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Per our 2nd Quarter market report below,prices continued to rise, lower-priced homes remained in high demand, the seasonal increase in homes for sale helped , though inventory levels remained critically low.

And now, we are again well into our usual Summer lullthis is not the busiest season in real estate! Many agents and their clients are on vacation and even though families may want to be settled before school starts we invariably see inventory drop and some good homes do not get as much attention as early in the year.

We are seeing some homes not get offers within the first 3 weeks ( yes, this is now a shock!) more listings indicating ” transparent pricing ” and more ” yoyo” pricing.

What I call ” Yoyo pricing” is when a home comes on low to meet the current market norm of ” price under, get competition to bid the price to what the home is worth“. The seller gets offers, but the seller has higher expectations so they don’t accept any of them. So the list price goes up to what the seller will accept “transparent pricing” Another couple of weeks go by and they still don’t get their price ….so then it drops back down to somewhere in the middle and then maybe they get that price …or… it is subsequently bid back up a notch or two if a couple of buyers are again competing.
Which goes to show that no one really knows what a home is worth until it gets out in front of “market forces”!

In short: The summer lull may offer vigilant buyers opportunity to get into the market on some homes.

Grey be Gone!

How refreshing it is to present a warm and inviting home decorated by a true artist with a flair for color and style!

OK, so we know we’re meant to “neutralize” and beige turned to gray over the last few years and it clings to life with a few brave stagers battling to infuse COLOR into the picture!

So YAY!!

My latest listing is this stylish and colorful, warm and inviting Traditional split-level located in the Woodminster pocket neighborhood of Montclair.

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Adjacent to Montclair, and zoned for the same schools it’s considered Montclair by many who live there but has the best of both worlds with access to Montclair village and it’s own neighborhood shopping, restaurants and even the ex Montclair Hardware store!

Regional parks are just around the corner with trailhead access to Joaquin Miller Park and Sausal Creek.
Along with the Woodminster ampitheatre just up the road for annual musicals, music in the Redwoods, and the Greek Festival  with music, dancing and food just down the road.

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If you like newer homes, highly rated schools and superb views ..without going way up into the hills the Upper Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland is a great place to live!

Tucked in between homes on several of the streets are hidden pathways, shortcuts down the hill for pedestrians dashing the the Trans bay bus stop for the morning commute. And a good end of day work out on the way home!

Village market offers the convenience of a very nice grocery store with imports like my beloved Marmite (!) and other delectable items. Take out Barbeque several days a week and a good deli selection.

My recent listing offered gorgeous Bay and City views and that very desirable guest suite.
…..So nice that visitors may not want to leave!

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For more detail visit: http://www.6168contracosta.com/

 

In 2017 I enjoyed helping clients buy and sell a variety of homes in the East Bay. I’m looking forward to another year of helping my wonderfully diverse real estate family!

Inventory traditionally picks up after Superbowl and the early Spring market is a great time to get started and prepare for a move.

I’m  happy to meet prospective clients , discuss options and put together a plan!

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!

 

This week I attended our quarterly Top Producers referral group meeting in San Jose. Agents from as far away as Sacramento, Carmel,Tahoe and Davis shared updates on their current market conditions and a variety of real estate related topics.

If you are looking to buy or sell outside of the Bay Area, I can usually provide referrals to great agents!

We have 30 year veterans and Millenials in the mix so it’s a nice cross section of different styles and approaches to real estate!

In general, the theme was one of “low inventory” with some markets slowing and others as competitive as ever, and “what is the next generation going to be able to afford?”
( Yes, we are only too aware of the down side to declining affordability)

The Oakland- Berkeley area seems to be one where buyers have become more selective this last quarter. Great houses are garnering the attention and high prices. Less than A+ or less strategically priced homes are sometimes only getting one offer or sitting. 

As we get into the holiday season it can be a good time for buyers who see potential in those “less than perfect” or less optimally marketed properties!

To check on the stats from the last quarter, Q3 -click below.

Pricing for competition is key….. sorry… no end in sight for those under market list prices at this time!!

 

 

August’s Monthly report…

Buyers….Come on back!

Most local agents tell tales of buyers frustrated by their inability to get into contract and walking away from the market.
Inventory has been so low and there are not enough homes to meet the demand.
Trekking over from the city at the end of a long day or giving up chunks of each weekend, especially if you have a little one in tow is less fun after your 3rd or 4th rejected offer!
But wait………there’s good news! 
Inventory just did the annual post Labor Day pick up and we now have 2 consecutive weeks of more homes to choose from!
So buyers may do well to get back in the saddle and give it another shot!!

If you, or anyone you know, are thinking of getting into the market I’d love to hear from you! Now may be a good opportunity to get into contract!

Rules of the game!

How high is enough?

Like it or not being successful in many things requires playing by the rules. Knowing the current lines in the sand is helpful when navigating the dynamic real estate playing field!

Buyers (and agents) groan about the current Oakland/Berkeley/Piedmont real estate market norm driving the “list low” phenomenon. The “worst offender” agents take flak but it’s “Catch 22” if sellers list closer to market value and nobody writes an offer thinking the expectations are 20% higher!

As you wrap your mind around the current real estate math, it can help temper your emotional response ( why don’t they list at what they want??!! I have to offer how much over asking??!!!) to know that the seller listed under market value and you are not necessarily overpaying when you add another $200K+ onto the list price for your offer!

The listing agents job is to get the seller the best terms and price, not to keep the buyer happy!                           

How can I make sure I don’t overpay?

The simplest answer is to see enough homes you know why you are offering what you are, and buy enough house that you can stay there for at least the next 10 years enjoying the benefits of a historically low mortgage rate and most likely riding out any market fluctuations.

Offers on a $1M home can frequently come in with a LARGE spread between them. A $500K spread between offers with the top 3 stepping up in $100K increments is not uncommon.
It’s true there are buyers who “just want to be done” and out of area agents who use questionable comps or don’t know the local dynamics but that is still your competition.

The only way you are going to be moving in to that house is by either paying more than anyone else, or making an offer with such superior terms the seller is willing to leave some money on the table from a higher but less compelling offer.

What about contingencies?

Most agents and their clients will be more comfortable when the market shifts and buyers can again compete with their contingencies in place.
Can you get into contract with contingencies?  “It depends” The trade off for contingencies is that something else about the offer needs to make it more attractive than non-contingent offers.

If the house is overpriced and sitting, or the seller provides no upfront information or there is something questionable about the property or your financing you most likely will not give up your contingencies.

However, most of the offers we currently see in competitive situations are non-contingent with perhaps 20% having 1 contingency.

Successful buyers in this market know the rules and have chosen to play by them, ultimately it’s your money and you decide what a property is worth to you!

Good agents are able to help advise on strategy, realistic parameters and when you might be able to bend the rules!