• Ask Mandy (FAQs)

  • How is the market?

    The Lamorinda market has consistently been a seller’s market with more buyers than sellers. Properties here are protected from market fluctuations due to the lack of supply and strong demand in Lamorinda. There are market conditions that continue to change - from interest rates to pandemics to work from home, and so on. No set of circumstances are ever the same and we take pride in guiding and advising our buyers and sellers through the market conditions to help them best position themselves.

    I want to sell this house and buy another. How do I do that?

    This is a great question that we get asked often. There are a lot of different factors that come into play when timing the sale of your home and the purchase of your next home. An important factor is the inventory quantity graph. The market is typically at its lowest in December/January and peaks to its maximum in June/July. When you know and fully understand this graph of inventory, you can better capitalize on and time the sale of your home and the purchase of your next home. Ideally you want to list your home in the spring market or early spring market to take advantage of the lack of inventory and the largest pool of buyers, and then time the purchase of your next home to take advantage of the increased inventory that we typically see in June/July. However, everybody has a different set of circumstances, which we’d be happy to discuss with you.

    I’m not quite ready to buy, but will be in a few years. Is it worth talking to a realtor right now?

    It’s never too early to start talking to a realtor and a lender to best prepare yourself for what lies ahead. By keeping in touch and getting listings sent to you from the market that you’re interested in, you’ll be armed with the knowledge you need when the time comes to buy.

    Should I buy now or wait?

    Trying to time the market in California is a difficult game. If your employment and finances line up, then it's likely safer to buy now than to see home prices consistently increase 5-6% each year, making the buying process more difficult. You always run the risk of a market correction, but with proper advice and guidance from an experienced agent, you can somewhat minimize these risks. The Lamorinda market is not immune to market fluctuations, but it seems to fare better than other areas due to the lack of supply, the great schools, and desirability of the area.

    How should I price my home?

    The most important factor in selling your home is pricing. When a home is properly prepared and priced, we see the greatest return for the seller. Buyers are not afraid to bid up a home, but they are very reluctant to bid down. If a home is priced too high, it will sit on the market and suffer price reduction after price reduction, ultimately selling for the lowest possible price. If a home is properly priced, buyers will bid it up to its maximum value and the sellers will get the highest possible price. There are a lot more factors that we can discuss in detail when we meet.

    Do I need to renovate my house to sell it?

    In short, no. The house will sell without making improvements, but you will get a higher price for a home that’s finished. A part of our service is meeting with sellers to provide a list of the improvements that will result in a profit. Homes that are completely finished and “turnkey” attract the most buyers and the highest sales price. We have many contractors that we work with and get very good rates on improvements to ensure your investment is rewarded.

    How much will it cost to get my house ready to sell? What projects will get me the most money?

    Every house has a different set of circumstances. We have a team of experts, from interior designers to stagers to landscape professionals, that go through your home and make a list of suggestions they believe will result in the greatest return. Sometimes it's a little as some touch up paint and sometimes it's a complete remodel. We give you the suggestions that we think will be profitable and you decide. We offer a program called Compass Concierge whereby we cover the cost of the improvements with no interest and no points to you and get reimbursed at close of escrow.

    Zillow said my home is worth $x. Should this be my list price?

    Pricing in Lamorinda is complex and automated online valuations are frequently wrong. Zillow doesn’t know if your home is on a flat lot or severe slop, for instance, which can create a 20-25% swing in pricing. Due to many factors like this, a Zillow price is just a guess. We believe it pays to get the opinion of a strong, local agent that knows the complexities of your area.

    I’m not ready to sell yet, but I might be in the next few years. Will you still consult us on what to upgrade and what makes money?

    Absolutely. We love getting calls from people who would like advice on improvements with the goal of selling years from now. We provide free consultations so that you can invest in the right upgrades now for greater profit down the road.

  • Let's Work Together

    For 10+ years we’ve provided exceptional service to home buyers, sellers & builders in Lamorinda & San Francisco Bay Area.

    We take pride in delivering the very best results for our clients and building lasting relationships.

    Compass Real Estate
    3595 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 200
    Lafayette, CA 94549
    DRE#: 01950087
    415.297.8441