Menlo Park homes fetching top dollar

How much would you pay to live in Menlo Park? If you’re shopping for a home here, be prepared to add to whatever price the seller is asking. This unbalanced list price-to-sale price ratio has been the trend for some time, and there’s no reason to think it’s going to change soon.Currently on the market in Menlo Park are 33 residential properties ranging in price from $998,000 to $5,888,000. It’s unlikely you be able to purchase any of them for the price at which the sellers have the homes listed. Here’s why.

Sale price-to-listing price ratio in Menlo Park

In July, the latest month with available statistics, homes in Menlo Park sold for an average of 5.8% over the original asking price. During this calendar year, we’ve seen that figure as high as 9.8%.

Thanks to a tight inventory and a large number of interested buyers, homes here consistently sell for more than listing price. In fact, you have to go back to August 2012 to find a month where buyers actually paid less than the asking price for a home. And then it was only 0.2% less.

Menlo Park homes average days on the market

Not only are buyers paying more, they’re also paying faster. In the months of January through July 2014, homes in Menlo Park averaged only 19.4 days on the market before being sold. That’s the fastest average for any seven-month period in the last four years. Let’s look at the January through July average days on the market for three other years:

2011: 41.3 days 2012: 26.6 days 2013: 25.6 days

What motivates sellers?

Normally people selling their homes weigh offers and choose to sell to the buyer who brings what they, the sellers, believe is the best one. Among the elements of a deal that are attractive to many sellers are all-cash offers, which are commonplace throughout Silicon Valley. Other sellers are after the highest price possible – whether with cash or a mortgage – and are willing to sort through multiple offers until they find one that matches their needs.

In a few rare instances, a seller wants to get out of the house as quickly as possible and will snap up the first reasonable offer. Occasionally a seller isn’t interested in dealing with a large number of offers and chooses to sell the home privately, in which case fewer offers roll in, but each of those that do are ideal both in terms of price and contingencies.

The rule of thumb, then, when looking for a home in Menlo Park is be prepared to make your first offer your very best one, and keep contingencies to as few in number as possible. And don’t hesitate for long, otherwise the home you want may be gone.

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