Change in the Tide?

They say the living’s easy in Summertime… and that is true for this past summer and as it pertains to home sellers in our mid-Peninsula real estate market. Not so much for our buyers, however… But as the seasons change, so seems to be the tide in real estate here. (Much to our buyer’s delight!) While we saw several homes go for hundreds of thousands of dollars well over list price from mid-Spring through June, it appears that the tail-end of summer took a bit of a tank, causing some homes to go … (gasp) … for under asking price!

Take one home that recently went on the market, in an awesome San Carlos location. It sits at 2012 Saint Francis, an approximately 2,000-square-foot house on about a 6,000-square-foot lot and was listed at $1,675,000 in mid-June. It finally closed escrow in mid-August for $75,000 under list price, a seemingly unheard of phenomenon.  While the house did have a layout with some unique characteristics, it had tons of potential – more possibilities than many homes that went for well over asking just a few weeks prior. The new owners paid approximately $775 per square foot in San Carlos – which is unheard of when compared to its average $1,000 per square foot for similar sized homes.

Who knows what caused this – it could be that the home was priced on the high side, but it’s hard to gauge, seeing as so many buyers are used to seeing homes sell for as much as $200,000 over asking.

However, one thing that never changes in real estate is the unspoken notion that if a home sits on the market for 10 days or more, there must be something wrong with it.

Pricing a home at the perfect price is so critical to its booming sale. Perhaps, a potential buyer looking in a particular market should seek out some of these homes that do sit for a bit – there could be a deal there… case in point with this aforementioned property. The buyers in this case got a great deal – great location, awesome schools and paid much less than market value.

One of our own buyers took this exact approach back in January. This family was living in a small bungalow in San Carlos and truly felt as though they were priced out of their own city. We approached them with a home that had been sitting for 12 days at the time and it happened to be a perfect match. (They even said they saw the home on one of the online real estate websites but figured since it had been on so long, it was a no-go.)

Buyers should take note. While we aren’t saying it is becoming a market more in their favor, buyers should realize that with nowhere to build, taking advantage of an opportunity to save a few bucks per square feet might be a good move.

While we have routinely watched homes sell for well over list price within what seems like hours, we might be getting back to a more “normal” real estate market, one where buyers have a few days’ contemplation before making a move.

I guess the take away is to watch the market – both as a seller and as a buyer – see that things are changing a bit, take a deep breath and listen to the experts. A good home will always reap a good reward but strategy and pricing are key to getting top dollar.

Need help assessing your situation? Call us, we know just what to do!