Successful REALTORS® Commit to Continuing Education

posted Jun 22, 2018, 3:16 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Jun 22, 2018, 3:17 PM ]

By PSAR 2010 Past President Nikki Coppa.

Every successful REALTOR® shares one common attribute: A commitment to continuing education.

Today, we’re facing disruption from people who say technology will make REALTORS® extinct. There are discounters who say that experience and knowledge are unnecessary.

Our response should not be to argue, be belligerent or fight back, nor to be deceptive or manipulative. Instead, simply resolve to continue to raise your game. Be the most qualified and smartest agent you can be, so you can correctly advise and expertly guide your clients. That will happen only with a commitment and dedication to continuing education.

Too many agents only see continuing education as a necessary evil. Many take the bare minimum of courses to keep their license current. They sit through classes while chomping at the bit to get back to work.

However, continuing education can have a multiplier effect on your career. It can result in greater financial literacy, productivity, and income. It will lead your mind to new ways of thinking. It will enable you to provide incredible value to your clients. Specialty knowledge can help boost your salary and client base. Better educated agents bring heightened professionalism, marketability, ethics, and proficiency to the industry.

What might have worked yesterday might not work today. What was relevant in the past might be useless today. That’s because the market is continually changing and evolving. There is so much to keep up with that it can make your head spin.

In today’s fast-paced world, there are new technologies to learn and expertise to be gained so you can stand out from the crush of competition. Agents who embrace technology and integrate it into their daily work will stand a better chance to expand their client base and work with clients of all generations.

In addition to technology, there are new rules and regulations, as well as new forms. I’ve been teaching between 12 and 15 classes annually since 2010. During these years, numerous changes have occurred to California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) forms.

Recently changes have been made to such forms as Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory (SBSA), Cancellation of Listing (COL), Residential Lease or Month-to-Month Rental Agreement (LR), Application to Rent-Screening Fee (LRA), Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ), Residential Lease After Sale (RLAS), Lease Listing Agreement (LL) and Lease-Rental Commission Agreement (LCA). Also, C.A.R. continues to release new forms, most recently, Buyer Homeowner Association Advisory (BHAA), Disclosure Information Advisory (DIA) and Tenant Flood Hazard Disclosure (TFHD). As market conditions and laws change, it is imperative that we remain informed to best position our clients.

If you don’t know the latest, then you cannot serve and protect your clients in the best way. One new sentence can mean a major change. If you make an error due to ignorance, you could find yourself facing a lawsuit and dashing your clients’ dreams. Many feel that the real estate transaction is one of the most painful processes one can endure. Nobody wants to put their clients through pain, especially when it can be so easily avoided through continuing education.

Real estate agents operate in one of the most competitive industries in the U.S. There are few barriers to entry, relatively low startup costs, so thousands of people jump on board every month. What will separate you from the newcomers? It will be your experience and commitment to continuing education.

The choice is yours. You control your own destiny in our industry. Being the best that you can be by continuing to learn every day is the best choice. We’re never finished learning. As Warren Buffet has said, “Whatever makes you smarter, makes you richer.”

I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and attend upcoming classes offered by your Association. It could be a new topic or a refresher on something you think you’re an expert at (you might be surprised what you don’t know). Our Association provides our members with outstanding resources and tools to enhance your professional skills and better serve your clients. We want every homebuyer or seller to be confident that they are working with a professional who has exceptional real estate knowledge and proficiency.

Nikki Coppa has taught classes attended by PSAR members since 2010. She has served on the PSAR board of directors, including serving as PSAR president in 2011. She has served as a C.A.R. Director as well as a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Director. In 2016, she was appointed chair of the C.A.R. Standard Forms Advisory Committee. Nikki will teach two classes on recent changes to C.A.R. forms from 4 to 5 p.m., Monday, July 2 at the PSAR South County Service Center, 880 Canarios Court, Chula Vista, and a second class from 11 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, July 3, at the PSAR East County Service Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. Admission is free for members, $20 per person for nonmembers. For more information, call PSAR at (619) 421-7811, or visit


Helping Your Sellers Sell

posted Jun 15, 2018, 4:03 PM by Joyce Evans

Here is the latest in a series of occasional articles on “Best Practices” for PSAR members from 2018 PSAR President Jan Farley.

