Think you can sell it yourself?

This week's edition of South Bay Confidential appeared in the "Home Guide" in Saturday's Daily Breeze (print edition), and is available in full below.

Here are links to the 2 properties mentioned in the column:
1208 Via Coronel in Palos Verdes Estates, listed at $1.359m.
4024 Stalwart Dr. in Rancho Palos Verdes, listed at $1.159m.
(Clicking an address above takes you to Redfin's property display page.)

Our online extra this week is a few pages from the original, 1960 brochure for the SeaView development in RPV (where Stalwart is located). (Click here to download the PDF.)

Back then, touting PV as "smog-free" was cutting-edge, Marineland was where Terranea now is, and the 405 was part of a rosy vision for the future.

Here's the complete column as it appeared in the Daily Breeze:

Think you can sell it yourself?

Off and on since last August, Long Trinh has been trying to sell his house. Alone.

His home at 1208 Via Coronel (pictured) in PV Estates is a FSBO ("for sale by owner," or "fizzbo").

Trinh began last year by asking $1,499,000 for his four-bedroom, four-bath 2,850-square-foot home. He's now asking about 10 percent less: $1,359,000.

The home is a 1961 build that was overhauled in 1992, and he's updated it further since.

In a recent tour I found the landscaping sharp, the pool sparkling and the main living spaces bright, with even a little peek at the ocean. The layout was a bit choppy and surprising, with two bedrooms up and two bedrooms down, the master right off the entry and a smallish kitchen tucked out of the way.

Trinh says he's gotten calls from real estate agents offering to help him sell. For now, though, he's just looking for buyers.

Not only did he cut the price recently, he also increased his offer to buyers' agents. He previously offered them a 2 percent commission, but now he'll give the more common 2.5 percent.

That boost may help, but there's no question that a FSBO faces resistance from traditional agents. Typically they don't trust FSBO sellers and they resent taking on most of the work and liability in a transaction. Oh, and their business model is obviously threatened if people really can do it all themselves.

The home's on the MLS (and the Internet) thanks to a service Trinh paid a bit less than $500 for. He contends that with the savings he'll realize by selling the home himself (about $35,000 at today's price), he can offer it for less.

We'll check in on Trinh from time to time to see how he fares.

1208 Via Coronel is open 1-5 p.m. today and Sunday.

[UPDATE: The home sold in Dec. 2010 for $1,200,000.]

Smog-Free with 'Ocean View Supreme'

The south side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula remains one of L.A.'s most out-of-the-way locations, with some of the best ocean views you'll get.

Catalina's in sight more days than not.

At the midpoint between San Pedro (east) and the lighthouse (west), right along Palos Verdes Drive, rises a little early-'60s suburb called SeaView. They named the streets things like Schooner, Dauntless, Admirable - even Exultant. That's right, just nautical names here, no Spanish, in this pocket of the Peninsula.

From PV Drive, some of the homes have a quaint and dated look, but 50 years later, most of the original structures are still standing. Mostly they've been remodeled by newcomers, not scrapped and rebuilt.

4024 Stalwart is one good example. The home's a four-bedroom, three-bath 2735-square-foot remodel of a flat-roofed, one-story '60s modern that now beckons buyers for $1,159,000.

About the only original elements left are the solid wood closet doors - good call - and the rock fireplace. The owner has brought the home into the 21st century with a big new kitchen, and enclosed some former patio spaces off the living room and master to create extra living space. Only the smallish master bath disappoints.

The ample yard has a very low, chain-link fence, allowing unobstructed ocean views, and there's even a side yard with garden shed/playhouse.

Chatting with a neighbor, I got swept up in some history of the neighborhood, and then got a copy of the original sales flier for the SeaView development. That charming piece of propaganda touts SeaView as "fashionable," "smog-free" and "scenic," "with Ocean View Supreme."

The flier also touts the proximity of Marineland, now replaced by the Terranea Resort, as well as the not-yet-complete San Diego (405) Freeway, which - at least according to the sales copy - would "add to the easy-to-reach-convenience" of the area. The jury's still out on that claim.

4024 Stalwart is open 12-4 p.m. Today and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

[UPDATE: 4024 Stalwart sold quickly, closing for $1,130,000 in July 2010.]

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