Know the Inventory

Here’s a good example of what makes us old-school agents good at our job – we know the inventory.  Seeing the new listings every week enables us to recognize the features/nuances of each home and how they compare to other active, pending, and sold listings. It also gives us a chance to network with the other agents, get tips, and build alliances – and find good matches for our buyers.

You never see discount or disrupter agents on tour – ever:

DRE on Coming Soons

The DRE has finally issued ‘guidance’ on the Coming Soons.  Ignored are these facts about agents making off-market deals with no MLS exposure:

  1. We see top agents doing it regularly,
  2. There is no enforcement whatsoever, and
  3. You give us the forms to CYA (last paragraph).

Burying this advice in the back of the bulletin isn’t enough.  Until we see realtors being prosecuted and found guilty, nothing will change.

DRE Weighs In on “Coming Soon” Advertising: “Be Sure to Maintain Fiduciary Responsibility for Your Client or Face Civil and Regulatory Liability”

The Department of Real Estate has included in its 2018 Winter Real Estate Bulletin an article which discusses the risks of “Coming Soon” marketing. It includes a statement of the DRE’s view of “best practices” for listing agents:

“Coming Soon” advertising CAN benefit the seller if handled properly. Such advertising can increase exposure time of the property and generate interest in the public about a soon-to-be marketed property, helping potential purchasers prepare to tour the property or make an offer when the property is put up for sale. A practice of “Coming Soon” advertising coupled with initially not showing the property is sometimes known as a “Coming Soon—No Showing” strategy (or similar) and can well serve a client. In such a strategy, the property may show as “Coming Soon” on a multiple listing service, but also as not yet being shown to potential buyers. After a time, the property is broadly marketed as for sale. There are likely multiple listing service requirements that must be met to advertise a property as “Coming Soon—No Showing” or similar.

The potential conflict a “Coming Soon” strategy can have with a licensee’s fiduciary duty comes when the listing agent begins accepting offers before the property is exposed to a larger audience via a multiple listing service or by other means. When a property is not exposed to the full market, a client’s best interests might not be served, even when a full price offer is received (because the property may well have sold above the marketed price if better advertised). Imagine the dilemma for a listing agent if a seller accepts an offer on a poorly marketed property and then receives much higher backup offers as the property receives greater exposure.

At a minimum, an agent should disclose that a better sales price could be obtained if the property were to be marketed on a multiple listing service and obtain the seller’s prior written permission that she or he agrees to not fully market the property.

A listing agent who encourages the use of a “Coming Soon” program, without broadly advertising a property via a multiple listing service or other means, especially exposes himself/herself to the potential for an increased chance of civil liability and regulatory action when the agent also then represents the buyer in a dual agent capacity. Such a dual agent would need to be able to demonstrate that the agent acted in the best interests of the seller to obtain a purchase price that was as high as could be expected for a fully marketed property. This agent, who receives commissions on both ends of the transaction, could face scrutiny questioning whether they worked to obtain the best offer possible for the seller or was acting in such a capacity for personal financial gain.

The following are some best practices for agents when representing a seller:

• Market the property via multiple listing service or other broad advertising means.
• Make sure the seller agrees to and understands how the property will be marketed.
• If using a “Coming Soon” strategy, do not accept and act on offers until a property has been broadly marketed.
• If the property will not be fully marketed, obtain prior written permission from the seller that demonstrates they understand that such a “Coming Soon” strategy may not result in receiving the best sales price.
• Avoid double-ending a property that is not fully marketed—it is best to refer potential buyers to another agent.

The C.A.R. Residential Listing Agreement explains the benefits to the seller of using the MLS and the impact of opting out.

For the seller to instruct the agent to opt out of the MLS, the seller and broker must initial paragraph 5 of the RLA. Additionally, the seller must sign form SELM (Seller Instruction to Exclude Listing from Multiple Listing Service) or the comparable form provided by the MLS.

Link to Bulletin

San Diego in Top 14

Hat tip to Eddie89 for sending in this Forbes article that declares San Diego to be one of the Top 14 destinations this year – and this was before Manny mania!

For a destination to officially be having “a moment,” it needs more going for it than mere festivals or a few restaurant openings. The city has to be experiencing a shift in the way it looks and feels.

Maybe it’s posturing itself as a new cultural mecca with gallery or museum openings. It could be establishing itself on the epicurean radar with fresh food halls or eateries from top-notch chefs.

