This has been a crazy start to the new year in terms of home sales and pricing in our local market.
I have one client who was approved and ready to go at 625K. Single mom, looking for townhome in Pleasanton and/or single family home in Livermore. After 3 attempts at making offers, she decided to “take a break” from the home buying search. I can’t say I blame her. Home search for an East Bay buyer has taken on a whole new twist. Every weekend pounding the pavement and previewing homes vetted earlier in the week can take its toll. We would gauge our chances by the number of cards on the kitchen counter or groups through the door during the open house. I would network with the other agent and put our best foot forward in terms of a clean offer, all the disclosures signed and reviewed, pre-approval included and of course a personal introduction letter to the sellers. In one case, we were the highest offer and still not chosen. The other agent explained he didn’t think our price would appraise!
Now a month or more has passed and I’m realizing that the same home she could buy 6 weeks ago is no longer available. The pending sales have closed and the prices have bumped up. In a townhome community, if the last sale was 595K and the new one comes on for $605K, they may get 3-4 offers and the closing price becomes $620K. Then the next home will come on at that price, listed $620K, two offers come in, and it closes 4 weeks later at $630K. That is how one gets “PRICED OUT OF THE MARKET.” In 6 weeks’ time. Now the same search in her price range yields (0) matches. She would need to 1) bump up her price or 2) look elsewhere in a neighboring community that is a little less or 3) adjust her requirement from 3 bedroom to 2 bedroom. Does that make sense?
It’s not happening at the “entry level” price point either. It’s in the 1.2-1.4 Million dollar range. Last week in my mastermind group we were sharing various “war” stories from the front lines. One agent told of writing an offer for 100,000 more than asking with no contingencies and not getting the house! Several other similar stories were shared. Who is buying and bumping up the price? We are seeing an influx of SF/Peninsula buyers. Our market seems like a “bargain” compared to the Peninsula.
Case in point. I have a buyer relocating to the East Bay from San Carlos. Her townhome should sell in the 1M range and she would like to pay cash up to $600K range for a bigger place in San Ramon/ Walnut Creek or Pleasant Hill. We went to preview all the properties to make sure there was something she liked before she listed with her Peninsula agent. The Peninsula agent, Viv, was happy with my 680/Townhome Tour. Her client is now prepping her home for sale with the knowledge that she has many options to buy and that cash will help separate her from other buyers.