Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Weekly Sales Report

Another week goes by, the holidays are closer yet, and activity is slowing down almost to a halt. We are still fortunate in San Francisco to not be suffering the same way the surrounding areas seem to be. One of our clients signed his loan documents yesterday for a condominium he is purchasing in Pacific Heights. His loan consultant was from his credit union located on the peninsula, and she does loans for properties all around the bay area. She mentioned having trouble getting the appraisals approved by the lenders. The banks are wanting the appraisers to factor in the recent decline in price. They look at the comparables and then subtract whatever the drop has been in the area. Luckily in San Francisco we have not had that problem; most neighborhoods have not suffered in value.

Seventy percent of the properties that received offers last week in our office only received one offer. The other thirty percent received multiple offers; it still can happen! The most offers received on a property was five on a single family home in the outer Parkside neighborhood. It was priced at $698,000 and was on the market for about forty five days. It is quite rare to see five offers after a month and a half of being on the market with no price reduction. Times are changing, and we need to change with them! Things do not move as fast as they used to. Don't assume that because a property has been on the market for over a month that other people are not interested. It is just that nobody seems to be in a hurry. If you love the house, make an offer.

This week 100% of the properties sold were sold under the asking price. They all sold at four, five, and six percent below the asking price. The list of properties sold this week did not include any from the hot spots such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights.

Another point that came out in the meeting is that sellers are not inclined to counter the offers they receive. When a buyer submits an offer, there are three possible responses. The first is acceptance, which all buyers hope for. The second is a counter offer, where the seller accepts the offer subject to a proposed change in the contract which could be either the price or terms. The third possible outcome is rejection. If you receive a counter offer and do not accept it, the seller has just lost you as a buyer, and in this market there may not be another one waiting in the wings. Sellers are realizing that, and are more inclined to just accept the offer they receive provided it is in the right ballpark.

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