THE SECOND STORY | February 10th, 2011

Be prepared or be prepared to park it….the balancing act.

you’ll be getting details via email if you are in those groups! 

Note! To make me smarter I’ve been getting one-on-one social networking and blog tutoring the past week.  The friend/fan Facebook gadget is gone, replaced with an easier  ‘subscribe via email’ on the upper right of the blog.   Those of you who are on my weekly blast list will still get that!  This is for those who don’t want to remember to check in.  Trust me, I am not interested in finding out who you are….just want you to have the info if there is some value to you! 

OPEN HOMES this weekend, courtesy of Island Blog. For the most accurate list you need to get to Friday’s Alameda Journal.  One of these days they’ll all be online….

Blog photo: We’ve had an abundance of fabulous sunsets with crystal clear skies this January and February.  I took this on Feb 8th.  When I saw what I called the Zorro sky, I hustled home, grabbed my real camera and started shooting.

Blog boost!  SFGate had a wonderful Alameda article this past week “An island of affordability and diversity”.

Blog post:  How do you price?  How much work do you do to get a property ready for sale?  It’s a bit like tightrope walking I suppose.  Price too high or do too much, no action an/or no return.  Price too low or do too little, maybe lots of action but maybe also fewer buyers who have the cash and skills to fix up a place.

Once it is determined where a property actually fits in the marketplace, then it’s time to determine what needs to be done.  In a market like this (flat and maybe going down, see link below), pricing slightly below market will have other properties pointing at yours.  And chances are good that you’ll take less of a hit upfront by pricing aggressively versus following the leaders down the price reduction road. 

Presenting an immaculate property gives the impression somebody has cared, and attracts a larger portion of the buyer pool. The emotion of walking into a well-presented property may be enough that buyers will be willing to take work on they had not previously considered.  But still it has to be priced right.  And being the best on the block is not always the the best for a seller.

If a property has been ignored for decades an/or has been beat up for whatever reasons, the buyer pool automatically shrinks and in this market, the people who have cash want to know they are getting a deal.

There is a fine line between making it work for the buyers in any niche and overdoing it.  Getting deferred maintenance done before going to market does keep folks interested once it’s on the market.  But guess what?  What you spend is rarely recoverable in dollars.  Face it. The market doesn’t care what you want or how much what you did cost.

Folks, I’ll say it again.  Buyers don’t care what you want.  They only care about what they can get.  This is the time for big reality checks.  And if you don’t have to move right now, then park it for a while longer. 

Give a call or email if you have specific questions….I can’t promise a quick answer but I’ll see what I can come up with.

Quick glimpses:
Wall Street Journal
Across the Board…go to 2003 and today’s values may be the same.
Home prices to hit bottom this year?

Update on a couple of my listings:  Last Friday I put 933 Shoreline #306 on the market.  It’s a new old listing.  I had it on the market last year for 420K.  Now it’s 400K.  The Sellers decided to rent it for a while and now that’s over and done with. This complex has full bay views from every unit.  Every condo has the same floor plan:  2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  Every condo comes with an in-unit laundry, and unless it’s been changed out, a click-on gas fireplace.  And every condo has a detached, single car, deeded garage.  All these items in one condo/one complex…hard to find in A-town.

305 Court Street has a price change…oops I mean has been repositioned.  Now 569K down from 585K which was down from 600K. (note my recommendation for the original list price was 585K.)

Unsold listings this week  191, 188 last report
Pending listings this week 63, 58 last report

Tuesday tour.…12 with 2 repeats.  I didn’t see everything because I hosted 933 Shoreline #306 open.  Note is another condo in the same complex at 1001 Shoreline #301 that also came on the market this week – it’s listed for 429K.

Highest and Lowest NEW listings this week

New  14

BOM back on market  2

Repositioned properties (price changes) 19

Pending 14

Sold 7

Market rejected (expired)  1

Withdrawn/canceled  4


Winner of the week...this is the perfect example of what I wrote about in this post….attractive price, condition, prep, location

Get me to rehab.this is the perfect example of what I wrote about in this post…unattractive price, poor condition, no prep, fine location.

That’s a wrap! Start boxing your stuff for the shredding party!  Save some money (it’s my treat for clients, friends and neighbors!)…Save some trees, save some dollars, come for a doughnut and juice!

Have a great weekend….305 Court Street will be open 2-4 on Sunday.

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!