You may know NSDCAR REALTOR® member Rose Wolkins as a member of the Carmel Valley District Council. Rose joined the Carmel Valley group about seven years ago and has served as chair the past five years. She has worked in real estate sales for more than 20 years. But did you know that she once sold coffee mugs, pencils, coasters, clocks, calendars, and thousands of other specialty promotional items? “I’ve always enjoyed selling and getting out in the field and meeting people,” said Rose, who worked for several years for a specialty item company when she lived in Sunnyvale, Calif. “Selling gives us the opportunity to use our imagination to help somebody,” she said. “One time at the car wash, I struck up a conversation with a man who was an international sales director for Hewlett-Packard. He ended-up ordering thousands of dollars of specialty items from me. We offered the most unusual but neatest things. “To me, it was fun walking door-to-door, helping businesses offer their customers something they could be proud of. Today, I’m not walking to businesses. Instead, I’m walking around neighborhoods.” Rose grew up in Dowagiac, Mich. (population 5,879 in the 2010 census, the city name is a word from the Potawatomi tribe that means fishing near home). “My hometown is about three blocks long,” Rose said. “We were about 45 minutes from South Bend, Indiana, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.” Rose moved to I moved to Elkhart, Indiana, where she met her husband John Burd. Later, they moved to Sunnyvale before relocating to San Diego in 1984, where she began her real estate sales career. “My uncle in Canada owned a real estate office and he encouraged me to get into real estate,” said Rose. “I love the business because I enjoy helping people get something they want and everyone wants their own home and own their own piece of the pie.” This summer, Rose and John took two vacations on cruise ships to the Baltic Sea for 12 days and Alaska for seven days. “They were fantastic trips with amazing scenery and delicious food,” Rose said. “We also enjoyed meeting meet friendly and interesting people who live year-round on cruise ships. It’s a lifestyle they have chosen with a doctor on board, meals and entertainment.” Rose also said that NSDCAR has friendly and interesting people. “We have a great Association with a great group of people. Plus, our Association offers outstanding educational programs. They’re always something new for agents to learn.”
By Michael CarunchioThe real estate sales profession has changed in many ways over the years, but a properly prepared and delivered listing presentation has remained an important part of a REALTOR®’s success. In addition to the REALTOR®’s personality and a positive connection of rapport and trustworthiness with a prospective client, what are other factors necessary in a winning listing presentation? Certainly, content is a key component, including the inclusion of a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and recent news articles and charts about current market conditions. Canned presentations can become stale very quickly. Presenting original content to compliment background info about a brokerage company can position an agent as a source of the best real estate information available. In fact, some Association members have shared previous “Voice of Real Estate” stories about the real estate market that are regularly posted monthly in the “Quick Facts” e-mail to demonstrate their proficiency and knowledge about the relevant market trends. These “Voice” stories are a quick and easy way to reply to research-related questions related to the latest market statistics offering data to back up your answers. In addition, a custom marketing strategy is another way to distinguish an agent’s listing presentation. Outlining key strategies and tactics that successfully benefited previous clients can help convince the prospective client to move forward. Copies of print marketing materials, including flyers, ads and postcards, can be most beneficial. A “leave-behind” hard copy is another effective idea. Some agents will include photocopies of recent advertorial news stories about themselves that have appeared in local community newspapers, while others will send an e-mail with a link to a digital format. Some sellers also are receptive to helpful information on how to get their home ready for the market. For sellers, the most compelling indicators generally include a strategy for marketing their home (i.e. examples of online marketing campaigns used to sell homes within a specific timeframe at a competitive price), information or statistics relating to pricing strategy (“How much will my home sell for?”) and info about the strength of the brokerage, as well as an agent’s personality, communication skills and credentials. Indeed, a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) study found that reputation is one of the most important factors cited by sellers when choosing an agent. NAR said testimonials and a list of references are effective ways to reinforce reputation and create a sense of trust with a seller. Clearly, the keys are to demonstrate what you will do differently than other agents and explain the unique services and sales strategies that give you a competitive edge over the competition. Transparency, authenticity, and knowledge are critical in answering the “Why should I hire you” question. Preparation and rehearsing are important so that you can deliver with confidence. Listening to the client’s needs first can identify how you can best help the person. Many agents will ask such questions as: What is your motivation for selling? What do you love about your current home? Those answers will help point out special features to potential buyers. Also, prompt follow-up can convey to the client how response you would be as their agents and future friend.
