Jeff Stricker & Steve Tenbroeck
Alain Pinel
photo photo photo photo

Archive for the 'For Buyers' Category

Talk about Drought – Record Low Inventory of Homes for Sale

Check out this chart that visualizes the inventory of single family homes that are currently on the market compared to the 15 year averages for Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Portola Valley and Atherton.

Record low inventory is the “new normal” in Palo Alto, but check out the two communities closest to Google. There are only 7 active listings in Mountain View and 7 in Los Altos. Typically, the spring market starts sprouting after the Super Bowl. Let’s see what the rest of February brings for rainfall and homes for sale.   

Inventory of Homes for Sale in February 2014

Topics: For Buyers, Market Trends      Comments Off

FOUR PHASES OF BUYING A HOME

To streamline the home buying process for you, we have defined four distinct stages. This article summarizes each step of the process. We encourage you to contact us for more details.

STEP 1: PRE-SELECTION

Initial Meeting
  • Define your goals & objectives
  • Overview of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) areas, statistics, and maps
  • Discuss qualities of “blue chip” properties
  • Loan pre-approval
  • Create plan of action
Finances
  • Meet with mortgage representative and submit application
  • Verify purchase price
  • Estimate timeline to closing
  • Liquefy necessary funds
  • Receive pre-approval
Insurance
  • Meet with broker
  • Verify availability of insurance
  • Determine specific information/actions needed by broker to issue insurance
Contract
  • Review contracts
  • Clarify questions with Jeff or Steve
  • Write letter of introduction

STEP 2: SELECTION

Search
  • Narrow options for MLS areas, home type, and price range
  • Establish MLS auto-search
  • Tour neighborhoods and begin process of elimination
  • Visit open homes within price range
  • Tour properties with Jeff or Steve
  • Move quickly when a winner is identified – call Jeff or Steve
Confirmation
  • Tour property with Jeff or Steve
  • Determine offer date and time
  • Drive and walk around neighborhood
  • Review disclosure documents
  • Verify school districts (if appropriate)

STEP 3: CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

Offer
  • Meet with Jeff or Steve to write offer
  • Tender deposit check
  • Deliver letter of introduction
Counter-Offer Strategies
  • Make the other person walk away
  • Look for trade-offs
  • Seek a win-win solution
  • Determine if new inspections and/or a walk-through are needed
  • Negotiate any newly discovered fix-its
  • Verify appraisal and ability to close of escrow on agreed-upon date
  • Remove contingencies

STEP 4: ESCROW MANAGEMENT

Details Handled by the Stricker/TenBroeck Team

  • Generate buyer’s file
  • Meet appraiser at property
  • Submit deposit to escrow
  • Submit contract to lender
  • Monitor loan process closely
  • Meet with inspectors (if any)
  • Review all reports and disclosures
  • Review final settlement statement
  • Accompany you to escrow sign-off
  • Final walk-through checklist
  • Verify possession from seller
  • Final review and update of buyer’s file

Topics: For Buyers      Comments Off

Q1 Market Snapshot | Real Estate Continues to Recover

In Palo Alto, Los Altos and surrounding communities, the residential real estate market continued to recover in the 1st quarter of ’10. Supply and demand continued to move back in favor of sellers with multiple offers common and prices rising.

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

South and Mid-Peninsula Market Snapshot

? Q1-2010 vs. Q1-2009 ?

Q1 Sales Snapshot

A Significant Shift in Supply & Demand

Several factors – including improving consumer confidence and lots of rain – caused the number of homes for sale in our market area to decline by 20% on average from a year ago. Sales volume, on the other hand, increased by 55%.

Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Commentary, For Buyers      Comments Off

THE Leading Indicator for the Real Estate Market

Consumer confidence is the best leading indicator of the local and national real estate markets.

When the index rises the number of sales rise and inventory of homes for sale falls.  When the index falls, the reverse happens.

The Conference Board just released their latest report indicating a slight rise in the index from 50 to 51.1 http://www.conference-board.org/utilities/pressDetail.cfm?press_ID=3836.  Historically, the Board considers a reading of 80 to represent a good, stable economy, while a reading of 100 or more indicates a growing economy.

Obviously we are a long way from an indication of a good economy, which is why we believe the stock and real estate markets are likely to surprise to the downside later this year.

Home sellers who are planning a 2010 sale should go to market as soon as possible.  Home buyers who are not at risk to rising interest rates may want to exercise patience.

Topics: For Buyers      Comments Off

THE FOUR PHASES OF BUYING YOUR HOME

BullsEyeCalendarIn our effort to educate you on the home buying process, we have summarized the entire process into four distinct phases.

STEP 1: PRE-SELECTION

Initial Meeting
  • Define your goals & objectives
  • Overview of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) areas, statistics, and maps
  • Discuss qualities of “blue chip” properties
  • Loan pre-approval
  • Create plan of action
Finances
  • Meet with mortgage representative and submit application
  • Verify purchase price
  • Estimate timeline to closing
  • Liquefy necessary funds
  • Receive pre-approval
Insurance
  • Meet with broker
  • Verify availability of insurance
  • Determine specific information/actions needed by broker to issue insurance
Contract
  • Review contracts
  • Clarify questions with Jeff or Steve
  • Write letter of introduction

STEP 2: SELECTION

Search
  • Narrow options for MLS areas, home type, and price range
  • Establish MLS auto-search
  • Tour neighborhoods and begin process of elimination
  • Visit open homes within price range
  • Tour properties with Jeff or Steve
  • Move quickly when a winner is identified – call Jeff or Steve
Confirmation
  • Tour property with Jeff or Steve
  • Determine offer date and time
  • Drive and walk around neighborhood
  • Review disclosure documents
  • Verify school districts (if appropriate)

STEP 3: CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

Offer
  • Meet with Jeff or Steve to write offer
  • Tender deposit check
  • Deliver letter of introduction
Counter-Offer Strategies
  • Make the other person walk away
  • Look for trade-offs
  • Seek a win-win solution
  • Determine if new inspections and/or a walk-through are needed
  • Negotiate any newly discovered fix-its
  • Verify appraisal and ability to close of escrow on agreed-upon date
  • Remove contingencies

STEP 4: ESCROW MANAGEMENT

Details Handled by the Stricker/TenBroeck Team

  • Generate buyer’s file
  • Meet appraiser at property
  • Submit deposit to escrow
  • Submit contract to lender
  • Monitor loan process closely
  • Meet with inspectors (if any)
  • Review all reports and disclosures
  • Review final settlement statement
  • Accompany you to escrow sign-off
  • Final walk-through checklist
  • Verify possession from seller
  • Final review and update of buyer’s file

Topics: For Buyers      Comments Off