The Litigation Between Sandicor Shareholders Has Ended

posted by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated ]

SAN DIEGO, April 23, 2018 -- The three member Associations of Sandicor® MLS have agreed to a final settlement of all lawsuits resulting in a resolution to realign their MLS memberships to service the best interests of their respective association members. Sandicor® MLS is comprised of North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (NSDCAR), Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR), and Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS® (GSDAR).

The settlement was drafted and reviewed by attorneys representing each respective Association Of REALTORS®, Sandicor® and CRMLS. All parties involved support the details of the settlement. With this resolution, NSDCAR and PSAR will join California Regional MLS (CRMLS), and GSDAR will obtain its MLS through an entity separate but owned by GSDAR, named San Diego Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (SDMLS). The name Sandicor®, as a distinct brand in the San Diego marketplace, will cease to exist. Each Association has acted with the intention of providing its membership with the most valuable MLS products and customer service.

To ensure all members receive open access to as much information as possible, all three Associations have agreed to share data across both MLSs, maintaining the same county-wide coverage there is currently. MLS Subscribers will continue accessing MLS data and have the same level of access and user experience through Paragon, the software platform San Diego-area MLS users have been using for over three years. All members will continue to have the same look and feel that Sandicor® members have grown accustomed to, with no disruption of service.

In addition to keeping the Paragon system in place for all agents in San Diego County, users will have access to all listings and sold data for the entire county as well. This resolution provides each Association with their desired MLS outcome. It is anticipated to take at least 6 months for the new shared Paragon system to be built. The new system will have the same design and functionality of the current system.

Jan Farley, President of PSAR, commented, "I'm pleased with the settlement. By becoming members of CRMLS, PSAR members will retain seamless access to the MLS system that they are already accustomed to. In addition, PSAR members will have a multitude of industry-relevant products and services available to them to assist in meeting their business needs."

GSDAR President Steve Fraioli stated, "GSDAR is pleased to see that a settlement has been reached by all parties without any affect to the REALTORS® in San Diego County. GSDAR is looking forward to working with CRMLS, and we are excited about the opportunity to give our members the best MLS to serve their business needs."

"Reaching a settlement that is beneficial to all San Diego County REALTORS is a victory. I am confident that this resolution is in the best interest of NSDCAR members," said Carol Farrar, President of NSDCAR.



The Real Estate Brokerage as Fiduciary

posted by Richard D'Ascoli

California Department of Real Estate Commissioner Wayne Bell opines in "The Real Estate Brokerage as Fiduciary: A Summary Review of What it Means and Why it Matters."  This 2007 bulletin is timeless and every Real Estate agent and broker should have a deep understanding of it's meaning.

The word “fiduciary” is derived from the Latin words fiduciarius and fiducia, relating to confidence and trust. It also appears to stem from the Latin words fides, meaning faith, and fidelitas, the equivalent of loyal. While the term fiduciary is somewhat amorphous, vague and difficult to precisely determine, it is commonly applied to (read the entire bulletin here.)


Fraud Alert: REALTORS® are scam targets

posted Apr 20, 2018, 2:56 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Apr 20, 2018, 2:56 PM ]

Whether or not you want to believe it, REALTORS® are among favorite targets for scammers. Fraud can happen to anyone. Whether you're old or young, anyone can be scammed by a swindler. One trusting moment, one bad decision or just one second of bad luck and those hard-earned dollars are gone. Each year, thousands of people, including REALTORS®, are bilked out of billions of dollars by con artists who have no consciences. Educating yourself is the best defense against fraud, identity theft, and scams. 

Recently, a PSAR member was contacted by a telemarketing scam (the same thing could happen to you). Remember, your greatest threat may not come from a criminal on the street, but from a scam artist sitting in a boiler room on the phone. A boiler room is a room with fraudulent phone salespeople who contact businesses with phony offers. These telemarketers use “pitch sheets,” or prepared scripts.

In this recent case, the scammer called the PSAR member to complain that their online profile was missing important contact information. The conversation between the REALTOR® and a scammer named Mark went something like this:

> REALTOR®: “Which online profiles are missing information about myself?”

> SCAMMER: “All of them, including Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com.”

> REALTOR®: “But, I haven’t posted any profiles about myself lately.”

> SCAMMER: “It doesn’t matter. These companies automatically prepare profiles on real estate agents, but they do a lousy job. Your phone number and e-mail address are missing. But, our company fixes and completes your online profiles so potential clients can contact you. You would be an idiot if you didn’t use us.”

> REALTOR®: “How much does this cost?”

> SCAMMER: “We have a special running right now. We accept credit cards or we can take the money directly from your bank account. But, the price goes up soon if you don’t accept this offer right now. We just need your credit card or bank account number to take advantage of this offer.”

Understand that the best telemarketing con artists are high-pressure, smooth talkers who are very good at separating people from their money. Among their favorite lines: “We guarantee everything;” “We are privy to inside information;” Buy now or forever lose your opportunity.”

Be aware of identity theft. This crime is rampant and threatens our nation's belief in personal privacy. It involves the theft and misuse of a consumer's name and reputation. An ID thief will use your name, Social Security number, credit card number or some other piece of your personal information to apply for a credit card, make unauthorized purchases, gain access to your bank accounts or obtain loans under your name. Never disclose personal information and banking information to someone with whom you did not initiate contact. Avoid disclosure of key identity information, such as your driver's license number, ATM number and other key pieces of your identity.

Also be aware of Internet fraud. Many con artists use cyberspace to promote their scams. One person with a computer, modem, and pseudonym can tap into the web and dangle a too‑good‑to‑be‑true, “Crimes of the Net” offer before millions as they communicate in a universe without borders.

Earlier this year, the National Association of REALTORS® warned its members of a new rip-off that targeted online leads, which are the lifeblood of many real estate businesses. This scam began with an e-mail to a REALTOR® offering an online lead from platforms such as Realtor.com and Zillow, which have been successful in generating potential clients with ZIP code-targeted aids and preferred placement on their sites.

But, this scheme offered one pre-qualified lead as a trial for Realtor.com’s lead generation service. To receive the lead’s full contact information, which reportedly included a phone number and e-mail address, it would cost the agent $10.

Once the victim paid the money, then they received a one-sentence follow-up e-mail from the “lead” who said they were away for a few days and would contact the agent when they’re back in town. Unfortunately, when the victim, excited about a potential million-dollar sale, researched the name of the buyer, they noticed the same name all over the Internet listed as many other agents’ “exclusive” client. In fact, the lead’s preferred area, price range, and specific listing address varied based on who the scammer was targeting. Simply put, the scammer had impersonated Realtor.com’s administration and sent the name and details of the lead to hundreds of real estate agents.

Realtor.com confirmed that they never request payment simultaneously with the delivery of a lead. To check on a lead, agents can quickly log in to realtor.com and see their leads in the Dashboard, under Contacts (for agents) or Performance/Leads (all customers).

Remember, scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it. Scammers are getting smarter and taking advantage of new technology and new products or services to create believable stories that will convince you to give them your money or personal information. Be wary of claims that promise immediate, effortless and “guaranteed” results. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The future of housing in La Mesa - Housing Affordability Panel Discussion

posted Apr 13, 2018, 12:44 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Apr 13, 2018, 1:07 PM ]


Please join us for a panel discussion on the future of housing in La Mesa!

When: Wednesday, April 25, 6:00-7:30 PM

Where:  La Mesa Police Department Community Room

Who: Everyone! The event is free, and please bring your friends and family.

Panelists Include:
Kristine AlessioCity Councilmember, City of La Mesa, California
Laura NunnPolicy Director, San Diego Housing Federation
Rafael PerezPacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® 

Moderated by:
Andrew KeattsVoice of San Diego

What is in store for housing in La Mesa and the greater region? Join experts in the field of housing and the Leadership Council of La Mesa Conversations as we present our April 2018 event, "The Future of Housing in La Mesa!" Panelists will provide information on the current situation in La Mesa and the region, as well as provide some insights on what the future holds.

