Coronavirus and Real Estate, Part 2

The panic ensues over the coronavirus, but people want and need to move too – especially as mortgage rates climb higher. What can we do to keep the real estate market hopping?

Here’s what can we do for home sellers.

Those who are concerned about strangers coming into their house should go ahead and move to their next home first. We can give you a Compass Bridge Loan to access up to 90% of your equity in your current home to purchase your next one, and we’ll front up to $50,000 for home improvements and staging to make selling your old home more effective. Let’s go this route on every home sold – it’s easier on you!

What can we do for home buyers?

The COVID-19 might be what finally gets agents to do video tours of homes.  Selling homes by video is a real possibility, and if listing agents just walked around the house with a camera like they were showing it in person, then every potential buyer could see it from the comfort of their own home.  If making a film makes you queasy, have your kids do it – they have no problem with producing videos.

This could also be the chance for home auctions to take hold.  After a few days go by and/or the video reaches 100+ views, then conduct an online auction to determine the winner. Then have that buyer view the home in person, keeping traffic to a minimum.

Or have buyers submit written offers after seeing the video tour, and if the seller permits, have only those contenders view the home in person.  Investment properties are regularly sold this way to minimize the impact on the existing tenants – you’ve heard the phrase, “Show with offer”.

Either way would reduce human interaction and possibly make home-selling MORE effective.

Buyers don’t necessarily need to see the home in person, either.

My buyers purchased this home and closed escrow without ever stepping foot inside. We also did a video of the home inspection, and between the two, the buyers got a full experience of what they were buying – and never saw the house in person until they owned it:

Either we can adopt new and improved ways to serve our clients and keep everyone moving, or we can sit at home watching the paranoia grow on TV.  It’s your choice!

From the doctor in charge of infectious diseases at Rady Children’s hospital:

 

Open Houses Cancelled

What do you do when you receive a full-price cash offer with a noon deadline on Saturday morning?

You take the deal and cancel the open houses.

Consider the evidence:

  1. I’m watching the lockbox notifications and the agent had been there three times.
  2. Twice I spoke on the phone with her, and also bumped into her at the property too.
  3. The agent is known to be a competent, trustworthy high-producing agent in north county.
  4. The buyers flew here yesterday from out-of-state just to see this property.
  5. There might be two in the bush.

Solid buyers working with great agents know that they should move fast if they see a hot new listing.  But there’s more to it than just moving quickly – anybody can do that.

Buyers need to know the comps, and feel comfortable about the values.  They need to review the data again under duress, knowing they have a specific property they are trying to evaluate. Then their agent needs to be crafty and know how to present a case that makes it irresistible for the sellers to sign.

That’s why you want to Get Good Help.

Good agents want to work with other good agents who they can count on.

Sure, I was drooling at the idea of my open-house extravaganza at the beach all weekend.  I probably would have had 100+ people attend each day.  Why not do the open houses anyway?  Because I don’t want to buyers thinking I’m shopping their deal, plus I’ll always remember doing open house after accepting an offer that morning, and a potential buyer making the point that pretending to have a property for sale only to squash the possibility of buying it once he got inside was disingenuous and unethical in his mind.

Besides, with the stock market bouncing around like a yo-yo and a pandemic threatening our very existence, are you going to take the chance of blowing this deal for the two in the bush who might pay a little over list?  Risk it all for an extra what, $25,000? $50,000?

No way, not when you have a bird in the hand.

Sequoia Pro Video

Homes on Carlsbad Blvd. north of Tamarack are at street level and those residents are looking through car windows to see the ocean – and it’s a sliver, relatively, compared the view from our listing. Our building is 25 feet above the street, and set back another 20 feet so any road noise is manageable.  You barely see the cars passing by, and out of sight is out of mind.

Our New Listing at Tamarack Beach

Check out our new listing at 111 Sequoia in Carlsbad! Enjoy spectacular ocean views from this highly-upgraded single-level home with no stairs!  New kitchen, new baths, new flooring, new paint – just bring your toothbrush and enjoy the sunsets.  Lie-down ocean view from master bedroom. This has south-facing windows for plenty of natural light too – a fantastic opportunity to live at the beach!

111 Sequoia Ave., Unit C, Carlsbad

2 br/2 ba, 1,478sf

LP = $1,295,000

Open house 12-3pm Saturday & Sunday, March 7th and 8th.

Link to Zillow listing

Our New Listing in La Jolla

Here’s our new listing of a luxurious 2,679sf single-story home with view in gated Windemere at the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla! Extensively upgraded kitchen that combines nicely with family room for full size great room with views, plus a private outdoor experience in back.

