I just want to say that Liz McCarthy (below) is a great Realtor here in Marin. If you're looking to align with a good agent, she would be an excellent choice.
Best of luck!
While its a good idea to know the general market conditions of San Rafael, it's important for you to know the market value of the specific home you are intending to purchase. If you have the address, you can email me as to the size and condition of the home for a detailed market evaluation.
Having just been interviewed for an article regarding comparing February sales for 2011 in comparison to 2010, we have some charts that you may be interested in viewing. The median price for properties sold in February in all of San Rafael was approximately $610,000. There were more sales this year than last year, and the number of properties under contract with accepted offers for this January and February are significantly higher then the last 3 months of last year. Therefore, statistics for March and April may tell an entirely different story.
The median price reflects the fact that there is more activity in the lower end of the price range in San Rafael. Financing is still a major issue, and buyers who need to borrow more than $729,750 need to have a large down payment of 25-30% plus pay a higher interest rate.
As you can see, there are many other factors to consider in reading the statistics. Also, each neighborhood has its own trend, making it very important to have an agent who knows the different neighborhoods and how they relate to other neighborhoods.
We have many years of experience in Marin real estate and would be happy to answer any further questions that you may have.
Mary Kay and Kathy
You've recieved some great responses so far, I also wanted to give you a few links to do some extra, more specific research:
1. First you can look at zip code market reports for 94901: Here is the link to look, and then if you want a very comprehensive report, just ask to have a report sent to you: http://www.MarinRealEstateReport.com
2. You can also create a very neighbhorhood specific report. This will ask you for a property address in the area you are looking. Within 5 minutes you'll receive back an email of all the recent comps, averages, stats and more for the area. (you don't have to talk to anyone). Here is the link to do so:
3. I put out a monthly newsletter with VERY specific details on home buying in Marin. Here is the link to my most recent March newsletter: http://www.bayarearealestatesales.com/newsletter0311.html
I hope that all helps!
I have sold a number of homes in that area of San Rafael, so if I can help, please don't hestiate to let me know. You'll want to ask your buyers agent to help you come up with the best price for any home that you are interested in.
McGuire REal Estate
Lance touched on your question, and it is a broad one. One major thing to think about is that each seller has their reason for selling. Each of the seller's positions may affect the offer you choose to compose, and how they respond to it. A "medium" house on the West End would average around 1700 square feet, and they have been selling from $280-$500/ square foot. There is a lot of room between those numbers, so you know that the condition of those houses also varied greatly.
There are a number of market conditions that may also affect the offer. If homes are selling quickly, and not languishing on the market, you may want to be more aggressive. On the adverse, if homes are not moving, that may give you, the buyer, a lot more power.
I wish you all the luck with you purchase, and I encurage you to contact me if you need any help.
Make a great day!
Matt Hughes, Coldwell Banker
Lic # 1761944
Just as in any large purchase, you wouldn't ask what the general "medium price" is, and then make an offer. You would study the supply and demand for that particular item and then make an educated and reasonable offer in hopes of obtaining the item. In this case, it is a house, and you should work with your real estate agent to look at all of the comparables in the neighborhood, hopefully sales within the past few months, and then calculate what an offer should be at the lower range of value and hope that the seller will counter you. In doing this, you are acting fairly, and if your seller is truly ready to sell, then through negotiations, you should arrive at a reasonable price for that particular house.
I hope this helps.
Frank Howard Allen Realtors
Best of luck.
In order to give you some information that will actually help, you need to be a bit more specific. Which area of San Rafael - there is a large difference between the cheapest and most expensive house - and what size of home are you looking for?
The best thing you could do is find the best agent/broker you can who is reputable, will put your needs first, is active in the business, has enough time to give you the assistance you need, and is a great negotiator. Those qualities are difficult, but not impossible to find. Interview a few brokers to help you hone in on what you want and find the best one you can.
We are always available for a no-strings consult - contact info below:
Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker