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Carmel Valley
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Most recent articles

Inventory Watch – Cooking

Still think it’s a bad time to sell? We had more new pendings than new listings this week (57/65), and the most new pendings since the week of July 21st.

The UNDER-$800,000 Market:

Date
NSDCC Active Listings
Avg. LP/sf
DOM
Avg SF
November 25
95
$376/sf
47
1,988sf
December 2
79
$371/sf
50
2,047sf
December 9
72
$383/sf
43
1,954sf
December 16
81
$378/sf
42
1,948sf
December 23
77
$374/sf
49
1,937sf
December 30
76
$373/sf
51
1,950sf
January 6
74
$370/sf
49
1,995sf
January 13
71
$381/sf
44
1,921sf
January 20
72
$384/sf
41
1,877sf
January 27
75
$399/sf
40
1,891sf
February 3
78
$409/sf
41
1,876sf
February 10
82
$395/sf
38
1,927sf
February 17
85
$387/sf
35
1,929sf
February 24
90
$383/sf
37
2,008sf
March 3
82
$397/sf
39
1,942sf
March 10
88
$377/sf
37
2,008sf
March 17
89
$366/sf
34
2,038sf
March 24
79
$369/sf
34
2,031sf
March 31
78
$367/sf
39
2,069sf
April 7
87
$373/sf
32
2,054sf
April 14
97
$380/sf
31
2,000sf
April 21
87
$377/sf
32
2,062sf
April 28
107
$379/sf
29
2,044sf
May 5
114
$376/sf
27
2,046sf
May 12
108
$385/sf
31
2,012sf
May 19
107
$385/sf
0
0sf
May 26
105
$375/sf
34
0sf
Jun 2
102
$376/sf
36
0sf
Jun 9
102
$377/sf
37
0sf
Jun 16
104
$369/sf
35
0sf
Jun 23
111
$380/sf
34
0sf
Jun 30
119
$376/sf
36
0sf
Jul 7
122
$387/sf
36
0sf
Jul 14
127
$388/sf
34
0sf
Jul 21
135
$381/sf
36
0sf
Jul 28
144
$382/sf
37
0sf
Aug 4
148
$379/sf
39
0sf
Aug 11
135
$375/sf
42
0sf
Aug 25
135
$374/sf
43
0sf
Sep 1
126
$377/sf
46
0sf
Sep 8
130
$375/sf
46
0sf
Sep 15
134
$369/sf
45
0sf
Sep 22
127
$376/sf
49
0sf
Sep 29
132
$378/sf
48
0sf
Oct 6
130
$367/sf
48
0sf
Oct 13
131
$378/sf
44
0sf
Oct 20
130
$385/sf
45
0sf
Oct 27
128
$375/sf
48
0sf
Nov 3
128
$371/sf
49
0sf
Nov 10
126
$366/sf
52
0sf
Nov 17
115
$367/sf
51
0sf

Read More

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment

Zestimate Accuracy

Z

Hat tip to swm for sending in this article about sellers blaming zestimates for why they can’t fetch their higher price:

http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2014/11/15/zillowcomplaints/19054089/

The owner of one New York home writes that a low zestimate is “hindering the marketability” of her home.

Zillow said its zestimates are just that, estimates, “not an appraisal” and are within 5% of the sale price just over a third of the time.

Zestimates are calculated using a formula that considers attributes like a home’s size, tax records and recent nearby sales.

Zillow argues a zestimate is also as likely to be high as it is to be low.

“So, that has become a problem because I understand that Zillow has a price, but in reality it’s not that. It’s what the market will bear,” Sievers said. “We will have to bring them back into reality and say, ‘hey, you know, there is a lot of different variations to a house and why a house would be higher or lower.’”

Posted by on Nov 16, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 3 comments

Giveaway Meter

We’re in agreement that the local market has seen all its biggest price gains.

You’ve patiently waited until there were a couple of good comps nearby, and you’ve agreed to list for an attractive price – within 5% of the last sale.  You’ve spruced up the home, and are ready to hit the open market.

You understand the logic about taking advantage of the urgency early on, but you don’t have to sell - and you’re not going to give it away!

How will you know?

Here is my Giveaway Meter:

1. Multiple offers the first couple of days: You hit the jackpot, and it was probably more due to your home’s higher quality and lack of good inventory nearby, rather than you under-pricing your home.  Don’t panic, and don’t raise your price.  Thankfully, you have hired an agent who has legitimate bidding-war strategies – let him do his thing!  P.S. Spreading the offers out on the table is not a bidding-war strategy – though it is the standard answer when you talk to realtors.

2. One offer the first couple of days: Drag your feet to see if anything else comes in – and threats of offers don’t count, unless they come from a great agent who might deliver.  Wait until the offer is about to expire, and counter-offer to buy three more days.

3.  Offer comes in on Day Four:  The fourth day is peak urgency - if the offer is full-price or better and the other terms are acceptable, sign it.  Sellers and agents are highly resistant to not countering – but if you get your price, don’t rock the boat.  Three thoughts:

a.  You have a second negotiation coming over repair requests, and buyers who get worked over in the beginning are more likely to exact their revenge after the home inspection.

b.  Buyer’s remorse starts setting in the minute a buyer signs a full-price offer, and they get indignant if you don’t agree.  They might walk out over the smallest counter-offer, so don’t risk it if the price is right.

c.  Happy buyers are more likely to close escrow.

4.  Offers After Day Four: Tread carefully, because your urgency is completely drained by Day Seven.  You’re not giving it away, and appreciate that you have properly tested the market.

