Market Watch | No Holiday Slowdown for Most Northern California Communities

In other parts of the country, it may be typical to see a slowdown in real estate exchanging hands leading up to the year-end holidays, but not in Northern California. The region is among the most in-demand and most expensive markets in the nation as recently reported by Forbes magazine, where California – and Northern California in particular – dominates 2017’s list of America’s most expensive ZIP codes. From Atherton, Ross, Los Altos, Palo Alto to Hillsborough and Woodside, the region rules in luxury homes and premium prices. Other counties and cities may see a slight dip during the holidays, but overall demand remains strong. Read more about what’s happening from our Northern California offices.


East Bay – In Oakland, inventory has decreased mostly due to the holiday season. However, there are still serious buyers and sellers in the market – both motivated and ready to make a deal and that move.

Monterey County – Monterey Peninsula offices saw a slight slowing in new listings, with some sellers opting to wait until the new year. Buyer demand remained strong, especially on properties with recent price reductions. Many sellers sold their homes faster than expected; a client reported anticipating a six-month listing period, but was made a full price offer in two days.

North Bay – The Santa Rosa Mission office experienced a frenzied market after the wildfires. Properties that were priced right received multiple offers, often selling for over list price post bidding wars. Buyers in the entry-level market and even luxury segment are encouraged to act quickly with their strongest offers.

Placer County – In mid-November, Tahoe saw inventory down approximately 9% from the end of October with 462 properties for sale. Active inventory is down from 601 properties, or 16%, in a year-over-year comparison. Coldwell Banker continues to be the listing market leader with over 13% of active listings in the market. Luxury sales over $1 million are increasing for the first time in 2017.

Sacramento County – Sacramento Fair Oaks experienced a continued lack of housing supply, which impacted pricing and maintained a sellers’ market. But buyers should not be discouraged, there are still good deals in the market. Luxury homes are seeing a buyers’ market, especially in prices over $1 million. Buyers can choose from a variety of properties and currently have leverage to negotiate.

Sierra Oaks saw inventory up over 2016 in a year-over-year comparison. Activity continues to be strong in the luxury market.

San Francisco – In San Francisco Lombard, market activity was varied. While there were 23 offers on a single property, other homes didn’t fare as well. Activity generally slowed as prices increased. To help spur offers, sellers should price their homes competitively and make sure that their property is turn-key. The luxury market slowed over $3 million and we witnessed ample inventory in the $5-6 million range.

SF Peninsula – In San Mateo, homes continued to sell with multiple offers in short timeframes, even with the holiday season upon us. The luxury market slowed, especially in the price range over $3 million. 

Silicon Valley – Cupertino saw continued sales with multiple offers and an uncharacteristically active market considering the time of year. The luxury market was also strong with several sales over $6 million.

Gilroy and Morgan Hill inventory remained tight. Because of the unequal supply and demand, prices have increased to record levels. Sellers looking to move quickly should consider listing now as they can also receive top-dollar for their property. Buyers also must be prepared for a multiple-offer scenario. They should be able to make a strong offer above asking with no contingencies to be taken seriously.

Los Altos’ sellers’ market continued throughout the month with many homes selling over asking price. Average days on market year-to-date is 17 for Los Altos, 35 for Los Altos Hills, 14 for Mountain View and 13 for Sunnyvale. In these markets, more homes have sold YTD than all last year.

Sellers must be aware that buyers are knowledgeable. Therefore, asking for a price over-value will likely cause the property to sit on the market. However, with the help of an experienced agent, sellers will be able to get the highest possible price for their home. Preparation is key. Financing should be lined up and buyers are encouraged to be aggressive with their offers. The Los Altos luxury market is steady but flat, as most properties are on the market for 44 days.

Las Gatos experienced a lot of buyer competition with multiple offers on almost every property. Pre-emptive offers are becoming more common as buyers hunt for coming soon and exclusive properties that are not yet listed. This is a great market for sellers wanting to have a quick sale. The luxury market saw prices steadily increasing.

