Home Shopping When the Shelves are Running Empty

By EDDIE RIVERA, Weekedndr Editor
Published on Jul 15, 2021

No one needs to tell you that the Pasadena housing market is as tight as it has ever been. According to Pasadena Keller Williams realtor Jason Berns, Pasadena currently has only a .9 month supply of available housing properties. And in May of 2020, that number was only at 1.8, he said.

“That’s not a balanced market,” he explained. “There should be about six months availability,” to level the playing field, he added. As of this week, the MLS was showing 222 properties available in Pasadena proper.

Thus the serious seller’s market.

Over the past year, Southern California was the second strongest growing region in the state at 33.1 percent, according to norada.com.

All major regions had at least 44 percent year-over-year growth in sales from last May when the market hit its lowest point in 2020, the site said

So is the buyer left to his or her own devices in a market where only the strong survive? Yes and no, according to trulia.com. There are some things that the buyer can do when inventory is as low as it is.

Buyers can start by offering a higher price, but within reason.

“I recommend that buyers go in with your best and final offer immediately,” said one local agent. “Offering a higher price can be tricky when you’re buying a home. You’ll need to make sure you can afford — and get — a bigger mortgage. But you also need to be able to make up the difference in cash if the house appraises below your offer. Most lenders will not approve a mortgage for more than the appraised value.”

And according to Tracy Do, a realtor at Compass Realty, buyers need to “Be ready, know your budget, and be qualified for your budget.”

Have all your loan documentation ready when you start your search, and don’t start actively searching or making offers until everything, every document at your end, is prepared, says Do.

“You need to be brave. strengthen your nerve,” she adds. “Go in with eyes wide open, and be able to compete, and know that this is what it takes to get a property.

Do adds, “Do as much as you can as soon as you can. You’re going to go up against competition, and properties are increasing in value at rates I haven’t seen in as many years as I’ve been doing this.

And wherever possible in the buying process, be proactive, Do says, adding, “Get yourself a good agent and trust them.”

Do also emphasizes the importance of being ready and prepared as much as the fact of buying and owning a home itself.

“As soon as I was ready,” she said, “I bought my home, and I have never regretted it. It’s such an important and valuable thing.”

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