Kayla was in town last week for her sister’s college graduation. We didn’t get a chance to put it on video, but we did discuss what it’s like to sell homes in Manhattan!
Her team has several listings, and she does open houses regularly. The format there is quite different – they only do open house for an hour, and don’t use any signs, so the only people who come are those who see the advertising.
But it works – she has sold two homes to buyers who came to the open house, and bought it!
The negotiation process is unbelievable though. In California she got used to making written offers on our standard forms that have a three-day expiration date built into the boilerplate.
But in New York City, they negotiate verbally, which leaves it wide open for the listing agent to take days or longer to respond. It might be worth waiting to see if there were other offers if it’s a new listing, but I wouldn’t want to frustrate a ready, willing, and able buyer in a shaky market.
Once they come to an agreement between buyer and seller, they memorialize it by email. Then the lawyers go to work, and 2-4 weeks later they finally deliver contracts for signature. It seems like an environment ripe for shenanigans, because nothing is signed until then.
There is one other head-shaker.
They don’t do dual agency. Instead, when she brings the buyer for one of their own listings, they sign a form saying that they are unrepresented – no agency! I would imagine that there still has to be some assistance provided to get the deal closed, but technically their lawyer is the only one that is on their side officially.
I asked her about the Compass broker who said on camera that the home values in Manhattan have dropped 10% in the last year, and she said it’s probably true on the higher end, but entry level (under a million) is still hot. Here’s an example – she sold this home while she was here, and got within 3% of list:
Because a 1br/1ba, 759sf home with a HOA fee of $1,335/mo that’s priced at $899,000 is out of reach for many, the rental market is hot too. Kayla has helped a couple of people from San Diego find a good rental!
If you, or someone you know is thinking of moving to the Big Apple, contact her– she’d love to help bubbleinfo readers!
I’d like to think that Kayla has had the best upbringing of any realtor because she got to hear the sage advice from Doug Harwood – here we are in July, 2014 but his thoughts might be even more relevant today:
Kayla returned from Manhattan for the long Thanksgiving weekend, and we were talking about the sluggishness in New York City market, which has been going on for 2+ years. By now agents have learned that there’s no use fighting it – you have to learn to adapt.
It was in the year of her birth, 1991, when I experienced my first market slowdown. All I knew was that there wasn’t a buyer for miles, and with a newborn child, I need to hurry up and figure this out!
This is my third time around the block, so I offered her a few ideas.
First let’s acknowledge how it works in a seller’s market. Buyers find a house that is a good fit, and they buy it. Agents might offer up a strategy to get a discount, but for the most part, buyers pay the sellers’ price. It’s binary – it is yes or no, is this the right house? If it is, then pay the price.
Now it’s different, and if you can get a buyer to look at homes, their answer will be the same everywhere – ‘no’. Because they are looking for any reason not to buy – and every house has one – once they find it then it’s game over. But rather than just saying no to every house and never buying anything, let’s take it a step further.
At what price would you be a buyer?
Price will fix anything, and the price itself is usually the problem – it’s too high.
If the buyer would be interested at a lower price, then all you have to do is present a powerful case to the seller and listing agent to see if there is enough motivation to at least listen, and hopefully make a deal.
If you just make a lower offer without justification, I can already tell you what the answer will be: “No, and get off my lawn”.
To get something, you have to give a little. Here are ideas:
Make an clean offer with quick close date. These work best on vacant properties where sellers might be eating an extra payment.
Make an offer using older comps, and point out that the Case-Shiller pricing (or other) has retreated back where it was X months ago.
Make an offer based on the cost of the needed improvements, and include contractor quotes when possible.
In all cases, include a photo of the family and pets, and an introduction that explains the offer. Usually the listing agent will just forward the explanation right to the sellers, so it’s a way to have influence over the outcome. Without an introduction and explanation, the listing agent has to justify the low price himself, and he won’t try too hard and risk looking bad.
We need price discovery!
The only way to find out what the seller might take is to put an offer on the table. It may seem risky to be among the first to take the plunge, but by April/May we should see more people finding a way to make a deal. Those will probably be with the sellers who have been trying to sell for 90+ days, and are tired of the process. Let’s give it a shot!
Hopefully we will be getting an occasional glimpse of what it’s like for Kayla to be selling real estate in Manhattan. The vertical living couldn’t be more different than what we’re used to around San Diego – she’ll never see another tract house with two-car garage and a yard!
