Ask the Expert


Borrowing Buyers Still Outbid

By Cheri Romig


Oh, the never-ending speculation on the future of our steadily increasing real estate market continues.

The actual time on the market has decreased to around 40 days on well-priced listings. The ongoing influx of all-cash buyers presenting contracts with few or no contingencies has left many qualified, borrowing buyers scrambling for positions in multiple offer situations and often times being outbid.

My colleagues and I continue to meet buyers at our open houses who sold their homes in 2006 and 2007 before the market dropped and have been waiting for the right moment to become homeowners.  These buyers are constantly amazed at the competition they are up against for desirable homes.

In the under $750,000 market it is not uncommon for five to 25 offers, many over the asking price!

So, the question continues to be “Can this current pace continue?”  My response is yes, until the cash investors no longer see the positive short term cash return.

Short sales and bank-owned property inventory is much more limited than even six months ago but the investors flipping properties are back in full force!

The good news is that the inventory here in Laguna Beach is increasing.  Areas like Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo are still shy of optimal inventory levels.

On a matter of great importance, it is imperative that all consumers remain aware of what bills are being passed by our legislature.

As of this past week, the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act has still not been approved.  What this means to taxpayers is that even though the Federal government passed it, anyone whose house sold as a short sale will be responsible to pay taxes on the difference between what they owed on the mortgage and what the home sold for (the deficit) to the state of California.

The California Association of Realtors has lobbied for the passage of this bill and will continue to do so but we need your help.

Cheri Romig, Sales Associate

Coldwell Banker Previews International

President, Laguna Board of Realtors