imagesWhat does the housing market and weather have in common? They are both cyclical. Almost overnight there seems to be a major shift in the housing market. Some of the shift can be attributed to the time of year, but as we go through the numbers, the change will certainly catch your attention. If we use increments of 60 days, the last 3 cycles are startling.

The most recent cycle would be August 21st through October 21st. There were 90 properties sold during that period at an average sales price of $535,412. The average price per square foot was $308 and those properties averaged 35 days on the market. The second cycle would be June 21st through August 20th. This is considered the heart of the selling season for Davis and every other community in this country. There were 123 homes sold with an average price of $569,297 and a price per square foot of $313.

The last cycle from April 21st through June 20th will only reinforce the drastic changes the Davis housing market has experienced. There were 125 sold properties with an average sales price of $581,317. The price per square foot was $322 and these properties averaged 23 days on the market. That’s a 10.8% drop in home values since the April through June cycle.

The price per square foot also dropped slightly to 4% over that same period.  The average days on the market rose by 35% from the 1st to the 3rd cycle. These numbers are just small windows and not meant to alarm homeowners.  As a matter of fact, home prices are up 10.7% year to date from 2013. The average price per square foot increased from $283 in 2013 to $308 this year. That’s an 8.8% jump.

As the year’s peak selling season comes to a close, the inventory of available homes for sale will continue to decrease and buyers will be able to find good valued properties throughout the last two months of 2014. If you are contemplating buying or selling a home, please contact Johnny Brooks at Coldwell Banker in Davis. We out sell competing agents by a 3 to 1 ratio. Not only does Coldwell Banker in Davis sell more of our own listings than our competition does, we also sell more of Lyon’s and Re/Max’s listings than they do, by a wide margin. Please visit my website http://www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on selling and buying a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view all local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.



BusWe are nearly a third of the way through 2014 and Davis home prices continue to accelerate. Home values are up 16% over 2013 numbers and have jumped 22% since 2011. It’s significant when appreciation steadily increases over a three or four-year period and the market does a complete reversal from a strong buyers market to a controlled sellers market. The current inventory would suggest prices would likely continue the upward trend through the rest of this year.

There are many variables that have caused the jump in home prices. We should remember this has not been an instantaneous appreciation leap. In 2013, home values increased by approximately 10% over the prior year. So this has been a gradual rise. Home values have gained back most of the lost appreciation from the downturn. Davis home sellers are now more in control than at anytime since the housing boom in the early 2000’s.

If we just focus on some of the pertinent numbers this year compared to 2013, we can see why this is the most optimum time to sell. The inventory is down year-to-date. The average sales price has jumped by 16% this year. The average days on the market dropped from 60 days to 36 days. That’s a 40% improvement. The translation, homes are selling at a much quicker pace this year. The price per square foot increased by 10% from $263 in 2013 to $290 this year.

This improved housing market might suggest any agent or company can get the job done. Nothing could be further from the truth. it still takes a tenacious agent with the very best marketing plans to create a buyer frenzy that might generate multiple offers that exceed the initial asking price. It takes more than just placing a sign in the front yard to create the excitement and passion among home buyers as well as other realtors. The attention to detail is still of the utmost importance.

The local Coldwell Banker office represents more sellers and buyers than all of the other local companies combined. More sellers have put their trust in Coldwell Banker over the years and have been rewarded with great service and a financial rewarding experience. I want to personally thank all of my clients for helping me achieve the status of Top Listing Agent at Coldwell Banker through the first quarter this year. Please visit my website http://www.JohnnyBrooksHomes for helpful tips on selling or buying a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

Staying afloat ILLUS.jpgIn a hot market, the assumption is every home sells as soon as it hits the market. That’s just not the case. Many homes are sitting on the market for an extended period of time for various reasons. As a real estate professional my goal is to supply knowledge, information, preparation and vital facts to assist homeowners with marketing their home. Through 20 years of working in this business, I have worked with hundreds of sellers that have successfully sold their homes and a few homeowners that chose their own path, that weren’t so successful. A look at what might keep a property from selling.

Price It Right: Like any product for sale, if it’s not priced right it won’t sell. When prices are gradually spiking on a monthly basis, it makes it difficult for some sellers to not want to jump way ahead of the current market with expectations that values will eventually catch up. This is a horrible tactic. If you market the home today, it should be priced based on present home values. This is why we have properties sitting on the market for many months instead of a few weeks. The other problem with over pricing your home at the beginning is its fixated in the minds of agents and buyers. The perception that the property is still overpriced, even with price adjustments is very real.

