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October 4, 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful summer with vacations away from the heat.  Our long awaited-for beautiful fall weather is approaching with cooler days & evenings.  Before you know it our desert population will double with seasonal visitors and snow-birds seeking our moderate seasonal weather.

Is the Real Estate market improving year over year?

There’s talk about the market improving in various Newspapers, Real Estate Tabloids, and Magazines.  That is true to some extent, however this improvement year over year is a mixed bag, and there is no continuity or consistent positive trend. For example, comparing the 3rd Qtr. of 2016 over same Qtr. 2015, throughout the four down valley Cities of my expertise (Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, and La Quinta) in various segments across the board, the number of homes Sold increased while in many price segments, the sales price of these homes sold actually dropped. In other price segments the number of homes Sold decreased, though many of those sales prices increased. Many properties that have SOLD over the past year, sold because those sellers payed attention to the market, stepped into reality with their asking price, dressed their homes up with minor upgrades and staging if necessary, and positioned their property as a value in the eyes of the buyer. Unless you do this, or you have an amazing WOW Factor home, the odds are your home will sit unsold. Why? Until demand outpaces the high levels of inventory in many price segments, we will continue to experience volatility in our desert market. With that said, we must also be cognizant of cyclical markets, and remember we are 8+ years into a 10-year cycle. Moreover, we are climbing out of one of the worst real estate market crashes in history, so we should all be grateful our market is doing as well as it has, and remember one important factor; as many full-time homeowners live in our beautiful desert, we remain a resort seasonal destination, so do not expect our market to be popping like our coastal neighboring communities of Orange County and Los Angeles.

Finally, we also have to take into consideration the style of homes buyers are drawn to today has changed.

In addition to many buyers downsizing and wanting smaller homes, quite a few buyers today seem to love open floor-plans, a less-is-more style and attitude, and explained by buyers as easy-living.  With this in mind, some of the older more compartmentalized homes are taking longer to sell. One final tid-bit of information – Buyers today seem to like a home done or undone, no in-between. In other words, homes that are done to the 9’s are desirable to the buyer who says, I can move in and not do a thing. Or a home that may be dated in its entirety sell faster to the buyer who wants to buy the home at a lower price and personalize it themselves. Homes that are partially upgraded, for example a new kitchen, but dated bathrooms… puzzle buyers and dramatically slow down the sales process.

My advice… If you are planning to buy now and take advantage of today’s inventory, there are indeed some really good buys out there. If you are planning to sell, pay attention to the market in your area and price segment and set your expectations consistent with what the market has been delivering. If you do, you will likely sell faster, deal with less showings to get your home Sold, and you will likely sell closer to your asking price. If you have a WOW Factor home, yes you can ask more $$$, in some cases much more though you may have to be patient for that RIGHT buyer to walk through the door. Oh by the way… get ready to negotiate. FYI – The average listing to sale price percentage varies between 88% and 94% depending on price segment. The lower the price the higher the %, the higher the price the lower the %.

For more details on sales numbers, please click here.

I hope you found this information helpful. If I can be of help in any way, please feel free to reach out to me. I welcome the opportunity to talk with you.