Looking through the lens of 2017: 5 things that we saw very clearly

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It’s hard to believe we are about to close out another year. Each year we continue to see prices rise and just when we think we won’t be riding this wave for long, the sea of residential real estate delivers another deluge of currents, proportional to Half Moon Bay’s Mavericks. 

But each series of waves is unique, providing us with endless learning opportunities – experiences that sharpen our skills and continue to motivate us as real estate professionals. This year was one of our most fruitful, with a total of over 30 transactions. We sold 14 homes and helped our clients move into about 18 homes. But this total doesn’t come without a lot of creativity and hard work. 

Here are the five things we learned about our changing industry in 2017:

  1. The market is an animal all its own: No matter how hard we try to come up with the perfect equation, the market will shock us. There was a time when the price per square footage was an indicator of a good price point either for selling or for bidding. Gone are the days where normal calculations based on logic and numbers produce a plausible price.  Even MLS data is outdated day to day. It truly takes agents who are “in the know” on an hourly basis to win the sale or price a home perfectly. Knowing the behind-the-scenes information is what matters most in a very competitive market such as San Carlos. 
  2. Patience, Perseverance, Repeat. There were countless times that we were forced to exude extreme patience. Whether it was the home we finally won for our client after three offers or the client that lost out on her dream Woodside estate, but due to our contact with the selling agent, was given another shot at the deal and ultimately bought it.  We have had to wait for the right moment in many cases and have had to pick up the spirits of many clients who fell in love with a property, were willing to go as high as $300,000 over asking, and still didn’t get it. We see even more clearly that when it’s right, it’s right and oftentimes you have to wait for it. 
  3. Rats, Bats, master bathtubs … Nothing is beneath us. We have had our share of unique experiences. Rats do appear on many neglected properties, but BATS! We had one home that had a bat infestation, and another that had loads and loads of items that we had to clean out. We realized this year that nothing can shock us -- not even the pipe that needed repair on a tub in the master bath at one of our San Carlos listings. Turned out the pipe was unreachable, so after cutting through the siding to reach and repair the pipe, we were still able to get that house on the market in perfect condition before our Open House deadline. Our desire to do just about anything to properly serve our clients is tried and true. 
  4. Trust your lender. We know that $10,000 is a lot of money. But when you’re buying your dream home, it can equate to one dinner out a month on a $1.8 million home purchase. So consider stretching yourself a bit to be competitive. We have seen a few clients who have tried waited for things to calm down and all it ended up costing them to spend nearly $100,000 more just six months later. The time is now if you want to actually save money, as prices continue to rise.  And once you’re in, chances are you will see your value increase rather quickly.
  5. Referrals are an indicator of good work. We are so grateful for our clients, this is something that we have known since we started in this business over 15 years ago. But what 2017 showed us was just how validating it is to receive referrals. Our dedication to our profession is legitimized when we receive a referral. We truly go the extra mile for our clients and we appreciate the recurring business and new business from friends who have heard of the solid work we do.