The Right time to Sell Real Estate in San Diego

Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 14:27 —by George Lindemann Jr
This item was posted in Real Estate in San Diego category and has 27 Comments so far.

Was reading local San Diego real estate news this morning; I’m thinking about selling my condo. I found some interesting information about international investment in real estate which states that foreign investors ranked San Diego #9 in top US cities to invest in, down from #5 last year. I also read the SanDiegoBlog article about San Diego real estate prices.

What I’m trying to determine is when is the best time to sell a home in San Diego (or condo, in my case) in terms of during the year. Is spring best? Summer? Or a particular month?

The San Diego homes blog seemed to have some general info, even mentioning some homes sold stats for certain months but it was a little dated.

Anyone have data on what the percentage of asking price to sold price was last month?

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27 Responses to “The Right time to Sell Real Estate in San Diego”

  1. MAS said on Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 15:04

    The best time to sell was early last year.

    Seriously, I’ve heard GOOG agents are now telling their clients to list now instead of spring, since they expect to take 6+ months to sell.

    More advice

  2. MAS said on Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 15:07

    Typo above. It should say GOOD agents, not GOOG agents. WHere is the ADMIN link on this site?

  3. George Lindemann Jr said on Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 15:15

    Oh, and by the way I’m talking about a condo in La Mesa. 2 bedroom, 2 bath, granite counters, travertine floors, stainless steel appliances and crown moldings. Pretty nice, especially compared to other nearby options.

    MAS, for a sec I thought you were relating something to Google’s stock. :-)

  4. KirkH said on Friday, January 26, 2007, 10:12

    Old saying. “Don’t panic. But if you are going to panic be the first to panic.”

    Seeing as how prices still have a long way to retreat before that whole reversion-to-mean works itself out, now is probably the best time to sell, depending on when you bought it. If you bought between 2004 and 2006, and don’t have and adjustable rate mortgage, you can probably hang on.

    I know someone who didn’t take my advice to sell in mid ’05 and now they can’t afford to sell the condo after a few rounds of equity extraction.

    If you can afford to sell, get out. I’ve got a stack of books on Austrian Economic theory which lay out the case and so far it has been spot on in predicting this correction. In other words throw tough questions at me if you’re a skeptic.

  5. SD Realtor said on Friday, January 26, 2007, 16:40

    I would agree with all of the comments submitted to your thread. If the current secular trend matches the past few that we have had then we are basically in year 2 of a 6 year cycle. One of the major mistakes homeowners make is that they lump thier home in with the the overall stats that they read. The fact of the matter is that many zip codes have been slammed much harder then the media has portrayed. Similar for housing types. Condos have taken it much worse then SFR homes. I am sure your condo is very nice however you should not be concerned with stats such as how far under the asking price are properties going for. You should simply ask your Realtor to give you good accurate comp information and if you price your home aggressively, and your home shows well, and the right buyer comes along then you will sell it. I agree that there is much more downside risk in the long run to hold a property at this point rather then selling it. Inventory did bottom out at about 15k resale homes/condos over the holidays and it is ramping up. So far the ramp up has not been as fast as winter of 06 but the next few months are going to be telling. Hard to say if we will hit the 23k numbers we say last spring/summer. One thing is an ABSOLUTE face is that defaults are rising very quickly. They only make up a small fraction of the overall inventory but the psychological affect they have on marketplace should not be understated. I would encourage you to list sooner rather then later, or be prepared to hold your property for several years.

  6. MAS said on Friday, January 26, 2007, 17:26

    I have noticed that the psychology has changed a lot since the holidays. Prior to Thanksgiving most homeowners felt confident about home values.

    Gallup: Homeowners Still Optimistic on Prices

    I’m not hearing the same confidence I did just a few months ago. Instead of listening to how wonderful things are from talking heads on the TV, people starting talking with family and friends over the holidays. Stories of how difficult it is to sell and neighbors dropping their house prices became holiday conversations.

    People are slowly realizing that the market topped last year.

  7. marksparky said on Friday, January 26, 2007, 18:42

    check out the San Diego area news info and feedback on “”…
    It reflects the appropriate advice in the other responses–things will get worse for sellers before they get better; appropriately low-priced units should still sell, however.

