by Datta Khalsa, Broker
"In spite of all the campaign promises and competition we are getting from over the hill, a solid majority of the high end transactions in the County are still being handled by local agents."
Amidst the dwindling inventory and increasing numbers of buyers coming from Silicon Valley, we have also seen an onslaught of out-of-the-area brokers coming to Santa Cruz County trying to wrest the high-end listings from local agents who have spent the better part of their careers—and in some cases the better part of their lives—handling properties here.
These companies will argue that you should list with them using claims that they have exclusive access to affluent buyers from over the hill. Or they’ll say that they have a worldwide marketing system, or that they specialize in high-end properties, making them an expert based on price range alone. And while these claims generally fall flat when you compare them to the superior service that a local professional can provide, it is revealing to see who, in fact, is handling the high-end market here.
In the interest of fact checking, I ran a study of activity for “Mega-Listings” of $4 Million or higher for all relevant property types that have sold over the past two years anywhere in Santa Cruz County and the data revealed the following trends:
The highest price paid for a residential sale in the study was the $9.4 Million paid for 1443 San Andreas Road in September of 2018.
The highest price paid for a land sale in the study was the $4.6 Million paid for the 80-acre Commercial Ag property on Amesti Road in August of 2018.
There have been 19 MLS reported sales of over $4 Million in the past 2 years, out of which 6 were listed by agents from out of the area, and 13 were listed by local agents.
Out of those same 19 sales, 6 of the buyers were represented by agents from out of the area, with the remaining 13 buyers represented by local agents
The listing agent represented both the buyer and seller in 4 of the transactions, with the remaining 15 buyers represented by their own agent.
So in spite of all the campaign promises and competition we are getting from over the hill, a solid majority of the high end transactions in the County are still being handled by local agents, which is probably a good thing when you consider all the regulation and land-use restrictions a good agent needs to be familiar with in order to properly serve their clients interests once an offer gets accepted.
That is where the truly important part of our work is focused, in guiding the parties through the unique disclosures and land-use issues that are often relevant to properties in our area, which are best handled by a seasoned and well-connected professional who knows the right people to bring in to help resolve potentially complex issues as they arise.