I received an inquiry from a home buyer who has been trying to buy a home for two years. They are in a very competitive price range, have made several offers and have either lost out to higher offers or cash buyers.
This is the reality of what it’s like to be a Los Angeles home buyer in a certain price range. Each community is different. In Glendale, Burbank, La Crescenta, Eagle Rock, Altadena, anything under $750,000 is unbelievably competitive. The La Canada, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Toluca Lake real estate market’s threshold is $1,500,000. Not to indicate that it is a buyer’s market in the more expensive price ranges, because it’s not. It is a strong seller’s market but “affordable” starter housing is anything but.
This buyer was searching for listings on one of the real estate web sites. Many of these sites have out of date information, but that’s another blog post. The listing seemed to be just what she was looking for: size, location, and price. I checked the MLS which indicated the listing was in escrow. When I checked the property history in the MLS it noted that the listing was input and five minutes later it was marked as “back up offer” (meaning in escrow). I called the listing agent who told me that the buyer knew the seller; the buyer offered $35,000 over asking price. The seller decided to sell to them rather than exposing the home to the market and perhaps getting more money.
Homebuyers take note: Unfortunately it is a seller’s market, and the home seller can do what they want. And each home seller is different. In these competitive price ranges expect to be competing with 15 or more other buyers (often many more).
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