Condition Is Critical: Assuming you can generate top dollar for a poorly maintained home is not using common sense. The better maintained always, I repeat always get the best price. A fresh coat of paint and new flooring can do wonders for any property. Some sellers will neglect making improvements because they’ve heard the housing market has made a complete turnaround and condition is not a priority. The only time I might suggest a seller not make at least cosmetic improvements would be if finances prevented those upgrades.

Working With A Local Realtor: Here I go again harping on this subject. This has come up on numerous blogs that I’ve written. That’s how important this issue is. I specialize in the local market and know the neighborhoods like the palm of my hand. An agent from the Bay Area for instance, knows nothing about Davis outside of locating on a map. If you own a home in Davis, list it with an experienced local realtor. If you own a home in the Bay Area, list it with a local specialist in that town. There’s a number of horror stories that I could go into with properties that were listed with out-of-town realtors. List your local home with an agent outside the region and you might get a yard sign. There’s much more to selling a home than a sign. Choose your agent wisely. Please visit my website http://www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on selling or buying a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California.

Selling-HomeWith each passing day comes another news blurb exhorting the validity that the housing market has  progressively moved into a full-scale sellers market. Even though signs are pointing in that direction, sellers should still be cognizant of a few facts.

Buyers Are Observant: Back in the early 2000’s, prospective home buyers were in some cases literally purchasing homes sight unseen. They were occasionally buying homes with no appraisals to justify the value and obviously over paying for their home. Today’s buyer is much more observant. Even though multiple offers are in vogue, buyers still want to know what they are getting themselves into. Buyers want to view a home and see any flaws or defects that home might have before making an offer. They want their realtor to show a price justification by pulling up recent comparable sales. Buyers are in tune with the market and seek as much knowledge about the property and community they buy in than anytime in the recent past.

Price Is Vital: Not every property is moving from active to pending status overnight. The main reason is price. The old saying “there’s a buyer for every home, if it’s priced right” holds true even today. Sellers still need to keep their enthusiasm in check and understand that buyers will not pursue a home that is drastically overpriced. The market will dictate value and it’s up to the seller to listen.

Definition of “As Is” Varies: When the seller makes the decision to sell their home “as is” doesn’t always ring true for the buyer of your home. The purchase contract might suggest the buyer is willing to accept the home in its current state, but the attitude with some home buyers are, it’s safe to negotiate after they’ve secured the home. Very few homes in Davis will sell completely “as is”, even though they are being advertised that way. It’s probably easier as a seller to put limits on cost of repairs than to attempt an undefined “as is” sale.

Getting Inspections Upfront: It’s highly recommended that sellers get all inspections they are responsible for in the contract before marketing gets started. This can save a lot of uneasy angst than waiting for an offer and then negotiating with so many unknown factors. In Davis, sellers are normally responsible for a pest inspection and always the City of Davis Resale inspection. That’s a mandatory inspection looking for code, safety and permit issues. It’s much simpler to negotiate with all the facts, than to negotiate with unidentified issues. Please visit my website http://www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on selling or buying a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.

Answer BalanceIn the topsy-turvy world of purchasing a home today, buyers should put forth a strategy that makes their offer appealing enough to a seller to at least be considered. A number of properties are selling with more than one competing bid. Communities like Davis have many properties with competing offers. When a home hits the market, priced correctly, it’s sold within a few days if not hours. Here are some helpful tips to digest.

Get Pre Approved For A Mortgage: You must have an iron clad pre approval and all of your ducks in a row to even be considered. It’s highly likely you will be competing against cash buyers or buyers with significant down payments. You must be ready to compete with a strong pre approval with an offer presented by a local, well-respected and knowledgeable agent to increase your chances to win.

Prepare To Pay Over Asking Price: Very often homes with multiple offers will sell above asking price. Prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for that possibility. The contract protects you with over paying because each property applying for a loan has to have an appraisal and if that home does not appraise at value, you can cancel the contract and get your deposit back.

Emotional Appeal To The Seller: Sellers want to know you truly want their home and what better way than through emotionally charged letter written directly to the seller. It’s much more difficult to say no to an offer from a real person versus other offers that are just names on a page.

