One third of the way into the year and we have an interesting real estate market that has developed in South Orange County – both for buyers, and sellers. Of course you have heard about distressed houses being a good 50% of sales for the past 12 months or so. So, has this market turned into a good time to buy, sell, or perhaps both? The answer depends on your point of view.
Buying in today’s market. As strange as it may sound, the higher the price, the better opportunity for buyers. How can that be? Well, the lower price range – where the majority of sales are happening – is extremely competitive. It is not unusual for there to be 10 offers on houses priced under $450,000. That is producing sales at higher than list price – and more than a reasonable share of frustrated potential buyers.
In higher price ranges – over $750,000 – there is usually more negotiability in the prices, as there are fewer buyers. The higher the price, the fewer the buyers, and the most flexibility in prices – usually. There is a small percentage of exceptions – mostly houses that are really special in one way or another. A few of those are selling at higher ( Than neighboring distressed houses.) prices, but frankly, there are some pretty special houses that have been distressed properties, as well. Most of those are priced 15-20% lower than their “equity” seller ( Non-distressed.) neighbors – definitely priced competitively. That is where some exceptional buys have recently been struck.
Heard horror stories about buying a short sale, or an REO? Some of these properties represent exceptional opportunities! That’s where a little experience can go a long way. Personally, with over 32 years of local experience, I have seen – and done – just about every type of transaction.
Selling in today’s market. This is a whole different ballgame. It has been getting better, though, for a couple of good reasons. One, potential sellers are coming to realize that if they really want to sell, they will have to price their house competitively – against the distressed houses, nearby.
That might be a bitter pill for some people to swallow. It goes against the philosophy we’ve always heard – that we should buy low, and sell high. To some people, however, especially if they’re wanting to get into a bigger, more expensive house, it just might be a good time to sell low, and buy low. This is a good time to be selling lower priced properties, even those priced near a million dollars. You can competitively price similar to nearby distressed houses, and have a couple of advantages to offer to buyers.
For one, yours is likely more of a turnkey house, where most distressed houses are in shabby condition. Plus, you can make a decision in minutes, instead of days or even weeks, for some distressed houses. With those two advantages, you might be able to charge a small premium to buyers, over and above the usual 15-20% discount that distressed houses are selling for – while still lower than “normal”, out of touch, wishful thinking, “equity sellers” that make up about 25-30% of existing listings available – and 100% of the expired, or cancelled listings.
So, why would you sell at a 10-15% discount from your “equity seller” neighbors? How about this, for a logical reason? To buy the bigger, more expensive house at an even bigger discount. Many of the distressed houses, in the higher price ranges are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars less than their neighbors next door! This philosophy is working right now in most move-up scenarios. It does take some deftness to coordinate, and frankly, some of the agents who have only known the “good times” real estate market of from 2000 to 2005, don’t have the experience to figure out how to do it.
The truth is, though, that it can be done, and it is being done. Thinking of trying to make a move but not sure where to start? Give me a call and let’s discuss the possibilities. There is no obligation, nothing to lose – and there might be a lot to gain.
Are YOU in trouble with your mortgage? This is another sign of these times. Mortgage payments getting out of hand, for any one of a number of reasons – frequently more than one? Job loss? A reset of a loan – resulting in unexpectedly higher payments?
There ARE solutions out there, and I am familiar with pretty much all of them. Have you been thinking of selling, to relieve the hardship? Or, do you prefer to stay in your house, but need to modify the payments? Or, are you already facing a potential foreclosure?
There are viable solutions for every scenario – just some confusion as to which course to pursue. In most scenarios you might be contemplating, I have been there, and done that, with other clients. I am experienced and adept in navigating the decision making process, and fully prepared to help you sort out the correct solution, for you.
If you are looking for help or answers, give me a call – (949) 643-2100 – or shoot me an email, at BobPhillipsRE@gmail.com and let’s put our heads together to solve your situation. For buying, leasing, and/or selling real estate, or solving real estate problems, you should be getting in touch with me. I have been assisting your neighbors in the same ways, for over 32 years.