We expect a large audience and appreciate your RSVP and early arrival for this event.

Thank you!

We welcome you to
JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

 The La Mesa Conversations Committee

Discover Proven Commercial RE Strategies to Increase Your Income

posted Apr 13, 2018, 12:36 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Apr 13, 2018, 2:34 PM ]

Here is the latest in a series of occasional articles promoting upcoming PSAR classes.

By Michael Simpson, founder and senior instructor of the National Commercial Real Estate Association

In the commercial real estate industry, both buyers and sellers are currently enjoying favorable market conditions. Whether it’s industrial space, office product or the retail sector, the basic fundamentals, such as a diversified economy, low vacancy and growing number of start-ups, all continue to point to consistent growth in the future.

I’m seeing sellers receiving multiple offers with bidding frenzies. I’m seeing buyers attracted to available properties with low cap rates and seizing historically low-interest rates. Indeed, in its 2018 Investors Intentions Survey, CBRE Group listed San Diego as the nation’s 11th most favorable metropolitan market for commercial investors, which was a six-spot improvement from 2017.

If a slowdown is on the horizon, it will probably occur because of rising interest rates, slowing NOI (net operating income) growth, pressure on capitalization rates, fewer loan maturities and historical real estate cycles (we may be overdue for a small bump).

However, at the same time, I believe the future is bright because of continued economic growth nationwide, large amounts of investment capital looking for a home and recent favorable tax reform. Other positive signs include increasing number of building permits, initial claims for unemployment insurance are dropping, help-wanted advertising is up and consumer-confidence metrics are rising.

I also believe the opportunities abound for residential real estate professionals to expand into the commercial sector. You may have heard that residential agents cannot succeed in commercial real estate. I strongly disagree.

There’s nothing holding back a residential agent from also working in the commercial sector (sometimes called “resimercial”). At the very least, residential agents should have a working knowledge of the commercial sector so they can communicate with clients interested in investment property.

For example, do you know about the impact of rent on value (income approach) and calculating cap rates or gross rent multipliers? Can you easily discuss return on investment, vacancy costs and expense factors? If you don’t, then your investor client may go to someone else.

When I talk to potential investors, I ask a series of qualifying questions to determine their level of experience. Among the questions:
  • What’s your risk tolerance? Do you want to buy and hold, or do you have an exit strategy?
  • Do you have a certain split requirement?
  • Are you looking for a property with upside potential, a value-play or do you prefer something plain vanilla?
  • Do you want a turnkey property with high occupancy, long leases, and low management costs, or are you looking for a fixer-upper to add more value and later increase the rents?
  • Are you looking to invest horizontally or are you looking to invest vertically? 
I am looking forward to sharing more information at my next class, “How to List and Sell Commercial Investment Property,” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, April 24 at the PSAR South County Service Center, 880 Canarios Court, Chula Vista. The class is approved for continuing education credit. You’ll learn how to find investor clients, terminology, and tips for communicating with investors and more. I look forward to meeting you in person.

#  #  #

Michael Simpson is founder and senior instructor of the National Commercial Real Estate Association, a company offers commercial-investment real estate training solutions and consulting. He is a past director for the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and THE Pacific West Association of REALTORS®. His certifications include National Commercial Real Estate Advisor (NCREA), Certified Real Estate Investment Consultant (C.I.C.) and Real Estate Investment Planning Specialist.

Best Practices: Selling to Millennials

posted Apr 6, 2018, 2:50 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Apr 6, 2018, 3:51 PM ]

By PSAR 2018 President Jan Farley,

You may have heard that it’s difficult and challenging to sell to millennials. Instead of building equity, these young people are opting to either rent or move back in with mom and dad for reasons other than there aren’t enough available attractive properties on the market (although low inventory of starter-homes is certainly a reality).  

