Today, Tuesday, September 1, 2009, there are 23 active listings on the market in the Eagle Rock 90041 zip code. That's fewer than there were in the Spring of 2005, or in 2006, the pinnacle of the hot Seller's market.
Here we are in the ninth month of the year, 13 weeks from November 30, and buyers are realizing that they had better buy now if they want to get that $8,000 first-time-buyer credit. Remember that you have to close escrow on your home purchase by November 30 to qualify for that credit.
I've talked to a lot of buyers recently who have been drifting along with their Realtor of choice, often a "discount" broker who has promised to rebate them part of their commission, many other times a relative, or a friend of a friend. They've made a number of offers that haven't gone anywhere. They are frustrated. They are anxious. They are ready to actually buy a house, even if it doesn't have every single thing they want.
Unfortunately, there aren't very many houses on the market. Today, Tuesday, September 1, 2009, there are 23 active listings on the market in the Eagle Rock 90041 zip code. That's fewer than there were in the Spring of 2005, or in 2006, the pinnacle of the hot Seller's market.
Prices, however, are about 20% less. Wow, Buyers, do you wonder why these sellers don't want to go on the market right now?
I have also been talking with a number of sellers who are considering selling. I would love to put these buyers and sellers together, but there's a problem. It seems to be about a $50,000 to $300,000 problem.
First-time buyers in my area who are pre-approved for a loan seem to be generally in the $300,000 to $600,000 price range, with most people solidly under $500,000. They are generally FHA buyers, which means they have maybe the minimum 3.5% down plus closing costs, though a few have 20 to 30% down.
Let's look at some of the properties that have actually sold in the $300k to $500k price range in Eagle Rock:
In retrospect, I'll bet you think some of those people got some pretty good deals compared to what is available today.
Yet, we have to be realistic about our prices. A seller who wants "x" for their house first has to have a buyer who is willing to pay that, and then they have to have a lender who is willing to lend at that price. So if you bought your house for $720,000 in 2007 and you need to sell it now, if you can get anything over $580,000 today, you are doing well. Can you do that?
Here's one fudge factor for you: just because prices went down 20% doesn't necessarily mean that your own particular house did. It might have, or it might not have, or it might have gone down more. We are looking at an average of prices and general trends. There are always exceptions. Did you do a bunch of work to it? Is it in the very best location in your zip code? Every case is individual, especially in such a diverse area as northeast Los Angeles, Glendale, Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, where we don't have a lot of tract homes, where most are custom-built. But you, the homeowner, are not always the best judge of how unique and valuable your house is. I could show you another list of all the homes that did not sell this year, even though they tried. Or the ones that were on the market on and off at ever lower prices until they sold. That is why you work with a professional Realtor who is experienced in this market and whom you can trust to give you an honest objective view of where your individual home fits in this confusing grid of trends and averages.