Carmel Valley Real Estate, Carmel Valley Village Real Estate

Welcome to the Only Carmel Valley Homes blog.

To search homes, just click on the "Carmel Valley Home Search" right below my picture or go to and go directly to our website.

If you have questions about real estate in Carmel Valley, just give us a call or email.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Marketing for Exposure

Marketing for Exposure, the Real Truth!

When you wade through the process of selecting a listing agent or real estate office to sell your home, marketing is an important factor often overlooked by sellers. Let's give you a bit deeper understanding of real estate marketing and what really is a benefit to you.

The Good: There are many different mediums available to create exposure. Roughly 80% of buyers now start their home search online. Here are a few "must haves" which provide these online shoppers the instant information they demand!

1. Virtual tours allow buyers to watch a video presentation of your home and lot.

2. Multiple photos posted in the MLS (multiple listing service) for those buyers without high speed internet connections.

3. Single Property websites are a web based page devoted to information regarding your property. All kinds of wonderful information and reports can be posted here for buyers to review. This site will also have links to the Virtual Tour and numerous photos of your property.

The Bad: Print media such as newspaper and magazine ads will be of a much greater benefit to the real estate office than any help to you. I'll emphasize again, 80% of prospective buyers start their search online, and this number is growing! Magazine ads have a lead time of 30-45 days so you can be "on the market" for over a month before these even appear. Newspaper ads are designed to make the office phone ring. Their real purpose are as new lead generators for a real estate office.

The Ugly: Most real estate offices are now owned by large corporations. These offices may have 50-100 agents in a single office. Management must make the phone ring for "floor time." Floor time is simply an assigned time for an agent to sit at a desk and answer calls from ads. Problem is, there is a high likelyhood this agent has never even seen your property. Most agents and offices will sell anything anywhere, they cannot possibly get out and see all the inventory or be an area expert. Your listing agent should be handling every single call from a prospective buyer or real estate agent with interested clients.

Make sure the marketing and exposure being presented to you is being represented truthfully. Realize that what happens when a prospective buyer or buyer's agent calls, goes hand in hand with the actual marketing material. Exposure must have a positive outcome!

The solution? Agent specific advertising. Every bit of marketing material we create, including the sign in front of your home, has one phone number. Every single call goes directly to your listing agent who does have the intimate knowledge of your property to answer questions and get those buyers moving!

Let a Carmel Valley Expert Sell Your Carmel Valley Home.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Recent comments from my clients


Recently, I often find myself telling my husband how impeccable you've been as our agent. Your smarts, your always ready real estate knowledge, your patience, your collaborative nature, your generosity with your time especially with sellers that live out of town, and your easy going personality definitely contributed to filling the process with ease for me. Thank you for all that. Karen

Karen Olender Kipnis

Martin Schlarmann was super to work with, start to finish, on a sale of vacant land.   Mark went the extra mile(s) several times.  Thank you much for the support and advice.

William Whitecotton
Phoenix, Arizona

Our story is a fantastic one, a journey based on little more than faith and adventure, in search of what we knew little about, but a desire to follow a dream nonetheless. Our decision to have Martin as our broker became the obvious choice. He has a genuine warmth and concern for his clients. Martin first and foremost educated us about the area and everything in between--the topography, the micro-climates, the sun, the shade, the history, the politics, the people, and the volatility of the market, which ultimately led us to our perfect purchased property. We appreciated Martin’s patience and unwavering loyalty in see us through the highs and lows of the process. He has a clever mind, a strong work ethic, is extremely well-organized, well-connected, and computer-savvy. Ultimately, it was Martin’s attention to detail and his accessibility that closed the deal for us over other offers. Martin, we believe you made the journey every bit yours as it was ours, and that feels very special indeed. We will be forever grateful.

Our warmest regards,

Pauline Phelan & Joe Fletcher

Dear Martin,
I want to thank you for once again doing a flawless job of selling my Fairway Lane property. This is the third transaction that you have done for me and just as on the other two properties everything worked like clockwork. You always go above and beyond to make sure that the experience that I have had in either buying or selling my properties with you was exemplary. I look forward to using you and Only Carmel Valley Homes again in the future.

David Fried

Dear Martin:

John and I want to thank you for your fabulous communication, service and subsequent sale of our home in Carmel Valley. As real estate professionals ourselves, we have high expectations and you exceeded every one of them! You are a true gentleman and delight to do business with. We can't thank you enough.

Warmest Regards,

John and Robin Compagno
Luxury Home and Equestrian Property Specialist
Luxury Homes Of Las Vegas
"The greatest compliment I can receive is the referral of your friends and family, thank you for thinking of me."

