The pandemic is still raging, the President of the United States is in the hospital, the election is right around the corner, and so are the holidays. The frenzy has to slow down at some point, doesn’t it?
So I schedule for 11am, and show up to find today’s list of showings taped to the front door:
The listing agent happens to be there, so we discuss the current market conditions. She is a long-time independent broker like myself (who now also works @ Compass) and we agree that the environment is ripe to convert to single agency naturally, and buyer-agents being eliminated.
It’s not because it’s what best for everyone involved, because clearly it’s not good for buyers and sellers – except maybe for those sellers who live in the house being barraged by showings the first few days on the market. It doesn’t sound like much of a price to pay, but for homebodies, or those with little kids & pets, it can be a major inconvenience.
Zillow is the only entity who spends eight or nine figures per year on advertising, so they will control our destiny – and with them setting up brokerage units manned by employee-agents in all 50 states, you can get a feel for what’s ahead.
In the meantime, consider these developments.
Today’s listing agents are making it harder to show and sell their listings, they are lowering the buyer-agent commissions (and taking the difference), and some realtors are advertising guaranteed cash offers as the better way to sell your house.
As is the case throughout America, the truth doesn’t matter nearly as much as how loud you can scream.
The greed displayed by these listing agents feeds upon itself, because other agents witness these practices happening without any reprimands, and they start to believe it’s acceptable…..and then they do the same thing. The game is evolving into how to beat the buyer-agents out of their commission.
In the short-term, realtors can justify this revolution by pointing to the commercial brokers who have practiced their real estate like this all along. Heck, less competition will slow down the rapid price increases we are experiencing, and help to trim the over-population of realtors everywhere too….so you can say there are good things about it.
But it all plays into the hands of Zillow, and eventually they will be who processes your order.
Today’s coronavirus news adds a new dimension to our real estate market, doesn’t it?
Or does it?
We can probably count on one thing to happen.
This will be the last straw for those home sellers who have been languishing on the open market for more than 30 days. They have heard how hot the market has been for others, but based on their overly-optimistic list price, their motivation wasn’t that great to begin with – and they are tired of the inconvenience that comes with not selling.
Those would-be sellers will be de-listing their homes, and waiting until next year.
Should buyers pack it in and wait until next year too? Not really – you’re still looking for the right house, at the right price, and it could happen at any time. Plus, if you were ever going to get a decent price on a home in this era, it would be in the next month or two when the competition should be dwindling. There will be more buyers in spring – it’s just a matter of whether sellers will come out in droves or not.
But consider this:
Any sellers who are still for sale on October – especially those who go on the open market after today – should be highlymotivated to sell. Nobody is going to casually throw their home on the market just days before the biggest election in history with the incumbent fighting a potentially life-threating virus.
Yesterday we closed escrow on our sale of 12911 Biscayne Cove in Del Mar!
I suggested our initial list price of $1,495,000, based on these recent sales:
The Barbados sale was off-market so we don’t know if that was high or low, so I didn’t use as a price gauge.
Though a list price in the low-to-mid $1,400,000s might have been more appropriate, there weren’t any other houses for sale nearby that were priced lower so I’m going to push it and see what happens over the first few days. We had a parade of buyers – 32 showings in the first 17 days on the market – yet no offers.
Originally I thought we’d see a steady flow of retirees flocking to this one-story home, but 31 of the 32 showings were to young families. Del Mar schools are the best, and while the 1,518sf was mentioned in the listing, I think the lack of other homes in this price range caused these buyers to check it out just to see if they could find a way to fit in a smaller home.
After 11 days on market, the 2,542sf Boquita house listed on the range $1,300,000 – $1,399,000, which crushed my chances of getting more. We lowered our price to $1,388,000 a few days later to stay in the game, and after a couple of weeks, we found a single guy to buy it for $1,344,000.
I found great joy in finding out that the seller had read bubbleinfo in the beginning, and it was one of the reasons why he left Michigan before the crash. Now he and his lovely bride are off to Boise, Idaho to be near the grandkids!
Just when we thought there was a set policy on Coming Soon listings, they change it again.
The IDX is the agreement among realtors to share each others’ listings on our own personal websites, which was a great idea before search portals. But IDX was written off as a waste of time because now consumers have found better options like Zillow.
Are they going to change to their realtor’s inferior website, just to see the Coming Soons?
Wasn’t the idea of Coming-Soon-listings-on-the-MLS supposed to give realtors the distinct advantage of controlling the distribution? Oh well, maybe that was just me who saw that advantage, because it sure wasn’t considered in this decision. They are all going to be out in the open now, and we might as well let Zillow have them too.
