THE SECOND STORY | July 31st, 2020

Letting them know who you are….

I ordered this from in the past week. I think this is really smart advertising. Why not print the company name like it was handwritten on the box on every side of the package? Somebody is onto something. Kinda nuts, eh? Well, maybe not if the box contains something electronic….

I hope you are taking some time to go through these property reports….they say/show so much more than just the address and the photos. The graphs are interesting…and it kind of gives an overview of the market. They also give Zillow (qu)esstimates.


AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)


Active listings 44 including 1 BOM

Days on market   High 1181   Low 8  Avg 91  Median 23

Pending listings 12 including 4 PSB

Days on market   High 52  Low 0  Avg 13  Median 8

Sold listings 15   

Days on market   High 125  Low 0  Avg 22  Median 12

OK! That’s a wrap for this summary. Questions? Give me a call, email!  And if I (or my phone) don’t recognize your phone number, I probably won’t return your text msg.  There’s just too much weirdness going on out there!

Let me know if you have questions and/or need referrals…! Be safe, wear a mask, and be well!

Best, marilyn



THE SECOND STORY | July 23rd, 2020


I took this photo from Ballena Bay, this week. Once again, instant air conditioning!

This covid thing does have a small upside to it. We appreciate more folks, even if we don’t know them, and we appreciate our neighbors more than ever.

This morning I had a phone call from a friend/Broker…and although he and his wife have been through some very rough times (losing their son), he is so upbeat! That takes some mental strength and some strength from deep inside the heart.

Late this afternoon I had a meeting with some other friends. Yep, they wore their masks and we kept our distance. We spoke about everything….although they really wanted some real estate advice. He knows more about this town than I’ll ever know.

I am so blessed.

Now let’s get into real estate.


AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)


Active listings 44 including 2 PCH  

Days on market   High 1173  Low 1  Average 90  Median 20

Pending listings 16 including 4 PSB

Days on market   High 108  Low 0  Average 21  Median 9

Sold listings 19

Days on market   High 34  Low 0  Average 12  Median 12

PS I’m so grateful for those who have contacted me, just this week (locally or from out of state), asking for vendor referrals for their property here in Alameda:

-a loan Broker (for 2 different clients)

– painters 

-a client who lives out of state who needed a paralegal to have some documents signed and filed with the Alameda County Assessor

-a couple who needed a roof referral and fireplace vendors 

If you have a need for a vendor referral….let me know! And if you have a great vendor let me know.

Referrals are the best way to find a quality person to do a job!

Carry on! Be well, be safe, have fun (safely)! Call, text, em, me if you have real estate questions. If I can’t answer them logically and thoroughly, then I’ll find somebody who can answer them for you or direct you to someone you can call. 

best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | July 16th, 2020

The fog is in the city…not in Alameda

Alameda’s natural air-conditioning – the FOG!

And a structure of driftwood along Shoreline.

This week I closed the listing/ @ 221 Central Ave. (the house across the street from the Encinal High School jet). If you look to the column on the right side you’ll see some of those details. Many memories were made at the home,  and I hope the new owners will make many more! We had 5 offers. 

The Sellers moved to Duluth, MN! I just heard on either the radio or TV that Sellers are moving out of CA because the cost of living is so high. I’ve seen that for the last couple of years….folks are getting out of Dodge.

Now that folks are working out of their houses/apts/condos/townhomes and not driving to work so much (f at all), I get it. Mostly you can work anywhere as long as you have a high-speed internet connection.

This is a link to the report that I just rec’d from the CA Association of Realtors regarding the June sales.

It’s pretty interesting….just scan through it and you find some columns that are pretty revealing!


AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)


Active listings 40 including 3 PCH

Days On Market   High  1156   Low 0   Avg 99   Median 25

Pending listings 11 

Days on Market  High 50  Low 0 Avg 15  Median 25

Sold 9 listings 

Days on Market  High 20  Low 0  Avg 11  Median 9

OK! That’s a wrap! Have a nice weekend. If you head out, wear your mask, be happy, and let your smile show with those squished up eyes! 

Best, marliyn

THE SECOND STORY | July 9th, 2020

You might want to ask these questions about moving and movers…

I found this lovely lady in somebody’s basement or attic. I think it was a basement because of the plywood behind her. I think she was the woman (mannequin) who used to look out an attic window on Central.

I hope your Independence Day was pleasant. I have a client I’m working with and he heard gunshots all along the shoreline. Some folks are just plain stupid.

I copied this ‘moving’ checklist from somewhere. But it seems really good!

What is the charge for packing?
Does it include boxes? If not, what do they cost and will you deliver them?
Is there an additional charge to deliver some items to a storage unit?

How is a damage claim handled?
What insurance do you provide and is there a cost?
Does the insurance cover items packed by the owner?
Can additional insurance be purchased?
If items are covered by my Homeowner’s insurance, whose insurance pays first?

