There has been a rebound lately in the number of weekly trustee sales resulting in REOs, but still relatively low numbers overall, compared to where we think they should be:
Below is the quarterly chart for the last three years. Even though the foreclosure moratoriums are mostly expired, there haven’t been more properties getting foreclosed than in 2008 – but add in the cancellations and it looks to be about the same (or more) volume as 2-3 years ago. Are banks letting people off the hook, or did defaulters get their loan mod? Or were they just bluffing?
But you might be able to say that the servicers must be getting sharper on price, and/or the investors are getting more optimistic – the third-party purchases have gone up substantially since 2008.
The latest Case-Shiller/S&P report, the index measuring same-house sales, has the March numbers out today. They noted, “San Diego, in particular, has stood out with 11 consecutive months of increasing home prices.”
San Diego was the only town in their top 20 that had all positives:
According to the MLS, year-over-year SD detached sales were lower in April, but there could have been many that dragged into May to catch the state tax-credit:
# of Sales
If the banks/servicers keep the extend-pretend tour alive by postponing the vast majority of trustee sales, will the streak continue? Buyers are increasingly frustrated by the lack of quality inventory, and what appears to be relative stability in pricing.
Will buyers concede? It might depend on how the media portrays the May sales numbers. The tax credits haven’t caused Y-O-Y sales to improve during the May 1-15 period, though the late-reporters might make it a close race:
# of Sales
It was in March, 2009 that the stock market rebounded, and real estate did the same as mortgage rates dipped under 5% – reflected in the May, 2009 closings. Where do we go from here?
Real Estate Research Council of Southern California has a most unusual home-valuation technique: Twice a year, the group gets volunteer appraisers to review the same, exact homes from the regional over and over again. The exercise — that adds an human eye to the great price debate — goes on every October and April.
The latest version is out (April’s), and the group — HQ’d at Cal Poly Pomona — found San Diego County values up 0.2% on a year-over-year basis.
These new tracts in northeast Carlsbad seem to have decent pricing, with 1,753sf homes starting in the high-$400,000s on the lower end, and 3,000+ square footers in the mid $600,000s.
But even with the tax credits, they have only sold half of the homes released in the last two months, which should have been the hottest new-home-sales market in the history of the world. You can see it in their eyes, and hear it in their voices – the sales people are getting nervous:
Is there a real estate revolution available, beyond just a fancy new MLS website?
Zip Realty has blazed the trail. They offer:
Their own search website
Salaries to agents
Catchy name, and national exposure
Their website is of particular interest. They mention:
Our ZAP technology also includes a customer relationship management system that identifies and analyzes user behavior on our website allowing us to provide more relevant information and service to clients and a business management system that allows our managers to monitor the activities of our ZipAgents to verify a high level of client service.
They monitor your usage of their website. They track the houses you’ve viewed on-line, and how long you spend looking at each house – figuring the longer you look, the more you like it. Then they send a report to your designated Zip agent.
It sounds a little creepy, but from the agent/broker perspective, it is a very effective way to identify the clients who are motivated, and keep the agents focused on productivity.
If you were thinking about how you might create more than just a fancy website, and wanted to change the business, you’d admire Zip’s model. Redfin is another company that publicly set out to revolutionize the business with a very popular website and rebates. How is it working in San Diego?
# of SD agents
2010 Sales YTD
Zip Realty started in 1999, so you’d think by now they would be gaining traction, but in 1Q10 they lost $6.2 million. Redfin is privately-held, but according to wiki they’ve poured $20 million of venture capital into their company.
Yet based on the number of sales, neither has been able to revolutionize the real estate world as we know it, at least not in San Diego. There have been 12,320 detached, attached and 2-4 unit sales in 2010, year-to-date.
Why? Because the more-experienced agents are able to beat the others to the punch – they recognize the best buys faster, their clients tend to be better qualified, and the respect/camaraderie between the veteran agents will trump the less-experienced agents in a close race.
Any revolution would have to embrace the more-experienced agents, or over-run them. A company like Google would have to set up an auction house with full transparency to topple the old guard.
P.S. I have never had a bad experience with any Zip or Redfin agents, and I mention my stats as a middle-of-the-road example – there are agents who sell a lot more houses than I do. Because it’s been mentioned here several times that the sales history of each agent should be out in the open to assist consumers with evaluating realtors, let it start with me.
We’ve had some recent banter on previous posts about creating a public/open MLS website. The idea has come up before – CA renter summed it up yesterday:
Jim and I have discussed this open MLS concept in the past, but it was difficult to come up with something that was so exceptional, everyone would want to use it right away.
When Zillow came out, I was hoping they would move in the direction of an open MLS, with all the relevant public information on the same site, but for some reason, they didn’t really run with the concept when they were fresh and everyone was looking for a new leader.
A new website just for searching properties for sale probably isn’t required – there are plenty of good ones available. If the new website had bells and whistles not available elsewhere, like tax-roll data or realtor stats and reviews, it might provide enough extras that it could garner an audience.
SDLookup offers a few bells and whistles, but they exist only because Sandicor has relied on realtors to provide their own MLS access for consumers via IDX (mine is in the top left corner above, called “Search for Homes”).
If Sandicor or other realtor associations get their act together (new national and state-wide MLS efforts are underway currently) and provide the smoking hot public website for searching properties, they could dominate like realtor.com did when it first came out.
A state or national website would handle the searching component, is there more available?
In previous discussions we determined that the website would have to be available at no charge – because all the other real estate websites are free. The effort required to create and maintain such a website, just to live off advertising, isn’t that appealing. Sell it to a big player? Sure, it sounds good, but they could beat us to the punch, or copy it.
What are other reasons that might make it worth it?
Cut out extra agents/costs/fraud.
Work within clear-cut guidelines, especially on short sales.
Full transparency, including more direct interaction between buyers and sellers.
Whoa – that’s more than just a website, it sounds more like changing the real estate world!
Could a renegade brokerage take over a market, and change everything?
A few years ago a company called I Pay One tried it, and failed – even though they spent a boatload of money advertising their 1% commission concept. Their problem? They didn’t embrace the realtor community.
What if a long-time broker (and part-time blogger) devised a solution, addressing all 3 items above, and was realtor-friendly too? Is it possible to change the real estate world, as we know it?
The biggest deterrent is changing something that’s already working – it’s a good gig here already.
Thornberg hasn’t been a big cheerleader, so this report is curious – from the U-T:
County home prices, which began to recover last year, will continue rising but at a slowing pace as government stimulus programs expire, Beacon Economics forecasters predicted Friday.
In a wide-ranging review of the local economy at the San Diego Hilton Torrey Pines, the San Rafael consulting firm’s economists said single-family resale home prices will trend upward, from the first quarter’s median of $382,788 to $439,000 over the next four years — a nearly 15 percent rise.
“Home prices in San Diego are great news here,” said Brad Kemp, Beacon’s director of regional research.
But the recent increases occurred with the help of federal stimulus dollars, not because of any underlying economic fundamentals, such as significant job or population growth that would spark long-term demand, the economists said.
With foreclosures expected to increase, home-buying incentives expiring and nearly a third of all homes worth less than their mortgage balance, Kemp said sales and price growth will slow down. The $439,000 median price forecast for 2014 would still be 23 percent below the 2006 peak of $571,580.
“I don’t think it will grow at an exponential pace anytime soon,” he said.
The forecast falls in line with other economists and real estate industry analysts, who have predicted a leveling off of prices or a drop of as much as 5 percent for the rest of the year, after federal homebuyer tax credits and low interest rates end. An expected increase in foreclosure properties also is expected to keep a damper on prices.
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!