I figured that headline might grab your attention whether you are a Sonoma County home buyer (feeling panic!) or a Sonoma County home seller (feeling excitement!)
You can click through the link below to access the full Sonoma County Home Sales Report as of June 1, 2013. We look at sales statistics for Sonoma County as a whole because the sample sizes for the smaller towns such as Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma and Petaluma are so small as to be somewhat misleading. The broad brush numbers are interesting and helpful in terms of assessing overall trends, but each location and property type is unique, so your particular results may vary.
So what does this mean to you if you are a buyer?
Home Sellers in Sonoma County are firmly in the driver’s seat–if you are a buyer you are looking at visibly rising sales prices for almost everything priced under $600,000 or $700,000. At the higher price ranges, over $900K or a million, homes are selling extremely rapidly in many cases, often with multiple offers. You really need to team up with a good agent to succeed in this market, be fully pre-approved with a good lender, or have proof of funds if you are a cash buyer. You have to be realistic about what you are willing to spend and perhaps narrow your search criteria to something $50,000 or more under what you ultimately want to spend. It is not uncommon for homes to sell $50 to $100 thousand OVER asking, so adjust your search criteria accordingly. At the million plus price ranges the overbid can be more. A $1.2 million dollar property on West Dry Creek in Healdsburg came on the market and received 4 offers within the offer period and sold well over asking. The home was in a pretty setting with a pool but dated with lovely gardens.
What does this mean to you if you are a Sonoma County Home Seller?
It is possible your home may be worth more than you think. Hurray! Maybe you have more equity than you think. Maybe you have a reason to move–job change, downsizing, new baby on the way. This could be a great time for you to sell. It DOESN”T mean you can overprice your home. It will sell eventually and possibly for less, meanwhile you’ll have people traipsing through your house for a protrated period.
The best advice I can give you is to price it at the low end of what you think it is worth and let the market rise to what the actual value is AT THIS TIME. Typically with my listings we can take a couple of months or more to get the property in shape, get professional photos and create the right message for YOUR property. The prep time will probably exceed the actual market time these days. Please call or email me if you would like a free analysis of your home’s worth! Cleaning, painting, staging and prep work will pay off. Make sure you get a realtor’s advice before spending money or time on preparations. We can help you to prioritize.
Meanwhile, I made some notes on the Scribd.com document below. Take a look and let me know what you think. At my Scribd page I have market reports going back several years. Take a look back in time, and you will see the housing downturn in the rear view mirror.
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