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An Insider's Guide to North San Diego County's Coastal Real Estate
Jim Klinge, broker-associate
858-997-3801
klingerealty@gmail.com
Compass
617 Saxony Place, Suite 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
Klinge Realty
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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’

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

Robertson Wrap Up

It was almost four years to the day that the drone visited Robertson Ranch – before the development began.  Here is a post from 4/17/2014 when I was still piloting the drone, and hit my peak elevation:

http://www.bubbleinfo.com/2014/04/17/drone-at-robertson-ranch/

They only have six houses left to sell, plus the models, which means they’ve sold nearly 300 houses at an average of about $1,100,000 (guessing) in the last 2-3 years – or about 100 million-dollar-houses per year:

I’ve sold multiple houses across the street from the R-Ranch for less than $200,000. Now that they can get 13x times that money on what was a strawberry field five years ago is mind-boggling.

Posted by on Apr 14, 2018 in Bubbleinfo TV, Builders, Carlsbad, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Redfin Estimates Based on List Price

It took a glaring mistake by a listing agent to expose it, but it makes what Redfin does all the more obvious.

This listing was inputted this morning with three extra zeros attached, and she didn’t notice for a couple of hours. Maybe because the listing agent hasn’t sold anything since 2016?

In the meantime, Redfin calibrated their estimate of value and 5-year history based not on a fancy algorithm or superior knowledge – nope, they just take the list price and bump it up or down a couple of points.

House Hunters is fake, zestimates are a joke, and ethics sound great until a realtor can double their pay by tilting the table.

The industry is just here to make money off you.

Get Good Help!!

Posted by on Apr 13, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 10 comments

Get Good Help

They had the big meet-up in the desert – where a ‘cohort of startup entrepreneurs; disruptive company founders; top-producing practitioners; owners of brokerages big and small; coaches; executives across new and old franchisors; MLS and association leaders; big data experts; and technology giants’ got together to discuss the future of real estate selling business.

These articles are typically behind a paywall, but here’s the link in case they excluded it and want to reach everyone:

Link to Inman Article

The goals they set out are about what you would expect – simplify the home buying and selling process, be more transparent, enforce ethical standards, insist on diversity, etc.

What wasn’t mentioned was educating the consumer on how to hire the best agent for you.  The associations of realtors, big brokerages and other industry types leave it up to the individual agents to do their own advertising, so all you hear about is how great we are just because we listed or sold another house.

Or maybe no one in the industry wants the truth to be told.

This is an excerpt from someone in the comment section:

My firm analyzes MLSs across the entire country, with coverage of 95% of all residential resale transactions and nearly 1.4 Million member agents. In calendar year 2017, these were the grim production statistics:  Only 65.4% of MLS member agents closed 1 or more transactions annually. (About one-third of agents did not sell a home in 2017).

Of the active agents, consider that:

  1. The median count of closed transactions annually was only two.
  2. The average of closed transactions annually was 8.8.
  3. The top 1% of active agents (or teams) closed 13.4% of all sales volume.
  4. The bottom 50% of active agents closed only 11.1% of all sales volume.

The consumers get blamed for not investigating their choices more carefully when selecting an agent, but they aren’t getting much help.  When was the last time you heard a realtor team or company suggest that you should review an agent’s sales history to learn more about their ability to help you?  Or do anything to educate the consumer on how critical it is to Get Good Help?

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtors Talking Shop, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 8 comments

Home Buyer Competition

What today’s home buyers are up against……from realtor.com:

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.

Link to Article

Posted by on Mar 22, 2018 in Bidding Wars, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Thinking of Buying?, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent | 0 comments