Martin, thank you so much for the professional manner in which you took care of my best friend, Linda Turner Ingle, in selling her house for her in Carmel Valley. She had a very negative experience with another broker, who I understand is high profile in your area. In contrast to the other broker, and probably many brokers who list homes, you priced the home correctly in the first place, had excellent online marketing for the home, communicated regularly with Linda regarding showings and feedback, made suggestions on the best presentation of her home including staging and landscaping, negotiated the offer she got, and guided the transaction to a successful close. You even went above and beyond the call of duty in driving all the way out to the house to wait for the appliance delivery of a new stove. Throughout the process you showed professionalism, class and a sense of humor. I wish my experience with all referrals to outside brokers for friends and clients were as successful as this. Thank you for everything.

Lynne Connelley, Broker, CRS
Licensed Broker in the state of Oregon
Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate
486 SW Bluff Drive
Bend, OR 97702
541-382-4123 office
541-408-6720 cell (preferred)
866-891-8218 eFax

My family has been in Carmel Valley for four generations. We have bought and sold more than 50 properties on the peninsula. I have worked personally with several of the big name realtors from the largest real estate firms. None of them compare to the professional services that you rendered to me on this last transaction. I wish that I had found you sooner! The very popular realtor who had my listing before you, listed it way too high and the property was a horrible mess. Since I now live in Oregon, I was unaware of the condition of the home and the way it was being ignored. A very short time after you took over the listing and helped direct our cleanup efforts, it was sold for a reasonable price.

You handled the negotiations very well with some difficult buyers. I knew that I could leave things in your hands. You were honest with me and communicated every step of the way. If I had had your help a few years ago when I sold my large home overlooking Point Lobos I believe I would have gotten a better price and I know that it would have gone more smoothly, with less stress on me.

I have another home in the Valley earmarked for sale in a couple of years and you know that my first and only call will be to you.

Linda Ingle

"From another agent I recently worked with"

Martin, thank you very much for a seamless escrow process. I really appreciate your professionalism and attention to detail. It was a pleasure.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Garland Park Critters

If you have not yet checked out Garland Park in Carmel Valley, you're missing
a great place to walk/hike.  It's also dog friendly so bring your mutt along.

Aside from just being a scenic stroll, sometimes you will see some of the local
critter population sharing the trails.  Here are a couple of  my recent encounters.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Real Estate Virtual Office and Going Green!

Technology is bringing big changes to the real estate industry. The days of the fixed location office or "brick and mortar" are going the way of the dinosaur. Our clients expect us to provide the best service possible. Todays virtual office allows us to meet these demands, plus save time and money for everyone involved. A virtual office means we have the capability to conduct business almost anywhere.

The good news for you? Sitting in a conference room for various reasons, viewing property, printing and signing forms etc are over. The vast majority of buyers start their home search online and have already spoken with their agent or broker about which properties they'd like to view. We can go straight to the fun part which is looking at property. With a netbook and 3G access, we can instantly access any additional data about a property you may need. Once you've found the home or property that interests you, you're free to take off and go do something fun. All the paperwork will arrive to you online. You can even electronically sign all your documents.

The technology we have at your disposal means a faster, more productive and fun home search experience for you. The added bonus is our reduced consumption of natural resources. We can consume far less paper, gas and electricity.

Of course, if technology scares you a bit, we can still accomodate you the old fashioned way. OnlyCarmelValleyHomes is committed to providing great service to our clients and we look forward to helping you find a wonderful property.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

How to select a listing agent

Choosing a listing agent to sell your home is an important decision. By using just a few key criteria, you can prevent lost time, money and some big headaches!

Step one: Find an agent that works in your area. An agent that specializes in your neighborhood would be ideal. You need someone who really knows the inventory. This is not the time to hire a friend or relative just because they have a real estate license. OnlyCarmelValleyHomes
market knowledge is unparalleled.

Step two: The listing agreement you sign should be for a period of 90-180 days maximum. You also need the right to "fire" any agent you hire. I suggest this is written into any listing agreement you are about to sign. "Seller may cancel this listing at any time prior to acceptance of an offer"

Step three: You must have a high quality virtual tour, single property website and multiple photos. A good agent will provide these at their cost. Today close to 90% of buyers start their home search online. These tools will be the first impression prospective buyers have of your home.

Step four: Be wary of fantastic "marketing plans" with magazine ads, newspaper ads, flyers, open houses and post cards. These advertising mediums are all great... for the real estate office! You want an agent that is honest about the real benefits of advertising. The MLS ( multiple listing service), price, condition of the home and web exposure are what really sell property.

Interview two to three agents, or more if necessary, until you find someone that meets the above criteria. You'll be much happier with your transaction. OnlyCarmelValleyHomes provides our listing clients a written guarantee. You can read more about this on the "Seller's info page" at

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Carmel Valley Neighborhoods, Find the Sun!

