Wednesday, January 13, 2010

HANDBOOK for 2010

HANDBOOK for 2010


1. Drink plenty of water. (If you can't dump soda, drink lemon selzer water)
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...


25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch with them.


32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

What resonates for you???

One of my favorite sayings from William Johnson is:
If it it is to be, it is up to me.

My friend and client, George Seymour, sent this to me. It has been going around the internet recently but it is well worth re-posting.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What is “Value Range Marketing, VRM, price range marketing

What is “Value Range Marketing, VRM, price range marketing
I brought the first buyer that successfully closed a “price range” listing on 8/16/1995.

Range Pricing started in San Diego and San Diego has remained the stronghold. Some other MLS’s do not allow it.

I use price ranges for sellers when, and how, it makes sense. It works well in the right circumstance but it can be confusing for the inexperienced agent or the homebuyer.

Conventional thinking for many buyers is “Why would I offer more than the low end of the range?” That is a valid question. I always recommend that buyers use the range pricing as a search guideline only. Then place their offer according to the comparable prices I provide. Same thing with the bank owned properties. Some banks are pricing properties 10-20% below the comparable sold prices and letting the buyers bid them up to market value or above.

Bank owned listings almost never use a range (only 23 of 7078 in the last 6 months). Since much of the lower end inventory was bank owned, we did not see ranges as much. Now that prices are going up, and bank inventory is dropping significantly (only 696 active bank owned house or condo listings as of today in all of San Diego County out of 7456), we see more regular sellers entering the market, along with investors selling their flippers. Both groups are more likely to use price ranges.

The Value Range Marketing good: More buyers will see the listing.
If the property is worth at, or a little above, a big round number such as $300,000, the seller is in a quandary. If it is priced $10K above that round number, say $320K, most buyers who only want to spend $300K will not see it. If they price it lower, they are afraid they will not get offers over asking, to where the actual value is.

The Value Range Marketing bad: Not understanding how it works.
1 - Agents that have too big a range…20% or more on each side. $240K to $360K. Get real! Are you a professional or not?
2 – Too small a range. $10,000 spread on the range. $270K to $280K
3 - Range pricing top just under the big round number: $270K to $299K
4 - Weak agents that can not convince sellers of the real value of their property. The agent knows the home will sell for no more than $400K but the seller thinks it is worth (or seller needs to get) $500K. Therefore, $400K to $500K range.
5 - Ineffective pricing: having the bottom price range just above the big round number such as $305K to $330K. The low price probably should have been $299K.
6 – Agents who do not know how to properly explain how range pricing works.

Where you ultimately end up closing in relation to the high and low price with a range listing is dependant on what the range pricing is, compared to the market value of a home and how the range is used.

In the “hot” market, I would call the listing agent and ask, “Do we have to be over the high range?” Often the answer was yes because the market was moving up so fast.

From 2007 to Feb of 2009, as prices dropped, more offers were accepted under the low range price. That is changing now with the low amount of inventory under $500K

I just checked 100 range price listings of the 362 sales within the last quarter over $500K and they sold as follows: 27 under, 61 within & 14 at or above the high range.
The under $500K was similar: 14 under, 64 within and 23 at or above the high range.

Ultimately, every situation is different for the buyer and for the seller in what their goals and negotiation strategies are.

The MLS states “The seller will entertain offers between low price and high price”.
If you offer near or under the low price, the sellers says ”That is entertaining, now lets start negotiating”.

Call me so we can meet your Real Estate Goals for 2010.  The opportunities are there!


Dennis Smith, ABR, SRES, e-PRO, CDPE, Realtor® DRE# 00476662
Certified Distressed Property Expert
RE/MAX By-the-Sea
Formerly with Taylor Place Real Estate
Buy or Sell a Home with Me, Use my Moving Truck - F R E E for life.
760-436-0087, or cell at 760-212-8225

My Market Trends Report with graphs and charts for North Coastal San Diego will give you the Sales Statistics for the month and compare it with last year, by city!

You can view all available San Diego area homes for sale at
You can search by address, by MLS number or by general criteria.

Monday, January 4, 2010

San Diego Area Home Buyers Alert

San Diego Area Home Buyers Alert

The first quarter of 2010 is going to be a challenging time but worth the effort for the greater San Diego area home buyers,
especially for the under $500,000 houses and condos.
(This is good news for sellers.  Call me for the sellers plan.)

The available total inventory is down from the peak 14,709 on 2/6/09
    to 11,317 on 1/4/2010.
Only 3726 homes under $500,000 are available which is a 50 day supply.
1407 of the homes under $500,000 are Short Sales.
The number of bank owned properties is 70% lower than it was a year ago. There is only a 3 week supply (734 on 1/4/2010).
Each quarter we hear that the banks will start dumping homes on the market but not yet and probably not ever…see my Blog article at

Short Sales are still taking 3 to 9 months to close, despite a push from Obama. They keep telling us they will get quicker but that is what we have heard all last year.

