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Redfin pulls plug on iBuyer program

Redfin pulls plug on iBuyer program. RedfinNow, which generated 40% of the brokerage’s Q4 revenue, was suspended amid coronavirus crisis.

“On March 18, 2020, we announced that RedfinNow, our business that buys homes directly from homeowners and resells them to homebuyers, will temporarily pause making offers on homes,” the company disclosed Wednesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a statement, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said that the decision was made in response to the ambiguous nature of the housing business right now.

The decision comes at a time when the platform was rapidly scaling. It was live in 13 markets and saw a 407 percent increase in the number of homes sold in 2019, over 2018.

Zillow and Offerpad, were still buying homes as of Wednesday.

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Keller Williams San Diego launches new home search app

Keller Williams San Diego has launched its new neighborhood-based home search app to coincide with the updated website that was launched earlier this year.

The new home search tool is web- and app-based, and aims to give homebuyers and sellers a deeper understanding of the city they are searching in by neighborhood.

  • Guide, a fully-customizable client companion, facilitates the entire transaction from search to signing on the dotted line.
  • Win consumer loyalty by refining their search with leading-edge functionality to find what they’re looking for, faster.
  • Give home buyers a deeper understanding of the neighborhoods that interest them including market and lifestyle information.
  • Whether they’re looking for their next home or their dream home, help clients organize, rank, and then discuss their favorite listings.
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SERVICES FOR PALM SPRINGS AREA HOME SELLERS

The difference is the marketing! Prepare to sell your Palm Springs home with an agent who is honest, accurate and professional, who is experienced and knowledgeable, and whose client testimonials support the results.

Our approach to selling your Palm Springs desert home:

•    Free Home Valuation Report for  your Palm Springs home

•    Real Estate Agency

•    Pricing Your Palm Springs or La Quinta Home for Sale

•    Staging Your Palm Springs Area Home

•    Marketing Your Palm Springs or La Quinta Home

•    The Purchase & Sale Contract

•    The Home Inspection

•    Closing

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San Diego Lifestyles – not just for the rich and famous!

You get to choose your own lifestyle in San Diego! Buy a home in San Diego with a yard, or a low maintenance condo ..

… with communal pool, spa and possibly tennis courts, a gated community, even a ranch – the choice is yours.

–  you can live by the beach …

–  or could live on a hill with an ocean, bay or mountain view …

–  or even be out in the country with horses.

Where you live says so much about you. These thumbnails may get you started on your search for your new lifestyle, whether it be active, reflective or just plain laid back!

La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe.

These three very different towns each offer something unique for those seeking an upscale environment and a new place to call home:

Del Mar, a small city in it’s own right with about 5,000 people, has a great village feel.

Northern half of the town is flat, with short streets ending on the sand. A mixture of styles and sizes.

The southern half of Del Mar rises up from bluffs above the surf into the hills, many homes have ocean views through the many trees.

Learn more about Del Mar homes…

La Jolla’s unique mix of business, recreation and breathtaking scenery blends a university town (UCSD) with resort amenities. Very upscale, enchanting, galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, antique stores.

La Jolla offers a choice of unique micro climates and everything from a small beach condo to magnificent view homes occupied by the rich and famous.

Find a luxury home or second home in the “Village”. Choose an ocean front home and be soothed to sleep by the surf and enjoy cool ocean breezes!

Learn more about La Jolla real estate …

If you need to sell your San Diego Home, we can help too!

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16 Mistakes Sellers Make When Listing Their Home

Pricing Your Home Too High
A Real Estate Agent can research comparable sales in your area and advise you of the appropriate price range of your property. $25,000 in upgrades that only modernize your home will not bring an extra $25,000 above market rates – they only make your home comparable and keep you from selling for $25,000 less than market.

Taking an Inflexible Position on Financing
Have your Agent explain what financing options are available. Being flexible on financing terms may secure a better selling price to sell your Palm Springs home.

Errors in Market Timing
Ask your Agent to determine whether the market cycle is poised to net you the most money.

Not Providing Easy Access to Showings
There are many ways to show a home. “Appointment Only: is the most restrictive. Lock boxes (key safes) are the most accessible. If your home is easy for agents to show, more prospective buyers will see it, improving your odds of getting the deal you want; however, your specific lifestyle may not be compatible with frequent showings. Your Agent will help you dertermine a solution that will best fit your situation.