As real estate professionals, it’s our responsibility to advise our clients on effective ways to boost the value of their home before selling. Especially because inventory is so thin in today’s market, we can assist our clients with ideas that will improve the curb appeal before that for-sale sign is placed in the front lawn. Buyers recognize and appreciate cleaner homes. Taking time to invest in home maintenance will likely produce a big payoff. So, before the home is put on the market, here are a couple of ideas that should be shared with sellers: 
  • Clean-up the exterior with a fresh coat of paint, window washing and maybe even power washing the driveway and backyard patio. Also, clear out gutters, trim overgrown landscaping and remove dead plants and trees. Clean the front door, change out any worn-out hardware and make sure the doorbell actually rings.
  • Spruce-up the interior with de-cluttering and a deep cleaning. Gather and donate all those unwanted closet items, as well as unused furniture and décor. Clean out the garage (make sure you can actually walk through it). Decluttering might be a challenge for some sellers, but most of them know that a spick-and-span property looks better for any open house. An interior deep cleaning means wiping down all baseboards and moldings and cleaning cabinets, appliances and every corner from top to bottom, including ceiling fans and light fixtures. If necessary, hire a cleaning crew to tackle this. Also, do a light bulb check (both indoor and outdoor); make sure they’re all working and free of dirt and debris.
  • Be proactive and complete projects now that could potentially slow the escrow process over demands from the buyer. For example, service the heating and cooling system before the home inspector checks it anyway. Replace the batteries in the smoke detectors and make sure they’re working.
  • Consider a professional stager. A National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) study found that for every $100 investing in staging, the potential return is $400. NAR found that a staged home will sell for 17 percent more on average than a non-staged home, and 95 percent of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That is statistically 87 percent faster than non-staged homes.
In a follow-up study, NAR found that: 49 percent of buyer’s agents said that staging had a positive effect on most buyers’ outlook on the home; 77 percent of buyer’s agents said that home staging helped buyers visualize themselves in the home; 29 percent of sellers’ agents reported an increase of 1 percent to 5 percent of the dollar value offered by buyers when staging, in comparison to similar homes; 21 percent said that staging a home increased the home’s dollar value by 6 percent to 10 percent; 39 percent of sellers’ agents stated that home staging greatly decreases the length of time a home is on the market.

Sellers should understand that a stager’s purpose is different from an interior designer’s work. The interior designer wants to make a home more livable for its residents. However, a stager’s goal is to emphasize a home’s assets, minimize its less desirable features and make everything look more attractive, especially for photography. The stager is not interested in comfort.
  • Think about small remodeling jobs, especially for the kitchen and bathrooms. An out-of-date kitchen could delay a sale because the kitchen is one of the most important rooms potential buyers look at when choosing a house. Updating tiling or cabinets, or even a new backslash over the cook-top, can add a new look to an older kitchen. Also, small functional changes in a bathroom can make a huge difference. Shower heads, faucets, lighting fixtures, and tiles can make a bathroom more aesthetically pleasing.

REALTOR® Games: competition and fun for a good cause.

posted Jun 8, 2018, 4:07 PM by Joyce Evans

Get ready, loosen up and make plans now to participate in this year’s PSAR 2018 REALTOR® Games. PSAR’s second annual PSAR REALTOR® Games will be held from noon to 5 p.m., Thursday, June 28, at Scobee Park, 2390 Boswell Road in Chula Vista’s Eastlake community. Registration begins at noon. The competitions begin at 1 p.m.

The REALTOR® Games will feature teams competing in mental and physical challenges. The competitions will include agility activities, such as sack race, free-throw contest, balloon catch and cornhole, as well as mental games, including spelling bee, board puzzle and REALTOR® Feud, a game resembling TV’s “Family Feud.” Another competition will consist of “Jenga,” a game of skill featuring players taking turns removing one wooden block at a time from a tower constructed of several dozen blocks (the name Jenga is derived from a Swahili word meaning “build”).

This year’s proceeds will benefit three nonprofits, including Military Warriors Support Foundation, South Bay Community Services, and Unity 4 Orphans. Last year, 200 attendees helped generate $7,500 in donations to the charities.

Once again, members of PSAR’s South County Charity Committee are organizing this year’s REALTOR® Games, including Robert Cromer, Sarah Heck, and Angie West.

“There is a lot of time, creativity and attention to detail that is given to this event,” said Cromer. “We encourage everyone to take the time and join us. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that we are going to raise a substantial amount of money for three extraordinary charities and touch the lives of their recipients through our donations.”

Sponsors of this year’s REALTOR® Games (as of press time) include Coldwell Banker West, Keller Williams Chula Vista, Team Limon at CNG Financial, Point Mortgage, Guild Mortgage, Premium Mortgage, California Preferred Escrow, Bay Equity Home Loans, West Coast Escrow, In-Depth Real Estate Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Home Warranty of America, Orangetheory Fitness, Cleanology, Elite Computers, Sketch Lab Co., and Frida’s Cocina.

Product, service and equipment sponsors include Preferred Home Inspections, Caffe Tazza, Fine Wood Finishing, Pacific Drain & Plumbing, Minuteman press, Award Sign Company, Surflow Entertainment, and First American Home Buyers Warranty.

Entry fee is $250 per team. Contestants will receive a 2018 REALTOR® Games event t-shirt featuring sponsor names. Spectator admission is $20 per person, which includes a taco plate, beverage and raffle ticket. For more information, visit

Here are a few comments from last year’s attendees to the inaugural REALTOR® Games:

Angie West said, “The REALTOR® Games was such a great event. It built up such camaraderie and brought out such fun competition amongst the teams. I laughed all day watching the fun among the teams as they tried to beat each other. All in all, it was a great fun day that supported such a worthy cause.”

Kim Peterson, said, “My favorite memory was the teamwork. The teams had so much fun working together competing against the other teams. There was a lot of participation and great sponsorships. I believe this year’s REALTOR® Games will be an event that you will not want to miss!” 

“I was happy to be a part of it,” said Tony Santiago. “It was a fun and memorable day. I was pleased about all the feedback from the players, sponsors, and spectators.”

Rhonda Beathard said, “It was a successful undertaking by any measure. The REALTOR® Games had all the essentials elements, including great causes, fantastic participation, and fun games.”

“If you weren't there you missed out on a great event,” said Jan Wilcox. “I had a fun time participating. The turnout was great, everyone who participated had wonderful team spirit and ultimately a good time was had by all.”  

