January 11, 2021
Buyers and sellers alike are stuck at home, all speculating on what will happen next in this unknown landscape of Coronavirus. The key to navigating the LA real estate market in 2021? Decisiveness. As the timeless saying goes - you snooze, you lose.
Since the beginning of Covid I have observed multiple cases of indecisiveness result in lost opportunities for people who genuinely wanted properties, but got in their own way. It’s completely natural that in a time of unprecedented world affairs that those trading in the real estate market are weighing their options carefully, but the truth is for every one hesitant player I have five active, aggressive clients, ready to go.
Since the pandemic hit I had the pleasure of representing a listing that attracted multiple offers - there were so many good candidates in fact, that the decision was quite tough for my clients to make - everyone seemed well-qualified. One potential candidate came in trying to negotiate below asking, which was never going to work - in a competitive situation, it’s not an option. Realizing he was not going to win the property he quickly sweetened his deal - it was now incredibly attractive. It looked like it was all about to come together but at the last moment, a heavy pause. The candidate (who had already come in lower than others) wanted to re-negotiate a few terms in the offer that had already been reviewed by all parties and agreed upon verbally. A noticeable hesitation shifted my clients’ perspective, and they ultimately did a complete about-face, choosing to move forward with a prospect who had been consistent from the start. The owners of the property wanted to make sure they were entering into an agreement with someone who 100% was committed to the property and a smooth transaction process. The flurry of texts, and calls that came later were frustrating for all- I genuinely felt bad for this person who had wanted the property and lost it after being hot and cold, and perhaps a bit too confident that a bag of money would fix everything in a very competitive situation.
Another story that comes to mind is the story of a low offer received on another property. Buyers wrote an aggressively low offer on a property - a gap so wide it couldn’t be bridged, unfortunately. The buyer did get the seller down considerably, and it looked like a deal might be possible, but once the seller was down the buyer became overly aggressive and wanted a further reduction below market value. That was not going to happen. Ultimately the seller chose to keep the property even when this buyer came back at his original price.
What do both of these candidates I am describing to you have in common? They let indecisiveness interfere with their goals, and they both lost in situations where they could have won the homes they wanted.
So the key to navigating this market? Decisiveness. That doesn’t mean jump into something without thinking about it, it means while negotiating consider what are real deal breakers for you, and what would really just be a bonus.
Am I still seeing bidding wars? Yes! Especially in entry-level markets under 2 million.
Am I seeing great properties sit? Yes! Normally because they’re overpriced or in a luxury price point where fewer buyers are available.
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Stormie brings an analytical and quantitative lens to her core real estate markets on the Westside of Los Angeles. Working in a high-profile environment, often with private clientele, has poised Stormie to handle each transaction with discretion, and expert negotiation tactics.