She’ll be starting on the ground floor, literally and figuratively, but eventually she might get to see a few like this – thanks daytrip:
Selling homes in Manhattan is competitive, even without a central MLS run by the realtor board. Once an agent uploads a listing onto their company system, it gets distributed immediately to the regular portals StreetEasy (owned by Zillow), realtor.com, etc. where agents and consumers access the same data.
So even though there isn’t an official MLS, there is a commitment to full market exposure, and giving every agent a shot at selling each listing.
William (KK’s new boss) said that if agents were keeping listings in-house, then the Manhattan board of realtors would step in and do something about it.
It’s going to be competitive everywhere, but if every agent was committed to doing what was best for their sellers, then we could all get along nicely.
He also said that it is very rare that they do a home inspection. There isn’t a requirement for seller disclosures either – it’s up to the buyer’s attorney to include any questions about the property in the contract.
It has been a buyer’s market around Manhattan for the last couple of years. Maybe a sign of things to come everywhere?
Kayla will start her new job there on August 27th! I will let her share her experience here as she sees fit, but she couldn’t be more excited to begin this new chapter in her life!
Kayla has dreamed of moving to New York City for years, and has friends who have moved there already. In our annual Christmas letter last year, she told everyone that she planned to move to Manhattan in 2018 – and she’s doing it!
She has amassed five solid years of experience here, and is ready for a new challenge. She passed her New York real estate license test this week, and will be joining a successful realtor team in Manhattan next month.
While it will be devastating to not be around her every day to enjoy her sass and wit, we will carry on with our own adventures here, and enjoy watching from afar – and taking an occasional trip there ourselves.
I am incredibly proud of you Kayla, and love that you have the guts to pursue your dreams. It is a big step, but I know you can handle it!
I am the QUEEN of buying tons of groceries/bringing home all my leftovers and just throwing them in the fridge … and then eventually throwing them out – ask any of my roommates!
Did you know that 40% of the food in the US goes uneaten? Which means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 BILLION each year! Yeah, I’m not helping the cause but HEY it’s time to change!
Some of you might already know these, but here are some tips I have learned about organizing your refrigerator!
1. Set your refrigerator to 40 degrees or lower – bacteria grows rapidly between 40-140 degrees.
2. Refrigerator door is the warmest – try to only store condiments in this area. Anything dairy (especially milk) or eggs will go bad quickly – the temperature fluctuates too much in the door.
3. Upper shelves are the slightly-warmer section – store foods that don’t have a health safety risk aka leftovers, drinks, ready-to-eat foods. Getting clear containers for leftovers is also helpful because it will help you see what the heck are in those white take out boxes!
4. Bottom shelves = coldest section – store meats, poultry, or any other raw meats. This also prevents drips from contaminating food below. If you take it out of the meat packaging, put it in a bowl.
5. Mason jars for salads – mason jars are the longest-lasting way to keeps salads. Dressing on the bottom, veggies and other salads goodies get piled on top. If you have a lid for your jar, they can last up to 5-7 days!
6. Containers – if you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVE the Container Store! Here are some great containers to use for wine bottles, soda cans, eggs, etc!
Elle Decor featured an article that I thought I would share! We always like to get ideas from Pinterest, interior designer’s blogs, Instagram, etc. to make our home not only “homey” but TRENDY! But there are times when we think we are pro designers (when we totally are not) and tend to over-design.
1. Matching art to decor – I am totally guilty of this one. I have matched my entire bedroom to my wall art… that is a major no-no. I now like to have muted tones for my furniture and then have the art and decor be pops of color.
2. Poorly positioned art – I think everyone can agree on this. There is nothing worse when you have to look up (and eventually get a crick in your neck) at art. Same with the TV! No one wants to watch a movie when that requires you to lift your head for 2 hours.
3. Too many open shelves – This just stresses me out. It’s nice to have some doors to hide the chaos especially in the kitchen – I don’t have enough time to straighten out all my mugs, cups, wine glasses, etc! Plus I’m not sure if we need to show off my souvenir mug I got from Disneyland ten years ago…
4. Skimpy curtains – This honestly reminds me of a fraternity house. Believe it or not, there are people that have curtains too short for their window! The designer Natalie Kraiem (http://www.nataliekraiem.com/) prefers to have them hang an extra inch or two longer. She also likes to hang the rods or tracks below the crown molding to make the ceilings appear taller.
5. Too much clutter – Less is definitely more. I love to accessorize the wall decor, but sometimes one larger item is better than tons of mini items.
Mortgage rates moved up significantly last week. Will rates continue to rise? Expect mortgage rates to go up this week closer to 3.1%. Freddie Mac will release the 30-year fixed mortgage rate tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.
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!