Santa Cruz County Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 13, 2022

The Three Ways Sellers Can Leave Contracts

What happens when a seller decides to back out of a contract?

 

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I recently had a colleague who was all set to purchase a home when the seller decided to back out of the transaction. So I wanted to talk about when a seller can and can’t cancel a contract. Most sellers are motivated to close on their homes, so this doesn’t come up that often. In the rare cases where it does, it can confuse buyers.

 

Why would a seller back out in the first place? Predominantly, this happens when the seller has a contingency to find a replacement property, and they can’t secure their new home. The seller might also have gotten a higher offer after they went under contract with another buyer.

 

"Sellers can’t back out of a contract on a whim."

 

Similar to how buyers can’t cancel on a whim, there can be serious repercussions when a seller backs out of a transaction. They could be facing some ethical issues depending upon the wording of the contract. However, there are three ways that most sellers can get out of their contracts legitimately: 

 

1. If the contract hasn’t actually been signed yet, the seller can still cancel. 

 

2. The seller’s agent adds a contingency clause saying that the sale is contingent on the seller finding a new home they like. In that case, the seller can exit the contract for that reason. 

 

3. The third way to back out is if the buyer doesn’t perform. That means the buyer’s contingencies aren’t released on time, or they don’t close on time. In California, the seller has to issue a 48-hour notice to perform, after which they can cancel the contract.

 

Without a valid reason to cancel, the buyer can sue the seller for non-performance and force the sale. The issue is that this can take years to resolve, and most buyers don’t want to wait that long. The buyer could also sue the seller for monetary damages and reclaim any losses, such as moving expenses, inspection fees, etc. 

 

If you have more questions about this topic or any other real estate topic, feel free to call or email me. I would love to help.

 

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 3, 2022

Market Update - Santa Cruz County December 2021

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 17, 2021

Your Home Could Sell Way Over List Price

Here’s why it’s hard to tell what your home will sell for today.

 

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Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy New Year! We hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season. Today we wanted to give you a quick market update because it’s too hot to believe right now. 

 

The average price in Santa Cruz is $1.4 million, and the median price is $1.26 million. The average number of days on market is 19. The greater Bay Area is also incredibly hot, with an average of 12 days on market. Bay Area sales are down 22%, but that's because of our extremely low inventory, which is keeping things very competitive. 

 

In a hot market like this, it’s hard to know what your home will sell for. We can establish a floor price, but we don’t know the upper limit. We’ve been repeatedly surprised at how much our listings are selling for, sometimes hundreds of thousands above what the comparable sales can justify. 

 

This is great if you’re considering selling your home. Our job as Realtors is to maximize the exposure of your property and make sure you get the highest price. Many of the homes we’ve sold this year have set all-time sales records in those neighborhoods. It has been mind-blowing to watch it happen.

 

If you have questions about the value of your home or anything else real estate-related, feel free to call, email or text us. We’re happy to assist you.

 

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 7, 2021

Don’t Fall for These Real Estate Myths

The highest offer might not be the best offer.

 

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We’ve all heard the stories about how crazy the market has been: homes selling way above asking price or selling within minutes. Some of those things happened, but the market has shifted. Unfortunately, a few myths from that time are still circulating, and I want to dispel four of them today:

 

1. You don’t need to renovate to sell. We sold our last four listings substantially above the asking price, but we had to make strategic updates to the home for that to happen. Our goal is to make sure you see a nice return on whatever money you spend.

 

2. You can price the home however you want. Pricing your home correctly is key. You want to optimize the interest in your home, and that starts with the price. Studies show that overpricing will cause you to lose money in the end.

 

3. You don’t need to market your home. You probably heard of agents who just take a few pictures with their cell phones. We spend thousands of dollars on strategic marketing right off the bat. Marketing appropriately is essential to getting you the highest price.

 

4. You should always take the highest offer. Why wouldn’t you? We had a client recently who had their new home purchase in escrow but needed to sell their house first. They ended up choosing a cash offer over a higher financed offer because there wouldn’t be any problems with the cash offer. That’s just one example; there are plenty of reasons why the highest offer might not be the best.

 

I hope this helps clear up some of the misconceptions out there. If you have any questions about this or other real estate topics, feel free to give me a call at 831-239-3708. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 15, 2021

Why You Should Hire An Agent

Don’t neglect to hire an agent to save on commission.

 

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

Why is it so important to use a licensed, experienced real estate agent when you sell your home instead of attempting to do it yourself and save 5% or 6% on commission?

 

The main reason not to sell your home as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) property is that you’re likely going to leave money on the table—possibly a lot of money. According to the National Association of Realtors, homeowners who choose to sell their homes on their own can expect to get 36% less on average compared to what they could get by working with an agent.

 

In today’s hot market, where nobody can anticipate how high a buyer might be willing to go, we’re seeing many offers for well above what comparable properties are selling for. The only way to get the highest possible price for a home is to market it professionally and expose it to the highest number of buyers.

 

 

 

"The realities of a real estate transaction can be daunting when you go it alone."

 

 

Recently, one of our neighbors sold a house for somewhere around $1.5 million even though we could have gotten them $2.5 million. They had no idea that they were leaving almost $1 million on the table just in an attempt to save on commission.

 

Additionally, a good real estate agent knows that first impressions are key. We know how to make impressions that have the impact you want, how to maximize the number of online views of your home, and how to get more qualified buyers to view your home in person. 

 

I’m a professionally trained negotiator who has gone through the sales process time and time again. The realities of a real estate transaction can be daunting when you go it alone, but that’s why there are professionals waiting to help guide you towards the optimal outcome.

 

If you have any questions about the real estate market or about selling your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to discuss it with you in more detail.

 

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 1, 2021

Market Update - Santa Cruz County October 2021

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 18, 2021

The Beauty and Splendor of Life in Santa Cruz

Here’s a little explanation of why we love to call Santa Cruz home.

 

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Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

Our team is here to help you buy with confidence and sell with success. We started as agents over 17 years ago, and it has been a great honor to be the top agents at the No. 1 brokerage in Santa Cruz County for the last decade.

 

Living in Santa Cruz County is unlike living anywhere else. The redwood forest, the natural beauty, and the epic surf all make this a great place to live. We have great shops, restaurants, and wineries nearby no matter where you are in Santa Cruz. 

 

 

 

"We love this place, and we love sharing it with our clients."

 

 

The air is so fresh, and we’re just a quick 10-minute drive to Pleasure Point and all that it has to offer.

 

Living in Santa Cruz, we are surrounded by the forest and vineyards, and beaches are just a short drive away.

 

Brooke grew up here in Santa Cruz riding horses in the forest her whole life, and now we have horses at our house and can ride off the property into the forest. It’s a dream come true. We’re just an hour from San Francisco and right down the coast from Big Sur.

 

We love this place, and we love sharing it with our clients. When you work with us, you can buy with confidence and sell with success.

 

If you have any questions for us or real estate needs we can assist with, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 1, 2021

Market Update - Santa Cruz County September 2021

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 1, 2021

Market Update - Santa Cruz County August 2021

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 17, 2021

4 Options When Buying and Selling Simultaneously

Remember that you have options when selling and buying simultaneously.

 

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Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

 

Buying and selling at the same time causes a lot of confusion and keeps a lot of people from being able to move forward with a new home purchase.

 

The first thing that you want to do is talk with a real estate agent so they can give you the value of your home. Then you'll want to talk with a loan officer that can get you qualified for your new purchase and let you know what your payments would be. Once you've done both of those, you can put your home on the market and begin to shop for homes.

 

There are four strategies that most people use. What seems to be the easiest is to simply find a home that you like, then put your home on the market. The problem with that strategy is that it requires an offer that’s contingent on the sale of your current home.

 

The second strategy is most effective. Put your home on the market and negotiate with the buyers to make that transaction subject to the seller being able to find and close on a replacement property. That locks in the buyer at that price and with those terms.

 

"Talk with your real estate agent and loan officer."

 

The third option is to sell your home and have a long rent-back period. This could potentially be for free. The final option is some form of a bridge loan if you qualify with a lender to purchase your home prior to selling your current home.

 

If you have any questions about any of these options, please feel free to reach out to me via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Posted in Market Updates