Homebuyers: how did you decide when to put in an offer? We’ve been looking around for about 2-3 weeks (in the East Bay, FWIW). A house we were interested in dropped the listing price by $27K on Friday and then today, our agent texted me saying that the selling agent was “begging for contracts”. We really like the house but there are a few downsides. With the housing market seemingly slowing down, we’re also afraid of buying at the peak of the market. Looking for any wisdom or advice. TIA!

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My suggestion, and this is probably similar advice that you would hear from any other licensed real estate agent, is that the best time to buy a house is not to try to time it with the market, but rather to time it with your own personal needs.

If you try to time the market and purchase when market conditions are perfect, you will end up waiting until it is too late and miss out on the house that you love.

If you purchase when the timing fits your personal needs, it really shouldn't matter exactly what the market conditions are. If you can afford the house, even if you are purchasing at the market's peak, you will be all right.

It also depends, of course, on what your long-term goals are for the property. If you intend to stay there for the short-term it will be a very different equation than if you intend to stay on a long-term basis. In the long run property values will likely increase and you would recoup any lost equity in the event of a property value dip.

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If you like the house, buy it.
Bay Area property has basically never stopped appreciating and inventory is not going to suddenly increase anytime soon…

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If it were me now and you don’t mind the potential mortgage increase, then hold off till later in the year. However, we never know what will happen in the market and it’s difficult to time.

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My advice would be to really examine what your dealbreakers are, and then stick to them. It’s easy to start compromising too much and making offers left and right. Stick to your guns and make strong offers for only those homes that meet your criteria. Of course, over time you’ll likely lower your bar depending on how deep into this process you get, but that’s another topic. Lol

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💯 on the weird layouts and additions, not to mention odd smells (or strong use of air freshener to cover up the smells)

In general, the best time to buy a house was yesterday. Don’t try and time the housing market or interest rates - you won’t get it right.

Ask yourself how long you plan on being in this place. If it’s a starter home, you may be a bit less picky and be willing to fix some things to make it good enough for what you are looking for and checking enough boxes within your budget. If it is a home you want to be in for a long time, have higher standards but set expectations based on your budget.

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It's so hard to know for sure-- and like everyone is saying, it's impossible to time the market (especially in the Bay Area). FWIW, we were in a similar position last month (except we had been looking for a year HAH!) and ended up putting an offer on a home in the East Bay after a 15% price drop and got it. I still peak at redfin to see what we're missing out on and I'm still thrilled with our decision.

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Thanks PM1 - and congrats to you on your home!

Just yesterday, I got 4 alerts for price drops. We’ve mainly looking in the San Leandro/San Lorenzo/Castro Valley area. There’s actually quite a lot of stock right now but a lot of duds. Hopefully we can find something we love before the interest rate increases again! 🤞

Quick question-
- If suppose we make an offer today, how long does it take before we have to make down payment? ~60 days?

Earnest money deposit usually within 3 days
Remainder of down payment not until closing

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