"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

July 2017 Newsletter

Dear Neighbor:

The real estate market continues with a general shortage of houses for sale, although the number of homes on the market has been growing for the last few months.  As is always the case, the homes that are priced right sell quickly.  The reasons those that don’t, are usually related to asking price.  We can talk more about this when we meet.

There are a lot of things they don’t teach you in Real Estate school.  Yes, you do learn how many acres are in a hectare and similar arcane facts that you will never use again.  Reminds me of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General”, where the General knows an impressive variety of things, none of which have much to do with military command.  I’ve talked about this before, but when I got into this business in 1984, I did so because I was unable at that time to find an agent who knew some things that I thought were relevant to selling real estate.  I didn’t understand how an agent could not have a basic understanding of construction (the difference between a floor joist and a grade beam, for example), or some knowledge of loans, how they work, and which lenders have the best rates for different buyers (some are better if you have good credit but a small down payment, and you’re wasting your time talking to them if your credit is marginal even though you have a large down payment), or knowing how and being willing to make minor repairs (I have repaired roofs, sweated copper pipes, and replaced electrical outlets when the occasion demanded), or knowing how to get around without a map, or now GPS (if an agent needs a map or GPS to do his job, it’s not a good sign), and others I don’t have room for here.  I have never counted how many escrows I have saved with my knowledge of those subjects, but it’s a lot, and if it’s yours it’s really important to you (and me). 

My favorite story on this subject is from 1998 when I interviewed for a listing in Rolling Hills Estates.  The sellers were interviewing several agents, and all of the others told them they would not get over $900,000 for their house.  Treating it like it’s my own house as I always do, I told them that might end up being true, but since they didn’t have to sell that day, let’s put it out at $950,000 and see what we get.  After all, it only takes one.  A couple of weeks went by, we had no offers, and I was concerned that we might have to face the music.  Right then I got a call from an agent whose buyer just loved the place, but was a recent immigrant with little credit in this country, only had 10% down, and wanted to do a lease-option until he had more funds.  The seller didn’t want a lease-option, but I told the agents to present the offer anyway, which they did.  When they finished, I asked to see the buyer’s credit report.  This was in the days before FICO scores when you actually had to be able to read a credit report.  Getting a 90% loan in that price range in those days was very difficult unless you knew who to call.  I did (this is where knowing which lenders are best for certain types of loans can pay off for you, the seller) – a portfolio lender in Newport Beach called Headland Mortgage, who ended up making the loan to the guy on a $945,000 sale.  The buyer was thrilled that he was able to buy, the seller was thrilled that they got $45,000 more than the other agents told them they would get, and the buyer’s agents actually wrote me a letter afterward, thanking me for making a sale happen that never would have without my involvement.

If you want this kind of focused dedication to the sale of your house from a real estate professional who has lived in Palos Verdes since 1947 and has 32+ years of experience selling Palos Verdes homes, give me a call at 310 613-1076 or email me at [email protected].  If you want to check me out in advance, visit my website:   www.DanaGraham.com.  Click on “About Me” at the top and you’ll find out everything you ever wanted to know.  Thank you for your patronage, and I look forward to hearing from you.                                                                                                                               


                                                                                                                                                                                                Dana H Graham

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