Today’s Sellers’ Market in Santa Cruz

Will Home Prices Go Down?

Santa Cruz, CA, a place well-known for beautiful landscapes, stunning beaches, and bustling neighborhoods, also offers unparalleled opportunities in the real estate sector. In this highly sought-after location, the path to success in the market can sometimes be both exciting and intricate. Understanding the current state of the market in great detail is essential whether you're thinking about buying or selling real estate in the quiet Scotts Valley neighborhood, the affluent beachfront in Santa Cruz, or the quaint beach cottages of Aptos. This knowledge is essential for navigating the current sellers' real estate market skillfully.

The Seller's Market Phenomenon When there is more demand than available properties, prices increase, and the market becomes a seller's market. As things stand right now, those with homes for sale in Santa Cruz stand to benefit significantly from quick and easy sales at high prices. At the same time, potential purchasers must deal with increased competition and inflated property values.

As a result, homeowners are in a solid position to negotiate prices since they can take advantage of the current high demand to negotiate favorable deals. Therefore, even if making a competitive offer improves one's chances dramatically in a seller's market, buyers frequently express worries about spending too much or having limited finances. Given these factors, potential purchasers should use strategic methods to deal with the ever-shifting dynamics of the seller's market in 2024.

Tips for Buyers:

Understanding the nuances between buyers and sellers is essential for making well-informed decisions in today's seller-focused property market. With so many options, it's crucial to be financially prepared, carefully evaluate local market circumstances, and stay aligned with your long-term goals. Here are some helpful tips for buyers:

Obtain Pre-Approval for a Home Loan Whether you are eying some homes for sale in Los Gatos, West Santa Cruz, Felton, Watsonville, CA, or other small towns near Santa Cruz, getting your dream home in the hot seller’s market could mean making the deal take as short a time as possible. One way of achieving this is by securing pre-approval for a mortgage. Besides saving time, submitting your mortgage pre-approval application on time shows house sellers that you are reliable and financially prepared. The pre-approved letter also clarifies the mortgage approval scope, which assures sellers of your sincere intentions.

Get ready Financially or Explore Seller Financing Options.

Financial readiness: After sifting through countless Santa Cruz home listings online, searching for phrases like 'Pasatiempo homes for sale' or 'homes for sale in Scotts Valley, CA' or 'homes for sale in West Santa Cruz' and similar queries, discovering that your disorganized financial status and subpar credit score are impeding your ability to purchase your ideal home can be disheartening.

Acquiring a home is probably the most significant financial commitment that requires careful handling of resources, especially with creditworthiness. A high credit score boosts your chances of getting a great mortgage. It works similarly to a report card that grades your financial responsibility. Almost everyone thinks about traditional financing when discussing obtaining a mortgage. These loans usually need a better credit score (which starts at 620) and a minimum down payment of 3%. However, these requirements could change depending on each lender's rules and regulations.

Lenders prefer buyers with good credit ratings because they are perceived as trustworthy and low-risk. The best aspect of the offer is that people with excellent credit histories may qualify for lower interest rates, leading to significant long-term savings.

Many people find buying a house difficult because of rising real estate prices and weak economic situations. The average home price in the United States increased to $349,216 in February, representing a 4.2% increase compared to the previous year. Mortgage rates have risen, increasing monthly payments. On Monday, during the second week of April 2024, the 30-year mortgage rate stood at 6.82%, a marginal increase from the rate of 6.79% recorded on March 28. The rate was notably lower at 6.32% the previous year.

Even though home prices are rising nationwide, there are still significant differences between cities because of various criteria such as location, measurement, age, and the current state of the home. A review of a few places in the Santa Cruz metropolitan region using data from Zillow highlights the affordability crisis we have today. This emphasizes why sellers carefully consider purchasers' financial standing before signing a selling agreement.

Aptos, CA:

  • Median home value: $1,370,496
  • Price Change:
    • 1-year: +1.7%
    • 5-years: +41.6%

Santa Cruz, CA:

  • Median home value: $1,331,113
  • Price Change:
    • 1-year: +3.1%
    • 5-years: +35.8%

Soquel, CA:

  • Median home value: $1,293,433
  • Price Change:
    • 1-year: +3.7%
    • 5-years: +37.1%

Scotts Valley, CA:

  • Median home value: $1,279,548
  • Price Change:
    • 1-year: +3.6%
    • 5-years: +34.1%

Capitola, CA:

  • Median home value: $1,227,281
  • Price Change:
    • 1-year: +2.6%
    • 5-years: +43.3%

Watsonville, CA:

  • Median home value: $824,909
  • Price Change:
    • 1-year: +2.8%
    • 5-years: +33.6%

Felton, CA:

  • Median home value: $806,107
  • Price Change:
    • 1-year: +0.5%
    • 5-years: +25.6%

Seller financing Like a traditional bank, the property owner is the lender under a seller financing agreement, often known as a carryback. The seller is very interested in the buyer's credit score because it significantly evaluates their creditworthiness. This alternate funding source is helpful for buyers needing help getting a conventional mortgage. Additionally, it might provide more accommodating terms and potentially cut closing costs.

