Bay Area real estate: Are we in a bubble? Here's what buyers and sellers should know

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- "This market has people ripping their hair out" is how Bay Area real estate agent Hans Struzyna started his conversation with ABC7 news anchor Reggie Aqui. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed a lot of rules out the door so we caught up with Struzyna to get his opinion on the state of real estate in the Bay Area.

By now, you've probably heard a story or two about a growing number of people moving out, but at the same time it's still difficult to find affordable housing. Struzyna says it's because there's just a lack of inventory.

Are we in a real estate bubble?


Struzyna says it seems that way. "A bubble generally is exuberant spending," Struzyna said. "I'm seeing people spend huge amounts of money above the comps."

He says he just had a buyer write an offer for a property in Albany. They were one of 16 offers and they went about $50,000 over the best comp in the area... yet they got beat out by over $300,000. It's hard to take an anecdote and apply it to an entire market, but Struzyna says this has not been out of the ordinary.

What should buyers know?


"You have to get really clear on what it is you want out of a home," Struzyna said. "Simply put, it is not the time to just casually shop." Factors include space for your pets, space to work from home, space for your in-laws, etc. He says know what's in your budget and be patient, it may take a couple of months for cash-heavy buyers to exhaust themselves. However, be aware because there are still listings that get mismanaged and still opportunities out there. "If you're clear, you can strike gold," Struzyna said.

If you know you need to buy that house you'll be in for 10 or more years, it's a good time to buy. If you're struggling to come up with the 20% down payment and you aren't sure about what you really want, you may have to be patient until some of the "heat" comes off the market.

What should sellers know?


Nail your presentation. "We're in an Instagram three-second world," Struzyna said. "You have to grab people's attention when they scroll through. If you do that and you price it effectively you will get attention and you will get offers."

What's going on with the condo market?


Struzyna says condos are taking a major hit and there's a much smaller buyer pool compared to single-family homes. He calls it the COVID effect. "People don't want to share elevators and hallways with all of their neighbors when breathing the same air as them can give you COVID," Struzyna said. They've seen a hit and haven't seen the appreciation that singe-family homes have had.

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