Real Estate Agent Ellis Posner Redondo Beach Home Sales 2013

This time of year I start to review my sales results on my various blog sites. I do this in part because I like to take a breather and look back at where I've been during the year and also because I'm a firm believer in total transparency for all business transactions. Many Real Estate agents like to boast about various awards or achievements, some of which are real and others, well to be poilte, let's say are less than accurate, lol. The only thing I say is that I sell a lot of properties and provide excellent service - as defined by the clients - to my buyers and sellers. And I also save people lots of money along the way. (If you want to know how, call me.)

By the end of 2013 I will most likely have sold 22 homes counting for 24 "sides" or transactions. I have 2 properties in escrow right now, the others are "done deals". Of the 22 properties, 9 will be in Redondo Beach, CA or more specifically North Redondo Beach 90278. That's about 38-40% of my transactions depending on whether you count properties or deals. From a revenue perspective, out of approximately my $15M in 2013 sales, North Redondo Beach was about $6.4M or just over 40% of my total sales. My average selling price in North Redondo Beach was about $710K which reflects the increase in Redondo Beach home prices during 2013. As for earnings, well not quite sure I want that out there on the internet (lol). As a "sole practioner" agent, I have a little less thna 2% market share in North Redondo Beach CA. Considering how many agents there are locally, not bad at all in my humble opinion.

Here's a recap of the year. Hopefully you'll find some of these "behind the scenes" Real Estate stories to be useful, interesting, or informative.

2419 Grant Ave Unit A 902782419 Grant Ave Unit A closed escrow at the end of February for $629,000. I represented the buyers who were relocating for work from the Washington DC area. The property was initially listed for $649,000 and I was able to get the buyers a $20K discount on the 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath "reverse floorplan" attached front unit 3 on a lot built by Powers Development in 2003. Considering that barely a year later, there is new construction going up directly across the street on the other side of Grant that is priced at $820K, this was a pretty good investment. Most likely it would sell for high $600's if it was on the market today as it has all the bells and whistles such as granite and stainless steel in the kitchen, high ceiling throughout, maple floors and cabinets, south facing exposure, and planation shutters throughout. Plus, a very nice review from my buyer clients on Zillow!
Zillow Agent Review 2419 Grant Ave A Redondo Beach CA

The listing Brokers were South Bay Brokers and Shorewood Realtors (yes, both of them. MLS SB12153127. Read the blog post from when I sold 2419 Grant here.
1707 Perkins Ln PC1707 Perkins Ln, Redondo Beach, CA 90278 closed escrow at the end of May for $635,000 and I also represented the buyer of this 3 bedroom 2.5 bath three on a lot townhouse (condo). The 3 on a lot configuration on the North-South streets in North Redondo Beach is different because each unit has its own driveway as opposed to the shared driveway found in the more prevalent layout on the East-West streets in 90278. Additionally each unit may have its own street address as opposed to the "A", "B", "C" layout. This property was built by Casner, one of the most respected home builders in the area. The upstars great room was very wide open with no defining interior walls - very loft like, and the kitchen had an extra area for a breakfast table.

We had some challenges with the appraisal. The first (part time) appraiser was actually a plumber by trade. No, I'm not making this up. After providing his card as a plumber he then came in with a value $50K less than the sales price. That's just a bridge too far for me. The appraisal was literally the worst appraisal I've ever seen. The plumber, I mean appraiser, used 2 bedroom comps for a 3 bedroom, REO income properties, and even the subject property itself the alst time it was sold! bad enough, but when he used the actual listing itself to show that it was valued for less, well I'm still wrapping my brain around that one (unsuccessfully).

The loan officer, Andee Montemorano, and I first tried to rebut the appraisal with the right comps. That got us nowhere. Fortunately though, the managament at Andee's company realized how preposterous the appraiser was and armed with his plumbing card, had the appraisal thwon out.
The second appraiser actually was an appraiser and we had not trouble getting the valuation and closing. 1707 Perkins Ln was listed by Jerry Carew of 3 Leaf Realty in Manhattan Beach CA. I thank hom for hos parience and sense of humor about plumbers! MLS SB13068787. Here's the 5 Star Zillow Review from my buyer client.

