Changing real estate markets in the Bay Area and Pleasanton and recent state legislation are creating opportunities for seniors looking to buy or sell a home.

“It’s a good opportunity to sell. You may not have as many multiple offers as last year, but it’s a very good time to sell,” said Sheila Cunha, 2022 president of the Bay East Association of Realtors.

Compared to 2020 and 2021, the number of homes on the market has increased significantly. There were 86 single-family homes for sale in Pleasanton in the past month, down from 40 in July 2021 and 51 in July 2020.

More choices for homebuyers, along with buyers’ worries about rising interest rates, have led to homes staying on the market longer and sellers adjusting their expectations of how much buyers are ready. to pay. However, while selling prices have fallen since March, they are still at record highs. This has led some buyers to give up on buying a home.

Cunha said, “Although it may take you a little longer to sell your house today, you can still get a lot more than it did a few years ago.”

For older people in Pleasanton who haven’t been in a real estate transaction recently, Cunha said selling a home now might be a different experience.

“The sales process is so different from 20 years ago,” Cunha said. “You definitely want to get a trained agent who knows the area, get a pest inspection and a home inspection because that tells you about the condition of your home and lets you know if you need to fix any issues while you’re away. in your home. home.”

Cunha said the more documents a seller has to review, the more protection there is against potential liability. “Selling real estate is more than putting up a for sale sign in front of your house. It’s about making sure you’re protected and that you’re dealing with an ethical real estate agent.”

Because buyers now have a bit more choice, selling a home as-is, especially if the seller is the original owner, may not be the best strategy.

“You have to do a little something if you can, because people have a choice, and if you sell your house as is, you might not get the best price,” Cunha said. “If you work with a real estate agent who has access to contractors, there are ways to update your home economically. It makes a difference. Decluttering is a great place to start, paint the house and take a look. look at the ground.”

Seniors in the market to buy a home may have an advantage over other buyers. California voters approved Proposition 19 in 2020 to allow homeowners age 55 and older to transfer their property tax rate to another home anywhere in California.

“The fact that you can move anywhere you want now and not incur a tax penalty is a good thing,” said Jordan Levine, vice president and chief economist for the California Association of Realtors.

Levine said senior home buyers may have other advantages over buyers.

“They’ve probably accumulated more wealth, have more equity in their property, and even though stocks have gone up and the market isn’t as competitive as it used to be, it’s still pretty competitive.” Levine said, adding that seniors may be able to afford a larger, more competitive down payment.

Editor’s note: David Stark is director of public affairs and communications for the Pleasanton-based Bay East Association of Realtors.