Talk of the Town – The Bay Area Real Estate Market

A reflection by Sabrina Caton | Janurary 8, 2018

 

With all the talk about the Bay Area Housing Market – it’s hard to decipher the message.  Are we crashing?  Is the boom over?  Do I buy now?  Or wait?  What if I need to sell?  What should I do? 

There are great questions and as The Caton Team firmly believes, each client has a unique situation and set of needs – so what “they” should do is all relative.  That’s why we offer a free, no strings attached consultation to help determine what is best for you.  So please do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have any Real Estate questions.  Email: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

The Real Estate market, much like the stock market, is made up of people.  In Real Estate those people are Buyers and Sellers, Investors and Renters and the market is very much a mirror to what those people are thinking and doing.

Because the Real Estate market is made up of people, it changes as our habits do – often reflected as seasonal change.  I’ve been a full time Realtor for the past 15 years, Susan over 20, and if there is one thing we Realtors get used to — is the cyclical change of our market.  It is so steadfast, many check out during the slow months because they know, come Spring and Summer – that’s when the action happens.  But is this realistic?  To just buy and sell for two seasons?  NO – it’s not – because life happens everyday! 

People buy and sell homes for various reason – aside from the investment standpoint.  People buy a larger home when they find out their pregnant, or a couple gets married and combines their space and their assets.  People sell homes when they get a new job out of state, or the house they have is too big or too small for their current lifestyle.  My point is, people buy and sell homes for more reasons that I can state – and those events happen every day.  It’s part of life – so why do we over analysis and stress ourselves out with the cycle?  Why do we try to time the market when no one has a crystal ball?

Real Estate has always and will always be a long term investment.  Quick and high gains are unrealistic and truthfully – unstable.  Couple that with the rise in interest rates over 2018 that directly impacted each Buyers purchase power.  Throw in changes to the stock market and everyone is going to err on the side of  caution.  Which is wise.   So is investing in Real Estate – as a long term venture.  It is a solid investment – especially because we all need a place to live.  Making NOW a great time to buy, while prices are soft and demand is low.  Get in today – at today’s rates (under 5% last I checked) then hold onto your investment.  You’ll be happy you did – because over time – Real Estate value will always rise simply becuase they’re just not making land anymore. 

 

So what dictates price?  Buyers dictate price – even during the frenzy.  It is a Buyer who decides – ‘this is the house I want and this is how much I am willing to pay for it’.  Come Spring, said Buyer may have lost out on a few houses and slowly that Buyer becomes more aggressive in order to be the winning bid.  The frenzy is created by the same source who can tame it – the Buyer.  So come Summer, those Spring Buyers who lost out on home after home, start sweetening the pot and overbidding.  Whether a Buyer wants to overbid or not – write a few offers that get rejected and a Buyer will find out what it takes to become an Owner.  Each market is different and requires a different strategy.  Right now that Sellers market is in the past.  For the first time in ages – we’re in a Buyers Market.

Th moment I see Halloween candy on display, I know the slowdown is coming – change is near.

What gets me is – why are Buyers doing this to themselves when they don’t have to?  My personal business philosophy is – to be successful in Real Estate we have to think and act differently.  That means doing whatever it takes to have my clients home or offer stand out from the crowd.  To change it up and be the first to do so. 

Which brings me to today – January 2019.  The media is spewing a Real Estate crash when in reality – our hyper-paced market is simply – returning to normal – not crashing.  Normal. 

It wasn’t normal for homes to sell in less than one week.  It wasn’t normal for a Buyer to have one chance to see a home before an offer date pushed them to move faster.  It wasn’t normal for offers to line up after one open house.  It wasn’t normal and it wasn’t practical.

Today, for the first time in what feels like ages, we have inventory.  Meaning, there are several homes on the market, at several price points.  With lower demand, offer dates are no longer pressing the urgency to make a decision and Buyers have a bit more of that much needed time.  Remember, Real Estate is one of the largest investments in our lives – so it is important to take time and make the right decision.  This type of market allows for that.  Making the Winter Market a great time to buy!

