Category Archives for Market Update

Livermore’s Median Sales Price Making Healthy Gains

The median sales price for homes in Livermore CA for Sep 13 to Dec 13 was $526,000. This represents a decline of 2%, or $11,000, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 19.7% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have appreciated 31.5% over the last 5 years in Livermore. The average listing price for Livermore homes for sale on Trulia was $731,510 for the week ending Dec 25, which represents an increase of 3.2%, or $22,905, compared to the prior week and an increase of 10.3%, or $68,292, compared to the week ending Dec 04. Average price per square foot for Livermore CA was $333, an increase of 26.6% compared to the same period last year.

The Livermore market has settled and It’s a good time to consider a purchase. Call me today to get started and learn everything you need to know about Livermore!

Natalie Swanson
Keller Williams Tri-Valley Realty
Cal Bre #017091115

Low Inventory Is An Understatement

There are 31,167 total Parcels in Livermore.  Of that 21,034 have structures on them that are zoned for residential type use.  It’s amazing to us that we only have 48 properties in Livermore currently for sale out of a potential 21,034!  In percentages that’s .23% that are listed that potentially could be for sale in all of Livermore, CA.

Actives in Livermore:

Number of actives this week: 48

Number of actives last week: 60

That is a 20% decrease

Average days on market: 79

Median price: $598,000


Natalie Swanson  925-580-9829


Dear Homeowner:

I have news for you. The market and your home’s equity rose over 35% in Livermore last year. At the same time I quietly sold 50+ homes in Livermore over the last 11 months.  The secret is getting out that your equity is back and that my team’s expertise is helping homeowners finally move!

During the downturn in the economy, many homeowners were not able to sell their properties due to the loss in equity. Your property probably lost 30 to 50% of its value from our peak. I have analyzed the properties in our neighborhood and found that we are now back at the values prior to the downturn. Some properties are above the 2006 to 2007 values.

If you have considered selling but were uncertain if your value had returned, please contact me for a complimentary Market Analysis of your property.  I would be happy to educate about the current market, show you the comparable sales in the neighborhood that would be used to estimate your home’s value and discuss a Marketing Plan if you are ready.

I am a veteran Realtor with 8 years of experience helping Sellers move and am a fellow neighbor of Sunset East neighborhood.   You will occasionally see me door to door but in case I miss you, please call me. I’m usually just around the corner.  Let my team’s success go to work for you.  Contact me today.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

CA BRE #01709115

Keller Williams Tri-Valley Realty

Natalie Swanson


Winter is around the corner….

And it’s a good time to sell your home!   Although the market often cools down in the winter months, it also means there are fewer sellers, which means less competition for active buyers.  There are plenty of buyers that are either first time buyers or homeowners that are upgrading or downgrading – interest rates are still low, which makes the house you are selling easier to afford.  Furthermore, there are buyers who have intentionally waited for winter when the market is not as hectic as during the summer.   With a good real estate agent by your side, any time is a good time to sell or buy!

Have a real estate question?  I’m only an email or phone call away!

(925) 580-9829




You still have a window of opportunity before interest rates tick up again. Interest rates have a very measurable impact on home affordability.

The Mortgage Bankers AssociationFannie MaeFreddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors have each projected that the 30 year fixed rate mortgage will have interest rates in excess of 5% by this time next year. The average of their four projections is 5.3%. The table below shows the impact this will have on a monthly principal and interest payment on a $250,000 mortgage.

To help get started on your next home purchase, please call me today!

What Goes Down, Goes Back Up!


Pictures are worth a thousand words! This chart clearly shows the quarterly movement  over the last 6 years of our "Average Price Per Square Foot"  cost of homes in Livermore. You can see how the market was down and is now back up.

Now that our local market has recovered nicely, how long will the recovery last and is now a good time buy or sell a home in the Livermore and Pleasanton Valley?  These are common questions that I help clients answer on a daily basis. The answer really depends on your personal situation. 

If you or a family member are considering a move, please feel free to contact me. I'm here to help you find the answers to the important questions which can help your decision making process. 

You can reach me at 92-580-9892. I look forward to hearing from you.

Should a Home Seller Fear a Pocket Listing?


First, you might ask “ What is a Pocket Listing? “.  A pocket listing is home  listed for sale but it does not enter the open market place. It is marketed by a licensee to his own Buyers and fellow agents in his office and sold privately. Some agents think that this practice is not a threat because the numbers of these types of sales change up and down with the market cycles and don’t have a large impact.  Others agree that pocket listings are a threat to both the realtor community and to the consumer for many reasons.


Agents often want to represent both sides of a transaction, potentially making a lot more in commission, for the same amount of work.  When agents sole purpose is to make money, they push these transactions and sell it to the consumer as a time saving proposition.  You don’t have to put up with people coming through your home, you don’t have to do all the preparation work and you save on commission.  Right?  Well, yes BUT, and there is always  a “ but “.  What the agent doesn’t explain to you is the power of the open market. Supply and demand have such a dramatic positive impact on your bottom line in a frenzied market.  You may be foregoing negotiating free rent back, better terms, and as much as $50,000 or more by not allowing others to view your home.  The truth of the matter is you will never know how much damage has been done to your net sale proceeds.  Unless you have a very good reason for not wanting Buyers through your home, you are at risk to lose a lot of money. 