San Jose Almaden had an active month with increasing sales and only 50% of available inventory as compared to 2015 and 2016. Prices are also rising with increased sales.  As inventory declines, the area is still in a sellers’ market. Buyers should be ready to offer up to 20% over asking price unless a property has been on the market for over two weeks. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage affiliated agents can help both buyers and sellers navigate the market.

San Jose Main had little inventory with only 437 homes for sale in Santa Clara County, as compared to 2600 homes in 2011. This has created motivated buyers and multiple offers on most properties. Regardless, sellers still need to price their homes well and be thorough in preparing their property to go on the market. This includes staging and decluttering as needed. Buyers still have a chance of landing their dream home, but must have realistic expectations and remain persistent.

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Bay Area Real Estate Market Update

In September, the Bay Area maintained its position as California’s most in-demand region for real estate. According to the September California Association of REALTORS® report, six of nine Bay Area counties had less than three months’ supply of inventory, and of the six – two had less than a two months’ supply. The report indicated that San Mateo took the No. 1 spot with the highest price per square foot at $883/sq. ft., followed by San Francisco ($875/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara ($687/sq. ft.). Read more about what’s happening from our Northern California offices.


East Bay – Oakland reported multiple offers with less contingencies in September. Home sales have slowed compared to recent months, some remaining on the market for three to four weeks as compared to a two-week period during summer. There are still motivated buyers who are looking to be settled in a new home before the holidays and sellers should not hesitate to list their homes now.

Monterey County – Monterey Peninsula closed September with an increase in both dollar and unit sales. Buyers continue to seek more options and act quickly when newly-listed properties enter the market.

North Bay – Greenbrae showed a strong September regardless of low inventory and buyer interest remains high. Year-over-year, prices were up 10.7 percent and units increased by 16.6 percent. The median price point also increased to $1,286,000 versus $1,191,500 in 2016. Properties under $1 million were especially popular and sold swiftly. Buyers do have some good news in the form of low interest rates and the ability to negotiate, especially on properties listed for over a month.

Novato had a downturn in the real estate market after the devastating fires in Sonoma and Napa counties. The fires increased demand on housing inventory for both sale and rental properties as many residents were displaced. Sellers continue to receive multiple offers, with many all cash. Buyers in Novato saw favorable conditions, such as lower interest rates and less competition.

Southern Marin experienced a slowdown following Labor Day with an increase in days-on-market and fewer multiple offers. Sellers still have a window of opportunity to list their homes before the holidays, but must be sure to price their properties competitively.  Buyers have more options with an increase in inventory. In the luxury market, 16 percent of listings over $3 million are under contract.

Placer County – Tahoe saw 87 properties sold during the month of September, the third highest two-week sales period year-to-date. Twenty-eight of those properties were sold above $1 million. In 2017, there were 217 properties sold over $1 million, down 6 percent from 2016. The median sales price for luxury properties is down about 8 percent from 2016, at $1,525,000. The average sales price of luxury homes year-to-date stands at $2,262,092 as compared to $2,375,008 in 2016, which is a 5 percent decrease.

Sacramento County – Sacramento Fair Oaks saw a decrease in closed sales, but ended the month with 2,663 pending sales, a 7 percent increase compared to September 2016. Available homes decreased by 6 percent year-over-year. Due to more limited inventory, there was a 9.4 percent increase in the median sales price. Sellers should price their homes within market range and ensure their properties show well and are clutter free during open houses. Between now and Thanksgiving is the optimal time to list, as buyers are motivated and ready to make offers.

In Sierra Oaks, the market saw solid activity. In the luxury market, buyers had a lot of inventory to choose from and sellers are willing to negotiate.

San Francisco – San Francisco Lombard remained active with 80-85 percent of homes and 65 percent of condos selling for above their asking price. Buyers in San Francisco are encouraged to make offers now. If they wait, they could lose out on the equity that could eventually get them into their dream property in the future.

San Francisco Pacific Heights saw continued shortages in inventory. The luxury market had multiple properties go into contract, although many sales were executed off-market.

SF Peninsula – Half Moon Bay reported an all-time low in inventory supply. Although this makes the housing market tough for prospective buyers, many were still encouraged by low interest rates. Palo Alto downtown also saw low inventory that led to multiple offers on most, if not all properties.