 

The flip side – it may feel like the market is crashing if you’re selling your home this season.  What drives up prices is the volume of qualified Buyers wanting to buy versus the volume of homes for sale.  For the past several years we’ve had high demand and low volume – thus further escalating prices.  Each Fall people turn from houses to holidays and demand wanes. 

What is hard to consider – the $100,000 gains seen during the Spring Market isn’t going to happen if only one Buyer is on the house hunt during Winter.  So Sellers are seeing $100,000+ price reductions and feeling like the market is crashing from under them – when in reality it is just returning to normal.  In other words, demand has changed, and it doesn’t take an additional $100,000 to be the winning bid.  (Which always makes me wonder why Buyers don’t take the bull by the horns and change things up!  I’ve had the best success with my Buying clients over the Fall and Winter because they were the only people putting in the time!  Anyway – I digress.) 

For Sellers it is a hard transition.  When Realtors look at the market we cannot determine the future but we can map out the past.  Fall/Winter Sellers may have higher expectations because they are looking at Spring/Summer sales data that was indicative of that market – on that particular day and that day has passed.  Today is a whole new reality.  The Real Estate Market is a living, breathing entity.  Like the people in it – the market can turn on a dime without any notice.  So how does one navigate these uncharted waters?

Easy… be realistic, timely and see the big picture.  Each Seller is in a unique situation so the answer isn’t cut and dry.  I do believe in being in the “here and now”, being aware of the market change and adjusting the strategy.  Often times waiting out the market is not the best solution.  Sometimes it is.  Sometimes renting a home out is a bad idea when you consider wear and tear.  Though a great tenant is better than a vacant home that seems to age while alone. It’s a lot to weigh so it’s best to be open and flexible.  The Caton Team strives for the best result regardless of market conditions and happy to sit down and work through the challenges with you.

 

Bay Area Real Estate started to slowed down in September on ’18.  Buyers had grown tired with the insane pace of the Spring/Summer market and it showed.  Add the fire and smoke in the Fall, deterring many people from even venturing outside.  Each market is different.  Last year in 2017 – our 4th Quarter was one of the most robust ever!  2018 an entirely different story.  So how does one survive a changing market in 2019?  Move with it.

If you’re Buying you’ve seen homes sitting on the market, some have had price reductions some have not.  Don’t just sit there.  If you like a home contact your Realtor and have them contact the Sellers Realtor.  Communication is key in this business.  If you’re a serious Home Buyer – you need to get offline and in front of a Realtor.  We’re here to work with you and help you figure out these challenges.  Remember, Real Estate is not a twisting of the arm but a meeting of the minds.  Yes, Buyers determine price – but we can’t walk in with 1996 prices.  Offers need to be realistic and doable.  A Seller isn’t going to take an outlandish low offer just because – nor is a buyer going to overbid.  Real Estate is finding that middle ground where all parties can obtain their goals and walk away – happy.

If you’re selling – and don’t have the luxury of waiting till Spring to sell – get on the market now.  Move accordingly.  Make sure you are priced right – knowing there won’t be multiple offers driving up the value.  In Realtor lingo we say – don’t chase the market down.  Meaning, if the market is in flux, you don’t want to sit online forever, you’ve got to adjust with the times.  Markets move up and down from day to day, month to month, year over year.  The key to being successful is moving with that market and keeping in line with your goals and budget.  Don’t hold out for a price that doesn’t exist in the current market climate.  Review your goals and timeline, be open and honest with your Realtor about your needs and wants and work together to achieve the goal.  Flexibility is key. 

Each market is different, each neighborhood is different and each client is different.  I could go on and on but the bottom line is this – Buying and Selling Real Estate happens in real time.  Today.  The future is untold and the past is just a graph.  If you want to own a home, get out there and look – open your eyes to the possibilities.  If you need to sell your home, get the home show ready, price it right and work with your Realtor because together we can do anything. 

 

The Caton Team loves helping people obtain their Real Estate goals – contact us anytime with any questions – we’re here for you.

Thanks for reading!