For those of you not familiar with Carmel Valley, the weather changes as you head east into Carmel Valley. Carmel Valley Rd. is roughly 12 miles long from Hwy 1 to Carmel Valley Village. We can break this up into 3 mile sections so you can identify where to find the amount of sunshine you desire.

Hwy 1 to Quail Lodge, the first 3 mile section, is very close to the ocean. Here you will have weather similar to Carmel with a strong ocean influence and lots of fog. If you enjoy cool and like to avoid any high temps, this is the place.

Quail Lodge to Mid-Valley, second 3 mile section. This area will still have weather similar to Carmel, yet is far enough out so the fog can burn off.

Mid-Valley past Laureles Grade, third 3 mile section. Here you start to see alot of sunshine. Temps are still mild overall and the fog still rolls in. Generally the fog will burn off earlier and come back later in the afternoons. If you are looking for mostly sunny days, Mid-Valley and east are your ticket.

Carmel Valley Village, our last section. Lots of sun, higher temps, and little fog.

If you'd like other information about Carmel Valley real estate, or living in Carmel Valleyjust give us a call or email. We're happy to help.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Preparing Your Home For Sale

Providing Reports, Inspections and Disclosures

Most people think home preparation is all about curb appeal, cleaning up the kitchen and baths and other areas buyers will view when they tour your property. That is important, but I'm talking about a different kind of preparation. Were going to talk about things the buyer can't see when he/she visits your home.

There are any number of inspections, reports and disclosures that accompany a home sale. Be proactive and display these completed items for possible buyers to review. This list could include Termite/pest, Preliminary title, Transfer Disclosure Statement, Natural & Environmental Hazards and permits for any additions/remodels. You may also have local issues like we have here in Carmel Valley. We would add Septic report and Water Conservation Certification. You may also want to consider having a Home Inspection of your own.

Every home sale includes a "due diligence" phase where all this documentation is provided for the buyer to review and approve. Don't let some unknown and costly problem arise and jeopardize the sale. By taking this easy step, you can "tighten up" the buyers time periods and removal of contingencies deadlines. Let's keep those buyers moving in the right direction, towards the close of escrow!

Place all this great information in nice folders and display on your kitchen counter. Now the buyers can focus on your fantastic home and not worry about what might be hiding!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Timing the Market for Buyers

I found this article very compelling. I have posted a few excerpts which every prospective buyer should read.

Excerpted and abridged from Shift: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times, by Gary Keller with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan. Copyright 2009. The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

A buyers' market should be just that—a buyers' market. It's not a fence-sitting, waiting, loitering, delaying, dawdling, postponing, vacillating, hesitating, wavering, faltering, pausing, foot-shuffling market. It's a buyers' market. By its very name it means buyers should be doing one thing and one thing only—buying. So where are the buyers, and why aren't they buying?

The great irony of a buyers' market is that even though the opportunity to buy is high, buyer urgency tends to hit an all-time low. The media becomes the excited purveyor of negative news and uninformed advice, and buyers buy it all. Actually, it feels like the only thing they're buying.

Their reluctance is ironic since not so long ago buyers were incredibly excited about buying—and it was a sellers' market. Prices were escalating and it was perhaps one of the most difficult times to buy value and yet people were buying like there was no tomorrow. Buyers were afraid of losing out by not buying, even though the advantage was all to the seller.

Now a shift has occurred. Fear is still in the driver's seat but the tables are turned—the fear of paying too much seems to stop most in their tracks and immobilizes them. When they should have been afraid of paying too much they weren't, and now that they shouldn't be afraid of paying too much they are.

It's one of the great paradoxical moments of any market and the herd instinct at its most pure. Reluctance in the face of great opportunity becomes an agonizingly defining characteristic of a shift.
The Myth That Fuels Reluctance

There are two types of buyers—those who believe they can time the market and those who are always in the market and believe timing will find them. History supports the latter—it says that if you're always actively paying attention, although you may never sell at the peak or buy at the bottom, you can buy right and always do well over time.

Logic says that you can't predictably time the market to be able to buy at the absolute bottom and sell at the absolute top.
This should be a moment of truth for them. Buyers cannot perfectly time a market—no one can. The smartest people know this. They play in the safe zone. The safe zone is where smart people plan to buy and sell. Anyone who buys at the top of a market is just unlucky and anyone who buys at the bottom of a market is just lucky.

People who buy in a buyers' market are the smart ones. They aren't looking for a killing because they know that's a matter of luck, not planning. They're looking for a sound decision with a predictable result and, therefore, ask the question: "Has the market dropped enough now to make a sensible purchase?" More often than not, when they're asking this question, they're already in the safe zone and the answer is yes