Dude! Where’s my house?

shadow14513.  7277.  6248.  These numbers represent the following for the San Diego county real estate market, according to the SANDICOR Multiple Listing Service:  Homes sold since Nov. 30 2012.  Homes currently for sale.  Homes currently under contract.  Can you guess which is which?  More on this later.

Over the past few years our market has been fueled by investors, cash transactions, short sales and foreclosures.  Interest rates are still WAY LOW, prices are on the upswing, and first time buyers are actively engaged in the process of finding and buying a home.  What’s missing?  NEW INVENTORY!  Where have all the sellers gone?

Shadow inventory has been hanging over our heads for a couple of years now.  At some point we will see some of that hit the market in some form or fashion.  But what I’m wondering why, when past cycles showed different patterns, are more homeowners not looking to take advantage of current market conditions to move up, out, or pick up an investment property?  After all we are talking about homeowners who seemed to have done things the right way.  Take  a look at this San Diego market report:  Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate Exec Summary [SF]_CA_SAN DIEGO

Check out the gray box at the top right of the report.  This is the Market Action Index and it indicates who the market favors, buyers or sellers.  You’ll notice it currently favors sellers.    Now, suppose you are thinking about moving up into a larger home.  Based on the data, you have a very favorable opportunity to win at both sides of the deal.  You bring inventory to the market which is desperately needed, especially at the entry to mid level price points, and that creates a frenzy whereby buyers will compete hard for your property and there is a great chance a bidding war ensues.  On the buy side, since you might be moving up and into a price point where there is more inventory and less competition, you will have some fantastic choices to consider and know you will get a great deal.  If you are downsizing, maybe you are in a position to pay cash or have a larger down payment that makes your offer more attractive if competing with other buyers.

shadow2

With all the competition out there looking to buy, how do you set yourself up to be a winning bidder?  One way is to work with an agent that has access to all the inventory…like Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate agents do.  Hey Jason, “What do you mean all the inventory?”  Well like all agents we have the multiple listing service or MLS.  But because we represent several banks and loan servicers (like our parent company Carrington) our agents also have access to pre-listed homes that are not yet on the active market.  Options are always good, right?  If you’d like more information on this just contact me and I will put you in touch with a Realtor that can help you.

Now to answer the question.  There are 4513 homes currently for sale.  7277 homes currently under contract.  6248 homes sold since Nov. 30, 2012.  And most importantly, don’t limit your options to what most agents think is the only option!  Dig deeper and see the big picture.

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What is title insurance? New Real Estate Rap radio broadcast…

Check out the latest episode of the Real Estate Rap on BlogTalkRadio.  This week I was joined by Trish Troxler of Advantage Title.  We discussed issues relating to title insurance like fraud, REO pitfalls, types of title policies, and much more!  Check it out by clicking the logo below.

Along the way in 2010…

Well the year 2010 is nearly behind us.  You know what the best part of this year nearly being over is?  IT’S NEARLY OVER! 2010 sucked…and rocked in many ways.  But mostly it sucked!  The economy, the job issue, the flu, you name it…we did it!  But alas in many ways 2010 was pretty rockin as well.  I got invited to speak at several industry events, the big daddy being Inman Connect in San Francisco.  That was cool. I also got to speak at the Agent Reboot sessions in San Diego and at UCLA.  That didn’t suck!  I discovered I have a niche that can help many agents build a better business.  That’s something I want to continue in 2011.  So be on the lookout for me in a city near you as I hit the trail for Hobbs/Herder Advertising to promote some fantastic events.

I refuse to abuse what is kind to the Muse,
But it’s there and it’s happening to me along the way.
As we go through the snow, we cannot forget our foes,
But the dinner’s always waiting at the table ‘long the way, yeah.

Getting back to the suck thing for a minute...and please don’t take this as being totally negative.  In fact I want to actually celebrate the suckiness.  Yep.  Let’s roll right in and take our lumps.  Over the past few years I have seen many friends and colleagues lose everything, and somehow Kathy and I have kept our heads above water.  Sometimes just barely.  This period, while tough, has produced some major victories.  And the coolest thing is really getting to know who your friends are and who you THOUGHT your friends were.  That’s a good life lesson and one that also helps you look inside and see some things about yourself that you need to work on.  I’m grateful for that.

What you see, not for me, isn’t what you planned to be,
But you’ll have what you wanted in the end along the way.
And we’ll try as we cry and our brothers pass us by,
To be strong through the ages of our tears along the way, yeah.

So as 2010 draws to a close I for one will take time to plan for 2011, but also reflect on this past year.  After all, we can’t get where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve been, right?  It’s been a tough year but one also filled with more lessons then I can remember getting in one year and I hope I have the courage to really break these down and take advantage of the lessons that undoubtedly are right there.  So to all my friends, here’s to a Happy, Prosperous, and Remarkable 2011!

Now we grow as we show that the morals we must know
Will be shapen and mistaken by the falls along the way.
But forget, don’t regret, to find love and happiness
Unless you’re willing to be strong when they are gone along the way.
Like Tommy, you are free, and you will not follow me,
Until we see each other once more on the path along the way.

Along the Way lyrics courtesy of Bad Religion


In the trenches…

This week I have been making the rounds to our office meetings….rubbing elbows and getting down into the trenches with  some of the best real estate agents in the business.  One of the benefits of this is that I get a bird’s-eye view into some of the most incredible strategies these agents employ.  It’s also great for me because I get to share news on the technology front that brings even more tools and resources to our team…which helps them deliver even higher levels of service to our customers.  This week I got to announce our new partnerships with Trulia and Roost, both of which will deliver more quality customers to our agents…and that is what my job is all about.  But that’s not the best thing.

The best thing was seeing the agents reaction to our President and CEO, David Romero.  David spoke about the Top 10 Wins Century 21 Award has experienced in the first half of 2010.  He also gave insight into the Top 10 things we will accomplish the rest of the year.  Much of what he talked about revolved around technology.  Over the years our industry has talked about the fear that technology has brought…how the Internet would replace agents, etc.  David mentioned that access to information is different from making sense of that information.  He used WebMD as an example, saying, “There is so much information on WebMD but it won’t replace doctors.  In fact, I almost feel sicker when I’m on WebMD.”  It’s this information overload that our customers experience where we can really show our value and allow real estate consumers to feel good about the process.

For consumers, the question begs, “Where do I turn?”  Let me suggest that you first look at what exactly your goals are.  Use the web to help you develop questions about your real estate needs that you may have not even thought you needed answers to.  Think about your finances, location you want, schools, commute, other amenities like shopping, churches, and things that could impact either your lifestyle or resale value.  Trusted resources like newspapers and local blogs, and even social media tools like Facebook and Foursquare can give you additional insights about a particular community.

Now that you are armed with some questions and concerns, take that information to a local REALTOR who can help you understand it all.  These agents have access to things that only they may know about.  Great agents are the eyes and ears of the community.  They can help you understand why a home sold for X and why another sold for Y.  They know what schools have the highest rankings…and why!  They can help you decipher the secret sauce to get your offer accepted and they will do it all with a smile and deep gratitude.  I’d love your feedback on the biggest challenges you have faced in your home search.  Check out the polls below and share your feelings.

Buyers Poll

Sellers Poll

On the road in real estate…

Mobile real estate has become a hot topic over the past year.  I remember back in August of 2009 at Inman Connect San Francisco there was really only one session dedicated to mobile…it was well attended…but flash forward six months to Connect NYC and it was one of THE hot button issues being discussed.  I mentioned mobile briefly in a recent post and as I made the trip from San Diego to Orange County yesterday I found myself really enjoying the benefits of being mobile in real estate. 

  Rather than being stuck inside staring at the walls or avoiding the office gossip, I was able to enjoy the beautiful drive up the coast.  The drive north from San Diego to Orange County is one of the best in the country.  Filled with quaint beach towns and ocean views, it’s a great way to enjoy the scenery.  And of course with my iPhone and laptop I am fully connected to my work realities.

  The drive is a mecca of ocean vista’s and beach scenes worthy of any epic drive.  There are several spots where you just want to pull over, watch the surfers, and sip your coffee…all while checking e-mail or posting a new blog.

  Look, I know if you are in eight feet of snow and 25 degree temperatures it can be hard to comprehend places in the continental U.S. that look like this in late January and early February.  But let’s face it…someone has to do it, right?  This is why I love real estate in S. California.  Not only do we have some great architecture, but we get to enjoy scenes like this on the way to list it!

  Ok, it’s getting a tad ridiculous at this point wouldn’t you say?  I mean we go from Encinitas to Carlsbad to Oceanside to San Clemente.  Talk about inspiration along the way!  California is known as the home to beach communities.  And the cool part is that each one has its own unique vibe.  I love this spot in San Clemente to just chill with the laptop and write, watch the waves, and enjoy the sunsets.

  It’s a common known fact the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano every year…and with great buildings like this can you blame them?  San Juan Capistrano’s Mission is a great place to soak up history and learn about the founders of California.  Not a bad place to sneak in a quick tweet or two either!

  And I always enjoy a quick pit stop at Dana Point on the way home.  Just stretch the legs, enjoy the views, and maybe send a Facebook update about a new listing to my buyers!  Ah, the joys of mobile…why would I ever go to the office again?