A Wrinkle in Time…

One of my all time favorite books. If you haven’t read it, make the time. It’s well worth it…but today’s blog isn’t about that. Today I want to talk about time wishing the offer process. There is often a lot of confusion surrounding what happens – in fact, I just went through a similar process where the time for the other party to respond expired…twice! There are a few key points to keep in mind. Some may sound rudimentary but you would be surprised at how the pressure of the situation can affect an individual’s sound judgment. But that’s what you have us there for, right?

  1. Just because you submitted an offer, doesn’t mean that it has been accepted: Simple, right? People generally only get confused about this part a little later into the counter offer process but I’ve seen it start at the very beginning. Buyer rights an offer and asks, “So what’s the next step? When and where do I give my deposit too?” Unfortunately, next step is to wait until we see what the seller says. Boiler plate language on the contract states that the seller has three days to respond.pexels-photo-280254.jpeg
  2. Three days starting…now? Yes, but this can get a little confusing…but it’s still better than it used to be. The day you submit an offer (or counter offer) is day zero. You then have three additional days to wait for a response. For example, if you submit an offer on Monday at 3:30pm, the seller has until Thursday at 5pm (close of business) to respond. Feels like four days, right? The waiting can be interminable. If your agent knows that offers are due on a certain day, you can always ask them to shorten the time frame to respond.
  3. What happens when time runs out? You’ve blown past day three and still haven’t received a response from the seller or buyer. Hopefully your agent is in contact with the other side so that you know what’s going on. But if they aren’t…what now? Officially your offer has expired. If the other side wants to accept it they can but you are no longer bound by it. You do have a couple of options. You have the right to leave your offer open and go into contract. You also have the right to walk away. Your offer has expired and it is no longer valid. Just because the other side wants it now doesn’t mean that you still do. Make sure, however, that your agent communicates to the other side your intention.

Real estate is not a zero sum game. It is meant to be a win-win situation for all parties involved. There are times when it is difficult to get all parties on the same page because of distance; some times parties aren’t as technologically savvy as others and so you still need a “wet” signature rather than a digital one. Just make sure that your agent is talking to the other side as well as you. Communication the most important assets in real estate.

When Things Fall Apart…

Casey Stengel once said, “There comes a time in every man’s life and I’ve had plenty of them.” That is certainly true for trying to get a transaction closed in real estate. There are any number of ways to delay closing. My first mentor (who also happens to be my mom…in fact I got into real estate helping her with marketing) told me that there is a point in every transaction where it looks like things are going to fall apart. This was sound advice. It is a rare transaction where things breeze through.

There are several choke points in a transaction (as illustrated in the CAR info graph below) but I’ve found that the hardest is the request for repairs. Lorna Hines says that the true power in any negotiation is being willing to walk away, but the art is in never having to do so. Buyers frequently want more than the seller is willing to give. Here is where an agent’s negotiating skills come into play. The beauty of real estate is that it is supposed to be a win-win situation. Both sellers and buyers should walk away happy. If that doesn’t happen, then one of the agents isn’t doing his/her job.



Thinking about selling?

Almost every home needs a little bit of staging to get things ready for market. Whether it’s decluttering or bringing in all new furniture, there is always work to do. Some times it is just a bit of sweat equity.


The white ceramic tile countertops in the kitchen is the item that I hear about the most from buyers. Thinking about selling? Contact me today and we can talk about a marketing plan that will sell your home for the highest possible price.

2018 American Canyon RE Market Prediction

The American Canyon real estate market looks to remain strong in 2018. With fantastic schools, rising interest rates and likely continued lack of inventory you can expect the home prices to continue to rise. Most prognosticators expect the national market to continue to rise 5-8% and I don’t see any reason why American Canyon should see a similar increase.money-coins-stack-wealth-50545

The median home sales price for 2015 was $452,000 (164 units sold), in 2016 was $474,000 (167 units sold), and so far in 2017 it is $515,500 (142 units sold). The number of sold units is fairly consistent although 2017 will be slightly lower. Still, this is a far cry from the 292 units sold in 2011 at the height (or is that bottom) of the recession. Thankfully the median sales price is significantly higher than the $282,000 in 2011 as well.