2841 Caminito Merion, La Jolla

3br/3ba, 2,679sf

YB: 1977

LP = $1,750,000

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2841-Caminito-Merion-La-Jolla-CA-92037/16852581_zpid/

Homebuyers Guide

With our tight inventory and ultra-low mortgage rates, it kinda feels like Tesla stock.  One minute you’re in the $800s, and the next thing you know, the same house is in the $900s!

What can buyers do?

  1. Buy location.
  2. Don’t buy crap.

Simple enough, right?

But it’s hard to accomplish both, because the best locations have the oldest homes.

Let’s narrow it down further.

If you can afford a decent location, what else can a buyer do to ensure a smart purchase?

Buy a newer home, and/or buy a one-story home.

Newer: Homes built in the last 15 years typically have modern floor plans with a large open great room and lots of windows that allow for ample natural light.  When you go to sell it someday, it will still be a desirable home without a load of upgrading or maintenance costs to you.

One-Story: Boomers aging in place guarantee that the scant supply of one-story homes will stay tight, and those that do leak onto the open market will be hotly contested.

Here’s a good example.

This sold for $850,000 two years ago, and after a complete remodel it goes on the market for $1,149,000…..and they get multiple offers.  Those who thought they could still buy a nice house in Old La Costa in the $800,000s are really scratching their heads now!  But it had the good location, and the sellers added the new look to clinch a nice boost in value.

If you want to stick with a newer house and/or a single-story house, what are your chances?

Price Range
# Listings
# Built Since 2005
# One-Story
# One-Story Built Since 2005
0 – $1M
28
5
6
0
$1M – $2M
184
45
42
6
$2M – $3M
163
42
54
8
$3M+
266
100
79
24

Buying a newer home or a single-story really looks daunting now, but if you can pull it off, you got it made!

Insisting on a newer home and/or a one-story home will give you maximum assurance that you’ve made a smart buy that will appreciate better than the rest. We can add a few older homes that have been thoroughly remodeled, but they probably still have a floor plan cut up into smaller rooms with low ceilings.

Get Good Help!

When to Sell Your Home

So you’ve heard that the market has slowed a bit, and you’re wondering,

“Should I sell now, or wait it out?”

If you don’t mind keeping your home forever, then fine, the value will probably go up in the long run.  But if you’d rather get your hands on your tax-free equity in the next couple of years, consider this:

Over the last ten years, we’ve enjoyed a strong sellers’ market where buyers just paid the price. There was enough competition that if you didn’t pay the seller’s price, somebody else would.

But the competition has dwindled lately – there aren’t as many buyers looking.

Let’s don’t call it a buyer’s market just yet. Let’s call it neutral.

Buyers feel they have more negotiating power now, which means they are:

  1. Tougher on price.
  2. Expect more repairs.
  3. Blow out easier if they aren’t satisfied.

The real struggle is with homes that need work – buyers are passing on the fixers altogether unless the price is right. Sellers used to get away with selling a rough-looking home for just a little less than the superior homes, but now the 5% to 10% gap is back (or more).

Once the market has turned that corner, it probably won’t just bounce back to being a seller’s market – it’s more likely to stay neutral.

How do you know if you should sell now, or take a chance?

Here are ways to decide when to sell:

  1. Sell when you know where you are moving.
  2. Sell when there are strong comps that support your desired price.
  3. Sell when your house looks spectacular.
  4. Sell when nobody else is, or at least when you are the best-priced home of the competition.

If there’s a moment when all four are happening, then you know it’s time – do it!

Could the comps get better next year?  Maybe – it only takes a couple of real premium properties to sell nearby and you could add 5% to 10% in value within a few months.  But it could go the other way too.

Once buyers they recognize a slower market, they will only want to pay the same as the comps, or less. They will wait patiently for the highly-motivated sellers who price their home closer to the comps – or wait until you lower your price.

The local real estate market around you is a fluid situation, so let the comps help determine your decision.  If the sales price of the last house sold near you is an acceptable price for your home, then sell when the inventory is low and you’ll get all the attention.

An example of how quick it can turn:

The house I just sold on Segovia in La Costa was the only house like it for sale when we hit the market. But over the next 30 days, another ten homes listed nearby, which diminished our negotiating power. We had to lower the price to stay competitive, and finally sold for 6% under our original list price, which isn’t the end of the world – but we were more optimistic when we began.

There can be a 5% to 10% variance in price when selling any home. The four nuances above will be factors, but the best thing you can do to sell for top dollar is to hire the right realtor.  Contact me at (858) 997-3801 and we’ll discuss what I can do for you!

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