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Category Archive: ‘Why You Should List With Jim’

One-Story Valentine!

Here’s one of the best listings I’ve ever had – a luxury one-story coastal estate in the gated community of Bella Lago in Aviara. Open this weekend 12-3pm:

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Luxury one-story coastal estate and former model home in the prestigious gated Aviara community of Bella Lago, next to the Aviara Golf Club.. This beautiful home has features including: designer finishes, upgraded hardwood flooring, built-in cabinetry throughout, surround sound, electronic shades, water filtration system, three fireplaces, second story bonus room and backyard oasis with an outdoor fireplace, pool, spa, waterfall and putting green. Kitchen loaded with Tibetan Black Quartz from the Dalai Lama, himself. He told me “and when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.” So you’ll have that goin’ for you, which is nice.

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in About Kayla, Bubbleinfo TV, Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal, One-Story, Why You Should List With Jim | 7 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

Bounce Back

solana beach

You’ve heard me say that I think it is my job to conduct a proper bidding war between all buyers and push for top dollar – and I will give them ample opportunity to pay it!  In this case, it was 10% over list price.

But the houses that need work are more prone to falling out of escrow once the scope of the project starts to sink in.  It is part of the business, and you have to be able to bounce back quickly to maintain momentum.

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Auctions, Bidding Wars, Bubbleinfo TV, Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should List With Jim | 7 comments

Why Sell Your House Now


We need more homes to sell! From the DQ:

“One month doesn’t make a trend, but December’s uptick in home sales might indicate renewed interest in housing thanks to lower mortgage rates and job growth in recent months,” said Andrew LePage, data analyst for CoreLogic DataQuick. “The gain came despite a continued decline in the share of homes sold to investors and cash buyers.

If demand continues to build, we’ll need more supply to keep up with it. One of the big questions hanging over the housing market is whether higher demand and home values will lead to a lot more people listing their homes for sale, as well as more new-home construction, which remains well below average.”

The ultra-low mortgage rates have gotten every buyer’s attention, and the sales are starting to reflect it – just like at the end of 2012.  If the December sales are the precursor, then we are at least looking at a frenzy-lite experience over the next few months:

NSDCC December Sales
# of Dec. Sales
Median SP
Median DOM
Avg $/sf

Around the NSDCC, you can sell your home for more than it has ever been worth.  But is that enough to cause people to sell?  For most people, no. We like living here, and have no place better to go.

We don’t need everyone to move.  All we need is about 10% more listings than last year, and we’ll hit full frenzy. The 2003-2004 era was the craziest frenzy of all-time, and it’s because we had more houses to sell:

Number of New Listings, First Half (Jan-Jun)

In a region of 300,000 people, all we need is about 80 more houses per month to sell.  We need a few potential sellers to change their mind about selling later, and sell now instead.

If you know you are going to be selling in a few years anyway, but these ideal conditions look too good to pass up, here’s how you can justify moving now:

1.  Move before you retire.  If you were thinking about downsizing and wanted to stay local, then either buy a condo close to home, or move to the outskirts where you can still buy a home for less than $500,000 – and commute to work for a year or two.  The low-end market is much hotter, and prices moving up quicker.

2.  Sell and rent. If you know you are going to be leaving town shortly, sell when the market is red hot, and rent a beach hut for a year or two.  Yes, rents are outrageous – but your home’s sales price will be too!

3. Retire early.  You are making more money in the stock market than you are at that stinking job you can barely tolerate.  Cash out while you can!

4.  Sell and move when you are healthy.  If you’ve been in the same home for more than 10 years, you have a lot of stuff to sort through – physically, mentally, and emotionally.  It is much easier when you have your health.

5.  Move up when rates are low.  Obviously, if you are moving up and financing the next purchase, these low rates are advantageous.

6.  Sell before rates go up.  Remember that in June 2013, that mortgage rates moved back into the mid-4% range on a rumor that the Fed was going to tighten – which they never did.  It won’t take much to pull this punch bowl.

Historically, the market has been a ten-year cycle, and the SD trough this time was April 2009.  It got dragged out longer in the 2005-2007 era by Angelo’s nutty no-doc financing, and today’s low rates might extend the party a while longer.  But it isn’t going to last forever, and mortgage rates will go up before the Fed does anything.

Once mortgage rates go up, buyers will expect lower prices, and we saw prices stall out much of last year.  But do you want to sell for less?  Not until you test the market for a year or two, and by then, buyers will be in control.

Contact me today for a free consultation!

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Frenzy, Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should List With Jim | 4 comments

Broker Preview Day

We had broker preview today in Del Mar Heights. I like to provide a full lunch buffet  – having food and drinks keep the agents around longer, they view more of the home, and we get to talk amongst ourselves.

I miss the old days when we actually drove around together to view homes on caravan day.  The best was back in the 1980s when a bunch of newbies hired on at Century 21 Campbell & Associates in Mission Valley (which later became Merrill Lynch Realty).  Because it was a big office, (there were over 70 agents), every week there were several new listings to preview – and we would drive together and talk shop.  It was a great way to grow up in the business, and several of us are still in the business – Jeff Campbell, Mark Freed, Marti Gellens, and David Cabot.

It’s why Kayla and I are on caravan each week, to talk shop.

We do get to chat it up with our fellow agents while visiting each house, and when you are the host like I was today, you can get into some extended conversations.

I brought two trays of sandwiches, chips and pickles from Panera, and a large pizza from the local Bellasario’s Pizza around the corner.  The food was a hit, and many agents sat down for a spell to chat.

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Two agents were discussing the broker ‘pitch session’ on Monday afternoon down at Hotel Indigo.  They said two agents ‘put a deal together’ at yesterday session, and were admiring the other times that has happened.

I was biting my tongue, but I didn’t say a word.  At least not until one of them asks, “What about you Jim, how come you don’t go to the pitch sessions?”

I said, “Because I think they are unethical.”

Jaws drop immediately, and I explain that it is my belief that these backroom off-market deals made at private broker pitch sessions are not right for three reasons:

1.  They deprive the seller of full exposure, and potentially a better offer.

2.  Any below-market price hurts the neighborhood comps.

3.  It deprives other agents from having a chance to earn a commission.

One agent described a case where one of the sellers had Alzheimer’s and was living at the house, and I agreed that in a case like that I could understand the sensitivity.  But every other listing should go on the MLS for full exposure.

jo a. Thankfully, Jo Ambrogio was there, quietly eating her lunch.  She is a long-time local broker (licensed since 1977) and still very active – we usually see her driving by herself during broker preview each week.  Jo added,

“Nobody sees my listings until they go on the open market.”

And that was the end of the discussion.

As the agents filed out, they all thanked me for the food and lively conversation, and I think a few people will be thinking differently about the next broker pitch session they attend.

We ended up having over 50 agents come by today.  I told the seller that 40 of them probably didn’t have a buyer, but will be talking about the house around the water cooler.  The ten that might have a buyer will probably turn into 2-3 showings.

They like the food too!

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Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in About the author, Why You Should List With Jim | 3 comments