I hope you are keeping well and staying safe these days. It’s wild how quickly life can change. To prepare for the shelter in place ordinance, I walked into Gus’s Market for groceries last week…..and walked right out when I saw the crazy lines. Instead I hit up several smaller scale grocers to stock up. Yes, I had to make multiple stops, but I avoided massive lines and helped support other businesses.
Tell me about you. What are you doing to keep busy or to relax? Do you need help with anything? Want to just chat? I’m a call or text away. It’s hard for me to be cooped up for this long (it’s only been a week :-/ , so I would love to catch up!
Major changes for us in the real estate industry, so here’s the latest.
All open houses, broker tours, twilight showings, are canceled until April 7 – real estate isn’t an “essential business”. At least that’s the word from California Association of Realtors. Some agents are disregarding the ordinance, and are showing listings by private appointment with safety measures on hand i.e., gloves, hand sanitizers, etc. Other agents have opted to put a lockbox on the property to allow 1:1 showings (without being there personally), and some are offering virtual tours. I don’t know how effective a virtual tour is in making a decision unless you’re an investor.
What do you think – would you buy based off of a virtual tour?
My personal stance is staying indoors until April 7. I realize I might lose some clients if they find another agent willing to show them homes, and I’m ok with that.
Existing Homes and Offers
It’s a mixed bag. I’ve been talking to colleagues on the regular about what’s happening. Some have mentioned that buyers are renegotiating existing contract price & terms otherwise threatening to walk. Some buyers are canceling their contracts all together regardless of losing their initial deposit. And some listings are seeing zero offers on the offer deadline.
Yet there’re homes that are still super competitive with multiple offers going well over the asking price. And yes, these are recent. Just a few that I know about;
- 851 Rockdale – 7 offers
- 8 Ford – 3 offers
- 1436 Diamond – 6 offers
- 26 Yukon – 5 offers
- 320 Liberty – 15 offers
Liberty went a staggering 70% over the asking price. It is, hands down, one of the sweetest houses I’ve seen. Same owner lived in it for many decades, and took immaculate care of it.
Take a look.
Not surprisingly, majority of listings are now on hold. I’ve spoken to a few of you myself about holding your sale until we know more. As of this morning – 100 homes, 201 condos (includes TIC/lofts), 23 multi-unit buildings are on hold i.e., they were ready to go live on the MLS but off of the market for the time being.
An important note, as I know many of you have rental properties. Remove your lockboxes from the building immediately. I’m hearing more instances of thieves cutting lockboxes and entering the property. Protect yourself by being extra vigilant right now.
I talked to my contact at Wells Fargo and this is what he had to say.
Regarding appraisals, we’re abiding by the shelter-in-place mandate w/in the 6 Bay Area counties. Therefore, we are taking the orders but placed on hold while we monitor unfolding events. While we currently have no issues with purchase capacity, volume is swelling so it’s best to get clients going now. I expect refi rates to hold, with incremental improvements as needed. We only have so much capacity to service the demand, and currently, the industry as a whole is at capacity so I don’t expect refi rates to improve significantly. Jumbo purchase rates are low and holding, and combined with our relationship pricing program, are usually the most competitive.
My 2 Cents
I can’t predict what will happen, but understand the following; there’s evidence that the outbreak is temporary, the world’s scientific community is attacking it 24/7, the majority of the cases are mild thus far, and the Fed (learning from 2008) is moving rapidly to stabilize the economy. I’m bullish about our financial market, and real estate markets. I thought I would never sell another house after 2008, and 2009 was one of my busiest years. I sent my financial advisor a check last week to invest further because I know this too shall pass, and investing is a long term game.
A friend of mine posted on FB about helping others and suggested paying hairdressers, manicurists, house cleaners, etc. in advance. So I did. And remember to pay tips separately as it’s not included in the service charge. SF is also looking for donations to COVID response efforts if you wish to donate here.
What to do, what to do
I’m stuck at home, but at least I have books! This is one of my piles.
Ahh glorious books and YES, I still buy them. Go ahead, judge me. If you’ve read one of these, tell me what you think.
And lastly Charts!
If you’re really bored or simply curious, here’s a compilation of our real estate cycles. It will give you more perspective on our current market environment;
I’m thinking of all you and your families. Let us all stay healthy and in touch.
Closing Notes with Par
I’m here if you need me, feel free to reach out anytime 415.307.5110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.