The summer real estate market in Los Altos was full of uncertainty (see graph below). It appeared that the summer slow down hit earlier and harder than in prior years. For the most part, fewer disclosure packages were sent out, the number of offers per home were less and fewer homes sold with multiple offers. Please note that the reduction in offer activity was noticeable but not a huge shift in the market.
Agents were reluctant to set an offer date fearing that no one would show up to their party. Agents who usually had assistants hold their homes open during broker tour were now holding them open themselves. Pricing a new home for the market was more in line with the market. Agents who commonly priced new listings substantially under market in order to get crazy bidding found out that buyers weren’t playing the game. Many properties “languished” on the market for weeks (if you can call a home selling in 8 weeks versus 2 weeks, “languishing”). We even began to see price reductions on some properties. Note: some properties actually had price increases (I’ll explain that pricing strategy in a future post).
Part of the market shift could be attributed to the seasonal slow down that comes with summer. When our local schools recessed for summer, home seller’s/buyer’s priorities shifted and the focus turned towards the family, vacations, and camps etc. Since Labor Day has passed, we should start seeing a pick up in listing and sales activity.
Sellers – What should you do? Sell now or wait until next spring?
It depends on your perspective. Do you believe that the summer market slow down was a seasonal trend or the beginning of a longer more pronounced downward shift in our market. I believe and many economic indicators/statistics (ie. change in interest deductibility, uptick in interest rates, lack of home affordability) suggest that our local real estate market is starting to pull back. Not a huge pull back, but a pull back nonetheless. If you are thinking about to selling your home within the next 9 months, my suggestion would be to do it sooner rather than later.
If you wish to have a discussion regarding the sale of your home please feel free to contact me directly at 650 465-0755.