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Mar 03, 2019 04:48PM ● By Don and Norma Flaskerud

Norma Flaskerud

Real Estate Trends

Is the Home Market Starting to Cool?

By Norma Flaskerud


If this were December 2018, my answer to that question would be “yes.” We started noticing it on June 1, 2018. As summer transitioned into fall, sellers priced homes as if it was still the hot market of the first half of 2018, but buyers were not having it. A major downshifting had occurred. Cautious buyers were waiting for better deals and avoiding budget-busting mortgages. After all, in November, rates had hit a seven-year high, and a volatile stock market affected buying power and confidence. Year after year, prices were seen to drop in a more expensive Bay Area county like San Mateo. Contra Costa gained a mere 2.8%, San Francisco 11.5%, and Alameda County’s median stayed level from the year before. (Statistics from CoreLogic.)


We observed buyers unable to stomach higher prices. As one agent said, “In the last few years, you just had to list something and it was gone. Now we have some work to do. We have to roll our sleeves up.” Pricing it correctly, with a good agent’s advice, was also critical. Things had shifted! Sellers were still looking for peak prices while buyers were looking for discounts. Stubborn sellers found themselves sitting on the market.


I have seen market shifts occur as the seasons change, and now that we are two months in to 2019 and interest rates have drifted back down a bit, it seems to be shifting again in favor of sellers! The sheer volume of buyers coming through open houses this year has astounded us. We’ve seen homes bid up in central Contra Costa County. A seller might be saying now, “It’s priced right, it’s the right time, let’s get this sold!” In conclusion, the market, which had cooled, seems to be heating up yet again.


But what are four things to do right when selling BESIDES pricing it correctly?


Your house has become a product, and now you are in the business of selling this product.

1. Be sure and not over-improve it; you may not get your money out if you do.

2. Do not over-personalize the décor. Lavender and lace might be your thing, but neutral makes better sense. We use attractive, fashionable neutral paints that add more value than plain white does.

3. Leave when buyers are looking at your house; they want to visualize themselves in the house, and that is easier without the current owner showing them around.

4. Don’t take things personally. A low-ball offer doesn’t mean they don’t love or want your house; they are simply trying to figure out your bottom line. 


In conclusion, DO NOT OVERPRICE your home. We realtors advise, counsel, and supply data, but some sellers insist on "trying" to get more than the home is worth. It costs market time, and in the end they may end up getting less than they would have if they had priced it correctly in the beginning.


Contact The Flaskerud Team for all your real estate needs!

Norma Flaskerud Realtor, RE/MAX Accord, 925-338-2980 [email protected]. Erik Flaskerud, Realtor, 925-381-7276 [email protected]