Friday, April 22, 2016

Selling Your Manhattan Beach Home? Follow these Tips

1) NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS UPGRADING: Door hinges, vent covers, cabinet knobs and light fixtures are good places to spend because they’re small fixes that make a big difference in appearance. Think about other small, easy upgrades you can make. Focus on above-grade improvements over below-grade. Finishing that basement won’t make a difference. If you’re not sure about where to put your money, stick to kitchens and bathrooms. Check with me first to find out exactly what to do in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Also, don’t hide your house behind those ugly bushes.  If the lawn is brown, think of drought tolerant landscaping. Give your home a fresh coat of paint. Seal the driveway. Make a good first impression because you’ll never sell your home if you can’t get a buyer through the front door.

2) HOME STAGING COUNTS: If you can't declutter, it might be better to move out. Really. It’s difficult to imagine yourself in a home made up for someone else. It might be your ideal style, but it probably isn’t anywhere close to the buyer’s taste.

Focus on keeping the staging as clean and simple as possible. If it’s going to be difficult keeping things cleaned up, move out. Clutter and mess won’t sell your home.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Manhattan Beach Sales Update March 2016

There were 31 closed escrows during March with a median price of $2,462,500 compared to 34 during the same period in 2015 (prior year median $1,850,000).

So sales slightly down but prices in 90266 way up. Q1 2015 there were 74 closed escrows and Q1 2016 there were 69. So no question we can say sales down about 9% blended.

At the low end $984,000 bought a townhouse in Manhattan Village. If your budget was $5.7M you bought the highest priced property which was in the Hill Section. And for $5.150M you could have bought a 33*105 SqFt lot with ocean views on Manhattan Ave.

Of concern to Manhattan Beach would be Sellers should be the inventory level. There are 101 active listings in Manhattan Beach right now and 54 homes in escrow. Based on the sales calculation, the absorption rate is over 90 days which is a more balanced market and looking at the UC, under contract calculation, we're at around 2 months. I've been warning about this inventory buildup for quite a while and we'll see if it get worked through over the Spring Selling Season. But as of now the increased inventory is leading to price reductions and properties selling at a discount to list. In fact, 16 of 31 did so on March.

I am also concerned with the number of lot sales I've been seeing going at what I consider very high prices. Yes, I get it that builders need lots but at the end of the day they have to be able to make some profit. So I think a lot of this is getting highly, highly speculative. But what do I know.

Let's take a look at some actual sales.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Manhattan Beach Strand vs Santa Monica, Venice, and Malibu Prices

Real Estate on the Manhattan Beach Strand, whether it is land value or an actual home you can live in, is by far the priciest and most desirable in the Beach Cities. Well let's make that the South Bay.

After 9 closed sales in total in 2014 and 2015 there are now ten properties listed in the MLS and one in escrow. Land value and SFRs for what is currently available start at $7.5M and top out at $28,500,000. (Well there is a condo for $2.987M).

So with more listings available for sale today than actual sales over the past few years, a few things came to mind not the least of which is "when is that next Powerball Drawing?".

Seriously, because with this much money at hand this has to be serious, right, I was curious as to how Manhattan Beach Strand prices and sales activity stacks up against let's say Hermosa Beach, Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu CA. Do you get more or less for your money other considerations aside.

And no doubt there are a lot of other considerations aside. Many of us love the laid back lifestyle and overall convenience of living in Manhattan Beach. But for those who need to be closer to work, wherever that may be, or want more land, or some other amenity, it is a matter of personal preference. And if you are fortunate enough to be able to purchase in this price range you certainly get that choice.

So let's look at what approximately $20M, gets you in Manhattan Beach and elsewhere. You don't have to spend that much to buy on The Strand or as you will see beachfront in other parts of LA but it is a fun comparison. And since this is my blog, I get to have fun.

For the current Manhattan Beach Strand listings you'll have to scroll down to the bottom of this post after the break. That's just my clever way of getting you to look at the entire article!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Manhattan Beach Micro Market Report

Manhattan Beach CA SFR Micro Market Report - Teles Properties
A few months ago I started warning of the possibility that there would be a buildup of inventory in Manhattan Beach and that we were in danger of seeing the market dynamics shift from a Seller's to a Buyer's market. It looks like we may be at that tipping point right now.

Real Estate pricing is all about supply and demand on the local (micro) level with broader economic issues on the macro level. Based on the trend line we are seeing, Manhattan Beach home owners are pushing their sales price beyond the buying publics perceived market value. This has led to both price reductions, longer days on the market and inventory buildup.

