Santa Clarita home buyers often ask “How do I find a good deal?”

This can be a misleading question, with a few different answers. The market has changed much in the last year or two and the  “deals” that once existed aren’t as readily available.  There are some sketchy websites out there trying to to capitalize on the public’s desire to find these deals. The best way to find a good deal is to have a real estate professional using their connections to find deals when they do arise. Let’s dissect the many parts of this to find out where the deals are in the Santa Clarita real estate market: The market has changed and the deals have dried up in Santa Clarita. Yes and No. Short sales and bank owned properties have slowed down severely since 2012 and there aren’t as many of these on the market. This is where a lot of deals were found a few years back as over 50% of the market share was distressed properties and banks were unloading these properties just to get them off their hands. Buyers were getting properties, in some instances, well under market value. This is no longer the case. As market values were driving up in the first half of 2013, the market was going crazy with multiple offers on every property. The banks were slow to catch on and in the later half of the year the banks began to get more demanding with the offers and demanding market value, or in some cases over market value to accommodate for an inclining market. In turn, this made getting a home 20% under the closest comp very unrealistic. There are, of course, still short sales in the market, but it is less than 10% of the active market and the banks are requiring more realistic (sometimes unrealistically high) purchase prices on the homes. Can I get a good deal on these auction websites? No! Most of these types of sites are advertising properties that are not for sale. Let us explain: When a home owner misses a payment, at some point the mortgage holder will file anotice of default.  This becomes public record. These sites are creating interest lists for the properties with the notice of default filed, in case it actually gets foreclosed on. Upon foreclosure the bank has to attempt to sell the property at an auction and now this site has people bidding up to, hopefully, the opening price for the home at auction. Many of these homes will never make it to auction, so this is misleading. If a home does make it to auction, the home will open for auction near market value (figure 80% of value). You will need to buy this home, sight unseen, with all cash and hope there aren’t any major repair issues. Can my agent find me a good deal? Yes. A full-time realtor is in the market, networking with other agents. We naturally hear of properties well before they ever make it online. Many homes are sold before going in the MLS through networking or with another agent in the same company. A “good deal” is how much are you willing to pay for a type of property in a particular neighborhood.  The buyer has to be realistic as well, finding a home for $100,000 under market value is just not realistic if it doesn’t need any work. But fixer-uppers come up often and if someone is willing to update the home, then a possible profit could be made, or even just buying a home with built-in equity.  We turn over every stone findin the perfect property for our clients, including walking door to door in a neighborhood that fits our clients needs asking homeowners if they are ready to sell, or perhaps one of their neighbors.