A recent Experian study revealed several reasons why potential buyers shut the door on homeownership. Some of them want more flexibility to relocate than owning a house might allow. Others have little desire to carry as much debt as is required to purchase a home. They worry about their ability to afford a home with sizable student debt. Still, others do not want the responsibility of maintaining a home and would prefer to pay a landlord for upkeep. According to Pew Research, a growing number of millennial women are prioritizing their education and careers over marriage and buying a home.

I believe millennial homeowners are good for our society. Zillow reported that among first-time millennial homeowners, 17 are Hispanic or Latino, 10 percent are African American and 7 percent are Asian or Pacific Islander. An increased presence of millennials in the housing market will help boost diversity. (66 percent of millennial homeowners are white.) Today’s millennials represent the largest group of potential homebuyers, and they should not be ignored. Zillow says that millennials make up the largest segment of first-time buyers, and half of them are under age 36.

It’s our job as REALTORS® to take every opportunity given to explain the benefits of homeownership, including stability, price appreciation, tax credits, a secure path to wealth and asset accumulation, to name a few. All the studies confirm that millennials are desirous to own a home, they just may need more assistance to do so. Also, their vision may be clouded by misinformation.

So, when the opportunity arises, since knowledge is power, don’t hesitate to emphasize to worried millennials such real-world facts as:

  • Homeownership will continue to be a powerful way to build wealth. Each payment you make towards your home adds to your personal wealth, not someone else’s.
  • The fiscal benefits cannot be overlooked. Owning a home provides emotional stability, safety, financial independence and it’s a time-proven path for wealth accumulation.
  • The economy is improving, the job market is stabilizing and interest rates are affordable. Home sales statewide were at a higher level in February even when 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rates average 4.33 percent, up from 4.03 percent in January 2018 and 4.17 percent in February 2017.
  • While it’s always important to make sound, sustainable financial decisions when buying a home, there’s never a perfect time. If you insist on perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done. So, take the step now because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. It may be in your best financial interest to do so sooner rather than later.
  • There are many financing and homeownership assistance programs available out there to first-time homebuyers. You may be able to afford more than you think.

Housing Market Improving Slightly

posted Mar 29, 2018, 2:54 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 2:55 PM ]

Rising interest rates are improving California’s home sales totals, according to a recent housing market report from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). The number of existing home sales statewide was higher in February, said C.A.R. Also, to no one’s surprise, sales prices are higher in San Diego County, said C.A.R.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 422,910 units in February, according to C.A.R. February’s sales figure was up 3.3 percent from the revised 409,520 level in January 2018 and up 5.4 percent compared with home sales in February 2017 of a revised 401,060. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2018 if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

February’s statewide median home price was $522,440, down 1.0 percent from January 2018 ($527,780) and up 8.8 percent from February 2017 ($480,270). In San Diego, the median selling price of an existing single-family home was $605,000 in February 2018, up from $590,000 for January 2018 and $559,590 for February 2017.

While the statewide median price slipped from January, it continued to grow at a strong year-over-year pace and has remained above the $500,000 mark for a full year. The year-over-year price gain has been growing at or above 7 percent for eight of the past nine months.

The number of days for single-family home remaining unsold on the market in California varied from 26.1 days in February 2018 to 28 days in January 2018 to 33.3 days in February 2017. In San Diego County, homes sold much faster, including 13 days in February 2018, 21 days in January 2018 and 19 days in February 2017.

“February’s solid market performance was likely fueled by rising interest rates, which motivated buyers to rush in and close escrow before rates move even higher as they’re anticipated to do in the coming months,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “Despite losing ground in January, February’s strong sales gain more than covered the loss, resulting in a 1.1 percent increase so far this year.”

Condo and townhome prices have been growing at a robust pace, said C.A.R. The statewide condo-townhome median price has been growing faster than that of the existing single-family homes with a 13.3 percent year-over-year increase, as compared to 8.8 percent for existing single-family homes. At $461,400 for February 2018, the statewide condo-townhome median price set a new peak price, exceeding the previous high of $451,450 registered in June 2017. 

