Market Update: It’s a Seller’s Market

Real estate agents that sell houses in La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Point Loma and Ocean Beach say that now it is a seller’s market. It is a great time to sell because many buyers are looking for a house and there aren’t that many houses listed. 

“If a house is market-ready, clean and neat and has a good location, it sells fast. Many families don’t want to renovate a lot before they move in, so they buy a house that is ready to move in,” says real estate agent Michelle Serafina.

Agents Tony Franco and Lionel Silva note that the hot buying season has been early. It started already in December, although it usually is in March to June.

In 2015, the prices were at the same high level as in 2007, and now the prices have steadied. Buyers are active, but they don’t buy anything. Some sellers check what other sellers in the same area have gotten and try to get their prices higher. Agents note that buyers are smart and that they notice when a house is overpriced.

Interest rates are also quite low, so people are willing to take a loan on a house. Some people also buy houses now with cash.

“One out of 10 deals I sold, a buyer received a loan. That also saves buyers money. For many years, people invested in the stock market, and after that, they are now willing to put the money for a house or apartment,” says Franco.

Listing agent Chris Mannerino says there will be a correction in the prices at some point.

“Nobody knows how shortly markets change, because global events are usually a chain reaction. But banks don’t give out house loans so much than they used to, so some kind of bubble with loans is avoided for the most part,” he says. 

Lionel and Tyler Silva say that during the last 12 months, rents have raised 20 percent or more, so families that rent want to buy a house. Meanwhile, Michelle Serafina says families are paying attention to comfort.

“They want quality of life: a house that is in good shape, large yard, space that they need and short distance to schools,” she notes.

Agents say that some homes are now sold even before listing. Lionel Silva notes it’s not always wise to sell a house that way.

“Why would you sell before every potential buyer has seen it?” he notes. “With more buyers competing, it is possible to get the price that you want, or even more.”