“My favorite memory, other than the fun time we all experienced, was that the last team I encouraged to join was our office, Coldwell Banker West, and we won the grand final,” said Merrie Espina. “The event was a huge success. Team players and volunteers did a wonderful job to support community charities. Our hard work and willingness to help make a difference. PSAR does a lot of things to raise funds to give back to the community and all members should participate as a chance to network with other people in the industry as well. As a volunteer, you provide a valuable community service, build teamwork and camaraderie. It is also a chance to be knowledgeable of resources that are helpful in our career.”

The South County Charity Committee consists of a wonderful group of caring PSAR members who are willing to share PSAR resources and talent within the community through outreach and service. Their goal is to provide the necessary support to make a positive charitable impact within the communities served by PSAR members. The volunteers serving on the PSAR Charity Committee evaluate and review requests from nonprofits in the community. Then, they select worthy charitable causes to support.

This year’s REALTOR® Games were originally scheduled on Friday, June 29,  but the date was changed to Thursday, June 28 due to a scheduling conflict at the park. Scobee Park is named in honor of Francis R. “Dick” Scobee (1939-1986), who was a Challenger Spacecraft Commander aboard the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger, which suffered catastrophic booster failure at 73 seconds after the launch on Jan. 28, 1986.

Global Real Estate Council Forum included signing of Bi-Regional Cooperation Agreement

posted Jun 7, 2018, 2:07 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Jun 7, 2018, 3:00 PM ]
PSAR’s Global Real Estate Council (GREC) recently hosted a highly successful event on June 1st that drew more than 100 real estate agents from both sides of the international border. The first-ever event, called the “Global Real Estate Council Forum,” featured information about Mexico’s real estate market and networking with international agents.

Speakers at the Forum included Gustavo Chacon Aubanel of the Consejo Estatal de Profesionales Inmobiliarios de Baja California, architect Jorge Gutierrez, and PSAR broker member Max Zaker, a member of the City of Chula Vista’s Planning Commission and Growth Management Oversight Commission. Mr. Aubanel presented current vertical trends and future development south of the border. The Forum was followed by a trade show with exhibit booths and food festival with live music in the PSAR parking lot.

Event sponsors included Chris Aguilar with Nixtermite, Lester Borrero with Farmers Insurance, Alex Magana with Ticor Title and Escrow, Diego Palomera with Secure Funding Group, Ted Przybylek with Ranchoted, Gabriel Rodriguez with LoanDepot and Gustavo Torres with Remax Baja.

Hector Zamaro, 2018 chairman of the GREC, said, “We had an outstanding time with agents, brokers, and developers from Baja California. Our members were able to meet and network with representatives from different organizations from Baja. It was a great effort by our PSAR Global Council members and sponsors. It was exciting when Jan Farley and Gustavo Chacon Aubanel ratified our bi-national Agreement of Cooperation between our associations.”

One of the highlights of the event was a ceremony featuring the signing of a Bi-Regional Cooperation Agreement with Jan Farley, 2018 PSAR president, and Gustavo Chacon Aubanel, presidente of the Consejo Estatal de Profesionales Inmobiliarios de Baja California, A. C. (CEPIBC), a statewide real estate trade group for the Mexican state of Baja California.

The Cooperation Agreement between the two real estate Associations encouraged five objectives, including friendship, education, professionalism, business and mutual cooperation among each association’s membership.

The Agreement calls for the scheduling of future classes to focus on the financial, legal and cultural differences for real estate transactions in Mexico and the USA, as well as the promotional of business and tourism relationships and support of private property ownership. The Agreement also calls for all members to respect each Association’s Code of Ethics for business interactions. 

Founded in 1984, CEPIBC comprises the 10 local real estate trade associations that operate in five Baja California cities, including Tijuana, Ensenada, Rosarito, Tecate, and Mexicali. CEPIBC promotes standards of professionalism, licensing and increased business relationships with U.S. real estate professionals, primarily in California and Arizona.

PSAR’s GREC is dedicated to assisting the needs of PSAR members who desire to expand their international outreach. PSAR members serving on this year’s GREC include Hector Zamaro (chair), Raul Iniguez (vice chair), Sandra Morales, Ahmad Zadah, Gabriel Rodriguez, Nedy Lao, Araceli Gonzalez, Catalina Spuehler, Oscar Vega and Nicolas Iniguez.

GREC offers PSAR members with the opportunity to learn and expand their niche market in real estate internationally. The vision of the Council is to provide and facilitate educational opportunities to enable PSAR members to expand their practice and organize global-themed events. The Council also encourages PSAR members to earn the Certified International Property Specialist, a professional designation offered by the National Association of REALTORS® that provides knowledge, a worldwide network, and tools helpful in serving international clients. Formed in 2013, the GREC has hosted several educational events in recent years designed to assist PSAR to serve international capital investment clients to make informed transactions with effective counsel across multiple jurisdictions. The training sessions have focused on cultural customs and diversity, as well as panel discussions and forums with international partners. For more information about PSAR’s GREC, visit

PSAR announces endorsement of Rafael Perez for San Diego Community College District

posted Jun 1, 2018, 4:34 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Jun 1, 2018, 4:38 PM ]

The Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR) has announced its endorsement of REALTOR® member Rafael Perez for the San Diego Community College District “E.”

PSAR’s Government Affairs Committee recommended the endorsements to the PSAR board of directors, who then ratified the recommendation.