You must be in escrow by April 30, 2010 to get your Tax Rebate.
A big time pressure for buyers...but many will procrastinate...DON'T.
For best results, START LOOKING NOW! Plan to buy in Jan. or Feb.
There is some talk or extending it but, can you take that chance?
Many will wait till Mar or April and will loose out.

The Senate Finance Committee and Capitol Hill in general, are not inclined to extend this program again. The National Association of Realtors, the lobbyist for this program, were cautioned that any discussion regarding a further extension of the program was not likely, and would certainly be met with opposition..
Lenders have tightened up on the requirements again.
Interest rates will go up, possibly to 6% which is a 16% increase, over the current 5%.
See  the Washington Post article at about how the Fed will not buy MBS - Mortgage Backed Securities after March 31st and how it will cause interest rates to rise.

What can the serious buyer do to get a home?
1 – Be totally ready with your financing. That means a fully documented loan package submitted to the lender before you start looking for a home. Banks & FHA continue to tighten up their requirements. They want to see higher credit scores (640+ FICO), at least 3 active credit lines (suggestion: pay your utilities on line or buy a tank of gas a few times a year so every card shows activity), no late payments or new collections in the last year. Keep all credit cards below 40% of your limit at all times.

2 – Be prepared to make several offers before you get one accepted. There is a lot of competition as many buyers are fighting for a limited pool of homes and they also need to buy before the Tax Rebate deadline of 4/30/2010. There is no perfect home so do not fall in love with the home until it closes. Remember what your goals are for this home. It probably will not be your last home so think 3-5 years or 5-7 years…whatever your time frame is.

3 – Be prepared to pre-qualify with several lenders along the way. You may still use any lender you chose. Each bank owned property wants you to qualify with them for 2 reasons…they want to find out if you are really qualified, and they want to have a chance of getting your loan. Strategy: keep a copy of your loan application from your first lender along with your credit report & FICO score, copies of pay stubs, bank statements, 2 years of tax returns and more.

4 – Make your first offer, your “Highest and Best” offer. Most of the time the banks will come back to some or all of the buyers in a multiple offer situation and give everybody a second chance. However, some banks will take the first good offer, or the best looking offer without a counter. Wouldn’t it be great if it were your offer that was accepted.

5 – Prices are going up (they have for 10 months in a row). So reasonably higher offers are OK. Todays appraisers often come in on the low side of the property value. If your offer is way too high, the bank will see through that ploy. However if you offer a reasonable amount over the comparable sales, the appraisal may help you bring the price down. Since prices are going up, even if you think your offer is high, you will look back and say “Remember when we bought this house for $X.XX and now it is worth much more than that…we could not afford to buy our own house today”. 

This first quarter will be a challenging time but worth the effort for the greater San Diego area home buyers.  I do not expect to see these prices again.

In the San Diego Union Tribune on 1/3/2010, the caption to the housing chart was "Median price 48.4% higher than January 2000".  Real Estate will always be a good long term investment and sometimes a good short term investment.  Now is the time to buy near the bottom and ride the prices up while you live in, and enjoy your home.

6 – Be on top of the listings and the market. Many of the San Diego area bank homes and regular homes are getting multiple offers and are going into escrow quickly, some in 1 or 2 days of being listed. If you know the market, you will see the value and be ready to make a decision right away without “sleeping on it”. A one day delay could be all it takes to loose the home.

7 - Keep looking, even after you have submitted an offer. If you do not get this one, you must be ready when the next one appears.

Buyers, we need to schedule an appointment to plot our strategy to get you into your San Diego area home. Call me to set an appointment to meet, review your needs and wants, then visit some homes. Call my cell at 760-212-8225 today!

Dennis Smith, ABR, SRES, e-PRO, CDPE, Realtor® DRE# 00476662
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Taylor Place Real Estate
Buy or Sell a Home with Me, Use my Moving Truck - F R E E for life.
760-436-0087, or cell at 760-212-8225

My Market Trends Report with graphs and charts for North Coastal San Diego will give you the Sales Statistics for the month and compare it with last year, by city!

You can view all available San Diego area homes for sale at
You can search by address, by MLS number or by general criteria.

Providing quality Real Estate services in the North Coastal San Diego area including Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Cardiff by the Sea, Encinitas, Leucadia, Olivenhain, Carlsbad, La Costa, Aviara, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, San Elijo Hills, Escondido and San Diego County.