First Day at the Office

I describe the strategy for sellers here, because buyers need to be on alert 12 months out of the year. Why? Because you only care about buying the right house at the right price – which isn’t affected by the general market conditions. You are looking for the one-off.

Tenancy In Common

Aisling Swindell was paying so much for rent last year—$2,100 per month to live in a studio in Downtown LA—she figured she might as well buy a place.

“The house I ended up buying was $440,000, which is insane, right?” says Swindell, who works for an online fashion company.

That price tag, which is $178,000 below the median in LA County, sounds unbelievable, especially for what she bought: 870 square feet in the city, plus a little yard, lots of natural light, some stylish updates, and charming, 1930s-era details, like wainscoting and solid wood doors.

But while she’s no longer a renter, she still doesn’t, technically, own a house.

Her $440,000 bought her a share of a larger property: a triplex on an 8,344-square-foot lot in Jefferson Park. Her right to occupy the unit, and her responsibility for maintaining it, are spelled out in a contract with her neighbors, who live in the triplex and, with her, are its joint owners.

Read full article here:

https://la.curbed.com/2019/8/8/20751845/tenancy-in-common-los-angeles-rental-girl

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Are you thinking this would be a great way to sell your multi-unit building in San Diego?

I can help you with that!

Buyers can get mortgages up to $850,000 with a 10% down payment.

Contact me today at (858) 997-3801 or klingerealty@gmail.com.

Getting the Price Right

I don’t know if they surveyed actual home sellers, but if these stats demonstrate the current sentiment, it shows how critical it is to list a home at ‘market price’ vs. ‘dream price’.

An excerpt from this HW article:

You’ve listed your home for sale, and no one is taking the bait. One month passes, then two. How long do you wait before you increase the odds of an offer by dropping the price?

According to a recent survey, most American home sellers opt to reduce their asking price after three months of zero offers.

Specifically, a survey of 1,000 consumers revealed that 33% would opt for a price reduction after three months, making it the most common choice.

Just under 20% said they would wait one month, while 17% would wait five months. For about 9%, it would take an entire year before they’d reconsider their price.

But for others, they’d rather not sell at all as opposed to selling for less than they originally wanted, with about 12% said they would never lower the price of their home.

The 33% would wait three months, but 38% would wait at least five months or longer to lower their price, if at all (17%+9%+12%).

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Zillow says that the average price reduction is 2.9%, which isn’t going to impress buyers much.  When prices were rising 5% to 10% annually, the market would catch up with a wrong price before too long.  But now that pricing is flat, we don’t have that luxury – and we need to be smarter about price strategy.

https://www.zillow.com/sellers-guide/when-to-reduce-house-price/

Tax Reform Winners and Losers

The folks at JBREC have completed their own tax-reform study:

Link to Article

They say the high-earners who buy a million-dollar house are the losers, but those folks can still deduct the roughly $30,000 per year in mortgage-interest paid on a loan amount of $750,000 (though if they were renting previously they now have to pay property taxes).

Reasons for High-Earners to Buy a House:

  1. Deduct mortgage interest of $30,000 paid on your $750,000 loan (or higher).
  2. Secure where you are going to live over the next 5-50 years.
  3. Build equity with each payment.
  4. Gamble that the value will go up.
  5. Make the family happy.

Reasons for High-Earners Not to Buy a House:

  1. Have landlord pay property taxes, HOA, etc.
  2. Have landlord fix stuff.
  3. Stay flexible on where to live.
  4. Hope prices go down and buy later.

Numbers 1-4 on both lists probably offset each other, so the focus is on #5.

Compass Concierge

Are you thinking of selling your home, and curious about the idea of out-fitting it for a multi-gen buyer?  Or want help in getting the home into top condition in order to sell it for top dollar?

We’re here for you!

The Compass Concierge program is willing to pay for repairs/improvements to your home, and be reimbursed at the close of escrow.  At first, the program was just for the basics, but it’s been expanded to include virtually everything!

And it’s free – the service comes with listing your home with us, at no extra charge!

