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By Kurt Wannebo, CEO, San Diego Real Estate and Investments (SDREI)

November 26, 2012 (San Diego)--Did you know that right now that we are actually in a seller’s market and prices are starting to go up? If you are a buyer waiting for the bottom of the market to buy, news flash, you already missed it by a couple of months! Every day I speak with buyers and sellers that believe we are still in a declining market, when in actuality it’s the other way around.

One of the main reasons that people are confused about the local real estate conditions is because they rely on information that can sometimes be a few months old. Many times this is because local media outlets, such as newspapers or television, are not immersed in the day-to-day activities of the real estate industry, so they may miss out on the latest updates. From there it can be hard to see trends and patterns within this data until they have a couple of months to look over it and see what’s actually happening.

By the time they realize the trends and decide to report it, it may be up to two to three months after the actual market changes occur. After that, they have to decide what is newsworthy amongst all of the other local and national events that are occurring throughout our world. This results in a real estate information time lapse that sometimes can translate into years for some consumers.

How do I know this? Well, because I am a broker that sells hundreds of homes a year. This means that I see what’s going on in the real estate trenches as it’s happening real time. Because of the volume of homes I sell each year ranges in price across the board, I have an inside track of things as they occur. While I still read all the data and numbers that are published each month, they tend to present specifics and confirm what I’m already aware of.

So how does a consumer out there in the world make an informed decision as to whether they should buy or sell a home right now, while also getting all the “inside” information that someone like me has?

Step one is to go out and find a knowledgeable real estate broker who is in tune with the market’s conditions. By this I don’t mean calling your friend or family member who might sell the national average of 4-6 homes a year. I mean someone who has a large inventory of homes that they are selling on a monthly basis so that they can actually see what is going on out there in the real estate market. The average real estate agent who sells 1-2 homes every other month really isn’t going to have a clear picture of things, and will be simply relying on the same data that the media is relying on. For example, because I typically have about 70-90 homes for sale each month, I was able to determine three months ago that we had hit the bottom of the market.  I knew this because I started seeing multiple offers come in on each of my listings, even though there wasn’t data at that time to support my theory.

Step two is to determine your goals and objections when buying or selling. Once you have found a professional who has insight into the marketplace, talk to them about how that fits into your own objectives--most specifically with timing. The average time to sell or buy a property in today’s real estate market may take about 45-90 days, so you want to determine how that fits in with your own timeline and goals.

The last step would be to prepare yourself. Get the property ready for sale or get your financials in order to buy if you are going to need a loan. Too many buyers read old news in the Media and decide now is the time to buy, but when I comes down to it, aren’t prepared to make an offer when they find the home they want. On the flip side, many sellers are not always ready to move when they put their home on the market because they might think they are in a weak market, when in fact they aren’t.  As a consequence, they are unprepared when they receive multiple offers on their property within the first week.

Following these three steps can essentially help prepare you for what is really going on out there in the market place, and not be left behind by relying on old and stale real estate market information. Our market goes up and down, and sometimes it does so very quickly, so do all you can to be in the know of where the market is really at and where it’s going.

As seen on TV, Kurt Wannebo is  a real estate broker and CEO of San Diego Real Estate and Investments.  He has sold over 200 homes a year, and continues to be one of the top 1% of agents in San Diego.  . His services have garnered over 100 5-star online reviews from reputable sites like Yelp, Google Places, Zillow, and Facebook.

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