It’s Apple Time in See Canyon!

It’s that time of year when you can take a nice drive up See Canyon and pick up some delicious apples from Golpher Glen. If you haven’t ever done this, I’d recommend it. But if you go, you need to take the San Luis Bay Drive exit from 101 and not the Avila Beach exit since they still have the road closed replacing the bridge.

I read a newspaper article last week talking about the apple wine you can get at the winery that you’ll pass on the way to Golpher Glen. I’m not much of a wine drinker but it sounded good.

Golpher Glen is a good ways up See Canyon. Just keep driving and you can’t miss it. There are some signs posted along the road. If you wanted to take the full scenic route, keep on going up See Canyon Rd after you pick up your apples and you’ll end up on Perfumo Canyon Road in San Luis Obispo. There’s a great view along the way where you can see all the way to Morro Rock.

I took my wife to the Pac Center at Cal Poly on Saturday to see George Carlin. I’ll admit that this is the first time I’ve been to the Pac Center. The pipe organ they installed looks spectacular and I want to take my daughter (the piano player) to hear it.

George Carlin was so-so. I think the 2 ladies sitting behind us thought they were watching one of his HBO specials from home as they talked throughout the entire performance. 🙁

One of the benefits a licensed real estate agent receives by joining the Realtor Association is that you have access to forms to use in a transaction. For us here on the Central Coast, these forms come from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

There is a team of lawyers working for CAR plus committees that look to keep updating the forms to better protect all involved in the transaction. Just a few years ago, the forms were provided in hard copy to Brokers (a 3-part form with the 3rd copy hard to read). CAR quit making these available and forms are now only available online (from a place called Winforms).

One big advantage is that the forms can be revised without having to waste paper which is what happened with the hard copy forms. For example, following is a list of the forms that are being revised on November 5th. If you are presented with an old hard copy form…ASK FOR A RECENT ONE! The only thing I can think would be worse is using the forms you can buy at Office Max.

New Form-
Short Sale Addendum (SSA)

Revised Forms-
Buyer Representation Agreement Exclusive (Right to Represent) (BRE)
Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure (AVID)
Manufactured Home Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (MHPA)
Movie In/Move Out Inspection (MIMO)
Modification of Terms: Authorization and Right to Sell, Acquire or Rent (MT)
Notice of Termination of Tenancy (NTT)
California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (RPA-CA)
Request for Repairs (RR)
Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ)
Trust Bank Account Record for All Trust Funds Deposited and Withdrawn (TAA)
Trust Bank Account Record for Each Beneficiary (TAB)
Trust Bank Account for Each Property Managed (TAP)
Vacant Land Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (VLPA)
Water Heater & Smoke Detector Statement of Compliance (WHSD)

I received an unsolicited email today from a builder offering a 10% Buyers agent commission on 2 homes in Templeton. That would be like a homeowner offering 20% total commission (1/2 for the Buyers agent, 1/2 for the Listing agent).

In the small print at the bottom it says that the 10% commission is if the home is sold on or before October 21st. Offers must be able to close escrow 30 days or less.

I don’t know if they consider “sold” when the offer is made or when it closes escrow. The small print further states that homes sold after October 21st get a 3% commission. To further cause confusion, the headline says “2 Weeks only on 2 Completed Homes”. I have no clue what the 2 weeks refers to…

Ryan’s Mortgage Blog
There are several questions you should have answered before committing to use a mortgage lender. I found a top ten list of questions that pretty much summed it up, and I posted them below with a few revisions:

1 – What is my interest rate and term of the mortgage?
2 – What is my monthly payment? How much of it is principle/interest?
3 – What is my APR? The Annual Percentage Rate is the total annual cost of your mortgage with all fees and costs included.
4 – Am I paying any points?
5 – Where is my Good Faith Estimate? This estimate is a rough figure of the total cost of your loan. This will also have the fees the company charges.
6 – Is my interest rate fixed or adjustable? If adjustable, what are the terms?
7 – Can my quoted interest rate change by the time we close? Make sure they tell you if the rate is lock or floating.
8 – Do I live in an escrow or attorney closing state? California is an escrow state.
9 – What is the closing process with your company and the Title/Escrow company?
10 – Is there a prepayment penalty?

