Is the market speeding up or slowing down? — An East Bay real estate market update for late September 2020
As recently as last year, late September is usually the time that things start to slow down and start to sleep as we approach the holidays. As we get closer to October, there is typically be less buyer activity and less inventory. This year, however, the air has just recently cleared out and instead of things starting to slow down, it seems like we’re actually picking up a bit. For today’s post, I will be giving an East Bay real estate market update for late September 2020 and share with you the reasons why we’re seeing a different trend.
East Bay Real Estate Market Update
1. People are going East
Since March, people have started to spend a lot more time in their homes working or attending their classes and overall, reassessing their priorities. With this change in people’s lifestyle, I’ve also observed a trend—a lot of people are now going East. Let’s call this the “Covid Effect.”
People from the peninsula and San Francisco proper, are moving to the East Bay. Meanwhile, people from the East Bay seem to be moving to Sacramento, Nevada, and all the way to the East Coast in some cases. This change also influenced the way they make decisions when writing an offer.
Since people are spending a lot more time at home, their relationship with home has changed. Since interest rates are at a historic low and a number of people are looking to buy a house in East Bay, prices are remaining robust. This is especially true for single family homes with multiple bedrooms. Some homebuyers are even setting price records with their offers that it has even become harder to rely on the comps. (Click here to learn how to comp houses like a pro.)
So if you’re planning on buying your dream home from East Bay this year, just be aware of this trend and you’ll have a better chance at beating your competition when you write your offer.
2. People’s definition of ‘home’ has changed
Because people are spending a lot more time at home, a lot of people’s definition of home has also changed. Their timeline of when they will stay there is now different and some people who originally wanted a starter home now want to get the next size up instead. You’re probably thinking, shouldn’t the pandemic and the smoke drive these people out? But that doesn’t seem to be happening.
If you’re wondering how this East Bay real estate market update affects you as a homebuyer, here are a few things:
3. Transactions now happen at a much faster speed.
Before Covid, the whole whole transaction process usually take around two weeks. Now, they usually get completed in just 7-8 days!
This means that a newly listed house that you like could already be sold before you can even make an offer. My advice? Make sure you’re fully underwritten beforehand. This means that you can do due diligence sooner for listings that have just been listed in the market which also means that the sooner you can write an offer.
Another important thing to check is if the seller set an offer date. If they did not, this means that it’s very easy for someone to put a pre-emptive offer with a very short expiration date in the hopes that the seller would just take the money and run, rather than wait for other offers.
The upside is, if you’re ready with your budget and financing beforehand, you can be one of those people who puts in that early offer and snipe the competition.
4. Pricing strategy has changed.
Earlier this year, during the height of the increase in new Covid cases, we switched to a transparent or near transparent pricing strategy. However, now that a lot of people are shopping for homes, we have very much shifted back to the teaser pricing strategy.
This means that the price you see is almost always not the price you pay in every geography. And so, if you’re the buyer, here are two things you need to know:
- What your budget/financing is
- The neighborhood you’re looking at is probably going to sell more by 10-30%
If you can already start to understand and digest there with your agent and the sooner you internalize this for yourself, the sooner you also set yourself up for success in this East Bay real estate Covid market.
I hope this East Bay real estate market update has helped you.
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