What Jason Oppenheim of ‘Selling Sunset’ Says About The Real Estate Market

The last two years of rapidly rising home prices have certainly been a boon for real estate professionals. Now, however, recession has entered many economic conversations and the housing market is showing signs of slowing down from its warp-speed pace.

But Jason Oppenheim, president and founder of Oppenheim Group, a real estate brokerage with offices in West Hollywood and Newport Beach, California, doesn’t see a shift in the housing market as a bad thing — for real estate agents or homebuyers.

“As real estate agents, we’ve kind of been spoiled for the last couple years, post-COVID, with just a rapidly ascending market where anybody can sell anything,” Oppenheim says.

[Read: The Guide to Selling Your Home]

Oppenheim Group’s office and its luxury Los Angeles area listings have been the setting for Netflix’s “Selling Sunset” for five seasons, following the work and personal lives of several agents, Oppenheim included. The Orange County office will be the setting of a new show coming to Netflix in August, “Selling the OC.”

The luxury properties and their multimillion-dollar prices showcased on “Selling Sunset” may feel like a far cry from what the average viewer is going to experience while out house hunting. But the high buyer interest seen in many listings on the show and careful negotiations to get a deal to the closing table reflect the pace of the housing market from top to bottom.

Whether you’re aiming for a deal likely to end up on “Selling Sunset” or searching for your first home at an entry-level price, changes in the housing market shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a bad thing, Oppenheim says.

“I think we’re headed back to a state of normalcy. Juxtaposed to what we’re used to the last couple years it might seem like a slowdown, but the reality is that I think we’re headed toward stability, which is what we should all strive to see,” he says.

Any shift in a housing market — especially when you’re used to constant growth — can feel unnerving. To help, Oppenheim is offering advice for navigating a changing market, evaluating your next move as a buyer or seller and what you can take away from “Selling Sunset” to improve your next real estate deal:

— Where you live may change your experience.

— Proceed based on your individual situation.

— Get real estate tips from reality.

— Oppenheim’s advice for buying and selling now.

Where You Live May Change Your Experience

Especially if you’re considering a home purchase or sale, any change to the housing market can feel frightening. But looking at the bigger picture, change seems like a must. Realtor.com reports the median list price of a home in Los Angeles County in June matched the median sale price, at $860,000. In April, the median sale price peaked at $875,000, above the median list price at the time of $849,000 and more than $100,000 above the median sale price in April 2021.

“It’s completely expected — I think that any time you see such a rapid increase in prices you’re going to see a little bit of a retreat,” Oppenheim says.

He also predicts that suburban outskirts and smaller metro areas that saw a significant increase in buyer interest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic will see more of a price dip — or at least a slowing of price increases — as the market shifts.

“I do think there will be a return to the cities,” Oppenheim says. “The politics and the taxes and the crime, the COVID restrictions and the homelessness pushed a ton of people out of Southern California — particularly out of Los Angeles. But I think at the end of the day, they might realize that despite all the frustrations it’s still the best place to live. While you might not appreciate the high taxes and you don’t want to deal with the crime and the homelessness, you don’t want to deal with the humidity and mosquitos and snow, lack of sophistication and a lack of amenities, restaurants, cafes and lounges.”

[READ: How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?]

Proceed Based on Your Individual Situation

Whether you’re interested in buying closer to the city center or considering more space out in the suburbs, Oppenheim stresses that the choice to move forward or hold off during economic uncertainty should be based on your own financial situation. There’s no harm in pausing if you don’t feel confident about your investment.

“We’re still seeing some large sales, but I definitely think that we’re seeing a slowdown in the number of showings that I’m getting on a lot of my luxury listings. I think we’re just in a wait-and-see period right now,” Oppenheim says.

But economic uncertainty shouldn’t stop a buyer who’s capable of making a move at the right time. “If you need to buy for yourself, then I would do that. I would just make sure that you can hold the house for at least 10 years, really,” he says. “That’s kind of the litmus test for buying.”

[Read: Why You Should Take Your Real Estate Agent’s Advice]

Get Real Estate Tips From Reality

You may not have started watching “Selling Sunset” for the real estate tips, as a big part of the show focuses on the relationships between the agents. The show launched in 2019, tracking office arguments, the romantic relationships of featured agents and the professional successes (and occasional failures) of people representing buyers and sellers in the Los Angeles area. Netflix recently renewed the show for its sixth and seventh seasons.

For Oppenheim, the show provides plenty of entertainment, but he particularly enjoys the moments that focus on real estate the most — and he feels there’s plenty to take away from the show to help you buy or sell a home with more confidence.

In particular, he hopes the audience takes stock in the focus on preparing listings for sale — proper staging of a home and necessary changes to make it ready for buyers to see is a common topic of conversation on the show.

“I’m a huge believer in presentation in every regard, and I think it’s even more important when it comes to housing — you’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars difference,” he says.

Finding a real estate agent and brokerage that will collaborate to ensure the best deal possible is also something to aim for when you look for a professional to represent you. Oppenheim notes that he often works closely to secure deals with all the agents in the brokerage — not just what’s seen on the show — and it was a big part of his decision to open a second office not too far from Los Angeles. Clients even use the show as a bit of a window into the personalities of featured agents. “They get to know the agents a bit on the show, feel a connection to them,” he says.

While most real estate deals don’t get followed by television cameras, buyers and sellers alike can still seek out a personality match with an agent that will help a deal move smoothly, from communication style to setting realistic expectations.

Oppenheim’s Advice for Buying and Selling Now:

Focus on what’s happening locally. Oppenheim expects suburban markets to slow down a bit more than dense cities. If you live outside Chicago, price jumps downtown won’t necessarily mean higher prices in your neighborhood, and vice versa.

It’s OK to wait and see what happens next to make a move. Economic instability will make many homebuyers nervous, and Oppenheim explains that a waiting period makes sense, especially for real estate investors.

Make your house look good. Even if your neighborhood is still seeing lots of buyer interest, you can’t expect top dollar without putting in the effort. Take note from how Oppenheim’s agents carefully work with stagers to make a property ready for viewing.

Don’t worry about a decline in interest. A more balanced market is a good thing, though it may not feel that way when you’re trying to sell a home. Oppenheim says fewer showings per listing are already starting to happen — but there’s still buyer interest to be had.

You can still buy a home. Every buyer financing a home purchase prefers a lower interest rate, but if you’re financially able to make the purchase and ready to buy, go for it. Just follow Oppenheim’s 10-year rule to make sure you can keep it regardless of changes to the economy.

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What Jason Oppenheim of ‘Selling Sunset’ Says About The Real Estate Market originally appeared on usnews.com

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