All of these questions should be easy to answer for the broker/lender. If they are having a problem answering them, this should be a red flag. These are also good questions to ask so it will be easy to compare companies if you are shopping around. If you have any questions regarding the list above, please feel free to ask me. My contact information is 805-540-0866 or

Towards the end of August I wondered if we were going to break 400 Pending Sales for the month (we ended up with 391). Well, here we are a month later and this time the question is if we are going to break 300 Pendings. As of a minute ago, we’re sitting at 277 Pendings with 5 days left in the month.

Hold on folks, the ride isn’t over yet!

Best of Caravan – North Coast

Today’s Best of Caravan is the 1995 Mobile Home in Daisy Hills Mobile Estates in Los Osos. Daisy Hills is an age restricted, 55+ park, where you own a share in the Park. By owning a share in the park, you are part owner of the park itself, which means that you are not subject to the unpredictability of future rental rate increases.

This lovely 2 bedroom plus office, 2 bath home offers an open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, oak wood kitchen cabinets and a 2-car carport .

This property is very well priced and depending on your needs, may be one of the best values around!

Click here for more information

(Best of Caravan is chosen by one of our team of local expert Realtors as the property that stood out on the weekly Broker’s caravan of new listings. If the photo is missing or the link doesn’t work, this mean the property is no longer available.)

Why isn’t my home selling?

If your home is up for sale and isn’t selling, here are some questions to ask yourself:

1) Is your home priced right?
If there are comparables to your home, this should be an easy question to answer. You should also be getting weekly reports from your agent with latest market activity. This will tell you if homes that you are competing with are going Pending plus the price homes are being sold for. If other homes you’re competing with are going Pending, you need to ask why theirs and not yours! During the housing boom if you overpriced your home, appreciation would eventually catch up to the price you had it listed at. This is not the case in today’s market. If you price it 5-10% above what the comparable value says thinking that maybe you can get the price, you are probably going to be one of the homes that sits on the market with the Days on Market (DOM) increasing. Your’re going to get the most attention from Buyers and Buyer Agents when you first list your home. You don’t want the initial impression of your home to be “another overpriced home”.

2) How well is your home being presented?
Look for a home like a Buyer would. Search the Internet search engines and see how easy it is to find your home. Do the photos make you want to see your home? For example, is your main photo a “Wow” photo? Do the interior photos make the rooms look small? Sometimes a few photos is better than a lot of photos. EVERY ONE of your home photos should send a postive message. If not, it should be removed or reshot. Dark photos, photos without Blue skies, photos with cars parked in front of the home, etc. are examples. Also, be careful of the 360 degree panoramic “virtual tours”. Most of these don’t show a home that well and may cause a Buyer to cross your home off their list. Here is an example of photos that help sell a home-

If your Realtor’s marketing plan focuses on print advertising, chances are after a month or two on the market, you aren’t seeing your home advertised as much because of the cost. But, since Buyers are really looking at the Internet, you need your home to show up when Buyers search for real estate in your city.

3) Is your flyer box empty?
This is one of the biggest mistakes Realtors make. An empty flyer box could be sending the message that your home is Pending Sale and off the market. If you are occupying the home, ask your Realtor for a stack of brochures so you can refill the box so you don’t miss a potential Buyer. Some Realtors may say “I purposely leave the flyer box empty so I get phone calls” but I think it’s more like “I don’t want to pay for any more brochures”.

4) Are you getting showing feedback?
When a potential Buyer looks at your home, their feedback is valuable. If you start hearing the same comments, then you know something that needs to be fixed. If you have a lockbox on your home, your Realtor should be downloading the lockbox entry log to make sure you know everyone that has viewed your home as some Realtors don’t leave their business card behind. Your Realtor should follow up with the Realtors that show your home. This is sometimes a challenge as a lot of Realtors won’t return the phone call that’s asking for feedback but there are other ways of getting it. I use a system where I’ve been getting 80%+ response rates from Realtors.