Everyone is always talking about “the stats” in the real estate market…yes, there are a certain number of homes that have sold in the past month, at particular price points, or with a general median or average sale price…but what does that really mean to you?
The fact is, homes for sale inventory in the greater San Jose and peninsula areas is very low. We’ve had some very frustrating experiences with buying clients recently…it seems that even in particular townhome complexes, when a property comes on the market there is a “feeding frenzy” of buyers and their agents who show up, hoping theirs will be the accepted offer, and since only one offer “wins”, the next time a home comes up in that complex, we all rush over to that one and repeat the process, ad infinitum. We see the same faces over and over again, and mulitple offers are driving prices upward! Demand is far outstripping supply, a perfect market for sellers to once again regain the upper hand.
The key word in this market is speed. For you buyers, the only way to win is to be out there checking out any home that seems to meet your criteria, as soon as it goes on the market. That goes double for a sale that is a regular, equity sale…not a short sale or foreclosure property. If it meets even 3/4 of your needs, go ahead and make the offer…you can’t win if you don’t play. And offer time periods are getting cut off more and more quickly, because after so many offers are received, sellers just don’t want to review any more and will instruct their agent to issue instructions on the MLS that all offers are being reviewed and further offers are discouraged.
For sellers, this feeding frenzy can’t last forever…buyers will get tired of the frustration and will start to pull back from the market. That should hold true even for investors, because at this point all-cash offers are not necessarily going to win if they aren’t the highest offer. So if you have been “thinking” about putting your home on the market, and you are truly serious about selling, don’t wait…you want to catch this mini wave, believe me. A rising tide lifts all boats, and the market is pretty buoyant at this minute.
Having ridden out this economic downturn and having kept a watchful eye on the housing market throughout, my prediction is that things will continue to be in flux during 2012. You’ll see more sales or less sales each month, with no real consistent trend up or down, and no continuous rise upward in sales prices. BUT…if you see even a small trend, act on it. When the market is good for you, strike quickly!