"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

November 2017 Newsletter

Dear Neighbor:

The real estate market is kind of interesting right now – there aren’t many houses for sale partially because everything that hits the market at a reasonable price is sold within days.  The anecdotal feeling I have out here in the trenches is that prices haven’t increased much this year, at least in Palos Verdes.  I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I still have the sense that the market has peaked.   Even something as simplistic as a look at the historical cycles indicates that we are overdue for a correction.

Experts, experts, and more experts.  Especially PV experts.  You see ads and may get letters like that, often when a Realtor who does not normally do business in your area happens to sell a house and proceeds to send out cards or letters proclaiming that they are suddenly the “expert” in your area.  I get those letters myself, tho you’d think that an agent who is an expert in this area would know who I am.  I was #6 out of thousands last year in listings sold in PV, so I could send out a lot of those cards.  However “expert” can mean a lot of things (or nothing), and you don’t just want an expert on your neighborhood.  There are many things an agent could and should be knowledgeable about.   There is no requirement for it and they certainly don’t teach it in any real estate classes, but at least some working knowledge of loans, contract law, construction, for example can save you money and maybe save your sale.  It was 1989 and I had my listing at 2316 Via Acalones in escrow.  It was an original 1950’s house that was basically untouched.  The roof had many missing shingles (wood roof in those days), and though it didn’t leak, the buyer asked that the seller have the missing shingles replaced.  The seller refused, so I bought a few bundles of matching shakes, climbed up on the roof and replaced them myself.  No big deal – I knew how to do it and did it.  About a year later I get a call from the people across the street wanting to sell their house.  When we met, they said the sight of me on the roof of that 2 story house convinced them I was the agent for them.  They said they couldn’t imagine any of the other agents they had spoken with in their designer outfits and spike heels, getting up on that roof.  About 10 years later, I got a call from the couple who had bought 2316 Via Acalones, who said they had been much more impressed with me than they had been with their agent, and would I please come over, sell the house again, and find them a new one, which I did.  Each of those transactions had its challenges – for example, it was (and is) more difficult for self-employed buyers to get a loan, and you really had to know what lender was making those loans.  Most Realtors don’t pay much attention to loans – they have a mortgage broker friend who they set their buyer up with, and that’s that.  Knowing which lenders are best for each kind of buyer can make or break the sale, and not all of them go thru mortgage brokers, but agents don’t get paid for it, so hardly pay attention to it.

When selling your house, while knowledge of the local area and past sales are at the top of the list, you are always better off having an agent whose knowledge goes deeper than that.  This is the kind of knowledge I wanted my agent to have before I got into this business.  After 33 years, I still operate this way.  Visit my website at www.DanaGraham.com or call me at 310 613-1076.  You just don’t know what might come up during your escrow, but you can be assured that I will be ready for it.

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