"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

January 2018 Newsletter

        

Dear Neighbor:

  1. Holy Smokes! I’m sure you are wondering what the real estate future holds.  A few things are clear to me:  the appreciation in home prices slowed significantly during the last half of 2017 (actually, I’m not sure there was any), though in an area of custom homes like much of the Peninsula, it difficult to put a hard number on it – average sale price, average sale price per square foot, number of sales all have their problems.  If the survey includes all of Los Angeles County, forget it.  The other issue we’ve had this past year is a chronic shortage of houses for sale, so the sale sample size is going to be small, and therefore again of questionable accuracy.  When you see the stats on the news or parroted in the mail from Realtors, it’s likely that the criteria and methodology are sufficiently murky as to make application to Palos Verdes at least dubious.   On the other hand, if you’re looking, I’ve got a lovely 2100 square foot house in South Torrance coming up not long after you receive this.  Call me at 310 613-1076 if you’re interested.

Which raises another issue – truth in advertising.  We’ve all gotten those mailers from Realtors bragging about how many houses they’ve sold in such and such an area during such and such a time period.  They often include a list of houses sold, leading the reader to believe that the agent sold all those houses; however the majority of those lists simply include every house sold in the area.  They just want you to believe that the agent sold them all.  If there is a disclaimer, it is generally in microscopic print buried in other fine print.  I’ve included an article I wrote a number of years ago for my website entitled “Everyone Walks on Water”, which gets into this a bit. 

Which leads to another thing I’m sure I’ve talked about before – why you hire your agent.  When you interview agents, each has got a list of reasons you should hire him/her.  If one of those reasons is that he/she specializes in the architect that designed your house or says they can attract a certain type of buyer (ethnicity, demographic, professional athletes, you name it), that is not a valid reason.  You should pick your agent because you are comfortable with them and believe they will best represent your interests in the transaction.  This is generally because you either know or used them beforehand, or they specialize in your area and/or have a good reputation.  When your agent (no matter who it is) puts your house on the Multiple Listing Service, it will automatically go on just about every real estate-oriented website known to man, and the serious buyers in your “target market” will know about it.  Don’t fall for the “I’m going to expose your house to different buyers” pitch.  Those saying that know it isn’t true, but they hope you will think it is.

Actually my website (www.DanaGraham.com) has a bunch of good articles on it, if I do say so myself since I wrote them all.  Additionally, I am going to be giving a talk to the Palos Verdes Historical Society February 1st at the Malaga Cove Library on the history of Neighborhood Church.  My family was heavily involved with that church since before we bought that building at 415 Paseo Del Mar.  Come on by – it will be a pleasure to meet you.

Meanwhile, I hope you had a happy Holiday season, and thank you for your support.

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