5 Tips for Homebuyers Who Want to Make a Competitive Offer

5 Tips for Homebuyers Who Want to Make a Competitive Offer | Simplifying The Market

Today’s real estate market has high buyer interest and low housing inventory. With so many buyers competing for a limited number of homes, it’s more important than ever to know the ins and outs of making a confident and competitive offer. Here are five keys to success for this important stage in the homebuying process.

1. Listen to Your Real Estate Agent

A recent article from Freddie Mac offers guidance on making an offer on a home in today’s market. Right off the bat, it points out how emotional this can be for buyers and why trusted professionals can help you stay focused on the most important things:

“Remember to let your homebuying team guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must-haves and future financial stability.”

Your real estate professional should be your primary source for answers to the questions you have when you’re ready to make an offer.

2. Understand Your Finances

Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. The best way to know this is to reach out to your lender to get pre-approved for a loan early in the homebuying process. Only 44% of today’s prospective homebuyers are planning to apply for pre-approval, so be sure to take this step so you stand out from the crowd. It shows sellers you’re a serious, qualified buyer and can give you a competitive edge if you enter a bidding war.

3. Be Ready to Move Quickly

According to the Realtors Confidence Index, published monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property being sold today is receiving more than three offers and is only on the market for a few weeks. These are both results of today’s competitive market, showing how important it is to stay agile and vigilant in your search. As soon as you find the right home for your needs, be prepared to work with your agent to submit an offer as quickly as possible.

4. Make a Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, Freddie Mac also warns that submitting an offer that’s too low can lead sellers to doubt how serious you are as a buyer. Don’t submit an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received. The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive:

“Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home and recent home sale prices in the area.”

5. Be a Flexible Negotiator

After submitting an offer, the seller may accept it, reject it, or counter it with their own changes. In a competitive market, it’s important to stay nimble throughout the negotiation process. Your position can be strengthened with an offer that includes flexible move-in dates, a higher price, or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). There are, however, certain contingencies you don’t want to forego. Freddie Mac explains:

Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is’, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”

Bottom Line

Today’s competitive market makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home, and a trusted expert can help you rise to the top along the way.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters


Key Terms to Know in the Homebuying Process [INFOGRAPHIC]

Key Terms to Know in the Homebuying Process [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Key Terms to Know in the Homebuying Process [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Buying a home can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process.
  • To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of some of the most common language you’ll hear along the way.
  • The best way to ensure your homebuying process is a positive one is to find a real estate professional who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher’ by putting your needs first.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters


Thank You for Your Support

Thank You for Your Support | Simplifying The Market

Thank You for Your Support | Simplifying The Market


Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters


Your House May Be High on the Buyer Wish List This Holiday Season

Your House May Be High on the Buyer Wish List This Holiday Season | Simplifying The Market

Around this time each year, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to sell their houses. Similarly, others who already have their homes on the market remove their listings until the spring. Let’s unpack the top reasons why selling your house now, or keeping it on the market this season, is the best choice you can make. This year, buyers want to purchase homes for the holidays, and your house might be the perfect match.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait to sell your house this holiday season:

1. Buyers are active now. Mortgage rates are historically low, providing motivation for those who are ready to get more for their money over the life of their home loan.

2. Purchasers who look for homes during the holidays are serious ones, and they’re ready to buy.

3. You can restrict the showings in your house to days and times that are most convenient for you, or even select virtual options. You’ll remain in control, especially in today’s sellers’ market.

4. Homes decorated for the holidays appeal to many buyers.

5. Today, there’s minimal competition for you as a seller. There just aren’t enough houses on the market to satisfy buyer demand, meaning sellers are in the driver’s seat. Over the past year, inventory has declined to record lows, making it the opportune time to sell your house (See graph below): Your House May Be High on the Buyer Wish List This Holiday Season | Simplifying The Market6. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop during the holidays. Buyers who have been searching throughout the fall and have been running into more and more bidding wars are still on the lookout. Your home may be the answer.

7. This season is the sweet spot for sellers, and the number of listings will increase after the holidays. In many parts of the country, more new construction will also be available for sale in 2021, which will lessen the demand for your house next year.

Bottom Line 

More than ever, this may be the year it makes the most sense to list your house during the holiday season. Let’s connect today to determine if selling now is your best move.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters


Is Buying a Home Today a Good Financial Move?