Perez, a member of the PSAR board of directors and a Cuyamaca College adjunct faculty member, is running for a four-year term on the college district’s Board of Trustees among a field of four candidates. The two top vote-getters will move on to face each other in the November general election.

District “E” in the San Diego Community College District includes the areas of Normal Heights, City Heights, Eastern North Park, Azalea Park, South Park, Fairmont Park, Golden Hill, Sherman Heights, Grant Hill, Mountain View, Logan Heights, Southcrest, Barrio Logan, Downtown, East Village and Shelltown.

“We are proud to endorse Rafael based on his commitment to economic empowerment through education and his dedication to students,” said Ditas Yamane, 2018 chair of PSAR’s South County Government Affairs Committee. “He is an experienced leader with an unwavering commitment to helping people get ahead.”

“I am honored and proud to accept the endorsement of PSAR,” Perez said. “If elected, my goals as a San Diego Community College trustee will be to build prosperity for students, provide a fighting chance for those who have fallen through the cracks and champion a climate-friendly campus.”

Perez, a successful REALTOR®, was honored with a 2017 PSAR Realtor of the Year award. He was recognized for his involvement on several City of San Diego housing programs, including the city’s density bonus program that allows developers to build more market-rate housing than zoning allows if they voluntarily add low-income homes.

Also as part of his involvement with PSAR, he played a key role in securing a grant from the National Association of REALTORS® for a diversity initiative that involved both PSAR and the local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). Perez was a founding board member of the NAHREP San Diego chapter and served as chapter president in 2013.

Perez moved to San Diego in 1999 to attend San Diego State University. On the Monday after graduating from college in 2004, he started working in real estate. His real estate career has included both sales and lending.

Perez’s civic involvement has included serving as a member of the City of San Diego's Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission. He was appointed to the Commission after his selection to attend the San Diego Public Leadership Institute, a nine-month, non-partisan program for professionals with business experience who are interested in exploring running for public office or serving on boards and commissions.

At Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, Perez teaches a real estate principles course.

In addition to PSAR, Perez’s endorsements include: Nora Vargas, trustee, Southwestern College; Association of Raza Educators San Diego; San Diego Free Press; Monique Limon, California State Assembly members, 37th District; Ben Hueso, Senator, California State Senate, 40th District.

Perez has received a “Qualified Rating” from the San Diego County Democratic Party, an “Acceptable Rating” from the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council, a “100 Percent Rating” from Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest Action Fund and an “Acceptable Rating” from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Democratic Club.

Over the course of his life, Perez has consistently raised his hand for leadership opportunities and community involvement. It was through this involvement that he had an opportunity to visit Washington D.C. It was during the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) advocacy days, he was able to learn about the political process and how to advocate for legislative priorities. This was 2009, just weeks after President Obama had taken office and the energy in the Capitol was one of hope and excitement. It was during this trip that Perez and the group he was traveling with were able to meet with recently appointed Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Perez said he was incredibly inspired by the possibility of public service during this visit and asked himself “Why not me?”

Perez’s opponents in the race include an entrepreneur, a non-profit director, and a termed-out San Diego City Councilman who has already raised $119,000 for a bid in 2020 to replace County Supervisor Greg Cox in 2020. Previously, this city council member ran for San Diego mayor and lost to Kevin Faulconer. The San Diego Union-Tribune’s editorial board recently noted that this candidate is showing contempt for the needs of district students and employees alike because he would quit in two years as college district trustee if elected as County Supervisor. The newspaper wrote: “Should San Diegans elect candidates who prove before an election they don’t really want the job? No.”

Perez’s campaign website is

Founded in 1928, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® offers educational training, networking, professional development, advocacy and other services and resources to its REALTOR® and affiliate members. Offices are located in Chula Vista and El Cajon. For more information, visit

AB 2364 Failed!

posted Jun 1, 2018, 10:05 AM by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated Jun 1, 2018, 10:06 AM ]

Great news! AB 2364 FAILED last night on Assembly Floor! It only secured 25 Yes votes, with 34 voting No and the remainder Not Voting. All members of the Assembly were present, so those not voting did so intentionally.

Thank you to everyone for all their work to make this happen. 

PSAR and C.A.R OPPOSED AB 2364 (Bloom and Chiu), which deters property owners from returning to the rental housing business for 10 years. AB 2364 significantly weakens the Ellis Act by discouraging new rental housing investment and will ultimately make the state’s housing crisis even worse.

Oppose AB2364

posted May 29, 2018, 10:09 AM by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated May 29, 2018, 10:10 AM ]

PSAR and C.A.R OPPOSE AB 2364 (Bloom and Chiu), which deters property owners from returning to the rental housing business for 10 years. AB 2364 significantly weakens the Ellis Act by discouraging new rental housing investment and will ultimately make the state's housing crisis even worse. AB 2364 will be considered by the entire Assembly this week.
Action Item:   Call 1-800-798-6593 
and enter your NRDS number --followed by the # sign to be connected with your legislator's office.
NRDS Number can be found here;
Ask your Assembly Member to vote NO on AB 2364.

