Dual Agency?

If he signed an agreement to represent both parties, he’s got some explaining to do (H/T daytrip):

The owners of a historic Hollywood Hills home have sued “Million Dollar Listing” star agent Josh Altman for fraud and breach of contract for allegedly duping them into a deal to sell the home at a steep discount to one of his friends.

The sale never went through, but the homeowners, Gigi and Paul Shepherd, contend that Altman conspired with his friend, Nicholas Keros, with whom he has worked on previous real estate deals.

Keros filed his own lawsuit against the Shepherds, which the homeowners say has left them “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in debt and forced to declare bankruptcy, according to their suit, filed in LA County Superior Court last month.

Named as defendants are Altman and Douglas Elliman, where he is an agent. Keros is not a named defendant.

The Shepherds inherited the Richard Neutra-designed home on Sunset Plaza Drive from Gigi’s aunt, Josephine, in the mid-2000s. It was was listed for $10.5 million last fall. The property is 1.2 acres and marketed as “a truly unique development opportunity.”

They met with Altman to list the home early last year, and agreed that he would represent both parties if he was able to bring a seller to the table.

A few weeks later, Altman introduced Keros to the Shepherds as a potential buyer, but the suit claims he did not disclose Keros was a close friend.

Shortly after, Altman called the Shepherds and said Keros was a serious buyer, but would walk away if they didn’t meet with him immediately. The Shepherds agreed and met without their lawyers present.

The Shepherds claim that during the meeting Altman “did absolutely no negotiations” on their behalf and instead “forced terms desired by [Keros]” on them. Altman and Keros presented the Shepherds with what they called a “draft” agreement that the couple continually “marked-up and revised” over the course of the meeting. Keros again said he would walk away if they didn’t sign, so they did, the Shepherds claim in the suit.

The couple also claim Altman ignored their requests for copies of the documents and then altered the papers after securing their signatures. At that point, Altman and Keros contend the so-called draft documents were binding.

The Shepherds also signed a “contingency” document with Keros regarding an easement dispute the couple had with their neighbor. The couple say that Altman and Keros misrepresented that document, which Keros later used to sue them.

Altman did not return a request for comment. A spokesperson for Elliman said that the firm does not comment on pending litigation.

Representatives for the Shepherds could not be reached for comment.

Link to Article

How Buyers And Sellers Get Screwed

Another reason for the industry to commit to full transparency and the auction method of selling homes – our Code of Ethics doesn’t help much:

Q: I submitted an offer for a buyer client that was near the full listing price and asked the listing broker if any other offers existed. The listing broker said no. The next day the broker called me and told me the property sold to a different buyer. Shouldn’t the broker have told us that there were multiple offers when the other offer came in and given my client the opportunity to modify the offer?

A: This is one of many misconceptions about handling multiple offers. The primary provision in the Code of Ethics related to multiple offers is Standard of Practice 1-15, which says “REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers, shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property.” You asked if there were any existing offers at the time you submitted and the answer was, apparently, no. Nothing in Standard of Practice 1-15 or any other part of the Code requires the listing broker to go back to any or all other buyers who made an offer should one or more additional offers come in after your offer was submitted.

While it might seem that listing brokers should be required to go back to all those other buyers if other offers come in, a seller may choose not to take that action and may choose another direction to negotiate a sale. It may also seem that going back to previous offers would always be in the best interest of a seller. But, from the seller’s perspective, there might be both price and non-price terms of the other offers that are more attractive. The seller might not want to risk that the later, better offer may be withdrawn in the time it could take to reinform the other buyers and allow them to change their offers.

One tip for cooperating brokers in multiple-offer situations is to ask the listing broker about other offers on more than one occasion during the negotiations. It’s no guarantee that you will hit the right time, but it might give you more information for your buyer client in the negotiation on high-demand properties.

Link to Article

Effects of No-Foreclosure Policy

Here is a bunch of happy talk by three ivory-tower guys, but they never considered the consequences. Preventing foreclosures and pushing down mortgage rates helped to create a safety net that caused buyers to rush back into the market. Prices went up too quickly, trapping homeowners into their existing homes, rather than being able to move up, down, and around. Now only the affluent can afford a house, rents are skyrocketing, and homelessness is running rampant.