  8. Michael Allen Smith said on Sunday, January 28, 2007, 12:54

    Just read this on CA Housing Forecast:

    How to sell your house in a weekend

  9. san diego interior designer said on Thursday, February 1, 2007, 18:32

    What is important when selling a house, condo, etc is to take ALL the clutter out! When perspective buyers are looking at your unit, they are imagining themselves living there, not you! So, remove the personal pictures, empty the closets, keep the place clean! The house/condo will sell faster if it the interior looks well put togther. If it isn’t, the perpspective buyer will only look at the your pet snake in the living room or the smelly cat box and won’t put in an offer!!!

  10. George Lindemann Jr said on Friday, February 9, 2007, 17:47

    Great feedback. I read those articles linked and definitely have a better grasp. Now, time to clear the clutter and make things look nice. I think I can live with the expected selling price.

  11. San Diego Lasik said on Monday, February 12, 2007, 9:43

    A local broker, Bob Schwartz noted on his site or blog that the published listing to sold price is worthless.

    He states that the ‘listing price’ used is the price noted just prior to going into escrow and NOT the ‘original listed price’ the price FIRST placed into the MLS!

    So, a home Originally listed at $800,000 and than reduced a few times to $650,000 at the time an offer is accepted at $645,000 would just show a $5,000 difference. Though correct, this is VERY misleading as the ‘real’ difference was $155,000!

    The San Diego Association of Realtors has a field on the date collection form for the ORIGINAL LISTED PRICE and I know Mr. Schwartz has asked the chairperson (a year or two ago) to add this field data to their reports, but, it has never happened!

    Mr. Schwartz’s blog is at:

    His website is:

  12. MAS said on Monday, February 12, 2007, 11:57

    I don’t see how adding org. asking price to the MLS is useful data. Sellers are often tricked into signing with less-than-honest sellers agents with outlandish($$) asking prices in the hopes of striking it rich. Then the agent doesn’t sell and then asks for a reduction. Why should the sellers have that scar on their MLS listing?

    Firing your agent and relisting will reset the price. I encourage all sellers to fire their agent if they fall to sell in 4 months. Be up front with them. Ask them at what price can they guarantee a sale inside 4 months. Then negotiate.

  13. Scott said on Monday, February 26, 2007, 15:28

    I dont think I would be selling my condo right now. The market is clearly hedging towards a buyers market and condo’s inparticular are on the decline.
    However if you really need to sell, I am in the market to BUY. : )

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  15. Jamie said on Saturday, March 10, 2007, 9:42

    The tone of the real estate market is showing signs of where the heart of most of the median income buyers are right now. Although I do have to admit, most of the RE veterans I have run into are aware of the market softening during open houses.
    However, if you are really serious about selling your condo….dont get what I call “happy ears” from a RE agent that has the confidence that “your” condo will sell at x,y,z price point. Do your research and be realistic as to what you find acceptable as either as a modest ROI or break even. This includes: Time on the market, Purpose of selling it and the market or income level of market you are selling to. Set that bottom line price that you wont move from, but dont tell your agent. This will give you the leverage and room to negotiate when the time comes without really “negotiating” because you had the bottom line price in your head the whole time.

  16. shawn said on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, 14:40

    is this a right time to short sell the house ???
    with the way market going.

  17. Kirby said on Friday, May 18, 2007, 11:24

    Hey San Diego Lasik, don’t mislead people by posting as someone else and pretending to reference your blog as someone else’s. Bad form.

  18. SN said on Saturday, May 26, 2007, 22:20

    The right time to sell your home/condo, depends on the area in which you live….but typically a great time to list and sell is Feb/March. You beat the Spring listings and the Summer isn’t as busy in regards to selling as most think…it’s a busy time for CLOSINGS.
    The average percentage between list and sales price is irrelevant…When the list price is RIGHT…the sale will occur. It’s probably about 3%-5% of asking price in nearly every case.

