Here is the latest is a series of occasional articles on “How I Saved a Deal” by NSDCAR members.
By Carol Farrar2018 incoming President of the North San Diego County Association of Realtors (NSDCAR) The client thought her situation was hopeless. In her mind, she was at a dead end and there was no choice. No other action was even possible, nothing else made sense. The client believed that “I’m troubled by trouble, I’m completely ruined, I’m wiped out, mine is a hopeless case, I give up.” She was in her late 70s and her husband had recently passed away. She was devastated in grief. The weight of the world was now on her shoulders and she was ready to throw-in the towel. She told me that her and her late husband had lived in the same house in Escondido for 30 years. The house had seen almost no maintenance for three decades. It was in horrible condition, not a pretty sight. Plus, with a limited income, she couldn’t afford the payments and was behind by several months. Also, she had little savings in the bank to pay the late payments. The client thought her only option was the dreaded “F” word: “foreclosure,” followed by a short sale and selling the home for less than what is owed on the mortgage. In some cases, a short sale may be ideal. Typically, before approving a short sale, lenders take into consideration the amount of assets a borrower has and whether the borrower is already in default. Also, while not as damaging as foreclosure, a short sale still can mean that a credit score will take a hit. However, the message I gave them was: Foreclosure is not imminent because there are always options. I saved the deal by reminding the client that they had options. No matter the price point, condition of the house or financial situation, there are always options. Sometimes, clients are too quick to jump to what could be a worst possible conclusion. My advice to clients: “You may not be able to control the hand you were dealt, and maybe we’ve made bad choices in our past, but you can still change the way you live your life today by making new choices today. Today’s choices can positively affect the rest of your life.” So, after meeting with the client and her family members and assessing the situation, my recommendation was to sell the home “as is” in its current state with the understanding that no repairs would be made and the home would remain with its current faults and issues. Forget remodeling for this client because she could not really afford to make any repairs due to her serious financial distress. Also, the vast majority of mortgage lenders insist that a home not have code violations, including structural, health, or safety issues, before lending money for repairs. It’s true that buyers sometimes expect properties to be nearly perfect or they expect the seller to fix it. In my client’s case, selling home “as is” was a good idea because she did not want to deal with the stress of a drawn-out sales process. So, she signed the necessary paperwork (“caveat emptor,” let the buyer beware). Sometimes, problems can be gifts of opportunities wrapped in disguise. This story has a happy ending. We received 20 offers and accepted an all-cash offer from a qualified buyer. The client was expecting that “if it could go wrong, it would go wrong.” But, escrow closed in two weeks. We exceeded her expectations. An experienced professional can use diplomacy and negotiation skills to push through with determination on behalf of a transaction. Just like a lifeguard, experienced REALTORS® can use deal-saving techniques when a transaction looks like it’s starting to drown. Today, my client has a clean slate. She walked away with a nice nest egg in her bank account and she lives comfortably in an affordable retirement community in Riverside County. Carol is the 2018 incoming President of the North San Diego County Association of Realtors (NSDCAR).
No need for horoscopes, fortune tellers, palm readers, tea leaves, a psychic hotline or Madam so-and-so to predict the housing market in the future. Instead, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) has the answers in its 2018 California Housing Market Forecast. The C.A.R. report was released this past week at the C.A.R. Expo, attended by nearly 6,000 people at the San Diego Convention Center (the C.A.R. Expo is the largest state real estate trade show in the nation). With the economy expected to continue growing, housing demand should remain strong and incrementally boost California’s housing market in 2018, C.A.R. said. However, C.A.R. said a shortage of available homes for sale and affordability constraints will continue to be a challenge. The California median home price is forecast to increase 4.2 percent to $561,000 in 2018, following a projected 7.2 percent increase in 2017 to $538,500. “This year’s housing market can be told as a tale of two markets, the inventory constrained lower end and the upper end that’s non-inventory constrained,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “This trend is likely to continue into 2018 as active listings have declined across all price ranges for the past two years but is most obvious at the lower end. “With tight inventory being the new ‘norm’ for the past few years and at least the upcoming year, we’ll continue to see fierce competition driving up prices, leading to lower affordability and weaker sales growth.” C.A.R. also is expecting a modest gain in existing single-family home sales of 1.0 percent in 2018 year to reach 426,200 units, up slightly from the projected 2017 sales figure of 421,900. The 2017 figure is 1.3 percent higher compared with the 416,700 pace of homes sold in 2016. “Solid job growth and favorable interest rates will drive a strong demand for housing next year,” said C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh. “However, a persistent shortage of homes for sale and increasing home prices will dictate the market as housing affordability diminishes for buyers struggling to get into the market.” C.A.R. also said the average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates will increase slightly to 4.3 percent in 2018, up from 4.0 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2016, but will still remain low by historical standards. C.A.R.’s projections for median home prices this year are consistent with other real estate industry experts. CoreLogic said the San Diego County median price for single-family resales, condo resales and newly built homes in August was $535,000, which was lower than June’s figure of $545,000. In other housing market news, San Diego County was ranked as the fifth “hottest” real estate market in the U.S. in September, with a typical home on the market only 39 days. San Diego moved up four places in the monthly ranking by the National Association of Realtors’ Realtors.com website. Nationally homes are on the market a median of 69 days, almost twice as long as in San Diego. In other news from C.A.R, pending home resales in August declined 12.7 percent in San Diego County in a year-over-year comparison. August marks the end of the peak home-buying season, C.A.R. said. During the month, C.A.R. said that REALTORS® reported fewer floor calls, listing appointments, and client presentations, but open house traffic, however, remained strong. According to C.A..R.’s recent Market Pulse Survey, fewer homes are selling below asking price. The share of homes selling above asking price increased from 29 percent a year ago to 31 percent in August, while the share of properties selling below asking price fell from 41 percent to 37 percent. The remaining 32 percent sold at asking price, up from 30 percent in August 2016. For homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking price rose from 10 percent in August 2016 to 12 percent in August 2017. The 36 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 12 percent below asking price in August, unchanged from a year ago. Also, C.A.R. said the number of multiple offers is declining. About two-thirds (60 percent) of properties sold in August received multiple offers, down from 62 percent in August 2016, and the number of offers received was slightly down at 2.7 offers. The share of properties receiving three or more offers in August was 38 percent, compared to 42 percent a year ago.
Collab Center Updates: Address 2 Line has been added to the listing address. You will now see data like the unit, apt, and suite numbers on addresses. New Agent Notification Emails - A new Email Notification template has been created for the Collaboration Center Agent Notifications. The new template has a similar look and feel as the new Welcome Email, released in 5.60 including a responsive design that adjusts for desktop and mobile devices. New Customer Notification Email - Like the new Agent Notification Email, the new Customer Notification Email has been updated. The newresponsive design automatically adjust for tablets and mobile devices. Updates to the Collaboration Center Notification Email Message Body - As previously communicated in order to support the new Notification Email formats, the rich text editor (which contains options for formatting, adding images, etc.) has been replaced with a basic editor. This ensures that the formatting within the Notification Email remains consistent. Users still have the ability to customize the text in the Collaboration Center Notifications, but will not need to worry about formatting. Also note that this change also includes the removal of the ability to include a preset E-mail Signature with the Collab Center Notifications. The new notification templates already include agent contact information that is normally included in standard E-mail signatures. Improved Color Coding on Pop-up Messages - The color coding has been improved on the pop-up messages that appear throughout the system to make them clearer. Each message type now has a different color and a new message type has been added.
- Green - Success
- Yellow - Warning
- Red - Alert
- Blue - Info
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.