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

Carlsbad
(760) 434-5000

Carmel Valley
(858) 560-7700
jim@jimklinge.com


Category Archive: ‘Why You Should List With Jim’

New Listing – Waters End

When it comes to finding newer homes west of the freeway and walking distance to the beach, it doesn’t get much better than Waters End in SW Carlsbad.  Our new listing might be the best location within the neighborhood too, with no neighbor on the south side which allows for maximum light!

Open house cancelled – Pending!

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/6965-Waters-End-Dr-Carlsbad-CA-92011/59877623_zpid/

Fantastic bonus room upstairs:

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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Carlsbad, Jim's Take on the Market, Why You Should List With Jim | 4 comments

New Listing in Old Carlsbad

I’m honored to represent blog readers Kevin and Nancy in the sale of their home in the heart of Old Carlsbad!  Though these are connected to their neighbors, they are SFRs on their own lots – and this might be the best location in the complex! Here is a video tour:

Kayla and I will have open house Saturday 12-3pm!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsbad,_California

Is it Old Carlsbad, or Olde Carlsbad?  Wiki uses the first version.

We can’t upload our listings directly to Zillow any more; instead they get auto-uploaded from the MLS if the broker agrees.  But we can manually upload it as a Coming Soon – this will be in the MLS tomorrow once I receive the pro photos:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2070-Avenue-Of-The-Trees-Carlsbad-CA-92008/16587040_zpid/

There are still bugs to be worked out. Apparently Zillow’s direct-connect to the MLS isn’t picking up the pendings, which was always one of the biggest complaints – listings that were pending or sold would still show as active listings on Zillow. They still do.

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Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Bubbleinfo Readers, Carlsbad, Why You Should List With Jim | 3 comments

Offering Too Low

Part of a realtor’s job is to help manage expectations – not only those of their own clients, but expectations of the other agents and their clients too.

Recently I received an offer on a listing that was 25% under the list price.  They also wanted my seller to carry the financing for 30 years – which is unheard of – and oh yeah, it was contingent upon the sale of the buyers’ home too.

I told the agent (whose email-signature noted they were in the Top 10 statewide for their company) that if I was the seller and that offer was presented, I’d fire my agent.

Just like when we’ve seen a home with range-pricing that is too wide, it becomes impossible to bridge the gap – for three reasons:

  1.  Once a buyer puts a number on paper, their mind starts believing it’s real.
  2.  Buyer’s remorse is real too, and they cool off quickly.
  3.  Sellers are skeptical, and don’t feel like negotiating much.

It may be discussed as just a place to start, but once a buyer submits their price in writing, it becomes a comfortable number.  Going much higher than where they start is usually a function of how fast agents respond.  My rule-of-thumb is two counters max for each side, in less than four days.

In this case, my sellers weren’t desperate, they had already determined that they wanted to sell for at least 93% of list and were willing to wait for it.  I told the buyer’s agent that our price gap was too big, and I nicely asked the agent and buyers to go back to the drawing board.

Three days later, I received a new offer with bank financing, instead of seller-carry, but it still had the original price of 25% under list. It came with the buyers’ love letter; a full-page of reasons why my listing was the perfect fit for the buyers.

Was the love going to make the looming price gap surmountable?

In spite of houses around the county selling for 99% of list this year, we countered with a price that is 4% under our list – not bad, considering the original offer price.  On their counter, the buyers came up to 82% of list, but it took two days to arrive.  I knew the remaining price gap and time left wasn’t looking good.

I always want to respond promptly, because of #2 above – buyers cool off quickly.  We dropped another 2% within a few hours, but it wasn’t enough.  Two days later, the agent emailed that they lost interest – no counter, no love.

Five days gone by (seven days since the original offer), and the initial 25% gap killed our chances.  They knew before writing the offer that it would take at least 93% of list to buy the property, and they still offered – so initially there was some willingness to pay that or close.

If they would have started at 82% of list, and trimmed the time spent to 3-4 days, could we have made it to escrow?  I think so!

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 4 comments

Results from Bidding-War Video

The only thing harder than getting a listing is helping buyers win a house.

Last week I mentioned how there still isn’t any uniform process to sell a residential resale home – it is the wild wild west!  Even when a listing agent tells you what they are going to do to you, it is always subject to change!

We found this fantastic video by a Colorado guy who outlines the best ways to handle a bidding war.  Because I know that hardly any agents actually have a bidding-war strategy beyond spreading out the offers on the dining-room table, I have since been sending the video along with my offers.  Because the video is done by a third-party guy, hopefully it is viewed as a powerful new solution by agents who tend to think they know it all just because they’ve sold a few houses in their life.

