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San Carlos Real Estate December 19, 2008

Three Myths About Selling a Home Today in San Carlos.

by Chuck Gillooley


Two weeks ago, I published an article entitled “Three Myths About Buying a Home Today in San Carlos” where I (hopefully) dispelled some misconceptions about buying a home in San Carlos in today’s market.  I received lots of positive comments on this article, and one in particular posed the question:  What about the sellers?  Are there a few myths about SELLING a home in today’s uncertain market?  Absolutely…

Myth #1: Homes aren’t selling right now.

False.   Homes are indeed selling during this tough market, and a few have even sold very quickly.   Two recent examples: 923 Elm Street went into contract in only 4 days, and 112 Madera Ave accomplished the same feat in only 10 days.   But make no mistake;  these two were more the exception than the rule — and what’s important to remember is that both of these nailed the three characteristics of the value proposition:  location, condition, and price.   Both excelled in all three areas, and having a compelling story in at least one of these is mandatory in this market.   The fundamental reasons that make San Carlos desirable have not changed, and there are well qualified buyers looking to buy now…but they’re looking for a good deal.

Fact:  Homes are indeed selling, but buyers are looking for VALUE.

Myth #2:  We should wait to sell our home until prices go back up.

This one is a little more tricky, because it all depends on what you’re planning to do after you sell.   Most people need another place to live, so they’re going to buy another home.    If so, this is a great time to move.  Why?   Even though you might get less for your current home than what you thought you might have gotten during the “hot” market of 2005, your replacement home will likely be cheaper than it was just a year ago, perhaps by an even greater amount.  This is especially true if you’re up-sizing to a larger and more expensive home.  So the money you net from selling your current home may give you more buying power in this market.   And don’t forget that property taxes will be lower if you spend less on the new home.

Look at it another way;  if you wait to sell until prices start going back up, your replacement home will be more expensive too.    Unfortunately, the law of economics doesn’t allow us to “sell high, and buy low”.

The exception might be with rental property.    The demand for rentals is still healthy in San Carlos so you shouldn’t have a problem getting and maintaining a healthy rent.   If you’re property is generating positive cash flow, it’s tough to justify selling.   And since much of your “profit” lies in the capital appreciation of the property, waiting out this down cycle may make sense.   But there are many factors to consider, and everyone’s situation is unique.

Fact:  Waiting until prices rise again may not buy you anything.

Myth #3:  There’s too much inventory to compete with. 

You’d think that with the market slowing down, and with it taking longer to sell homes, that there would be a flood of inventory on the market.  That’s not the case.  Right now in San Carlos, there are only 54 single family homes for sale.   This number is less than average for this time of year, and that lack of competition should help to keep prices more stable than if we had an excess of homes to work through.

The Fact:  Inventory is LOW in San Carlos right now.


As I stated in the previous post, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s still a buyer’s market right now in San Carlos.   And there’s no doubt that home prices have dropped in the past year.  But with good preparation, smart pricing,  and a little bit of extra patience you shouldn’t have a problem selling your home….even in this economy.

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