While the market is always slow over the holidays and homeowners often take their homes off of the market for a few weeks, the inventory in Manhattan Beach has reached a new low. As of January 5th there are only 28 homes for sale in all of Manhattan Beach.
Compare that with a high of 189 homes for sale in May of 2010 and you can see just how drastic the market changes have been. Even the summer months (with traditionally the highest inventory as it’s a peak buying season) had 68 homes for sale during the months of July and August.
So what does this mean?…..well that depends on which side of the market you’re on
For sellers the demand is incredible. Prices are at peak levels, sellers are receiving multiple offers on homes priced at market value, buyers are willing to overlook the usual challenges such as busy streets, homes needing updates, and homes with ideal locations or potential are having some amazing bidding wars. See our recent post on the walkstreet, half lot home that sold for almost $600K over list price. If homeowners have given any thought to selling their home, regardless of area, condition and location, it’s an ideal time to sell.
For buyers the market has been incredibly challenging with some buyers simply taking a break from the madness. Builders are buying any home in Manhattan Beach that hasn’t been built in the past 25 years at big numbers, buyers are lined up in certain neighborhoods waiting for the next listing to hit the market (if the home even hits the market as pocket listings are becoming more common in this market) and entry level homes no longer exist.
In this market buyers have to be aggressive if they really want to own a home in Manhattan and need to be even more aggressive for premier properties. Knowing about homes the minute they hit the market, or even before is critical and understanding pricing can make all the difference.
Contact us if you are an eager seller, or frustrated buyer, as we have a deep understanding of the market and can certainly help.
In this incredible market so favorable to sellers it seems that just about every home sells regardless of location and condition. This doesn’t mean, however, that they’re maximum prices. The most impressive sales have all been homes that have been beautifully presented, updated, and staged.
According to Manhattan Beach realtor Keith Kyle, “While most homes that are priced appropriately are selling, we’ve seen a buyer frenzy around the more turn key homes lately. Whether the homes are new construction, flipped, or just remodeled and staged, buyers in this market are willing to pay a premium for the “perfect” home. The reaction by buyers to some of these homes has been incredible and we’ve seen a number of sales with multiple offers selling for way over the asking price…in some cases we’ve seen homes sell for more than $200,000 over list price. It seems that each time a new listing hits the market that shows like a model home, there are bidding wars and prices that are hard to believe.”
These homes are in incredibly high demand as the number of buyers wanting turn key, and not wanting to do any of the work themselves seems to be on the rise. Simple things such as fresh paint and carpet, scraping the ceiling, new appliances and recessed lights along with staging can pay huge dividends for sellers. The costs involved are recouped and then some.
Although every home sale is different, as Realtors, our primary goal when listing a home is to get it sold for our clients at the highest price, with the process as smooth as possible.
But there are so many advantages to having listings and in my eyes it always pays to go the extra mile both for our clients and from a business growth perspective. When we sell homes, especially luxury homes, we are not only showcasing the home, but we are showcasing ourselves as Realtors as well. Whether it be through staging and presentation of the home, or the photography and marketing materials, we have the ability to differentiate ourselves from other realtors that just may not go the extra mile, and this is an advantage that we should take full advantage of. Each listing and how we market and present that listing shows potential sellers and buyers the level of commitment and professionalism that we are willing to put forth.
Although it shouldn’t, it still surprises me to see just what little effort realtors will often put into listing homes and this is so shortsighted. It’s not just another deal, but an opportunity. It’s never easy to spend money on photography when our phones take ok pictures, or to spend money on advertising and marketing when our office has a flyer template from 10 years ago, but it’s well worth it.
Going above and beyond is simply a win-win for both our clients and our future business.