Not Utilizing Current Marketing Technology
Make sure your Agent is up with the latest technology, such as Internet sites that cater to home buyers. Check around to see what technology is being utilized in your specific area. In some areas, cable-access advertising is popular. Others use 800 number interactive voice response systems. A good Agent will know where you can get the best exposure.

Not “Staging” Your Property Correctly
Put some items in storage, create more light, play music or otherwise improve the ambience. Your Agent can offer helpful advice to create the right first impression.

Believing that Selling Property is Seasonal
Don’t base selling decisions on the seasons. Property sells year around.

Pricing Your Property Too Low
One reason to hire an Agent is to make sure that no money is left on the table.

Not Re-evaluating the Market Plan
Re-evaluate your Agent’s marketing plan every 10 days. You and your Agent may need to make intuitive changes based on the current market and buyers.

Believing Your Agent is Not Doing the Job When There Aren’t Any Offers
Most sellers are aware that 80% of all buyer activity comes from the sign and MLS. Any Agent can provide that. So, if you don’t have a problem showing the home, but it hasn’t generated any interested buyers, it may be time to re-evalutate the price.

Ignoring the Importance of First Impressions
Sales have been blown by unkempt lawns, cluttered closets, unpainted front doors, hard-to-work locks, blown light bulbs, bad colors, stains, unlit areas and bad smells. Spend time on the little things. Double up on your gardening, keep things cleaner than usual. Take serious control of your pets during this period.

Not Making the Right Kind of Repairs
Don’t be tempted to make improvements prior to listing without consulting your Agent. Some upgrades will not yield any real increase in value, while others may increase property values substantially.

Not Giving the Sales Effort Enough Time
You should never give too little time to what is inherently a long process. Homes may take 2-6 months to sell, in any market. Estimate how much time you have before you need to sell and then plan ahead to allow extra time. You don’t want to be forced to accept a disappointing offer.

Not Screening Prospects Adequately
One of the best reasons for hiring an Agent is his or her ability to pre-qualify a prospect financially before valuable negotiation time is lost. Most importantly, your Agent may discover when a prospect has an ulterior motive for shopping homes, other than purchasing.

Believing that you Can’t Make a Difference
The top Agents in the industry report that sellers themselves are responsible for at least one out of ten sales! You can network your business and personal friends, you can hand out fliers at your place of business and elsewhere, and you can keep the house in “move-in condition”. Your Agent should be ready to hand you all sorts of assignments to make the “team effort” successful.

Testing the Market
Never put your property on the market unless you really want a sale! Get ready for a professional sales push when you list with a great Agent. If your plan harbors some indecision, resolve it before you list, because success is every great Real Estate Agent’s objective!

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Tips for Buying San Diego Real Estate

Even smart people make common real estate and home buying mistakes. Here’s how to avoid them in your San Diego real estate search.

Kick some San Diego County real estate tires
1. Shop and Compare San Diego homes.
Walk through several MLS listed San Diego county real estate for sale and homes that are for sale in your price range. Make sure these properties are located in the area within San Diego County you want to live. By reviewing multiple MLS listed for sale homes and real estate in the San Diego market you will be better prepared to recognize overpriced homes and real estate and obtain the confidence to know a good home value when you see it.

Get help from a San Diego County real estate
local insider
2. “Pick the brain” of a smart San Diego County Realtor.
All Realtors are not created equal. If a Realtor does a lot of self-promotion, that does not mean they have the most real estate experience and are respected by their peers. If you are a Buyer in the hot San Diego County MLS market, presenting a home offer through a top San Diego County Realtor gets your offer noticed and taken seriously. Top San Diego Realtors know the real estate sales process, all about real estate financing, how to remedy inspection issues and are expert real estate negotiators. Great Realtors will get you the home in San Diego you what. Great Realtors know the pros and cons of homes in there city and market area and may even know about homes not yet available in the San Diego MLS but that will be soon. Ask San Diego Real Estate Agent to recommend the best Realtor in your town.

A mortgage will make your San Diego real estate purchase happen.

3. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage.
Get over financial hurdles before you put in a home purchase offer for your San Diego home. Find a good mortgage professional and go over what you can afford. A good lender will give you a pre-qualification letter even before you find the home you want. There is nothing worse than finding a home and losing it, or worse, losing your deposit because you can’t close the deal. Get a mortgage application.

