Cleared for Take-Off

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We are off to the great Midwest this week. It is Spring Break for our daughters and time for Daughter #1 to visit a couple of colleges. Apparently, there are no sufficiently expensive colleges on the west coast, thus our ensuing pilgrimage to the heartland this morning.

Like any true real estate agent “vacation”, we will not be traveling light. The cell phone, the files and the laptop will be my carry-on items. However, if the activity here seems a little lacking, you are free to assume that I am sitting on the tarmac at OHare or aging in line at the Alamo counter.

So, before I head off to rid my purse of all of the potential threats to human health and safety in preparation for boarding (hand lotion, lip gloss, and all other “liquid” items, including a pack of gum undoubtedly purchased in the Mesozoic Era), I will leave you with a few random impressions of our San Diego real estate market gleaned this weekend.

  • The number of active listings remains surprisingly low, particularly from a seasonal context.
  • Say what you will about a slower market. The nicer, properly priced listings are selling relatively quickly.
  • Prices are flat at best and arguably remain in a slight-decline mode.
  • Based on the offers we are receiving on our listings, buyers are definitely feeling pinched. Low or no down financing continues to be the rule rather than the exception, and agents and sellers alike need to be extremely thorough in their vetting of potential buyers. A contract is only as good as the ability of the buyer to perform.
  • “Discretionary” buyers and sellers are few in numbers. The activity we are seeing is stemming primarily from in- and out-migration (“must move” scenarios).
  • We are getting, by far, more inquiries from unrepresented buyers and internet sources than from agents representing buyers. Over the weekend, we received three inquiries on one listing from Craigslist alone. Of the agents we are hearing from, a surprisingly large number are out-of-area. The latter seems to be fee driven (“My brother Earl lives in Irvine and will be representing me. Can you let me in?).
  • Agents only decide to submit offers on your listings when they know you are trying to leave town.
  • Spring has sprung. The weather is beautiful, the tops are down on the convertibles, and we are reminded why our housing prices are so dang high.

I hear homes are much more affordable in Columbia, Missouri, but I also hear that their beaches are not nearly as nice. I will let you know for sure when I get there, that is, if I can make it through security.

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