Is Buying a Home Today a Good Financial Move? | Simplifying The Market

There’s no doubt 2020 has been a challenging year. A global pandemic coupled with an economic recession has caused heartache for many. However, it has also prompted more Americans to reconsider the meaning of “home.” This quest for a place better equipped to fulfill our needs, along with record-low mortgage rates, has skyrocketed the demand for home purchases.

This increase in demand, on top of the severe shortage of homes for sale, has also caused more bidding wars and thus has home prices appreciating rather dramatically. Some, therefore, have become cautious about buying a home right now.

The truth of the matter is, even though homes have appreciated by a whopping 6.7% over the last twelve months, the cost to buy a home has actually dropped. This is largely due to mortgage rates falling by a full percentage point.

Let’s take a look at the monthly mortgage payment on a $300,000 house one year ago, and then compare it with that same home today, after it has appreciated by 6.7% to $320,100:Is Buying a Home Today a Good Financial Move? | Simplifying The MarketCompared to this time last year, you’ll actually save $87 dollars a month by purchasing that home today, which equates to over one thousand dollars a year.

But isn’t the economy still in a recession?

Yes, it is. That, however, may make it the perfect time to buy your first home or move up to a larger one. Tom Gil, a Harvard trained negotiator and real estate investor, recently explained:

“When volatile assets are facing recessions, hard assets, such as gold and real estate, thrive. Historically speaking, residential real estate has done better compared to other markets during and after recessions.”

That thought is substantiated by the fact that homeowners have 40 times the net worth of renters. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist for First American Financial Corporation, recently said:

“Despite the risk of volatility in the housing market, numerous studies have demonstrated that homeownership leads to greater wealth accumulation when compared with renting. Renters don’t capture the wealth generated by house price appreciation, nor do they benefit from the equity gains generated by monthly mortgage payments, which become a form of forced savings for homeowners.”

Bottom Line

With home prices still increasing and mortgage rates perhaps poised to begin rising as well, buying your first home, or moving up to a home that better fits your current needs, likely makes a ton of sense.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters


Don’t Let Buyer Competition Keep You from Purchasing a Home

Don’t Let Buyer Competition Keep You from Purchasing a Home | Simplifying The Market

This year’s record-low mortgage rates sparked high demand among homebuyers. Current homeowners, however, haven’t put their houses on the market so quickly. This makes finding a home to buy today challenging for many potential buyers. With an obstacle like this, those searching for their dream homes may be pressing pause on their searches as we approach the end of the year, but that could be a big mistake for many hopeful house hunters. Here’s why.

According to the most recent Housing Trends Report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB):

“The length of time spent searching for a home continues to grow.”

The report indicates that 62% of buyers now spend 3 months or more looking for a home, an increase from 58% one year ago. A primary cause for the delay is the heavy competition today’s buyers face when making an offer on a home. Based on recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average house in today’s market receives 3.4 offers before it’s sold. This means for every buyer who purchases a home, there are on average two or three buyers who have to begin their search all over again.

Compared to this time last year, the NAHB report shows that buyers are having more success finding homes in their price range. However, it also notes the percentage of buyers saying they’re getting outbid when they make an offer has jumped from 15% to 27%. Buyers are indicating that bidding wars are a major obstacle to finding their dream home (See graph below):Don’t Let Buyer Competition Keep You from Purchasing a Home | Simplifying The MarketIf this is a challenge you’re up against in your home search, you’re not alone. Feeling stuck in the process can be frustrating, but if there’s ever been a year to power through, this is the one. NAHB noted:

“Difficulties finding a home to buy will likely lead 20% of active buyers to give up until next year or later. That share is up from 15% a year earlier.”

Experts anticipate home prices will continue to rise into 2021, and the incredibly low interest rates we’ve seen this year are also forecasted to increase as the economy strengthens. Hopeful homebuyers who decide to hold off on their search until there’s less competition run the risk of finding a more expensive housing market when they start looking again. If affordability is a key motivator behind your decision to buy a home, this winter is still the best time to make it happen.

