In Silicon Valley it has been an amazing year in real estate. Homes & mult-iunit properties have been in demand all year long. For sellers it has been the best time to sell in 5-6 years. Multiple offers has been the norm with many properties selling over asking price. Is it still time to sell? Well, if you have been sitting on the fence on if to sell or not it may be an excellent time. Once you speak with a Realtor to see what you can get for your property and talk to your tax accountant to see the tax consequences and what road you should take then make that all important decision. Be read with your list of questions and concerns when meeting with your team of professionals and ask them what concerns you should have.
As for buying, it is still a great time as interest rates w are still hovering around 4% which helps keep those mortgage payments low and with increasing rental rates, see http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/consumer/a/aausrents.htm for recent article of where Silicon Valley stands in California and the Nation, now may be the time to make the move. For many first time buyers there are still many programs that can help them get into home-ownership with low down payments and fixed rate loans. Also, many empty nesters, those whose children are off to college or to start their own families, move down opportunities are there. With new equity in their homes and low interest rates this too is an excellent time to make a move to a more manageable property.
Regardless, it is an excellent time for both selling and buying so don’t be shy and make that move you have been contemplating to start to enjoy the next chapter this wonderful life has to offer.
The other day I was holding an open house for sale and welcoming the guests. As I have done for many years I always like to ask a series of questions to find out first if it is a serious buyer or seller and second to see if they understand the process of how a realtor helps and if they are currently working with a realtor.
Most buyers answer that they are working with a realtor, great news. What is surprising is that most don’t understand the process and that is the lack of our industry sitting down and educating the client as to what the protocal is for having a realtor represent a buyer and assist them in the proocess. The is an edicate in the real estate industry that needs to be communicated at the first meeting with the buyer. So for all you buyers that this information has not been passed on here is some basics.
Your realtor should be your exclusive agent to help you in locating homes, previewing homes if market time allows, and set up all showings appointments as well as accompany you at all times when seeing homes. Too often I hear ” I don’t want to bother my realtor so that is why I am looking on my own”. Guess what, that is why the realtor gets paid the big bucks-to show you homes based on what you have told your realtor of your needs. If your realtor has given you the impression that you are bothering them then you may want to find a realtor that has time to invest in one of life’s biggest investments, buying a home. Besides, a busy realtor has a team to help with the other details of our job so that the realtor can focus on the client’s real estate needs and showing them homes. Can you imagine if a realtor just sat at the office and buyers just showed up on the day they want to make an offer and got paid . I think the real estate industry would be flooded with people wanting an easy dollar. Don’t get the wrong impession, realtors do earn thier keep.
Next is the phrase I hear quite often and that is, “I’m working with my relator but I want you to show me homes”. I then follow up with the qualifing question of “If I show you this home and you want to buy it will you allow me to represent you and write up the offer?” 9 out of 10 buyers say they would have thier own agent write it up. Proper real estate edicate is that if you are interested in seeing a home call your realtor, isn’t that why you hired them. You have to remember that realtor’s time is valuable and they can better serve thier clients than someone who they just met and know nothing about thier needs. Build your real estate relationship with your realtor by using them and asking questions along the process.
Your realtor has to care and have the desire to help reach your real estate needs and you have to be respectful and loyal to your realtor for all the time and work they are spending and doing for you before they ever see a dollar. Realtors need to explain the procedures to thier clients. The more your realtor talks with you and shows you home, the more they will understand your true needs and be able to show you what you really want and can afford. Save yourself time and heartache and call your realtor, they are there to take care of your real estate needs once you commit to eachother. Make sure you understand the process as this will help with realtors better representing thier clients and not stepping on fellow realtor toes. You will get the most out of the home buying experience. Happy buying!
Wow, what a year we have had. It really has been a roller coaster ride for real estate. We began the year with a very slow sellers market. Prices were dropping and homes just sitting on the market and buyers were getting amazing home buys. By the time June came around we saw multiple offers and all cash began to be the norm in some of our markets. We also saw interest rates drop to a 50 year low down in the low 4% range. By November we saw inventory of homes available for sale drop below average, an increase in the number of sales and more motivated and happy sellers. Bank owned properties in the high end market began to appear and short sales began to actually close and with quicker turn around times than we had seen in the previous two years. By the end of December we saw rates begin to slowly climb in order to keep inflation in check and the market becoming a more stable environment.
The good news is that we have all found a way to survive this ride and we should see a payoff of this emotional trek we have been on in 2010. Happy New Year’s and hope 2010 will be one filled with peace and prosperity!
If you would like more specific information please feel free to email or call me and I will be more than happy to provide that to you.