Still a Seller’s Market in the Bay Area?

Green Escrow | Real Estate online

And the definitive answer is: maybe. To be more precise, it depends on whom you ask; and to be even more precise, it depends on the area you’re asking about.

While sales were up in August 2016 by 0.3 percent over 12 months ago, home sales increased 2.9 percent in Contra Costa County, but down 6.8 percent in Santa Clara County.

Prices continued to increase but at a much more moderate rate but, here too, there was signficiant fluctuation depending on the region. In Alameda County The median price was $734,000, up 7.2 percent from a year earlier, and $510,000 in Contra Costa County, up by just 0.1 percent from 2015. In San Mateo County, the median price of $1.2 million represented a 9.1 percent increase, while Santa Clara County’s median remained flat at $925,000.

Analysts agreed that a strong job market and low interest rates are being offset by affordability and continued constraints in the housing supply.

House Hunting Tips: An Insider’s Look, Part 2

Green Escrow | Real Estate online

Part Two of Trulia’s excellent Real Estate 101 series has a new installment on Insider’s House Hunting Tips:

  1. Use pricing psychology
    Experts say never have a ‘5’ or an ‘0’ at the end of a price. Instead go one number over ‘5’ or ‘0’ to be the highest bid by just a bit more.
  2. Be likable
    A seller attached to a home is typically more inclined to accept an offer from a buyer that is like. If possible, discover a “shared interest” (other than the house). Be genuine or it will quickly be obvious what you’re up to. Some agents even have buyers have their picture taken in front of the house they wish to buy.
  3. Don’t be afraid if the owner has passed away
    If the owner was a long-time occupant, it probably means the home was well cared for. One agent advises, “If you see original wallpaper, pink Formica, and vinyl, pounce on it!” If the particulars are not to your liking but in good shape, you can always change it. After all, it’s yours now.

Sleep Before You Buy?

Green Escrow | Real Estate News

There’s a new trend in home buying: spend the night in the home before you make an offer on it.

According to real estate professionals, HGTV’s “Sleep On It” follows potential home-buyers as they spend the night in two homes – with the sellers’ approval, of course – before they decide which one to buy.

While they hasn’t exactly sparked a national trend, more and more potential buyers are requesting to “test out” a potential new home before buying. This can range from a sleep-over – to check out noisy neighbors, to taking a shower – presumably to test the water pressure, to cooking a simple meal – to test out the kitchen facilities.

Truly a sign of a buyers’ market…