As a real estate professional I study homes and prices every day. I have a mental catalogue of the number and type of homes that populate every neighborhood in Nevada County. I am intimately acquainted with every street and know the houses by price range and condition over the full spectrum of our housing inventory. I don’t determine what buyers want, need, or can afford, and I certainly do not tell sellers what to do with proceeds from the sale of their home. What I actually do is advise buyers and sellers on the trends, preferences, the historical facts about the value of homes. I assist them in making reasonable assumptions about the near term fair market price of any particular home they are considering buying or selling. For sellers, I help them to set the price that will generate interest by potential buyers and present them with offers for consideration and response. For buyers, I help them understand the market considerations of making offers on property they want and assist them in crafting an offer with a price, terms, and conditions that will be accepted by a seller.
Every week, on Friday afternoon I take the pulse of the market by summarizing all the sales activity for the previous week. I record the data on a spreadsheet and make graphs so I can grasp the data visually. I look at new listings, new pending sales, and closed escrows. I compare homes and prices as buyers and sellers jostle to find the “meeting of mind” that makes a transaction possible. Over the course of several years in times of rising and declining supply and through all the seasonal changes in demand, I have come to understand how prices fluctuate week over week and month over month. I know how, why, and when the market continually adjusts to meet the expectations and desires of buyers and sellers.
My observations and knowledge of the housing market are put to use every day by the buyers and sellers I represent. Individual clients don’t need to know and rarely care about market factors that determine how home prices are changing beyond the specific home or neighborhood where they want to buy or sell. Nonetheless, I generate a great deal of information about the broader market and track trends and watch the changing home prices regionally, every week, regardless of whether I have a client that can use that information on any given day. For one thing, I am always acquiring new clients with new wants and needs, but I am also tracking parallel markets and neighborhoods far afield of where my own clients might be located as a way of understanding our regional market, and because trends that grab my attention in one neighborhood or subdivision tend to spread.