Redwood City experienced a healthy demand and saw many sales exceeding asking prices. One instance was an uninhabitable house in southern San Francisco that listed for $550,000 and received 29 offers, selling well above the listing price. The luxury market remained active, although properties did not move as quickly.

San Mateo saw an increase in both inventory and prices. The luxury market was active, but slower with properties priced above $2.5 million. 

Santa Cruz County – Days-on-market was at an all-time low of 40 days in Santa Cruz because of low supply and favorable conditions. The month ended with only 250 single family homes on the market as opposed to the high of 1,457 homes available in July of 2007. The sellers’ market has led to multiple offers within a few days of listing. The luxury market has remained steady over the last five years at around $1.4 million.

Silicon Valley – Cupertino saw an active market, at times with more pending sales than active listings.  Buyers are encouraged to start house hunting as Silicon Valley is a uniquely strong region with exceptional demand. The luxury market remains active with several sales exceeding $6 million.

Gilroy and Morgan Hill saw low inventory and over 65 percent of the 54 available homes sold for over $1 million. Entry-level homes can be challenging to find, although the average list price of Gilroy is slightly lower. Overall, the area remains a sellers’ market with multiple offers and homes selling for above asking.

Los Altos experienced a continued sellers’ market with low inventory and multiple offers on most listings. The average days-on-market remained low, ranging from 13 days in Sunnyvale to 35 in Los Altos Hills. Sellers need to ensure their homes are priced and primed for a competitive sale. And buyers must be prepared with financing and a knowledgeable, trusted agent to represent their best interests. Buyers must also be aggressive as the market is highly competitive and sellers are more responsive to solid offers. The luxury market priced above $4.5 million in Los Altos is steady and flat. On average, time on market is 44 days. Inventory is steadily increasing and the number of sales in the high-end market is down slightly.

Los Gatos saw a sustained sellers’ market, and luxury activity remains strong and active.

San Jose saw inventory at a record low. That coupled with low interest rates has created an increasingly competitive market for buyers. Even with the strong demand, sellers are encouraged to price their home competitively – at or slightly below market price – to avoid pushback from buyers. Because of the current competitive landscape, buyers should be ready to make an offer quickly because hesitation may cost them a great opportunity.

Saratoga saw multiple offers on most of its listings and a continued sellers’ market.  Buyers who are ready to make a move should have all financing in order. The high-end luxury market experienced an increase in listings with 24 properties for sale in September, a 9.1 percent increase from August 2017, and a 71.4 percent increase from September 2016.

El Dorado County – El Dorado Hills had less than two months of inventory priced under $750,000 and about a year of inventory in the $750,000 to $1 million price range. Year-over-year, sales were down 14 percent compared to 2016. Homes priced under $500,000 continue to receive multiple offers.

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Bay Area Real Estate Market Match

Housing Supply Remains Tight in Northern California


Limited inventory and high demand was the continuing trend as the summer season ended. The California Association of Realtors reported that San Francisco overtook San Mateo as the most expensive market in the state. Supply remained tight as every single county in the San Francisco Bay Area saw a reduction in unsold inventory, as did most parts of the Central Coast and Central Valley. San Francisco saw the highest price per square foot in August at $871/sq. ft., followed by San Mateo ($863/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara ($668/sq. ft.). Read more about what’s happening from our Northern California offices.


East Bay:  

Fremont saw reduced inventory, down 38% from 2016. Even with minimal inventory, buyers were still price-sensitive, prompting sellers to keep asking prices reasonable. The luxury market also required fair asking prices for a quick sell, even with a slight increase in inventory.


Oakland also experienced a continued sellers’ market with no increase in inventory and far more buyers than sellers. Most properties received about three to five offers, creating a great opportunity for sellers to get a higher price for their homes.



Monterey County:

In Monterey, the market saw the expected slowdown with children returning to school. However, new listings in the $3-5 million range appeared on the market. Pacific Grove saw an increase in activity with some buyers looking for vacation properties.


North Bay:

Santa Rosa Bicentennial saw a busy month with 26% more closed sales than in July. This increase in properties coming off the market resulted in fewer available homes for eager buyers. The luxury market remained active with more properties being listed than in previous months.