Bottom Line

Bidding wars may be one of the greatest challenges buyers face in today’s housing market, but they shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Having the right expert on your side throughout the buying process will give you the advantage you need when it comes to finding the right home and making a competitive offer. If you’re ready to buy this winter, let’s connect to discuss how to position yourself for success.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters


It Pays to Sell with a Real Estate Agent [INFOGRAPHIC]

It Pays to Sell with a Real Estate Agent [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

It Pays to Sell with a Real Estate Agent [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

  • Today, it’s more important than ever to have an expert you trust to guide you as you sell your house.
  • From your safety throughout the process to the complexity of negotiating the deal, you need a professional on your side.
  • Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house on your own, let’s connect to discuss your options.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters


Weekly Housing Report 11-19-2020

Talk Of The Town

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Thinking of Buying or Selling, Call Ken (714) 474-7040

New Homes | New Condos | Search | Home Value

Homes for Sale Are Rapidly Disappearing


Through all the challenges of 2020, the real estate market has done very well, and purchasers are continuing to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates. Realtor Magazine just explained:

“While winter may be typically a slow season in real estate, economists predict it isn’t likely to happen this year…Low inventories combined with high demand due to record-low mortgage rates is sending buyers to the market in a flurry.”

However, one challenge for the housing industry heading into this winter is the dwindling number of homes available for sale. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), recently said:

“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.”

In addition, Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for, notes:

“Fewer new sellers coming to market while a greater than usual number of buyers continue to search for a home causes inventory to continue to evaporate.”

One major indicator the industry uses to measure housing supply is the months’ supply of inventory. According to NAR:

“Months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace.”

Historically, six months of supply is considered a normal real estate market. Going into the pandemic, inventory was already well below this mark. As the year progressed, the supply has was reduced even further. Here is a graph showing this measurement over the last year:


What does this mean if you’re a buyer?

Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, be prepared to make a competitive offer from the start, and understand how the shortage in inventory has led to more bidding wars. Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home if you truly love it.

What does this mean if you’re a seller?

Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there’s a shortage of an item at the same time there’s a strong demand for it, the seller is in a good position to negotiate. Whether it’s the price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to ask for more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Do not be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.

Bottom Line

The housing market will remain strong throughout the winter and heading into the spring. Know what that means for you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both. Should you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me anytime.

Proposition 19

California just passed Proposition 19, transforming tax breaks and unlocking TONS of opportunities for growth and much-needed change for homeowners. ✨?? ? Here’s what you need to know –

Mortgage Watch 11-15-2020
No Homes On The Internet? No Problem We Can Find Your Dream Home

Should you have any questions please reach out to us anytime.

Wishing you a beautiful day,


Is Now the Time To Buy? Homebuyer’s Mortgage Watch – November 15, 2020

Graphic showing the 8 week trends of mortgage rates up to November 15, 2020

To find out if now is the time to buy, check out this week’s mortgage highlights:

  • Unexpectedly positive news from Pfizer and BioNTech regarding their vaccine candidate ignited a new level of hope that we could see the end of the pandemic in the coming year, or at least a significant reduction in its impact.
  • That, coupled with more election results that firmed Biden’s victory pushed stocks higher with mortgage rates also moving upward.
  • The most important economic news of the week, inflation data, revealed very little inflationary pressure. With the Fed continuing to engineer market conditions, we could once again see strong growth with interest rates remaining low.
  • All of the cheer from last week could begin to dissipate in the coming weeks if shutdowns and restrictions are enacted to control the pandemic.
  • The governor of Washington issued orders over the weekend, and other states may follow suit. If that happens, and we begin to see economic activity slowing, then rates are unlikely to move upward.
  • We could also see some additional downward movement in rates if Retail Sales and Industrial Production numbers come in under expectations.
  • So is now the time to buy for you? Purchasing a home is about finding the perfect time in YOUR life. Click here to start your home search and see what’s available in today’s real estate market that fits your needs.

Zoom In On The Best Remote Work Cities

Remote work is here to stay for many, but where are the best cities?® analyzed 100 of the largest metro areas for high-speed internet (at least 250 Mbps), affordable home prices, and low cost of living. For geographic diversity, only one metro per state was included. The top cities are Syracuse, NY, Akron, OH, Scranton, PA, New Haven, CT, El Paso, TX, New Orleans, LA, Milwaukee, WI, Providence, RI, Des Moines, IA, and St Louis, MO.


