THE SECOND STORY | November 11th, 2010

Alameda – product placement. We are not in the dress-shop business!

Blog photo: Some Alameda windows are hidden from view. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting!

Blog post: Sorry for the delay in posting. I wasn’t able to get my search results from the MLS via email and thus there goes a good portion of why I do the blog! I tested my email and it worked…so the problem was on the source side, it appears. gggrrrr.

I took a class a few weeks ago, sponsored by the Council of Certified Residential Specialists. I‘ve been a member for a long time and I believe the promotional figures they use today say that less than 5% of licensed agents have the certification which requires a deep resume of education and closed transactions. The National Association of Realtors has correlated a sizable increase in income for those agents who carry the designation over those who have not had the same educational and depth of experience. So you just can’t buy your way in! The council offers the best, most practical courses I’ve come across during my 24 years of practice and I’ve taken a lot of classes all over the United States.

The two day class I took in Pleasanton was about listing strategies. Here is one of the ideas that made super sense to me. The instructor stressed that Realtors are not in the dress-shop business! We sell real estate. For decades the industry has followed the great American game of pricing just pennies below the next big number. You know, $5.95 instead of $6. $599,000 instead of $600,000. Then there’s the strategy of using demographic-sensitive numbers like $888,888 (lucky 8 you know). I admit I’ve been doing that for years!

But it’s time we acknowledged the way buyers use the internet. We should be re-thinking all of that. Consider how you search for real estate using the www. Consumers have consistently demonstrated they shop in 50K, 100K, 250K, 500K increments (depending on price points).

For instance, assume a property is listed for 595K. For those searching between 550K – 600K they’ll catch that property at the high end of their search range. For those searching between 600-650K, they’ve just missed a property that could be of interest at the low end of the price range. And conversely, that property has missed a whole range of buyers.

Now this is not to be construed to mean that a property with a market value of 575K should be overpriced and jumped to 600K just to fit within a consumer’s search parameters. But it does mean agents and sellers need to think like buyers think.

As a dress shop owner places dresses attractively on display, so real property sellers and their agents should think about how to place their products so the price touches as many internet searchers as possible.

Quick Glimpses:
Jumbo mortgage $ is back.
Pay the mortgage down….or not?
CA vs FL real estate – CA is doing better. Why? My brother works the disastrous residential foreclosure market in FL. He works with an asset manager who is handed the properties by the lenders to sell. That company in turn lists them with approved Realtors for specific (large) areas. The stories are unbelievable. When he meets some of the owners and hears the chain of events, it’s incredible. The condition of some of the places – unreal. Prices through the floor and below the basement. And in the last couple of weeks, the revealing of many corrupt attorneys with foreclosure factories executing false documents, again and again.

Alameda real estate this week…
-Of the 17 pending sales this week 9 are subject to lender approval although 6 are actually marked that way…and nobody fully knows if those will close and how long it will take.
-Of the pending sales this week, 1 was bank-owned.
-I ran a quick tape (w/o going back into the system) to verify the DOM of this week’s pending sales so I expect the number may be low but the average DOM of this week’s pending sales is 59.

Unsold properties this week 184, 183 last report
Pending listings this week 94, 94 last report

Highest and Lowest priced NEW listings (I don’t know why 3 show up – I’ve tried this twice now…ignore the listing for 422K – ggrrr again!)

Tuesday Tour
7 with 2 repeats. Gorgeous day to work via bike!

Note: some of the properties below show up as new, expired, withdrawn in the same week.

New 10

BOM (back are market) 0

Repositioned properties (price changes)

Pending 17

9 (no REOs or short sales)

Market rejected properties (expired)

Withdrawn/canceled 9

Alameda real estate awards this week...remember this is only my perspective!

Winner, Bang for the Buck, Cute/Charming

Out of Rehab – just came on yesterday – haven’t seen it but have watched it. I sold this total fixer last year. Here’s the link to my listing back then 757 Pacific.

Alrighty – that’s a wrap. I’ll be holding open 325 Laguna Vista SATURDAY 2-4pm – come on by and check it out. Single level, 2/2 lagoon, gorgeous hardwood floors. 500K (not in the dress shop biz!).

Carry on! Have a great weekend! marilyn

Thanks, Dad, for your part in protecting our freedom.

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!