In a Down Economy, Some Multiple Offers

No shortage of bidders on this 1,300 square foot house in San Carlos

A bright bit of news on this dismal, Dow-plummeting Monday:  a 1,296  square foot, 3 bedroom/2 bath home on Howard Ave. in San Carlos recently sold…with seven offers.

Alain Pinel’s Chuck Gillooley represented the buyers.  Like most houses that entertain multiple offers, this one listed at below a million dollars, considered “entry level” in this market.

Gillooley says not only was the house priced right – at $899,000 – it had all the features buyers are looking for: close to downtown, a nice layout with an open floor plan, updated kitchen and baths.

“Generally, buyers want move-in condition,” Gillooley explained.  “It’s fine if the house is small, but it should have a smart layout.”  (For some owners with boxy houses built in the 1930′s-40′s, this may mean knocking out walls to improve flow, ideally creating the popular “great room.”)

Today’s Sotheby’s Jackie Cockreham, who represented the sellers at 2211 Howard Avenue, says not only did the owners do all the right things to the house to make it attractive on the inside, they went all out on the outside, too.   “It had a darling front yard, a great backyard, the landscaping was just wonderful,” Cockreham said.

The house on Howard isn’t the only one to receive multiple offers.

Coldwell Banker realtor Nancy Wierenga says it usually happens with houses priced between $700,000-$800,000 and all the way up to $900,000 when they’re in move-in condition.

“People are still looking for San Carlos schools,” Wierenga said, adding that White Oaks is still in high demand, although would-be buyers soon discover it’s possible to walk to downtown from other neighborhoods, too.

Sotheby’s International realtor Lottie Kendall says, in her experience, most multiple offers happen between the third week in January through May.

Kendall says she listed a house in White Oaks in February that sold in four days, with six offers, for $1.2 million, over asking price.  “This was unusual,” Kendall said, “but not completely uncommon, either.”

Now that summer is here, Kendall says, the market has slowed down a bit.  “Buyers get a little distracted with vacations,” she said, adding that she’s noted recent buyers are a little more cautious, wanting to make sure the property is in move-in condition, but will make an offer,” if they perceive the value is there.”

As for the market debacle currently unfolding and how it may – or may not – impact the real estate market, a sampling of views:

Chuck Gillooley:  The big concern is any impact on interest rates. “As long as interest rates stay low, people will want to buy.”  He also says despite the lousy job numbers, the tech & bio sector in the Bay Area remain strong and many people he’s met house shopping in SC expect to remain employed.

Lottie Kendall: She reports more showings in the last two weeks.  One of her listings in Cupertino sold at lightening speed for $1.3 million, but says she has no idea how the events of the last several days will impact the market.

Jackie Cockreham:  Notes the housing market remained unaffected last week.  Some of her clients work in high tech/social media and she thinks San Carlos is somewhat protected because it continues to be so highly sought after.  Unlike stock portfolios, if you invest in a house, “at least you can live in it.”

 

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