"Right, right, RIGHT!" I could hear my sister saying as she tried to navigate our folks from Jack London Square to my house on Calmar Avenue in Oakland via a frantic cell phone conversation. (She wasn't having much success).Typically, it's a short drive, but it was clear something had gone wrong.
"Julie, this is Sonjah's friend . . . ," the call began, "the one who is buying direct from a neighbor in my building near the lake . . . we're using his lawyer." (Ah, yes, that one.) "He didn't want to work with a Realtor to save the commission," she added for good measure, "remember?"
(How could I forget?)
On Wednesday night I met a friend at Miss Ollie's at Swan's Market for some overdue "girl time" and we ran into a third friend at the bar who joined us for tea (a perfect presentation). While we dined on delicious fried chicken (gluten free no less) and a Creole salad with mangoes (yum), we began to reminisce about our early days as young adults and our respective wish lists, as in, "When I grow up . . ."
My sister's little terrier mix, Bridget, has a funny way of showing up in our marketing photos. She's like, "Where's Waldo?" (The dog, not my sister.) If you carefully look at my listing brochures, you'll usually find Bridget tucked away on a bench or a sofa, or parked at the top of the stairs. She's not a dog, she's a ham. I'm definitely noticing a theme . . .
Like many of you, I was intrigued by the recent eclipse. So when an unexpected invitation arrived from old friends who own a BIG house on a pretty little river in McCall, Idaho, suggesting we join them for the viewing, I couldn't pass it up. (Unfortunately, Cliff had to stay behind to teach at Bolt.)
Unlike my GRUBB Co. colleague, Mavis, who had been planning her trip up north for months, my scientific interest had been merely peripheral as in: "Oh, an eclipse? Why not?" However, my hostess, Cindy, was totally into it; so much so that she registered online as a "NASA Global Citizen Scientist." (Even the title sounds cool.)
This week, a hand-written note in a pretty purple-striped envelope arrived in my mailbox from the "desk of Raul and Rosy," looking very much like a thank you note, or better yet, a party invitation.
Upon opening, the "friendly" inquiry went on to ask if Cliff and I would be interested in selling our income property on Echo (we're not), but as another darling house on the block had just come up for sale, I picked up my phone with the intention of passing it along to this sincere couple. (You never know where your next lead is coming from.)
It's August which is typically when The Perspective takes an overdue summer break. Besides with so many of you away on vacation, I have a feeling that readership drops dramatically. . . (Beuhler, Buehler, Buehler???)
But as I was running errands yesterday, I stopped in at Target in Emeryville, and ran smack dab into tons of kids and parents getting ready for the new term beginning in just a few weeks. Their baskets were full of pencils, paper, binders, highlighters, school clothes, and all of the "must haves" I bought my boys for years. Clearly, not everyone's in Tahoe; they're in line at Target!
I'm always flattered when Jordan Gunn, of the San Francisco Chronicle,includes my responses in the weekend edition of the real estate section.(It's riveting reading to be sure.) While admittedly, my answers are too long-winded (which means Jordan has to edit considerably to fit his format) this week's questions presented a "lightbulb moment" and I wanted to pass them along (just in case you don't read the SF Chronicle or catch it on SF Gate). Below is the unedited version and what I think every prospective client should know before aligning themselves with a Realtor. (Thank you Jordan for asking.)
Summer has definitely arrived and that means the market has shifted.
(Do you feel it?)
Which isn't to say that prices have dropped, or that the market has cooled, but that it has reached its cruising altitude to be sure, and you should expect fewer listings as the summer progresses. In short, the fast and dynamic spring market is behind us and list prices should more closely represent Seller expectations. (Look for key phrases like "transparent pricing.")
Last week, I was in Tahoe at the "Luxury Council" seminar sponsored by Chase International, a high-end Tahoe real estate company with IMPRESSIVE listings on the lake, in Truckee, and throughout the Tahoe area, extending all the way into Reno and Sparks, NV, This wasn't just an opportunity to view some remarkable properties on the water, but to network with out-of-area Agents and to share some trade secrets. (They're really not so secret.)
Julie Gardner, referred to as, "the pulse of Piedmont," has been writing The Piedmont Perspective for 9 years.