Southern Marin’s market slowed around Labor Day, but has since picked up. Supply currently exceeds demand and inventory is up to 1.6 MSI (months supply of inventory) from 1.1 recently. This means that homes are staying on the market longer giving buyers more choices with less competition.


The luxury market has seen steady growth with three Mill Valley properties closing above $5 million. Many buyers in the multimillion-dollar price range have high expectations, including new construction with pools, pavilions and views in desirable locations.



Placer County:

Tahoe offices sold 90 properties in the last two weeks of August, 17% more than the previous two-week period and the largest sales period to-date in 2017. Eighteen of those properties were sold at above $1 million. Buyers remain interested and continue to search for their dream home. Luxury sales dipped with 163 homes sold in 2017 compared to 198 sold in 2016.


Sacramento County:

Sacramento Fair Oaks experienced an unseasonal uptick in pending sales, up 11% from 2016 and 16% from July. Inventory remains 10% less than last year. This combined with low interest rates indicates a strong selling period. Buyers abound with new open escrows in August at the highest level since May 2012.



Sierra Oaks saw more inventory resulting in increased competition for sellers. While many properties still received multiple offers, the rising inventory levels have given buyers more options and leverage with negotiating. The luxury market also saw strong increases in inventory.


San Francisco:

In San Francisco, the overall trend remained the same – high demand with low supply. Sellers with fixer properties had to be strategic with their list price.


SF Peninsula:

In Half Moon Bay, the market saw a slight increase in inventory. Buyers remained price sensitive even in the luxury market.


Menlo Park had high buyer demand in all price ranges, but particularly the starter and luxury markets. While this demand was eased by some increases in inventory, there was also an increase of buyers coming into the market. A few properties listed at $10-plus million closed after sitting on the market for over 100 days.


Palo Alto’s market had an increase in the percentage of local buyers. This combined with low inventory created a sustained sellers’ market.


Redwood City saw slight increases in inventory, such as 15 new single-family homes in San Carlos. Because of this new inventory, sellers had to list their homes at reasonable prices to receive multiple over-asking offers.


Over the past month, San Mateo’s office saw increased inventory. This rise in activity was also prevalent in the luxury market.



Silicon Valley:

Cupertino saw a highly charged sellers’ market. With the market favoring sellers, many properties were going for amounts much above their asking prices. Los Gatos saw similar market trends, prompting multiple and even preemptive offers.


Gilroy and Morgan Hill also had a continued seller’s market. Well-maintained homes with reasonable prices received multiple offers from buyers willing to waive appraisal contingencies. Due to current demand, sellers could secure approximately $700 per square foot.


The market in Los Altos saw the same conditions of low inventory and multiple offers. The current market has created knowledgeable buyers and sellers, who have learned to act quickly. On average, homes have only been on the market for 12 days. The luxury market remained steady, but flat. Inventory increased and days on the market averaged 27.


The San Jose Willow Glen market also experienced low inventory. There were many active properties in the luxury market with a $1.2 million starting point. Even at that price, buyers were faced with competitive bidding wars on most homes.


Saratoga continued the trend of low inventory with a decrease of 5.9% from last month. Days on the market also decreased to 22. This is a 42.1% decrease from last month and a 31.3% decrease from 2016. The luxury market remains steady with 20 properties listed between $4-$12.5 million.



El Dorado County:

El Dorado Hills saw low sales in year-over-year statistics with tight inventory and new construction not being able to keep up with demand. The high demand led to multiple offers, especially with homes under $600,000. Home prices have slightly increased, although appraisals can be below the purchase price. Sellers must be sure to price their property competitively, even with the current levels of demand. The luxury market has plenty of available inventory.


Market Watch is a monthly column exploring the Northern California housing market. Click here to view past issues.