Those are the things that caught our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ eyes with the following cities. Some are traditional hot spots that somehow keep reinventing themselves. Others are new stops prepping for their first time in the spotlight. All are having monumental moments that are worthy of a visit in 2019.

Link to Article

January Pendings

Yunnie is getting deep into cheerleader territory now by ignoring the 13th straight decline in the index and woeful 10% year-over-year drop in the west:

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 4.6 percent to 103.2 in January, up from 98.7 in December.

Year-over-year contract signings, however, declined 2.3 percent, making this the thirteenth straight month of annual decreases.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, had expected an increase in January home sales. “A change in Federal Reserve policy and the reopening of the government were very beneficial to the market,” he said.

Of the four major regions, three areas experienced a decline compared to one year ago, while the Northeast enjoyed a slight growth spurt.

Yun also said higher rates discouraged many would-be buyers in 2018. “Homebuyers are now returning and taking advantage of lower interest rates, while a boost in inventory is also providing more choices for consumers.”

Additionally, Yun noted year-over-year increases in active listings from data at® to illustrate the potential rise in inventory. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif., Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn., saw the largest increase in active listings in January compared to a year ago.

Yun says positive pending home sales figures in January will likely continue. “Income is rising faster than home prices in many areas and mortgage rates look to remain steady. Furthermore, job creation will help lift home buying.”

Tajiguas Ranch For Sale

Are you thinking about what to buy when you win the lottery?

Susie sent this in – she used to live there:

For the first time since 1981, Tajiguas Ranch on the Gaviota Coast, near Santa Barbara is on the market for $110 million. It now has two villas and comes with 120 cows. Building the villas took 5 years to get approved since it’s coastal property.

In the middle of the land is a hacienda. It was owned by John Travolta when I lived there. I lived on that extraordinary property from about 1976-1981. The Reagan White House ranch was to the north of the 3,500 acres.

Link to Listing

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, Dec.

We are back to more-normal appreciation levels now.  After dropping for the last six months in a row, the non-seasonally-adjusted Case-Shiller Index for San Diego is just +2.3% year-over-year.

In the graph above, you can see how the index goes up about ten points in the first half of every year, but then pricing tapers off.  Last year, the tapering started earlier, and was more pronounced.

It makes you wonder what will happen in 2019? The same? Or worse?  It won’t be better unless mortgage rates slip under 4%.

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

Reporting Month
M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
January ’17
January ’18

The previous peak was 250.34 in November, 2005 – about where we are today!

“Slower price appreciation coupled with lower mortgage rates in 2019 should help homebuyers who haven’t been priced out of the market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at “While 2018 started with a real estate frenzy and ended with a fizzle, we could see 2019’s slow beginning start to pick up later in the year.”

Doc Film San Diego Premiere!


The San Diego premiere of Owned, A Tale of Two Americas is scheduled for a matinee showing on Saturday, March 23rd at the La Costa Cinepolis!

The producer, Giorgio Angelini, will be here and we’ll do a Q&A session after the film.  I’m hoping to talk him into bringing an outakes/blooper reel too.  There will also be a reception/party afterwards onsite. Our two daughters, Kayla and Natalie will also attend!

This will be a private event, with no tickets sold.  Seating is limited.

If you’d like to come, email Donna at

Here is a link to previous blog posts and the five-year history of the project:

Link to Previous Blog Posts

Here is the trailer:

Inventory Watch

Thanks Rob Dawg for the gift!

Our contest for Padres tickets got more exciting this week due to Manny Mania!

NSDCC New Listings Jan 1 to Feb 20:

2018: 681

2019: 644 (-5%)

The two-month total last year was 783, so we’re on a pace to hit 741.  Doughboy guessed 740, but it came in after the guessing period ended.  If he wins, I’ll give tickets to him and the next closest guesser.

Others who guessed under 800:

755 – Neil

777 – Bb

785 – Recordsclerk

799 – TominLaCosta

We finally hit a statistical oddity that we’ve been flirting with for months.  The average list-price-per-sf of the Under-$1,000,000 category caught up with the next category, $1.0M to $1.5M.

Both are at $494/sf today!

There was another quirk also. The new listings AND the new pendings both dropped off over the past week, which is unusual for this time of year.  It must have been due to the rain?

The total number of pendings today is 18% behind last year.

Looking ahead to next month? It starts Friday!  We had 446 new listings in March of last year, which was 25% more than in February, 2018.


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