Search and Research

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Strategically speaking and because we find ourselves in a very, very competitive market with multiple offers commonplace & homes often selling for way over asking price, I recommend you create 2 mental “buckets” for the listings I send you:

  • Bucket “A” contains “new” listings. These are homes that have just come on market or have been on market <14 days. Assume that the majority will sell for significantly over asking (a good rule of thumb in the East Bay is 15% over, though since early August, that trend is changing) so don’t bother looking seriously at homes listed at the upper limit of your purchasing power. Instead, dial it back 15%. That way, there’s room for you to be competitive–to submit an offer 15% over list price but still within your budget. For example, let’s say your preapproval is for $1M, to use a nice round number. Bucket “A” contains homes listed at $850k or less. If a home is a “new” listing at $975k, even though you may love it, odds are very strong that an offer at your limit of $1M will not be competitive, so don’t waste your time. NOTE: If you really, really love the house & it checks off all your boxes, let me know about it. Every selling situation is unique & there are certainly exceptions to my strategy. I’ll do the best I can to find out whether the house you love might be had at a price that’s within your budget.
  • Bucket “B” contains “aged” listings. These have been on market >14 days. Maybe they got offers that were unacceptable or maybe they’ve gotten no offers at all due to having come on market at too high a price or perhaps due to neighborhood issues or property condition, or maybe the home is owner-occupied & difficult to show. There are many, many possible explanations for why a home doesn’t sell in the first 2 to 2-1/2 weeks of it’s marketing life, but regardless of the reason, this situation presents a possible opportunity for you. Chances are, the seller is now much more motivated & willing to sell for asking price (or possibly even less). So, taking our previous example, a Bucket “B” home is listed at $1M, your absolute limit: It’s fair game. Let’s go see it because you might be able to submit an offer & be the only one on the table & you might be able to get the house into contract at or under list price.

Also, a note about “PRE-EMPTIVE OFFERS”: Most new listings carry an offer date–the date on which seller will entertain offers. Any offer submitted prior to that date is called a “pre-emptive” offer. Its goal is to pre-empt all other prospective buyers. As such, to be successful, it must be sufficiently compelling–that is, non-contingent and priced high enough to convince the seller he won’t do better by remaining on market & sticking to his offer date. If you fall in love with a house & want to submit a pre-emptive offer, let’s discuss. If you’re looking seriously at a property with an offer date already, don’t be surprised if someone else submits a pre-emptive, in which case the Listing Agent might inform me that she has received one & that we have 24hrs to submit an offer & remain in contention. This is further justification for the advice I give to obtain a fully pre-underwritten preapproval from an appropriate lender (for more on that, read THIS TAB) so that you are completely ready to move forward quickly on any property you target.

Finally, pay attention to listings that are taking offers “as submitted,” meaning that no offer date has been set. In those situations, the early bird gets the worm. The first buyer to submit an acceptable offer can get the house into contract. These situations represent huge opportunities for buyers who are truly ready and are looking to avoid competition.

I hope this all makes sense & is helpful.

Let’s find you a great new home!