The Real Estate Report February/March – Low Inventory, High Demand Push Prices Up

Local market trends San Francisco: Low Inventory, High Demand Push Prices Up by AMSI’s Real Estate Broker Robb Fleischer

Checklist for Buying Real Estate

Checklist for Buying Real Estate

Buying or even just looking for real estate has to be planed and really thought through. It’s a very big investment and a very good one, if you have done it right. Therefore no matter if you are a first time home buyer or not, before buying you should have a checklist. A checklist will help you to discover what you are really looking for and if you can afford it.

No matter how much preparation you have done in your mind, put down the criteria you are looking for. In addition get familiar with the financing and buying process beforehand. Overestimating your financial situation or finding yourself unhappy with a place can easily be avoided. Having a checklist will easy your search and making a decision, but moreover getting you closer to your dream home.

Here are some criteria you might find useful to include in your checklist when you start the search for a new home:

The place you want and your wishes

  • Do you have a neighborhood or maybe just a type of community in mind?
  • What’s the most important feature for you – size, location, property type or amenities, close to schools or work, family friendly?
  • Which home features and amenities are you exactly looking for – a garden, pool, garage, deck, fireplace or the view?
  • What is an absolute no-go for you?
  • Are you looking for a furnished place?
  • What’s nearby and what should be nearby?
  • How far is the home from work or schools?
  • Does it have good proximity to hospitals and family doctors?
  • How far is the nearest supermarket or drugstore?
  • Is it located in a community with a tight-knit feeling, or do you prefer privacy?

In addition, make a list of your “wants” and “needs”, things you must have vs. the things you would like to have but could do without. Whether it’s a safe neighborhood, low crime, good schools nearby, close to hospitals, transportation availability you must have or you could do without a garden, pool, fireplace, a den or anything else. Read our previous article on “Determine Your Wants and Needs Before Buying” and get our checklist to determine your wants and needs checklist.

Things about the financing and the process

  • Do you understand the process of buying a home?
  • Do you understand the mortgage guidelines?
  • Have you done the calculation – are you financially prepared?
  • Do you know a good and trustworthy mortgage lender and real estate agent?
  • How many years do you want to stay – can you commit to stay put for at least a few years?

Learn more about How to Qualify to Buy a Home – Mortgage Guidelines here.

What to Steps to Take when Buying a Home.

The Real Estate Report August/September – As the Market Turns and Mortgage Rate Outlook

Local Market Trends – Lack of Inventory Besets Market

By Robb Fleischer

Lack of Inventory Besets Market

Low inventory is taking a toll on buyers’ patience. With the limited number of properties for sale in San Francisco, multiple offers are becoming the norm. The problem is only one party can buy a property.

On the last day of May, there were 804 homes and condos for sale. That was down from 870 in April and down from 1,529 in May 2011.

Last month there were 493 properties sold. That equates to 1.6 months of supply on the market. In a balanced market, we would have a 5-6 months supply of inventory.

As we mentioned last month, the phantom inventory that was the rage last year just evaporated. Banks own a total of 632 properties in San Francisco. Even assuming none of them are already in escrow, it is still only 1.3 months of supply.

Continue reading here

Average home price now at it’s highest level since June 2010

San Francisco Market Heating Up

Low inventory and high demand are pushing the local real estate market to the extreme with buyers waiving contingencies, property inspections and even appraisals.

The high end of the market is on fire. The low end of the market is being driven by investors with cash and is also totally out of whack. The middle market, the move-up market is soft because the entry-level homeowners are still underwater.Prices have followed with the average home price now at it’s highest level since June 2010.

What’s next? That’s hard to tell because inventory is incredibly low. We don’t see that changing much in the near future for several reasons.

First, there is not a lot of new home building going on, which is necessary to relieve the pressure.

Second, many existing homeowners aren’t going anywhere. If they have good jobs here, where would they go?

Read the full report here

Nathan Murdock Introducing AMSI Real Estate Services

AMSI is a full-service real estate brokerage (rentals, property management, real estate sales and relocation), headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in San Francisco, Marin and San Diego. Founded by Robb Fleischer and Zoya Lee Smithton in 1970.

Since the inception AMSI has delivered a superior model for corporate relocation, vacation housing, residential housing and investment property management. Furthermore AMSI has its own house cleaning and property maintenance team.

Specializing and providing the full range of real estate services, makes AMSI being the only one in the industry around the Bay Area and San Diego.

Learn more about the AMSI real estate services

Get to know Nathan Murdock the SFAA Property Manager of the year.

AMSI San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego Real Estate Services

Are you a Landlord looking to Rent, Manage or Sell your Property?

Property Leasing

Whether you need help renting your property furnished or unfurnished, short-term or long-term, learn more about our Furnished Property Rental Program or Unfurnished Property Leasing Program.

Property Management

Is managing the day-to-day business of your rental what you need? Then learn more about our Property Management Services.

Maintenance, House Cleaning and Home Staging

AMSI’s own Maintenance, House Cleaning and Home Staging team will help you to make your home ready for a move in.

Selling a Home

Are you considering selling a home? Then learn more about Selling a Home.

Are you Looking for a Place to Rent or Buy?

We will help you find the perfect place you can call home, whether you are looking for a furnished short-term rental, want to rent a place, are relocating or want to buy a home.