Unusual Items
Can you ship my car(s)? Will they be in the moving van or towed?
What are the charges for shipping cars, lawn tractors, etc?
What items cannot be shipped?
If a shuttle truck is needed because of the location of my house or size of the driveway, is there an additional charge?
If packing and loading are on different days, can you leave the beds and other basics out for us to use?

What dates are available for our move?
What date will you pack and how long will this take?
What date will you load the van?
What date will the van arrive at my new location?
If my new home is not ready for delivery, how many days can it be delayed before there is a charge?
What is the charge for additional days or weeks?

Are there any additional fees that I’m responsible for that have not been discussed?
What are the terms of payment?
Is a down payment required?
When will the balance be due and who is authorized to accept it?

Alameda Real Estate this Week


AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

Active listings 37 including 1 AC, 1 PCH

Days on Market  high 1152, low 7, avg 109, median 29

Pending listings 11 including 2 PSB

Days on Market  high 125, low 0, avg 22, median 12

Sold listings 10

Days on Market  high 54, low 0, avg 24, median 21

If you’d like a current CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) for your property let me know. It’s based on algorithms, and those don’t tell you the condition (interior or exterior), and they don’t do the inspections for you)!

Be smart, be safe, wear masks, and stay 6′ away from others! We aren’t through this yet.  best,  marilyn


THE SECOND STORY | July 2nd, 2020

Independence Day applies to all every day!!

Even though this world seems really messed up…..if we keep the higher goal in mind….all lives DO matter, including Black lives, LGBT lives, Hispanic lives, ALL LIVES (even those martian lives who live out of this world).


AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)


Active listings 35  (including 2 A/C, 1 BOM, 1 PCH)

Days on Market  high 1152, low 6, avg 113, median 34

Pending listings 18  (including 3 PSB)

Days on Market  high 50, low 0, avg 23, 1 median

Sold listings 10

Days on Market  high 92, low 0, avg 23, median 12

I hope you find a way to wear your masks, don’t set off any fireworks, wear your masks, enjoy/comfort others that are going through the same circumstances, wear your masks, and don’t torch anybody’s home, apartments, vehicles (i.e. don’t set fires by shooting off rockets)!

best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | June 26th, 2020

Real estate is a mental game…from all sides.

Have loads of lemons and some tomatoes, but these tomatoes  kind of look like red chiles.


AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)


I think about my job/enterprise/work a lot! I want to please everybody! But sometimes that’s just not possible.

I was updating my listing presentation this afternoon and this evening..and was looking at some of the letters/notes that were written by clients (now friends) to me over the past years.

They are so kind and grateful! I never know when I’ll hit a chord with clients. But each client can be a true relationship. I say ‘can’…not ‘is.’

I’m at the time, right now, to be able to sit at a table and just listen. However, that’s a bit difficult at this moment because we’re not allowed to sit at tables these days with clients.

I was speaking with some folks recently…and laying down the line. Does one of us cross the line, or not? We weren’t getting anywhere, and they were frustrated with the real estate process…and so was I.

First things first…I let them know they had some options. They could fire me. They could drop the price. They could keep the price where they wanted (i.e. wished it would be), and the property would sit…vacant…

Real estate is rough. It can be severe. It can be rewarding. These clients can AND do live the life they want: surrounded by family via phone, skype, zoom. But to keep comparing the current to the ancient a real waste of time and life.

Here’s to moving on: both mentally and physically.

Active listings 39 (including 2 AC, 1 BOM  3 PCH)

Days on market  High 1146  Low 2   Avg 107  Median 33

Pending listings 14 (including 3 PCH)

Days on market   High 56  Low 3  Avg 16  Median 12

Sold listings 7

Days on market   High 69  Low 0  Avg 23  Median 9

Have a great weekend and wear your mask! 

best, marilyn

check out my ‘for fun’ blog… 

THE SECOND STORY | June 18th, 2020

Pre-qual, Pre-approved, HOAs & repairs….

What’s the difference between being pre-qualified for a loan or pre-approved for a loan? What’s the difference between a Mortgage Broker and just walking into your bank?

Pre-approved means the lender has run the numbers: your bank account balance, your investment portfolio (you get that from your financial advisor not the lender), whether you’re getting a gift of cash from a relative. That way you’re prepared to make an offer once you find something that fits your budget.

A Mortgage Broker has relationships with a lot of lenders, not just 1 bank.

And be sure to find out if the property has an HOA (homeowners association).  There are some very good HOA’s out there. And there are some with terrible reputations i.e. they ignore repairs and then assess you megabucks once they get threatened by their insurance company that they’ll drop the HOA.

Some HOA’s have board members that are looking out for themselves. They don’t give all (or any) of the homeowners updated minutes, financial statements, or an overview of bids for repairs and/or replacements for the near future or for estimates of items that are further into the future.