-Sabrina

 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Large, Small Markets See Diverging Pricing Trends

A tale of two housing markets is unfolding nationwide, with homes in large cities seeing deep price cuts while those in smaller markets experience growth, according to realtor.com®’s November housing report. “The housing market is a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ as the divergence widens between high-cost, large urban areas and smaller, more affordable markets,” says realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Buyers in large metros are seeing more homes on the market and listing prices decline, while those in smaller markets continued to see price increases.”

Twenty-two percent of listings nationwide saw price reductions last month, up from 19 percent a year ago, according to realtor.com©. Forty of the 45 largest markets in the country saw more price reductions in November, with the most in:

  • San Jose, Calif. (up 16 percent)
  • Indianapolis (up 15 percent)
  • Seattle (up 12 percent)
  • San Francisco (up 9 percent)
  • San Diego (up 9 percent).

On the other hand, several smaller markets saw home prices still rising last month. For example, prices were on the rise in markets like Chattanooga, Tenn. (up 17 percent); Spokane, Wash. (up 15 percent); and Greensboro-High Point, N.C. (up 14 percent).

https://magazine.realtor/sites/default/files/styles/asset_image_full_content/public/assets/images/1812_realtor.com-housing_Nov2018.png?itok=k8NjHtfG

 

I read this article at:  Reatlor Magazine

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Don’t Let Mortgage Rates Throw You Off Course

Higher borrowing costs may prompt buyers and sellers to rethink their real estate plans, but you can help them find a workaround to achieve their goals.

by John N. Frank

For three months, Koki Adasi worked hard to help his buyer find the perfect one-bedroom condo on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Finally, in the spring, the right listing emerged for $450,000, slightly above the buyer’s budget. Adasi, CRS, SRS, was able to negotiate a $20,000 discount on the price, and his client was prepared to move forward on her first home purchase—until she got a jolt from her lender.
Although the buyer, who works as a corporate senior manager, had been preapproved for a mortgage, interest rates had gone up one-eighth of a percentage point since she began her home search in early January. The new rates would have added $25 to her monthly mortgage payments—an extra $300 a year—which made her think twice about the purchase. Pushed to the edge of her financial comfort zone, Adasi’s client eventually walked away from the deal. “Many buyers have a certain lifestyle they want to preserve and a comfort zone set in their minds,” says Adasi, a team leader who recently moved to Compass Real Estate. “The issue [for this buyer] really wasn’t about money. She could afford a significantly higher price range, but she had a modest comfort zone that she wanted to stay in.”
As mortgage rates hover just below the 5 percent mark, ending an era of the lowest averages in modern U.S. history, some buyers, especially first-timers, are feeling the strain in their pocketbooks. The hikes also may convince would-be sellers to stay put and hold onto their current rates rather than move up to a higher-priced home with a costlier rate. In turn, that could further exacerbate tight inventory.
All of this means real estate professionals need to develop strategies for helping clients adjust their expectations so they can remain in the real estate game as the costs of buying rise. Qualified buyers might look into FHA loans and other mortgage products with lower rates and down payment requirements, says Tracy Anderson, a broker with Prime Real Estate in Hobart, Ind. But whatever advice you give, it’s important to communicate the need to make decisions quickly once a rate locks in. “The longer you wait, the more expensive it’s going to be,” says Brant Tullidge, a sales associate with RE/MAX Commonwealth in Richmond, Va.
Of course, speeding up the buying process to lock in rates may cause inconveniences for many of your clients. If your buyers are renters making the switch to homeownership, for example, see whether they can arrange a month-to-month or short-term lease while searching for homes, says Jeff Miller, co-founder of AE Home Group in Baltimore. It gives them more time while also encouraging faster decision-making.
It’s also smart to prep buyers early about negotiating their must-have list, says Jessica Murphy, a sales associate with Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Irvington, N.Y. You don’t want to spend precious time grappling with unrealistic expectations when daily movement in mortgage rates could price your client out of the market. Murphy talks with her buyers about location most of all, encouraging them to focus on areas farther outside New York to find cheaper homes that meet their criteria. The point is that the lower the sales price, the more clients can withstand upward pressure on mortgage rates. “And a longer commute translates into lower prices,” Murphy says.
Your buyers may well become sellers down the road, and no one can predict where mortgage rates will be at that point. Even if rates aren’t the biggest issue on their minds now, have your clients consider how future mortgage rates could impact their sale. With further hikes expected this year and beyond, buyers may want to choose a property they can envision staying put in for several years.
Though sellers may ask for a flexible closing timeline as they search for another home, closing quickly can help any buyer (or relocating seller) secure a lower mortgage rate, Tullidge says. He’s seen some lenders offer a lower rate for a 30-day versus a 60-day closing. Ultimately, you must move at a pace your clients are comfortable with, but don’t be afraid to give them a nudge when it’s in their best interest. “When it’s the right house, you’ve got to move,” Murphy says.

