PRIVATE: For Dan & Cindy Domino – 5163 Copper Rd

Always great to speak with you Cindy! Above all you & Dan continue to stay safe with all your family & loved ones. And keep baking with your son. Looks like you’ll be joining more than 50% of our families who have sold and left California in the last 1.5 years!

Here’s what John & I have for you to consider:

A. Analysis & comps:

B. Sold Homes $800k- $900K Range Around Alterra: Here’s something I thought you’d find interesting. YOU have the comps above. What we have next is every home within 1 mile of your home that has actually sold between $800K & $900K the last 5 months. It’s what an appraiser would look at, and buyers as well, for comparison. There were only 7.


C. Approximate Net Proceeds: Here’s what you would NET at the 3 different selling prices, assuming loans at $530K, typical seller closing costs & all fees:

Sell for $800K, net about $222,000.

Sell for $850K, net about $269,000.

Sell for $900K, net about $316,000.

BOTTOM LINE: As you’ll gather from our current analysis & experience during this time, as long as you’re good to go, being on the market might be your best chance at landing a higher price now, rather than another year or two, since the market has been heading down.

More specific details follow covering various topics of what’s going on right now.

1) CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS: Our families have found it helpful when we go over the general “normal” market, and then addressing the current one.

BEFORE coronavirus, up till the middle of March, 2020): Chino Hills has seen 6 years of strong upward price action from the previous bottom of 2012 through early 2018. Average home went up between 40 to 50 percent. It went practically flat most of 2018, with average selling prices showing a 2.5% decrease.. 2019 has been a year of beginning declines, around another 2 to 2.5% so far.

A question we often receive is: With interest rates at crazy historical lows, why aren’t there more buyers and higher prices? 

The last time interest rates were this low was at the BOTTOM of the market from 2010 to 2012. As interest rates dropped with the declining prices, at some point buyers woke up and starting buying, and driving up the prices. The BIG difference now is that even though rates are very low, the prices are so high that most people can’t even qualify. That’s why the market has been moving downward. Thankfully, at this point it’s been a relatively gentle drop.

AFTER coronavirus: Even to say we are in extraordinary times would seem like an understatement. To sum it up, it will be a season of challenges AND opportunities. In some ways, it is no different – as there are always challenges in every cycle of the market. However, it is also much more severe. The Chino Hills (as well as real estate in expensive cities in general) market has already seen declines of up to 5% so far.

John & I have still been busy, as we have still been listing new properties throughout the “safe-at-hone” period, negotiating escrows, and helping buyers. (Of course, we have been exercising the utmost care & precaution for all parties concerned, and we’ll be happy to go over them when the time comes.)

Here are the most relevant changes from the last 5 weeks.

2) Viewings: It is NOT all bad. The lookie-loos are GONE. It can be stressful to always have your home showing beautifully for potential buyers, but with less people previewing, and the only ones scheduling being actual serious buyers, that is a time saver for you. AS HAD BEEN ALREADY HAPPENING FOR THE LAST 1.5 YEARS, homes at and above $800K tend to have much less activity. It is not unusual to get 1 or 2 showings a week, even BEFORE corona.

3) Buyers: A few things worth noting. There IS a decrease. The main reason, as even some of our own buyers have experienced, is the loss of employment. It has also led to come escrows getting cancelled last-minute, when a potential buyer has to withdraw for obvious reasons. We’re grateful for the understanding all our sellers have shown, especially those directly affected by this. 

4) Days On Market: While this is all very serious, there is a little humor for all of us. For buyers, their attention level is fast-paced – information overload from multiple homes, loans, selling, and always another deadline looming. For our sellers, your attention level is the passage of time, as you wait for showings, wait for a buyer, wait for the whole escrow process to continue and finally close. It’s all very passive. What has been funny is due to many being home all the time, 3 weeks will feel like 3 MONTHS. So please bear that in mind. The average home was taking 2-3 MONTHS before landing a buyer, BEFORE the virus.

5) Selling Price: BEFORE the virus, Chino Hills was already down 5% in general. From homes closing, we have seen an ADDITIONAL 5% from the highs. We understand how our sellers feel, and we know that feeling, of providing REAL values based on what has recently sold, then potentially factoring in what the virus situation might do, only to see outrageous prices on the market. LISTING prices, that is. 

As it often happens at the relative start of market declines, the gap between listing and eventual selling price will keep getting bigger. Million dollar homes that normally got an offer $25k to $50K below the list price, are now getting offers at $100K BELOW listing price.

