Houses and Showings
I currently have several upcoming listings and am working with multiple buyers and want to let you know how I’m handling this situation. As of right now (March 20th) all open houses and Broker’s tours are canceled in the SF Bay Area. Our local Multiple Listing Service (BridegeMLS) is strongly advising us to cease all showings. As an alternative, we are urged to use virtual showings and video chats to communicate and show our listings. I use a Matterport Virtual Tour as part of my advertising and have had success getting out of town and out of country buyers interested in my properties.
Many agents are advertising their properties on off-market realtor venues such as Facebook and TAN (top agent network). I’ve found that it’s not an open house that sells your property but other agents with buyers who make things happen. I heavily advertise and work closely with all local agents to get the information about each property I sell out to them. During times like this, it is truly personal connections that sell a home.
Getting into Contract
How has getting into contract/escrow been affected? There is a new form called the Coronavirus Addendum/Amendment (Form CVA). The form provides that when circumstances related to the coronavirus are affecting the closing date, the Buyer and Seller agree to extend escrow for a default of 30 days. There is also an optional clause where the buyer and seller can mutually agree to cancel the Agreement and an additional optional clause where the buyer or seller can cancel even after removing the loan contingency if the inability to fund is caused by Covid-19 related loss of income.
Escrow office employees are working remotely and not allowing visitors. When there is a signing as part of the closing it is done at the client’s home with a mobile notary. When it comes to the closing and the final recording of the deed at the county assessor’s office, the office is not open. They are requiring that the recording documents be placed in a locked dropbox. There is only one recording a day at 9 a.m. and there is no guarantee it will record that day. This will add some delay at the end but hopefully, buyers and sellers will be patient with this new process.
The New Normal
While social distancing has become a reality in these times, I am committed to making myself available to you via phone, video, email, and texts. Also, given the fluidity of the situation, I will be providing you with updates on our business as things change. We may not know how long this current situation will last, but I am being flexible and proactive so that as things change, I’ll be on top of the latest information and ways to sell your home.
Let’s start with the most obvious point: the Bay Area housing market is intimidating, especially as a homebuyer. Determined by buyer demand in both the general and luxury markets, homes sell quickly and almost always sell above their listing price. So, as a homebuyer, how do you know what it takes to get your dream …
There continue to be lots of houses to choose from. I’m seeing a trend of “transparent pricing” (offer this amount and it’s yours!) This is in response to buyer burnout; low pricing and multiple offers that drive up the price frustrates buyers. I often am asked “how high will the price go? What percentage over will the final price be?” There are many factors that come to play in crafting an offer on a home, such as how many disclosure packets have been requested, what is the average price of homes in that neighborhood that have sold in the last three months, what are the issues with the home, to name a few.
Each neighborhood and home is different. My job is to help you to understand the neighborhood you’re interested in and create a winning offer.
Here’s an interesting article on the subject and strategy of pricing: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/12/14/5-real-estate-mysteries-explained-including-transparent-pricing