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!
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.”
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.”
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:
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….
Sell and rent a different home. This gives you much more flexibility and patience to buy the right house, at the right price.
Buy first, then sell. Need ample horsepower, and/or a bridge loan.
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.
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!
Home buyers deserve to have their own representation.
The broker cooperation system which allows every agent to share their inventory with all other buyers via the MLS has worked well for 100+ years. But it has been under attack for years, and it may not survive the tight-inventory era where sellers and listing agents want to minimize or eliminate buyer-agents altogether.
An agent sent this in today:
Do you know that Lennar is no longer paying agents a commission or referral fee?
I have been working with a client for almost a year. She wouldn’t have known about the Lennar at Treviso community without me bringing her there. I registered her as my client and when her name got called on the list, they told her they’re no longer cooperating with agents and if she tried to include me she’d lose the house. Thank you Lennar for putting my client is a horrible position. Hey builders. Don’t ostracize the brokerage community! The market may be busy now but when the tides turn, you’re going to need us again. This is bad business.
I know for a fact that Lennar isn’t paying commissions on any of their SD communities currently.
I agree that it’s bad business to have an agent sign in their buyer as required to receive the commission, but then rescind their offer of compensation when the buyer steps up to purchase. But nobody cares about buyer-agents, and the abuse will continue. Lower or no commission being offered, no clarity on how multiple offers get handled (other than the usual “I just let the sellers decide”, which is a lie), and no easy path to show and sell.
What is the result of buyer-agents being snuffed out?
Buyers don’t recognize the need for getting good help.
An apprentice from a realtor team will suck them in with the promise of getting them an ‘off-market deal’, but then get sold a 1,200sf two-story house in a gang-infested area for 10% to 20% over value (true story).
We should probably just drop the seller-paid commissions – though they should have the right to offer a bounty – and have buyers pay their own agents. Those who value good help will seek out the best agents, and those who don’t will get what they get and wind up with regrets.
In the last couple of weeks, you may have seen prices on new listings reflecting today’s exuberance.
Homes that are priced attractively will generate the crowds, and likely get bid up over list.
Others are listed for a price that raises an eyebrow. In areas where we’ve seen 10% to 20% appreciation in the last six months, are sellers packing that much on to their list price PLUS another 5% to 10% – or more?
How do you recognize the difference?
The difference between a bidding-war listing, and a seller just daring you to pay their price?
Thoughts for Buyers Wondering If The List Price Is A Dare:
Compare to the Pendings
If you only consider the sold comps from the last six months, you probably won’t buy a house in this market – one which should last at least a couple of more months before there’s any possibility of unsold listings starting to stack up.
Who is the Listing Agent?
Known and successful listing agents aren’t going to list a home for some crazy too-high price. They know it’s better to keep it attractive, and let the market do its thing. If you’ve never heard of the agent and he acts more like a kook from Montaluk, then know that their list price is more likely to be outrageous.
Quiz the Listing Agent
The number of showings doesn’t matter as much – the number of offers does. If there have been 50 showings but only 2-3 offers, it means the price turned off 90% of the buyers. Unfortunately most listing agents are shutting down the showings so fast that it’s hard to get an accurate count – or to get them to fess up.
The Age of the Home
The older the home is, the less likely it’s worth a premium. The floor plans aren’t current and the upgrading over the years is likely to be inconsistent – those will be even more difficult to sell in a normal market. They do tend to be in the better locations, so the home’s age isn’t a hard stop. But typically the older homes are less likely to be worth a big premium today, let alone in the future.
Days On Market
If you’re not sure if the price is right, then wait it out. The initial frenzy dies off quickly, so if you don’t need this house like you need air to breathe, let ride and see if it goes unsold for the first 7-10 days. It’s really the only way to know for sure if the price is wrong.
Only pay a huge premium if it’s the perfect house for you. There’s a decent chance that appreciation flattens out over the next few years and you end up high & dry for a while. But you don’t care because you’re in it for the long haul, so make sure this home fits ALL your needs. No compromise.
The market for the best homes has been hyper-competitive for years – it’s only because of the covid/low-rate cocktail that buyers are flooding the streets in numbers we’ve never seen before.
Maybe you should wait it out? Aren’t all sellers daring you to buy now?
You’re just buying homes today at tomorrow’s prices. If prices go up another 10%, and appreciation flattens out and you can score a deal at 10% off, then you’re only back to where you would have been today.
The values of nearby condos should benefit greatly from the housing shortage around UCSD: http://enewspaper.sandiegouniontribune.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=5997c243-aa01-4fdd-96f6-d71d8fd7f25a - As numbers boom, UCSD embraces its more social side
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!