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I’m not sure if this is actually a new phenomenon for 2010 or if it’s been like this for awhile and I just didn’t notice it, but it sure does seem to me like there’s an incredible fascination with the concept of “new” this year. Maybe when the market was blistering hot everything sold so fast that it wasn’t noticeable. Maybe also in 2008-2009 it was so much slower that everything took it’s own sweet time to sell too. It just seems to me that, in 2010, there’s plenty of buyers, but if you’re a seller and you don’t get an offer within 2 weeks you fall completely off the radar screen for most of these buyer types around here.

It’s like the I-phone 4…when that thing comes out you’ll just have to get it because the older versions just won’t cut it anymore. If it’s new…it’ll sell quickly. This really seems to be true of Foster City’s real estate market….for the most part. As of today there’s 17 single family houses actively for sale. 9 of them have been on the market for 40 days or more and another 6 have been on less than 2 weeks. I’ll bet most of these new listing sell before they’re on the market for 3 weeks. Of course, there’s plenty of examples of homes, new or not, that have significant issues that face them…or are simply priced too high and that will effect their sale.

Between 1999 and 2007, people routinely bought houses with some kind of flaw just because they wanted to get in. Every issue was forgivable. Right now, if there’s almost any kind of flaw, get ready for a long ride if you’re a seller. Two weeks ago, 910 Laguna comes on the market and gets 9 offers in 6 days. The winner paid cash, closed in a week and let the sellers live there after close of escrow as long as they want to. The day after Laguna looked at offers, 710 Polaris comes on the market at just about the same price and is a very similar floor plan to Laguna. As of today it hasn’t sold…no offers. Who knows why? Polaris is a little busier street? It needs a little more work? The word for this market is capricious!

Actually, when I look at the listings in Foster City that have been on awhile, I too see flaws that are effecting their sale. Buyer’s seem to be convinced that if they wait the right house will come up and they don’t mind competing for it when it does…even if that means going over asking. It’s worth it to them.

What does surprise me though, are the places that are actually really wonderful that continue to sit. The townhouse at 225 Bonita in Marina Green comes to mind. The place sold right after it came on the market, the deal fell apart and there it still is on the market 60 days later. The place is gorgeous! I think it’s priced well too. Again, it’s like if a place is on the market longer than a couple of weeks an assumption is made that something must be wrong with it and people stop looking.

I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I still can’t really figure all this out! It sure is interesting to watch though.


  1. Interesting topic, Jim. To many buyers, a property that has been on the market for a while will automatically register as ‘there is something wrong with it’. And well, statistically (at least in my market), by far the most activity a property will see is in the first 30 days. I can’t say that I have any explanation for your 225 Bonita example, specially if it’s priced well. Are any comparable properties selling (or have sold in that 60 day time period)?

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