I had two open houses this weekend. The first was a 1 bedroom condo in Mountain View priced at $349,000. I had four people through in the three hours it was open and only moderately serious buyers.
The second open house was a 3800 sq. ft. home in Los Altos Hills that was recently reduced to $1,998,000. I had almost 100 people through and several of those were seriously interested including one of my clients.
Here's what I heard from people consistently; when are they taking offers and will they take a lower price?
Here's what's interesting about that. Buyers have been conditioned in this area to enter competitive bidding situations - multiple offers. However, contrary to that, they are looking to offer less than the asking price. What the buyers are missing is that the sellers DON'T have to sell and many are unwilling to reduce their price.
Most homes are selling at or above asking price and only a few are being sold under. These homes are usually overpriced to begin with. The perception is that prices are dropping, when they aren't. A well priced home will sell quickly, no matter what the market conditions.
The key to keep in mind is that if you're buying a home and plan to stay, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and most nearby cities will continue to go up as they have in the past. This time of year is a particularly good time to buy but inventories are low compared to last year and good deals will get snapped up fast.