Want to Sell Your Home…Price It Right

Even in today’s home sales market where there are more buyers than sellers, some homes stay on the market longer than the average days. Even here in our market, San Ramon/Danville area, where the median time for days on market is 15; there are homes for sale 30, 60 days and 100+ days on market. What this tells me….these homes may be over priced.

Who determines the price? Not the real estate agents and not the seller….the market determines the price. Who is the market? The buyers. With so much information available on the Internet, buyers are doing their research long before beginning their final stage of purchasing a home. They are looking at homes currently on the market and those that have sold recently comparing features and benefits along with the pricing.

Price is the key to selling a home.  Condition and location revolve around the price. Just because two homes are similar in size doesn’t mean they will sell at the same price. If one has been updated and the other not, then the price should be a reflection of the condition. Same thing with location. You may have a pristine property that has been updated to today’s selling standards, but if it is close to a noisy road/freeway you will not get the same dollar amount as a home that is in the quieter part of the neighborhood.

Real Estate agents provide seller’s with CMA’s that give them the  data to help determine the right price to get the home sold. Seller’s sometimes do not like what they see, yet the data is the data, and if selling the home is a priority, then price it where the market is telling you it will sell.


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What is a CMA?

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a report that help sellers choose a listing price and buyers to make competitive offers on a given home.

The data used in a CMA is based on information listed in our Multiple Listing Service. By utilizing this data, real estate agents are able to detail specific information to compare homes. It is not just about age, square feet, and bedrooms. It is also about the other amenities that are generally not readily available on other sources such as Trulia or Zillow.  There is a section on the MLS where listing agents post information that only a real estate agent has access to and in many cases is relevant to how the CMA is prepared.

The result is a report that tells you which homes have recently sold, their selling prices, how long they were on the market and other information. The CMA will also tell you about homes in competition with yours that are similar in size, price, amenities, and location.

Based on this information, a buyer or seller will get a snapshot of the current real estate market and how best to proceed.

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Tri-Valley Real Estate Results 2014 vs 2013

The Tri-Valley real estate results for 2014 versus 2013. The Tri-Valley cities for this report are Alamo, Danville, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore.

As shown, 2014 was another great year for our real estate market. Prices were up in all the cities. Predictions for going forward are we will see slight increases in home prices as appreciation rates will fall off a bit, 3 to 5% range.



% Change
# Sales 215 238 10%
Avg. Sales Price $1,382,817 $1,583,812 13%
Avg. DOM 36 36
# Sales 629 597 -5%
Avg. Sales Price $1,047,875 $1,186,075 12%
Avg. DOM 23 23
San Ramon
# Sales 766 721 6%
Avg. Sales Price $884,433 $959,081 8%
Avg. DOM 16 19 11%
Walnut Creek
# Sales 595 506 -15%
Avg. Sales Price $845,294 $935,481 10%
Avg. DOM 20 24 16%
# Sales 422 507 17%
Avg. Sales Price $776,403 $879,236 12%
Avg. DOM 19 36 53%
# Sales 655 652 -2%
Avg. Sales Price $1,032,716 $1,092,916 5%
Avg. DOM 21 20
# Sales 981 896 -10%
Avg. Sales Price $619,465 $702,083 12%
Avg. DOM 19 24






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2015 California Housing Forecast

According to CAR (California Association of Realtors), 2015 looks to be another good year for the real estate market. While the double digit appreciation can’t be expected, most areas will achieve modest gains for the next couple of years.  As the economy improves so does the Real Estate Market. Those of us who live in the East Bay are lucky as the jobs in the surrounding areas has kept the demand for single family houses on the upswing. And as the article points out, interest rates will not rise significantly.

2015 California Housing Forecast

With more available homes on the market for sale, California’s housing market will see fewer investors and a return to traditional home buyers as home sales rise modestly and prices flatten out in 2015, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2015 California Housing Market Forecast.”

The C.A.R. forecast sees an increase in existing home sales of 5.8 percent next year to reach 402,500 units, up from the projected 2014 sales figure of 380,500 homes sold. Sales in 2014 will be down 8.2 percent from the 414,300 existing, single-family homes sold in 2013.
“Stringent underwriting guidelines and double-digit home price increases over the past two years have significantly impacted housing affordability in California, forcing some buyers to delay their home purchase,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. “However, next year, home price gains will slow, allowing would-be buyers who have been saving for a down payment to be in a better financial position to make a home purchase.”

The average for 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates will rise only slightly to 4.5 percent but will still remain at historically low levels. The California median home price is forecast to increase 5.2 percent to $478,700 in 2015, following a projected 11.8 percent increase in 2014 to $455,000. This is the slowest rate of price appreciation in four years.

“With the U.S. economy expected to grow more robustly than it has in the past five years and housing inventory continuing to improve, California housing sales and prices will see a modest upward trend in 2015,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “While the Fed will likely end its quantitative easing program by the end of this year, it has had minimal impact on interest rates, which should only inch up slightly and remain low throughout 2015. This should help moderate the decline in housing affordability we saw occur over the past two years.”
Source: CAR

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First Time Buyer 3% Down Payment Program 2014

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are stepping up to the plate and bringing back their 3% down payment program to help first time buyers with their down payment requirements. The maximum loans available for this type of program will vary based on the County/City of where the home is located. A 3% down payment will make it much more feasible for buyers to attain their goal of buying a home.

According to a post in the American Press (December 11, 2014)……

“The new loans announced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be fixed-rate mortgages for up to 30 years, available only on a primary residence. Fannie plans to begin issuing the 3 percent loans before the end of the year. Mortgage insurance payments will be required, and qualified buyers will need to complete a financial counseling program.

Freddie Mac plans to start issuing its 3 percent loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers in March 2015. Eligible borrowers will be required to earn less than an area’s median income and will also have to pay mortgage insurance and undergo financial counseling to participate. Monthly payments also will have to fall under 43 percent of the borrower’s income.”

To find out if you qualify for this type of loan, check with a mortgage lender.

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