THE SECOND STORY | January 21st, 2011

What goes around come around…

Blog photo and post:  (first, I can’t explain why my photo in the header is so small.  The past weeks it’s been loading huge and I’ve had to resize it.  Now it’s just the opposite and resizing doesn’t work.  If anybody has a clue for me I’d love it!).

The state mandated disclosure law showed up just after I started the business in 1986.  And since then it’s been the basis of making Sellers more aware of what they are selling, and Buyers more aware of what they are buying.  More than anything else the forms and procedures direct Buyers to source their information.  And it gives the customers the right to question pretty much everything.  Often, though, Sellers don’t have the answers because they never questioned the condition and/or have become accustomed to certain situations, enough that they don’t see them, don’t hear them, and are surprised others do!  Oh yeah, the airport noise.  Oh yeah, we’ve got traffic noise.  Oh yeah, the bridges blow horns when they go up.  Oh yeah, there’s traffic and noise at the school.  Oh yeah, Buffie the cat sprays around the house and we burn incense. You get it.  It’s the obvious, but a Buyer should check out the neighborhood at all times of day and night, and all days of the week.  It’s called due diligence.

Because there are so many things to remember, I started compiling a list of items that I might need to disclose at some point.  It was the result of reading or knowing about disclosure lawsuits (some of them industry-changing), of coming across unique circumstances that might come up at another time.  Today that list is seven single-spaced pages.  I use it as a guide.

Some agents have been more than surprised when they see it.  But others have asked if they can have a copy of it.  For years I thought…figure it our yourselves.  This is my hard work.  But after a while that seemed stupid on my part and I have freely shared it when asked.

Here’s the second story….Several years ago I was representing Buyers in the purchase of a local townhome.  The listing agent was known for his disorganization and I wasn’t getting any papers from him.  So I called him and said I was coming over to his office, not to move, and we’d go through his file so I could pull out what I needed.  It was easier on him and he said fine.  He was glad to have somebody else doing it.  So that’s what I did.

When I was finished and back at my office I started reviewing the papers.  The content was very familiar but the font size was much larger.  It was my own disclosure staring back at me!  Turns out an agent I had shared it with, and who still does a load of Bay Farm townhome biz, had modified my disclosure…as intended….to make it his own.  Then his agent friend asked him if he could use his version.  And he did! 

Now I had to tell my clients that what I gave them from me, and what the other agent was giving them, were almost one and the same!  Full circle disclosure! It’s not the way the law intended but better than what the guy would have put in writing if he was even inclined to do so.

Actually it’s been an honor to share it with agents but they have to ask – I don’t volunteer it.  Not every wheel needs to be re-invented.  We just need to keep those wheels moving.

Alameda real estate this week….
My client’s property in San Lorenzo went pending this week.  For months it has continued to sit and had price reductions but no offers.  Then on Tuesday it received TWO offers!  Almost identical!

Showing activity seems to be increasing quite a bit now that the holidays are ancient history.  There are lots of people looking, but they seem to keep on looking.  Sellers need to be aware that if they get an offer…they need to really pay attention.  And to get offers, they need to have the price set so all the other similar inventory points back their property as the best value.

Unsold listings this week 192, 179 last report.
Pending listings this week 55, 58 last report.

Tuesday tour: 8 with 2 repeats (and 1 floating home) Great day for a brisk bike ride!

Highest and lowest priced new listings

New 14

BOM (back on market) 1

Repositioned properties (price changes) 14

Pending  7

Sold  5

Market rejected properties (expired)  5 

Withdrawn/canceled  2

Alameda real estate awards this week….
Somewhere between Get me to Rehab and I Need a Facelift….a tie!
Winner (decent price, a number of upgrades)

That’s a wrap!  Enjoy this spring weather!  Hard to believe it is January.  But I hope we get another bunch of rain for the greater good of our water needs later this year!

Carry on!  Make it work!  I’ll be at 108 B Cypress Sunday 2-4pm for an open house.  Check out a nice Woodstock stock co-op unit on Alameda’s quiet side….the west end!

best, marilyn

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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!