For most of the country a half million dollar home would be considered high-end. When buyers are looking for Marin county real estate for sale under $550,000 they will find slim pickings. Currently over 70 percent of those homes are in escrow, over 80 percent in San Rafael.
If you are a buyer in that price range your best strategy is to learn the inventory and market very well so when you find a home you like you are ready to make an offer very quickly. No longer can buyers what to see if the price will drop because for most those homes it won’t.
Making an offer quickly should only be done if you know the market, feel comfortable with the price you are offering. Not so high you have regret and not so low you regret it when a another buyer gets the property for an amount you would have paid.
One you are in escrow (an agreement with buyer and seller to purchase the house) don’t let your excitement fog your mind on what you find in inspections. If they house has expensive problems you may have to walk away.
Good house hunting.