Posts Tagged ‘buyer’

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!!




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Cash offers and sale data

Cash offers and low inventory are creating a consistent story of heavy competition in all price ranges.

Looking at the chart for this years activity , the number of cash transactions is pretty staggering. This is just the closed deals.

The actual number of cash offers is much higher. Every single county is showing at least 25% cash sales and some are closer to 50%.

No… this is NOT all overseas money! It’s investors, buyers who have sold to buy, those who figure the banks are paying peanuts and have savings, those who’ve been siting on the sidelines, those with great bonuses, the affluent, the relatives who tell their fortunate kids it’s a great time to buy and can help out!

Some buyers pay cash to compete and then refinance to take advantage of the 60 year low rates.

So how does a buyer compete against cash offers?

Their offer has to be even MORE compelling…e.g fewer contingencies and usually … a higher price.
It’s risk versus reward……yes, the seller will kiss the cash offer goodbye, but it had better be worth their while to wait longer and take the risk inherent with any loan.

The combination of low inventory and the competition with cash are pushing prices up at a very steep rate.

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So many lovely neighborhoods in the East Bay!

I worked with many delightful clients in 2012 helping them sell or purchase in a wide variety of price ranges and neighborhoods.

From the urban hub near Lake Merritt or downtown Berkeley to treelined vistas and panoramic views in the hills there is something for everyone.

For those who are looking to sell in 2013, buyers are eagerly awaiting new inventory.

I’d love to hear from you if you’re considering selling or buying this year!

Click to view enlarged image

Click to view enlarged image

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1591 La Vereda is a custom built 5 bedroom 2 bath home enjoying a premium position in one of Berkeley’s most prestigious neighborhoods. On the market for the 1st time since it was built in the 60’s this home combines many artistic elements with an unusually practical floorplan and thoughtfully laid out space. The custom mosaic detail above the fireplace and the stained glass in the entry are by Ray Rice, a founding member of the Mendocino art center. Situated on one of Berkeley’s most coveted tree lined streets, steps away from UC and the gourmet ghetto this is a rare opportunity to own a piece of architectural history!

The grand redwood paneled living room has a vaulted ceiling and French doors with Clerestory window detail. The dining area which flows off the living room will accommodate a large table, and the space is ideally suited for entertaining or relaxing. Almost every room on every level has access to the outside with glazed doors to balconies or decks; ideal for our California lifestyle!
Upstairs is a spacious master bedroom with multiple built in stained wood closets and open beamed ceiling. There are two additional bedrooms, one with a delightful balcony and peek of the Golden gate bridge view through the treetops.
A bonus room on the ground floor offers additional space.


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Twice a week my colleagues and I confer to see who needs to tour which homes based on the sellers and buyers we are working with. (This is one of the BEST reasons for sellers and buyers to decide early on which agent to work with.) As agents we can’t see everything on the market, so we do prioritize and keep our eyes open particularly for clients who are thinking of making a move.

The best agents, in my opinion, devote a good chunk of every week to touring and keeping up with the newest additions to our inventory. How else can we advise sellers and buyers on the competition and possible value??!

A light hearted game we play when we go out on tour… you have to have fun on the job! …is to come up with the day’s theme. There nearly always is one…. crown molding, fabulous roses, smelly basements, interesting fireplaces, weird floor plans, only cookies to eat (!)…….. and this week we were lucky to have  First Class Views!!

And surely, this is one of the reasons we pay the price to live where we do, and a premium for a house with a view!

When we lived in Hong Kong, I’m pictured here with my oldest son, we felt that view was worth it too!


Our low listing inventory continues,  appx 30% down from this time last year… Sellers, there are buyers out there!

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A super stylish ‘90s home with the absolute best view, (even for doing the dishes!) at 160 Gravatt Drive  The owners added a mini panoramic window to great effect, listed by Kelly Deal of Grubb & Co… who also had real food for us, much appreciated after a marathon tour!

21 Stephens Way, up in the same Claremont Hills area is a one owner home with lots of potential and a super floor plan and some easy garden access. All level living which is a desirable feature in the hills!  Listed by Patricia Swift of Grubb & Co.

And for those who would like to be a wee bit more central and stumble out of bed into a latte…. finally, we have a few new listings in Rockridge and Elmwood!  Some seriously priced semi fixers, a nicely redone couple and a little gem for under $500,000 at 2508 Woolsey, Listed by Daniel Stea of PBG. Now that is a tempting little number for this location…

I’m always happy to answer real estate related questions and appreciate your support through referrals!

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I recently represented the buyers in their purchase of this mid- century home. Their “must haves” were a lovely outlook onto trees and convenient location close to Montclair village!

6789 Sims Drive

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The East Bay/Alameda County saw 27% of homes in contract in November 2011 which is within the range (25%-35% in contract) of what is usually indicative of a balanced market.

If you are currently looking to buy or sell a home in the East Bay/Alameda County area, click the image below to view our East Bay Monthly Market Update. Visit our site for up-to-date information on East Bay real estate market conditions and to contact me through my Pacific Union Website.

(figures as of November 30, 2011)

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