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Looking back at the first 6 months of 2019 the market continues to favor sellers in the Oakland/Berkeley area.
The volume of homes for sale is down overall from last year, and there are plenty of buyers in the under $1M price range and the upper end of the market is selling through.

Underpricing homes continues to be the trend, with several homes exceeding expectations and those where the seller is unrealistic sitting.

Interest rates are phenomenal for buyers, I have buyers closing with 30yr fixed rates under 3.5%. Long term this is almost a free loan!


I’m always happy to speak with potential sellers or buyers, text or call  510-390-8101 or email Jackie.care@Compass.com

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The Pre-emptive offer!

A sign of this market is the  Pre-emptive offer!

My beautiful listing at 10 El Patio in Montclair did receive a pre-emptive despite the original plan to have 2 Sunday Opens!

Motivated and often desperate buyers wondering if they will ever get into contract will ask their agent if they can jump the gun and “pre-empt” any other offers by getting their offer in first, hoping to tie the property up before anyone else gets a chance

 

Level lot and expansive lawn

10 El Patio- in c0ntract pre-emptive!

The most common way of handling offers right now is for sellers to set a date and get all offers on the table  so they can compare, and see who will make the strongest buyer.

However.…despite what the sellers may have said to their agent, they certainly have the right to change their minds if they do get an early offer and feel they don’t want to wait!

MLS rules dictate giving notice to other agents when this happens, and professional etiquette and fiduciary obligations mean it becomes a FIRE DRILL to let other agents and buyers know about the change and try to allow them enough time to get their foot in the door ! ( The pre-emptive usually has less than 24 hr response time)

The potential downside of pre-emptives for the buyer is that sellers sometimes get mad and just won’t respond to that buyer, most of the time they figure the buyers will wait if they are serious and, they want to know what else may be coming in!!

In addition, some sellers feel its an unfair tactic and obnoxious.
It creates a large amount of stress for everyone involved, and that doesn’t always go over so well with sellers either.

In some cases, if you write a true pre-emptive, which means a really KILLER offer, then you may prevail…. and everybody else involved just has to deal with any fall out!!

And the moral of this story is…..  DO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR AGENT or you stand a VERY SLIM chance  of even hearing about the pre-emptive !!!!

Walk through 10 El Patio which received a pre-emptive offer so showings were limited!

House 3D click image

FANTASTIC 3D HOUSE TOUR!

 

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Thank you to my clients who sent pictures of the Amaryllis I gave to many on my holiday visits! It is SO nice to see clients old and new during the holidays and SO amazing and inspiring to see those beautiful blooms emerging in the Spring!

And now the Amaryllis are fading and inventory is picking up and it’s time to buy a house!

Amaryllis2

Step 1. Consider how long you plan on staying?

In this type of market try to buy enough house that you don’t have to move for a while.
Historically we are in 8-10yr cycles between low and high points.
Every time you sell it costs you 8-10% of the sale price. Transfer taxes, broker fees, house prep.

Amaryllis

Step 2.  Find a good local real estate agent and choose a local lender.

I know…. many buyers out there wonder what agents do since there is so much information on line???!..…..it’s a bit like finding a lump and going to the doctor….…You go for their expertise and advice based on knowledge gained from the gazillion hours they spent training and years of experience in the field doing the same thing many many times and learning from each one. 

Amaryllis3

Step 3. Narrow down neighborhoods.

In this fast moving market you want to be absolutely committed and very focused when you are ready to write offers. Don’t just fall for the house!

Do research communities, crime, transport and imagine your lifestyle in different types of locations. Visit neighborhoods at night and weekends, talk to neighbors.

Are you so averse to driving you are willing to pay a lot of money to live in a shoe box near BART? Do you want some tranquility which comes with access to Park lands and an extra room for visitors to come and stay? How about schools?

Amaryllis4

Step 4. See as many homes as possible in your price range. ( currently most sell over list price!)