Choose Your Agent Wisely: I have beaten out higher and stronger offers a number of times, simply with how I presented my buyer and the offer we wrote. I’ve gotten my offer accepted because the agent that represented the seller preferred to work with me because they knew I would perform in a timely manner. I’ve gotten my offer accepted because I’ve been doing this for a long time and have built up good relationships with other local realtors.

This is not the type of market where you can afford to have a friend or family member represent you. If you are serious about buying a home in this ultra competitive market, it’s imperative you have a local, full-time respected realtor on your side. It could be the difference between winning or losing. Please visit my website http://www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, Ca. and the surrounding communities.






Living-KitchenThe question “Should I add to my existing home or buy a replacement home”. comes up often in conversations with home owners. The answer is different for each family and their current situation. With property values sky rocketing, many owners have decided it’s more cost-effective to add the square footage needed than to spend the money on a down payment and higher mortgage.Often, you can decide between upgrading your home or buying a new house simply by considering what you want to change. For example, putting in a new floor in the living room is quite a small project, but adding a new wing to the house would take considerable cash. If you need more space, it might make more sense to buy rather than to take out a home improvement loan, but small changes shouldn’t warrant a move.

How do you feel about the area in which you live?

You can add a second story or retile the kitchen or build an outdoor shed, but you can’t change the community surrounding your home. Whether you should upgrade your home or buy a new house might depend on your feelings about the surrounding area. If crime is up and the school systems are poor, you might want to move and start over in a better community. If you’re comfortable and happy, however, it might pay to stay.

Will zoning ordinances prevent you from building

Extensive renovations to an existing home can be more trouble than they’re worth. You’ll have to get approval from your homeowners’ association, and you’ll have to acquire building permits for any new structures, as well as plumbing and electrical service. You can upgrade your home on the inside without having to worry about this, but if you’re worried about going through the proper channels to build, you might want to just buy a new house.

What does the housing market look like?

Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to sell a house right away. If you need to sell your current home in order to buy a new house, it might be better to simply upgrade and stay where you are. The real estate market can change overnight, however, so you could be ready to move in just a couple of months. It all depends on your financial situation and how long you’re willing to wait for the house of your dreams.

Do you have the cash to upgrade?

When you buy a new house, you use the proceeds from the sale of your current home to make the down payment, but this isn’t the case when you decide to upgrade. If you don’t have the cash necessary on hand, you can take out a home improvement loan or line of credit, which will act as a second mortgage on your house. This can be financially draining if you’re concerned about job security or other expenses, so make sure to consider your budget before making a decision. Please visit my website http://www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding neighborhoods.





davis_californiaIn housing it normally takes three years to create a trend. The local market is boiling right now. People often ask me if now is the time to sell. The simple answer is, without hesitation, “absolutely!”. Home prices have soared in Davis. The demand far outweighs the supply and it’s now common for properties to sell above asking price. With home prices up 15% year-to-date in Davis, many homeowners have delayed taking advantage of this price boon and have decided to wait until Spring or Summer to market their property.

After the nearly double-digit price gain last year, followed by this years increase, home buyers are feeling a great deal of angst to get into a home as quickly as possible. The problem they are experiencing is there’s not enough inventory to make up for the pent-up demand. That’s the main reason behind the multiple offers that are so prevalent in not just Davis but the entire region. Some of my recent open houses have had 30 or more visitors on any given day. I had nearly 40 families that came to my most recent open house and it rained for the entire 3 hours. Most seem to be serious buyers that have been searching for a home for many months. That’s the quagmire home buyers in Davis are now experiencing. They want to buy a home but the scarcity of inventory has kept many on the fence waiting for a home that fits the criteria of that given family.

Home sellers could be costing themselves by hesitating the marketing of their homes. Demand is high and supply is low and this puts the seller in control. Spring and Summer brings out more buyers but on the other hand, it also brings out more sellers competing for those buyers. At this time, there’s little competition from other home owners. beating the competition to the punch, in this case, getting your home on the market is a shrewd move for any Davis homeowner.

Will prices continue the upward trajectory and for how long? Will the rest of this year keep home values ramped up in double-digit appreciation? If you look at properties in pending status and use those to project the next few months, prices will stay near the current level. Please visit my website http://www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on selling or buying a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.