By Andrea Gordon, Realtor® | CA DRE# 01233563 | Compass
Expert Contributor to Berkeley Hills Living
First, I want to thank my readers for your ongoing support. It’s been gratifying to know my articles are useful and thought provoking.
One motivation for writing this column is to help bridge the gap between a Realtor’s® reality and the public’s perception of an agent’s role—and function—while corporate behemoths like Zillow and Redfin, along with breakthrough companies like Purple Bricks, have captured the imagination of modern-day home buyers with the promise of streamlined, and simplified real estate transactions.
Yeah...not so fast.
Cookie cutter formulas are terrific for planned developments or condos, but the reality is every transaction is unique and requires an individualized approach. It’s nearly impossible to codify the process into a few simple steps, even in nearly identical homes, as there will always be enough differences, e.g. exposure to weather, noise, traffic, etc., to warrant personalized considerations for pricing, especially during negotiations.
Moreover, Realtors® must be knowledgeable about the multitude of local ordinances, state, and federal requirements involved in purchasing or selling a Bay Area property. Unlike configuring and buying a new car online, purchasing a home with the push of a button is far from today’s reality.
Publicly, Realtors® have done a poor job showcasing our value—in light of our supposed profits. For first-time buyers, especially technology natives, who haven’t experienced working with an agent, the process takes time, e.g. it’s not instantaneous like a Prime delivery.
For those who’ve worked with an honest, savvy, and well-connected agent, you’ve witnessed firsthand the value of the relationships we’ve built among our trusted colleagues—and extended tribe—to make the magic happen.
There’s no algorithm for that yet.
The Future Looks Bright
Oddly enough, Bay Area real estate has been booming throughout all the chaos of Covid. People's new found understanding of what they want in their homes has translated into A LOT of market activity.
Contrary to recent news, the market only took a small dip in August, and came roaring back in September with enormous movement even into November (as I write this). Very low inventory, and even lower interest rates, have kept the market brisk, with the usual holiday slow down occuring in the upcoming weeks.
Expect January 2022 to pick up where it left off (barring any horrible financial debacle, or devastating tragedy)—like it has for the past 23 years of my career.
The future is indeed very bright for Bay Area homeowners who are ready to sell. 2022* should be amazing.
*Ed Pinto, the analyst who called the current housing boom predicts 2022 home prices will keep rising at or near double digits. .
With Gratitude and Hope
These past two years have made us look closely at what we want in a home—and how we want to experience our living spaces as we adapt to an uncertain future—with Covid very much a part of our daily lives.
This separation of sorts, has provided us all with ample time for self-reflection, and an opportunity to be more honest with ourselves, and each other, resulting in a deepening empathy for our shared experience. Therein lies the bright spot.
To those of you who’ve lost loved ones, my deepest condolences. It’s inherent upon us as individuals to do the right thing to end this scourge—with a hopeful return to the thriving and vibrant community we know and love—soon.
If anything, this past year has taught us what’s truly important.