"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

January 2015 Newsletter

Dear Neighbor:

Another year!  I know when I was a kid growing up in Valmonte, even the year 2000 seemed inconceivably far off.  Figured I’d probably die of something before then, but they haven’t got me yet.

The subject this month is websites.  The internet has made a lot of things easier and has complicated others.  I’m sure you have as many examples as I do, but the subject is real estate.  When you list your home for sale, you naturally want the most exposure you can get and, when you list with me, and Google your address 3 days later, you will fill the first two pages at least.  So this is good as far as it goes.

When your property goes on the Multiple Listing Service, that data is automatically “mined” and displayed by a huge number of websites – Zillow, Trulia, Coldwell Banker, Re/Max, Redfin, you name it —  more often than not made to look like it’s their listing.  As a seller, you really want your property on the MLS, but you lose control of where your data ends up after that, and you might not like some of them.  There are many examples, but I had one in Valmonte recently where one of my listings was advertised on a website no one had ever heard of, represented as the listing of someone in Culver City, at a price below what we were asking.  It was a site that typically has distressed properties on it, and other similar sites picked up the listing from that one, resulting in a flood of bottom-feeders.  This was a scam to get phone calls and pick up buyers.  As you know, I have been selling houses in Palos Verdes since 1984 and have never heard of this, nor can I find any other agent who has.   Nonetheless, it is important that either you or your agent periodically monitor your “internet presence” to make sure you are where you want to be, and not where you don’t.

While on the subject of websites, I don’t suppose I need to tell you that websites that purport to give you the value of your, or any other, home are using this as a hook to sell advertising to agents, which is how they make their money.  Nothing wrong with making money (I’ve even made a little myself, tho not enough according to my wife), but doing it by enticing the customer with the prospect of the [implicitly real, unbiased, computer-generated] value of his home is deceptive.  You simply can’t accurately determine the value of any property without a) visiting it, and b) having previously visited the recent sales, now closed escrow.  This is tough to do from a cubicle, so quantifiable data such as square footage, bedroom/bathroom count, lot size, etc, are the primary determinants.  Can’t see the view, bad floor plan, verticality of 75% of the 20,000 sf lot, etc, from the cubicle but, as you know, those can have a huge impact on value.  If you want to search for property, your best bet is Realtor.com; if you want to know the value of your house with any accuracy, call a Realtor who does business in your area . . . which could be me (you knew I was going to get to this) – 310 613-1076.  Or visit my website:  DanaGraham.com, where there is a link to Realtor.com at “Search By City”.  If you want eyewitness history to post-War development of PV, click on About Palos Verdes.  Much of the stuff you may read on other sites comes from there.

I’ve got a lovely new listing at $1,595,000 on Via Palomino coming out about the time you read this, so call me for a preview!  Meanwhile (and I know the suspense has been killing you), I ended 2014 as the top Prudential/Berkshire Hathaway agent in Palos Verdes in sold listings, and 11th overall.  While that may not sound all that impressive, bear in mind that I do this all myself – no assistants, transaction coordinators, secretaries – just me.  The benefit to you is an optimized, smoother transaction that is more likely to close escrow, as I am not assigning you to an assistant while I’m off scaring up new business or in Tahiti (the wife does not necessarily agree with these priorities), but instead am personally applying 31 years’ experience to every facet of your transaction.  Now, on to 2015!

Sincerely,

Dana H Graham                                                                                                                                                                                                                       DRE #00877973

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