The old adage applies. Don’t Wait to Buy Real Estate – Buy Real Estate and Wait.

I read this article here: Realtor Magazine

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the upmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

Time is of The Essence – what that means for Buyers & Sellers in the Bay Area this Fall

Hello readers!

If you follow my Instagram Account – then you may have caught my Market Update in Stories – I save them under Market Update Highlights  and repost to Facebook if you want to catch up on them.

Today’s topic was – Time if of The Essence.  I wanted to discuss this – especially in the Fall Market.

Literally, the term – Time is of the Essence – is IN THE PURCHASE CONTRACT.  For the California Association of Realtors California Purchase Contract it is line 29 and for the PRDS Purcahse Contract it is line 27 L, and in the San Francisco Purchase Agreement it is Line 32.  

Now, contractually – Time is of the Essence – it means we most honor the dates set forth in the contract – they are of material significance.  For instance, the date to close escrow – pretty important date.  As it is the day ownership is transferred by county record, monies are exchanged and keys handed over.

However, how does Time is of the Essence work outside of a written contract?  Well, it is that concept that I want to touch on today.

Time.  We all have the same amount of time in the day.  Though it may feel like some have all the time in the world while others are in a constant rush. 

So how does Time relate to Real Estate?  Critically I assure you.  For a Seller, time is measured from Day 1 on the market.  A Seller and prospective Buyers are all looking at Days on the Market (DOM) to gauge how popular or desirable a property is.  (Which isn’t the best way to gauge a home – by the way.) 

During the Fall Market, you’ll see homes on the market after the ticker hits day 15 – and NO – it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the home.  Sometimes it is the homeowner or Relator, who want to make sure they have fully exposed the home to the open market before reviewing offers.  It make sense.  Sometimes, as it does each Fall, the Days on the Market are a direct influence of Buyers who’ve been outbid all Spring and Summer and taking a break before jumping into Real Estate one more time before the Holidays. 

But truly, where Time if of the Essence comes in at the upmost importance is for the Buyer.

Take a moment and step back in time with me.  Before the mad rush of demand over supply took over our Real Estate market, back in the day – when a Buyer saw a home, if they liked it, their Realtor would call the Seller’s Realtor and put a deal together.  During that time, a Realtor didn’t look to see what the offer date was – it was pure and simple.  One Realtor has an interested Buyer, one Realtor has an eager Seller, let’s find that middle ground where everybody’s wishes, hopes, dreams and desires come true.  Easy, plain and simple – right?

Guess what?  That market is now.  Yes – you heard me right.  The Fall Market is when the early bird gets the worm, when the proactive clients and Realtors make magic happen.

What I find funny about this opportunity is many people don’t understand how this works to their advantage.  (Trust me – I even see the surprised look in Realtors eyes when they hear – offers as they come – or offers reviewed at any time.)  What kills me – some people don’t understand what that means. 

IT MEANS OPPORTUNITY! 

If you like a home and no offer date is posted – tell your Relator (and if you don’t have a Realtor – tell me!)  It is the Buyer’s Reatlor’s job to contact the Seller’s Realtor.  How will a Seller’s Realtor even know there is an interested party if no one calls, texts, emails, or just plane shows up?  It only takes ONE Buyer to sell a home.  As awesome as multiple offers are for a Seller – the Seller can only sell the home to ONE Buyer.  Therefore, technically speaking – the Seller and their Realtor only need one, fair offer.  

How does this translate to a Buyer today?  DON’T WAIT!  Don’t ask for permission to write an offer.  Call your Realtor – Call The Caton Team – if no offer date is posted or planning to be posted – GO FOR IT.  Write the offer, write a good, clean, fair and solid offer.  Make sure your Realtor – like The Caton Team always does – prepares a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to strengthen the offer.  There is a reason Buyer’s and Seller’s Realtor’s are needed.  I’m talking about full-time, professional Realtors who live and breath the market.  Call us!!!!  We know what to do far better than any app!

In the past few weeks, when the media is reporting old news and generating fear in the consumer – The Caton Team was able to negotiate some wonderful opportunities for our clients because we were the only offer, because we didn’t go out and party on Saturday night, because we stayed up late to ensure every disclosure document was signed, that our offer was clear, concise and fair and if that meant presenting the offer at 10pm – so be it.  Because it takes a dedicated Realtor, who knows an opportunity when they see it, and an equally dedicated client to make dreams come true.

The Fall Market is RIPE with opportunity.  If you want to be a Bay Area Home Owner – If you have a budget – If you’ve been outbid all year – DO NOT GIVE UP!  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and Call The Caton Team.

Yes We Can Make Your Real Estate Dreams Come True

 

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the upmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Real Estate Beat BLOG

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

 

 

Market Snapshot – Fall 2018

Each month our newsletter subscribers get a Market Snapshot for San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.  It is amazing to see the growth our area has experienced.  Curious where the market is going?  We are entering the Fall Market – as my guy friends say – Sunday Football Season.  It’s no joke, the market tempers each fall and winter.  Don’t fret when you see price adjustments.  It’s not the collapse – it is partially the seasonal shift of focus.  As the leafs turn and the air chills – our real estate market tempers a bit.  For Buyers it means opportunity with less competition.  For Sellers – this market is very much in your favor as there is ample demand for each home.  Please feel free to contact The Caton Team for a custom market evaluation.  Each price point and area is different.  The Caton Team – are natives to the Bay Area and know the Silicon Valley Real Estate market like our backyard – because it is our backyard.  What can the Caton Team do for you?

Thank you for reading, Sabrina

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials

The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook *Yelp Us * My Yelp * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina DRE# 01413526 / Susan DRE #01238225 / Team DRE# 70000218/ Office DRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.

How to Sell and Buy Real Estate in Today’s Market

Are you a Move Up Buyer in Silicon Valley?   Then you know how hard it is to take that goal and realize it.  It is much harder to sell and buy today than ever before!

If you’re a Buyer in the Silicon Valley – then you are well aware of how competitive it is to get a house in this market.  A Buyer may have started off with big dreams, the want list, the wish list and then quickly condensed the list to one thing – I want a house – any house in the Bay Area.

It’s that nuts.

Why?

The Bay Area has limited space to build.  Land is the gold of Real Estate, without land you cannot build more homes.  So if you want to own a home around here – get ready for the bidding wars.

But if you’re a Buyer with a home to Sell first – then you’re really up for a challenge.  

Seller EXPECTATIONS

If you’re a Seller these days – you have some expectations.  With multiple Buyers for each home – a Buyer pretty much has to do the following to be a candidate:

  • OFFER OVER LIST PRICE – sometimes even more than the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) warrants.  This can be frightening and can setup a Buyer for some surprises*.  The Caton Team always prepares a CMA and gauges market activity to help a Buyer determine their right price.
  • WAIVE ALL CONTINGENCIES – These days a Buyer cannot ask for repairs, or request time to sell their current home .  If a Buyer wants to be a contender – they must come in Non-Contingent and ready to close.  Let me re-phrase that.  A Buyer must write THIER best offer and if that includes a contingency – the Buyer must do what is best for them.  Just know – if there is a contingency – generally that offer goes to the bottom of the stack because in this market, the Seller has plenty of offers to choose from and does NOT have to accept a Contingent Offer – no matter how cute the letter is.  (Note, in cooler markets Buyers have more leverage and will have the opportunity for Sellers to accept contingencies.  It’s just not that market today.)
  • PROOF OF FUNDS – A Buyer MUST HAVE ALL their down payment, closing costs and reserve monies ready from DAY 1!  Not only for their bank loan approval – Buyers need proof of funds just to write a contending offer!  To be frank, sometimes a great offer is beat out by an offer with “better” proof of funds – IE – money in the bank.
    • Each Seller and their Realtor will REQUIRE Proof of Funds to be submitted WITH the Offer.  Meaning your Realtor needs recent copies of all your bank statements to be provided in your Offer Package to show money for the downpayment, closing costs and reserves.  You would too if you were in the Seller seat.  Our job as Realtors is to protect OUR Clients best interests.  Meaning, while reviewing offers, not only does The Caton Team call each lender to verify loan strength – we also want to see Proof of Funds totaling at minimum the monies for said deal AND reserve funds which are healthy and liquid to ensure –  if things go awry – there are funds to close on time.  In other words, the strongest reserves has an impact on what is considered the “Best” offer.  It is not always price that equates as “Best”.  (Curious why?  – Ask us anytime – it is another blog post.)
      • An example of a Buyer surprise* is when the appraised value is lower than the offer price.  The Buyer may need to pay the difference between the appraised value and offer price because there are NO Contingencies – a Buyer must perform or quit.  Quitting on a Non-Contingent Offer means the Buyer could forge all or a portion of their good faith deposit – which is 3% of the total purchase price.  Note – each case is different and this is just an example.  Bottom line – selling Real Estate is serious business and being prepared is the first step.

There are several more items that make the perfect Offer Package – so if you’re curious – contact The Caton Team.

Ok, so now you have an idea of what it takes to buy a home around here.  Now what do you do if you have a home to sell first?  Bear with me on this – it is the hottest topic in Real Estate today.

HOW TO SELL THEN BUY

If you’re lucky enough to already be a Silicon Valley homeowner – congratulations!  You’re ahead of the game.  Right?  Unless you need more space and want to move up.  The Caton Team has met many clients who opted to add onto their existing homes.  Great!  Unless that is not an option.  Then we are back to square one – How does a Buyer sell then buy in this market?  

As I stated above in Seller Expectations, the “requirements” for contention can feel like a tall order.  If your down payment funds are tied up in the equity of your home – you have several options but only a few are viable in this market.  

DREAM OPTION

Rich Aunt Sally gifts you the money you need for the purchase of the home.  Thank you Aunt Sally.  But what if we don’t have rich relatives?

SELL FIRST OPTION

This is the cut and dry option.  Sell the home.  Close Escrow.  Move out and into a short term rental or with relatives.  Bank the  proceeds of the sale – aka: the downpayment and enjoy the Home Buying Experience at your own pace knowing you can A) Prove your Funds and B) Go in Non Contingent. 

Oh – Did I mention this option is also terrifying?  A Seller feels as if they are loosing their only piece of California – the “what if we don’t get the next one” can be frightening.  That’s why this option that is often chosen last.  Next up…

SELL FIRST WITH RENT-BACK OPTION

Similar to the first scenario – except instead of moving out at Close of Escrow – the Seller is granted Rent Back to live in the home for an agreed timeframe and cost, then move out – whether or not the Seller has acquired their next purchase.  The advantage to this is the Closing – the Seller has the proceeds in the bank and can write a non-contingent offer on their next home.  The down side – it is a short term solution – if the Seller doesn’t find their next home within the time frame – they will have to move out when the tenancy is over no matter what.  

OBTAIN AN OFFER TO PURCHASE

This option is often the first step – the proverbial toe in the water.  We, as your Realtors will try to find a Buyer willing to do the following:

  • Offer to Purchase the home with an Extended Close of Escrow, giving the Seller time to acquire their next property then quickly close on one then the other – a Domino closing effect.  The downside, their proceeds are not in the bank; therefore the Proof of Funds will be short AND even if the Seller writes a Non-Contingent Offer – we as Realtors know – it isn’t over until it’s over.  In other words, when comparing offers – the one with less strings attached wins.  Even Non-Contingent Offers in this scenario are not as strong as Buyers ready, willing and able to close on time.  IE:  Don’t have to close one house before they can close on the other.  Confusing right?  

That’s why inevitably, if a Client truly needs more space and cannot add on – they often are forced to sell first, rent then buy because this market is too competitive to request contingencies from the seller.  – Please don’t shoot the messenger – 

THE LONG ROAD

Now here’s my idea – but it takes a few years and you truly need to ask your CPA.  The idea is – the Seller moves out into.  (Where?  That is not part of my scenario.)  The Seller then converts their personal residence into a rental – renting it out for a minimum of 2 years.  (I cannot give tax advice, so please verify with your CPA).  After those two years, the Seller sells their home as a 1031 exchange, then buys their next home – as another investment.  The caveat – the Seller cannot move into their new home until it’s been rented for at least 2 years. Again run this by your CPA as tax laws change and I am not a CPA.  Anyway, this is the long term approach.  The good news, especially if you’re buying in the same community, even if prices rise – hopefully so will the value of your current investment.  Anyway, can you tell I have several clients in the same boat?  This blog post was really just me organizing my thoughts then I figured – why don’t I just share this – if I can help someone make a better decision for their future – then I did my job today.  

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Right now – the forecast is Interest Rates will rise.  This can diminish a Buyer’s buying power.  As the interest rates rise the amount of the loan reduces.  To remedy this – a Buyer will need to bring in more monies towards the downpayment.  Easy, if we have Aunt Sally on speed dial.

The Caton Team cannot forecast the future but we have endured all sorts of markets.  We always worry about our Buyers waiting themselves out of the market and in this still inclining market – that can happen faster than you think.  Ask us anytime – we’re in the trenches, we know what homes are selling for before the internet gets wind.  It’s wild out there but we’ve got you covered.  Susan and I have over 35 years combined, local real estate experience.  We represent our clients with integrity.  Our offer packages stand out and often times just the edge a Buyer needs in this market.  Our Seller Package is successful, our negotiating is skilled, kind and focused.  We pride ourselves in being effective, efficient and responsive.

Real Estate is multi faceted and this blog is just the tip of the iceberg.  Each family has a unique set of needs.  We value the sit down time to get to know what you need whether buying or selling a home in the Bay Area. 

What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Thank you for reading and forgiving my typos,

Sabrina

 

I wrote this…

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help.

The Caton Team strives to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

 

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How to Make an Offer That Can’t Be Refused

How to Make an Offer That Can’t Be Refused

By Angela Colley

Really excited to share this article as finding the motivation is a huge name of the game when The Caton Team represents Buyers in the Silicon Valley Real Estate Market.  I’ll add my 2 cents as we go.

You’ve found the perfect house. You can already see yourself unpacking your books, pulling all the glassware out of crates, setting up the PlayStation 4. You’re ready to make an offer. Nothing could go wrong now. Except, wait a minute. What if there are other offers? What if the seller doesn’t like your offer? What if the seller doesn’t like you?

Don’t panic. There’s a way to make an offer that can’t be refused—and the answer is better than “cough up more money.” Way better. Use the science of human behavior!

Find their motivations

To seal the deal, you have to know the seller’s motivations. Yes, we know that sounds like a self-help book gimmick, but it’s true. We’re all motivated by something, and seeing things from the seller’s point of view can help you write a killer offer.

Sellers are usually primarily motivated by one of three things, according to Diana George, founder of Vault Realty Group in Oakland, CA.

  1. The bottom line (aka money”)
  2. A rush to move/dont want to drag the selling process out (terms)
  3. Emotional attachment

Of course, all sellers are at least a little motivated by cash (after all, they’re not giving the house away), so that will usually overlap with the other motivations. Say, for example, the sellers are emotionally attached to their house. If you’re in love with the property, too, you might have an in, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get it for nothing.