As Vallejo City Unified continues to struggle with its image, families in Vallejo continue to move across the county line for perceived better schools. American Canyon has a darling of a high school and programs in the middle school that continually win awards along with superior elementary schools. It doesn’t look like there will be any slow down in the influx of parents looking for a better landing spot for their kids.

Active homes on the market are still hard to come by in American Canyon. There is no significant new construction coming up any time soon and homeowners are staying longer and longer in their homes. There is no reason to believe that there will be an increase in inventory over the next year unless investors start dumping properties.

Thinking of selling or buying your home? Contact me today.

December 2017 Market Update

Dec 2017 Price

OMG! The median sales price and the average sales price in November plummeted in American Canyon…by a lot.  And there are only 20 homes for sale. And the number of homes sold dropped by 1/3 year over year…and…and…and…

It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria of the market place and feel like the sky is falling out from under us…which it isn’t. The median price dropped 17.5%± because we’re starting to see a lot of the smaller, older homes come onto the market. Of the nine homes that sold last month, six were in Rancho del Mar or Canyon Creek. Last year, only three of 14 homes were in the Rancho subdivision.

I am seeing one major trend right now: Rancho del Mar is pushing the bottom of the market upwards at a fast pace as investors start to flip homes that they’ve had as rentals since the recession. These homes are (or appear to be) turnkey and buyers are flocking to them. However, buyers are more discriminating than in the past couple of years. Sellers have to do more than put lipstick on a pig; remodels have to be well done or the buyers are willing to walk away.

There are 17 homes that should close escrow soon (if they haven’t already) so I expect December to be a YUGE month. It will be interesting to see how things start to shake out as we look towards another year of rising house prices.

Dec 2017 Sold Pended

3 Karen Drive – New to the market!

Pride of ownership abounds! Beautiful 3 bed, 2.5 bath, 1700± sf home in Chesapeake! 

Exclusively listed by Richard Peterson & Lynn Levin. Offered @ $479,900.

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Pride of ownership comes through in this lovely 2 story home. Significant upgrades including – Corian counter in the kitchen, ceramic tile floors in the kitchen and entryway; laminate flooring in the family room. Newer garage door with gas panel inserts. Napa Valley Unified Schools. Close to freeway, shopping and schools.

Open Saturday & Sunday, 12 – 4pm.

Are we in for another housing burst?

I get that question at least once or twice every single open house. Short answer is I don’t think so. The longer answer is always a little more complex. No, we aren’t in for another housing collapse but we are headed straight for another housing crisis…or as one editorial put it: “housing catastrophe.”

It is possible – especially here in the Bay Area where there are myriad high paying jobs in a variety of professions – that home prices will continue to rise. It is possible that agents…good agents…in an attempt to win every possible advantage for their client will continue to write offers without appraisal contingencies or without inspection contingencies. It is possible that we will continue to see 8-10 offers on beautiful homes under $400,000 until there are no more homes under $400,000.

The money and solid loans are there for the market to continue to shoulder the craziness that is this year’s spring market…but in no way, shape, or form is this a healthy market. American Canyon home prices were up 17% year-over-year. It is on the slow march to pre-recession prices.

The Vallejo real estate market is also on the rise. Realtor.com has it as the hottest market in the country for the 4th month in a row.  It deserves it too! Vallejo is slowly re-imagining itself with it’s second Friday art walk and as a foodie’s delight with pop-up dinners on the second Saturday of every month(expect for this one, of course).

So no, I don’t think that we’re in a bubble but there are real concerns about the price of housing. Individuals whose families have lived in the American Canyon-Vallejo area for generations can no longer afford to live here. It says as much about stagnant wages as it does about desirability of the area. My sincere hope is that housing prices even out so that we can keep a diversity of families in the area.

208 Crawford – Just Sold

Just sold! – 208 Crawford Way, American Canyon


Sold for $475,000

3 bed, 1 bath home in the heart of American Canyon. Minutes away from Comm Park II, Donaldson Way, ACMS and the library. Beautifully updated with newer kitchen and appliances, a dinning nook with french doors open out to an expertly landscaped back yard and seating area.


Home Improvement ROI

Are you starting to think about some home improvement jobs that will pay off down the road when it comes to time to sell? Perhaps you just want to make the best use of your tax refund this spring. Here are 5 home improvement tips that will pay dividends down the road.