The LaPeter Team

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When it comes to Orange County Real Estate, Pricing is Everything

By Sue Lapeter | June 15, 2012

realtor orange countyBuyers- don’t make low ball offers.

Back in 2008 and 2009 when sellers were desperate, many buyers were unable to buy a home due to unemployment, the loss of their own home, major debt, etc. Now that employment is up, interest rates are low and more buyers are ready to take action, they expect prices to be where they were 3 years ago. But they aren’t.

Several markets, including the Orange County real estate market, have seen an increase in price this year. Additionally, inventory is low and demand is high, which means many homes are getting multiple offers. If a buyer makes a low ball offer, chances are the seller will immediately dismiss it and move on to a more realistic offer.

In the past few months I have sold many houses within in a week. I list them and they instantly get offers at or above asking price. The seller accepts and the house goes into escrow within a week. Buyers that make low offers, or wait too long to make an offer, don’t stand a chance.

Sellers- list your home for market value, not above.

Although housing prices are starting rise, they are no where near where they were in the early 2000s. And yet, many sellers have their homes listed at those prices. Remember, buyers are still looking for a steal and they won’t look twice at a home that is listed above market value. Because prices are rising, selling your home at market value can still make a profit. Talk with an experienced Orange County real estate agent about how much your home is really worth and if its worth it for you to sell.

While I have sold many homes within a week of listing them, there are some that have stayed on the market for months because the sellers won’t budge on price. I can’t emphasize enough how important pricing is. Buyers have learned from the real estate mistakes of the past and they aren’t willing to pay exorbitant prices, especially when there are other homes available that are more reasonably priced.

My advice to both buyers and sellers is to pay attention to the market. Buyers, if a house is priced in the same range as all other similar houses in that neighbor, accept the listing price or just go slightly below. Otherwise the sellers will pass on your offer. Sellers, ask your real estate agent for a comparative market analysis so you can see how much money homes in your market have sold for in the past 3-6 months. Then, price your home accordingly. You’ll get several offers and the selling experience will be much faster and pleasant than if you hold onto an unreasonably high price.

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