Summary: Hear what buyers have told us, what the latest market data is pointing to. The truth is always like medicine: tastes bad, but properly taken, cures. You may not like some of the things you’re about to read, but know we only tell you the truth. TIP: Think like a BUYER.
Unlike the age-old game of hide-and-seek, you WANT your home to be found. The best way to NOT be found is almost always to…overprice! So you’re shopping for a 2-year old used Corolla in great shape. Your homework tells you it’ll cost you between $12K-$15K. Would you search for your car BEYOND $15K? Let’s think about it:
1. If you do NOT find a single car around $12K that meets your criteria, then you might increase it to $13K or more.
2. If 100+ Corollas pop up from your search, I doubt you’d bother going up to $13K, much less any higher numbers. You’d most likely ignore and NEVER even see those that overpriced their cars.
If that car seller priced his Corolla at a Cadillac price, it’ll stay available for a long time.

There’s a BIG difference in OVERPRICING vs TESTING the price limits. One of them is very smart. The other will turn everyone else away faster than what our city used to smell like 25 years ago. One of them ensures most potential buyers will either not find that house, or flat out ignore it. The other allows for much higher levels of interest, yet without leaving money on the table. TIP: One will allow you to SELL your home successfully, while the other will allow you to KEEP your home.

If you needed heart surgery, would you call the best kidney surgeon, even if it was your friend who’d cut you up for free? I have heard from neighbors and even sellers who have felt an agent did not do any marketing. In fairness to them, I always respond: “I’ve lived in Chino Hills going on 25 years, walk the streets 5 hours daily, and thanks to so many of you list & sell a lot. As local specialists, we spend a significant amount of money every month, aggressively & creatively marketing locally, into the Southern California Asian community, and even overseas, specifically just for Chino Hills. That practically means nothing everywhere else. Even though I am legally licensed to list a home anywhere in California, I may not do as well for that seller, since most other areas, with a few exceptions, are beyond my familiarity and expertise.” TIP: Call the heart surgeon when your heart needs some good work!

Just Say “NO”? With the softening of the market, we have often shared with our sellers that short of it being an absolute lowball (NOT by sellers’ standards, or what they might mathematically & even logically figure they need, but what is supported by actual comps), that first offer just might be the last one, and can be the best, only because it means that buyer has been looking and is willing to write that offer. Think of the first one in line on Black Friday sales at 2 am. That’s a serious commitment to be first. BUT…

BUT: There is an important exception: It’s when that offer comes WITHOUT your home being listed on the OPEN market. The price could be great, or not. Tip: The only way to really know is to actually allow more than one party to see what you have to offer, and confirm which way the general market will support.

In the last few months, properties that have listed way too high have been basically ignored. Up until recently, most buyers responded to overpriced listings with lowball offers. With the increasing inventory, buyers gravitate to the best priced listings. All things being relatively equivalent, wouldn’t you do the same? TIP: When selling your home, it’s always wise to think like a BUYER when it comes to pricing.

For most of this current rising market, buyers’ preferences (as in willingness to pay a premium for certain features) CHANGE. There was square footage, proximity to certain community features (the 99 Ranch Market, Shoppes, award-winning top API schools, freeway access, etc), level of remodel and upgrades. The advantage of listing, selling & representing the most buyers in the hottest areas (complete list HERE) is we’re at the very edge of sensing changing trends and preferences. 2015 TIP: Want to know what buyers want NOW? Just call & ask!

Gravity STILL works. Sort of. We’ve all heard “what goes up must come down, and what comes down must go up.” Generally, that’s what we experience. But “MUST” is not a must. At the very least, even if that old saying was an absolute, the big variable that could throw a wrench into reality is TIME. The current market uptrend is really a recovery that had rocket boosters at full throttle for almost 18 months. Upswings or declines can be swift or dragged out. Tip: From what we can observe, in the absence of unexpected cataclysmic market factors, Chino Hills has most likely entered a downward phase that may be a softer landing than the faceplant after the top of 2007 crashing into 2010-2012.

Who cares about Feng-Shui? Just possibly the 65% of buyers who grew up with it. While the buyer may not be necessarily Asian or Chinese, we have to remember price is a function of demand. If there were 65% less people interested in any item for sale, it goes down. I grew up in a home that practiced many of its tenets. Yet I had to kindly remind my own father that I was not going to allow him to feng-shui our home when we first looked into purchasing it back in 1990. It’s really agreeing to disagree, yet respecting someone else’s view. While my manners may not be questioned for enjoying noodles quietly in America, withholding delightful slurps in some Asian contexts would be an outright insult to my host. Just some “food” for thought. More HERE.

Is the rush over? The buying frenzy hit Chino Hills from a huge infusion of cash towards the end of 2012 into 2013. Several areas hit over 45% appreciation in a 12-18 month period. That said, there are still buyers, but instead of a waterfall’s worth of them, we have a steady stream. That’s the good news – I firmly believe we’ve joined the ranks of coveted cities, at least for the Asian buyer, like Diamond Bar, Walnut, Arcadia and the like. To paraphrase someone who called me from Beijing, she was impressed with how we described the special attributes of our city, referring to our glossy ad in the high-end overseas International Real Estate Journal HERE.

As always, it is a privilege to be of service to you, be it answering questions, or listing & selling your home. Thank you.

%d bloggers like this: