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Biological Discoloration

We were discussing the “mold” found by a home inspector, who wasn’t qualified to comment on the subject – though that didn’t stop him from trying to scare the daylights out of the buyer just so he could CYA.

I suggested that it was the garden-variety mildew that could be removed with a squirt of bleach and a wipe of a cloth. After all, it tested ‘dry’ and the minor stain under the kitchen sink looked like it was years old.

Of course, they asked, “What do you know about mold?”

Plenty, lady…..plenty:

Showings Are Down

Home buyers don’t have much – if any – control over the process, which leads to frustration and disappointment. They don’t have any way to cause more homes to list for sale, and the only way to eliminate the competition is to out-bid them, which can be even more harrowing.

One solution is for buyers to expand their parameters, but that’s not easy and can lead to another ailment that a client described yesterday as “frozen in indecision”.

Just when you want to give up……it looks like others might have beaten you to it!

Showings throughout the state are lower than they were during the first week of January!

It’s been mentioned that not every agent uses this service, but it is such a large sample size that the trend should be a decent indicator of buyer sentiment – they’re exhausted.

Sure, active listings are half of what they were at this time last year, but the showings are 260% different!

Just like with selling, when is the best time to be a buyer? When no one else is!

We already know what’s going to happen with sales in 2022 – they will be the same as this year, with a possible adjustment of +/- 10%.

But the rest of 2021 could get wacky!

It looks like the competition is dwindling, and any seller who comes to market around the holidays has to be motivated!  Buyers – stay in the hunt!

Publicizing The Listing Agent

The old rule was that any agent could advertise any MLS listing via the IDX, as long as the listing agent’s name and brokerage was displayed. But now you have to include their contact information too. He sounds confident because this is clearly a shot at Zillow but the unintended consequences from directing the consumer to the listing agent is promoting single agency which will eventually eliminate broker cooperation as we know it.

The discouragement of buyers getting their own representation from a buyer-agent is part of the dumbing-down of the business.  Sellers and listing agents prefer buyers who just pay whatever it takes and don’t ask questions, and when the History of the 2020-2021 Frenzy is written, it should include that it was fueled in part by crazy buyers getting no good help. 


In an emailed statement, a Zillow spokesperson said, “As part of our switch to IDX feeds and becoming CRMLS participants earlier this year, we agreed to comply with all CRMLS rules and regulations, which includes adhering to listing credit and display rules — such as the updates that went into effect this month.

“One of our core values is to empower consumers and increase transparency in real estate, which includes efforts to give shoppers the information they need to connect with listing agents. For more than a decade, our philosophy of ‘turning on the lights’ for consumers has meant that we’ve consistently displayed listing agents’ names and contact information, something not done on all IDX sites today.”

Get Good Help!

Underpricing to Create a Bidding War

Why you should Get Good Help!

Kim Rohrer was looking forward to leaving the leaky windows in the two-bedroom Berkeley rental duplex that she shared with her husband and two small children.

The couple recently found a three-bedroom, two-bathroom chalet-style house in Berkeley listed for $799,000, which seemed relatively affordable for the area.

The house needed significant work, including plumbing upgrades, but the couple wasn’t deterred. “It was like a dream house,” said Ms. Rohrer, who works in human resources for a tech company. (Her husband works at the University of California, Berkeley.)

The couple offered well above the asking price: $850,000. They knew there would likely be multiple offers but they also needed to save some money for the necessary repairs. They didn’t get the house.

They didn’t even come close. The home sold for $1.4 million — nearly double its asking price. “It’s terrible,” she says of her house hunting experience so far. “Completely terrible.”

(more…)

More One-Story Premium

Over the last six months in Encinitas:

There were 183 sales of two-story homes, and they averaged $744/sf.

The 98 sales of one-story homes averaged $952/sf, or a 28% premium!

Let’s also note the price discovery here.

The sellers and agent were smart to lower the price early and often to keep the urgency alive.  There was nothing wrong here that price wouldn’t fix, so they did three reductions in less than a month:

America’s Frenzy

https://twitter.com/RickPalaciosJr/status/1428727747711361025

The Big Reshuffle is backlogged!

As people wait to relocate throughout the country, it really boils down to how patient you are.

If you want and need to move today, then join the fight.  The key is to find suitable answers on the buy side, and these are the choices:

  1. Sell and rentback for 30-60 days. It’s a gamble, and you will probably be under pressure to pay more than you’d like on the buy side, or be forced to….
  2. Sell and rent a different home. This gives you much more flexibility and patience to buy the right house, at the right price.
  3. Buy first, then sell.  Need ample horsepower, and/or a bridge loan.
  4. Sell your home contingent upon finding a home to buy. Getting the buyer of your home to hang around while you shop for a new home won’t be easy, and may require a discount. But it’s the safest way to make sure you don’t have to move unless you find the right home, at the right price. A good option for sellers when there are homes available for sale that you would buy today.

Those with more patience may decide to wait it out, in hopes of it getting better, later.  But there will always be some juggling of the choices above.

Whatever you do, don’t wait until we pull into Plateau City, when it becomes hard to sell, AND hard to buy.

Waiving the Appraisal Contingency

If you find a hot buy that is likely to have multiple offers, you will be confronting the uneasy choice of waiving the appraisal contingency in your offer.  It’s likely that the other buyers will do it too, so it’s become a part of the minimum package needed just to compete.

If the appraisal comes in below the sales price and you have a 20% down payment or less, you will be forced to make up the difference in cash (or pay mortgage insurance, if possible).

In an unfortunate frenzy effect, because the appraisal contingency has been waived, listing agents don’t show up to help substantiate the value to the appraiser.  It used to be one of the vital jobs of the seller’s agent to provide recent sales to the appraiser to ensure the appraisal came in at the sales price – so the sellers wouldn’t be faced with potentially having to lower the price to appease the buyers.

But these days, the listing agents couldn’t care less.

So now when we have the buyers, I meet the appraisers.  I want to make sure I do everything I can to persuade the appraiser to hit the sales price so my buyers don’t have to bring in more money.

I just had one where, two days before our appraisal appointment, a new listing of a model-match but inferior condo hit the open market priced at 10% UNDER our sales price in an obvious ploy to start a bidding war.  I already had a big challenge with the comps because there had not been a sale in the complex all year – and appraisers don’t like using sales from complexes that were 3-4 miles away.

But I convinced him, and the appraisal came in at our sales price!

Model-Match Comparison in Frenzy

This home in La Costa Oaks listed for $1,800,000, and then the price was raised to $1,900,000.

It closed yesterday for $2,150,000 – here is the video tour:

We sold the same model for $1,910,000, and the sale closed today:

https://www.compass.com/listing/7337-calle-conifera-carlsbad-ca-92009/760203178471857041/

Two of the same models, on the same street, sold the same week and had a 13% variance in price – wow!

Get Good Help!

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