 Issue Background
In 1985, C.A.R. successfully sponsored the Ellis Act, which is a bipartisan comprise reached by the Legislature to allow rental property owners to go out of business. Prior to the Ellis Act, unlike any other business, rental property owners were forced to stay in business, even when subjected to extreme financial conditions. The Ellis Act provides a reasonable solution that gives certainty to both rental property owners and tenants alike.
Specifically, the Ellis Act requires a property returned to the rental market before a 5-year period expires to include any deed-restricted or rent-controlled units previously located on the property. C.A.R opposes AB 2364 because, among other things, it seeks to weaken the Ellis Act by discouraging rental property owners from returning rental units to the market by effectively extending this 5-year period to 10 years.
Why C.A.R. is opposing AB 2364
· Discouraging investment in rental housing is bad policy. AB 2364 will have a chilling effect on the state's housing supply crisis. Substantially diminishing a rental property owner's ability to return their property to the market will not only limit the number of available units, but also adversely affect property values and the ability to finance property.
· Rental property owners cannot see TEN YEARS into the future. Existing law sets reasonable and foreseeable standards for rental property owners and tenants. AB 2364 imposes unreasonable constraints on rental property owners who simply want to return their property to the market after 5 years.
Please contact Rian Barrett at

Only 11 days to sell a home in April, said C.A.R.

posted May 25, 2018, 4:37 PM by Paige Campbell

Housing affordability improved statewide in the first quarter 2018 due to higher wages and lower seasonable home prices, according to the California Association of REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “Housing Affordability Index” (HAI). C.A.R. said 31 percent of California households could afford to purchase the $538,640 median-priced home in the first quarter of this year, up from 29 percent in fourth-quarter 2017 but down from 32 percent a year ago. In San Diego County, only 26 percent of households could afford to purchase a median-priced home in the first quarter, which remained unchanged from the previous quarter but down from 28 percent in the first quarter of 2017.
C.A.R. said it was the 20th consecutive quarter for its HAI index to be below 40 percent. California's housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the 1stQ of 2012. C.A.R.’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. The index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for homebuyers in the state.


To afford the statewide median-priced single family home of $538,640, a household would need a minimum annual income of $111,500 to make the necessary $2,790 monthly payments, according to 1stQ C.A.R. figures. The payment would include principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.44 percent. The effective interest rate in the 4th 2017 was 4.17 percent and 4.36 percent in the 1stQ 2017.


C.A.R. also said that the affordability of condominiums and townhomes improved slightly in the 1stQ 2018. C.A.R. said 39 percent of California households earning the minimum income could qualify for the purchase of a $449,720 median-priced condominium or townhome in the 1stQ 2018, up from 38 percent of households who could afford to purchase in the 4thQ 2017. An annual income of $93,090 would be required to make monthly payments of $2,330 in the 1stQ 2018.


In addition, C.A.R. recently released its April homes sales and price report. C.A.R. said April’s statewide median home price was $584,460, up 3.5 percent from March and 8.6 percent from April 2017. In San Diego County, the median sales price of an existing single-family home was $635,000 in April, 1.5 percent higher than the $625,400 sales price figure for March 2018 and 7.6 percent higher than the $590,000 sales price figure for April 2017.


The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home remained low at 15 days in April, compared with 16 days in March and 17 days in April 2017. Meanwhile, in San Diego, the median number of days a home remained unsold on the market was 11 days in April 2018, compared to 12 days in March 2018 and 11 days in April 2017.


C.A.R. said existing, single-family home sales totaled 416,790 in April on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 1.7 percent from March and up 2.2 percent from April 2017. April was the first time in nearly three years for the number of available homes for sale to increase following nearly two consecutive years of double-digit declines in active listings, C.A.R. said.


“After nearly three years of decline in active listings, we’re finally seeing an improvement in the availability of homes for sale, which is encouraging for prospective buyers as we enter the busy spring home-buying season,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “However, entry-level buyers may continue to experience the housing shortage as homes priced under $300,000 continue to bear the brunt of inventory issues.”   


“After increasing year-over-year by more than 8 percent for the past three months, the California median home price is close to striking distance of the pre-recession peak price of $594,530, which was recorded in May 2007,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie-Appleton-Young. “With a continued imbalance of supply and demand, we’ll likely break previous price records, which many areas have already done, before the summer is over.”


In other recent real estate news according to news reports:


-- CoreLogic, an Orange County-based real estate information service, said San Diego County’s median home price hit an all-time high of $570,000 in April, increasing 8.6 percent in a year from $525,000 in April 2017. April’s all-time high figure surpasses the previous peak of $550,000 set the previous month of March. The increase was largely led by the rising price of resale condos, going up 11.7 percent in a year to a record high median of $430,000. The median price of a resale home reached a record $610,500, while the newly built home price was $707,500. While the rising prices are notable, they still technically lower than prices at the height of the housing boom. In November 2005, the median hit $517,500, which would be more than $655,000 today after adjusting for inflation.


-- CALmatters, a news media outlet covering state policy issues in California, recently identified several reasons why California’s  housing costs are so high. At its most basic level, it’s a story of supply and demand: Lots of people want to live here and there aren’t enough homes to go around. Among the reasons: We haven’t built enough housing; Demand to live and work and own in urban areas has reached a breaking point; In most parts of California, the process to get new housing approved is difficult, time consumer and expensive; Land, labor and raw material costs are higher in California than the rest of the country.