Hat tip to daytrip for sending this in:

The subprime mortgage crisis that broke out a decade ago is widely recalled as an uncontrolled and destructive plunge in housing prices. New research suggests, however, that at least one effort to halt the plunge was in fact quite effective. UCLA Anderson’s Stuart Gabriel, the Federal Reserve Board’s Matteo Iacoviello and Copenhagen Business School’s Chandler Lutz found that California’s 2008 anti-foreclosure law prevented the loss of some $470 billion in home value wealth.

The California law, examined against other anti-foreclosure efforts, stands as a potential model for future housing crisis interventions. The researchers found that the passage and implementation of the California Foreclosure Prevention Laws (CFPLs) simply and effectively made foreclosures more difficult and more expensive for lenders to initiate, slowing what could have been a more calamitous spiral in housing prices.

Limiting foreclosures is key to containing a housing panic. If foreclosures go unchecked in a crisis, they can spread. Because foreclosed-on houses are “priced to sell,” the first wave of foreclosures depresses the prices of all homes in the area. Additional borrowers who can’t make their payments then cannot sell without taking a loss, causing a second wave of foreclosures, further depressing prices. And a downward spiral has begun.

A wave of foreclosures seems to also produce a “disamenity effect”: someone who defaults on her mortgage slacks on maintaining the house, and its appearance of disrepair drags down the desirability of the neighborhood.

In some states, the law requires that lenders process foreclosures in state courts. Judicial foreclosure laws result in foreclosures costing much more time and money than they do in states like California, which does not have judicial foreclosure laws. The upside to not having judicial foreclosure laws is efficiency — for both the lenders and the government.

The downside is that, following market shocks, foreclosures are in danger of spiraling out of control, as they seemed to be in California in 2008. In the midst of the crisis, hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes to foreclosure, and it emerged that banks were “robo signing” on the procedural documents: They were pushing foreclosures through at an unreasonable rate, often without justification or authority to do so.

In 2008, California state senator Don Perata of Oakland authored SB-1137, the first of the California Foreclosure Prevention Laws. SB-1137, and the 2009 California Foreclosure Prevention Act after it, both increased the time and the monetary cost of foreclosing on property in California.

“The mortgage crisis is taking a terrible toll on Oakland and the rest of California,” said Perata, as quoted in the SB-1137 analysis. “It is crucial that we give homeowners the tools they need to avoid foreclosure when possible because that’s the best outcome for everybody.”  Gabriel, Lutz and Iacoviello’s research suggests these laws saved the state hundreds of billions of dollars.

Link to Article

Here’s a glimpse of how it’s working on the street today:

NSDCC Sales 1Q18

The sales count is dropping between La Jolla and Carlsbad, but it’s not surprising when you consider how much higher the pricing is, and the fewer homes being listed:

NSDCC 1st Quarter Stats

# of Sales
Avg. $$/sf
Median SP
Median DOM
# Houses Listed in 1Q

In 2017, we had 25 closings over the last two days of March, so if we add that same number to this year’s count plus late reporters, we should end up with around 550 sales for 1Q18 – which is incredible, given the bump in pricing AND the record-low number of houses listed.

The only year between 2007 and 2012 that didn’t have 1,400+ listings in the first quarter was 2012, which still had 1,270.  We’re going to be lucky to get up to 1,200 this year.

Chip Kinman

The Dils were probably the most famous band to come out of Carlsbad – Chip and Tony Kinman went to Carlsbad High School! The Dils morfed into Rank and File, who played at CSUF when I was the director in 1983 (photo above).

Was the Dils the first band you guys were in? What’s the story with how you formed?

Yeah the Dils was our first band. We got started in 1977 playing in Carlsbad, California. At the time we had musical tastes that not too many people in our high school shared. We liked the New York Dolls and The Ramones and things like that. When we started playing together and writing songs, it all started happening. We started reading magazines, and buying singles by bands. We were reading about the Sex Pistols and realized, “hey this is Punk Rock! That’s what this stuff is called!” When we first heard the Sex Pistols, that sounded like the New York Dolls to us — a band we loved. So we realized that there was a kind of outsider movement happening that wasn’t like anything else that was happening at the time. And there it was, it had a name, it was Punk Rock.

Chip and his new band is playing at the Casbah on April 21st – he is also appearing at Spin Records in Carlsbad that afternoon:

Recording Real Estate Conversations


We saw the article about sellers monitoring the showings of their house by camera.  The C.A.R. provided this guide, which doesn’t clear it up exactly:

Privacy, Recording Devices and Security, Part 1

Does California law prohibit recording others?

Yes, sometimes. California Penal Code, Section 632, (the “eavesdropping statute”) provides that a person may not use a recording device to eavesdrop upon or record a confidential communication without the consent of all parties to that communication.

What is a confidential communication?

Any communication carried on in circumstances that reasonably indicate that any party to the communication expects? it to be confined to the parties thereto. For example, in most cases a communication between people within their own home would reasonably be interpreted as begin a confidential communication confined to those in the home.

What are the penalties for recording a confidential communication?

  1. A fine of up to $2,500 per violation
  2. Imprisonment for up to one year
  3. Possibly both a fine and imprisonment

What is NOT a confidential communication?

Any communication (1) made in a public gathering or (2) in which the parties may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.

Are there any other exceptions to the eavesdropping statute?

Yes, a person who records another is not subject to the law if that person is known by all parties to the confidential communication to be overhearing or recording the communication.

What other laws might apply to privacy concerns?

Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution provides that all people have inalienable rights, including pursuing and obtaining privacy. However, not every act which impacts privacy results in a violation of the California Constitution – there must be an act that constitutes an egregious breach of social norms. And while privacy rights are high in one’s own home, the law is not necessarily applied the same when in someone else’s home.

New One-Story

Cielo isn’t for everyone, but offers a good value to those who do match.  The downsides here?  It’s not the Covenant, and at this house it means Escondido schools.  These are on top of the hill, which is approximately 1,000 feet higher than the gated entrance and the hill drive could be harrowing for some.  T-M is down to their two model homes for sale – here’s a tour of the one-story:

Trendy Tuesday – Home Office Ideas

This is currently something my mother and I are putting together so why not discuss it with all of YOU?!

A lot of people work from home, which definitely has some pros but also some cons. Pros – NO COMMUTE (for SD no sitting in traffic – ugh), you can wear whatever you want, get things done around the house while on a break, etc. Cons – LOTS OF DISTRACTIONS aka kids, TV, a refrigerator with endless amount of food…. yeah, you get the picture.

Creating the perfect home office is clutch. You are planning on spending countless hours/days in this space, so it is extremely important to create the perfect environment based on your wants and needs. Here are some ideas you can incorporate into creating your perfect home office!

1. Invest in a chair – if you are not comfortable, you will not get anything done. Spend money on a good one!  Some people might also consider getting a stand up desk due to back issues. Both my parents have one!

2. Function > Form – before you go crazy and spend thousands on pretty furniture, really think about it. What do you need at your fingertips? What is your workflow like? The shelving and storage spaces are there to serve YOU! The furniture should not only look nice and compliment the rest of your home, but it should also help you to be more efficient!

3. Add color – nothing is less motivating than being stuck in a gray or beige room. Colors can help make someone get their work motor running or get that creativity flowing. You can either paint a wall your favorite color, add some colorful artwork/photos, or a beautiful arrangement of flowers!

4. View – we all will wonder off and just stare into space for 5 min (or like 20 LOL) but it’s refreshing to stare into something more interesting than a blank wall. A window is ideal, but if that’s not possible in your space then hang a pretty picture!

5. ORGANIZATION – realize what you are. Stacker or a filer? If you stack, get some baskets to organize notes, mail, etc. If you file, get vertical file folders to put on your desk. Most spaces don’t have a lot of square footage, so take advantage of those walls! There are so many places that now sell floating cubes/shelves – SHOO random knickknacks!

6. Inspire yourself – for me this is a photo of my best friends. Seeing them gets me motivated, makes me want to get stuff done so I can go visit them or go on a vacation with them! It is nice to have a mini-shrine to help you get inspired or to remind you why you do this everyday.

Happy Tuesday everybody!

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