Are home prices in San Diego County actually dropping? Maybe only for a short time. In its latest report on the home sales and prices, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said the median sales price of an existing single-family home in San Diego County was $605,000 in August, compared to $613,000 in July, a drop of a mere 1.3 percent. However, the relatively small reduction in home prices is not leading REALTORS® to say that prices are heading south. In a year-to-year comparison, C.A.R. said the August 2017 median home price of $605,000 was higher than the August 2016 figure of $563,000, an increase of 7.5 percent. Statewide, August’s median home price reached its highest level in a decade and remained above the $500,000 mark for the sixth straight month. The median price rose 2.9 percent from $549,460 in July to $565,330 in August and climbed 7.2 percent from the revised $527,490 recorded in August 2016. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less. It is influenced by the types of homes selling, as well as a general change in values. In addition, California home sales increased in August despite lower inventories. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California remained above the 400,000 benchmark for the 17th consecutive month and totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 427,630 units in August. The number of home sales in California in August was up 1.5 percent from July and 1.3 percent from August 2016. In San Diego County, C.A.R. said the number of homes sales in August was up 11 percent compared to July and 4.9 percent from August 2016. “It’s really a tale of two markets,” said C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh. “Despite sales growth across all segments of the market, lower-priced homes are particularly inventory constrained, which leads to weaker sales growth, faster-rising prices and fierce competition for the few homes that are listed. These homes are selling faster than historically and for top dollar, adversely impacting entry-level buyers who are already struggling to afford to buy their very first home.” “August marked the third straight month that the median price gained 7 percent or more year-over-year, indicating that prices are not only growing but are accelerating into the end of the year,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie-Appleton-Young. Other notable outcomes from the C.A.R. market report for August 2017: In San Diego County, the median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 14 days in August compared with 13 days in July and 17 days in August 2016. Statewide, the median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 18 days compared with 16 days in July and 28 days in August 2016. C.A.R. figures are based on a 28-day median period for a home on the market. Statewide active listings continued to decline in August, dropping 11.9 percent from a year ago. Mortgage rates declined further in August as the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.88 percent in August, down from 3.97 percent in July but was up from 3.44 percent in August 2016, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable-rate mortgage interest rates ticked down in August to an average of 3.15 percent from 3.22 percent in July but it was up from 2.74 percent in August 2016. Meanwhile, according to other reports from various industry sources: There appears to be no end in sight for the inventory shortage. The imbalance of supply and demand is continuing to push costs higher. The limited supply is driving demand and prices, as well as millennials aging into home ownership, the labor market is booming and wages are growing. The typical San Diego home seller made $125,000 on the sale of their home in 2016, according to Zillow. The real estate website crunched the numbers on 33 U.S. metropolitan areas and found the best return on investments for homes was in Oakland, where homeowners saw a 78 percent return on what they originally paid, followed by Portland with 64 percent earned. San Diego County ranked No. 17 as the best return for buyers with a 33 percent jump, behind Nashville, Mesa, Philadelphia, Phoenix and other cities. Zillow also said that in eight years and 11 months (typical length of stay for a San Diego owner) that a seller earned $16,000 per year on their investment when they sold in 2016.
By Ernie Cowan- NSDCAR Vice President of Government Affairs
LAWMAKERS RALLY VOTES TO PASS HOUSING PACKAGEIn the waning hours of the 2017 legislative session, state lawmakers rallied the votes necessary to reach agreement on a package of housing bills designed to help alleviate the state’s historic housing crisis. The Legislature’s vote to approve the package will provide up to $4.1 billion in bond funding, plus another $250 million annually from a real estate transaction fee, altogether the largest amount of state financing for affordable housing in California history. The package is projected to generate an estimated 70,000 housing units by 2022. The vote followed amendments to Senate Bills 2 and 3, which were the subject of intense negotiation as leaders statewide sought to stimulate development and respond to growing public pressure to improve housing affordability. Both SB2 and SB3 required a two-thirds approval by the Assembly to pass.
Building Homes and Jobs ActThe Building Homes and Jobs Act (SB 2), authored by Sen. Atkins (D-San Diego), will create a permanent revenue source to fund affordable housing by charging $75 to $225 in document fees on real estate transactions, such as mortgage refinancing. Home and commercial property sales are exempt from the fee. SB 2 is expected to generate approximately $5 billion over the next five years when matched with federal, local, and private funds. SB 2 was amended August 29th to provide greater local control over the funds. In 2018, half the funds will be made available to local governments to support community planning and half to the Department of Housing and Community Development to fund programs for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Beginning in 2019, local governments will receive 70% of the funds, with the remaining 30% appropriated to the California Housing Finance Agency to create mixed-income multifamily residential housing for lower to moderate income households. “There is no single silver bullet that will solve the crisis; however, SB 2 is a step in the right direction,” said Atkins following the bill’s passage. “It will generate new, ongoing funding to create permanent supportive housing for people who are experiencing chronic homelessness, providing them with services they need to address their physical and mental health issues and relieving pressure on our courts, jails, and emergency rooms.”