-- Is a housing bubble coming? Probably not, according to one mortgage insurance company. Arch MI says there’s only a slim chance Southern California home prices will fall in the next two years. Arch MI gauged the economic foundations of home values in 100 major metropolitan areas to determine local housing markets with “minimal” risk. Locally, Arch MI found solid performance among regional businesses and limited development of new homes as factors that should keep home prices firm.

NAR Board of Directors Update

posted May 21, 2018, 10:07 AM by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated May 21, 2018, 10:47 AM ]

Photo taken by PSAR's NAR Director Nikki Coppa
NAR Board OKs Stepped-up Ethics Enforcement, Dues Increase during DC Meetings

Here's a recap of actions and reports from the May 19 Board of Directors meeting, written by NAR communications staff @Robert Freedman and @Sam Silverstein.

The NAR Board of Directors at its meeting in Washington May 19 took a major step toward increasing professionalism in real estate by giving associations new teeth for enforcing Code of Ethics violations, and it also positioned REALTORS® for the future by adopting the association's first dues increase in eight years.

Under changes to Sections 23(j) and (n) of the NAR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, local associations that choose to adopt the policy can publicize the names of members and the nature of their violations after a second violation of the Code of Ethics. They can also release a photograph of the member as part of that public disclosure.

"This is a huge shift that members have been asking for," said Colin Mullane, broker-owner of Full Circle Real Estate in Ashland, Ore. Mullane is an NAR regional vice president. "Up to this point we've been reluctant to point the finger at people who really violate the Code of Ethics. Now there are real consequences if you're a repeat offender."

The stepped-up enforcement option is based on a pilot program of the California Association of REALTORS®.

In another big change, to Standard of Practice 1-7, a listing broker or agent is required to respond in writing that an offer was submitted to the seller if the cooperating broker who submitted the offer so requests. The listing broker or agent must respond in the affirmative unless the seller has provided written notification waiving the obligation to have the offer presented.

"There's been real frustration by a lot of brokers, especially in busy markets, that they're not sure if their offers were even looked at," said Mullane. "That kind of thing breaks down the spirit of cooperation. This is a way to restore that."

Another change, to Section 13(d) of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, clarifies the rights and role of REALTOR® principals in an ethics hearing.

"We have heard from members about strengthening professionalism, and today we took an important step forward," said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall. "The changes will bring invaluable benefit to consumers and allow REALTORS® to serve them to the best of our abilities."

S.M.A.R.T. Budget approved

In a major move to keep REALTORS® positioned for success into the future while ensuring NAR no longer needs to use reserves to cover expenses, the board approved a budget that sets national association dues at $150 per year per member beginning in 2019. That's a $30 increase. Seventeen dollars of the increase is for REALTOR® Party advocacy programming. The remaining $13 will fund programs such as the new Commitment to Excellence professionalism initiative, the popular forms and transaction management benefit, and upkeep of the association's buildings.

The new package of measures, called the S.M.A.R.T. Initiatives (for Strategic Measures Advancing REALTORS® to Tomorrow), was approved by NAR's Budget Review Committee in March and association leaders sought member feedback in the weeks leading up to the meetings.

The NAR budget underwent a comprehensive review after Bob Goldberg became CEO of the association last August. The spending plan for 2019-2021 reflects more than $2 million in annual savings, achieved by reducing association staff, cutting global travel, and making across-the-board cuts.

NAR is also realizing savings from a decision Goldberg made earlier this year to end the Advanced Multi-List Platform (AMP), formed in 2015 by NAR's wholly owned Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) subsidiary to provide customized back-end technology services for small- to mid-size multiple listing services. The elimination of the program saves NAR $1.7 million in 2018 and, along with other reductions at RPR®, will save $5.25 million in 2019.

A key element of the financial blueprint involves replenishing NAR's reserves, which have fallen 45 percent since 2015. In recent years, NAR used savings to fund activities such as a popular forms and transaction management platform benefit and for creation of Upstream, an innovative data management platform for brokers.

The increase also funds needed upgrades and repairs to the association's Washington and Chicago office buildings. In addition, the board voted to establish a reserve fund to cover maintenance costs for the buildings in the future.

Board elections

The board elected 2019 officers: Charles Oppler, AHWD, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., first vice president; Vince Malta of San Francisco, president-elect; and John Flor, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI, RSPS, of Chetek, Wis., 2019-20 treasurer. John Smaby of Edina, Minn., was earlier elected 2019 president.

NAR officer restrictions

The board adopted a provision prohibiting members in certain NAR leadership positions from applying and campaigning for NAR elected office. The goal is to reduce the perception that a member is using official NAR travel and other association funds to further aspirations for elective office. The positions include NAR treasurer, regional vice president, REALTOR® Party director, and other committee liaison positions.

MLS policies

The board made two updates to MLS policies:

• Created a no-cost waiver option for commercial information exchange (CIE) fees, dues, and charges for licensees affiliated with a broker, provided the licensee subscribes to at least one MLS or CIE. The changes parallel revisions in MLS policy adopted last year for multiple listing services.

• Established a process within MLS rules for resolving complaints alleging unauthorized use of listing content by other participants.