Short-Term Furnished Rentals

Long-Term Rentals

Relocation Services

Buying a Home

For more information about AMSI real estate services in San Francisco Bay Area or San Diego visit our website at

What to Know about Your Mortgage to Avoid Foreclosure

Homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments are at risk of losing the title on their house. But oftentimes a foreclosure can be avoided regardless of the circumstances, when taking the right steps.

If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments or you cannot pay them on time it is important that you contact your lender in the minute you are fallen behind. Also if you have received a notice from your lender asking you to contact them, never disregard it and take whatever effort it takes to avoid foreclosure.

When you ignore the bill it will make the situation worse, and the probability to lose your home is higher. Your mortgage lender wants you to keep your home, as much as you do! Not only because a foreclosure process is expensive, but also because a lender makes more money out of the interest you pay and not when selling a home for foreclosure under market value.

Do not hesitate a minute and contact your lender to ask for help on how to prevent your property to go into foreclosure.

Avoiding foreclosure

  • Don’t ignore letters from your lender, instead open all letters and respond
  • Contact your lender and other free resources for counseling
  • The sooner you contact your lender, the better the chances to help you avoid foreclosure
  • Find out what options you have to make your mortgage payments more affordable, including refinances, modifications and short sales
  • Get familiar with the foreclosure prevention options
  • Don’t hire any foreclosure prevention company, you can get free help elsewhere. Rather pay off your mortgage with that money
  • Understand your mortgage rights and go over your loan documents. What does your agreement say about not being able to keep up with your payments?
  • Learn about foreclosure laws and timeframes in your state (as every state is different) by contacting the State Government Housing Office
  • Review you finances and use your assets. Is there money you can use to balance your mortgage payments? Is there a possibility to take a second job to earn some extra money?

There are ways to prevent you from foreclosure. The most important is to not ignore the problem and take action as soon as you know you can’t make the next mortgage payment. The sooner you react, the more chances you will have to keep your house.

For more information about real estate sales  check our previous posts.

Common Problems Encountered When Selling a Property Yourself

Some homeowners decide to sell their property by themselves. Their common belief is that it’s simple; they save money and sell their property faster. However, there is a common set of problems a homeowner has to face when selling a property without the advice, guidance and expertise of a professional real estate agent.

 Proper pricing

Homeowners often will overprice their property due to inexperience and lack of objectivity. This can cause less interest and makes the home less appealing, especially during the important first three weeks the property is on the market.

A real estate professional knows how to determine the true market value, and how to properly price the property by using comparable listings and sales, square footage comparisons, amenity comparisons and countless other factors both gross and subtle.

Property marketing 

Not only is there a lack of marketing resources when owners market properties themselves, they often times don’t know how to attract the right target group.

A real estate professional has more resources and methods available to market the property than a homeowner. A professional can and does market the listing to other real estate professionals and not just to the public.

Furthermore when home owners market their homes themselves, they are missing out on all the buyers who are represented by agents, as real estate professionals are more inclined to bring their buyers to properties listed by a professional.

Showings and open houses

Once the property is advertised, calls have to be taken, questions must be answered and appointments scheduled in a timely manner. Also property showings, open houses and broker’s caravans have to be implemented. Homeowners don’t always have the right solutions, answers and the time to manage all of it by themselves.

Screening and qualifying prospects

Potential buyers have to be screened to find out how interested they are in buying and if they are even qualified. Homeowners usually don’t know how to determine if someone qualifies to buy or not. However, a real estate professional knows how to ask the right questions to find that out.

Negotiating offer

After a buyer submits an offer to purchase and a pre-qualification, the homeowner has to write a counter offer to counter-bid and address particular items. Most homeowners are not able to handle the negotiations in an experienced and objective way and need the support of a real estate agent or a real estate lawyer. Negotiating is both an art and a science.

Coordinate inspections and appraisal

The buyer’s lender requires these steps to determine the value of the property and to support the price agreed upon in the offer.

Once the buyer’s loan is approved, the homeowner will receive more instructions from the escrow officer or buyer to follow up with. Coordinating those inspections and understanding what they entail is often beyond the scope of the seller, without the support of a real estate agent.


A home seller is obligated to disclose problems, conditions and circumstances regarding the property and sale that could affect the property’s value. There are countless disclosures required by the Department of Real Estate and the State as well as local ordinances pertaining to disclosures. Proper disclosure prevents legal trouble in the future.

Usually a homeowner doesn’t know what the state and local laws are. They not only don’t have the forms, but also don’t know how to execute them. A real estate agent knows all that, as well as certain legal ramifications that can protect or hurt the owner, in case of non-disclosure.

Learn more about selling a home and how you benefit by working with a real estate professional.

Existing home sales drop 3.8% – Jun. 21, 2011

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Sales of existing homes fell in May, as severe weather and high gas prices weighed on the shaky housing market.

Home sales fell 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million, down from a revised rate of 5 million in April, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Sales were more than 15% lower than in May 2010

Economists had expected a May sales rate of 4.79 million existing homes, according to consensus estimates from

“Spiking gasoline prices along with widespread severe weather hurt house shopping in April, leading to soft figures for actual closings in May,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Gas prices surged earlier this year, pinching household budgets and putting a damper on consumer spending. In addition, sales were hurt by tornados and flooding in May that devastated parts of the South and Midwest.

Read more Existing home sales drop 3.8% – Jun. 21, 2011