Mar 12

3 Strategies for Setting Your Costa Mesa House’s Asking Price

Selling your Costa Mesa house for the best price sometimes involves a certain amount of luck, but it’s the kind of “luck” that’s a lot more likely when you’ve set out the welcome mat for it. In addition to strategic home preparation and a solid marketing push, selling your Costa Mesa house for the best price also has to do with where that price starts out: that is, the asking price.

Once you have a clear idea of the professional opinion of its market value—that is, a price that aligns with the latest comparable sales data for similar Costa Mesa homes—you have three alternative strategies:
You can set an asking price as close as possible to what the comps suggest. After all, it’s reasonable and defensible—and lenders are likely to agree if a home loan becomes a contingency in the final sale. A possible downside is that it will be more difficult to stand out from the crowd since many comparable properties may be priced at the same level. It can also prove necessary to compromise with buyers who assume any asking price is an opening bargain position.

Or, you can set the asking price higher than what the comps indicate in the hope that a buyer who isn’t too economy-minded will fall in love with your place—or the strategy might be to make a final agreement more likely by leaving room for negotiation. The downside is that if a sale fails to materialize, lowering the asking price later can be costly: those reductions (especially multiple reductions) are like properties that linger on the market for a long time: they suggest that something is wrong (even if the only problem was the asking price)..

Alternatively, you can set the asking price lower than have comparable rival properties. The strategy here is clear enough: the expectation that serious house hunters will become interested. Very interested. Fascinated, in fact—especially in a market where supply is tight. The most serious prospects—the ones who know the market—will be expected to hurry to beat the others to your door. In the best case, this can result in a bidding war, resulting in higher-than-asking offers.

Selling your Costa Mesa house for the best price has another proven hallmark—one I’m pleased to pass on. The median selling price for homes sold with the assistance of a Realtor® like me is significantly higher than for those where the owner decided to go it alone. Currently, the final sale price averages $59,000 more for the typical home sale (per the NAR). For Costa Mesa sellers interested in getting the best price, the implication is clear: call me!

Mar 12

Turning Costa Mesa First-Time Homebuyers into Believers

Last week’s short news item could serve as inspiration for future Costa Mesa first-time homebuyers—especially for those who haven’t yet considered the possibility of owning their own Costa Mesa home.

The item in question was news of the passing of the English athlete, Sir Roger Bannister. If that name isn’t familiar, it’s because Bannister’s story has long since faded from the headlines. But Bannister was a hero who changed the path of more than just sports history.

His triumph took place in 1954. A mid-distance runner, he had considered giving up the sport after his failure to win a medal in the 1952 Olympics. That race had been 1500 meters (about 90% of a mile). The more he thought about it, the more he determined to do more than make up for it. He decided to do the impossible.

It was common knowledge that there were limits to what the human body could accomplish physically. One of those barriers was that the time it took to cover a mile. The ancient Greek Olympians had tried to achieve preeminence—perfection (“paideia”)—by running a mile in less than 4 minutes. They (and everyone else) failed. After 3,000 years, it had become an established fact that it was a physical impossibility. Runners might come close, but in all of recorded history, that limit had not been seriously challenged.

As you have guessed by now, Bannister assumed the opposite. After years of training in half-hour increments (he was a full-time medical school student), he set out to beat the barrier at a college track meet. After he broke the tape at the finish line, the stadium announcer built excitement by a long-winded prelude, then announced the result:“…a new world record—the time was three…”

The roar of the crowd drowned out the rest of the announcement.

The moral of Bannister’s story isn’t that hard work and determination pays off. The true moral was driven home 46 days later when John Landy broke Bannister’s record by running a 3-minute mile even faster. What had been holding him back until then? When you realize that by 2001, high school runners were turning in 3-minute miles, it’s hard to deny that some—perhaps most—barriers exist only in our minds.

Fast forward to just last month, when we Costa Mesa viewers watched those Olympic skiers and snowboarders regularly demonstrating the utterly impossible: high-speed aerial flips, twists and turns performed backward. That’s yet more proof of the Bannister legacy—and it can be priceless for anyone who has automatically assumed that owning a home of their own is impossible.

Many of Costa Mesa’s first-time homebuyers once thought homeownership was beyond their reach. They know better now. The first step is learning about today’s Costa Mesa market, investigating the possibilities, then preparing to apply them. If I can be of help, I’ll be happy to offer my experience and advice. Call me!

Mar 12

“Last Call” to Buy Your Huntington Beach Home?

The question posed in last week’s article was certainly scary enough: “Is It Last Call for Low Mortgage Rates?” If you have been putting off getting ready to buy your next Huntington Beach home, it could well have been a potent call to action. For the normally staid Realtor, it was an unusually pointed dispatch.

The article’s opening line, “All good things come to an end…” is what many Huntington Beach home loan rate watchers have known to be true enough—yet for years now, when it comes to the financial benefits that accompany low mortgage interest rates, the prospects for losing the resultant buying power has seemed to be a distant threat. But although by historical standards, Huntington Beach mortgage interest rates are still relatively favorable, the drift is clear: that advantage is rapidly slipping away.

“After hitting historic lows,” author Chris Parker writes, “average mortgage rates” have already climbed to peaks not seen since 2014. Even more alarming for prospects preparing to buy Huntington Beach homes, there is ample reason to suspect more hikes are on the way.

After referencing new Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s expectation that the Fed will “gradually” increase rates, the article raised the immediacy quotient several notches. According to the author, “it is expected” that there will be no fewer than three rate hikes this year—possibly even beginning “this month.” The suggestion that it is “unlikely” that rates will go into “the double digits” may have been meant to be reassuring—but for those with long memories, probably accomplished the opposite.

Still, amid the abundance of disquieting data points, a few moderating notes could be found. A Freddie Mac economist was quoted as saying that “the levels of 10 years ago” (mid-5% to mid-6%) aren’t likely to be reached because “too much has shifted economically.” And, “it’s important to note that mortgage rates are still low.”

For those planning to buy Huntington Beach homes this season, the message was clear: locking in a mortgage rate sooner rather than later is undoubtedly the better part of wisdom. A corollary would also be that it’s high time to locate your future Huntington Beach home—which also makes it high time to give me a call!

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