Top 5 Ways Not to Pick A Listing Agent

Over 30 years of selling property has shown us that selecting the right agent may be the single most important step to a successful sale or purchase.

Unfortunately, experience also has shown us that most sellers pick their agents for the wrong reasons, and they pay a huge price for that mistake.

A while back, we listed 5 of the most common mistakes sellers make in choosing an agent. Today we’ll identify the top 5, starting with one we’ve seen a lot of in the last two years, picking their agent based on:

5. Past performance as a buyers’ agent, in an easier market, or in another area. These might be good reasons to consider an agent, but they don’t prove anything about selling your property in today’s market. We could give dozens of examples from our experiences, but we’ll settle for just one, from baseball:

Just because Tim Salmon played great outfield for the Angels three years ago doesn’t mean he can play shortstop for them today. Let alone Center for the Lakers. Get the picture?

4. “She Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Ways Not to Pick A Listing Agent, Part I

Poor Mr. Williams. We just drove by his house & noticed the sign was down. Hadn’t sold. If he’d read this post 6 months ago, it could have saved him at least $5,000 and half a year of his life.

Unfortunately, Mr. Williams has lots of company. We’d say at least 90% of the today’s sellers today are making at least one of ten major mistakes in picking their agent.

These are mistakes people naturally tend to make–and virtually all agents are able to easily take advantage of those tendencies if they choose to. Because they’ve listed a whole lot more homes than you have!

Here’s our list of the most common wrong reasons to pick a listing agent. Read it and weep. We do.

10. Amazing Read the rest of this entry »

What’s ahead in 2012 & beyond?

(1/13/2012) by Blair Newman and Dave Emerson:   As we begin the new year, it’s time to take a look back at what 2011 brought us in the world of SoCal Real Estate, and look forward to what we expect.

Then, most important, make our recommendations for those who may be thinking about selling or buying in Southern California this year or next:

2011 in review:

    Prices on homes going into escrow in our area moved up modestly through the spring, then trended down through the summer but started heading back up in the fall, propelled by amazingly Read the rest of this entry »

    Buyers Foreclosure Tips

    A while back the Sacramento Bee ran a good article on buying foreclosures. It reminded me of a very interesting experience with a HUD auction during the last recession in 1994.


    I teamed with a fellow Realtor and friend to research and bid on a major HUD auction of repossessed properties. From experience, we knew there would be lots of bidders and lots of competition, so we decided to focus on the least desirable location with the most REOs, which was at that time was Compton, and the least desirable type of property with the most REOs, which was condos.

    I spent days researching about 50 Compton Read the rest of this entry »

    A little perspective

    (11/14/11)  I originally put this post up over three years ago, and came across it as I was reviewing some of our older posts.

    I clicked on the link, an OC Register story about the gentleman to the right, and found it as inspiring as ever, in a market that, sadly, hasn’t changed all that much from 2008.

    Woke up this morning to one of those stories that makes you thankful for what you have. Even if it is going down in value.

    Worth a read:

    “Pride in A Paycheck”

    There’s more to life than money. Way more.

    More old, bad news from Standard & Poors Case-Schiller’s August, 2011 Home Price Index

    (10/25/2011)This morning Standard & Poors reported their Case-Schiller National Housing Index for August was up a very modest 0.2% over July, but actually down 3.8% from August 2010.  Los Angeles/Orange County prices were flat from July to August and down 3.5% from a year earlier.

    More evidence that real estate is continuing it’s painfully slow, up and down recovery, but it only tells part of the story, a months-old part. 

    As we explained in “What is the S & P Case-Schiller Home Price Index?”, Case-Schiller has a built-in lag of roughly three months:  This morning’s report covers homes that primarily went into escrow between April 1 and July30, the July report covered March 1 – June 1.

    So what today’s “news” really means is Read the rest of this entry »

    Obama’s new plan allows more “underwater” homeowners to refinance, reduces fees

    (10/24/2011)During his stop in Nevada today President Obama will announce major changes to the Homeowner  Affordable Refinance Program (“HARP”) designed to help more homeowners refinance to today’s  lower rates even if they owe more than their home’s worth.

    Here’s what we know so far:

    1. The program will now be available regardless of Read the rest of this entry »

    Just listed: Enlarged Lakewood 3 Bedroom, $389,999

    This enlarged home features 3 large bedrooms, two baths, and a living room with fireplace.

    (9/2/2011) One way  to give our readers a snapshot of the current market is to take a detailed peak at some of the best of the newest listings.

    So let’s take a look at a home that just hit the Southern California Multiple Listing Service this morning.  It’s in Lakewood, one of the  best priced centrally located communities in Southern California’s “sweet spot,”  the temperate Coastal Plain.

    The specifics are a great way to demonstrate concretely what a lot of knowledgable people are saying about our current market.  Because this home is a great example of the Read the rest of this entry »

    7 great tips from the U.K. for So Cal home sellers

    (7/11/2011)About 2 weeks ago I received an e-mail via our “contact us” link from Andrew Potter, who has a real estate blog in the UK.

    Andrew thought his post “How to sell your home in a difficulty market”  might be of interest to  Southern California sellers.

    With England’s future King and Queen “hopping the pond” to visit our gorgeous little corner of the world, I figured it’s only right to let my fellow real estate blogger do so electronically.

    After I read the seven tips in Andrew’s post, I was even more convinced.  Turns out my colleague in jolly olde England is giving sellers over there almost exactly the same tips we’ve been giving out here!

    With one important exception (see my comment below) Andrew’s tips will help any So Cal seller expedite their sale!  Thanks, Andrew, for a great guest post!

    by Andrew Potter: British homeowners attempting to sell their homes in the midst of an economic decline may be in for a rude awakening. While they would like to dispense with their monthly mortgage payment, making their move may be hampered by the circumstances of the British real estate market.

    Conditions have not become any clearer since last year. On the whole, prices appear to be down compared to 2010. However, Rightmove estate agent, a company that tracks asking prices and the government both show annualized rising prices. What does this mean for the average British homeowner?

    The latest numbers on mortgage approvals were published not too long ago. They fared poorly, indicating a renewed Read the rest of this entry »

    S & P Case-Schiller: Home prices up. . . and down

    (6/28/2011) “Home Prices up in April for the first time in eight months,” proclaims Alex Lazlo’s  online L. A. Times headline this morning. Truth is, that’s only half the story, as Alex explains in the first few paragraphs (bolding mine):

    A closely watched index of home prices in America’s largest cities ticked up in April over March, the first such improvement in eight months, though experts attributed the increase largely to seasonal variations. Prices of previously owned single-family homes rose a modest 0.7% in April over March [2011] but were down 4.0% from April 2010, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of 20 metropolitan areas. In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last — April’s numbers beat March,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices, said in a news release. “However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that Read the rest of this entry »

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