When consumers are not fully educated about the opportunity cost of foregoing the open market, agents are only damaging themselves. The same Seller may become more educated later and realize that their agent took advantage of them in order to collect a quick paycheck.  The numbers of homes that never make it to the market place is growing. Knowing the damages that can occur with these types of sales, why do they continue?   Pocket listings are growing due to privacy concerns that Sellers have, Seller naivety,  and because of agent greed. 


If you are selling a home you might want run as fast as you can from an agent who says they can sell your home without having to expose it to the market place.  What you save in any commission with a private sale, you will lose in over-all price. Demand is at such such high levels, I am confident in saying your net proceeds to the bottom line is definitely reduced in most situations.  Both consumers and agents need to be on the look out for pocket listings and have an open conversation with anyone considering to participate in one.


Stick to preparing your home properly and let market demand do it’s job. Nothing works better than that.  Please contact me for more information or if you are considering a sale in the Livermore/Pleasanton area.


Why Pay Commission and Hire a Professional?

I hear this question rarely but more often recently, " Why would I pay an agent 2.5% commission when I can find a buyer myself?"

Great Question!!  I have many great answers.

1. We've been there and done that!

Everyone knows that anything can happen during the sale process. It takes experience and knowledge to help Sellers avoid common pitfalls that can ruin your sale and cost you thousands.   Forget to exclude something from sale, or disclose "As Is" or didn't protect yourself from the probability of large repair bills upon inspection?  These are common mistakes that FSBO owners make that cost tens of thousands.  If you go it alone and run into a problem, who do you turn to when it's too late?

Legal Protection

Tensions can get high and sometimes it's the small things that end up causing the biggest problems.   You need to make the proper disclosures and use the right language. These small things can sometimes end up in lawsuit. Rare, but true. Using an agent can protect you from legal problems. We carry errors and omissions insurance. Do YOU?


Pricing right, using proper negotiating skills and diligently soliciting the highest offer for your home means lots more money in your pocket.  Other Buyer agents have qualified Buyers.  Your listing agent reviews their  clients' qualifications and knows what red flags to look for.  You would hate to choose some stranger to buy your home and then find out they don't even have a proper pre-approval letter or that the funds to close escrow are tied up in Europe somewhere.

Preparing the home properly

Should I do this or should I do that?  What color should we paint?  Should I get rid of this couch? Past sales teach us what should be done and not done. Use our knowledge and business team to save you time and help make the right decisions.

Spending dollars in the right place

Should I put a lawn in and redo the pool?  Can I go to market without a termite inspection?  Should I convert that room back to two?  We can help you with these decisions.

For Highest return on investment

I have a budget of $4,000.  How should I spend it?  I don't have cash but have equity. How can I make improvements and pay later?  We can help with this problem too!  I see smaller investments of $4,000 to $7,000 return $50,000 to $70,000. Let us show you how.

Less stress

Trying to make all these decisions on your own and do all the work can be very stressful.  We can coordinate everything and you can continue in a somewhat normal fashion with less stress because we take the guesswork out of the picture.

Superior marketing

We use professional photographers, stagers and sophisticated syndication tools to send your listing details literally all over the world.  We also use our deep local relationships to network heavily with local agents here and around the state. From sign up to sign down we have all your real estate needs covered.

Leverage Buyer demand

Most importantly, statistics show that FOR SALE BY OWNER homes sell for markedly less.  Why is this?

First, exposure to strong Buyer forces and demand in the current market more than makes up for monies spent on commission. I'm seeing this time and time again in this market.  Homes listed go well over list price with incredible terms benefiting the Seller such as free rent back. Second, homes listed by owners bring out the " low-ball" offers. These are investors who know the market values very well and look for their next great deal. Don't fall prey to this. Hire a professional to protect you. Exposure to the highest number of buyers is a must for the highest rate of return.

Ok then, is it ever ok to sell without going on " Market" ?  I feel that it is only right when the Seller is determined not to have a bunch of strangers through their house for privacy concerns and/or have been adequately advised that the opportunity cost could be substantial.

For more information and a complimentary Seller consultation  call Natalie Swanson today at 925-580-9829.

Livermore and Pleasanton Sellers’ Having Easy Time of It

What you are hearing is true, ….. Livermore and Pleasanton Sellers are having an easy time of it.  If a home is not sold within 14 days, it must either have major structural issues, be severely overpriced or in that higher, move-up range of pricing which is not seeing quite the action of the lower price ranges.  For Livermore, that home price cut-off is about $600k-ish, and for Pleasanton, more like $750k.  

There is no shortage of over-all  demand.   You have to miss the mark by a bunch to not get a home sold these days.   I say this with caution to any Seller who thinks selling on their own will save them money.  Anyone can sell a home at a low price quickly.  It's having the right combination of preparation and planning that results in the highest Seller Net Proceeds.   The most critical component to the highest price is exposing your home to the market.  

DO NOT sell to the neighbor next-door, or to a friend who agrees to pay your asking price.  I can guarantee you, there is probably somebody somewhere else, who is willing to pay more.  You never really know until you expose your home to the open market.  The open market is a MUCH, MUCH bigger pond than the one pin-pointed individual who tells you they want your home.

As you can see from the charts, prices are up and inventory is low.  This trend will continue throughout 2013. If you are considering a sale in Livermore or Pleasanton, you are in luck.  I can help you prepare your home to receive top dollar in the quickest amount of time.  

Call me for an appointment!    925-580-9829

Natalie Swanson