“The buyer who thinks they can come [below] asking and honestly believe they have a shot at winning is making a mistake,” says George.

But money isn’t all that matters.

To find out what is motivating the sellers, have your Realtor® do some digging.

“I always call the real estate listing agent and speak to them directly to get a better understanding as to what is driving the seller,” George says. In some cases, she finds out the sellers have written a letter about the history of the home for potential buyers (showing they’re emotionally connected). In other cases, the buyers are in a hurry to move (and will be motivated by easy and fast closing terms). And sometimes they just want to get a lot of offers and pick the highest bid.

Calling your fellow agent is key.  The Caton Team always calls the sellers Realtors to discuss the sale and the sellers needs.  When I represent sellers – I can tell you first hand – VERY FEW agents call me – so picking a buyers Realtor is just as important as picking your listing Reatlor.  

Your agent won’t always be able to learn everything. “It all depends on how much the listing agent is willing to disclose,” she says. But you can up your chances by asking your Realtor for something simple: Call the seller’s agent and talk to her in person. Having that spur-of-the moment conversation can make all the difference.

“The buyer’s agents who are communicative, persistent, and follow up by actually picking up a phone and calling the listing agent are most likely to discover the motivations of the seller,” George says.

George – said it all!

If they’re motivated by money

If the seller is all about the Benjamins, you’ll need to submit the highest offer to get the home—and in a competitive market, the listing price may just be a starting point.

“We tell our buying clients in this hot seller’s market to be prepared to bid over $100,000 depending on the area,” George says.

To get an idea of what to offer, you and your agent should compare recently sold homes in the area. And if you get in a bidding war, don’t expect the sellers to come back with their own offer.

“Nowadays, sellers send out offers asking for the buyer’s highest and best offer,” George says. “At this point the buyers have one or two chances to come in with their all.”

If they’re motivated by terms

If the sellers are motivated by terms, they want the deal over and done with—as painlessly as possible. You’ll probably have to give up some contingencies (the clauses that give you the option to back out of the deal if something doesn’t go through). Even though those contingencies might help you, they can slow down the sale—something the seller doesn’t want.

But what do you give up? Usually, it’ll come down to some peace of mind.

“Many sellers are disclosing the termite and home inspection reports in an attempt to persuade buyers to offer noncontingent,” George says.

And if those reports are clean, you might be safe to waive your own right to inspect and cross your fingers nothing goes sideways.

Don’t want to give up the inspection from the pro? Give in on another contingency to push things along.

“The other huge trend we are seeing is buyers waiving their appraisal contingency, meaning if the home comes in below the offer price the buyer has to come in with the difference,” George says.

If they’re motivated by emotions

If the sellers are attached to their house, they’re going to have a hard time letting it go to just anybody. You can prove you aren’t just anybody by writing a personal letter.

“Just be honest and be yourself,” George says. “Many of the letters we read are very genuine and emotional.”

But remember, you’re writing a personal letter, not a resume. The seller is more likely to be interested in why you want the house and what your personal plans are for the future, than in what you do for a living.

The faster the better

Once you know how to approach the offer, consider the timing. Generally, the faster you can submit an offer, the better.

“Being the first offer in on a deadline means you just became the leverage offer,” George says.

Even if the seller doesn’t accept your offer right away, your offer will become the yardstick against which other buyers are measured.

If you’re not first, make sure your offer is solid and submitted in a reasonable time frame. Many sellers have a deadline for accepting offers before they start considering candidates, and you don’t want to miss out because you sat on the fence.

Don’t get cocky

It’s tempting to submit a lowball offer just to see what the seller will do, but the seller may get irritated and just stop working with you altogether.

But on the flip side, don’t get excited and blow past your budget.

“You need to figure out how badly you want this house,” George says, “and how far you’re willing to go.”

There are many facets in Real Estate.  The Caton Team how just about seen it all and we know how to make our clients and their offers – SHINE!

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 35 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/in-it-to-win-it-the-science-behind-making-a-killer-offer/

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

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The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.