We were due for a surge in market activity with rates coming down, and the Chargers and rain both being done. Several agents are reporting increased activity over the last few days, and it seems like buyers are engaging.
We should see heightened activity for the next week, then a break for a few days around the Super Bowl as everyone grabs their guacamole, with the Spring Selling Season beginning in earnest on February 4th.
The weekend of February 9th and 10th should be huge!
It’s nice that we have somebody to talk to now, but what does it mean? It means people are looking around – that’s it. Those who find an incredibly-good fit might pounce, but most are going to wait-and-see how the season develops.
So far, we’re having about the same number of new NSDCC listings come to market as we did last year, so no panic among potential sellers. Their main focus is only on how high they can push their price – it’s the buyers who are paying close attention to the real market activity, and what they see is determined by their mindset.
Yes, buyers don’t mind the distraction when the market is uncertain!
But now that the holidays are over, the Chargers are done, more houses are coming to market, and mortgage rates are a half-point lower than they were three months ago, we are (over)due for a surge of activity.
There are two big NFL games on Sunday afternoon, which leaves Saturday wide open – and it has the best weather of the week.
No big games the following weekend, so if the weather holds out, buyers should be fully engaged – and if they aren’t, then that says something too.
It’s hard enough just trying to sell – if you have to schedule around the weather and other conflicts (graduations, for example), it narrows down the chances even more. But if we can anticipate opportunities, let’s take advantage.
The slowdown started during the summer, so there was some evidence of it by the beginning of August – and it has been in the news non-stop ever since.
Are sellers getting the message?
Maybe, but they must think it applies to someone else:
NSDCC Average List-Price-Per-SF:
$1.0M to $1.5M
$1.5M to $2.0M
Lower their price? They’d rather not sell – and this is December, when you’d think the sellers who are on the open market must be motivated.
Don’t get your hopes up about seeing a big dump on price in Spring, 2019. If it were to happen, it will happen quietly, and you’ll only see it after the fact in late summer, once sellers have exhausted their optimism.
Tom’s house in South Oceanside was one of the homes that was picked up in that market surge about a month ago. The weather was ideal, rates were rising, there was a bit of a lull before the holidays, and we compared favorably to the other houses for sale nearby. When another market-surge happens, let’s see if we can determine the cause (hopefully there will be others!).
The two others that went pending the same week didn’t fare as well.
The house that did close escrow looked like it had to dump on price to find a buyer – but it wasn’t as bad as it appears. The owner/agent had it listed for $829,000, and it closed at $750,000, which looks like a dramatic 10% discount. But the buyer had gone direct, and the seller reduced the price by the amount of the commission. It was noted as such in the confidential remarks, but future buyers won’t see those and will probably consider the $750,000 as the comp price in future valuations.
The other house that went pending fell out of escrow, due to mixed signals that made the buyers uncomfortable, so they cancelled.
These demonstrate how the market has changed.
Previously, the first house would have had more interest, and owner/agents would have been more patient about working the price higher.
In the second example, buyers would have been more likely to put up with some mis-direction, but there is zero tolerance now.
We had Tom’s house listed for $989,000, and we closed at $975,000.
There are times when the general market is in a funk and homes aren’t selling – when it’s easy to think, “Oh this is it, we’re cooked”.
There are also times when the market erupts, and a series of homes that have been languishing for months and/or homes that appear overpriced go pending – which then triggers additional pendings nearby.
Our market is having one of those surges right now!
Not just a couple here and there – we have had dozens of NSDCC homes go pending in the last 10-14 days that have been listed for months, or priced so high you’d think they don’t have a chance.
You sure want to be on the market when that happens!
Richard and I both sold our listings featured here on Friday, and in my case, Tom’s house was the third one listed over $900,000 in South Oceanside to go pending in the last week!
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