During the inspection of the fixer in Olde Carlsbad, it was determined that further investigation was warranted due to the slope in the floor.
A geologic engineer came out with his fancy altimeter and found that there was a 5-inch difference between the foundation height from one side of the house to the other.
Here’s how it looked. When you have seen me do this, I have set the ball down and let it go where it goes. In this case, the buyer rolled the ball in one direction, only to have it make a U-turn and go the other way…..and it picked up speed:
In the course of the discussion, I asked, “What is the worst you have seen?”
The engineer said, “A nine-inch differential.”
I said, “Ok, so this is kinda in the middle”.
To which I added a solution. Install the popular wood-tile, and have the installer add some extra mortar to help make up the difference. It doesn’t have to get to zero – if it was down to 2-3 inches it wouldn’t be as noticeable.
The buyers asked for a $50,000 reduction in price, and the seller agreed. It could have been worse – cancelling this sale and finding a new buyer who would pay more than $1,050,000 seemed unlikely.
Our sale closed on Tuesday, a couple of days after this closed nearby:
The state has a new rule that any home that is within the Very High Fire Hazard zone must be inspected for compliance when selling. Each fire district has developed their own way to handle the requests, and Carlsbad charges $149 to visit the property and issue their report on the same day.
Here’s how our first inspection went:
Once the report showed some issues, it’s negotiation time because nothing in the contract dictates who is responsible – and the city doesn’t require compliance or does any reinspections.
Donna received the report promptly, and called me and asked what she should do.
But I had already handled it with the buyer’s agent.
I traded the responsibility for the fire hazards for the fridge!
The NFL added a 17th game this year, and pushed back the Super Bowl to the second weekend of February.
It will be about as long as buyers can wait, and the following weekend should be gang-busters.
If you’re not putting your home on the market in the next 2-3 weeks, then February 19th would be a good target date for listing your home for sale.
“Oh Jim, wouldn’t it be smarter to wait until momentum builds with other comps closing escrow, and then sell in April/May and pick up an extra 5%?”
Sure, if you’re a gambler.
What could go wrong:
A couple of neighborhood fixers sell for less.
Another sells to an ibuyer based on those prices.
Another is getting divorced and quick-sells their house based on those new comps.
If you get submarined by other sales nearby, then you’ll just be happy to get what you could have gotten in February. The worst part will be your spouse telling you repeatedly, “I told you we should have sold sooner”.
Yes, the frenzy will last into 2022, and you will sell for a ton of money no matter what. But I’ve gotten more inquiries this month about selling a home than any month this year – people are preparing to go!
For those who are thinking of selling next year and plan to do some improvements, don’t wait to begin.
In fact, start today!
Yesterday, I contacted three different flooring contractors, and all were booked into December. Our GC is currently booked for two months, our pool-repair guy has work scheduled for the next FIVE MONTHS, and our plumber gave up and suggested that we find someone else.
If you want us to provide an initial consultation and give opinions of what repairs/improvements would be smart to complete prior to selling, feel free to contact us – now. We can call in favors if needed – the pool guy got started within two weeks!
It made me wonder how many homeowners were in the hunt for a new house over the last 1-2 years, and have since given up on moving and decided to remodel instead.
No matter how small the percentage, it means the demand for homes for sale will be increasingly more dependent upon the out-of-towners who don’t have a house here yet. Their desperation level is higher than our current homeowners here who are comparing to what they already own……and who are finding it more difficult every day to justify a move.
More slides from the C.A.R. forecast:
They are forecasting a 5.2% YoY drop in sales in 2022, after we will likely set the all-time record for sales here in 2021. They are probably considering the slowdown in pending sales:
They also showed how 70% of the business is done by 30% of the realtors….and the rest of the agents are barely in business with less than two sales per year:
This is a repeat of the 2br house featured on my tour a few weeks ago, with the resulting sales price.
The agent admitted they priced this 2br house low on purpose to attract a crowd, and it worked. The list price was $699,000, and it sold for $1,100,000 cash. Meanwhile, the two other listings around the corner priced at $1,149,000 and $1,200,000 are still unsold.
Sellers are resistant to price attractively, but look how well it works when you Get Good Help!
I said the other day that it will become hard to sell. But wait – isn’t the demand overwhelming? Yes, but it’s a price thing.
It will be harder to sell…..at your price.
Think of the pressure on sellers now.
It was bad enough when the seller’s ego had to endure the actual or perceived pressure from friends and family about getting your price. It was probably more subconscious, than conscious, and nobody really had to say a word.
Sellers just think that their family, friends, and neighbors are all watching, and they want to show them. As a result, once a home goes on the open market, the seller’s ego wants all the money.
But then over the last year, sellers have been in this bonanza zone where bidding wars erupted out of nowhere and sellers got more money than they ever thought was possible. Way more than their ego needed, and sellers couldn’t wait to tell everyone how great it turned out.
But as the frenzy settles down, will sellers be able to cope without a tale to tell? Will their ego survive not having a bidding war?
In their mind, their opinion of their home’s value is built on top of the frenzy sales, plus a little extra.
Are sellers motivated enough to price sharply from the beginning, and/or lower their price early and often when it counts?
Hence, the frenzy environment has to continue, just so sales will happen.
Agents who have been in the business for 12 years or less only know a strong sellers’ market. They will continue to offer half-baked listings with 60-80 photos, no video, and a crazy price – and expect buyers to pay it. Throughout their history, buyers always have.
