Just Sold in Union City for $830,000…

For this home I sold in Union City for $830,000, I was the agent for the sellers who were doing a 1031 exchange. The timing could not have been more perfect in regard to getting this done before the COVID 19 pandemic. I had an open house the very weekend before the unexpected (at the time) Shelter in Place, but the word was out about Coronavirus, and people were a little leary about being out and about. The open house was actually busier than I expected with what was happening in the news, and praise God, the buyer walked in that day and well as other interested parties. I did have multiple offers for this home and the buyer that prevailed was an ALL CASH buyer that closed in SEVEN days! Woo hoo!

Shortly after going into contract, things started getting pretty real with the virus, so again, praise God, he was a cash buyer and closed in a week. There were no appraisers, or loans to deal with, etc. If this would have been a 30 day closing with a loan required, who knows what would have happened? At that very time, appraisals halted and loans were hard to close in the very beginning of the Shelter in Place.

To top it off, we closed on the VERY day the Shelter in Place went into effect, and once again, a big praise God, because even though Alameda County office was closed to the public, they were doing e-recordings, so we were in fact able to close the transaction on time. And, that was something even the day before, we didn’t know could/would happen. The day before closing, the title company and county offices didn’t even know if the county would be open or able to do recordings, so we were so relieved and thankful, especially since this is also a 1031 transaction and affects another sale as well. Wow, what another roller coaster ride! Persistence pays off!

Sold in Union City for $830,000!

Sold in Union City for $830,000!

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Just Sold in San Jose for $1,380,000…

For this home I sold in San Jose for $1,380,000, I was the agent for the buyers, who were referred to me by another couple who bought a home with me as well. When these buyers were looking for a home, the market was hot and there were lots of multiple offers and buyers paying WAY over the list price, so the competition was fierce.

I have mentioned this a number of times in previous stories when the same situation has come up, and here is another situation in which sometimes an overpriced home is easier to negotiate and get a decent price than a home priced aggressively, and then attracting a lot of buyers to compete.

This home sat on the market a very long time, to the point that the perception of buyers was “What is wrong with this place???” And, as I have said before, list price is wrong with this place! There was really no reason for this home not to sell except the list price. This home was on the market for 226 days, which is unheard of, like insane! It was initially priced for $1,688,000, which was WAY over the market value. And, the home sat on the market for some time, and then the seller reduced the price to $1,588,000, which was still WAY over market value. It continued to sit. The seller then reduced the price to $1,458,000, which was still over market value, but now we are getting somewhere. And, with that price reduction, the home did generate some activity, in fact, that is the price in which we made an offer and also another buyer came along and also wrote an offer. We negotiated back and forth and then were able to settle on $1,390,000 as the final price, still much lower than the final list price. The seller was living in Mexico, paperwork and communication were very trying and slow. Apparently, the seller used no technology whatsoever, no scanning, no emailing, just old school snail mail is what I was told.

The other whacky thing about the seller side, is that the seller did NOT get ANY inspections, so that is a major turn off to a buyer, in that basically the buyer has no info to go on to make an educated decision of what the price should be for the home. So, we knew the roof was shot, but that’s about it. We had no idea about the condition of the home itself for any termite related items or just the general home inspection info. I relayed to the listing agent that it’s just unheard of these days for the seller to get no inspections and for buyers to have no idea what they are signing up for. And, she basically just explained that the seller didn’t want to pay for inspections, so…

Since the seller didn’t provide inspections, the buyers had to get their own, which used to be the norm like 20+ years ago. The inspections revealed quite a bit of items that were surprises to us, which is never fun, and the reason that I HIGHLY advise ALL sellers to get inspections to provide to buyers for a smooth transaction. So, back to the negotiation table. We asked for $10,000 off the price to offset the items that came up that were unexpected, I went back and forth until I was blue in the face with the listing agent and FINALLY convinced her and the seller to agree to the $10,000 price reduction…remember, this is a seller that thought her home was worth $1,688,000 and we are now down to $1,380,000! It was so hard to get it through the seller’s head that by not providing inspections to the buyers BEFORE they made an offer, and then having all of these items come up once they had their own inspections, that they didn’t sign up for that price with so much additional work needed that they were unaware of unfront.