Here are my results:

  1. The first listing agent who saw it took it well – he was the guy who asked if I utilize the same method (which I affirmed), and then proceeded to at least tell me what the other offers were.  They were too high for us, so my buyers surrendered.
  2.  The next try was to send the video along with our full-price offer (different buyers) into what we knew was going to be a dog fight.  There were at least 50-70 people at the open house when we were there, and the older house oozed with charm and character.  The listing agent insisted that to present our offer, we first had to state in writing that we would not ask for any repairs.  I replied that I’ve never heard that one before, but we complied just to see how crazy it would get. She didn’t respond to my second inquiry on whether she watched the bidding-war video.  She said they would pick a winner on Monday, which came and went with no seller response.  On Tuesday, she emails the buyer-agents stating that she had double-digit offers, and wanted everyone to submit their highest-and-best offer.  Obviously she didn’t watch the video – in which he compared her strategy as being the same as telling race drivers to just keep circling the track and we’ll tell you when the race is over.  My buyers loved the house on Saturday, but by Tuesday were fed up and we didn’t respond further.
  3.  On Monday afternoon a new listing hit the MLS which looked like a good match for a third set of buyers, and we were there on Tuesday morning to view. It met our criteria, and we knew it was hot, so we made a full-price offer that day with no appraisal contingency, no termite, no home warranty, and a month’s free rentback for the sellers if they needed it.  The next morning, the listing agent said he had received four offers in the first 24 hours – and ours was the lowest!  He watched the video but it was too late – the sellers had already signed the offer that was $50,000 over list.

Wouldn’t every party be better served if there was a uniform process?

Wouldn’t a live auction be the best solution for sellers and buyers?  It would take all the uncertainty out of the equation, and allow all bidders to compete face-to-face, and be driven by the animal spirits to pay what it took to win!

A side note, and fourth example: Buyers who are moving here from out-of-state put their current multi-million-dollar home on the market last week in a town that has had a similar frenzy environment as San Diego.  They were impressed with the immediate buyer traffic, and on Sunday an agent reported that he had a buyer who wanted to make an offer.  He, like me and every other buyer’s agent, was inquiring how the listing agent was going to handle the process, to which she responded, “We’ll be reviewing all offers on Wednesday”.  The buyer didn’t like that response, and went away. Here we are on Thursday, and no offers have been received.

While I need to keep getting listings just to maintain my own sanity, I will always have time for buyers who are blog readers here!  Congrats to our frequent commenter Eddie89!  We made offers on five houses before finally succeeding on the sixth.  We offered 9% under list price – a daring low offer on a new listing – and when the sellers countered 3% below list it was close enough – we’re in escrow!

Posted by on Apr 6, 2017 in Frenzy, Jim's Take on the Market, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 7 comments

My New Listing in The Harbor Club

Are you looking for a larger downtown condo with premium upgrades, walls of glass, and close to all? Check out this 2br/2ba, 1,624sf single-level home with renovated kitchen, hardwood floors, marble and granite baths, custom sound and lighting, and extra-large MBR walk-in closet! Full resort-style amenities including lobby attendants, newer pool/spa, BBQs & picnic area, library, fitness center, & sauna. Gaze out over the tropical oasis from every room – urban living at its best!  Only $799,900!

Harbor Club Condominiums is a high-rise residential building in San Diego, California composed of two towers of equal height. The 41-story towers have a height of 424 feet (129 m) and are a prominent fixture in San Diego’s skyline. Located in the Marina district of Downtown San Diego, Harbor Club was designed by architects BPA Architecture Planning Interiors. The condos are located near the San Diego Convention Center and Petco Park. The towers are currently the eighth tallest buildings in San Diego and were completed in 1992.

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Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Thinking of Buying?, Why You Should List With Jim | 2 comments

Auction Questions

David from Louisiana sent this in:

Jim,

I just watched your first attempt at the auction and must say that you did a fine job as the auctioneer. I have been a real estate auctioneer/realtor for 30+ years and have often recommended an auction to fellow realtors in high demand situations such as yours. Of course, it usually falls on deaf ears as the realtors usually feel that they don’t need the service nor do they want to share the fee.

I hope you don’t mind the questions but I have been trying to work with realtors for many years and it seems to be a constant struggle.

I’m curious about what made you suddenly decide to utilize an auction when you could have easily achieved more than the asking price without it?

JtR:  Because there were multiple people at the open house that said they would be interested in purchasing the house, I thought this would be the best way to determine the winner fairly, and create maximum urgency.  The agents involved were willing, and so was the seller, so it worked out.  We did close escrow with the winning bidder at the price determined by the open bidding.

What was the seller’s opinion when you told them you were having an auction?

JtR: She was motivated to sell, so that made the difference.  Sellers who aren’t that motivated are suspicious of selling too quickly, thinking that this is like most jobs in the world where you work hard for weeks or months to achieve the desired result at the end.

