We recently interviewed Flavia Brown with 3 Leaf Realty in Manhattan Beach to get her perspective on where the market is headed this spring. Here are excerpts from that interview:
- Tell us about the market you service.
It’s still a strong seller’s market in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach, and it looks like that trend will continue for at least the next few months, and likely for the rest of 2016. Inventory is low, and that frustrates buyers because they want more choices. Several reasons there are most often more buyers than sellers: 1) Desirability of the area; 2) Scarcity of buildable land; 3) Many owners would like to sell (to retire), but they are confident that if they wait for another year or two they will sell at a higher price. Their predictions are based on recent sales history. Manhattan Beach has the highest appreciation rate, then Hermosa Beach, then South Redondo Beach, then North Redondo Beach.
- Is the spring time usually a good time to sell a house?
Springtime is usually a good time, but in most parts of the South Bay many sellers are holding off because they are anticipating a higher selling price in a year or two. Also, buyers are a bit discouraged because they don’t have many choices. Therefore, it hasn’t been a good time to buy.
- Is this spring living up to expectations in your area? Why/why not?
Other that what was written above (in #1), the real estate industry expected a hot market, partly because there has been a pent up demand of buyers since the past holiday season.
- How will 2016 be different from last year, in terms of home sales volume/activity, in your opinion?
2016 will probably be about the same as last year. Summertime could outperform springtime because of the pent up demand.
- What advice do you have for sellers that can help them list/sell a home faster and more successfully during the summer?
Some of these suggestions will depend on how motivated the seller is to sell fast:
- Have your house in immaculate move-in condition.
- Have the property inspection completed before putting the house on the market.
- Offer to pay for some or all of the buyer’s closing costs, since many buyers are short of cash.
- Offer to reimburse the buyer for the property inspection if the seller doesn’t order the inspection.
- Have the repairs done before putting the house on the market.
- Establish an accurate list price based on a careful analysis of the comps and current market trend, and don’t fall for a listing presentation that includes a lot higher than other suggested list prices. This is called “buying the listing” and it will be a disservice to the owner because the house will sit unsold, and eventually the price will have to be reduced.
- What is one change that you believe needs to be made to the CA real estate industry in 2016?
Brokers need to learn how to be more supportive and helpful to their agents.
- What is unique about the market in your area? T
Los Angeles cities and areas are very diversified when considering quality of neighborhoods and property values. The three beach cities where I work, for example, are high-end resort areas, and the farther away from the ocean you look, the more affordable the houses are.
- What else would you like our readers to know?
When deciding whether to buy or rent, consider several factors relating to home ownership: tax deductions, appreciation rate, pride of ownership, free to renovate and improve the property, a stronger sense of being a part of the community, and children’s feeling of security
Flavia Brown, Realtor
3 Leaf Realty
Manhattan Beach, CA