Buying a home for sale in Walnut Creek, CA

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

Walnut Creek is one of the most competitive Real Estate markets in the East Bay Area. Homes for sale in Walnut Creek are typically receiving many offers, and are selling for 5%-10% over asking price, or more. Many offers on homes for sale in Walnut Creek are all cash offers, which are tough to contend with. It takes a savvy and aggressive Walnut Creek Realtor to navigate the home buying process to submit the winning offer on the home of their clients’ dreams, getting them in the door and unlocking the future for them and their respective families.

In the last 30 days, 68 detached residential homes in Walnut Creek, CA were sold. The average days on market before accepting an offer and becoming “pending” was between 8 and 15 and nearly all of them at or above list price.

A good Realtor in Walnut Creek or Concord CA area will work closely with their clients’ lender to fully understand their buying power, how fast they can close and what type of loan they will be utilizing, if any. Some loans have different stipulations and conditions required than other loans. For instance, VA loans are much more stringent and require buyers to meet more conditions than a conventional loan.

First and foremost, your Realtor in Walnut Creek will be contact the listing agent whom is selling the property. They should build a rapport with this agent, and work together. After all, they do share the same goal, to satisfy their clients and get the house sold, they just represent different sides of the deal. Often times this relationship can be adversarial, this is not conducive to getting an offer accepted and certainly will make the transaction much more stressful and unpleasant.

Some Realtors prefer to communicate with other Realtors in Walnut Creek, CA via text message. This is okay from time to time, but there is a lot more to gain by actually picking up the phone and having a conversation. This is more important than it may seem.

After your Walnut Creek Realtor shows you the property and reviews any and all disclosures and pre-inspection reports with you, you will need to make the decision if this house is “the one” and if you wish to place an offer. Can you see yourself and your family living there long term? How are the schools? The neighbors? The commute to work? Have you visited the house at night? In the day? Have you checked crime logs, Megan’s law, etc? How much work does this house appear to need? Don’t be quick to fall in love with the house, although it easy to do.

Once you decide to move forward, you will discuss with your Realtor about placing an offer. The Realtor’s job is to guide you and craft the offer, however YOU are the boss and all decisions are up to you.

Your Realtor will pull “comps,” or comparable properties, in the area. This will help them understand the micro market in that particular location. What price were these homes listed? How soon did these houses go “pending” and for how much did they sell? This should help you understand the current trends in that market.

Your Realtor in Walnut Creek should be in constant communication with the listing agent. They should be asking many questions including if there is an offer deadline, how many offers they have, how many they expect, how much the seller is hoping to get, does the seller require a rent-back after closing, is there anything specific the seller wants in an offer, contingency periods, etc.

Once your Realtor has gathered as much information as possible, it’s time to sit down and talk numbers. Ask yourself “do I love this house?” Decide how upset you’ll be with yourself if you lose this deal and are back to the drawing table. Do you just “kind of” like this house? Or is this everything you’re looking for?

If this home is “the one,” then don’t play games! Put your best foot forward, and help your agent craft a solid offer.

While the offer amount isn’t everything, it is still king. In the current Walnut Creek “seller’s market,” many offers will need to be over asking. How much over asking is up to you and your agent to discuss. If other areas of your offer are weak, such as your financing, down payment, or you’re writing a contingent offer – you may benefit from offering more money from the house. Just having a loan in the first place can weaken your offer in this market climate where there are cash buyers out there.

Here are some ingredients to writing a strong offer to consider when going into a multiple offer situation:

Offer price – Write an over asking price. Use information from the listing agent and the recently sold homes to guide you on just job much

Contingencies – A powerful offer will not have them. However, this isn’t in the best interest of the buyer, and can set them up for failure, this topic should be navigated extremely carefully. If you are writing contingent offers on houses for sale in Walnut Creek, shorten them, shorten them a lot. Typically, there are three times a buyer can cancel the purchase in regards to contingency periods: the inspection contingency, the loan contingency and the appraisal contingency. The appraisal contingency is a tough one. It will surely strengthen your offer to remove it. However, if the property does not appraise for the amount you offered to pay, you will be on the hook to pay the difference. Partial removals are possible. Think these over carefully.

Loans: Have a great lender who can close rapidly. Your Realtor should have your lender contact the listing agent after submitting an offer to assure them the integrity of the buyer’s finances, income, job stability, etc.

These are the basics, and there are many more tactics a good Realtor in Walnut Creek will utilize to get your offer accepted. But, in the end, it’s a team effort. As they say, “team work makes the dream work.” Some times you need to take calculated risks to achieve your dreams. Please do not use this post to guide your decisions in your real estate transactions, this is meant to be informative only, consult with a Real Estate professional.

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