Real estate is not unlike life. We experience pockets of time full of high-energy activity, coupled with slower, more quiet periods where we can reflect and regroup, followed by time frames of equality and balance and very little drama. Real estate is no different.
Once again, we are experiencing a frenzy of activity in the real estate market. Homes are selling before making it to the MLS; bidding wars, combined with higher prices and low inventory, are making buyers and sellers tense. Randy and I have experienced this type of extreme market before and are well versed in navigating both buyers and sellers through the experience.
For many reasons, people are moving all over the country, not just Sonoma County. Some are moving to level up their lifestyle. Some are downsizing, some have experienced a divorce or significant life change, and some want to live in an area more conducive to staying home for long stretches. The pandemic caused the market to skyrocket. Real estate is booming all across the United States; Sonoma County is not alone.
Our advice to both buyers and sellers is to stay calm, be prepared, and align yourself with a professional realtor to look out for your best interest throughout your transaction.
Buyers need to be prepared to overbid and not lose heart. Have an open mind and a realistic picture of what their must-haves are in a home. Ensure you are working with a Realtor who knows the area well and is experienced working with the other local agents, and is willing to be patient and go that extra mile with you.
Even in a seller’s market, sellers need to price at fair market value and have their property show-ready. Buyers are not interested in overpriced homes that are not well maintained.
One of the biggest challenges sellers face right now is scheduling inspections- well, septic and appraisals. Professionals all over the area are booking 3-4 weeks out. We suggest sellers get most of these types of inspections completed before even going on the market if possible. We see many properties under contract before they even come on the market, making the sellers who completed their inspections and property clean-up before listing their homes much better suited to having an easy transfer of ownership.
We recommend taking a deep breath and have confidence; no matter which side of the transaction you are on, you will get through it and enjoy whatever lies on the other side for you.