How Prop 19 Helps Californians Move Anywhere Within the State and Keep Their Low Tax Base

How Prop 19 Helps Californians Move Anywhere Within the State and Keep Their Low Tax Base

California just passed Proposition 19, transforming tax breaks for thousands of homeowners across the state, hopefully unlocking opportunities for growth and much-needed change. The exemption is expected to help fuel home sales by encouraging those who have been reluctant to move because their property tax bills would increase sharply. Proposition 19 will officially go into effect after February 15, 2021.

Here’s a quick summary of the major changes for people 55+, the severely disabled, and wildfire victims implemented by Prop 19:

Starting April 1, 2021 –

  • Eligible homeowners can now transfer their low tax assessments anywhere within the state. Previously, under Proposition 13, eligible homeowners could transfer their tax assessments only within counties.
  • Previously, tax assessments were limited to homes of equal or lesser market value, and now it applies to more expensive homes as well.
  • Increases the number of times people can transfer their tax assessments from one to three.

Starting February 15, 2021

  • Require inherited properties be reassessed at market value unless they’re being used as a primary residence.

According to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® President Jeanne Radsick, this is a win-win for the state. “Voters passed Proposition 19 because it is a win-win for California, providing needed housing and tax relief for seniors, wildfire victims, and generating much-needed revenue for schools, fire districts, cities, and counties as they face budget shortfalls due to harmful economic impact of COVID-19.” However, the majority of the wildfire funding isn’t projected to start flowing until roughly 2025.

Market Winners and Losers

Winners: Older homeowners ready to retire

Why: There has been a consistent push to extend the benefits of Proposition 13 in order to remove barriers and disincentives for older homeowners who are naturally ready to move onto the next phase – and home – in their lives. Coupled with the seller’s market we’re experiencing, this is a particularly great time for homeowners to sell their Southern California home for top dollar.

Retiring in Southern California is an expensive endeavor, but now it’s a much more attainable goal for longtime residents. For example, a homeowner over 55 can now sell their $800,000 single-family home and transfer their tax base to purchase a $1,000,000 condo by the beach. Empty-nesters and those wanting to move for health reasons can find new homes without facing a big tax hit.

Winners: Wildfire victims who want more

Why: Provided the same opportunities as individuals 55 or older, wildfire victims now have the freedom to quite literally rise from the ashes and enjoy greater flexibility when moving on from a devastating home loss. If a family loses their home in a wildfire, they have the opportunity to purchase an even better home without facing a large tax increase. Now, with great loss can come great new opportunities as well.

Potential winners: House hunters

Why: It’s no secret that we have a housing shortage with extremely low inventory especially within more affordable price ranges within Southern California. By allowing more homeowners to take their low tax base with them, it incentivizes them to open up desperately needed inventory for potential buyers who are currently fighting over limited homes for sale and frequently getting caught up in bidding wars.

In fact, proponents of Prop 19 believe that this change could spur 30,000 people a year to move, freeing up much-needed inventory and increasing sales by about 12% among older homeowners.

Potential losers: Those who inherit investment properties

WhyPreviously, individuals who inherited homes were given the same protections as older homeowners. By closing loopholes and tax breaks used on vacation houses, second homes, and beachfront rentals, estate planning is thrown into question.

Proposition 19 revises the Parent-to-Child exemptions set forth in Proposition 13, now limiting the type of transfers as well as the property tax benefit available. First of all, only a transfer of a parent’s primary residence to the child where the property remains a primary residence qualifies for the tax break. Second, the child’s assessed value is determined based on the property’s value at the time of transfer. If the property value at the time of the transfer exceeds the parent’s assessed value by less than $1 million, then the child simply takes the parent’s assessed value. However, if the property value at the time of the transfer exceeds the assessed value by $1 million or more, then the child’s assessed value is the current value of the property less $1 million. For example, if you have a primary residence with a tax base of $1.5 million, and a fair market value of $3 million, the home would be reassessed on the amount of fair market value above $2.5M ($1.5 million + $1 million).

Solution: Consider gifting real estate before the end of 2020. Because the law doesn’t take effect until February 16, 2021, you have time left to enjoy the current benefits of Proposition 13. However, the best time to give the gift of real estate is probably within this calendar year because under a Biden administration, lifetime exemptions could face further restrictions and limits.

Prop 19 helps Californians by opening up more flexible opportunities for movement so fewer individuals feel stuck in their current living situations. If you have any questions about how this measure may affect your real estate goals and plans, email us at for further assistance.