Chief Economist for the California Association of Realtors Speaks Out
Leslie presented results from her recent survey of California homebuyers and sellers. Here are some of the highlights, insights that might aid you in your own decision making in navigating through the market:
1) Many of today's buyers and sellers are real estate rookies - 38% of buyers surveyed in 2009 were first-timers. That's up from 12% in 2002 and a historic high. 44% of sellers in 2009 were first-timers. That's a lot of people that have never been through a transaction. If you're anxious or confused about something, chances are the people on the other side of the deal are too. Be patient and recognize both sides are working toward the same goal of a closed transaction.
2) The market may be stabilizing, but buyer and seller expectations are far from matched. 70% of buyers surveyed in 2009 reported making one or more offers before closing on a property. 47% of buyers who had transactions fall apart cited seller unwillingness to accept comprises as the reason. If you're a seller this is yet another sign that buyers are out there - if you price right.
3) Buyers are not using the newspaper. Only 12% of buyers surveyed in 2009 used the newspaper to find their home. Moreover, a strong marketing plan ranked as the #1 reason sellers cited for choosing their agent. If you're a seller, don't get hung up on having your home in the paper - it's unlikely to make any impact on the sale of your home - but do make sure an agent has online bases covered.
My 2 cents - This market is still not quite settled back into balance at the same time the very nature of how homes are marketed and how consumers find them is changing. Keep an open mind and look toward a more efficient marketplace in the future.