Would it surprise you to know that there's more than one way to sell a house? (There is.)
However, for years we had been warning Sellers that selling "off-market" might leave money on the table. Why would anyone sell "off market" when high demand coupled with low inventory often led to HUGE overbids that, quite frankly, surprised the Realtors as much as they delighted the stunned Sellers. In fact, the market has been so bullish in favor of Sellers for the past SEVERAL years, that listing Agents often looked like magicians, or better yet, Super Heroes. (Thematic music please.)
This morning, I slept in until almost 7:00am (late for me) and then laid in bed with Cliff and Riley (my husband and our retriever), watching Instagrams of flying dolphins, professional surfers, shuffle dancers, exotic far-flung destinations, funkified roller-skaters, transformed houses, exercise/diet/makeup tips (none of which I follow), and funny moments with cats and dogs. (Instagram can suck up a lot of time if you're not careful. Let's not even talk about the babies.)
A few minutes in, I discovered "tidy dad," who is quite possibly, the man of my dreams. (Sorry, honey.)
It was inevitable I suppose, after more than a decade of escalating housing prices, two-and-a-half years of a worldwide pandemic, rapidly rising interest rates, rampant inflation, an ongoing war in Ukraine, and the threat of a looming recession (not to mention lack of consumer confidence), that residential real estate would experience a long overdue correction. Welcome to the new reality where "value" is a moving target. Some houses are still selling with multiple offers, while others are receiving little to no activity.
Which is why, after years of "strategic" pricing, with the expectation that the market would easily carry the final sales price higher (it almost always did), we are now seeing movement in the other direction.
I'm back after 16 days from our trip to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden; three extraordinarily beautiful countries that have managed to get it right both from a social perspective - no homeless encampments, clean streets, little crime, universal healthcare, affordable childcare, one full year of maternity/paternity leave, free university tuition, a $20 minimum wage, and five weeks of paid vacation (say what?) - AND from a green perspective. Each of these countries has significantly combated climate change and ALL are on their way towards zero-net emissions within the next few years.
Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy the red, white and blue of it all. Aside from the truckloads of watermelons for sale, the block parties, and the return of the festive Piedmont Fourth of July parade, we've clearly moved into the summer market as witnessed by the slower turn-around and longer marketing periods for many of our listings - perfectly good homes that would have flown off the market just a few short months ago.
This new reality is followed by more sobering news of "improved" or "transparent pricing," (aka price reductions) as Agents and Sellers come to terms with what's amounted to a reset of value (and for many Buyers, a pause in their hunt). Even so, values are still well above where they were prior to January 2020; a correction that probably shouldn't have surprised any of us (it was long overdue) but did so just the same.
This week, I'm quite literally lifting (borrowing - with permission) much of the Perspective's copy from COMPASS' own master blogger, Leonard Steinberg. A daily writer and a superstar Real Estate Agent in the BIG Apple, Leonard is always full of good advice and information. This week was no exception and in a market that's transitioning rapidly, INFORMATION is currency.
Since many of the calls Sarah and I have taken recently have revolved around fear of the unknown, I thought this particular column was especially timely. Plus, Leonard is always a good read. Enjoy.
DID YOU KNOW?
Is this current housing re-balancing going to be the same as the 2007-10 housing crash?
That's VERY unlikely!
"I'm glad I'm working from home today," my beautiful niece emailed, "I've got a GINORMOUS zit!" (Remember those?)
Sadly, I do. In fact, there's something inherently wrong with having to suffer through both acne and grey hair at the same time, but there you have it. Here's where masks come in handy. Aside from undoubtedly keeping us safer during the pandemic, the great "cover-up" wasn't entirely ALL bad. Double chins, age spots, and the occasional pimple all but disappeared, hidden by a swatch of multi-colored fabric.
Happy PRIDE month. Throughout the Bay Area, joyful, festive, rowdy, and loving celebrations are taking place that honor the LGBTQIA community, and rightfully so. There's probably nowhere else on earth where diversity is celebrated as wholeheartedly as it is right here. To quote Bob Dylan: "The times, they are a-changing."
But until recently, that wasn't the case (denial and secrecy ruled the day). Anyone who's ever worked with me knows I'm not a fan of either.
"I Think We Did Everything We WEREN'T Supposed To"
"My wife and I have received no offers on our house," the anxious Seller said on the telephone, "I think we did everything we WEREN'T supposed to."
"How Quickly Can You Get My House on the Market?" are the conversations we've been having with most of our Sellers these days. In the wake of a declining stock market, rising interest rates, increased inventory, and hyperinflation, the housing market is likely poised for a long-overdue correction. (A little parity wouldn't necessarily be such a bad thing after years of rapid growth.) With the realization that the housing market has likely crested, Realtors are feeling increased pressure to get everyone's properties on the market YESTERDAY!
Turns out, that's not as easy as you think . . .
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 17 years and has published more than 650 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.