Here are examples of what’s been done lately:

In Los Angeles, an agent used Compass Concierge to buy — not stage, but buy outright — $900,000 worth of furniture in order to win two listings, one worth $23 million and the other worth $87 million.

In Philadelphia, an agent was in the midst of a contentious divorce sale. The husband and wife weren’t talking and neither wanted to pay for the staging, painting, and cosmetic repairs the home needed. So the agent pitched Concierge as the solution, and solved the problem!

There was a buyer looking at a million-dollar property listed by a Compass agent that needed a lot of work, but the buyer couldn’t afford to pay a $200K down payment and then shell out another $200K in cash for remodeling. The seller and buyer came to an agreement that the seller would use Concierge to do a $200K remodel first — raising the sale price to $1.2 million but only increasing the down payment by $40K. The buyer was floored.

To get started, click below:

https://www.bubbleinfo.com/compass-concierge/

Sweeteners

A combination of mine and Leonard’s lists of sweeteners:

In an increasingly competitive environment – especially on the high end – it may be wise to sweeten the package you are selling by including some value or time-savings item.

Some mega-homes include expensive fancy cars or artwork and other gimmicks, but of course those items are factored into the purchase price and often appear as somewhat desperate. Some may want to increase the commission incentive for the buyer’s agent.

It may be wiser to include certain items that are more focused on time-savings…..and something that may have practical value to make a buyer feel there is less to be spent after closing.  Here are 10 ideas:

1.  A buydown of the mortgage rate probably has the best financial impact – it can last for 30 years!

2.  Pre-paid real estate taxes for the first year could be appealing, or paying HOA/Mello-Roos fees.

3.  How about $5-10,000 worth of new landscaping, or window coverings?

4.  One year’s worth of weekly yard maintenance would be appreciated.

5.  $1,000 worth of Home Depot, Amazon, or UBER dollars could be appealing.

6.  If a home has gorgeous views and big windows, include a year’s worth of window cleaning.

7.  Offer to have the interior painted to colors of the buyer’s choice at closing.

8.  Pay for a maid service to come weekly for a year.

9.  If the house is staged, offer a price list of all the furnishings that could be bought. The buyer may see great time-savings value in not having to furnish themselves.

10. Lower the price!

These are just some simple ideas that may make your listing more memorable and more appealing to some buyers…..and possibly sweeten the deal enough to make them choose your listing over another one!

Zillow Local Predictions

Here are the histories, and forecasts, of our local Zillow Home-Value-Index for each area:

They are forecasting flat or declining prices in three of our larger areas – and they are also predicting a drop-off in values as the selling season will be getting underway in March, 2020 (which sounds far-fetched).

Their track record hasn’t been that great though.  Here is their Carlsbad prediction in December, 2015, when they expected a 1.9% increase for 2016 – the actual was +7%:

The Carlsbad HVI has risen 19% since the beginning of 2016!

Can we agree on one likelihood? Prices probably won’t be going up much in the next year or two.

https://www.zillow.com/home-values/

Is This It?

More data released today on pricing trends, and though San Diego didn’t make this chart, we’re probably in the normal range with Los Angeles because our Case-Shiller indicies have been similar (+1.8% vs +1.1% YoY in SD).  Interesting that they call San Francisco ‘undervalued’.

Both the HPI and the Case-Shiller Index were the February readings.  There is optimism that YoY pricing will pick up as the selling season rolls on, but they are predicting that prices will decline from March to April, which is unusual:

Looking ahead, after some initial moderation in early 2019, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates home prices will begin to pick up and increase by 4.8% on a year-over-year basis from March 2019 to March 2020. On a month-over-month basis, home prices are expected to decrease by 0.3% from March 2019 to April 2019. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices calculated using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

These guys don’t make their data public. Using the Case-Shiller Index instead, we see that the last time we had a drop between March and April was in 2009, at the bottom:

Zillow is predicting virtually-flat MoM results too.

Flat pricing during the prime selling season, and after we had six months of declines at the end of 2018?  Could this be where we top out, exactly ten years later?

If you’re thinking of selling, contact me today!

Link to Press Release

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