The Market is Down — No Longer the Best Kept Secret

If you’ve been reading my newsletters, you were not surprised when the media finally picked up the story that our market has slowed. I’ve been writing and talking about evidence pointing toward a slowdown since mid-2018, but most people didn’t catch on until several quarters later or even into 2019. 

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suzanne sarto
Navigating The New Market

The market is different. I think very few people would try to argue our market is the same as a year ago. Prices are down, urgency has waned, days-on-market are up and political tension and tariffs have escalated. Ironically, with all these issues, interest rates are still ridiculously attractive.

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Be a Deal‐Maker in the Current Market

What motivates someone to buy a home? Life changes such as marriage, children, job transfer, an investment decision, or simply the desire for a quality-of-life improvement. Whatever the driving factor to purchase in our region one thing is for certain, it is expensive. As one could imagine, I’ve yet to have someone say to me they were buying a home because it is inexpensive.

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suzanne sarto
Confirmed: The Market Has Changed—Now What?

September was a significant month to determine whether our real estate market would be considered a seasonal trend or transitioning market [June 2018 Newsletter]. The typical traction I see following the summer slowdown did not happen this year, so the lack of market-momentum and confidence has shifted the overall conversation to pontificating the causes of the slowdown and how deep it will go. 

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suzanne sarto
Is the Market Going Down?

It’s been quite a summer for real estate. The seasonal slowing we consistently see play out makes both buyers and sellers step back and question the market condition. We know summer is an uncertain market, so it should be no surprise that we experienced a noticeable decrease to buyer urgency, aggressive offers and the “must-get it at all cost” attitude.

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PAMP Family Day

I'm sponsoring the PAMP Family Day (wonderful event, more about it below) and will be hosting a kids' succulent planting station! Be sure to stop by my tent with your kids so they can help make your home a little brighter, and have fun while doing so. 
Each child will get the opportunity to scoop dirt, choose their succulents and plant them in an adorable little white pot. 
The PAMP (Parents' Club of Menlo Park and Palo Alto) is holding their annual Family Day on July 29th in Mitchell Park. It's free for all members and includes food and lots of fun activities including a live children's band, petting zoo, face painting and more.

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I’m the recommended Realtor for PAMP!

I’m beyond thrilled to be named the recommended Realtor professional in PAMP’s “Guide to Entering the Local Real Estate Market - Top Tips for Families!” PAMP (The Parents' Club of Palo Alto and Menlo Park) is the largest parent organization on the Peninsula and a fantastic place for families to connect! This month, I'm also the resident “Expert” in their “Ask the Expert” series. Through Facebook, PAMP members can post real estate questions and I'll be answering them. If you have children and you live in this area, I strongly encourage you to join this wonderful community!

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Seasonal Trend or a Market Correction?

Has the market cooled? As different as the market may be over the past several weeks, it still has signs of our summer seasonal trend, though what most interests me is whether the inertia and fear may transition the market into a flat or downward trajectory.

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Editorial Article in GENTRY Magazine · May 2018

Until recently, buying or selling a home typically involved newspaper ads, weekend open houses, and physically driving around to gain insight about properties and neighborhoods. Cars didn’t yet have navigation systems and smart phones with Google Maps didn’t exist. Getting lost was sometimes part of the adventure.

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suzanne sarto
Zillow or Redfin: Which Value Estimate is Correct?

Technology is known for disrupting industries, so it should be no surprise that new technologies have been entering the real estate industry over the past 15 years. What started off as a rather clunky attempt to get into the real estate space has now become a juggernaut in the day-to-day real estate conversation with companies like Zillow and Redfin. The deep pockets of these tech companies have dramatically increased their marketing exposure evident by the many TV ad spots during the recent Winter Olympic Games.

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My 2018 Forecast

Who would have thought that a highly turbulent and divisive Trump Administration where no major legislation was passed (pending tax reform) with constant shakeup and uncertainty within the leadership and some of the worst global tensions in decades, still enabled Wall Street markets to shoot up 20-30% and digital currencies up eleven-fold. 

2017 started off slow with plenty of uncertainty to go around. Homes were sitting on the market longer and accurate pricing was very important. It seemed that the trend would continue through the year, but then the stock market started increasing at a rocket’s pace and our local real estate market followed suit. By May, a new euphoria set in with new money being cashed in to buy homes and an unexpected confidence. Local prices are now well above any historical standard and anxious homebuyers are doing anything they can to purchase a prized Silicon Valley property.

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suzanne sarto
A House of Cards or a Brick House?

Summer 2017 ended up being a typical summer – slower open houses, fewer motivated buyers, albeit enough to absorb current inventory levels, and isolated pockets of price adjustments (increase and decrease). The listing price continued to be a crucial piece of marketing a property as it dictated the kind of activity level generated. Poor preparation to homes equated to fewer dollars in the seller’s pocket. We did not see a significant change to average prices and buyers were left wondering what the market was going to do in the coming quarters. There were a few pocket neighborhoods that experienced a bump to prices, but those locations started lower than comparable competing locations. Inventory was lower than previous summers, which influenced buyers’ fear on what to expect through year-end and into 2018. Though we may not know where the market is going, we know some facts about the current climate that should be considered when deciding whether to buy or sell real estate today:

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Summertime: The Uncertain Market

It’s every child’s favorite time of year – summertime! It’s one of my favorite times of year in real estate because year after year uncertainty kicks in and we see a market that changes before our eyes, if only for a handful of months. In the past week, multiple real estate professionals contacted me to discuss observations of a slowing trend in their neighborhood. This is not a surprise, as with every summer cycle we see specific trends irrespective of compounding variables such as the current political climate and global uncertainties. Are we experiencing the typical adjustment to the market or is something greater brewing? It is too early to gauge, but I think it is a timely conversation to discuss what you can expect in the coming months and those factors that should get special attention.

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