Federal policy positions

To advance NAR's efforts in Washington, the board adopted a number of tax and finance policy positions. Among them:

  • Index caps on state and local tax deductions for inflation. The major tax reform law enacted last year places a $10,000 cap on the amount of state and local tax deductions households can itemize on their return. Without indexing the cap for inflation, taxpayers will effectively see tax increases each year as inflation erodes the value of the deductions.
  • Eliminate the marriage penalty in the state and local tax deduction cap. The $10,000 limit doesn't differentiate between single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return.
  • Provide tax relief to student debt holders and employers who assist with their employees' student loan debt burdens. In addition, NAR supports policies that provide tax relief to those borrowers with forgiven student debt.
  • Provide compliance relief to smaller community banks and credit unions so they can continue to offer safe and affordable mortgage credit to consumers.

Legal assistance

The board approved $340,000 to the California Association of REALTORS® to help with a copyright fight against the unauthorized use of the association's real estate transaction forms.

Fair Housing 50-year anniversary

NAR Diversity Committee reported it had passed a resolution commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and acknowledging that NAR policy has evolved over the years from promoting exclusion and opposing fair housing to leading efforts to expand fair housing rights and inclusion in the association's membership.

Chief lobbyist to retire

The board recognized the service of NAR Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello, who is retiring at the end of 2018. Giovaniello is a 37-year veteran of NAR, the last 17 as chief lobbyist.

Tech summit announced

CEO Bob Goldberg shared plans to host a technology summit this summer to bring technologist, real estate experts, and capital providers together on behalf of real estate. "We need to bring disrupters and innovators to the table," said Goldberg. "We need to get capital into this industry to help our members." The Innovation Opportunity and Investment Conference, or IOI, is August 28-30 in San Francisco.

Distinguished Service Award

It was announced that Peyton Norville, Birmingham, Ala., and JoAnne Poole, GRI, CRS, PMN, Baltimore, will be the recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in November at the 2018 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston.

Meritorious Service Award

The board recognized Sharon Keating of Jefferson City, Mo., and Larry Edward of Jackson, Miss., as this year's federal political coordinators (FPCs) receiving the Meritorious Service Award. FPCs are NAR members who serve as liaisons to their senator or representative in Congress.

REALTORS® Political Action Committee

RPAC met more than half of its $34.5 million fundraising goal for 2018 during the first four months of the year, and the percentage of members who are RPAC contributors has risen to 28 percent, up from 25 percent a year ago. 

PSAR announces endorsements for June 5 election

posted May 18, 2018, 4:33 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated May 18, 2018, 6:24 PM by Richard D'Ascoli ]

The Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR) has announced its endorsement of five candidates for the June 5 election. Endorsed candidates include:

  • Brian Jones for California State Senate 38th District
  • Ernie Dronenburg for San Diego County assessor-recorder-clerk, 
  • Eric J. Lund for San Diego County Board of Education District #3, 
  • Max Zaker for Chula Vista City Council District #2 and 
  • Rafael Perez for San Diego Community College District #E.

PSAR’s Government Affairs Committee recommended the endorsements to the board of directors, which then ratified the recommendation. The Government Affairs Committee is involved in political advocacy and public policy and its impact on homeownership and private property rights.

Brian Jones - State Senate 38th District includes Lemon Grove, El Cajon, La Mesa, Santee, Poway, Escondido, San Marcos, Lakeside, Valley Center, Rancho Santa Fe, Julian, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, Bonsall, Borrego Springs and Fallbrook.

Jones, currently a Santee City Council member, is running to succeed Joel Anderson, who is termed out. Jones served in the State Assembly for six years after eight years on the Santee City Council. In 2017, Jones was appointed to the Santee City Council to fill a vacancy created when Santee’s mayor, Randy Voepel, was elected to the Assembly. Jones is running against two other candidates. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to November’s general election.

Jones has been a resident of the 38th Senate District since 1978. He attended Santee Elementary, Cajon Park Middle School and Santana High School. Since he was first elected to office in 2002, Jones has consistently worked for common-sense policies to expand housing opportunities and protect homeownership.

Jones’ campaign website is

Ernie Dronenburg - The assessor-recorder represents all of San Diego County

Dronenburg is seeking re-election for a third term to the nonpartisan office. He was first elected to the office in 2010 and re-elected in June 2014, when he received 59 percent of the vote, resulting in no runoff election that year. His June 2014 reelection was won by a 28-point spread. As a California Certified Property Tax Appraiser for over 10 years, Dronenburg is the only candidate in the race who meets the legal requirement to hold the office of assessor-recorder-county clerk.

Dronenburg has a 20-year track record of advocating for taxpayers. His track record includes lowering property values, which provided tax relief to hundreds of thousands of homeowners so they could remain in their homes. Soon after taking office in 2010, Dronenburg reduced property taxes on more than 310,000 properties in San Diego County. At the time, the housing market was still reeling from the impact of the economic recession and many homeowners had lost value in their homes.

Under Dronenburg’s leadership, the county office has implemented innovative technology so that taxpayers can conveniently do business with his office online rather than driving to his office to stand in line. Dronenburg was California’s first and only Assessor Office to implement online forms with secure electronic signatures. Dornenburg also led a document digitalization process saving the office from printing more than 650,000 pieces of paper annually and allowing more taxpayers to be served at regional offices. 

Prior to serving as the county’s assessor-recorder-clerk, Dronenburg spent 20 years with the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), including five years as chairman. At the BOE, he advocated for taxpayers and authored the California Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights and implemented the original Prop. 13 regulations that limit property taxes to 1 percent of a property’s assessed value. Dronenburg remains a staunch advocate leading statewide protection of the famous Prop. 13 law, which he says keeps homeownership affordable and lowers both residential rents and the ability for small business owners to operate.