Numbers for C.A.R.’s housing market report are based on information collected from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates have been on the rise since breaking the 4.0 percent barrier in January. The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.33 percent in February 2018, up from 4.03 percent in January 2018 and from 4.17 percent in February 2017, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate also edged higher in February to an average of 3.60 percent from 3.47 percent in January and from 3.24 percent in February 2017.

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate from 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, the highest level since 2008. It also said it would raise rates two more times this year. This indirectly affects mortgage rates, which could make homeownership more expensive in the long run, because rates typically track the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury.

In other real estate industry news on the local housing market, recent news reports include a number of interesting statistics.

According to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller, a respective real estate tracker, San Diego County home prices rose 7.4 percent in a year as of January, which was among the biggest increases nationwide. The San Diego region had the seventh-highest price gains out of the 20 cities in the Case-Shiller Indices. In February, home prices jumped 8.6 percent compared to a year ago.

In another report, Redfin said median home values nationwide leaped by 8.8 percent in February to $285,700, the largest price appreciation in four years. The upward pull in median home values marks the 72nd consecutive month of year-over-year price increases and comes as the housing market faces its 29th month of declining inventory.

Clearly, a low inventory of homes for sale and a low vacancy rate among owner-occupied housing are forcing higher prices. The San Diego housing market led the nation in price growth in January with a rise of 0.8 percent from December. For the last 12 months, San Diego prices are up 7.4 percent, well above the national average of 6.2 percent but still below the double-digit increases in Las Vegas, Seattle and San Francisco.

“Existing homeowners may be reluctant to list their home for sale, fearful of joining the ranks of frenzied buyers themselves and-or perhaps increasingly unwilling to let go of a home financed with a loan at an interest rate lower than that offered today,” said Zillow’s Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas.

Terrazas also said increased home shopping this spring could be exceedingly competitive for first-time buyers. “This year’s buyers may be competing against some of those buyers who have been unsuccessful during the past few months,” he said.

Also, according to CoreLogic, homebuyers may be competing with slightly fewer investors in the coming year. In February, 22.9 percent of home sales went to absentee buyers, typically investors who don’t intend on living in the home as a primary residence, which was down from 23.8 percent at the same time last year.

Meanwhile, according to Realtor.com, a portal website operated by the National Association of REALTORS®, the inventory shortage is driving up both home prices and mortgage payments. The average price of a home for sale on Realtor.com has gone up by nearly 10 percent between 2017 and 2018. At the same time, average mortgage payments rose nationally by approximately 13 percent a month, adding up to an extra $168 a month in mortgage payments for a median price home.

“Buyers can expect to see more of their paychecks go to their mortgage payments this year,” said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist. “Tight inventory has limited options for buyers and sent home prices soaring in many markets. Now, home buyers will also have to factor in higher mortgage rates. Despite mortgage rates still being historically low, the combination of higher prices and rising rates, will further challenge trade-up and first-time buyers, usually millennials or gen-‘X’ers. They will have to borrow more money at a higher rate to close on a home in this market.”

All members invited! Mayor Ron Morrison to discuss Rent Control in National City

posted Mar 29, 2018, 2:28 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Mar 29, 2018, 5:36 PM by Richard D'Ascoli ]

PSAR Government Affairs South Chair Ditas Yamane would like to extend an invitation for all PSAR members to attend the next meeting of the Government Affairs South Committee on Friday, April 6th

The Mayor will provide an update to members on rent control efforts in National City. Members are invited to ask questions.  This will be part of a PSAR Government Affairs Committee meeting.  All Realtor Members are invited to join this committee.  Members gain a better understanding of local policies that will impact the business of buying and selling Realt Estate.

For any questions about the meeting or for information on how to become a committee member, email george@psar.org.

Grip it and rip it at PSAR Golf Tournament

posted Mar 23, 2018, 4:04 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Mar 26, 2018, 9:00 AM ]

It’s time to grip it and rip it, tee it high and let it fly, relax and unwind, keep your head down, keep your left arm straight, stay out of the rough and swing with a wood. Here’s your opportunity to arrive at the first tee wearing outrageous, multi-colored wacky slacks and show-off to your friends how you drive for show, putt for dough and never leave a birdie putt short.

