Business / Economy

San Benito Real Estate Snapshots: ​New Contract for Residential Purchases

New contract, market highlights, Thanksgiving and holiday home sales, capital gains exclusions, mud

There is a new Residential Purchase Agreement which has gone into effect. Why would you care about that? Realtors use the forms which have been developed by the California Association of Realtor lawyers for transactions. The new form has taken the agreement from eight to ten pages in length. Most of us have attended classes or participated in webinars which train us to use the new form for the protection of our clients.

The main purpose of the agreement is to remove ambiguities which lead to misunderstandings and could spell litigation in a transaction. Each paragraph has been vetted by a team of lawyers, Realtors and consumers to ensure that all parties are informed and protected throughout the process. We should all be glad these people worked so hard to create a form which will lead to a smoother process for all.

When selecting a local Realtor, you would be wise to check that they are up to date with the new contract. Most agents are very professional, and will have invested the time required to offer you the best possible service.


We are entering the season of Thanksgiving, and we have much to be thankful for in wonderful San Benito County. Take a moment today to be thankful for what you have. Let someone know how thankful you are to have them in your life. It will make their day!


We certainly need rain. (I am the master of understatement!)  We had a nice little storm a few weeks back, and the windshield wipers (and hence, headlights…it’s the law!) have been on today. This means mud.  Mud is not the friend of Realtors. It makes showing homes problematic…no one wants wet or muddy feet tracking through their home. If you are out viewing properties, please wipe your shoes!

Selling During the Holidays

Some people believe the holidays are a bad time to sell a home. But any Realtor with a few years of experience will know different: They will have a story about a holiday sale. First of all, homes generally are dressed to the max in the holiday season with wreaths on the door, good smells from the kitchen, and a sparkling tree in the living room. Also, few people take the time to view houses during the holiday season unless they are serious about buying. Looky Lous will stay home during this busy time. If you have been thinking you would wait until after the New Year to list your home, you might want to rethink that.

Interest Rates Rising

Lenders have been warning us for awhile that interest rates are poised to begin an upward climb soon. Now might be a good time to trot yourself to a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That doesn’t mean you have to buy a house now, but you will be ready to go when the market starts to shift. Your Realtor can give you a referral to a creative and conscientious lender.

Don’t Miss the Capital Gains Exclusion

If you moved into another home in the last few years and chose to keep your existing residence as a rental, you should remember that you have to have lived in it for two of the five years preceding the sale to exclude $500,000 (married couple) or $250,000 (single owner) of capital gains. Make sure you get that first property sold before you miss the window of opportunity. If this is you, call your Realtor today.

An Overview of the Market in San Benito County

Housing prices throughout California, including our county, have been flat for the past few months, according to PropertyRadar. There were less all-cash sales and fewer homes flipped by investors. All this is good news for you, the home buyer.

As of Nov. 19, 2014, we had 128 homes available for purchase. This is figure is down from previous weeks. The prices range from $5.75 million for a luxury estate to $159,000 for a condo. The most affordable single family home was $265,000.

In the past week, 12 properties went into contract, with list prices from $295,000 to $749,000. One property closed escrow, selling for the list price of $539,000.

This should give you a feel for how real estate is selling in our county. For additional information, call your Realtor.


Nants Foley is a Broker Associate at Flora Real Estate Group in Hollister. You may contact her at [email protected] or 831-801-5110.

Nants Foley - Broker Associate

Nants Foley is a real estate broker DRE 01222234 and writer who works throughout California. She makes her home at Quicksilver Farm in San Benito County.