You may need to be a bit overbearing with the HOA…because you need the info now so you won’t be surprised when the fees are raised, or surprise renovations are required. And do not be shocked if you’re elected to the Board. The board needs strong folks, but also kind folks to be able to reason with the other homeowners.


AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)


Active 43 including 2 PCH , 2 AC, 1 BOM

Days on market:

High 20, Low 0, Avg 10, Median 12

Pending 13, including 1 PSB

High 20, Low 10, Avg 10, Median 12

Sold 11

High 20, Low 10, Avg 10, Median 12

We’re done! That’s a wrap! 221 Central received 5 offers today and it’s now pending.

I’ve had several folks call me this week, regarding financing, the market, and what they might consider doing to their property.   Always interesting and fascinating!

Have a great weekend! Wear a mask, and keep 6 feet between you and others! It’s a bit crazy at the beach…too many folks, too close together. argh.


Best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | June 11th, 2020

Smell the roses & turn lemons into lemonade….

The pleasures of having a back yard:  lemons and roses.

I know it’s a frustrating time for Buyers and Sellers hoping to buy and sell real estate. However, I believe that what we’re going through now…will be continuing well into the future.

No, I don’t mean the vicious virus. But rather how we do real estate under these circumstances. It is becoming the new normal. And often it’s more efficient.

-No open houses, no Broker Tours, where anyone can stop and just take a look.

-Disclosures and disclaimers about how we show houses (including preapproval letters and the PEAD  – Property Entry and Advisory Disclaimer).  Most of the transactions are done electronically including title and escrow.

While most listing agents have photos taken professionally, now more and more are having trained photographers use Matterport for the floor plans and have folks licensed (by the FAA) take the drone video. And I may have the original floor plans for those ‘newer’ tract (not Victorian) homes, on my computer.

I’m more than happy to say that I’ve been having a pro photographer do these aerial photos and the Matterport floorplans for the last 7 years.

(I will admit that I’ve never walked through a property with Facetime running on my iPhone.) I guess I need to look forward to that!

Definitions =

AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)


Active Listings 40

includes 3 AC, 1 PCH

Days on market  High 1131  Low 4   Avg 99    Median  20

Pending Listings 44

includes 9 PSB

Days on market   High 92   Low 0   Avg 20   Median 13

Sold  7

Days on market  High 48   Low 5   Avg 26   Median 26

I hope you are doing well..and can take advantage of the extra light (almost summer June 20th)!

Let me know if you have questions….and I’ll be honest if I don’t have the answer…but I may talk to others that do have the answer!

best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | June 4th, 2020

This, too, shall pass…but it will take a united, concerted, logical effort….without guns, face to face and loads of listening.


This is a very sad, angry, frustrating time for our country. Besides the pandemic, most of us has watched the video of George Floyd being asphyxiated to death by police officers. This issue makes real estate reporting seem idiotic.

Here’s a brief review of Alameda real estate this week.

Active listings 39

Days on market:

High  Low  Average  Median

1124    0         79           14

Pending listings 7

34        6         14            9

Sold listings 8

57       0          17           14


Do not grieve alone.  marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | May 28th, 2020

End of May….hot, cold – what’s the Alameda market like?

What comes after heat? The fog.                     This was taken today…about noon.

This will be brief!

If you don’t get the Alameda Sun (our weekly newspaper that’s delivered by the USPS on Thursdays), I’d suggest that you subscribe to it!  It’s all about Alameda and even the ads are ALL Alameda (mostly). I find it has great news, current news, and of course because it’s an election year, you get the ‘for real’ local stuff.

Active Listings 31 incl.  1 AC (active contingent still available because it’s contingent on selling another property) 1 PCH (price change)

Average Days on Market = High 52, Low 0, Avg 0, Median 19

Pending Listings 42 incl. 11 Pending Sales want Backup offers

Average Days on Market = High 92, Low 0, Avg 22, Median 13

Sold 7 

Average Days on Market = High 52, Low 0, Avg 22 Median 22

No open houses are allowed. Showings involve no more than 2 buyers in the property at one time. Buyers need to be pre-approved (not just prequalified) so the Sellers (and their agents) don’t waste their time. Everybody must wear masks, booties, gloves, and you aren’t supposed to open/touch anything. Lookers need to use hand-sanitizer.

After the showing, owners ad/or agents must go in and wipe where hands may have touched the property (including cabinets, shelves, doors, stair rails, etc). Forms must be filled out by the Buyers, BEFORE any showing is conducted.

Because I sell only in Alameda city, I’m adhering to the Alameda County rules, and also the California Association of Realtor rules which comply with the state Health Officials. County rules take precedence over the state.

Lots of fun and challenges out in the real estate world!

Contact me if you have questions!

best, marilyn