Make plans now to play in this year’s 43rd annual PSAR Golf Tournament on Wednesday, April 18, at Riverwalk Golf Course, 1150 Fashion Valley Road, San Diego. All PSAR members, plus all your REALTOR® friends from throughout San Diego County, are invited to play. This year’s tournament promises to be a “hole-lotta-fun” on the links and even more fun at the 19th hole.

Registration begins at 7 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Lunch will be served at 1 p.m. Entry fee to play is $100 per player or $400 per foursome for early-bird registration (before April 13). After April 13, the cost increases to $125 per player or $500 per foursome.

Entry fee includes green fees, cart, tee games and prizes, raffle tickets and prizes, gift bag, refreshments on the course, after-golf player awards and lunch. 

Sponsorship opportunities are available. All sponsorships include recognition in the program and at the event. Among the available sponsorships (as of press time):
  • The Lunch Buffet sponsor for $500 includes two lunch tickets, plus the opportunity to decorate lunch tables with your company items.
  • The Gold Sponsor at $1,000 includes two player spots and display your company banner at the luncheon.
  • The Silver Sponsor at $500 includes one player spot and display your company banner at the luncheon.
  • The Beverage Cart sponsor at $750 (two are available) includes two lunch tickets and your company sign on your sponsored beverage cart. You may drive on the course in the cart.
  • The tee/hole sponsors at $250 each (18 are available) including two lunch tickets and the opportunity to stay at the tee and greet the players as they pass through. Be creative. You may bring a table to display your company’s services. Have a contest, games, or giveaways at the tee.
An additional sponsorship opportunity features providing 144 items for each golfer’s goodie bag. The items can include your company’s logo or attach a business card or company label. Golf items, towels, tees, markers, suntan lotion, balls, hats, etc. are welcomed. Goodie bag items must be provided to PSAR offices by March 30.

Proceeds from the golf tournament will directly benefit the California Association of REALTORS® Housing Affordability Fund (HAF), a nonprofit that provides grants benefiting first-time homebuyers.

The HAF, a non-profit 501(c)(3), is dedicated to addressing California’s growing housing affordability crisis. The HAF was established in November 2002 to provide more options for first-time homebuyers’ entry into homeownership. HAF raises and distributes funds, collaborates and partners with other groups to promote housing, homeownership, and address housing opportunities locally and statewide. In 2016, HAF provided more than $200,000 in grants to local associations for such programs as down payment assistance to veterans and low-to-moderate income buyers.  

The HAF provides first-time homebuyers with grants for customary non-recurring closing costs paid by the buyer. Non-recurring closing costs (excluding any upfront fees paid outside of closing by the buyer) are defined as title and escrow, recording fees, HOA transfer fees, document transfer fees and loan fees, including origination, loan processing, tax service and flood certificate. No repayment of the grant is required and the grant is forgiven at the close of escrow. Funds awarded are sent directly to the title company handling the transaction prior to close of escrow.

So, let’s help raise money to help California families achieve their dream of homeownership. Because of your generosity, HAF will be able to help thousands of Californians facing the housing crisis in the state.

After all, remember that a bad day at the golf course is better than a good day at the office. Plus, don’t forget that a shot is only as good or bad as the next one, par is never a bad score and it’s better to be lucky than good. Oh, yeah, you were aiming that shot right (“I’m not always this bad”). For more information on the PSAR golf tournament, call PSAR at (619) 421-7811, or visit www.psar.org/golf.

PSAR Bylaws Amendment Results 2018

posted Mar 19, 2018, 8:27 PM by Richard D'Ascoli   [ updated Mar 19, 2018, 8:48 PM ]

PSAR members overwhelmingly supported amending the PSAR bylaws to eliminate the district requirements when running for the Board of Directors.  PSAR members no longer need to identify with a District to run for the Board.  PSAR will continue to support its members regardless of where they live or transact.


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