5.  You don’t get any offers:  Lower your price 5% to keep the urgency higher.  After 30 days on the market, buyers will already be pricing in a 5% to 10% wrong-price factor, so you might as well stay ahead of them.

You can spend a million dollars on advertising and do open house every day, but if the price isn’t right, the home won’t sell.  Once you have accepted that fact, and realize that you and your agent are conducting a search for what the market will bear, use the Giveaway Meter to guide you.  Yes, there is always a chance for a lucky sale, but if you go that route, you should list in short spurts (1-2 months) so buyers won’t see a long stretch of failed listing period on your record.

Posted by on Nov 16, 2014 in Bidding Wars, Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should List With Jim | 6 comments

First Offer Is Best Offer

Zillow and other internet tools are helping to generate maximum urgency early in the listing period.  But the industry doesn’t do a great job of educating - and sellers can be surprised to see an offer in the first few days.  There is temptation to wait for the two in the bush.

There is an old adage that the first offer is the best offer.  But that sounds like sales talk, and is easy to shrug off.

Let’s change it to the first BUYER is the best BUYER.

The old adage makes it sound like you have to accept the first offer, but even the most motivated buyer wants a deal and will offer less than they might pay.

Sellers should recognize that anyone who makes an offer in the first few days must be on high alert, and is ready to buy.  They have probably made offers on others, and lost out or couldn’t come to terms. Frustration is creeping in, and they want to get it done – these are the folks who pay top dollar.

Here are some qualifiers:

1.  Timing is the key. If the market is hot and prices are trending higher, then it might get better, later.  Generally, San Diego’s pricing trend is flat today.

2.  Is it a clean offer?  Be cautious about offers that are contingent on selling another property, or have other complications.  They are worth considering, but drag out the negotiations to see if anything better comes along.

3.  The motivated buyers have been in the game for a while, and have seen the comps.  They will pay a fair price, or maybe a little more.

If your house is super spectacular, then a higher bidder might come along later – those are the houses that are the hardest to find.  But if yours is a regular offering, get it done early while you have urgency on your side!

Here are more thoughts:

http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2014/09/first-offer-is-your-best-offer-fact-or-fiction/

Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should List With Jim | 3 comments

Why Sell Early

Sellers expect their listing agent to toil for weeks and months searching for the right buyer for their home.  Let’s face it, that’s how other jobs work - the desired result comes at the end of the effort.

But it’s the opposite when selling a house.  The tight inventory has left anxious buyers waiting for the next new listing to come along, and when it does, they pounce on it in the first few days.

This is why Zillow has become the go-to website for buyers.  Zillow provides transparency with several great features (and the zestimate is down the list):

1.  Zillow shows how long the property has been listed for sale, and how long the property has been on Zillow.  The ‘re-freshing’ of listings isn’t fooling buyers, because Zillow divulges the truth.

2.  They track how many times the property has been viewed on Zillow, which is a secondary ‘sniff test’, much like the days-on market stat.  Once a property has been seen hundreds of times, the buyers start wondering why it hasn’t sold (much like the DOM count):

stale meter

3.  Savvy buyers know that the zestimate is a rough guess of actual value.  But Zillow backs it up nicely with three similar listings nearby, AND the last three closed sales – all on the same page!

4.  They also show how much the seller paid, and when.   Buyers will grant sellers the right to make a profit, so only the greedy are harmed here.

5.  The categories of homes for sale on Zillow are prioritized by date listed.

These data points are all in a seller’s favor during the first few days the home is on the market – use them wisely!

The best thing that could happen to the market is a mass marketing campaign by Zillow (or anybody) to explain to sellers that the urgency created in the first few days on the market should be used as a selling tool.  Then, at some point, maybe we can convert to an auction-like format to sell houses!

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Auctions, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should List With Jim | 14 comments

SD October Sales and Prices

Oct 2014

From the DQ:

http://www.dqnews.com/Articles/2014/News/California/Southern-CA/RRSCA141112.aspx

An excerpt:

“It was another sub-par month for Southern California home sales. We’ve yet to see traditional buyers fill the void left by the drop-off in investor and cash buyers, which began in spring last year,” said Andrew LePage, data analyst for CoreLogic DataQuick. “Of course, there are multiple reasons for this year’s lackluster sales. New-home transactions are still running at about half their normal level. The resale market is hampered by constrained inventory in many areas, in part because some people who want to put their homes up for sale still haven’t regained enough equity to purchase their next home. Then there are the would-be buyers who continue to struggle with affordability and mortgage availability, if not uncertainty over their employment or the direction of the housing market.”

They are great at reporting the MoM, YoY, and regurgitating the same tired old excuses.  If sellers would just lower their asking prices it would fix everything.

It appears that sellers are just waiting for the market to catch up to their list prices. But this is why inventory starts to build – sold prices aren’t going up.

The median-sales-price trend can be skewed by the hotter low-end doing all the heavy lifting.  While the low-end is still hot, it looks like the higher-end must be soft or declining – the Median SP has been flat for 7-8 months straight (which includes decisions made at the end of the last selling season).

From the DQ reports:

Month
2013 Median SP
2014 Median SP
Jan
$350,000
$405,000
Feb
$359,000
$410,000
Mar
$380,000
$427,000
Apr
$400,000
$435,000
May
$406,500
$440,000
Jun
$416,500
$450,000
Jul
$417,500
$445,000
Aug
$415,000
$448,500
Sep
$422,000
$445,000
Oct
$412,750
$440,000

Rates are 4% and under, buyers are sticking around, and there are 7,680 houses and condos for sale in SD County.  Price will fix the rest!

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Sales and Price Check | 2 comments