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Archive for the ‘California Real Estate’ Category

CA MLS – CRMLS Open House update – 03/21/2020

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Saturday, March 21st, 2020

Statement from CRMLS – “In light of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order and CAR’s recommendations, CRMLS is in the process of removing open house options from all CRMLS systems.”

At the moment, this means than CRMLS is removing the option for any Realtor to post an open house notice in the CRMLS in California. We will continue to post updates as more information is made available.

Ventura County, CA being added to our Flat Fee MLS coverage

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, October 31st, 2019

By the end of the year, we will have local coverage for the Ventura County, CA MLS system. Property owners in Ventura County will now be able to list properties on the local MLS through Congress Realty. We are excited about this expansion and look forward to working with homeowner’s and land owners in this area of Southern California.

California Coverage Update

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Monday, March 11th, 2019

CAL Desert MLS and Palm Springs MLS are now available through our Flat Fee Platform. We are excited to continue our growth throughout the state of California. If you have any questions or are unsure if your city is covered via Congress Realty, call us at anytime at 800 657 6579.

CA Updated Coverage Areas – 2018

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, March 2nd, 2018

We are excited to announce the following new coverage areas as of May 1st, 2018.

Victor Valley, CA

Lake Arrowhead, CA

Big Bear, CA.


California Coverage Expanding

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, May 5th, 2017

Our California coverage is expanding greatly. We have added multiple areas of the state in recent months and will be updating the site to reflect the coverage shortly. If you don’t see your county listed, give us a call. More than likely, we now cover it.

We have added coverage for most all of the southern part of the state. This includes San Bernadino County, LA County, Riverside County, Ventura County, Orange County, San Diego, Parts of Kern County and Santa Barbara. Towards the central/northern part of the state, we have added everything from Monterey all the way up through Santa Clara, through Napa and to Sonoma County. In addition, we had added everything east all the way through El Dorado County.

Imperial County MLS

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Friday, January 15th, 2010

We are now members of the Imperial County MLS.  This MLS covers California cities such as El Centro, Calexico, Brawley, Heber, Calipatria and Holtville.  For those not familiar with the Imperial Valley, it is the winter training home of the Blue Angels and a key agricultural area bordering Mexico and Arizona.

Blue Angels

Blue Angels

Fun Facts

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, January 14th, 2010

California Real Estate salespersons and brokers are disappearing in a hurry. The DRE released the end of November 09 #’s earlier this week.  Currently, California has 27,000 less licensees than they did just 12 months ago. If we take this back 24 months, California has  nearly 45,000 less licensees than they did in Nov of 07.

I applaud California for making the information so readily available.  States like Nevada and Arizona make obtaining these kinds of real numbers next  to impossible. 

Right now California has just over 500,000 Real Estate Licensees. To obtain a license in California, after you pay application fees, exam fees, etc… all to the state, you are looking at about $500 per licensee. Now add a couple of hundred bucks every renewal cycle and multiply this # by 500,000 licensees….. 

I bring this up only because I was asked earlier today why each state requires an individual to have a sep license in that state to conduct Real Estate business. Simple answer, the states profit.

Finding the bottom of the condo market

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Several sources have pointed to the Corus Bank failure as a critical step in determining what the true market value of high rise condos are.

Corus funded a number of speculative high rise condo projects in markets where we do a lot of business.  A few examples in Las Vegas:

  • One Las Vegas
  • Meridian
  • Platinum
  • Loft 5
  • Juhl
  • Newport Lofts
  • Panorama Towers
  • Village Green
  • The Residence Las Vegas
  • Soho Lofts
  • Copper Canyon
  • Boulders at Lone Mountain
  • Verano
  • Spanish Palms

Corus also funded a number of condo conversion or development projects in Arizona and Southern California, such as 44 Monroe (Phoenix), Safari Drive (Scottsdale), Wilshire Boulevard Condominiums and Solair (Los Angeles).  Now that the FDIC has stepped in, many of these largely unsold projects have been put up for sale with a 30 day deadline for a private placement transaction.   Corus previously tried to sell some of the completed REO or loans to investment groups, but the bid-ask spread was too high (because they would have been insolvent to let them go at the market price).  Now that they have failed, the true price will be discovered.

Even though the price discovery will be painful for someone who bought at or near the peak, it is important.  It is not healthy to have 50 units on the market at a huge range of prices and only 1 or 2 pending sales.  Lenders don’t even want to touch financing the few units that are purchased.  However, once a bottom price has been identified and a strong, patient owner is in place to gradually sell off the remaining developer units, the prices in these buildings will stabilize, financing will become available and transactions will again start taking place.

California statewide MLS is bombing

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

We just received noticed that after less than 2 weeks, the Fresno Association of REALTORS is pulling out of the CalREDD statewide MLS experiment.  This leaves just Madera and Merced County, with Lake County planning to join later this month.  By my calculation, the “statewide” MLS is covering a population area of about 400,000 in a state of over 35 million people.  While many states have talked about consolidating local association MLS’s, very few have had much success.  There are differences between how the information is laid out in different MLS’s, and REALTORS often have a difficult time adapting to a generic form.  Certain MLS areas may have key entries ranging from basements, lake frontage & views, township/range/section, to ground water potability which are considered minor or rarely or never used in other MLS’s.

On top of that, many REALTORS are not comfortable with outsiders coming into their community and competing for business.  Kern County (Bakersfield) has a very expensive-to-join MLS system that helps keep Los Angeles REALTORS out of their market.  In order to do business in a number of California markets, we had to join, learn, and continue to participate and stay current on issues for a number of MLS systems ranging from:

  • Combines LA / Westside MLS (CLAW)
  • San Francisco MLS
  • San Diego MLS (Sandicor)
  • Fresno MLS
  • Orange County MLS (SoCal)
  • Desert Cities MLS
  • Sacramento MLS (Metrolist)
  • and over a dozen others…..

While we think the idea of a California statewide MLS is very excited, frankly, I think it is years away.

California sales spike

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Friday, December 19th, 2008

Overall Sales throughout the entire state of California will post a sales increase of 12% in 2008 as compared to 2007. This sales spike is certainly the result of falling prices throughout the past 18 months. The dramatic increase tells us that prices are reaching levels that are leading buyers back into the market. Distressed sales represented about 19% of all sales in 2008. These are sales where the seller can no longer make payments, is in the process of foreclosure, or owes more on the property than that actual value.

The credit market had a lasting impact on 2008 as well. Over 20% of all escrows opened eventually failed. The # 1 reason reported for the failures concerned changes in the credit market. The unstable credit market led to a slight drop in first time buyers, as this figure slipped about 3%. The best news is that 2nd mortgages dropped substantially. Less than 10% of all homes purchases utilized second mortgages. (down from 30% in 2007 and a whopping 40% in 2006) FHA loan related sales soared from 2% in 2007 to nearly 19% in 2008.