You may know NSDCAR REALTOR® member Carolyn D’Agosta who has served on the NSDCAR Board of Directors for the past 10 years. She also has served on the NSDCAR Professional Standards Committee for the past 20 years and on the Risk Management Committee since its founding about six years ago. Carolyn served as president of the Escondido Association of Realtors in 1978 and was involved in the 1994 formation of NSDCAR. She has served on the state level with the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) as a board member since 1974 and on numerous committees, including MLS, Legal Affairs, and Communications. She has served on the national level with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) since 1985 and on numerous committees, including Professional Standards and Risk Management. She has received many awards from both C.A.R. and NAR. But did you know that Carolyn’s favorite pastime is spending time with her granddaughters? “I helped raise the girls, they each have their own room at our house,” said Carolyn. Nicole, 24, attends Palomar College. Amanda, 25, attends the University of San Francisco. “During the summer, the girls will spend several weeks at our house. We have fun watching movies, shopping and celebrating life. Sometimes, I also bring them along with me on my travels to real estate meetings. They call me `Grammy.’” Carolyn has been an owner-broker since 1975 and has worked on more than 2,000 transactions as an agent and broker principal. Her experience has included residential, new home subdivisions, lots and commercial properties. She also is active in real estate expert witness testimony and litigation support. She has been married to NSDCAR member Ron Romanowich for the past 11 years. “We have a very full and wonderful life between real estate work, entertaining friends at our home, spending time in the kitchen and bouncing around with Max,” said Carolyn. Max is a rescued West Highland terrier. “I also spend a lot of time reading and keeping up with real estate for my teaching and training.” One of Carolyn’s favorite dishes is chicken marsala made with chicken cutlets, mushrooms, and Marsala wine. “Ron makes the gravy for spaghetti, he’s an incredible cook,” said Carolyn. At the end of a busy day, Carolyn enjoys relaxing with a good book. She enjoys reading mysteries and thrillers. Her favorite novelists include: David Baldacci, who writes about a remarkable detective Amos Decker (“the man who can forget nothing”); Sandra Brown, a bestselling author of romantic novels and thriller suspense novels who also works under the pen names of Rachel Ryan, Laura Jordan, and Erin St. Claire; and, Dan Brown, author of thriller fiction, most notably the novels “Angels & Demons,” “The Da Vinci Code” and “Inferno.” Carolyn has traveled around the country and interacts with scores of REALTORS® and real estate associations in other cities and states. “I know what a good association looks like and our North County association is excellent,” she said. “We focus on serving our members, we care about our members. I’m so proud of our association and our commitment to the members.”
Congratulations and thanks for your participation. The “Call to Action” worked. Association members rose to the occasion and sent messages to their members of Congress about the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This past Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted to approve an extension of the NFIP. The House of Representatives passed the legislation on Friday and then President Trump signed the bill into law. This legislation ensures that the NFIP will not lapse on Sept. 30, and will be extended until Dec. 8, 2017. While NFIP isn’t a household name, it’s often the only flood insurance available in a given market. That’s important, because if a property is in a 100-year floodplain, lenders will typically require flood insurance as part of the mortgage approval process. The NFIP isn’t just an issue for waterfront homes or homes in the direct path of hurricanes. Flooding can occur as a result of storm surge, severe rain or even snow melt. Many homeowners in San DiegoCounty who live near large storm drains or drainage channels are required to have flood insurance. Both the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the California Association of REALTORS® encouraged our Association members to take action. After all, if flood insurance isn’t available, then we would be the ones forced to inform our clients that their dream home is off the table until the NFIP is extended. And, consumers deserve better. According to NAR President William Brown, if the NFIP would have expired, then home buying activity would have ground to a halt with as many as 40,000 lost of interrupted sales each month. Brown said expiration would have dealt significant damage to property owners, as well as to the business of real estate. NAR said reauthorization of the NFIP will help over 5 million homeowners in 22,000 communities around the country. NAR worked closely this year with the House Financial Services Committee to craft the renewal legislation. The bill will allow insured property to be grandfathered so that a buyer would receive roughly the same rate quote. NAR said it will continue legislative advocacy efforts for the 21st Century Flood Reform Act until this long-term reauthorization and reform bill is enacted.