Zillow Agent Review 1707 Perkins Ln Redondo Beach CA
1105 Harkness
1105 Harkness Ln, Redondo Beach, CA 90278 was one of the most unique listings I've had in N Redondo and about when I was first referred to as the "Redondo Beach Townhouse Guy" lol. Or at least the first time I ever heard it!

I had driven by 1105 Harkness about a million times. Previously I had a listing at 1806 Belmont Lane Unit A which unfortunately took quite a while to sell. Harkness caught my attention because I noticed that they and a neighboor were installing solar panels.

The owners contacted me through Zillow after having visited my 90278realestate website and liking what I had posted. They were in the midst of a rather abrupt job transfer to Texas and needed to sell a rather unique property that had a great, but non traditional for North Redondo Beach, floorplan and the solar panels. The tax records showed the house as being a 4 bedroom but truthfully it is a 3 bedroom. Additionally, the actual size was most likely considerably larger than the tax records due to a huge below grade bonus room on the lower level. So, great floorplan with a formal dining room and living room plus a family room and breakfast area plus very large bedrooms upstairs.

All that was great. What was less than optimal was the leased solar system that had another 19 years to run on the lease and was equivalent at the then historically low interest rates to about $60K in purchase price. Wow.

Fortunately we found a wonderful family that was a perfect fit for the walking distance to Jefferson Elementary home and we were able to close escrow towards the end of June for $876,000 after having received multiple offers. I believe the new owners did a number of updates after COE. And another very positive Zillow review.
Zillow review 1105 harkness ln redondo beach 90278

My next Redondo Beach sale during 2013 was 1506 Perkins Ln which closed escrow in early September. This attached 3 on a lot has 4 bedrooms, its own front and side yard, a west facing terrace and south facing back yard and upgrades throughout. Over the last year as prices of 2 on a lots have escalated beyond the affordability of many home buyers, the 4 bedroom 3 on a lot units have increased in demand dramatically.

1506 Perkins Lane hit the market at a time when inventory was at an all time low, interest rates had just bounced off the bottom, and buyer demand was at an all time high. The listing agent probably underestimated demand and listed the property too low to begin and received 17 offers the forst weekend including the one from my buyers.
1506 Perkins Ln MLS
We received back what I considered at the time one of the top 3 most ridiculous counter offers I had ever seen and I advised my clients as such. In addition to the obligatory "waive the appraisal contingency", "contingent on the sellers finding an upleg", and a possible extended close of escrow that could stretch from now until who know when, there was really no guarantee that the deal would ever go through due to the conditions of the sellers.

I would usually have advised my buyers to keep looking but they really liked the home. Actually, it is one of the best 4 bedroom 3 on a lots I had seen in the area. I was comfortable that we could get an appraisal for at least the mid $600's but to secure the property we had to go to $685K.
Miraculously it appraised and we actually closed much earlier than anyone thought possible proving once again the advice I give over and over again: if there's a property you really want, the first step is to get into escrow and then we'll see where things go.

The sellers were represented by RE/MAX. MLS SB13141013. Original post.

My next Redondo Beach sale for 2013 was 1835 Rockefeller Ln Unit B and was (drum roll) a middle unit 3 bedroom attached 3 on a lot townhouse. Don't act too surprised - there is a reason they call me the Redondo Beach Townhouse Guy!

We listed this townhome for $649,000 and were able to sell it for $669,000 including a 30 day free rent back for my sellers. The biggest challenge was how to get the appraisal to come in because Unit A had sold for about $150K lower less than 6 months earlier. Fortunately, the appraiser did his homework and we were able to close escrow. The buyers were represented by Beach Cities Brokers and Bank of Manhattan in Manhattan Beach did the loan. MLS SB13017285.
1835 Rockefeller Ln Unit B Redondo Beach CA 90278
1600 Wollacott remodel great room Next up was 1600 Wollacott, a very unique "Tall and Skinny" in the Redondo Beach Golden Hills. This started as the house I didn't want to go in and finished as the home I didn't want to leave. It was also a great learning experience in regards to seeing properties through the eyes of your clients and listening. Here's what I'm talking about.
I'd probably driven by the property roughly a million times. It's located just across the street from the 7-11 on Aviation and Grant (Ormond). Therein lies the first problem. On a busy noisy corner it would be a tough sell at best. The home is the oversize Tall & Skinny floorplan with the extra room downstairs and measuring about 2500 sq ft as opposed to the usual 1900. It is a reverse floorplan with the great room, kitchen, dining and master bedroom upstairs.

