Happy New Year!  Other topics:

Pre-Listing Inspections – If you are buying and selling around the coast, chances are that you’re dealing with an older house.  Not many have been updated and remodeled enough to deserve today’s record-high prices – and at this point, buyers are going to be very demanding.  As an industry, we need to insist on sellers getting a pre-listing inspection so they know what’s coming, for two reasons;  1) It gives them a chance to fix stuff in advance, and 2) buyers aren’t penalized for being the messenger.

It happens regularly that the first glimpse of the true condition of a home is from the buyer’s home inspection.  The long-time owners can’t help but be offended that their pride and joy has been so verbally abused, and they want revenge – they want to stick it to the buyers instead. But these might be the only buyers that will pay this price – let’s not kick them to the curb!

Auctions – I think we are a long way from auctions being the home-selling technique of choice. The current version of inputting an ultra-low opening bid onto the MLS as the list price is misleading – one buyer told me it was a worse teaser than the value-range pricing.  Plus, they might sell it before the auction, which isn’t an auction.

Are you going to auction the house, or not?

I want a yes or no answer – and so do the buyers.

The option to sell early is a way to soft-sell the package to a homeowner, and assure them that they won’t be giving the house away.  But it is a turnoff for buyers, because all they know is that they can’t buy it for the listed price (the opening-bid price) – so what is the real price?  We’ve seen three houses in Rancho Santa Fe be auctioned off with no reserve that closed for more than $10,000,000.  Surely we can have the guts to conduct a no-reserve auction on a more modest home – a pure auction is what’s best for sellers and buyers.

Dual Agency – We dodged a bullet with the Malibu case this year that went to the California Supreme Court, but it won’t be the end of the discussion.  The worst offenders are the listing agents who lowball their own seller – they should lower the price first, to see if there are any other buyers out there.

For-Sale Signs – This is supposed to be the year that realtor signs have the name of their brokerage be at least the same size as the agent’s name.  It probably doesn’t mean more transparency ahead, but I like the intent. Agents who want to appear as their own entity should go get their broker’s license and run a brokerage like everyone else – or make it clear that you haven’t, which is the point of this new regulation.

Mulch is the new Booties – The craze over wearing booties hasn’t waned, but is being supplemented by the desire to throw mulch everywhere. Recently, an agent didn’t want to show her listing because her mulch hadn’t gone in yet.  I don’t mind mulch or booties, but they don’t sell houses – people sell houses – so let’s not get too transfixed on the mulch or booties. P.S. I do mind the red mulch.

Sandicor – Hopefully the judge will decide to sell the San Diego MLS company, Sandicor, to the only realtor association that wants it – GSDAR.  Then agents can join either GSDAR or CRMLS or both. But CRMLS makes it easier for out-of-county agents to bring buyers here so our sellers can take advantage of them.




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