  19. Peter said on Wednesday, June 13, 2007, 15:27

    I agree with SD Realtor…sooner may be better than later. Im sure that you have heard many stories about the friend or neighbor that bought or sold at just the right time. Now might be your chance to be one of those stories. It is not the most lucrative time to sell but, if you think that you might want to sell in the next couple of years…now is the time! The other side of the coin to consider is that it is a buyer’s market…thats good for you when you buy! Right now mortgage interest rates are at about a 30 year low and there are tons of foreclosures and short sales right now…and more to come. That does sometimes equate to great deals for buyers with the right negotiation. It may be better than selling for a bigger loss in a year or two and buying at a higher interest rate. Interest rate is where the rubber hits the road as far as monthly affordability. It would take about a 10% drop in housing values to make up for a 1% raise in interest rates. If the rates come up…you may be paying more for the same property value or more for a less expensive property. So, long story short…now might be the time to “time” the market and find a good deal while they are here. When the market comes back up in a few years, you could have a good shot at cashing in some good equity.

  20. Jeannie said on Thursday, August 2, 2007, 13:24

    With regard to statistics on home sales, it is very interesting to see the difference that Home Staging makes. At, there is a section on statistics for homes that are Staged vs. not Staged. Homes that are Staged generally sell incredibly faster and often for money than their unStaged competition. Something to consider when you list your home, for sure!

  21. La Jolla Real Estate said on Saturday, November 24, 2007, 14:33

    I have always found that you should sell when you are ready. Maybe you don’t make what you wanted to, or maybe you don’t make what you could have two years ago. But you are going to get a GREAT DEAL on a new & improved home.

  22. Rancho Santa Fe Real Estate said on Thursday, May 1, 2008, 22:17

    This wouldn’t be the best time to sell which everyone should know. This is the time to sit tight and hold on until the market comes back. The difficult thing is to see your home decrease so much in value that it cause you to start thinking about letting your home go.

    That is where this market can really start to see something we haven’t seen in a long time. I have people that are looking to buy the home down the street from their current home for $100,000 less then what they currently own and then letting their current residence go into foreclosure. That is crazy when you start to think about it!!!

  23. La Mesa Real Estate said on Friday, May 16, 2008, 21:19

    It would be interesting to see where San Diego ranks on that list now in this market. I can’t imagine it would still be down at #9 because this is a great time to purchase property. We have seen prices come down to levels that we saw 7-8 years ago and you have to think that this market will come back. The market can only drop down so much before all of the people renting realize they better purchase something and that start to stimulate and stabilize the market. That is what I am seeing right now. We are selling to a lot of 1st time home buyers that couldn’t afford something 2-3 years ago but now have the opportunity to buy a home.

    As for the 2nd part of your question about what time of the year you should sell a home in San Diego. My experience has been the summer is the best time to sell because kids are out of school and parents are less likely to move in the middle of a school year especially when they change school districts. Other then that, Summer is also better because tourism picks up and the attraction to move to San Diego becomes much greater!

    Hope that helps!

  24. Sam Khorramian, Real Estate Expert said on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 15:55

    The bottom line truth is this…Real Estat in any part of the county is only going to sell if its priced right! If you are hoping that you can sell your home for anything higher than the 2 lowest priced comps you are just going to sit on the market with very little or no showings. What would you do if you were on the market for a new home? Chances are you are going to buy the best priced home in your area. So why would you expect that someone else is going to over pay for your house? For example: if you were out shopping for a new car and found the one you like for $20,000, but then you find the same car at another dealership for $15,000. Which one are you going to buy? And why is that? The same goes when selling your home. Price is the only issue.

    Sam Khorramian, Real Estate Expert

    Direct: 858-518-1533

  25. Storage San Diego said on Sunday, October 19, 2008, 11:51

    I bet it was waaay better to sell then than now. I hope you found the best time to sell.

  26. San Deigo Search Engine Optimization said on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 22:37

    I think by the end of 2000 the bet to wait to buy until then would e smart!

  27. San Diego Movers said on Thursday, January 29, 2009, 13:07

    As a San Diego moving company, we have found that more and more people seem to be buying homes now then they were even six months ago. I don’t know if that means it is a good time or not, but people seem to be more inclined to buy now then they were before.

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