Budget for all your life needs


4. Don’t over mortgage yourself with your San Diego real estate purchase.
There are so many mortgage products, you may be tempted or advised to borrow as much as you can fro your San Diego home. But be warned – there is nothing worse than getting in over your head. Make sure you can afford to live comfortably in your home, put money aside for your children, and have cash on hand to pay for unexpected events. Don’t assume your San Diego home value will keep appreciating at the same rate it has over the past 3 years. Do assume your home carrying costs will rise! Your annual San Diegol real estate taxes and homeowners insurance rates will most likely rise each year. If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, your monthly mortgage payments will eventually go up. Housing markets eventually cool, but your payments never stop – be prepared!

The Agreement of Sale is key


5. Put all the details of your San Diego home purchase in the Agreement of Sale.
The Agreement of Sale spells out the timing, terms and dollar amount of the real estate transaction. Don’t take anything for granted, or rely on promises from the Seller or their real estate agent. Have your San Diego Realtor put all conditions of the home sale into writing, and get the seller’s written approval for any modifications or amendments to the Real Estate Agreement of Sale.

Inspections


6. Use a professional Home inspector.
Make sure all electric, gas water and other utilities remain connected so you can inspect the home in working order. Get a qualified home inspector to do a review of the house and prepare a written report for you. Go over the report with the inspector and your agent. Agreements of Sale usually allow a few days to bring any serious defects to the attention of the Seller – so a resolution can be attempted.

Final Home Check


7. Do a final house assessment.
After the Seller moves everything out of the house, take a walk through the house a day or two prior to settlement. Make sure the home is ready to be transferred in good shape as outlined in the Real Estate Agreement of Sale. This will be your last chance to ensure everything in the house is in working order prior to settlement.

Let your San Diego real estate team show you their best stuff


8. Be open about your timing, financial condition, and lifestyle needs.
A good San Diego Realtor is trained to find solutions to fit your needs – in ways you may have not yet considered. You may say you want a house on a San Diego golf course, but your retired spouse may feel more secure in a low maintenance gated condo community where you can play several of the San Diego regions courses with less carrying costs. A good Realtor can take the information you give them, and translate that into unique property solutions.

Be Flexible with you San Diego real estate search


9. Try to relax.
From negotiations to closing and moving dates, focus on getting the deal done, not winning every battle. Delays and complications are part of most real estate deals, as both you and the Seller are completing a very time consuming, expensive and sometimes emotional transaction. Most issues are resolvable. If you’ve done your homework, have a great Realtor and mortgage team, you can be confident you will get a good deal and avoid mistakes.
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Our San Diego County real estate experience can help you avoid mistakes in the home buying process.

We believe it’s important to pick the best real estate professionals off the bat.

When you start your search with Smarter Agent, you can call or email us with any questions from your first internet search straight through to your actual closing and beyond!

Get savvy, try SmarterAgent. Smarter Agent –San Diego will save you a lot of time and help you get the best deal with the least hassles and at the best price.

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Sell a house in Palm Springs

If you are in the market to sell a home in Palm Springs, CA, we are here to help you.  With many years of experience in the Palm Springs Real Estate community, we know the market better than any of our competitors.  Our commitment to excellence goes well beyond simply facilitating the sale of your home – and our work history demonstrates this very clearly.

Our previous clients who have learned how to sell a home in the Coachella Valley with our guidance know first-hand how hard our agents work with each and every client.  That includes you!

Whether you are trying to sell a home in Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Miarge, Indio – or any of our other surrounding communities, we are here to help you!

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HOTTEST HOME STAGING TIPS

First impressions are all-important when the time comes to sell your Palm Springs Home. You want to make sure that your Palm Springs house puts its best foot forward every time a potential buyer comes through the door. Here are some hot home staging tips to sell your house fast.

The Bathroom

Staging your bathroom can be tricky. Bathrooms are still one of the most important rooms in a home when it comes to making the best impression on potential buyers. Outdated bathrooms are simply a turn-off to millenials. Whether sellers decide to stage their bathroom by adding simple upgrades to give a more modern look or completely remodel to update features and add functionality, each will have some impact on resale value.

  • Bleach the Walls: Mix equal parts bleach and water in a spray bottle and apply liberally to get rid of grime, mold and mildew.
  • Filmy Shower Doors: You want your shower door to look clean and new. To accomplish this without replacing, use a 10% muriatic acid solution and steel wool. This will get your shower door shiny and new. Be careful to remove the door and do the scrubbing outside, especially if you’ve recently used bleach on the walls!
  • Painting Tiles: Few people consider painting tiles, but a high-adhesion primer followed by ceramic epoxy paint can give dated tile a new lease on life.
  • Furniture: Get rid of the old vanity and replace it with a pedestal sink for a big hit with potential buyers.