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Low Inventory Still Impacting Northern California – Bay Area Real Estate Market Update

Sparse housing inventory continues to affect the Northern California market. The California Association of Realtors’ latest report indicates that the San Francisco Bay Area endured a large drop in pending sales due to the lack of available housing. In fact, it dipped 11.5 percent since last July. The report also indicates that San Francisco and San Mateo counties were both down double-digits, 11.0 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively. For homeowners on the fence about selling, the lack of inventory makes it a great time to list because many patient homebuyers are prepared to come in with solid offers. Read more about what’s happening from our Northern California offices:


East Bay – In Fremont, inventory remained low and prices held firm prompting multiple offers on most properties. Even with the current sellers’ market, buyers still have a chance to find their dream home with increased listing activity expected in the fourth quarter. Sales for Fremont’s luxury properties priced between $1.4 to $3 million were not as active due to sparse inventory.

Monterey County – After the excitement of Concours d’Elegance, the Pebble Beach classic car show event, the Monterey Peninsula market has returned to normal. With the end of summer traditionally being one of the strongest sales periods – along with a continued sellers’ market – it was a great time to list properties. The luxury market slowed slightly because of inventory, but still had significant activity. Monterey also has some luxury golf properties listed and available that should garner buyer excitement.

North Bay – Despite the shortage in inventory, many buyers in Greenbrae are still searching for their dream home and want to take advantage of low interest rates. Sellers came out ahead by pricing their homes competitively. This strategy encouraged more buyers to place offers and led to above-asking closings. Historically, September sees the highest amount of inventory in the area so it should be a solid month.

Southern Marin experienced a similar trend, a sellers’ market with multiple offers.  Demand will be strong, so buyers should be prepared to bid against multiple offers and bid over asking price.

Placer County – Tahoe offices had an increase in interest, especially with summer vacationers checking out the area. A slight increase in inventory over the past couple of months coupled with favorable mortgage interest rates encouraged buyers to start house hunting and created a strong market for sellers to list and sell their homes quickly. In the luxury market, sales on properties priced above $1 million is down 20 percent compared to 2016. There has been an increase of just over 1 percent in average sales price of luxury homes at $2,277,113 as opposed to the 2016 average of $2,248,678.

Sacramento County – Folsom’s inventory increased, encouraging buyers to stay in the market. This has created a great opportunity for buyers and more properties to choose from. The luxury market is still strong, but sellers must ensure to price their homes competitively.

Sacramento Fair Oaks experienced the seasonal inventory climb, increasing by 10 percent compared to the previous month. Although in a year-over-year analysis, inventory is still down by 12 percent, the uptick in listings gave prospective buyers some much-needed relief. On average, the region has seen an increase in listings as the summer winds down with steady sales. Properties are still affordable and square footage prices are significantly less than the Bay Area average. The luxury market is experiencing a stronger buyer’s market and a larger amount of inventory.

Sierra Oaks had an increase in both listings and sales, with multiple offers on entry-level homes. The luxury market experienced an increase in activity with both listings and purchases.

SF Peninsula – Half Moon Bay’s market remained competitive. The luxury market continued with strong demand. Average days on the market was just 17, with a median sales price of $2 million.

Menlo Park experienced a fast-paced market with no slowing. Sellers were encouraged to list their homes instead of trying to time the market or wait for a more optimal time.

Redwood City had a lack of inventory. Homes priced under $1 million brought in multiple offers. In the $1 million-plus market, homes sat on the market longer before closing.

Santa Cruz County- Offices in Santa Cruz saw a strong month. Average sales prices have been increasing steadily for the last five years by $30,000 to $90,000. This year is no different, with the average sales price of $950,000 and an average list price of $1,050,000. Buyers have been more aggressive in their offers. The luxury market in Santa Cruz peaked in comparison to the last few months with an average of just 50 days on the market (instead of 54 days), and experienced significantly more sales above the $1 million mark over past months.

Silicon Valley – Cupertino continues to experience a lack of inventory. However, the luxury market is still active up to $4 million. Low inventory was also a key factor in Los Gatos’ market, creating a similar dynamic as in Cupertino.

Gilroy and Morgan Hill also endured a lack of inventory causing multiple offers and high closing prices. Even in those markets favoring the supply-side, sellers should be prepared to choose quickly when presented with multiple offers. To submit a winning offer, buyers must put their highest offers first and make the transaction easier for the sellers.

San Jose remained active even with declining inventory. Because of the decreased supply, prices have slightly increased. Sellers can take advantage of the high demand. Buyers should think long term and be prepared to make a strong offer. Factors such as multiple offers or slightly higher asking prices should not deter them from putting in offers.

