THE SECOND STORY | January 14th, 2011

Price brings ’em in…

Blog photo: 505 Pacific Ave.

Blog post:  Price brings ’em in!  That’s an understatement.  505 Pacific Ave brought ’em in from all over.  This is the listing I put on the market last week.  Seven days after coming on the market 12 offers showed up, and the property went pending today.

Many fell in love with the small price, huge lot, huge house, huge potential.  Three interested parties wrote wonderful letters to the owner explaining their talents, both amateur and professional, their observations of the house over the decades, their desire to restore it.  And each of those potential buyers were very qualified buyers on all levels.  (I’m a huge fan of those letters and encourage my own buyers to write them.)

But having to get a loan gets trumped by cash almost every time,certainly in this market.

The volume of uninformed buyers and dreamers and newbies and multi-generation families who came from all over the bay area was astounding.  And they brought with them agents who knew less than the dirt the Victorian beast sits on.  They thought they could live in it and rehab it at the same time, move it, tear it down, subdivide the lot, add a bunch of apartments regardless of the zoning and restrictions imposed by the 1973 Measure A.  Well, it totally reinforced the greater fool theory.
I had four buyers ask me to be their agent.  Who in their right mind would ask someone they don’t even know and have not interviewed, to represent them in any real estate transaction? That answer is easy….people who think they can get a better deal, an ‘in’ to an accepted offer, by having the listing agent represent them.  And that’s as frightening as as the unknowing, unaware out-of-towners.  I politely declined.

The lessons I learned during this?
-Be sure to use the right contract for the type of property involved.  Many agents submitted offers on the wrong contract.
-Educate the customers and their agents.  There are still too many LOCAL agents who don’t have a working knowledge of what zoning means, and how Alameda’s Measure A affects potential (good or bad).
-Make sure the clients get a thorough assessment of the condition of the property BEFORE they write an offer when it is going to be very competitive.  It will make for a smarter client thus a better offer, OR scare the buyer away.  It’s the cheapest insurance anybody can buy if it makes the buyer wise up and avoid a very expensive mistake.
-And keep having the Buyers write those ‘why we love the house’ letters.  They do more good than harm.

That may be another post…about how they can work, with some examples of why they work.


Unsold listingS this week 179, 170 last report
Pending listings this week 58, 58 last report

Tuesday tour 9 with 2 repeats

Highest and lowest priced new listings

New  13

(BOM) Back on the Market  2

Repositioned properties (price changes) 11

Pending 9

Sold  6

Market rejected properties (expired) 4

Withdrawn canceled  0

Get me to Rehab…tie!



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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!