As we blog about all the time, the Orange County real estate market is nothing if not a roller coaster ride. Why lately, the highs haven’t been quite so high and the lows haven’t been quite so low, it’s still anything but static. In fact, the past handful of months have shown rising home prices, a scarcity of homes for sale, and historically low home mortgage interest rates.

So what next? While predicting the future is impossible, my 25 years of experience led me to believe that we could expect a leveling off of prices, an increase in the inventory of homes for sale, and/or a jump in mortgage interest rates — and sure enough, we’re seeing a little bit of each. This shift in the OC real estate market means some changes in the way buyers and sellers need to ‘play.’

For sellers – As any experienced real estate agent will tell you, price is everything right now. While, location, condition, and emotional appeal are still important, if not critical, to your success as a seller, home selling price is the thing you have to get right if you want to sell as quickly as possible for as much as possible. Can you ask 10 percent more than the same model down the street sold for last week? No, not if you want to sell it in the short term future. Be hesitant if you meet with a real estate agent who is willing to list your price way above market value. He or she may be more interested in having a sign in your front yard than in actually selling your home.

A recent increase in inventory also means that means buyers have a few choices to make when it comes to finding the ‘perfect’ OC home. Pricing your house right at the minute you list it will show buyers you are educated about the market, motivated to get your house sold, and realistic about your homes’ true current market value.

For buyers – As you might have guessed, increased inventory often means great news for you! You may be able to offer the true current market value and actually have a seller accept. However, can you submit your offer without a pre-approval and proof of funds? Probably not. Can you wait a week to go look at your top choice? Not if you are serious and ready to buy.

To discuss options about buying or selling an Orange County home, reach out to Cheryl Marquis today.