Saratoga’s market saw an increase of 21 percent in the average sales price year-over-year. The luxury market remained active with five listings and four sales.

El Dorado County – Although El Dorado Hills continued to see low levels of inventory, there was a slight increase in days-on-market before a close. Inventory priced under $500,000 had fewer multiple offers. With fall and the end of the year upon us, many prospective buyers are looking to close on a new property. The luxury market also saw low inventory prompting buyers to make their strongest offer.

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Bay Area Real Estate Market Update

Luxury Market Rebounds in Northern California and Nationwide

Nationwide, prices of luxury homes have outpaced the rest of the market for the first time since 2014, according to industry reports. In recent headlines, stock market growth, increasing home prices in all ranges, low unemployment and new jobs created across the country are encouraging homebuyers to jump into the real estate market. This upswing has finally reached the luxury market and here’s what’s currently happening in our Northern California offices:

Monterey County:

Monterey Peninsula offices show a slight increase in year-over-year sales. Values have shifted back to pre-recession prices with low supply, high demand and a market favoring sellers. Many properties are getting offers within three days of being on the market. Carmel and Pacific Grove are in high demand even with entry level prices at $1 million. There were 14 closings in the $2-5 million range. The area also witnessed a unique $25 million listing that served as a filming location for the movie Basic Instinct.


North Bay:

In Greenbrae, fewer homes are available prompting multiple offers above list price. While the luxury market rebounds, properties need to be priced well or risk sitting on the market for an extended period.


Although Santa Rosa Bicentennial’s market experienced 18 percent fewer sales in year-over-year comparisons, median prices are 9 percent higher than in 2016. With fewer properties available, sellers have a prime opportunity to list their homes. This means that buyers coming in with cash offers came out ahead. The luxury market is strong with an increase in buyer interest in the $7-plus million range.


Southern Marin also saw a seller’s market with most properties under $2 million receiving multiple offers with many closing above asking price. This trend continued in the luxury market with 27 percent of listings over $3 million under contract as opposed to the typical 10-15 percent.


Placer County:

Tahoe’s market is in full swing with summer visitors and many interested buyers. An influx of new inventory and a possibility of more in the coming weeks intrigued both buyers and investors. Sales of luxury homes priced over $1 million have decreased 15% from 2016 due to inventory, while the average sales price of luxury homes are higher than 2016 in year-over-year statistics.


Sacramento County:

In Folsom, inventory increased steadily. The increase in inventory coupled with lower interest rates made it a good time for buyers to make their move. Sacramento Fair Oaks saw more inventory, especially at $400,000 and under. Luxury market inventory is still robust allowing well-heeled buyers to remain selective.


Sierra Oaks saw an increase in listing inventory and sales year-over-year in the lower price range. The luxury market had higher inventory and slower buyer activity, making it a good time for prospective buyers.


San Francisco:

San Francisco Lombard reported continued limited inventory. The market is especially hot for entry-level homes at lower price points. Buyers are encouraged to take the asking price for homes priced under $1.5 million and bid against other prospective buyers. SF Market also saw low inventory, prompting buyers to make multiple, over-asking offers.


San Francisco Peninsula:

Half Moon Bay saw a decrease in coastal inventory levels with only two months of supply. Luxury properties are in especially high demand with buyers searching for a great view or ample acreage. The high demand means that buyers must be committed with their best offer upfront or opportunities may be lost. Simple gestures such as a letter to the seller, a family picture and of course pre-approval letters can help seal the deal.


San Mateo Downtown reported slightly lower inventory. Unlike Menlo Park and Half Moon Bay, there was a decrease in activity in the luxury market.


Santa Cruz County:

Santa Cruz saw an influx of properties going into contract last month and is experiencing historically low inventory. The luxury market has increased with more buyer demand and closings in the multi-million range.


Silicon Valley:

Cupertino saw continued low inventory with a strong seller’s market. The luxury market was strong and steady under $4 million. Los Gatos also saw this trend with inventory 20 percent less than 2016, spurring competitive offers for homes under $2.5 million. Saratoga’s market was similar with tight inventory and competition among buyers. The luxury market has been relatively steady.


Los Altos’ market was again run by sellers with low inventory and the potential for multiple offers and sales over asking price. Because of the low inventory and highly-competitive market, buyers are encouraged to have all financing ready and make strong offers to show seriousness.


San Jose Willow Glen market conditions were dictated by the low inventory. Only 40 properties were on the market – a nearly 50% decrease from last year. The market is especially popular with buyers looking for tear-down or fixer properties. For example, a 5,800 square-foot empty lot listed at $775,000 sold at $920,000.


El Dorado County:

In El Dorado Hills, many properties under $500,000 receive multiple offers. This means it’s important for buyers to scale back on requesting non-essential repairs as cancellations (from both sides) have experienced a recent spike.

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Preparing Your Home for Sale is Easy as 1, 2, 3

Home selling season is in full swing and thoughts of putting your home on the market may have breezed through your mind. Industry experts say this is the ideal time to list your home. Those considering listing their homes should consult with a real estate sales professional and have a checklist ready – and that checklist is easy as 1, 2, 3.

First, a real estate sales professional will provide you with a sales marketing plan that includes a pricing strategy that takes into consideration competing homes, current inventory levels and time on market. That plan should also outline the online marketing approach and the initiatives you need to complete as a homeowner to ensure success.

Second, sellers should clean everything! Ensure that your home has optimal curb appeal, particularly during the hot summer months since gardens need a little extra attention. Ensure that lawns are mowed, clutter is removed, trash bins are hidden from view, exterior paint is fresh and no roof tiles are missing. It is also important to make sure your driveway is free of cracks and oil stains. First impressions are important and potential buyers do judge a house by its exterior, so be sure to invest a little time and elbow grease to win over buyers before they even walk through your door.

The inside counts too. Cleanliness is king when it comes to showing your property to prospective buyers. Make sure to clean your windows inside and out, vacuum carpets, mop floors and clear all the dust that accumulates in exhaust fans and lighting fixtures. If deep cleaning is not your forte, you can hire a professional cleaning service to scrub down your home. This may cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s well worth it.

Equally important is to declutter as minimalist interiors tend to show best. Buyers walk in and try to imagine their ideal or actual furniture in various spaces. There is nothing worse for house hunters than walking into a cluttered space and being so overwhelmed with stuff that they decide against it on the spot. Be sure to minimize extra furniture and objects by renting a small storage space while you are in the process of showing your home. The small cost is worth the large return.

Third, comfort is key. Particularly during the warmer months, so be sure to have your AC running at a comfortable temperature. If your home is not equipped with AC, then make sure the windows are open and fans are running in the extra warm spaces. It is also a good idea to ensure that shutters and blinds are drawn until just before the open house to help keep out the heat.

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Ever Thought of Owning a Vacation Home?

Vacation Homes Offer Great Income-Generating Potential

The arrival of summer is always a popular time to scout for the perfect vacation home, whether it be in the mountains or near the beach. Many people dream about purchasing a vacation home and there are many benefits to owning one. Not only can the home serve as a family retreat, it can also serve as a dream home for eventual retirement.  Additionally, vacation property owners who are open to renting their properties during peak season will often discover that the rental income generated can help offset the cost of the mortgage.

In the recently published National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers infographic, 42 percent of vacation home buyers plan to use their property for vacations or as a family retreat. The same chart shows that 37 percent of investment property buyers purchased to generate income through renting the property.

Given the rising popularity and availability of online resources for owners to manage short-term and long-term property rentals throughout the country, it’s no surprise that there was increased interest in purchasing second homes in 2016.  According to NAR, 44 percent of investors, and 29 percent of vacation buyers, did or tried to rent their property last year and plan to do so in 2017 – saving them hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Regardless of the reason, over the decades owning a second or more homes has typically generated income because real estate offers a tangible asset that appreciates with time, and offers many tax and practical advantages. You can’t live in a mutual fund, stock or bond, but you can live in a vacation property whenever you want or need to.

If you are considering the purchase of a vacation home, it helps to find a real estate agent who has a deep understanding of the local market. Contact me today for a great referral!

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