Seller financing offers an attractive alternative for sellers who would prefer to operate like banks by collecting interest on the loan they provide to the buyer and prefer to have a monthly revenue stream instead of a one-time payment. Here, the buyer pays the principal amount plus accrued interest to the seller after an agreed period, usually monthly.

It is important to note, though, that where the seller has a mortgage or deed of trust as security, they still have the right to foreclose on the property if the buyer defaults, just like traditional lenders can.

Explore New Construction Home Options Although the median sales price of new construction homes is marginally greater than that of second-hand homes, they are becoming increasingly sought after. This is because there is more inventory available, most buyers—especially first-time millennial buyers—are searching for trendy smart homes, and there are alluring incentives like free refinancing for a specific time. It's excellent news for potential buyers that the rise in builder confidence has accelerated the construction of new houses and expanded the range of options on the market. A noteworthy trend is the unprecedented number of newly constructed listings on the market, suggesting that the time is right for anyone considering purchasing a brand-new house.

Consider a Cash Offer, but Don’t Go Outside Your Budget In today's competitive seller's market, putting in a cash offer is a smart move for those with the financial means to do so. Besides setting purchasers apart, cash offers expedite the sale process and increase the chances of obtaining preferred homes. On the other hand, sticking to budgetary restrictions is necessary for sound financial management. Although current market conditions would need offers higher than the seller's asking price, shrewd tactics would focus on homes less than the budget.

If your maximum spending limit is $1,800,000, for instance, and you're looking through Santa Cruz homes for sale listings, try to find a property for less than that—perhaps $1,715,000—as long as it still fulfills most of your dream home requirements. With this strategy, you can make marginally higher bids than the asking price—$1,720,000, for example—while still within your means.

It's crucial to understand that the property might not be in the most famous neighborhoods like the City of Capitola, CA, Aptos, Capitola Village, California, or Beachfront Santa Cruz. One advantage, however, is that all the small towns near Santa Cruz provide beautiful alternatives to residing in the center of the metropolis. In addition, these locations have good infrastructure connections, and the transit system is first-rate. Enjoying life in the expansive Santa Cruz region, including West Santa Cruz and the wider central and northern California area, is effortless, regardless of where you choose to reside.

Tips for Sellers:

Although sellers may perceive the present real estate market to be naturally favorable, it is necessary to weigh several factors carefully and recognize that the highest bid is, only sometimes, the best offer to achieve the most remarkable results.

Evaluate Beyond the Highest Offer

Although enticing, prioritizing the highest offer isn't always prudent. Assess offers comprehensively. In a seller's market, the following components characterize a strong offer:

  • Cash Offer: A cash offer is clearly superior, even if it's not the highest. Cash buyers speed up transactions by skipping the assessment procedure, which lowers the risks related to appraisal discrepancies. accelerated closing timelines are typical with cash transactions.
  • Substantial Down Payment: A significant down payment indicates financial stability and decreases the buyer's borrowing requirements, lowering the probability of financing obstacles.

Prioritize Offers with Minimal Contingencies

An offer without major conditions instills trust and demonstrates the buyer's commitment to a quick and smooth transaction. In a seller's market with increased competition, bidders are more likely to waive or reduce conditions to increase the appeal of their offer in the face of rival offers. You can take advantage of this trend by prioritizing offers with fewer contingencies, reducing the likelihood of transactional complications, and accelerating the sale process. Common Contingencies include:

  • Home Appraisal: This contingency requires that the home appraise for a value equal to or more than the buyer's offer before the transaction may proceed.
  • Financing: A buyer may add a finance contingency in their agreement, authorizing them to terminate the deal if they cannot get appropriate funding.
  • Current Home Sale: A home buyer may condition their buying of the property on the successful sale of their present home.
  • Inspection: Buyers often include an inspection contingency to ascertain the property's condition and identify any necessary repairs.

Conduct Pre-Listing Inspections

While conventional wisdom suggests that home inspections occur during escrow, initiating pre-listing inspections can benefit sellers. Anticipating potential issues and addressing them proactively before listing eliminates unwelcome surprises for buyers and affords sellers greater negotiation leverage.

Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate expert is essential when selling a house in a hot market. To optimize the value of your house sale, you must find a real estate agent with experience. According to research, top agents perform better than ordinary ones, bringing in more money for homes and expediting the selling process.

Are you considering selling your home? We understand the fundamental factors that drive property sales. Entrust us to manage the process for you. With our extensive experience as real estate agents and skilled negotiators, we have a thorough grasp of the Santa Cruz and surrounding small-town markets, allowing us to assess property values accurately. Our commitment is unwavering as we diligently ensure the seamless execution of every facet of the process.

Posted by Paul Burrowes on

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