It seems that in the luxury home market of Manhattan Beach, CA the only way to successfully buy a home may be to find out about it before it goes on the market. With the record low inventory and pent up demand for housing in this upscale coastal community we are seeing many listings see many listings selling almost immediately with multiple offers, often all cash and well over the list price. So how does a buyer compete? It may come down to just how well connected your realtor is…
In a normal market knowing about listings immediately is critical, but in this market that may just be too late. It pays to find a successful local realtor that may have the inside track into “pocket” listings, or listings that haven’t come on the market yet. We strive to help our buyers find a home through the traditional home search on the MLS, to customized daily updates, to actively seeking out off market listings. If you would like our help please fill out the brief form below and we can start helping you with your home search.
Trust is critical in choosing the right real estate professional in Manhattan Beach and with so many realtors to choose from, getting a sense of them, both personally and professionally is a challenge. See some questions and answers below to get to know top real estate agent Keith Kyle with Vista Sotheby’s International Realty in Manhattan Beach CA.
What year did you start your real estate career?
What drew you to real estate as a career?
Real estate had long seemed like a very good fit for my personality, work ethic and past work and life experiences. I had an advertising and sales background and had always enjoyed new challenges, but real estate had a special appeal as it allowed me to make a difference in peoples lives that prior jobs didn’t offer. Another significant draw for me was that I had long sought a career in which I was completely responsible for my own success or failure and it has been a wonderful decision.
What are your personal interests / hobbies / activities / charities?
I have always been a very active person which is one of the many reasons I chose to live in the South Bay after college. I am an avid volleyball player, love surfing and skiing and just about anything that has to do with the ocean. Although internet marketing of myself, my business and my listings is a large part of my success, my obsession with taking full advantage of technology in real estate goes well beyond just a part of my business and would certainly have to be considered an activity that takes countless hours. As a father of two and a long believer that schools make for strong communities most of my charities focuses around local schools with the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation being the most prevalent.
I have been married for 14 years to my wife Amber. She is a local physician and business owner as well. We have two wonderful daughters, Caitlyn and Cameron and both currently attend Hermosa Valley and seem to do an ever increasing number of sports and activities.
Tell us about your educational / occupational background
I attended Calabasas High School in the valley and earned my B.A. From the University of California Santa Barbara in 1993. It was that experience of living near the ocean that ultimately led me to Hermosa Beach. From there I entered into the business of film and video post production in which high stress situations, continual deadlines and the need for a deep level of customer service were instilled in me. I held various creative and management positions until a brief move to Phoenix with my wife. There I had my first real experience in sales working for America West Airlines and much to my surprise found discovered that I was very good at it. The years of resolving countless crisis situations and customer service in the entertainment paid great dividends. Upon moving back to Hermosa Beach I was offered something nobody else in the entire company which was to work remotely from Hermosa Beach. Ultimately it was this opportunity of being almost entirely responsible for my own success, with no direct supervision, and the success that I had, that ultimately led to my decision that self employment was the only true way for me to be happy in my work life. And the results have been fantastic!
What would you like potential clients to know about you?
What I would like potential clients to know is often the hardest thing to convey without actually working together. Trust. I put my clients needs well ahead of my own, from going beyond the norm to solve problems that come up, to many late night phone calls to explain the process, to giving clients my honest opinion…even when it may mean that I won’t be selling them a home. As I’ve told many clients, ultimately a happy client is the most rewarding aspect of real estate. In a business that has many capable agents, being completely trustworthy, and having the ability to convey that trust, can mean all of the difference in the world.
What does it take to be the best in the business?
I have always had the same answer to this question in any business that I’ve been in. I believe that it takes a combination of both very hard work but also working smart. I’ve seen many very well intentioned agents doing the same thing over and over and expecting better results. I have always strived to be one step ahead and constantly figuring out better ways of doing things. It’s a business of constant change and instead of always trying to catch up, I hope to be on the leading edge.
How do you give back to your community?
As a local realtor, husband to a local business owner, and father of two in the school system, community involvement is constant. High on my list is involvement in the local school systems. I have long been a sponsor of yearly events for the HBEF events, local sports teams, and various charities related to schools
What do your clients love about living in the South Bay?
