L.A. Housing Scene
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L.A.’s Seller Market: A Tough Time For Buyers

As spring warms up, the number of homes on the market here in L.A. is starting to increase…and while there are houses that nobody wants which sit on the market for a small eternity, for the most part if you have a well-designed house in a hot neighborhood such as Mar Vista, Venice or Highland Park, you are guaranteed multiple offers and a very, very quick sale.  For the listing agent, its all blue skies and clear sailing…And for the seller the only concern is to make sure that every possible dollar is wrung out of the deal…

On the flip side, are the earnest serious buyers: if you need a loan to close the deal, you are going to be facing an uphill battle to get your offer accepted. You’re competing against very well-heeled buyers including investors (both domestic and international) with loads of cash and the ability to close in a fraction of the time you’ll need to get your bank to close the deal. Most banks are still so gun-shy about lending money to even the most highly qualified buyers, that the whole process can drag on for weeks and weeks.

Because of the steep competition, I have taken to literally pounding the pavement and contacting contractors/developers who have broken ground to see when the project will be done and if they are open to giving a sneak peek of plans or final touches before the property hits the market so that my clients have a chance at submitting an offer before the feeding frenzy begins.

Meanwhile, there is also a growing concern that Baby Boomers aren’t selling their homes in the numbers that demographers had predicted…partly because they are a healthier, more active group of seniors than in previous generations so they are able to live independently and enjoy the benefits of living in Los Angeles with all of its amenities: excellent restaurants, theater and other cultural life, beaches and great weather.

So the inventory is limited and the competition is steep: it’s definitely a tough time for buyers who don’t want to settle for a dog of a house. One solution: buy the fixer house in the best possible neighborhood and spend the extra cash remodeling it to suit your personal taste. Not everyone has the patience, cash or the stomach to go through a remodel, but it can pay off hugely both in the short and longterm when you turn around to sell it.

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