We have definitely seen signs of the market slowing down over the past 2 months in the South Bay, but that doesn’t mean that slow down has been shared equally. In fact in situations where the home is special, or location is great, or just happens to be in an area in which inventory is still dramatically low, we’re still seeing an absolute frenzy with multiple offers, appraisal contingencies waived, and prices over the already high list prices. So what’s leading this somewhat confused market?
There are many factors that have led to some houses being a hotbed of activity while others seem to sit. Price is always a factor. As I often advise my sellers, we have one chance to be a “new listing” and take advantage of all of the excitement and momentum that comes along with that. Price too high and that momentum can quickly be lost. Once a home is no longer a new listing, interest dies quickly. With the incredible pace of the market in 2013 homes don’t stay “new” for long and if a home is still on the market after 10 days or so, buyers start to lose interest or think that there is something wrong with the home. Lesson to sellers…..price the home appropriately from the onset.
The second factor is the constant in real estate…location, location, location, but add to that condition, condition, condition. While this market is still incredibly active and favorable to sellers, it has certainly remained much stronger for “special” houses….whether that be the A+ location, the perfect remodel, or the bungalow oozing with charm. A few months ago it seemed any home was quickly snatched up regardless of condition or location. With prices at near peak levels, however, buyers are often not willing to take on situations that are less than ideal. Homes needing work, busy streets, less than ideal locations, are now sitting unsold for longer periods of time.
On the other hand there have been numerous recent sales in Manhattan Beach that were an absolute flurry of activity and interest from the moment they hit the market. Buyers are still willing to chase homes, pay a premium, and even waive some of their inspection and appraisal contingencies if the new listing if it is special in some way and appeals to buyers in a price range with low inventory.
We should expect some typical slow down during the holiday period but sellers should take note that if their home isn’t ideally located, move in ready, or happens to be in that range in which demand is high, but inventory is low, they need to heed the advice of their real estate professional and be right on target with pricing.