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How to Thrive in California's 2021 Real Estate Market
Real Estate

How to Thrive in California's 2021 Real Estate Market

Searching for your forever home ? Before getting started on your search, discover how to thrive in California's 2021 real estate market.


3 min read

September 23, 2021

The start of 2021 saw the California housing market bursting with activity, presenting quite a challenge for many aspiring homeowners. The intense competition, especially from cash offers and buyers willing to bypass various conditions, made it tough for many, particularly those looking to purchase their first home.

However, there's a silver lining. The dynamics within California's real estate scene are evolving. We're noticing a slowdown in activity across various price ranges, indicating a shift towards a cooler market phase. While it remains predominantly a seller's market with a somewhat constrained supply of homes, a surprising trend is emerging: properties are beginning to stay on the market longer. This change is leading to price drops and more room for negotiation on terms, including repair requests and financial concessions - a scenario that's been rare since the market upheaval in 2020. This newfound flexibility for buyers, reminiscent of conditions last seen in 2019, marks an encouraging shift in the marketplace.

Found your forever home? Before you seal the deal, make sure you're up to date on the housing prices in California.

The Prices of Houses in California

Before you jump to the conclusion that every property out there is ripe for negotiation, it's important to recognize that not all homes are affected equally by the market's shift. Particularly in California's North Bay Area, properties listed around the $550,000 mark are still attracting a lot of interest. Given that this price range is quite typical for the region, it's naturally one of the more fiercely contested.

For properties priced at or below $550,000, the competition remains stiff, with buyers often finding themselves in bidding wars. On the flip side, homes valued above $600,000 are witnessing a different scenario. It's worth noting, however, that this varies widely depending on the location, the home's condition, and its curb appeal among other factors. Where once it was common for homes to receive upwards of 10 to 20 bids, some even exceeding the asking price by $100,000, the current market sees higher-priced homes receiving far fewer offers, sometimes only one to five, and occasionally none for weeks on end. This trend, emerging over the last year, offers a breath of fresh air for potential buyers.

This shift prompts several questions: What does this mean for the market dynamics? How should sellers adjust their expectations? And what opportunities does this create for buyers?

Are you looking to sell your Golden State dream home? Read on to discover 2021 real estate advice for sellers for all the info.

2021 Real Estate Advice for Sellers in California

In today's market, setting the right price for your home has never been more crucial. Despite a tighter inventory compared to previous years, sellers who align their asking prices with the current market trends in their locale tend to increase their chances of receiving multiple, competitive offers. On the other hand, those opting to aim high with their initial listing price may find their properties lingering on the market longer than anticipated, possibly leading to eventual price reductions.

Still, the market remains favorable for sellers, albeit with a trend towards greater equilibrium at certain price levels. It's essential for sellers to engage in open discussions with their real estate agents to gain a clear understanding of the local market dynamics. This ensures they can strategically price and prepare their homes for sale, maximizing their opportunities in this evolving landscape.

Dreaming of seeing the SOLD sign on your forever home? Before going shopping, heed advice for buyers in California's real estate market now.

Advice for Buyers in California’s Real Estate Market

Now is a great moment for those looking to dive into the housing market. Buyer fatigue has become more noticeable, as the relentless pace and high stakes of the California real estate market since 2020 have taken their toll. The stress and disappointment, along with the significant time investment that house hunting has demanded, are leading many to seek a reprieve. Moreover, as we navigate the ongoing adjustments due to pandemic-related changes, life is gradually resuming its rhythm. Travel is on the upswing, children are returning to school, and a semblance of normalcy is returning for the first time since 2019, contributing to a slight slowdown in the real estate sector.

This cooling period raises the question: Have we moved past the frenzied peak of 2021? It's a possibility, and only time will unveil the lasting nature of this slowdown. My suggestion for prospective buyers, especially those stepping into the market for the first time, is to seize this moment. With interest rates remaining at near-historic lows and a slight increase in available properties, the current climate is ripe for making a home purchase. The competition for homes has eased somewhat, potentially allowing for more favorable negotiation outcomes.

The journey through the California housing market over the last two years has indeed been akin to a roller coaster, navigating through uncertainty and tumultuous shifts. Yet, with life inching back towards what may well be our new normal, 2021 is shaping up to be a promising year for homebuyers.

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