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March 5, 2018 | By Sharp Realty

The number of homes for sale (what we call “inventory”) is still very low across East Contra Costa County. The reports that I’m seeing from some of the third-party companies I subscribe to show that we have a little more for sale than we did this time last year and about the same as the year before that. But I also keep track of inventory manually and I show that we are actually lower than both of the prior two years at this time. There can be a difference in how new homes are counted, as well as if you are looking at the first of the month or end of the month.

But it’s safe to say that inventory is still very low. This is causing frustration among buyers in that the best homes are attracting multiple offers again and we are seeing offers going above list price on some homes that are really nice and priced right.

Many “experts” were predicting that inventory would rise through 2017 and 2018 but that hasn’t happened yet. I think we are seeing a bottleneck because many of the potential sellers don’t want to put their home on the market because they are concerned they won’t be able to buy a replacement home right away and they don’t want to do a double-move. Mostly because it’s just so hard to move twice but on top of that the rental market is very tight and finding a short-term rental is really difficult even if they are willing to make the second move. This keeps homes off the market, which further compounds the problem.

If you really want to move, you may just have to take a leap of faith and put your home on the market and try to negotiate a long rent-back from your buyer and then hope the right homes comes on the market in time.