Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Finding The Orange County Home Buyers - Our 10% Theory For Real Estate Sales

Orange County, California home buyers are certainly not as plentiful as they were for the last six or seven years. If anybody has picked up a newspaper recently, they are well aware of the headlines that that would like them to believe that absolutely no homes in Orange County have been sold in the past twelve months! Headlines such as "Record Foreclosures", "Flat Sales", "Prices Falling", have been doing enough damage on their own, to speak nothing of some rather famous pundits and authors adhering to a lazy broad brush generalizations in stating things like "Don't buy any real estate for at least a few more years!" Stating things as blatant as this is not only irresponsible, but it just could not be any further from the truth! Homes are still being sold, and buyers are still actively looking for houses in Orange County. The question is how to find them.

Perceptions Of Real Estate In Orange County

The average Orange County home buyer has certain perceptions of the market and the sellers of the real estate have perceptions as well. People looking at purchasing the Orange County real estate are often told that it is a buyers market, all the sellers are in foreclosure, and that they really should wait more as prices will come down. The owners of Orange County real estate have some perceptions of their own. They usually believe that the buyers have magically disappeared, the ones that do exist are all trying to make low ball offers, and that if they just wait, the prices will come back.

The Reality of Orange County Realty

Obviously, we have some discrepancies of opinion between the two sides! The fact is that real estate continues to sell throughout most of Orange County, albeit at a slower pace than two years ago. Real estate always has been and always will be a local business, and by local we mean zip code, neighborhood, or even street specific. It is completely normal to see a rapidly slipping market on one side of the street, while just on the other side, sales continue to chug along.

While Orange County real estate statistics remains rooted at a local level, there are some general concepts that can be applied across the county. One such concept is what we call the top percentage principle. Our principle states that only a certain number, or percentage, of homes will sell each month within a specific neighborhood, and a house will not sell until it enters into that top percentage of real or perceived "deals." For example, lets say the top percentage in a certain neighborhood is 10%. This means that if a home owner in the area wants to sell their home, they will need to be in the top 10% of real or perceived "deals" within that area in order to get it sold. If they are not, they will need to break into the top 10% of deals for next month or the home will still not sell. The actual percentage number will fluctuate with area and time, but the concept itself will hold steady.

Sales volume is not the only factor that should be measured at a local level. Home prices throughout Orange County are also fluctuating zip code to zip code. Even though its beyond the scope of this post, we can provide home buyers with many examples of areas in the county that are not in a price decline if they'd like to contact us.

What it all means to Orange County home buyers and sellers


For sellers of the local real estate, the most important thing they can do is get into that top percentage of homes that are selling, and get there quickly! This can be done a few ways, but remember first that perceived value is just as important as tangible value. Perceived and tangible value can be created by a combination of the proper marketing, benefits, and competitive pricing. More often than not, home sellers do not mind the first two factors, but find the third to be excruciatingly painful. Despite the pain levels, Orange County real estate owners need to have their Realtors evaluate the market and get their property priced according to what has sold this month. This needs to be done quickly because time is not the cure when new listing are coming up every day making it tougher and tougher each month to get into that top percentage.

As a seller of Orange County real estate, if your saying things like "I can just wait for the right buyer/market", "I don't really need to sell", or "I need xxx dollars despite what the research says" our best advice for the market is to just get out. This truly is not a time for unmotivated sellers to "play the market" and just see if they can get some unjustifiable price. For motivated sellers who really want to sell, careful adherence to our top percentage principle will enable them to find the buyers and ultimately get their Orange County home sold.


Orange County home buyers also need to understand a few things about the current market. Despite what the headlines read, the best deals on the market are selling, and often selling fast. To illustrate this point, we operate a section on our website that we call the Orange County hot property of the week. In it, we post some of the best deals to be found on property in all types of price ranges. As of this date, we are needing to update our section at least every week and a half or our site is outdated as these good deals are just not available. This speaks volumes as to the health of the market!

It is true that there are many properties on the market in Orange County, and as we all know, many of them are still grossly overpriced. Some sellers have gotten ahead of the curve and offered attractive properties at very competitive prices. These are the properties that fit into our top percentage principle. Now then, just because a limited number of homes are actually selling, and some of them may be distress sales, like foreclosures, it does not mean buyers will be able to buy the homes for pennies on the dollar. This concept is best explained in our 6 part write-up on Orange County foreclosure property.

Basically, if Orange County home shoppers want to become Orange County home owners, and do so by finding a good deal, they had better have good help, reasonable expectations, and be able to move quickly. The best way to do this is to let a local real estate team help in finding these good homes, and the best way to do that is to use our home finder service where they just tell us a little about their needs, and we custom build a home search campaign around those needs for free! Best of luck and happy hunting.