San Diego Wine + Food Festival

Welcome to the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival, where sailboats and sandy beaches serve as the backdrop to one of the country’s most talked-about weeks in food. Featuring dozens of events, hundreds of domestic and international wineries, the celebration of craft beer and spirits, local culinary legends and nationally recognized celebrities, and a Grand Tasting Finale on the stunning Embarcadero.

The San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival raises money for local and national charities including scholarships for culinary, hospitality, enology, and viticulture students. To date, the Festival has donated more than $475,000 for aspiring professionals.

Listing Agents Blowing Deals

Our assistant Brittnie is a licensed realtor, and for months she has been working with a couple in search of the right entry-level home. Buyers at the low-end of every market have had no negotiating power for the last ten years, but some of the softness in our soft landing can be attributed to pilot error – the listing agents are still (too) cocky.

They made an offer that was 8% below the list price on a home that had been on the market for 3 months with no price adjustment. It was easy to figure out why it wasn’t selling – it hadn’t been remodeled (the type of homes that might have gotten lucky before, but now are struggling to sell).

The sellers counter back at 2% under list, and the agent tells Brittnie on the phone, “Don’t even think about countering the price”.

But that’s not all.

He also included the usual terms left over from the high-flying days:

1. Sold as-is, no repairs.

2. No termite.

3. No home warranty.

The buyers walked.

Previously, all buyers who were frustrated enough by bidding-war losses and rapidly-rising prices would succumb to the demands of the listing agent just to get it over with.

And it’s not just the terms, it is the attitude of the listing agents that is a turn-off too. Buyers aren’t going to put up with it when they see houses languishing on the market these days.

Another favorite is for listing agents to crank down the contingency period from 17 to 10 days.  I had one do that to me yesterday on a house that we already confirmed had no permits on record at the city (it’s an older house).

I asked him if he was going to cancel the deal if we didn’t release contingencies after 10 days.  His answer? “Hmm, well, I don’t know.”

Is it worth it to put the screws to the buyer in the middle of November on a house with no permits just so you have the option to go back on the market around Thanksgiving?

If the market sluggishness continues, some of it will be self-inflicted.

Get Good Help!

Happy Anniversary!

It was 31 years ago today that my dearly beloved and I walked down the aisle at Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala. Rob Dawg already mentioned how Donna looks the same today!

I am grateful and lucky to have such a committed partner in life – I love you Donna!

I took her to Bob’s Big Boy on our first date, but I’m going to class it up tonight.  Catch us at IHOP!

There is still time to receive this month’s newsletter and read Donna’s anniversary edition. Send your email address to:


From the boss:

Many homeowners insist on everyone removing their shoes upon entering their home. Everyone has different reasons for doing so, but here are some worth pondering:

  • 40% of shoes are contaminated with the diarrhea-causing bacteria Clostridium difficile.
  • 70% of sterilized boots pick up E. coli after walking outdoors.
  • Wear your outdoors shoes in the house and you’re likely to spread bacteria in your home.
  • Other research has shown that more than 90% of the time, bacteria on shoes transfer to the floors of a home. Carpets fare worse.
  • Residue from outdoor fertilizers tracked in on your shoes can settle into the nooks and crannies of your carpets and rugs. Even Herbicide 2,4-D can last up to a week after application, and, according to the National Pesticide Information Center, exposure can cause minor skin rashes and even gastrointestinal upsets.
  • Dirt and dust are more minor offenders, but still best kept outside the house.
  • And then there is the more obvious: Abrasive soles of shoes can cause floors to become scratched and dinged.

Make it easy for your guests: have a bench that allows them to sit while removing their shoes. Offer surgical bootie covers as an alternative to removing shoes. Some homes even offer slippers. Also, have a shoehorn on standby to help guests put their shoes back on upon departure. A well-engineered entrance should always have an attractive set-up to be able to store guest (and occupant) shoes.

Inventory Watch

Buyers looking at homes priced in the upper half (today’s NSDCC median list price is $2,395,000, the highest that I can remember) are probably thinking they can go to sleep for the rest of the year.  There are about the same number of active listings priced over $2,000,000 now as there were last year.

What about the Under-$1,000,000 market?

Last year at this time, we had 110 active listings priced under $1,000,000.  Today we have 60!

Those buyers should keep looking. At this rate, there won’t be much left under a million next year!


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