Archive for August, 2006

Buyers Take Time!

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

One question you should ask your agent is how many buyers do they work with?  Marin County Real Estate buyers have a huge diversity of homes to look at and deserve the full attention of their real estate broker.
Realtors often hear of homes coming on the market before they hit the MLS and you want to be the first to hear of home you may be interested in.  If your agent is working for several buyers looking for the same home who are they going to call first?
I limit myself to five active buyers and wont’ take on a buyer that is looking for your dream home.  That way we both win; you find your home and I have a happy buyer.

Marin County Real Estate Contingent Offers

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

Sellers accepting Contingent Offers is catching on but still represents a small portion of homes in escrow.
Currently, there are 159 homes in escrow (this does not include homes that have gone Pending – all contingencies removed because MLS does not identify Contingent Offers for this group).  Of those 15 are Contingent Release.
What this means is the home is in escrow and one of the conditions of closing is the buyers current home must sell first.  There are lots of variation on how this can be written but typically after a couple of weeks the seller can accept a new offer kicking the current buyer out of escrow.  Of course the original buyer gets a 72 hour notice and can remove the contingency but usually if they could it would not be there in the first place.
The strongest Contingent Offer to make is when the home you are selling is in escrow and you are just waiting for it to close.  Other times to use it is when the home you are buying has been sitting on the market for a long time, the seller is extra motivated, or your offer price seems just right.
If the buyers home is priced correctly and in a price range/area that sells fast this type of offer may be considered as less risky.

Marin Home Sales July 2005 vs. July 2006

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

How does the Marin County housing market look this July compared to July 2005?
It has changed from a seller market to a buyers market so your agent should feel comfortable showing you many homes and not trying to rush you.  Some agents focus on listings and don’t want to spend time with buyers so be sure to ask if it will be the agent you interview or an assistant.
Now for the numbers, and this includes both homes and condominiums.  July 2005 there were 315 homes sold, this July 229 homes sold.  This is a drop of twenty seven percent.  Last July fifty percent of homes sold in the first thirty days at an average of 103% of the asking price.  July 2006 33% sold in the first thirty days at an average of 100% of the asking price (this includes reduced asking price as well).
Sellers need to prepare the home for sale and start with a realistic price.  Buyers, your time has come so find that home you want while rates are still low.

Will Your Real Estate Deal Stay Together?

Monday, August 21st, 2006

I just ran some statistics on how many homes in Marin County come back on the market after entering escrow.
In the last thirty days 253 homes (condos and homes) sold in Marin.  During the same thirty day period 112 homes came back on the market.  This includes homes that sold during the same time period but even with that it is a sobering number.
This can happen for many reasons; sometimes a buyer thinks they paid too much and find some other reason to back out.  Other times new inspections bring to light damage or conditions that for various reasons can’t be negotiated.
A good way to prevent the deal from falling apart is for sellers to disclose all they know about the property from the start.  Perhaps, more import, thought is for the real estate agents to try to work together and prevent either party from locking horns on small issues.

A Home Rental Blog

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Here is a great blog on home rentals.



Purchasing a home in today’s Buyers Market

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Gone are the days of the sellers “wish list” but it still pays to have a nice cover letter with your offer.  Sellers are the last to know the market has changed but after weeks or months without an offer, motivation sets in.

Realtors often hear sellers ask; if the price is too high why don’t someone just come in with a lower offer?  They are right!  When looking at homes you should look at homes above the price range you want to spend.  When you find that special home, make an offer based on what you feel the home is worth.  If the seller is realistic, you may just have a deal.

This does not mean we run around making low-ball offers but if the price seems too high based upon others you have seen, or seller motivation, it makes sense to ignore the asking price.

When purchasing a home there are two negotiating times; when writing the offer and when reviewing disclosures and inspections.  If you learn something during the inspection period it is time to get credit for unexpected future expenses.  What about the “as is” offer?  There really is no such thing; all we are saying is we will buy the home “as is” but if we learn the home needs more work than expected the seller should expect to give some cash credit to the buyers.

Inventory is at a several year high so don’t worry if you can’t make a deal on the first home you like, chances are they will be another you love too.