Pending Sales for July up to Highest Rate of 2012 while Homes Inventory Declines 39%
Home sales in July picked up speed compared to June and newly pending sales accelerated at an even faster rate, while inventory continues to decline and properties are selling in 62 days versus over 100 days a year ago. No new trends here, just continuation of the patterns we have been seeing all year. When inventory declines as sales increase, that means prices will rise. Bank owned inventory is declining but so is so-called “regular” inventory. There are fewer than two months of inventory available at the current sales pace, a strong seller’s market. That doesn’t mean sellers can overprice their homes. Overpriced homes still sit on the market while well-priced homes in good condition are selling with multiple offers at nearly every price point.
Appraisals can be a challenge in this hot market. We are seeing many instances where homes are selling for higher prices than indicated by recent comparable sales. As a buyer you may need to bring more cash to closing if that is the case, as your loan may not be approved otherwise. This is often a “challenge” we see in a market in transition.
If you are a buyer, you must be pre-approved with a reputable lender in order to be competitive and you must make sure that your agent knows how to give your offer the best shot at success in this competitive environment. It makes a difference.
If you are a seller sitting on the sidelines, it may be time to jump off. Call or email me to get a sense of what your home is worth and what you need to do to get it ready to market. If you are one of the approximately 30% of homeowners whose loan is underwater–that is, that you owe more than your home is worth–and you still want to sell, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that short sales are not as nightmarish as they used to be and can often be successfully completed in a reasonable amount of time. Contact me for details.
Sonoma County Home Sales Report by Pam Buda July 2012