The water is already muddied by Zillow allowing the Premier Agents to do their own Coming Soon listings separate from the MLS, and by agents ignoring the rules on social media. Who knows if agents are flagrantly abusing the rules or just forgot them already (more probable) but I see the old standard Coming-Soon pitches on social media now that are supposed to be inputted into the MLS by the next day – but they show up a week or two later, just like before.
Here are the new/updated rules for those who care:
No mention of Private Exclusives – which are allowed by N.A.R.’s Clear Cooperation Policy – where any agent in the same brokerage can sell an in-house listing without any MLS or public exposure.
I don’t get the No Showings policy either. Do they really think an agent is going to deny showing their Coming-Soon listing to a buyer who contacts them directly and promises to pay full-price cash? I’ve already showed Coming Soons listed by other agents to my buyers, and the listers didn’t think twice about it. If they had a chance to double-end the commission, wouldn’t they just pay the fine and be on their way? The max fine is only $2,500.
This whole topic was a mess, and now giving buyers direct access to the list is not only going to tempt them to go directly to the listing agent (which is opposite to NAR’s intent) but consumers will also get a better look at how disorganized and unruly we are.
Be part of the vibrant Downtown Encinitas scene! An easy walk to Moonlight Beach and the heart of downtown, this newer townhouse is owner-occupied and meticulously maintained! The real white-oak hardwood floors are refinished to perfection and just the beginning of a great beach vibe! High ceilings, granite & stainless kitchen with built-in fridge, family room with fireplace, views, and balcony, plus every bedroom gets their own full bath! 2-car gar + 2 spaces. PRIVATE ROOF DECK WITH PANO OCEAN VIEWS!
Our new listing of a gorgeous one-story home west of the I-5 freeway in Del Mar!
This is the primary residence of a long-time custom-home builder, and it shows! There are several high-end finishes throughout the home, including the craftsman front door, deluxe custom kitchen with breakfast bar, hardwood floors, and a terrific master bath bathed in natural light! Custom fireplace, dual-pane windows, and interior laundry room too. Enjoy the 8,600sf lot with sparkling pool, herb garden and pano easterly views day and night – wow!
We ended up with four offers on our latest listing, and all came in over list price.
I’m always going to do a highest-and-best round – not to work over the already-beleaguered buyers who have probably lost others and just want to get it over with – but to make sure everyone felt they had a fair shot to buy it.
The winners also took the opportunity to submit a SECOND love letter that out-shined their first when they mentioned that they just found out this week that they were pregnant again (they had pointed out in their first love letter than their first kid was about the same age as the seller’s little boy) and they wanted their family to grow up with others they knew who had just moved into the same neighborhood! My sellers were pregnant when they bought this house so the connection was very real.
The agent who represents the winners was the first to call me about the listing, the first to show the house, and the first to write an offer – be ready!
The motivated buyers are on alert and will drop everything to come over for a look. Yet how often do we still see few or lousy photos (and rarely a real video-tour), no showings for days or weeks after MLS input, or listing agents who are nowhere to be found?
It’s more complicated to look at homes for sale these days. Open houses have been banned, everyone who enters must sign disclosures for each house in advance promising not to sue realtors if you get the bug, and of course you have to wear the PPE and sanitize before and after the experience.
It was already a challenge before Covid-19 to gather enough information in 10-20 minutes to make a decision that will affect the rest of your life. Compound the difficulty with a mask that makes it harder to breathe (and fogs up your glasses) while the listing agent is pestering you not to touch anything.
Today’s covid tip: TAKE A WORKSHEET WITH YOU.
Customize it with your own questions – here’s a start:
Is there a suitable downstairs-bedroom suite?
Is there extra space for office(s), or do I need to use a bedroom?
Is the floor plan suitable for longer quarantines?
Do I feel secure? Is it possible to improve security, and if so, how much cost?
Can I go in the backyard and relax day and night?
Does the kitchen have a gas or electric stove?
Is the fridge built-in, and if not, do I want the sellers to leave it behind?
Do I want the sellers leave the washer and dryer?
Does the garage have extra storage?
What improvements need to be done just to move in?
What improvements are needed long-term?
If the listing agent didn’t get the memo that matterport 3D tours are the worst thing for sales and is using them as a substitute for live showings, then use your worksheet while navigating the online tours too.
Enjoy unobstructed views from this upgraded gem in one of the quietest parts of Rancho Del Oro. The vaulted ceilings & numerous windows fill the home with lots of natural light, and once you get to the family room & kitchen, the view over the grassy backyard will make you start looking for your check book! Upgrades include flooring, paint, kitchen cabinets/granite counters – this home is tuned up and ready!
Only $599,000 – a model match at 1763 Avenida Alta Mira sold for $627,000 last month – wow!
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!