At a broker panel held at the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® Palo Alto District tour meeting last Friday, Tim Foy, a broker with Midtown Realty, refuted the popular sellers’ notion that spring is the best time to put their house on the market.

“It’s a myth, and it’s especially not true in this market. We need to bust the myth about waiting till spring. Now is an outstanding time to put your house on the market,” claims Foy.

Foy notes MLSListings data shows since September 1, 69 percent of homes have sold in Palo Alto in 14 days or less. “It says we have a lack of supply, which means it’s a great time to be a seller!” according to Foy.

Foy questions why a seller would wait till spring when that’s when competition from other sellers comes into the market. While people say it’s a phenomenal time for buyers, it is also a phenomenal time for sellers. Foy explains right now, competition among sellers is significantly lower. There are buyers out there, but inventory is low. In fact, the brokers report multiple offers are being made on million dollar properties.

In this market, for sellers, as well as buyers, “there is risk in waiting” because you never know how long the record low interest rates will last, according to panelist Michael Dreyfus, a broker with Dreyfus Properties in Palo Alto.

“It’s an outstanding time to buy, but it’s also an outstanding time to sell. Don’t wait for your competition. Don’t wait for interest rates to rise. Get your property out there now,” Foy tells sellers.

The panel of local brokers included (left to right) Tim Foy of Midtown Realty, Bob Taylor of Taylor Properties, Robert Stelzer of Keller Williams Realty and Michael Dreyfus of Dreyfus Properties.

The panel discussed other important real estate-related issues too. Bob Taylor of Taylor Properties reminds REALTORS® that not all agents do business the same way. He says Silicon Valley agents need to continue to “be diligent in our business, and not casual as in other places.”

Bob Stelzer, a broker with Keller Williams Realty, focused on the importance of the MLS (multiple listing service) and stresses agents who are members of the MLS have a duty to their client to share their listings in the MLS.

Dreyfus says market expectations need to change. Market conditions are not normal today, but they weren’t “normal” a couple of years ago either. In the current market, homes are not going to experience quick, massive appreciation, and the challenge is “how to sell without saying the market is not going to go up by much.”

Dreyfus says the key is in reshaping market expectations away from appreciation and refocusing on the traditonal goals of home ownership – to buy a home because it is a great home, because Palo Alto is a great place to live, and not because you expect the home to appreciate quickly.
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