As of this writing there are 79 active single family homes listed for sale in the MLS and 40 in escrow. Month to date there have been 18 closed escrows of SFRs (with 10 business days remaining in March) bringing the total for 2016 up to 48.

So either looking at "in escrow" compared to sales or actual sales we have anywhere from 2 months of supply up to over 6 months. Not exactly the trend line you would want to see as a seller.

Also troubling as far as further price appreciation, over the 79 active SFR listings 27 (34%) have had price cuts and 44 (56%) have been on the market longer than 30 days. Only 5 of the less than 30 day listings have had price reductions leading me to conclude that either sellers or their agents grossly miscalculated initial listing prices.

The best practice for listing still remains to price your home to sell with multiple offers the first 10 days on the market. That is still how you get the highest sales price.

Follow this link to get a quick automated home estimate for Manhattan Beach Real Estate then call me directly to learn how to sell for a higher price.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Homes for Sale in Manhattan Beach CA

Manhattan Beach CA is one of the most desirable beachfront towns in Los Angeles County and Southern CA. With easy proximity to LAX, the Westside, freeways jobs great schools and a laid back lifestyle what more could you ask for? And it you are curious homes are expensive, very expensive.

So how much does it cost to live in Manhattan Beach CA? The best way to tell is by actual current home listings which you can see on the map below. Many of these properties will sell close, at or above the MLS list price.

These are all the currently active listings from all the Real Estate Brokers, Agents, and Realty companies listing and selling homes in Manhattan Beach CA 90266. The map and results will also update in real time whenever you visit this page and display Open Houses when available. Single Family Residences (SFRs), Townhomes, and Condos. Houses in the Sand Section, Hill Section, Tree Section, Manhattan Village and East Manhattan Beach.

When you click on any of the listings, you will be taken to our sister website but don't worry, you are always welcome back here!

If you are not familiar with these neighborhoods, here's a quick guide.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Manhattan Beach Pricing Strategies

Selling Manhattan Beach Real Estate?
The most common question we get as listing agents is most likely "how much is my house worth?". And truthfully, that's a loaded question. A better discussion might be "what is the anticipated final sales price and how do we get there?". Let me explain.

Price, worth, value and other similar words may not have much weight in the equation. What we really are driving to is a final sales price and a strategy to get there. And make no mistake, the right strategy will get you a higher price.

When listing your home, I try to have clients focus more on final sales pricing than list price. And the way to get there is by analyzing the sales to list ratios.

If the inventory in your neighborhood, price point, or property type is low and there is demand, your best strategy is what I call "event" pricing as in create a listing event with a mega open house and a price to get the buyers in. Your goal is multiple offers and over bids. And very, very favorable terms.

So here's an example.

Similar homes to yours are selling for $1.750,000. Don't price yours at $1.9M to "leave room to negotiate". Price it at $1.6M to get a lot of showings and enthusiasm.

But let's say there are other listings similar to yours including some that have been on the market for a while with price reductions. Best strategy in this situation is what I call market perception pricing. It has to be a good deal compared to the competition. So, in that case you might price at $1,699,000.

Lastly is "aspirational" pricing. This is for the situations where there are no direct comps, your home has some more desirable features (pool, view, updates) that have value but hard to quantify. That's where you price higher to see what the market will bear. You might be at $1,990,000 when other are at $1.75M.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

How Long Has it Been on the Market?

Over the years I've done hundreds of Open Houses. Maybe even over a thousand, I lost track quite a while ago. What I can say is that I've spoken to thousands of potential buyers, neighbors, and tire kickers on all those Saturdays and Sundays. And if there is one question I have absolutely heard the most it would have to be "How long has it been on the market?" What agents refer to as Days on Market (DOM).

And, that's not a bad question but usually for reasons other than what the person who is asking it realizes.

There's no doubt that any listing is "hottest" during the first 7-10 days it is exposed to the public. But let me qualify that somewhat. These days many Realtors will place their listings on Zillow as "coming soon" or publicize it through social media, or do a blast to their database and other agents advertising it as a "pocket listing". So does that count?  In some ways yes, but if we are just gauging making the listing broadly available and syndicated to all, not selected, websites, then maybe not. And definitely not included in the MLS DOM counter.

What you find in most neighborhoods and price ranges is that homes sold during the first 30 days are very likely to sell at or above the asking price. After 30 days that number goes down and the longer on the market the lower the sales to list price ratio is likely to be.

Here's a few other considerations if you are one of those inquiring how long it has been on the market.