You want to know how many homes out there don’t work for you…….so you know why you pay to get what you want! Do weekend open homes if possible, see the “NOs” then. Visit the more likely candidates with your agent.

Step 5. Steel yourself for competition and market conditions!!

Try to ignore list prices and not be upset thinking “Oh my god ….I have to bid $100K over to even stand a chance??!” Check SOLD data with your agent.

DO NOT BE FOOLED BY ONLINE REAL ESTATE VALUATIONS !!!!!!!!!!

Of the two dozen plus listings we recently analyzed less than a handful performed as indicated by the online real estate site. Many sold for way more money, some sold for way less money.

 

Hang in there!!  Inventory is picking up and there is a house for every realistic prepared and committed buyer!

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There are lots of older added onto remodeled and rambling floor plans in the Oakland Hills, and this house is a really nice exception!

This is the perfect ” grown ups” house for folks who have enjoyed spending time in their San Francisco loft but now need more room and more bucolic surroundings.

Not to mention the highly rated local elementary school run by one of my favorite principles!
( space subject to availability)

http://www.6357westoverdrive.com/

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And so many wonderful walks in the nearby Regional Parks!
Enjoy one of the nearby regional parks

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Not so laid back Summer!

July and August are historically slower months as agents and clients take vacations.
However, in the East Bay inventory has been on the lower side but committed buyers are still looking and writing often in multiple offer situations.

03 without cans

Click to see Website

My recent listing in Maxwell Park had good interest after the first open house and the sellers opted for just the one Sunday Open. They received 6 very nice offers. Why wait for more competition to come on!

I’m often asked what is the percentage to overbid…. there is no magic number!
Some homes are coming on priced too high or pretty much at market value.

Most buyers expect to bid over and may be scared away from writing on properties which come on at what is perceived as too high!
One characteristic of this market is sellers sometimes not letting their agent know what they really expect. It’s easy to get carried away with the value of your home when there have been several high price sales which may or may not be good comparables to yours.
If the seller comes on low and does not get the higher price they hope for, then we sometimes see a big jump up in list price to what they really want.
Conversely, sometimes a small price reduction will often encourage a couple of buyers to compete and bid the price up.

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Once upon a time you paid more money to live in the Oakland Hills than in most parts of the flatlands. Schools had the better reputation, you were away from the urban bustle and grittier parts of city living and maybe you even got a lovely view of the Bay!

OK, so Rockridge hasn’t been cheap for a long time, but the boundary lines between which areas sell for more and which sell for less are shifting.
The bike riding 20 something and the down sizing 60 something continue to gravitate to the urban hub.

A few clips from recent sales showing the list price above and sale price….SP is the sale price. Multiple offers and strong competition for these  homes in hot Oakland neighborhoods!

 

Rose Garden

Rose Garden

The Rose garden near Grand Ave and Lakeshore

Lakeshore

Lakeshore

Lakeshore  near Grand Ave and Lake Merritt

Bushrod

Bushrod

North Oakland not far from Ashby and MacArthur BART

Piedmont Ave

Piedmont Ave near shopping district and restaurants

 

 

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The Berkeley Hills has always been one of the East Bay’s most desirable places to live. Certainly up in the Berkeley hills the rain does not keep the serious buyers away! Despite the complete absence of ANY view, and the police blockade on Grizzly Peak there was a stellar turn out at the first open house. Don’t let the weather delay plans to sell, buyers are out looking and they will come back to visit if they like the house!

The glamorous life of a realtor involves dressing for the weather and all hands on deck!!  ( Thank you honey!)

shoes at open Sign of Rain

 

Visitors big and small and plenty of towels on hand… plastic covers all  round!

Beautiful views of the ever changing sky and bay from my listing at 30 Hill Road near Tilden Park in Berkeley

30 Hill slideshow start

CLICK FOR PHOTO TOUR

Our wonderful East Bay Parks, live in the hills and step outside to Tilden and beyond

Click here for info on Tilden Park

Click here for info on Tilden Park

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