Buying a Home in Los Angeles is Not For Shrinking Violets

We’ve all heard the news, Los Angeles is a sellers’ market.  So what does that mean if you are buying a home in Los Angeles?  Well, you may need to look for your inner Hulk, because it is not pretty out there.

Case in point:

A home recently listed in the Westwood area for $829,000 sold in 13 days for $914,000.  Another listed for $1.995M sold for $2.082M in 22 days.  And one listed for $3.495M sold for $3.860M, 10% over asking.

The average of 15 out of the 21 homes sold in Westwood itself over the past 3 months sold for an average of 103.75% of the listing price with average days on the market being 20.

Santa Monica shows 63 homes sold over the past 3 months, and with a median price of  $2.1M to get a 98.43% average sold vs list price and 57 days on the market is pretty amazing.

Brentwood  had 73 sales of single family homes over the past 3 months.  The median price is $2.4M and the average sold vs list price was 96.65% with an average of 67 days on the market.  And for condos, 65 were sold wit the ratio being 100.39% and an average 55 days on the market.

West Los Angeles condo market shows 93 units were sold over the past 3 months with an average  sold vs list ratio of  102.19% and average days on the market of 49.

With only 39 homes for sale in Santa Monica, 74 in Brentwood and 12 in Westwood and 49 condos in West Los Angeles and 43 in Brentwood a buyer needs to be aggressive.

What does this mean?  Well let’s assume a new home has come on the market and when you view it there are a number of others viewing it too.  You really like the place and you can see yourself living there.  If you truly do want the home:

  • Do not sit and ponder the situation.  If you like the place, know that others do too and while you are pondering others are offering. Make an offer.
  • Do not think of attempting to offer anything that is not at or close to asking.  Make a good offer.
  • Do not write a laundry list of contingencies into the offer.
    •  If you are getting a loan, then loan and appraisal contingencies are a given
    • Shorten the inspection period to 7 or possibly 5 days
    • If the property is a condo consider waiving the termite inspection.  Generally the homeowners association is responsible for any termite infestation in common areas.
    • Waive the home warranty.  If you really want one you can buy your own for around $450.
    • Make a clean offer.
  •  When the counter offer comes, which it will if you have done the above, don’t get offended, come out punching and make your best offer.

These are tough days for Los Angeles home buyers which requires tough action.

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