Honestly what’s not to love? The South Bay is an incredibly active and vibrant community that offers a wonderful place to call home. It’s close enough to the big city to offer everything anyone could want, but far enough to avoid the congestion of the big city. One of the side benefits to a community that is so sought after, is that people truly want to live hear. People that live her do so for several reasons…great schools, great weather…and a love for the beach. For these reasons the community offers a feeling not often seen in other areas.
Who is your typical client?
For better or for worse I don’t have a typical client. Due to my extensive online presence and marketing reach, I have clients looking throughout the South Bay in various price ranges and various neighborhoods and areas. I have helped buyers and sellers throughout the area.
In what ways do you provide top-notch service to your clients?
The goal with every client is earning that client’s business for life and I both strive to achieve that goal, but also have great success in accomplishing it. I go above and beyond what most agents do for their clients and never look at it as simply a job or a transaction, but give every client and situation the attention that such a big event deserves. I realize how stressful both the buying and selling process can be and make myself available at all hours of the day and believe that communication is critical. From years of experience as a top realtor, to networking to find off market listings, I never stop trying to attain for my clients just what they are looking for with as little effort and stress on their parts as possible. It is my job as a real estate professional to ensure that my clients are well taken care of at every step of the process.
What’s most rewarding about your work?
Without question the most rewarding aspect of real estate is being so deeply involved in such an important part of someone’s life. I am so fortunate to be able to help people with what many would consider a true life milestone. Whether buying a first home, selling a home for someone starting a new chapter in life, or helping someone find that perfect beach home, I take great pleasure in being a small part of such a big event. I recently drove down a street in which I sold a family a home the year earlier, and saw their kids playing with 5 neighbor kids and I love the fact that I played a role in an event that is life changing. That home I sold may mean that those are friends for life….it doesn’t get much more rewarding than that!
What keeps you interested in real estate?
Many people complain that their jobs are the same every day and that couldn’t be further from the truth in real estate. Not only do markets change, prices change, marketing and advertising strategies change, but most importantly, every client and situation is different and every day is a new learning experience. In addition I love real estate as I am ultimately completely responsible for my own success or failure and everything I do has a direct impact which keeps me always eager to learn more, experience more, and constantly become better at what I do.
Tell us about your team.
While I don’t ever push clients to use specific specialists, I have put together a very good group of lenders, title companies, and escrow companies that I know will go above and beyond for both my clients and I. Challenges always come up during an escrow process and having knowledgable and experienced people involved, that I can reach 24/7 can make all the difference in the world.
In which area of real estate do you specialize?
I have always focused my business squarely on residential real estate as I find the human and emotional elements so rewarding. As markets always shift I have become specialized in various aspects such as short sales, first time home buyers, and selling coastal properties. Much of my success has come from my expertise in online marketing and as more buyers than ever are using online tools to search for homes and realtors, it has given me a great advantage to reach the largest audience.
Do you have a personal motto or philosophy for doing business?
My philosophy is really to remember that for each and every one of my clients, buying or selling a home is a huge step and to treat it with the very highest level of importance. Whether it is a first time buyer purchasing a small one bedroom condo, or a luxury home at the beach, each client is treated with the utmost care and respect. This is a long haul business and I want to earn my clients trust, respect, and hopefully friendship for life.
While searching some local listings I found a great example of how much effort some realtors put into their home prep and marketing efforts and how not all realtors put that same effort into the process of selling homes. Many potential home sellers ask me why I’m different than any other realtors and while there are a number of ways, none are clearer than in the effort and professionalism at every step of the process. Honestly….which home would you schedule an appointment to see?
The two pictures above are both current listings and both in the same building for similar prices. Each picture was the primary listing photo and it goes without saying that home number one is going to get a world of interest compared with home number 2. Regardless of the condition of the second home (which we don’t know based on this photo and most buyers wouldn’t take the effort to click on the next picture) there is just no benefit to having a photo like this to try and appeal to potential home buyers.Primary listing photos for 2 current listings in the same building. A little effort can go a long way