$176,000 Over List

This looks like a miracle in the post-frenzy era, so how do you use it for a logical comp? This is a cautionary tale for the buyers looking at the house for sale up the street. It will be likely that someone will see my high sale closed and just go grab the other one without much thought as to the actual value.

And this was Buyer #2, after the cash buyer blew out after two days.

I mis-spoke about the original list price. It was $1,600,000

$3,950,000 Beach Hut

Our new listing across from Tide Beach Park in Solana Beach has fully-approved plans to build a spectacular Mark-Morris-designed California Modern Contemporary – or just enjoy your beach cottage!

Mark designed the La Jolla house we sold last summer at 365 Marine Street – this plan has similar qualities! Open 12-3pm this Sunday, March 5th.


(Think the market is dead? I received two inquiries in the first ten minutes!)

Jim’s Last 24

Are you thinking about selling your home and are trying to identify the strategies used by listing agents to get you top dollar with minimal inconvenience?

Are you finding that agents aren’t real specific about how they do their business, and just want you to trust that because they sold houses in the past that they can do it again?

Here is my specific strategy to achieve top-dollar sales with minimal inconvenience: 1) Do a minor tune-up of the home prior to hitting the open market, 2) Price attractively, 3) Make the home easy to see via the open-house extravaganza, 4) Allow all buyers to bid it up, 5) Treat buyers and agents with respect and deliver full transparency that encourages participation.

Here are my last 24 results (plus one added later):

Jim Klinge Listing History Last 24 Months

List Price
Sales Price
Days on Market
128 Knoll
3421 Park Blvd
1990 Spyglass
3780 Portland*
1938 Park Dale*
391 Vista Del Indio
31534 Calle Las Rosas
1800 Guevara
39221 Daily
2665 Fallsview
6217 Oakridge*
3534 Avenida Sierra*
2234 Ivy
6065 African Holly*
7313 Golden Star*
7215 Wisteria*
5279 El Arbol
10541 Galena Cyn
13010 Brixton
1065 Goldeneye View
7535 Circulo Sequoia*
7141 Aviara Dr*
1463 Paseo de la Flores
909 Franklin
365 Marine St*

*closings after mortgage rates started going up.

None of these were priced artificially low to generate a bidding war. When a property is ‘attractively priced’, it means the presentation is worthy and it causes buyers to want to see it in person.

I have not come across any agent who sells homes like I do, and rarely do I ever meet an agent who has any strategy about handling multiple offers.

It happened again yesterday – the listing agent said on the phone that he had 3-5 offers, so I asked how he planned to handle it. Literally, he said, “I don’t know”, to which I replied, “How about doing a highest-and-best round?” He said, “Well we will probably counter the best 2-3 offers”.

Why he would eliminate any buyer is beyond me – I always counter every buyer because who knows how much higher they might go when asked.

In further discussion, he made it sound like none of the offers received were full price, and later I sent him a text that we were sending in a full price offer. Two hours later, he sends a text back that said, “It sounds like the seller wants to move forward with the first offer he got”.

This is the standard procedure in the realtor business – just grab one.

If your listing languishes on the market, it gets worse. Even the chief economist says so:

You want to sell early – during the first week on the market – when urgency is highest, and not languish for weeks or months just to take less later. In case everything goes right and multiple offers are received, you want an expert who creates a proper bidding war. In 2023, when buyers are more tempted to cancel and move on, you want your escrow handled in a way that it closes successfully, and on time.

Your eventual sales price can vary 5% to 20%, depending on your listing agent.

Get Good Help – hire Jim the Realtor!

Your Listing Agent Matters

There isn’t one standard way to sell a house – every agent does it differently, mostly based on their skill set and ambition in life.  My new listing in Spinnaker Hill is a good example!

It’s a tract neighborhood of one-story houses from the 1970s, and most of them haven’t added square footage so comparing the recent sales is fairly simple.

In the post-frenzy environment, appraisers are reluctant to go back more than the standard six months for comparisons, and they will place the most weight on those in the same tract (see above).

The different ways that listing agents sell houses can be broken into three categories:

1. Listing agents who make a deal with the first buyer who calls, and shuts out everyone else.

This is what happened when an out-of-town agent listed the home on Daisy that’s pending, which is the identical house to what I’m selling, with less ocean view.  It is 100 yards away from my listing, and many people at my open houses asked how I could expect to get $1,600,000 when an identical match was $400,000 less (that buyer lives in the neighborhood and has told everyone about his good fortune).

2. Listing agents who practice the 3P marketing plan (Put a sign in the yard, Put it in the MLS, and Pray).

You can see the varying results in the four recent sales in the post-frenzy era. Nobody knows how long it will take to find a buyer, and what they might be willing to pay – and three out of four took quite a bit less.

3. How Jim the Realtor sells his listings.

I thought the house needed to much work to bother with staging. But it didn’t stop me from recommending a list price that was full retail, or retail-plus – ESPECIALLY with the model match at $400,000 less.

After a vigorous open house extravaganza that 230+ people attended, I received five offers, and four were over the list price. You can tell from the comps that we had a real concern about the appraisal, and it would play a vital role in the decision made by the sellers.

After giving all five of the buyers three chances yesterday to improve their offer, the sellers decided that it boiled down to two contenders:

$1,755,000 cash and no appraisal contingency.

$1,776,000 with a $1,000,000 down payment and no appraisal contingency.

We took the cash deal initially, but the buyer got the yips the next day so we sold to #2.

How much would any other realtor have gotten?

Are you thinking of selling your house? Let’s talk!

MLS Shenanigans

We’ve covered the ways that buyers and buyer-agents are getting battered by listing agents.

Making homes tough to show, no transparency about offers and bidding-war process (if any), below-market commissions, sandbagging listings in-house for days or weeks before exposing to general public, etc.

Some can be chalked up to inexperience or clerical errors, but most are a deliberate attempt by the listing agents to box out other agents, and limit the number of offers.

Here’s another one: MyStateMLS.com.

Agents input their listings onto this website only, which gets the property onto Zillow and Realtor.com where waiting buyers might see it. Typically, the buyer-agents are using their local MLS to track the new listings, so they’re not watching Zillow or Realtor.com (and certainly not some unknown MLS website).

It has to be a deliberate attempt by the listing agents to limit the exposure to fellow agents, with the intent to reach buyers directly and double-end the commission.

New-Listing Update

The action on the new listing has been good so far. The hot listings usually have a views-to-saves ratio of 10:1, and mine is 29:1 above. Even though the house has a fantastic view, buyers don’t want a project, and it emphasizes how important staging is today. Because this house needs everything, I didn’t think staging was worth it here, but it will be a rare exception.

I have two written offers in hand now, and 2-3 more expected.

I don’t think the eventual sales price will be way over list either.  Though there has been sales in the neighborhood as high as $2,100,000, everyone has agreed that we’re at full retail. This isn’t helping either:

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