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September Update + State of the Market for Marin Real Estate

Many people are asking me "How is the real estate market in Marin County?"   With all of the recent media attention that the housing market has received at both the national and regional level, it has become harder for buyers and sellers to separate fact from fiction.  

Yes, the market has slowed down but is still strong, especially when compared to other areas of the country or even other counties in the Bay Area.   In general though,  most areas of Marin County have transitioned from a seller's market to a buyer's market.   Here are some interesting month-to-date (September 1- September 25, 2007) facts regarding the Marin housing market:

  • The number of active listings in Marin County are 1,061, with only 194 homes in contract.      With only 18% of homes in contract, Marin County has turned the corner and is, by definition, a buyers market (buyers market is commonly defined as fewer than 25% of listings in contract).
  • 111 homes went into escrow and 71 of them came back on the market. These homes have fallen out of contract for several important reasons:  1) Buyer's are not getting financing, and 2) Sellers are still in the mindset that their home is worth more than it is. Buyers are doing inspections and wanting credits for defects and sellers are not wanting to give them. 
Despite the transitioning market, there are still cities in Marin County that are going strong.   Mill Valley is a sellers market,  with just over 30% of the 98 Mill Valley homes for sale in contract. Sellers in Mill Valley, along with a few other Marin towns including Corte Madera, Greenbrae, and Kentfield,  continue to be in the drivers seat.

In contrast, San Rafael has 231 listings with only 50 homes in contract which is under 25%. San Rafael, along with Novato, have transitioned to a buyer's market. Of course these towns have many more condominiums and town homes  than other cities in Marin County, and condos typically sit on the market much longer than single-family homes.

My Advice to Prospective Sellers + Buyers

Sellers need to price their homes correctly from the day they put it on the market. If they don't, then they are in for a long ride.   Additionally, sellers need to make every effort to have their home show its very best since many buyers are holding out as they search for that perfect property.

Buyers need to get their financing in place
and ideally get a full documentation pre-approval letter before house-hunting. Once buyers have this in place, they are in a great position to find and purchase a home, especially now while the market is slower.  After all, It is the Bay Area and things will begin to boom again, making many buyers realize that they should have sized the opportunity to purchase when the market was in their favor.  

Feel free to contact me if I can help you with your real estate needs!

Renee Adelmann, Marin Modern Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty, SF Properties
Phone: 1-415-342-4537

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