Staging is the only way to sell Palm Springs House quickly in this flooded real estate market. Apart from cleaning the clutter, sellers must take into account many other factors. 

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BUY A HOME WITH A REVERSE MORTGAGE

You have a couple who are both 80 years of age and have $200,000 in home equity; they could get a Reverse Mortgage and buy a home in Palm Springs for around $500,000. They would have no loan payment, but would be responsible for Taxes and Insurance each year. Also, they do not have to qualify for a loan and be turned down because they lack two years of income. Even Ben Bernanke was turned down for a QM mortgage, a regular old fashioned loan.

Everybody thinks that a Reverse Mortgage is only for someone who wants to stay in their home. That is the reason for the majority of Reverse Mortgages, but there are other advantages. You can buy a home as illustrated above or get an Equity Line of Credit on your home that you could use at a later time. The Equity Line of Credit when unused keeps growing every year. A real sleep-at-night-instrument.

So get a Reverse Mortgage and stay in your home, buy a new home or build an equity line of credit for later emergencies. Fred Thompson, Fonzi, Robert Wagner, Pat Boone and Alex Trebeck can’t all be wrong. Thompson even helped his 91 year old mother get a reverse mortgage.

If you want more information, go to your friendly, competent, BRE, or DBO Loan Broker who specializes in these complicated loans. If you have no such friendly Broker, send me an email with your zip code, and I will email you referral contact information for someone who can service your area. I will not send your email to Fred Thompson, Fonzi or other people, I promise.

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What Is Absorption?

Want to impress your clients and stand out in a sea of average agents? Who doesn’t?! What if I told you that you could learn a simple calculation that would set you apart from 95% of the other real estate agents? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Here’s a little tool I train real estate agents with as a part of my Ultimate Listing Presentation seminar. But it’s not just for listing agents. Knowing your market cold is the first step to becoming an authority — the guy everyone goes to when they have a complex question about real estate — and without this tool you probably don’t know your market as well as you think you ado.

Allow me to introduce you to Absorption Rate. Before your mind wanders off into numbness, let me also tell you that this is one of the most practical metrics or measurements you can learn for your market or for subsets of your market. And better yet, it will only take you a few minutes to learn it. Although the manufacturing segment of the economy has been using this metric for decades, real estate, for the most part still doesn’t.

OK, so what is Absorption Rate? Simply put, it is the rate at which a market absorbs or eliminates inventory. Markets are always changing: new inventory is being added and old inventory is being sold or absorbed. Absorption rate helps you to take that fluid, ever-changing market and bring it into a measurable snapshot that you can use to advise your clients.

When I was still in college I took a class on managerial calculus (I know… YICK!) and one of the only things I remember from the class was a small section on inventory modeling. It seems that one of the practical uses for higher mathematics was to allow industry to determine the precise level of inventory to stock. Stock too much, and the company tied up cash or debt in sitting inventory and carrying costs. Too little, and the company would lose sales by not having the products on hand.

Now let’s take the logical step and apply it to real estate. Have you ever wondered why the average Days on Market (DOM) number from your local MLS never feels right? Why the MLS always seems to paint a rosier picture than reality? That’s because it’s not right! Sometimes it’s off by a little; other times it’s off by a mile. But it’s never accurate.

Before writing this article, I thought I would pull the latest DOM figures from my local MLS and compare that statistic with the actual calculated DOM. The latest number as reported in my MLS is 77 days. However, when I calculated DOM using the absorption method, the actual average DOM is 240! And believe me, your MLS is off as well — maybe not by as much as mine, but it is typically off by more than 50%.

So why the huge disparity? Because the MLS calculates the average DOM as the average days on market for the listings that actually sold. What it leaves out of its calculation altogether are homes that were withdrawn, listings that expired, listings that were withdrawn for a day and then re-listed to restart the clock, or those that were never put in the MLS until they sold (like new construction where they might list only one home in a subdivision, but actually have 20 for sale). And all of those affect the reported DOM. Not so when using the Absorption Rate method. You’ll know exactly how many days it takes inventory, on average, to turn over.

Or let’s suppose you had a builder as a listing client. Using absorption rates for various price points, you could wisely advise him on which price points to focus on in order to maximize his sales. Or suppose you were going on a listing appointment and you were able to advise your client of the number of month’s inventory of homes like his that are currently on the market. Would that information be valuable in winning the listing? Of course it would be!