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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!

San Francisco may have more cache but…. many say we have better views from the Oakland Hills and we get to look at San Francisco, Marin and the Golden Gate!
What could be better than a luxurious newer home, stunning views and the East Bay Park lands right outside your door?
All this and it’s less than 15 min drive ( Google it) to Orinda or downtown Oakland so you can enjoy life on both sides of the tunnel!

Luxury and comfort go hand in hand at 11 Observation Place.

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Take a walk through!

To view the Website click the image Below.

It may be a rainy start to the year but we’re in a fast moving early Spring market!
9 of our listings took offers last week and all but 1 are in contract with multiple offers.

My mid January Montclair listing at 1791arrowhead.com had its first open house on a very blustery rainy day. Serious buyers go shopping rain or shine.

Over 100 people came through the Sunday open house, drawn by the popular mid-century interior, online presentation and strategic pricing.
I would expect this activity in the Temescal or Rockridge but a traffic jam in the hills is less common!

With 35+ individual agent showings and 30+ requests for disclosures in the first few days the seller decided not to wait and took offers after the first Sunday and Broker tours.
Multiple offers came in from agents all over the Bay and 2 Oakland agents  prevailed with primary and back up offers accepted. ( buyers in this market usually benefit from a local agent and should NOT count on a second open house)


Explore the end of 2016 neighborhood data below!


q4-2016-click-image

Do contact me if you have questions about the local real estate market, there is always more to real estate than the data!

 

I seem to recall leaving corporate life and becoming a realtor for flexibility and to work less hours.  I love my work, but …. it’s 24/7 and not less hours!

“Sunday is your busy day” people will often say. Is the perception that we twiddle our thumbs the rest of the week?! Open house makes for a “busy” day in Bay Area real estate, but it’s  often not the busiest day of the week.

Selling real estate is a way of life, weaving in and out of personal commitments
with overlapping and variations.  It is not a 5 day a week  9-5 job!

Below are a couple of representative weeks for a full time established agent!
A busy week, and a less busy week.

For variety, a normal week is peppered with technology and coaching, meetings with out of area colleagues, fire drill offers with last minute buyers, broker consultation on tricky escrows,committee meetings, visiting former clients etc

Busier week………

realtor-calendar-busier-week

Not so busy week………

realtor-calendar-slower-week

As with most professions, there is the mythology and the reality!
Get ready for a busy 2017!

As agents we are constantly reviewing data and discussing market conditions, and at the end of the year we try to predict the future!

Let’s get as close as possible to that proverbial Crystal Ball!

Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin and economists John Burns, Dean Wehrli, and Selma Hepp teamed up to present the third in a series of live economic forecasts.

economic-forecast-video

I’m happy to speak with you regarding your real estate goals in 2017!

October was a good month for real estate sales in the Oakland-Berkeley area. Pacific Union offices posted sales volume as high as our April and June figures!

Despite a rainy first Sunday at 2306 Leimert….. serious buyers come out in the rain… I had a great turn out and this super home is now sold with new buyers moving in!

We don’t waste any time around here!

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Virtual walk through!

 

CLICK FOR 3D TOUR

CLICK FOR 3D TOUR

 

A tale of two markets!

The question!  Are we in a seasonal or an adjusting market?
It’s a little early to say, but regardless it currently appears to be truly a tale of two markets.

The top end of the market may indeed have peaked mid 2015, but interest in houses currently varies from luke warm to red hot, with homes in the $1M-$2M range and in “latte factor” locations still exceeding the 2015 prices.

I’m not sure who tracks data for properties with ancilliary dwelling units, but the addition
of an “in-law” or “airbnb” potential in urban locations seems to increase the demand exponentially!

On the other hand, we are seeing ” still available!” ” an opportunity” ” no offers” in both the MLS and the agent publications many of us subscribe to.

Some of these homes are just priced too high to accommodate the still customary overbidding. Some are just priced too high.. full stop!

My recent listing at 1641 Josephine on a super desirable street in North Berkeley, appx half way between two Berkeley BART stations, the gourmet ghetto, Monterey Market and multiple restaurants and shops received 10 offers and will sell well over asking.
The expansion potential, potential for an in-law, great location, and good size yard all contributed to the popularity!

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Close to everything!

CLOSE TO BART

CLOSE TO BART

 

Sellers invested money, we invested time and expertize in making it shine!

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The market in general is likely to be settling, so sellers don’t dally too long, and buyers
it’s a good time to be out looking!