As we’ve been sharing in recent blog posts, the Orange County real estate market (especially for high-end homes) is looking strong. It is certainly a seller’s market as there do not seem to be enough listings to feed the appetites of well-qualified buyers aching to take advantage of historic low interest rates and live the Orange County dream!

Whether you are a buyer or a seller in Orange County, you have had a conversation about the comps in your neighborhood (if you haven’t, call an experienced realtor like Cheryl Marquis who will smartly walk you through the process!).  By looking at comparable sales (same neighborhood, floor plan, size, number of bedrooms, condition, and location) you will have a better understanding of what your home might sell for or what you can afford in a potential home.

Read on for a few tips on how to read the comps you are your Orange County real estate agent are looking over as you consider buying or selling.

  1. Dates – Don’t get caught up in the distant past. Only pay close attention to the comps that have actually closed in the last 6-8 weeks. As with any news, you want the most recent. Prices are trending up and you want to know what you can expect.
  2. Get the Scoop – Find out everything you can about the houses around the home you are interested in purchasing. Was the selling price high or low because of something, such as a the seller paying closing costs for the buyer? Hidden fees could prevent a truly accurate reflection of the neighborhood’s comps.
  3. Short Sales Story – If you’re looking in a neighborhood known for short sales, make sure you find out when they opened escrow. If it was eight months ago, the buyer got a smoking hot deal and that price cannot be compared to the homes that opened escrow six to eight weeks ago. Again, recent is better!
  4. Be Thorough – Check into the current comps of Orange County home sales that are in back-up and pending status.

A great Orange County realtor will dig to get all of the relevant information you need to make an informed home-buying or selling decision. Information you can’t find on or (another reason we discourage our clients from using these sites for more than decorating ideas). To speak with a knowledgeable OC real estate agent about listing your home, or finding your dream home, contact Cheryl Marquis today.

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC or check her out on Facebook at CherylSellsOrangeCounty.