Sellers in our market are often faced with a challenge: Our market rewards sellers who move out of their homes and market them vacant and staged, often with six figure sale price increases. The question we are often faced with is, where are the sellers going to live when they are in between homes? Some are able to purchase a home without selling, but many are not able to do that in our high priced market. Temporary rentals work for those who are OK with moving twice and taking on that expense (it’s often worth it given what they stand to gain by marketing their house vacant and staged). But another option is to use a “bridge loan” which is a short term loan that allows sellers to borrow against the equity in their current home in order to purchase a new home, then sell their old home and use the proceeds to pay off the bridge loan. It is complex, there are risks and costs involved, but for many, it proves to be a better way to go than moving out.
February 28, 2019
The real estate market in the East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, and Piedmont areas) is mixed, choppy and confused. However, despite the buzz about the market being “bad” for sellers, I believe this is overblown at least for the time being. Even thought the market may have shifted back toward the center (from a severe sellers’ market) we are still in a sellers market, and sellers are still being rewarded with high prices if they prepare, price and market their homes properly. There are still record prices being hit for some homes.
That said, because of the inconsistencies in the market, buyers are able to find value in the market because some homes are sitting on the market, or not getting the number of offers we have come to expect in the past. Often these homes that sit are ones that were not prepared or marketed well, or priced correctly, but there are exceptions that I call head scratchers. These are opportunities for buyers to get better value and have a less stressful buying experience (we were able to get buyers into contract with contingencies in Q4 of 2018, which was unheard of earlier in this upward trending market). So there is value for buyers. High prices for sellers and value for buyers: that is why my feeling on the market is very mixed.
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