THE SECOND STORY | September 29th, 2011

Oh puhlease!

Blog photo:  This is one cool side window in the rebuilt tower of a massive and ancient home, that my friend has been restoring for several years.  Alan’s dedication to this property is unmatched and remarkable.  I was honored to be invited over when he celebrated the completion of the tower project!

Blog post:  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…there is a market out there for real estate.  We all know how down and off the prices are from the highs but there is a boatload of cash out there and the holders of it are stepping up and buying unique properties and/or opportunities if they have enough for a down payment, or plenty of it to avoid the bank completely.

A duty of being one of two Designated Brokers who our Broker of Record calls on when he’s not available, is to tend to multiple offer situations in which the HBR listing agent is also representing the buyer plus there are other offers on the table.  The office policy is to remove the agent from any negotiations and put one of the Designated Brokers in place to keep a fair playing field so other agents know their offer isn’t being shopped by the listing agent who could then have an unfair advantage.  I pulled the short stick on Monday.

Six agents said they’d be writing offers.  Four offers showed up.  Two were tossed. Two were countered.  And those two wanted the property – a lot.  Of the four offers two were really well written and prepared, one was a joke, and the other not done well but had the $ behind it.

Here’s what I’d like to have buyers and agents do that might make a difference in their offers:

First, Buyer(s) write a brief note.  Not the agent.  Don’t produce an autobiography, but do state who you are and why you like the property.  It can’t hurt!  This is emotional for the seller, too, and those emotions can be touched.

Second, have a rock solid pre-approval letter if you are getting financing.  “Kinda, maybe, well we told the loan officer what we have in our bank accounts and told him/her what our credit scores are” doesn’t work.  Ya got no credibility if your income, assets, employment, and accounts have been not been verified by the lender.

Third, if there are going to be multiple offers, one has to assume they will be close to and/or over list price.  Be as aggressive as you can stand to be with your pricing.  But realize most folks are writing offers to be at the top of the pile.

What I witnessed the past 3 days of this process was the low-ball agent whining because his client didn’t get a counter offer.  That guy wrote for 10% down (dude, see the link below in Quick Glimpses about loan limits changing), saying that he knew that financing didn’t exist for this place with that down payment, but maybe buyer’s mom would cough up the other 10%.  He had no lender letter at all.  Oh puhlease. 

Here was the tough one though.  Very qualified buyers wrote a very good offer with their agent.  BUT they were getting 100% financing via VA benefits.  Unfortunately VA approved lenders don’t do the verifications until there’s an accepted offer…so in a competitive situation against preapproved buyers and all cash buyers….well, that’s a tough row to hoe.

When I was told by the agent, once the drama was over, that her buyers wanted to know how they could compete, I had to say that jumping into the pool with other buyers bidding on a brand new listing with more conventional financing or all cash – that’s a big wall in the middle of the pool to jump over.  An option would be to find the overpriced house that they like AND that the market has rejected, and write on it.  The sellers may be thrilled to work with them.  That process need not be wful…it can be great and work for all.

(Full disclosure on my part…I have a policy of NOT writing offers on my own listings.  I feel it’s a conflict of interest.)

My listing at 1808 Main, a stock co-op 1/1 unit didn’t get the buyer approved by the board.  So if the Seller decides to renew the listing it’s back on the market OR if not, it’s expired.  Bummer for all.

My listing at 305 Court has a price change as of today.  The most recent of many….now 499K.  Motivated but not lots of room at this price!  Share it with friends who don’t want to pay HOA fees, like the duet style, want a good location, and 4 bedrooms with 2.5 baths!

Quick Glimpes:
New loan limits…pay attention LA Times 
Bi-polar market  SJ Mercury News
Some cities up, some down in values  WA Post

Broker tour – only 7 this week...a warm day for the bike ride!

Highest and Lowest Priced NEW listings this week.

NEW  11
BOM (back on market) 0
SOLD  10  (I have no idea why 1001 Shoreline is wedging it’s way into this)

ALAMEDA REAL ESTATE AWARDS THIS WEEK…remember this is only my perspective!
Winner, Bang for the Buck, Cute/charming, Out of Rehab



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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!