Opinion: Facebook Real Estate Activity Isn't a 'Bump', It's a Tsunami

Recent sales point to more competitive market than originally thought.

Dear Editor,

I always enjoy the Palo Alto Patch articles especially the ones about real estate. 

Your article published on March 7, 2012 titled, "Facebook Causing Massive Local Real Estate Bump" was of particular interest since I'm a local Realtor specializing in Barron Park and Green Acres.  

Just so you know, the Palo Alto real estate activity isn't just a bump, it's a tsunami.  

Take for instance 663 Georgia Ave in Green Acres.  The sale was featured in the SJ Merc and on TV.  A modest three bedroom home over 50 years old with no upgrades.  It listed for $1,195,000 and sold for $1,650,000 in nine days. There were 38 total offers. The top 12 offers required no inspections - in Realtor speak "non-contingent". Half of the offers were all cash.  

Intero's Chris Iverson, the listing agent, performed a strategic coup.  Underprice the home, create a feeding frenzy at the open house, and get a stack of offers all trying to outbid each other.  Ballsy, but brilliant.  

In terms of the Palo Alto market overall, the buyers who were on the fence for the past year are now very very sorry they didn't buy when they had the chance.  To make matters worse, the inventory levels for Palo Alto are at all time lows.  As of April 1st, there are only 33 single family detached Palo Alto homes on the market.  

The most affordable being $508,888 and the most expensive is $8,995,000.  The average list price is $2,911,542 and the median list price is $2,500,000.  

With so much demand and so few homes on the market, most Realtors are asking where are the sellers and why aren't they selling?  

My open house at 795 Encina Grande in Barron Park is today, Sunday, April 1st.  Since it's not on the MLS I don't expect a line out the door, but I do expect it to sell over the asking price of $1,600,000. 

I mean if 663 Georgia which was basically a tear-down can fetch $1,650,000, my completely updated home should sell for more right?   We'll see!                

Guy Blume
Intero Real Estate Services, Los Altos


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