The following is a question-and-answer period about local real estate with Brett Thomas, manager of Alain Pinel Realty in Los Altos.
Town Crier: How's real estate looking these days?
B. Thomas: Short of a crystal ball, 1997 is looking to be another banner year in Santa Clara for Real Estate. Despite concerns about possible capital gains reductions, many sellers are realizing that now is an ideal time to sell their home.
Town Crier: What's keeping up the demand?
B. Thomas: Interest rates, phenomenal buyer demand, and strong consumer confidence. This all adds up to opportunities for both buyers and sellers in the real estate arena.
Town Crier: Are buyers still looking at homes in Los Altos?
B. Thomas: Buyers and sellers in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills are more sophisticated and savvy about real estate than ever. They are extremely knowledgeable about prices, partly due to the ever increasing presence that the Internet is having on real estate information.
Town Crier: Why are housing prices so high these days?
B. Thomas: Factors that influence the value of the homes in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills include the location, slope and frontage of the lot, and the functionality of the floor plan. Homes that have been listed and priced according to recent sales listings are selling with multiple offers, often over full price. Buyers need to be structuring offers with pre-approved loans and with short contingency periods.
Town Crier: I don't see as many "sale by owner" signs around. Is there a reason?
B. Thomas: They are relying more heavily upon their Realtors to help and advise and guide them through the myriad of negotiations, inspections, disclosures and contingencies that is making each transaction file double the size in inches that it was five years ago.
- Clyde Noel