"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

May 2014 Newsletter

May, 2014

Dear Neighbor:

Despite what you may have heard on the news, the local real estate market is still very active.  I have a very nice 4 bedroom 3 bath one level home coming up in Rolling Hills Estates in the $1,250,000 range, so call me if you know anyone who would like to see it before the rush.

Some of the myths in real estate make “Elvis is in the building” look credible.  One holds that you should price your house high to allow for “negotiating room”.  If your house was the only house on the market, that might make sense; but that’s probably not going to be the case.  When buyers look at houses, they decide which one to make their offer on based largely upon which one offers the best value at the asking price while meeting their criteria.  If your asking price is too high, it will knock you out of consideration.  In fact, many buyers may not even look at your house.  Now, you may say that you’re not in a hurry.  Maybe not, but sitting on the market unsold will almost always result in a lower eventual sale price because the buyers can all see how long it’s been for sale, with evidently no one else wanting to buy it.  Once you reduce the price to where it should have been you’re showing, say, 60 days on the market.  If a particular buyer likes it, that situation may make him question his own judgment, or at least want to offer significantly less.  So pricing your house correctly to begin with is crucial.

On the general subject of pricing your house correctly, it bears repeating that you do yourself a disservice when you choose an out-of-the-area Realtor.  There are a few reasons for this, some of which are probably obvious.  1)  It’s unlikely that they know the local market.  To know the local market, the agent must have seen the homes sold during at least the previous 6 months – and I mean been inside them, which means seen them when they were for sale, not driving by after he leaves your house.  There is much more to pricing a house, and dealing with attempts by the buyer’s agent to negotiate a lower price, than dollars-per-square-foot and looking at pictures.  But if the agent doesn’t really work in your area, that is what he’s reduced to.  When I say local, I mean office on the Peninsula – not Redondo, not Torrance, not Manhattan.  2)  It’s unlikely that they know many of the local agents.  This is important because the local agents also won’t know them, and a buyer’s agent is always more comfortable showing/selling a house who’s agent he/she knows.  Also, if they don’t know the local agents, they also don’t know who is actually a local agent and not someone from a surrounding community masquerading.  3)  It’s unlikely that they know much about the area – what makes Via Palomino  sell for more than Via Pavion even tho they’re less than 200 yards apart?  What about the schools, which are a big reason people buy in PV.  My father was one of the founders of the PVUSD.  If you live in PVE, what about the Art Jury – do they even know the Art Jury exists?  How capable will they be in handling those kinds of issues which generally come up during an escrow?  Do they even know the difference between Palos Verdes Est and Rancho?  As a Realtor, I can assure you that no agent can “do business from Manhattan Beach to Long Beach” or whatever, and know all those areas and houses.  It’s humanly impossible.  There are very strong disclosure laws in California, and if your agent is unfamiliar with Palos Verdes and you miss something, you could receive an unpleasant letter after close of escrow.  When interviewing agents, it’s a good practice to ask them for a list of homes they’ve sold in your area.

Thank you for your continued support.  My website (www.DanaGraham.com) is worth a visit.  You can also call me at 310 613-1076.


Dana H Graham                                                                                                                                                                                                                DRE #00877973


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