Orange County Home Buyers and Sellers – Check the Comps!

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Orange County Home Buyers and Sellers – Check the Comps!

How’s the Mission Viejo Market?  What’s My Coto de Caza Home Worth?  Is That a Rancho Santa Margarita pool home a Good Deal?

What’s the Market Telling You About Homes Like Yours?

If you are a home buyer or a home seller in today’s Orange County Real Estate Market asking any of these questions, you have to know what it means to “Check the Comps.”  This is the Real Estate vernacular for what homes are currently Active, Back Up and Pending, and Closed sales listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS,) how do these compare in emotional appeal, Bed/Bath configuration and square footage, location, price, and marketing to your home you need to sell or the home you are interested in buying.  Make sense?  Great.  There’s more.

See, you have to know what’s going on out there in the home market.  Right now.  It’s like ordering the whole lobster tail at a Five Star restaurant – that big crustacean is offered at Market Price.  They don’t even print the price on the menu because it changes every day.  They check the comps for you and let you know what the price of lobster is that day and that’s what you pay.  Same thing in homes for sale in Orange County.  When you’re ready to list your house for sale, you have to check your competition (the current Active listings,) the most recent activity (the Back Up and Pending homes currently in Escrow,) and the MOST RECENTLY sold homes (the Closed Sales in the last 3 months.)  MOST RECENTLY meaning within the last three months.  Not last year or back in the day in 2006.  The last three months are what the appraiser’s going to look at when you get a buyer and make a deal.  So keep it real.

Seems straightforward on the surface, right?  You check Zillow all the time.  How’s that working for you?

Make sure to compare your home to similar Active, Back Up, Pending, and Closed Sales

Make sure you’re looking at the MLS in your specific neighborhood.  Tract homes (AKA most of South Orange County) – easy peasy lemon squeezie – we can check the same floor plan, the same upgrades, the same schools, the same lot size.  Like the in My Cousin Vinny when looking at the comps proved two young kids bound for UCLA (near and dear to my heart) innocent.  Because the Bellair Skylark and the Pontiac Tempest may have used the same paint color and tires, but had different features! Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.  Similar Active to Similar Active.  More importantly, Similar Closed to Similar Closed.  The market value is base on the CLOSED SALES.  Not the Active listings (which may include some sandbagging sellers who have priced their home so high as to announce loud and clear that they have embarked on an anti-sales strategy.  Or the way too low offer price which announces to the buying population “OPEN BIDDING – AUCTION STARTING NOW!” and will let the market determine the going price.)  Anyway, just so you know.  Check how closely the comps match the Orange County home you’ve got to sell or want to buy.  Because the facts don’t lie.

You’ve Got the Info – Now Use It

When you are haggling with your listing agent over how to price you home to get it sold or agonizing with your buyer’s agent on how to write up your offer to get it accepted – you have to check the comps.  Then work your strategy.  That’ll be another blog.  Strategy.  Stay tuned.

I’m Leslie Eskildsen, just keeping it real in Orange County Real Estate.  Call me if you need to check the comps on the Orange County Real Estate deal you’re considering.  949-678-3373.

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