Lowball Offers

It is virtually impossible for lowball offers to succeed in the first week or two – the fresh listings get too many showings in the beginning, and sellers and listing agents are optimistic.  Wait at least a month before attempting a lower offer, and don’t be surprised if you get kicked to the curb.

From realtor.com:

Real estate pros warn against extremely lowball offers (typically more than 15% below listing price) because you might offend the sellers—even if the home’s been on the market for months. Strategize with your agent to determine both how far under listing price you’re comfortable going, and what you think the sellers might respond to.

Not sure where to start? These five signs will help you determine when the time is right for a low offer.


Years of Annual Income Needed

Are you thinking of moving out of California? Ohio is nice this time of year. 

Hat tip to daytrip! 

The rule of thumb long used by real estate agents and homebuyers is that you can afford a house if its price is equivalent to roughly 2.6 years of your household income. That ratio is based on historical nationwide averages under healthy economic conditions.

But today, in many places around the country—particularly in coastal cities in California and along the New York–Boston–Washington corridor—housing has become staggeringly more expensive than that.

Link to Full Article

Ethics and ‘Sold Before Processing’

The selling of listings prior to MLS input has happened since the beginning, but in the era of inventory desperation, we’re now seeing companies openly advertising ‘previews’ of their listings before they put them on the MLS.  Before long, the MLS will just become the market of last resort, much like Loopnet is for the commercial brokers.

Home sellers expect and deserve open-market exposure, but nobody in the business wants to give up the hope of double-ending a commission, or making a quick deal and moving on to the next.  Many of these off-market deals involve an outside buyer’s agent, which is really mind-boggling that listing agents are so lazy that they are willing to compromise their fiduciary duty to their own seller just to make a quick buck.

Frankly, this issue is only going to get worse.  Redfin (dozens of times) and other disrupters are doing it too, and we are heading towards having only one agent per sale – which sounds efficient, but will sellers get full exposure?


Here’s a solution for those agents who insist on doing it, and a way to ease into a more-ethical era (hopefully):


For agents who say that they have to input their listings per the rules, give me a break. You already broke all the other rules, don’t go holy roller on me now.

Here are the benefits of not inputting your off-market sales onto the MLS:

  1. Other agents won’t have to explain to their waiting buyers why they didn’t get a chance to make an offer.
  2. Other agents won’t think you’re a sleazebag.
  3. Other agents won’t be encouraged to do it too.
  4. You won’t leave a trail of evidence for the district attorney.
  5. Help preserve the MLS and our business.

How bad is it? An agent who sells 100+ homes per year recently told me that half of their listings sell before MLS-input!

Did you have special circumstances that required an off-market sale, and you insist on MLS input? No problem – mention the special circumstances in the remarks so others don’t jump to their own conclusions.  But special circumstances are rare – most common and unsuspecting residential home sellers deserve open-market exposure.

We’d like to believe that realtors are ethical – heck, we have a Code of Ethics!  But when tempted to make a quick and sexy off-market deal, most agents can’t resist, even if it’s not in their sellers’ best interest.  I’m convinced that the vast majority of agents don’t even know the difference.

Trendy Tuesday

Trendy Tuesday – Shoo fly, don’t bother me!

It might not technically be ‘summer’, but it is upon us. The San Diego County Fair will be opening this Friday and my birthday is almost a month away – feel free to send gifts!

With the warmer weather starting to roll in, that also means it’s mosquito season. The number of diseases from mosquitos, ticks, and fleas has more than tripled in the US from 2004-2016. But the San Diego County health officials are on top of it this year! They are even offering free home inspections so they can see if you have any mosquito breeding areas.


There are other ways to keep the bugs away!

Architectural Digest (one of my favs) posted an article with ways to repel the mosquitos without lighting a dozen tiki torches. The five below are my personal favorites but check out the article here to see even more:

Link to AD article

1. Citronella Incense Sticks – I am ALL about saving money. For only $1.50, you can stick these bad boys into your garden OR put them in their terra-cotta holder and BAM! You have yourself a centerpiece!

Link to Citronella centerpiece

2. Palo Santo Incense Bundle – Each eco-friendly incense stick is harvested from naturally fallen branches from Ecuadorian Palo Santo trees. Burn the end and spread the sage-scented smoke to energize your space and naturally ward off insects:

Link to Palo Santo

3. Citronella Hanging Coil – This is an awesome art installation for your home! It is a coil that you light at one end. Then as it burns, a stream of citronella-infused smoke comes out keeping the skeeters away!

Link to Hanging Coil

4. Bug Repellent Cotton Bandana – How cool is this?! Use it to wear around your neck or use it as a place mat. Dogs would appreciate it too! Either way, you will keep the bugs at bay:

Link to Bandana

5. Faux stones – This canister is great to have as decor around your outdoor patio or even on a side table! Saucer radiates a soft glow in faux stone for a modern take on midcentury terrazzo. Burns the midnight mineral or citronella oil for up to eight hours:

Link to Lamp

Happy Tuesday everyone!

– KK

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, March

The non-seasonally-adjusted San Diego Case-Shiller Index continued its assault on the record book in March, setting another new all-time high!

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

January ’17
January ’18

The reading from the previous peak was 250.34 in November, 2005. From cnbc:

Larger cities, however, are seeing bigger gains. The nation’s 10 largest metropolitan markets saw home prices increase 6.5 percent annually, up from 6.4 percent in the previous month. The 20 largest cities posted a 6.8 percent annual increase, unchanged from the previous month.

“Looking across various national statistics on sales of new or existing homes, permits for new construction, and financing terms, two figures that stand out are rapidly rising home prices and low inventories of existing homes for sale,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Months-supply, which combines inventory levels and sales, is currently at 3.8 months, lower than the levels of the 1990s, before the housing boom and bust. Until inventories increase faster than sales, or the economy slows significantly, home prices are likely to continue rising.”

Seattle, Las Vegas and San Francisco continue to lead in price gains. Seattle home values rose 13 percent annually. Twelve of the top 20 cities saw greater annual price increases in March compared with February.

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