Sellers will now expect 5% over comps AND a bidding war to push it higher! Anything to the contrary will not go over well, and sellers and listing agents will be slow to react.
First you’ll see listings not selling, and inventory starting to stack up. Then sales won’t be as brisk as they have been over the last year.
Sales will suffer, before pricing does.
Keep an eye on sales. They are your leading indicator.
This is how the frenzy will end, it’s just a matter of when.
This is the second collection of clips I did for our Instagram Reels. Because they were done with a handheld camera, there is a little too much face here. It might be better to watch it from across the room!
P.S. Are you getting these types of insights from other agents?
If not, maybe we should talk about how else I can help you!
Home sellers have a sneaky suspicion that they should hire a great agent, but they don’t want to pay 6%. These ads combine these two pain points beautifully, and offer to pair you with a Top 1% agent for only 2%!
Their fine print seems to back it up too:
*Our agents will list for 2% and offer the typical Buyer’s Agent commission in your market ranging from 2% to 3%. The average Buyer’s Agent commission nationwide is 2.5%. If a buyer calls on your house directly without an agent, our agents have agreed to do the entire transaction for only 2% total. Homes under $150,000 will have a minimum list side commission of $3,000.
Let’s get to the real truth. Several points:
They say their service is FREE. But they are running national TV ads? Who pays for those? The realtors pay for those! They have to give a split of their commission to the advertising company. Do you think the Top 1% of realtors are jumping at the chance to work for 2% and then give up 20% to 30% of that to the lead source? No way. They have enough other retail business that they don’t have to discount their commission.
The commission is ‘pre-negotiated’, but that only means that the realtors have to offer 2% as one of the commission options. Because the listing agent will also have a 6% commission option, they get paid LESS with the 2% plan. Because the best agent-teams have buyer-agents who get a spiff too, the 2% option will only rarely get implemented – there’s not enough $$ to go around. The home’s listing goes onto the MLS/open market, which means the chance of an outside agent selling the home is at least 90%, and because of the dis-incentive, it’s probably more like 98% chance of not being a 2% commission plan.
The listing agent may normally offer a 5% commission plan. But because he has to pay the 20% to 30% to the lead source, it will get passed on to the seller in the form of a 6% commission.
Because of the seller’s zest to only pay the 2%, they will sign up after a spectacular listing presentation that doesn’t reveal the truth about the chances of the 2% commission being so unlikely.
The sale will go smoothly, and the sellers will be on their merry way. If they happen to glance at their closing statement, they might notice that they paid 6% in the end, but hey, it’s over and they shrug it off.
There is one revelation of truth at the bottom of their website:
The moving industry is ripe with fraud and deceit. Consumers who are shopping for moving companies will inevitably come across what amounts to move-brokers who are making promises on behalf of third-party subcontractors. Previously, I’ve seen the subcontractor arrive onsite and immediately demand an extra $5,000 to do the job, and in this case, they didn’t show up at all.
After a swift 25-day escrow that closed on time, we had to help the sellers – who had already left town – make sure their stuff got on the truck and hit the road!
A home’s outward appearance plays a big role in whether potential buyers want to tour the interior. Here are ways to give the home’s curb appeal an instant makeover:
1. Update the light fixtures
Updated light fixtures can change the way the front of a house looks but has an added benefit of making it safer when you use brighter bulbs too. Most outdoor lighting fixtures are much smaller than they should be. (That may had been intentional on the builder’s side; smaller fixtures are less expensive.)
Tip for choosing the right fixture: When you’re choosing a new light fixture, take cues from the home’s architecture, color, and your location. For the size, choose a fixture that’s one-third of the height of the door if you have only one light and one-quarter the height if you have a light on both sides of the door.
2. Upgrade windows and doors
Updating your windows and doors are a great way to improve the overall look of your home while also being energy-efficient. Consider adding window boxes, shutters, or even painting the trim for an added pop of color.
When upgrading the front door, choose a new door that matches the home’s style. Or you could follow the latest front door trends for 2021–glass elements, custom hardware, wood stains, or darker paint colors.
Painting your house is a huge task, but it can pack a huge punch! Just imagine the statement you’d make by ditching the boring beige, dulled white, or dated yellows. If you want to modernize your house, consider painting the house black or navy blue. Or, if you want to achieve that comfy-cottage look, try a light shade of gray or even a very pale shade of pink.
4. Add wood and/or stone elements
Adding wood or stone elements to the exterior can help give a home a “wow” factor. Even if you don’t want to put stone veneers on the exterior, you could add stone and wood elements in other ways, like by using stone to line the walkway, a wooden fence, or even stone or wooden lawn ornaments.
5. Hire a professional landscaper
There’s a huge difference between do-it-yourself landscaping and landscaping that’s completed by a professional. A professional landscaper can make your lawn a luscious green carpet that’ll make you want to kick off your shoes. They’ll know which native plants to choose to make a yard warm and inviting. They can also create water features, intricate flower beds, build retaining walls, and more.
6. Refinish walkways and the driveway
The walkways and driveway get a lot of use, and all that wear and tear will need an update over time. A professional landscaper or hardscaper also can upgrade your driveway and walkway by using stone, brick, or cement. But if you’re on a budget, a good power-washing may also give a curb appeal boost.
The latest from Altos data @mikesimonsen: financial markets are correcting dramatically + #mortgagerates are at their highest in 2 yrs. How quickly will this impact #homebuying decisions?: https://hubs.ly/Q012SS230
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!