If the property has been on the market for longer than 30 days, has there been a price reduction (or increase). If there was a reduction 3 days ago chances are the seller isn't really looking for a price a lot below what they already reduced it to. But if it hasn't been reduced already, maybe you get lucky and catch it before they do the reduction and avoid competition.

You should also inquire as to whether the listing has been in escrow. If a property falls out of escrow, the DOM counter doesn't start at zero, it just picks up where it left off. That is, unless the listing agent put it in "backup" status.

Let me explain a little but about "backup" status because this is causing a lot of confusion in the marketplace.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Manhattan Beach Market Update | February 2016 Sales

Homes Sold in Manhattan Beach Feb 2016

Now that February sales are in we have some indication of how the Manhattan Beach housing market is shaping up for 2016.

There were 21 closed escrows in 90266 during February. This is up from 19 during the same time period (well it wasn't a Leap Year) during 2015 and up from 15 during January of 2016. So things are looking good, right? Well maybe, maybe not.

Sold properties ranged from $920K up to an even $9M. The median price was $1,850,000 and the average selling price was $2,658,333. Curiously the median is lower than it was through a number of months last year but the average is higher.

Here's a few red flags for me as to what is going on.

First, look at the number of properties that had price reductions during February. Fifteen out of 21 needed to be reduced to sell. Now some of that I can chalk up to properties that closed during May have well been on the market during December and January when things were slow even for a slow season. My next red flag is that the average days on market was 68. So a little longer than 2 months plus price reductions not a good sign or trend no matter what the reason.

As we enter March, there are 51 homes in escrow in Manhattan Beach (MLS status backup or pending). But as of this morning there are 85 active listings. So inventory is piling up and that leads to price reductions. In fact, 19 of the current active listings have had price reductions (22%) and the average days on market of current listings is 62.

By my usual calculation I would say that Manhattan Beach is not longer a Seller's market based on the sold vs active calculation or absorption rate.

Of course that can all change rather abruptly as more Buyers enter the market during the height of the traditional buying season.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Are You Looking for a Manhattan Beach "Off Market" or Pocket Listing?

Back in the days of the foreclosure and short sale crisis every agent at every Manhattan Beach open house had a secret list of REOs that you could only see if you swore everlasting allegiance to that agent. Of course, that was all urban myth and just a bait and switch scheme to entice buyers.

This year's version is the secret list of off market and pocket listings that every agent is peddling at open houses. So while it is true that there are a lot of off market deals going on, don't expect to get a deal.

In fact, in most instances the seller is looking for a premium to sell you the house before it hits the MLS and gets a bidding war going on. And that bidding war will ensue, no doubt about it.

For some buyers who have lost out on numerous properties they are willing to pay the premium if it is a home they want. Low risk for the seller because if the off market deal falls through they can always put it in the MLS and drive the bidding war.

As you might expect, I have a website for off-market properties and pocket listings.

I can't guarantee that I can find what you are looking for but I do network with all the power brokers in the area and have access to properties before they hit the market.

If you are just waiting to get a notification on your mobile device from ZIllow, Trulia, Redfin or and then going to open houses.....

Well that's a tough way to get into escrow is about all I can say. Try and lets see if we can find your new home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Are You Priced Out of Manhattan Beach?

With price acceleration continuing unabated in most high end luxury markets many potential buyers are priced out either from an absolute dollar amount or simply they can not find what they want in the price range. Right now we are seeing many Manhattan Beach renters and buyers turning to Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach in their house hunt. Also as buyers find that they can not find the size, amenities, or other features they want they look in Redondo and Hermosa.

Here's some good examples in all price ranges.

628 Elvira Ave in South Redondo is a huge 6 bedroom contemporary west of PCH priced at $5M. Yes, that's a lot for South Redondo Beach but for almost 6,000 SqFt in Manhattan Beach you would pay almost double the amount if this property was in the Hill Section or Sand Section.

1811 Stanford Ave Redondo Beach. For many, Golden Hills is the next best thing. Most of the streets in the "Triangle" are further west than many streets in East Manhattan and for the price of a condo or townhouse you get a SFR. A Tall & Skinny SFR, but SFR the same.

1503 Monterey Ave Hermosa Beach. Try finding new construction int he Manhattan Beach Sand Section at this price. For $2,099,000 you get a 2000 SqFt 4 bedroom townhouse.

1730 Golden Ave Hermosa Beach. Ocean views from the Hermosa Hills. Over 3,000 SqFt townhouse built in 2002. $1.750M.