After we went back and forth with the price reduction, we needed the addendum signed, and because the seller didn’t use technology, the listing agent said she would sign once she got back to the states to sign her final papers, but just know that we are good. Ummmmm, that’s not a warm and fuzzy since the seller wasn’t going to be in the states for about a week, so basicaly we would be in limbo from a paperwork standpoint and I guess just hope for the best???

Well, we just went ahead with moving forward, we didn’t feel we had much of a choice, and figured that she would not come all the way to the states to sign her final papers and let this deal fall through over $10,000. She probably needed to get this home sold and would not want to start over.

And, here is the clincher that will go down in the history books and something the buyers and myself will be able to talk about for many years to come…literally on the closing day for this home, the Shelter in Place orders went into effect! Totally unexpected, just out of nowhere, it was the beginning of COVID 19 getting super serious, and wa la, I get an email in the morning that we can not record the transaction because they shut down the County Recorders Office…and at that moment in time…they had an ‘undetermined’ time when they would reopen. WHAT????? We had NO idea in that moment, when the county could open in order to record this sale. At that moment, we didn’t know if it would be days, weeks, or even months. It was insane. I was just speechless, absolutely no words. No one knew anything. PRAISE God, within 24 hours, the County Recorder’s Office was able to do e-recordings, so we closed the transaction the next day. But, in that moment, we had no idea the office would open back up so quickly in order to record the sale. Mind you, we had a seller expecting to close and get her proceeds and not have any more responsibity for her mortgage, property taxes, utilities, etc. We had buyers that expected to close on the home they just bought, and make arrangements for repairs and upgrades, moving in, etc. It was so surreal, I felt like I was in a made for TV movie. I couldn’t even grasp that this was really happening.

Once the Shelter in Place orders went into effect, I was not even able to meet up with them and give them the keys to their new home once we closed the transaction, I had to mail the keys to them! Crazy! I’ve been through some crazy transactions, but this is just the craziest experience ever, to have a transaction start out when the market is hot, things are just rolling along, life is good, and then BAM out of nowhere, at the drop of a dime, life drastically changes at the moment in time that these buyers were closing on a home. Who would have thought???

As a follow up, then with the Shelter in Place, they were stuck with not being able to get their repairs and upgrades right away, so that was also a major bummer. But, finally, once things opened up a bit with the loosening of essential workers, they were able to get things done and have finally moved into their new home. Yay! It was a roller coaster ride, but in the end, it all worked out. Frustrating, insane, so many adjectives I could use, but it worked out and their home looks beautiful and they can enjoy it for many years to come…

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,380,000

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,380,000

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Just Sold for $7,700,000 in Los Altos Hills…

For this home I sold in Los Altos Hills for $7,700,000, I was the agent for the buyers. This is our THIRD time working together, and they have also referred me a number of clients over the years. I so greatly appreciate their support of my business over so many years!

We negotiated for weeks for this home. The seller initially was determined not to sell this home for under $8m, and the buyers were pretty set on the max price they were willing to pay. We weren’t very certain this deal would ever come together for price and terms that both buyer and seller could agree on, but with patience and persistence, and the fact there were no other buyers bidding on this home for a higher price, we managed to chisel the price down from the seller’s ‘minimum’ price to a price that the buyers were willing to pay. This home had been in contract for a higher price with another buyer, but the deal fell through, and the seller was having a hard time taking a price under what it had been in contract at with the other buyer.

Something that was very important to the buyers was that they will be able to build a pool and that the cost would not be outrageous, since the property is sloped where they would want the pool to be built. After 25 years as a realtor, I am still learning!!!! Go figure! Wow, building a pool is no joke! We had to get a Geotechnical report just to see if a pool could be built in that location, and that ain’t cheap! Plus, all of the grading, permits, pre-work, the actual pool construction, access to the site, etc, etc. I worked on the pool information practically every day during this entire transaction to get all the info needed in regard to simply (or what I thought was simply) building a pool.

We did have a bit of a surprise toward the end of the transaction, in which the loan officer wasn’t giving the buyers the warm and fuzzy to remove the loan contingency. She would verbally tell both of us that the loan was fine and basically approved, but would not put anything legitimate in writing, and also would tell us that the file wasn’t officially approved by the underwriter. She would say not to worry, but then not really follow through with some things in regard to the loan, so it made the buyers nervous to remove the loan contingency, since they weren’t quite sure if they could trust her, and being that this is such a large amount of money at risk, decided to wait for the final loan approval which took a couple more days past the loan contingency. It was fine, and the seller understood their dilemma, but it made for some stress at the end, just not really having 100% confidence in the loan officer.

Lastly, we closed this transaction not even a week before the huge news broke out about the virus and the Shelter in Place orders took effect. The news was out, it was becoming more and more prominent each day. In fact, one of the sellers was in CHINA of all places, and the American Consulate was closed, and the seller had to jump through all of these hoops to even sign his papers and FedEx over to America in time to record the sale per the contract. We were literally counting hours at that point, because in China, things were already going on lockdown, or in lockdown, so we were uncertain that the seller could even get the docs signed and over to us in time to close on time. Thankfully, he was able to get it done, and we did, indeed, close on time.

So, this was quite a roller coaster ride…and the timing was just totally surreal. Life was just moving right along in the beginning of this transaction, and then toward the end, the news of the virus starting to become more and more prominent, day by day, things were changing, and all of the sudden things started changing quickly every single day. Unbelievable!

The good news is…this is an incredibly beautiful forever home on a very private and serene property…so this is an amazing home to Shelter in Place with no need to leave…a home that you don’t even want to leave…no doubt!

Just Sold in Los Altos Hills for $7,700,000!

Just Sold in Los Altos Hills for $7,700,000!

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Just Sold in San Jose for $1,170,000

For this home I sold in San Jose for $1,170,000, I was the agent for the sellers, who were referred to me by another client. I sold this home before any news of the Coronavirus and the market was quite hot at the time. We had multiple offers and high levels of competition for this home. The sellers actually met these buyers when the buyers went through the home and made a good connection with them. The buyers also wrote a very heartfelt letter, and it really did make a difference, in that the sellers really wanted to sell their home to this particular couple. The buyers offered well over the listed price, waived contingencies, and gave the sellers a FREE rent back. The transaction itself was very smooth and everything went very well. Both parties were very excited to work together and it was just a wonderful experience for all involved. I am sure my clients are quite thankful that they got their home sold before this global crisis took place. They are likely thanking their lucky stars!

Sold in San Jose for $1,170,000

Sold in San Jose for $1,170,000

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Just Sold in Newark for Over $1,400,000…

For this home I sold in Newark for over $1,400,000, I worked with the buyers, who bought a home with me a number of years ago and initially wanted to buy a home in a top rated school district, and we looked for many, many, many months in top rated school areas, which are very competitive. They are also very specific in regard to the floor plan and direction of the home, so it was a very long journey of not only finding the right homes, but also the right schools, and then dealing with  the high levels of competition for those that were actually a fit. After many, many, many months of searching and such, they completely flipped the script and decided to buy in a brand new community of Newark, so a complete 180 of the search for top rated schools. The transaction itself was pretty typical for buying in a brand new community, so nothing really noteworthy to say about it. This picture is not of the actual home, it’s just a model from the community as an example.

Just Sold in Newark for over $1,400,000

Just Sold in Newark for over $1,400,000

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Just Sold in San Jose (Willow Glen) for $1,530,000…

For this home I recently sold in San Jose (Willow Glen) for $1,530,000, I was the agent for the buyers, who are repeat clients, and this was our 4th time working together! I am still a bit behind in my stories, so this home sold before the New Year. And, in fact, we went into contract when the market was starting to change, but still on the slow side. A time when some areas were getting multiple offers, but mostly only in the best school areas, and homes in this area were not selling as quickly, or with multiple offers. So, it was right before the brink where things were starting to change, and then did end up changing pretty drastically just maybe a month later.

But, for this particular home and location, we were the only offer. In fact, the buyers made an offer soon after the home was listed, and we practically got flat out got rejected, because my clients had a home to sell in order to buy, and due to the market at that moment, the seller was too nervous to take an offer from a buyer who had to sell a home.

We actually went back and forth on price and terms for weeks! It was crazy! And, all that time, no other offer came in and we were the only offer on the table all of that time. In the end, my buyers decided to waive the contingency to sell and bought with NO contingency to sell, and as the upside for agreeing to that, the seller sold the home at a far lower price. The seller preferred to sell at a lower price and NOT have a contigency to sell, rather than get top dollar, with the risk of hoping the buyers could pull it off and sell their home.

So, the buyers ended up getting a better deal on the price, but the sacrifice was to have to buy without selling their home, at least as a contingency.

It seemed as if things were just a little rocky from the get go, starting with weeks of negotiations and going back and forth on price and terms, having a contingency to sell, and not. It was one of the longest negotiations I have had, to the point where the seller would not even respond to our offers or counters, and then days would go buy, and we would finally get some news.

And, that sentiment just kind of continued for the entire transaction once we were able to get into contract, just a bit off for one thing or another, not very smooth, but not to the point where they both wanted to part ways. The buyers also noticed that there was more damage to the exterior than what the termite inspector had reported, so they had an additional inspection to check it, and indeed, there was more damage than reported, which sparked yet another round of negotiations back and forth and my buyers got yet an even better price to make up for that addtional damage that was missed the first time.

Overall, we muddled through it and got through the rocky roads and in the end, the buyers were happy to get a good deal on the home and close on a home in the neighborhood she has wanted to live in since childhood. She was only looking for basically one floor plan in a very small area in which she has always wanted to live, so even though there were highs and lows…she now lives in her dream floor plan and neighborhood!

Sold in San Jose for $1,530,000

Sold in San Jose for $1,530,000

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Just Sold in Los Gatos for $1,875,000

For this home I sold in Los Gatos for $1,875,000, I was the agent for the sellers who found me online. I’ve been quite busy, so I am a little behind in my stories, and this home was sold at the end of last year, when the market was heating up, but not super hot yet. At that time, the market was still transitioning, it had been on the slow side for some time, but it started heating up in Nov and continued through Dec and just kept getting hotter since.

It was hard to say how things would go in this transitioning time in that the home was on the corner of a very busy road, and we just were not sure how that would impact the sale. The home and lot itself is beautiful and the schools are great, but we weren’t quite sure based on location, how many buyers would buy on the corner of this busy street. Action was good and we did get some very interested parties and a great offer from a family quite similar to the family that owned the home, who just fell in love with the home and made a very strong offer, and the sellers accepted it.

The transaction itself was overall smooth. There was a rush to the end due to the lender getting the loan finalized on time, but the buyers were still able to manage to close on time. The buyers paid OVER the list price and removed ALL contingencies with their offer. So, it was a very solid offer.

The only hiccup, that we were able to get through in a timely manner, is before we listed the home, we had inspections done on the home. The seller had done a ton of work to the foundation and the home inspector felt there was some more work needed. Luckily, the foundation guys came out quickly, and all was good. It was a rush to get the home prepped and all the work done, but all the ducks lined up perfectly, and we were able to get it all done in a timely manner and worked out.

Just Sold in Los Gatos for $1,875,000

Just Sold in Los Gatos for $1,875,000

 

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Just Sold in San Jose for $888,000…

For this townhome I recently sold for $888,000 in San Jose, I was the agent for the buyers, who were referred to me by another client, who was their sister, and in the process of buying a home at the very same time! How cool is that??

This sale happened when the market was just starting to turn and getting warmer, it was not hot yet, but the feeling was in the air that things were picking up. The market had been cooler for some time, but things were just starting to heat up and the timing for this sale could not have been better for the buyers.

We were the only offer on this townhome and we got the home not ONLY for UNDER the list price, but the buyers also paid UNDER the appraised value! Big time score! The timing was just so lucky, in that if it was just even one month later, I think they would have competed for this home and paid much more for it.

The transaction itself was smooth and seamless. And, now they live just minutes from their sister, who also bought a home with me and closed within about a week of eachother.

Just Sold in San Jose for $888,000!

Just Sold in San Jose for $888,000!

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Just Sold in San Jose for $1,405,000…

For this home I sold in San Jose for $1,405,000, I was the agent for the buyers, an awesome couple, who were referred to me by another client. The market was in the midst of changing from not so hot, to getting hotter, when this home came up for sale, in which some homes weren’t selling right away, or maybe getting 1 offer, and some homes were going pretty fast. For this home, it was a hot home. It is a great home, in great schools, and a great neighborhood, so there was a lot of interest.

We competed with about 5 offers, my clients wrote an amazing letter to the seller, which DID help us to get the home, coupled with my begging, pleading, and every negotiation skill I could ponder up with the listing agent. 🙂 We were not the highest offer, but the listing agent/seller gave us a second chance to come up to a price and terms that would be competitive with the top offer and we were able to lock in the home! Yay!

To lock in this home, the buyers had to pay well over list price and waive ALL the contingencies (loan, appraisal, and inspections). It was a very competitive bidding process, mainly due to the top rated schools, so buyers really wanted this home.

The transaction itself went very smooth and the buyers were excited to close the transaction and start making the home their own.

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,405,000

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,405,000

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Just Sold in Los Gatos for $2,200,000…

For this home I just sold in Los Gatos for $2,200,000, I was the agent for the sellers, who were referred to me by a client I have worked with 2 times in the past, and a family member to the sellers. This home had been in the family for many years, I believe about 60 years, the sellers grew up in this home, so as you can imagine, it was a very emotional sale for everyone involved. The owner of the home passed and that was the reason for the sale. The sellers are siblings and such amazing people, they were such a pleasure to work with for the sale of their beloved home. It was so amazing how well they get along and worked together. They have such a great relationship, so heartwarming.

The market was slowly, but surely changing, so that was on our mind. We priced the home at what we all felt was a really good price for the home. The home is super unique, the location is amazing, walking distance to downtown Los Gatos, Daves elementary, Vasona Park. And, the lot is HUGE and so serene. The house itself is very unique, it’s not the type of home for all, but if it’s the type of home for you, there is instant love there. So, the big question of the day, since we knew location and lot size was superb, was more a matter of how many buyers would fall in love with this unique home.

We ended up with 3 offers for this home, all of which were below the listed price. I was a bit surprised the home did not reap at minimum list price, but at the same time, I realized the home itself, as amazing as it is, was really for the right buyers. And, it also needed TLC. The bones are great, but it has not been updated for decades, and these days, most buyers like a more modern look and remodeled homes and such.

The transaction itself was a little rocky. Once we were in contract, it seemed as if the buyers didn’t care about contractual dates, so I was constantly chasing down the buyer’s agent to keep things rolling and contingencies removed and such. And, response time from the buyer’s side was very slow, I often felt that I was being ghosted, unless there was something that the buyers wanted, and then all of the sudden things turned into now, now, now.

So, it got a bit draining to have the buyers go MIA and lag and have to continuously chase things down for the contractual obligations. And, then to appear out of nowhere and want something immediately. But, we managed to roll with the punches and get it done.

It was a bitter sweet moment to have the closing a success, but the end and closure of the ownership of the home for my clients, who had so many memories for so many years. When the home closed, I almost cried with the seller. It was a happy, but also emotional time.

Sold for $2,200,000!

Sold for $2,200,000!

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