When I first walked in at the Broker's Open House, I left virtually immediately. I could tell it had mold (and my sense of smell isn't that great) and was just in horrible condition. I later went back to preview it and wasn't really impressed.

When my buyer clients wanted to see it, I tried to talk them out of it three times. I'm probably the only Realtor who tries not to sell a listing a buyer is interested in. I think I stated something to the effect that the house needed $100K of repairs and in response to my clients inquiry as to what was wrong I replied "everything". But I did finally show it and we wrote an offer. And, as it tirns out I was right: mold and lots of deferred maintenance.
1600 Wollacott before

But my clients saw something that I didn't and had a vision for the remodel.
I can't tell you how many times I hear buyers state that they will do a remodel and then nothing happens. Usually when I show up years later to sell the home again it is pretty much like it ws last time I saw it. These buyers really did the work though - and remediated the mold problem.
My clients wanted to create a very stark, urban, contemporary loft feel to enahnce the city view and take advantage of the urban feel. The 2nd picture above is the "before" and the one immediately above to the right is the "after" shot. The picture below is the updated kitchen and bath. Wow. When I saw it I didn't want to leave - what a great remodel job!

1600 Wollacott updated kitchen and bathroom

And a greate review on Zillow as well!
Zillow 1600 Wollacott
2109 Marshallfield Lane sale
2109 Marshallfield Lane was your classic "Sell R2 lot to builder" deal. The owner knew it and we priced the property to sell. Not unexpectedly we rather quickly received multiple all cash offers from a number of builders. It's kind of interesting that builders can vary by as much as $50K in what they will pay for these lots which are becoming much harder to come by. The buyer was represented by Jerry Carew of 3 Leaf Realty who was also the listing agent for 1707 Perkins Ln that I sold earlier in the year.

Here's a little bit of what I can share with you about builder math. They will often look to buy lots for 30-33% of what the final project will sell for. If the lot is on a hill or there is some other potential building challenge, they may want to get that down to 25% or lower. It seems that builders will pay a little more now for R3 lots than R2 lots but we are really running out of both. I'm curious as to what happens then to new construction in North Redondo Beach. And make no mistake, we need new construction.

2209 Harriman Ln Unit B is a rear unit detached 2 on a lot 4 bedroom. The property was listed by the Keller-WIlliams team of Hoffman and Murphy. Typically their listings are priced to sell with multiple offers over the list prce the first 7 days on market and many of them do. This listing was no exception. It was priced at $789,000 and I thought it might go as high as $850,000. Mt clients offered $820,000 and miracles happen because they were able to get it at that price with no counter offers and no crazy terms such as waiving appraisal contingencies. Actually when the listing agents called me to notify us that they were accepting our offer I was hiking on Catalina Island at the top of a mountain but still able to get a cell signal!

2209 Harriman Ln Redondo Beach CA 90278

This townhouse was in exceptional condition. The sellers had maintained ot very well. In fact, I could not even find anything to include on the request for repairs - it was in that good condition. Other than some very minor handyman work, all the buyers had to do before they moved in was some nice new wood floors and some painting.

This transaction was also a great example of why the choice of lender is so important. The buyers decided to intially go with a mortgage broker (who shall remain nameless) that was just horrible, and I'm being generous with that assessment. The deal would have fallen apart entirely - we received a NTP if James Kay of New American Funding hadn't stepped in at the last minute and literally saved the day with a close that was something like 14 days (or thereabouts). Wow. PS, it appriased for more than the sales price - twice!
Here's the review on Zillow.
2209 Harriman Ln B Zillow
2106 Rockefeller Ln Unit D is a home I sold just a few years ago which my clients are now reselling for a 20% tax free gain. Wow. Talk about buying right. They did a number of nice updates to the kitchen and bathroom but nothing that would be considered a major remodel. The buyers are doing the final walk through and signing loan docs as I'm typing this!
2106 Rockefeller Ln Unit D MLS