East Bay homes are scarce, making the few that come available as competitive as a last-minute Golden State Warriors ticket.
The numbers around single-family homes back up this scream-at-the-heavens challenge for buyers, focused on Oakland but applicable to the whole East Bay.
- Oakland’s scraping the bottom of the listings barrel. The city had 2,000 listings in 2015, down 2 percent from 2014 and nearly 25 percent from 2012’s 2,647 total.
- In 2015, the median Oakland home sale price jumped to an all-time, eye-popping high of $1.05 million, a 19 percent leap from 2014 and a 66 percent skyscrape from the 10-year low of $630,000 in 2011.
- On average, Oaklan homes went for 17.1 percent over asking in 2015, by far the highest measure in a decade. That’s a jump of 3.2 percentage points over 2014’s list-to-sale price. In 2011, homes went 2.0 percent under asking.
- Homes flew off the market quicker in 2015 than they have in a decade, remaining available for an average of just 20 days. This speed was most closely matched in 2013, when homes lasted an average of 22 days.
- Waive inspection, finance contingencies
Inspections can derail a contract. With an offer carrying inspection contingencies, buyers can back out for almost any reason. Sellers and their agents know this.
By waiving contingencies, buyers cannot back out without losing their deposit, which comes to 3 percent of the offer.
Median Sale Price of Single Family Homes in Oakland
In addition, consider writing an offer without a finance contingency, if you require financing. This can be risky, because if the home appraises for much under your offer, you’d have to be ready to pay cash for the difference. But it may win you your dream house.
- Be flexible on close of escrow date
Sometimes sellers need some flexibility on the date they leave their house. If they need it, this could be an enticing factor for a seller.
- Come with cash (even if you don’t have it in savings)
Sellers love all-cash offers. Mortgages can add a gnarly element to a deal; without them, transactions tend to go more quickly and smoothly.
Oaklan’s atmospheric prices make all-cash offers a difficult proposition for any buyer. For those that don’t happen to have $1.5 million up their sleeve, there are ways to get creative.
For example, consider a private loan. There are also more unconventional methods your financial advisor might know.
- Recognize it’s a seller’s market and deal with it (if you can)
The buyers had been hunting for a home in Oaklan for eight months and they fell in love with her seller’s 5,000-square-foot (aprx) home, listed for $1.98 million.
The home received three offers and theirs was the highest. The sellers countered their offer at $102,000 over their offer. The buyers didn’t fight. The home sold for $2.4 million, 21 percent of asking. The buyers were ready to be home.