6) Inventory: If there’s ONE HUGE OPPORTUNITY in this market, it is the relatively LOW inventory. In difficult markets, such as the one in the late 2000s, declines usually take a big dive, then slow down for another 4 years or more. What contributes to that is a weakening price dragged down by high inventory. Had the virus hit in the middle of summer with TRIPLE the current inventory, it would not be too big of an exaggeration to guess an additional 10 to 15% drop in values swiftly, like it did the last few drops, historically speaking.

7) Marketing: The ONLY part of what we do right now that had to temporarily halted, is me physically checking in with recent buyers (last 2 years) in every neighborhood for potential buyers. Other than that, we are still the only agents marketing to 80% of the Chinese potential buyers in THEIR OWN LANGUAGE AND CHARACTER SET.

A) We’ve actually added new virtual marketing, from working with potential buyers to let them know what’s available, to fellow agents to have prospective buyers.

B) The Asian marketing is definitely still continuing, because they are literally still the majority of buyers. Of course it’s to those who are here, not overseas. There is still everything in English, from the MLS, Zillow etc.

C) On the Chinese side: Weekly print edition has gone digital,

D) Our Chino Hills listings are still searchable on Wechat,

E) Our Chino Hills branded mobile app is definitely functional still reaching and searchable in Chinese anywhere.

6) Timing: As mentioned above, inventory is either your friend or foe. The lesser the number of homes, the better, both across the city, and also in your immediate neighborhood. Also be prepared for being on the market longer, not in the sense of holding out for someone to pay an unrealistic price, but for ONE reasonable offer.

We may not be able to control the MARKET, but we can always control the MARKETING, which has always given our sellers the widest possible reach as far as exposure is concerned.

8) Strategy: Over the years John & I are faced with the same challenge: Yes, we can provide the numbers an appraiser will submit to the bank that will finance the buyer’s loan. (In declining markets, it is worth noting even CASH buyers who normally waive the appraisal will pay for one to protect themselves. We’re sure to advice you to do the same if you were in their shoes.) Just because we have sold the most homes in many of the neighborhoods we serve, it does NOT mean we have a crystal ball. We NEVER want our clients like you to feel like you left money on the table. 

Here’s what we do – we recommend to you what we would do OURSELVES: Start high – for multiple reasons.

a) You WILL get negotiated down.

b) You HAVE room to maneuver.

c) We can always LOWER it later.

d) You NEVER KNOW. (Our favorite. We HAVE to try!)

“How HIGH” is where we suggest price points, or you have a number in mind. It will affect interest AND visibility, as buyers search with criteria based on SOLD homes. In other words, a home that will appraise for $850K that hits the market at $1,000,000 will NOT be seen by hardly anyone. 

In the current market, we will recommend pushing as high as possible without losing potential eyeballs, since there are fewer of them. 

9) Unique & Special Properties of Your Home: Your lot is definitely a premium lot that will be highlighted as we market your home. That means looking for that ONE buyer who is willing to pay above the regular appraisal to own a lot like yours. Additionally, your house number also will be very favorable to Chinese buyers.

5163 Chinese character associations:

5=我, means “I”,

1=已, means “already”,

6=樂, means “happy” or “happiness”,

3=上, means “up” or “increasing”

Putting it together, “I already happy increasing”, or more smoothly, TWO ways:

“My happiness is already increasing.” or

“I’m already happily increasing.” (Usually in reference to financial matters.)

Either way, BOTH awesome. We emphasize that when I list the characters under the respective numbers in our Chinese ads. (Just be glad it doesn’t end in a 4 – which means “dead” or “death.” Really bad.)

SUMMARY: Where there’s a challenge, we will present a solution. We look forward to the privilege of serving you. John & I never take these opportunities for granted, as we’ve worked really hard over the years to have the reputation & track record we uniquely have. (In the last 6.5 years, in the most in-demand areas of Chino Hills, there were 617 homes that sold. The #3 agent sold 27, the #2 agent had 30, and John & I have 111. You’ll see THAT list –  it’ll be the really long one at the very end.)

Be happy to answer any & all questions you might have. If you both feel we can make your plans work to your favor, we can start working for you as soon as possible.


(909) 262-3132

If your property is currently listed with another broker, not intended to be a solicitation. Numbers deemed to be accurate to best of available info. Results will vary but we ALWAYS give you our best effort! Joaquinito “JACK” Soliman Lic# 01916419 John Balsz Lic# 01331827

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