But selling real estate in this low-supply, high-demand environment is the exact opposite – you stand the best chance of selling for top dollar in the beginning when the property is a hot new offering, and has max urgency. Buyers think something must be wrong with houses that aren’t selling in a hot market.

Did you consider actually marketing the property as an auction for a longer period of time and possible having more bidders?

JtR: No, because the highly-motivated buyers are there first.  There could have been other people interested later, but if they aren’t interested enough to come to the open house, then they probably weren’t willing to pay 4% or more over list price.  Yes, there could always be two in the bush, but our environment has trained buyers to race to hot new listings that might be a perfect match for them.  Not only will they be the most likely to pay more than others, but they are more likely to close escrow too.

I consider the quality/suitability of the property too.  This was a 1,541sf two-story house with a steep slope behind, so it wasn’t for everyone.  There were 3x as many people who didn’t bid.  Sellers and listing agents should consider how many people who came and didn’t offer.

Will you consider using the auction method in the future?

JtR: Absolutely, it is the best way to achieve top-dollar sales.  The animal spirits are driven when competing with your opponent eye-to-eye.

But auctions aren’t commonplace yet, so when I have multiple offers on a listing, I create a similar experience by pitting bidders against each other to increase the price.  I tell them the price to beat, which nobody does. Realtors want you to think it is better to bid blindly, but buyers are much more likely to go higher if they have a number to beat.  I take advantage of the competitive spirit, which you don’t have with blind bids.

For those who might think an auction format would only work for lower-priced properties, let’s note that there have been three sales in Rancho Santa Fe that utilized the no-reserve auction process, and closed for more than $10,000,000.

Those three are the ONLY sales over $10 million in the last five years in the Ranch, and there are 30 for sale today.  Let’s give auctions a try!

Of course, I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Thanks, David

JtR: David, if a trusted name-brand company brought a slick and easy auction process to home sales and advertised it properly, do you think they could succeed?  Do you think they could change everything, and potentially eliminate realtors as we know them today?

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Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in Auctions, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop, Why You Should List With Jim | 6 comments

Real Estate Kiss of Death

How do you know when your offer isn’t going to go too far?

When the listing agent tells you, “I sent your offer to my sellers”.

Come on Jim, don’t you expect the sellers to read it?  Yes, I do, but it would be nice if the agent also offered some advice.  I always include my own opinion on why they should take the offer, because I know the other agent probably won’t.

As a result, this is the phone call the following day:

Agent: Did you receive the offer?

Sellers: Yes.

Agent: What did you think?

Sellers: We didn’t like it.

Agent: OK, thanks, have a nice day!

Of course, they didn’t like it because it was less than full price.

After all the showings during the first week on the market, the sellers were telling all their friends and family that they were going to have a bidding war, and sell for over list price.

But nothing materialized, and a few days or weeks later this snot-filled punk has the audacity to offer less than list price?

It reminds me of the Realtor Facts of Life.

It is best to be:

  1. The first-born child
  2. The second spouse
  3. The third realtor

Once sellers hear the same thing three times, they might start believing it.

It is easy to forget or ignore the truth about real estate.  A property’s value is defined by what a ready, willing, and able buyer will pay for it.

Instead, we convince sellers that they determine the sales price.

I might have a solution though – stay tuned!

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should List With Jim | 5 comments

Best Seller Tip

What can a home seller do to help make a sale?

Respond to an offer in less than 24 hours.

Here’s what happens if you don’t:

  1. Once a buyer signs a contract, buyer’s remorse starts to set in. If allowed to fester for a day or two, buyers will talk themselves out of buying just because of the anxiety.
  2. There are just enough other new listings coming to market that the buyer’s wandering eye gets distracted easily.
  3. The longer it takes to get an answer, the lower the buyers want to counter.
  4. After about three days of waiting, buyers give up altogether.

On the other hand, when a seller does respond quickly, it gives the buyer the impression that the seller cares, and wants to make a deal.  Buyers respond more favorably to those!

I had buyers make an offer on Monday that was within 4% of the new list price (sellers raised their list price – our offer was $250,000 over their original list) and here we are on Friday with no answer.

In a different case this week, my buyers offered more than twice what the seller paid in 2002, and three days later it wasn’t good enough – the sellers had to have another $10,000.  This is a house that has been on the market for 100 days with no offers.

In both cases, we were sick of waiting around, and even a more favorable response wouldn’t have gone over that well.

Listing agents are notorious for not preparing their sellers on how to respond to offers.  You can predict the chances of a deal coming together purely by how quick the sellers respond.  If they are adequately motivated and the listing agent has their act together, you will get a response within 24 hours.

If not, there probably wasn’t much of a chance of buying it anyway.

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Tips, Advice & Links, Why You Should List With Jim | 2 comments