna went to work on getting it resolved. We needed HOA approval to go through the roof, and they insisted on having a longer warranty.  Our roofer gives extended warranties because he has pride in his work, and the HOA was impressed.  Our roofer will be getting more work there!  The buyer’s agent appreciated the effort, and said most listing agents would offer a credit or shrug it off, which isn’t smart with fire hazards.

4. I was holding open house and a couple arrived who had been sent by their agent.  I had received a phone from the agent that her buyers would be attending, and would I mind showing them around? As always, I said I wouldn’t mind at all, as long as you don’t mind if I talk them into buying the house!  Not only did they buy it, they also told me that it was the first time in the five years they had been looking for a home that they thought they got real help.

5. I represented the sellers of a home that had undergone extensive foundation repairs.  The buyer had concerns which were understandable, and he arranged for thorough inspections.  Then we had the contractor who did the work come out for an on-site explanation, and discuss the one-year warranty.  At the end, the buyer’s father came over to me and stuck his finger in my face and said, “What do you think?”  Most agents can’t handle confrontations, and think their job is to dodge liability and be responsible for nothing.  Not me, and not when the sale is probably riding on me delivering a solid response.  I told the father that I had several previous experiences with the engineer and foundation contractor, and found them reliable and trustworthy.  I also said that because the house had been extensively remodeled, the overall package was a good deal.  They closed escrow (with 95% financing).

6. The first day on the MLS, a buyer’s agent asked what it would take to purchase a new listing of mine.  Most agents would be satisfied with full price, and hurry off to their next deal.  I told her $50,000 over list – and her buyer paid it.

7. Our seller moved out, and the buyer came to complete their final walk-through the day before closing.  They discovered a water leak, and a dis-functional garage-door opener. We handled all of the above on behalf of the seller for less than $500, and closed as expected the next day – with no inconvenience to the seller, who kept their focus on their new home.  While the event seemed minor, it was only because we were readily available and jumped right on it that no momentum was lost.

Every sale has hitches – some are smaller, and others can kill the sale.  Your agent’s commitment to full service makes the difference on which is which!

Posted by on Jul 21, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Market Conditions, Realtor, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 2 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

NSDCC Disappearing Market: Under-$1M

The cheerleaders have been saying that the fewer sales this year are being caused by less inventory.  Is that the case?

Looking at the detached-homes between La Jolla and Carlsbad, the number of houses being listed in 2018 looks about the same as in previous years.  But those priced under a million are dropping like a rock.

NSDCC Detached-Homes Listed Between Jan 1 and May 31

Year
Total New Listings
Those Listed Under $1M
2013
2,312
1,044
2014
2,244
865
2015
2,332
822
2016
2,480
697
2017
2,283
590
2018
2,211
433

Questions:

  1. How many realtors can improve their game and adjust to working the higher-end market, when that’s all that’s left?
  2. How will discount brokerages (low cost, low service) succeed in an high-end environment with dozens or hundreds of competing homes for sale?
  3. Will the ibuyers venture into the higher-end market? (companies who do a quick-purchase of your home for cash and resell for a profit)

Home sellers and buyers should take into account how adept their realtors and service providers are at handling different price points.

Posted by on Jun 13, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Tips For Homebuyers

A recent client who moved to the Bay Area asked for advice on finding a good agent for assistance in buying a home in a hotly-contested area.  My thoughts:

Zillow is your best tool – it shows every agent’s sales over the last 12 months.  Lately a realtor’s goal is to build a big team of agents which helps to boost the number of sales and reviews on Zillow, so having the most sales & reviews isn’t necessarily the best for a buyer.

Here are my tips for homebuyers:

1. It helps if you know the area where you want to purchase, and get an agent who has recent buyer-side sales in that area and price point.

2. Anyone who is reporting more than 50 sales has a team of agents working under them. You will be passed off to one of the less-experienced buyer’s agents, so go through the reviews to see if you can get a read on the underlings.

3. Any agent who has less than 12 sales doesn’t have as much to offer, and may get snuffed out in a bidding war.  But you will get their full attention.

4. Agents who have the bulk of their sales on the lower-end aren’t as much help to buyers in the middle-to-higher end.

5. The Zillow reviews are always 5-star amazing because agents determine which clients get featured there.

6. An agent who has a mix of buyer and seller sales is well-rounded.

7. In San Diego, Zillow doesn’t include pending listings under the listing agent any more. Some areas do, some don’t.

8. Bigger teams who have many listings in your area could slip you an insider deal before it hits the open market.

9. Big realtor teams have hundreds of buyers – you will compete for the agent’s attention, so at least pre-qual with their lender, and be pro-active (kiss butt).

10. You need to keep looking for homes for sale, and bring them to your agent’s attention. They will be using auto-notification systems, and usually not screening/evaluating the new listings as much.

11. Make quick decisions on houses you see, and give your agent feedback on what features you don’t like.

12. Prepare your ‘love letter’ in advance, and the sappier, the better.  Specifically mention the features of this house and why it is such a good match for you.  Include a family photo with a dog – even if you don’t have one. The agent should have copies of other love letters that worked in the past.

13. Your agent should be able to tell you how much to offer on each house, based on personal knowledge of comps and market time.  If an agent recommends, “well it’s up to you”, it’s because they don’t know the market – get a new agent.

14. A tricky question for a good agent is, “What’s it worth?”, because most houses don’t have a boatload of comps to make an easy and obvious valuation, plus we know sellers are always pushing for a price that’s higher than comps.  Can the agent at least make a decent case on valuation?

15. A fresh new listing on the market becomes more about winning and losing, than buying at the right price. If getting a ‘deal’ is more important, then spend your time trolling the older listings.

16. Will your agent make a compelling case on your behalf when submitting your offer?  Most agents just email the signed forms to the listing agent with little, if any, introduction – let alone a sales pitch.

17. Does your agent evaluate the condition of the home while you are there?  This is a big problem with Redfin – they pay their new agents $50 to open the door, and learn on the job.  With them and many others, you have to do your own on-site assessment of the condition of the home, and assign repairs costs.

18. Will the agent go to bat for you on repair requests? Ask them how they’ve done on the last few deals.  I usually find a way to get $5,000 to $10,000 in seller credits for my buyers.

19. Should you ask agents to fill out a questionnaire? Personally, I love clients who do it, though it is rare and most agents will think you are a pain and blow you off.  But if you find one who will answer thoroughly, then you have found an analytical agent and someone who has something to say.

20. Here’s a blog post with an example of searching out an agent using Zillow:

http://www.bubbleinfo.com/2014/08/03/homebuyer-tips-2014/

Good luck!

Posted by on Jun 11, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Buying?, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent | 6 comments