Matt HeafeyWhat Are Your General Thoughts on the Piedmont/Berkeley/Oakland Hills Market in 2016?

We will see demand remain fairly strong.

Inventory will need to match demand to keep prices reasonable if this happens.

I think we’ll have a solid market this year. But if inventory remains light, people will burn out writing offers and we’ll end up waiting for a balanced market.

In this market, how far over/under the asking price should I expect to pay?

10-20% Over

This really depends on how aggressively the home is priced (along the lines of retail vs. wholesale pricing), but on average in the past several years it isn’t uncommon to pay 10-20% over list price.

Having said that, this number also depends extensively on what part of the market we are bidding in. Generally, as you go up in price, the buyers typically thin out and it’s less common to bid so far over.

What is an appropriate amount of earnest money to show I’m serious?


Earnest money is the number a buyer risks if they were to walk away from a transaction after removing their contingencies. We almost always do 3%–it’s an amount that shows you are a serious buyer.

If I don’t have the cash for the full purchase price, what is the average % down payment I should expect to make in today’s financing environment?


This varies. Sometimes my buyers have lots of cash, but they want to save it for other opportunities and would like to take advantage of today’s incredibly low interest rates. In this scenario, we see people from 20-40%, but if you don’t have a loan or appraisal contingency you can sometimes use less.

What’s the average number of days to close in a typical deal these days?

Cash: 7-10 Days
Financed: 21-30 Days

If you’re a cash buyer, you’re typically going to close in 7-10 days. If you’re going to finance with a traditional mortgage, the closing times are typically stretched to 21-30 days. Even with Truth-in-Lending/RESPA Integrated Disclosures, we have seen houses closing in the 21-day range.

If you have more questions, I’m eager to answer! Just give me a call on my cell at (510) 541-1754 or send me an email at