Let's have a real estate paradigm shift, shall we?

Santa Clarita real estate update

Cities of Newhall - Castaic - Stevenson Ranch - Valencia - Saugus - and Canyon Country. Single Family Residences - Active Status only. As of yet, the Santa Clarita real estate market does not seem to be recovering or doing any type of adjustment.

Month Active Listings, Number of
Oct 2020 475
Nov 2020 414
Dec 2020 317
Jan 2021 291
Feb 2021 290
Mar 2021 263

The Santa Clarita valley real estate world is dependent on people wanting to buy and sell real estate. As we saw the restaurant owners being dependent on people wanting, and in the most current case, being allowed to purchase or eat at their fine establishments.

I'm not going to get into the argument about Covid, I have known some people who have died and they did not fit what was told or believed. They were not in one of the "high risk" groups and I was close to them.

I bring that knowledge with my past and the LAPD where I buried many a partner, this is not always going to stay this way and will change soon enough.

Looking at the historical record for Santa Clarita real estate, the last time when we had a buyer's market was back at the end of 2011 and 2012. We are due if you obey the rule of a 10-year real estate cycle.

We are also overdue to the Foreclosure shift in the market if you ascribe to a 10 year financial / foreclosure rule.

However, during covid19, real estate only slowed down a bit to give some a breather. Inventory is selling fast - within days homes, condos and town-homes are entering escrow with buyers that are seemingly aggressive in their offering strategy.

It's either the agents of the home buyers that are telling them the stance they have to take if they want to compete in the Santa Clarita real estate market, or it's the buyers themselves having been beaten up by not having offers accepted.

Whether it's agent pressure or buyer knowledge, the buyers are aggressive. In some too cases a bit too aggressive. Placing themselves in harm's way in order to get their offer accepted.

I advise. I explain "why" they could be reaching too far and why their ladder is or could become unstable.

There are ways to make offers where the home buyers are protected and where the sellers are getting a good solid offer. However, there is always one more thing that could be given up where the seller has an even better advantage.

Fair typically plays out in some way, shape, or form. It's just going to depend on how much from the contract and within the signed and accepted agreement the home buyer wants to deviate. The same goes for the home seller, what are they wanting to modify from the original terms and how will all parties react?

Recently we closed a home in Valencia where the home seller truly understood what was discovered by a home buyer. It was during the inspection process where mold was discovered.

It was in a garage cabinet that houses the HVAC unit. Hence anything of issue could have easily been transported into the home via the duct network.

The sellers understood at the home inspector's report, they also understood that a mold inspection was wanting to be hired and they understood that what was found was going to be tested and results would be coming post-haste.

What's the cost? The buyer's cost. As far as remediation, that would be a seller issue, or not - that's negotiable. The issue now that this was discovered is that it has to be disclosed in the future to all parties.

If the seller is asked to have an item fixed, repaired, or made right, they can say no. The buyer then has a choice to make, they can go back to the negotiation table and ask in another way or cancel the deal or accept the sellers being not willing to help.

If the transaction is canceled and the buyer walks, the seller is now left holding the findings and has to relay those to all future buyers.

How is that for a slice of fried gold? In this case, I was not the seller's agent. I was the agent representing the home buyer and I can tell you that Mr. Seller was irate at the news, per his agent.

I R A T E, now that I think back maybe an understatement.

It was worked out and the buyers finished the transaction, closing escrow, and only in a few months, their home is worth almost $80,000 more than they paid.

But what if they had not continued with the purchase and decided to move on?  As I stated it'd be up to the seller to reveal what was discovered. Active mold, which by the way was cleaned up by Mr. Seller after learning about what the home inspector stated. 

When the mold inspector was scheduled, that inspector said, "wow, it smells pine sol fresh in this cabinet..." - If it's real mold, the only thing that will get rid of it is to have the surface it was sitting on removed. In this case, it was some sort of cleaning material, so the spores were able to be collected for testing.

Was the seller deliberately trying to deceive by his action in wiping the mold from the inside of the cabinet with cleaning liquids?

Who am I to judge, I'll leave that one in your capable hands. I told my buyers what I thought and then we went over the inspectors' report and addressed all of the main home systems again to ensure there could not be anything else that may have been "fixed" by the seller. All matched and the buyers are still happy with their decision.

I like my real estate best served warm and personal. I am happiest when I'm on a single side of the transaction. Meaning, when I'm the buyers' agent alone. Or when I'm the sellers' agent alone. Not when I'm representing both parties on the same home sale and purchase. 

In fact, I can count on one hand how many times I have represented both parties on the same transaction and still have two fingers and a thumb left. That takes me all the way back to 1998 when I first obtained my State of California real estate license and started to represent home buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.

In the mold scenario above, if I were representing both the buyers and the sellers on the home, how would that have played out?

Could I have taken sides? Maybe downplayed the mold with the buyers and told them "mold is everywhere"? What about with the sellers? What could I have told them trying to keep the deal alive?

That is the problem, Keeping the Deal alive! 

When I have either party, but not both, meaning they are my clients and mine alone, I do my best work.

I'm best outfitted, as are all agents, to be on a single side of a real estate transaction. That way we can do our best work and remain totally transparent.

I want to keep my clients. If the deal needs to be canceled or if the party to which side I'm working with decides not to proceed, as long as I have my client I'm happy. When you try to balance both sides and try to romanticize any of the events to placate any of the parties involved, you are slowly wrapping the rope into the shape of a hangman's knot.

My thinking is not original. Canada and about 7 states prohibit the real estate agent from representing both parties to a home sale. 

I'd venture to say California is not too far behind.

I'm Connor MacIvor and I have been selling homes and representing buyers/sellers since 1998. I have an extensive background in a previous life as an LAPD officer. (not like a past life, but the same life, different time :) I thought I'd better explain, it looks weird on the screen.

When you are ready please reach out to me directly and I'll be your Real Estate agent in Santa Clarita Valley or elsewhere in Southern California, as long as I'm comfortable with the area and feel that I can serve you better than any of the local agents - like how I protect and serve my real estate clients in the Santa Clarita Valley - California.