The office of the County assessor-recorder-clerk typically draws little public attention, however nearly every county resident who owns property or rents is affected by what happens there. As county assessor, Dronenburg oversees assessing the value of real estate and personal property, which in San Diego includes planes and boats. Property taxes constitute the largest share of revenue for the county. His work also involves registering business names and issuing marriage licenses, birth and death certificates. The office has a $71 million budget with 405 employees and five offices in San Diego County. Dronenburg’s office has returned an average of $3.2 million of his annual budget to the County general fund. His office is forecasting to return over $5 million in 2018.

Dronenburg’s campaign website is

Eric J. Lund - San Diego County Board of Education District #3 which encompasses East County.  

Lund has served as president/CEO of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce since May 2013. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Grossmont College and Southwestern College. He is director of the San Diego East County Homeless Task Force. Lund is running as a challenger against the incumbent. Because there are only two candidates in the race, the winner will be decided in the June primary election rather than with a runoff in the November general election.

Lund believes identifying flexible options for choosing schools is critical to student success. “Parents need the flexibility in today's world to choose schools that best fit their children's needs,” he said. “I support workforce training including the `World of Work’ program at Cajon Valley School District, Career Technical Education and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math programs.  I care deeply about educating our youth and young adults. I believe my business experience and knowledge along with my educational background and leadership skills will serve my constituents well on the County Board of Education. I will help to equip our students to compete effectively in the Global Marketplace, I will work to improve our schools to be cost-efficient and make public safety for our children a priority. I know what it takes to find common sense solutions, how to navigate the complicated education bureaucracy and governmental agencies, and how to solve problems and get things done.” 

Lund’s campaign website is

Max Zaker -  Chula Vista’s District #2 encompasses the northwest area of the city, including Bayfront Park and state Route 54 west to L Street.

Zaker, a member of the PSAR board of directors and an owner of a successful real estate brokerage, is running in a field of six candidates to replace term-capped Councilwoman Pat Aguilar. The top two vote-getters on June 5 will move onto the November election. 

Zaker is no stranger to public service. He currently sits on the city’s Planning Commission and Growth Management Oversight Commission. His leadership experience includes a prior role as the former director of the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP), a non-profit business organization that assists with the revitalization of Downtown San Diego. He oversaw implementation of San Diego’s first property-based business improvement district (PBID). Also at DSDP, he was involved with the “Clean and Safe” program, which was designed to improve the appearance and enhance public safety in San Diego’s Downtown area. 

Additionally, Zaker served on the leadership team at the Jacob Center for Neighborhood Innovation, a San Diego non-profit that partnered with residents in Southeastern San Diego for community change. As the Jacobs Center’s business development director, he was part of San Diego’s largest social enterprise designed to create jobs for local residents and serve as a destination business model. He was involved with the development of several office, retail and industrial properties, including Market Creek Plaza commercial center, which created local business, jobs and resident ownership opportunities. He also served on the board of the Southeastern Diamond Business District, serving as 2011-2012 chair.

Zaker also has been a leader as co-author of the City of San Diego's first micro-lending program. As a result, in 2000, Zaker was awarded with a special designation from the U.S. Department of Justice. He was recognized as a “Person of Special Interest” by the U.S. Government’s Executive Office for Immigration Review for his significant contributions to the U.S economy.

Zaker’s campaign website is

Rafael Perez - District “E” in the San Diego Community College District includes the areas of Normal Heights, City Heights, Eastern North Park, Azalea Park, South Park, Fairmont Park, Golden Hill, Sherman Village Heights, Grant Hill, Mountain View, Logan Heights, Southcrest, Barrio Logan and Shelltown.

Perez, a member of the PSAR board of directors and a successful REALTOR®, was honored with a 2017 PSAR Realtor of the Year award. He was recognized for his involvement on several city of San Diego housing programs, including the city’s density bonus program that allows developers to build more market-rate housing than zoning allows if they voluntarily add low-income homes.

Also as part of his involvement with PSAR, he played a key role in securing a grant from the National Association of REALTORS® for a diversity initiative that involved both PSAR and the local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). Perez was a founding board member of the NAHREP San Diego chapter and served as chapter president in 2013.

Perez moved to San Diego in 1999 to attend San Diego State University. On the Monday after graduating from college in 2004, he started working in real estate. His real estate career has included both sales and lending.

Perez’s civic involvement has included serving as a member of the City of San Diego's Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission. He was appointed to the Commission after his selection to attend the San Diego Public Leadership Institute, a nine-month, non-partisan program for professionals with business experience who are interested in exploring running for public office or serving on boards and commissions. Rafael also is an adjunct faculty member at Cuyamaca College where he teaches a real estate principles course.

If elected, his goals as a San Diego Community College trustee will be to build prosperity for students, provide a fighting chance for those who have fallen through the cracks and champion a climate-friendly campus.

Perez’s campaign website is

The Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR), a 2,600-member trade group for San Diego-area REALTORS®, offers educational training, advocacy and other services and resources to its REALTOR® members. Founded in 1928, PSAR has played a significant role in shaping the history, growth and development of greater San Diego County. The Association maintains a leadership role in the industry, empowering REALTORS® by leveraging our collective strength so they may serve homebuyers and sellers and the greater community. PSAR offices are located in Chula Vista and El Cajon. For more information, visit

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