Just Sold in San Jose for $3,350,000…

For this home I sold in San Jose for $3,350,000, I was the agent for the buyers, who I also worked with back in 2010 when they bought their first home! They were looking to buy a bigger home.

There were multiple offers on this home and it was HIGHLY competitive. In fact, we were NOT the highest offer, but lucky for me, I know this agent and she worked with me to get this home for my buyers. Coincidentally, the seller of this home was a buyer for my listing back in 2016 and used this same agent as their buyer’s agent at the time, who they now used for their listing agent for this home.

Apparently, and I don’t even remember this situation, but back when I had my listing in 2016, this buyer/agent competed for my listing that had over 20 offers at the time! And, this agent was apparently grateful to get the home for her buyers back then…and then consequently wanted to return the favor to me this round in 2023 for my buyers.

What are the chances? The exact same buyer/agent that bought my listing back in 2016, now has a home to sell (not the same home) in 2023 and I have a buyer for it. Crazy!

Praise God, my buyers got this home with the help of the listing agent…and likely the sellers…in that the listing agent told her clients that they owed me one for the home they bought back in 2016.

The transaction itself was smooth overall. The main hiccup was mainly loan related surprises. I had mentioned to the buyers that when a loan is over $2m there is typically 2 appraisals. But, when we locked in the home, the loan officer didn’t mention it, and apparently didn’t even know the home would need 2 appraisals, but it did! Mainly, no one likes surprises mid transaction. Luckily, both appraisals were fine, but it just adds another layer of stress when 2 are needed.

And, a few other quirkly items with the loan, like asking for irrelevant info that was clearly not needed or even applicable, having to deal with things that were just a waste of time. And, a couple last minute items that should have been addressed weeks in advance. But, we got through it and were able to close on time.

Just Sold in San Jose for $3,350,000

Just Sold in San Jose for $3,350,000

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Just Sold in Fremont for $750,000…

For this townhome that I sold in Fremont for $750,000, I was the agent for the seller, who was referred to me by our family friend. This was an interesting time to be selling, to say the least. We initially started communication in November, when the market was slow, nothing happening, homes sitting on the market, interest rates shockingly high to buyers after such low rates, buyers that were looking wanting a bargain, etc.

The seller told me her target price and I was not convinced in the least that I could make that happen. So, I asked her if she could wait out the market, see how things go, and I would let her know when the market started to pick up and when I felt I could hit the price she wanted to get for her home. She was not in a hurry to sell.

And, that is what we did! I watched the market, waited to see what would happen after the first of the year. January picked up a bit, and then in February, the market was really starting to change and become more of a seller’s market. And, once I thought I could hit that price, we connected and got the home prepped for sale and on the market!

The timing was great! We received 4 offers after the open house weekend. We had a great offer with a buyer that WAIVED all contingencies and was super strong. And, we were able to acheive getting the price she wanted for the home! Yay!

The transaction itself with the buyer was great! It was super smooth. The main issue was the HOA. The HOA dragged their feet big time on multiple occasions and nickeled and dimed the seller. It was horrible. At the end of the transaction, I was mainly thankful to not have to deal with the HOA anymore.

One thing I do want to bring up about this sale that may help others in the same situation, is that this home had a fire in the past. And, one thing that did come up for the buyer was securing insurance. The buyer was able to get insurance and in the end, it was all good. But, that is something a buyer may want to work on quickly once in contract, if a buyer buys a home that had an insurance claim to get a jump start on it.

Just Sold for $750,000

Just Sold in Fremont for $750,000!

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Is It a Good Time to Buy?

If it is a choice between renting vs. buying, I tend to advise buying for all of the reasons I put in my last post that I wrote.

Inventory is still SUPER low, which keeps the prices from doing a complete free fall and keeps the real estate market relatively stable.

Mortgage rates aren’t bad, I checked today and I am seeing rates at about 5.25% and even lower for shorter term fixed rates. Before we were so spoiled, that interest rate would be quite good actually.

There is no competition on MANY homes and that typically opens doors to some negotiation for an even better price than the list price, especially if the home has sat on the market for some time.

Most homeowners that are selling in this market need to sell, so are motivated to do so.

This time of year is also typical for not as many buyers to be looking for a home regardless of the market, which gives those buyers looking even maybe more opportunity for a better price and terms.

The lower price will be locked in forever, the interest rate can be refinanced when the rates go down.

Renting is an 100% interest rate. No benefits at all to renting.

This market is especially good for buyers who typically can’t otherwise afford to buy with the softening of prices and/or can’t compete with other buyers when the market is hot. Also, buyers that want/need special programs, FHA, VA, low down payment buyers, first time buyer programs…this is the time.

Once the real estate market settles and it becomes more obvious that it is a ‘good time to buy’….guess what? You and EVERYONE ELSE will be ready to buy at the same exact time…and the market will be hot yet again, and there will be lots of competition and prices will rise quickly.

So, for those people that can’t compete at ultra high levels, you will once again, lose an opportunity to buy.

This is also a good time for all cash buyers that do not need financing because then the mortgage rate does not affect you, and there are some good deals to be had at this time.

This is my 27th year as a realtor. I have seen this cycle a few times and in my 27 year career, the lows don’t tend to last very long…but the highs tend to last for many years.

 

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My 2 Cents on the Real Estate Market…

Yes, interest rates are up, but they are still considered overall not that high. And, at this point, the market for prices has come down enough to compensate for the higher rate. The other factor that is keeping the real estate market in the Bay Area fairly stable is that inventory is so incredibly low, there are not very many homes on the market, so that provides a sense of stability, the market didn’t become flooded with inventory.

Yes, inflation is a factor, although it seems to be leveling out.

Yes, Twitter and Meta and whoever else are laying off employees.

Yes, there are also currently more jobs than people seeking employment. Albeit, maybe not all of the available jobs are what people are seeking, but there are still a lot of jobs out there and an opportunity to lock in a job in a less competitive job market, that may have in the past been harder to obtain.

Renting a home is like paying a 100% interest rate, basically paying for a roof over your head with no other benefit. Over time interest rates tend to come down with stability in the market, so at some point, when the time is right, those who buy homes at these rates will be able to refinance. So, a buyer locks in a home at a lower price, due to the softening of the market, and that’s fixed. And, as a bonus, will be able to in the future, refinance for a lower rate. Locking in a home at a lower price also locks in lower property taxes.
Also, over time, owning a home is the best financial investment one can tend to make in years to come. It’s how the majority of people build their wealth, through homeownership and building equity and stability, and being able to have a good tax write off. Overall, most people want to own a home and have that stable life, make their home their own, maybe have pets, or whatever it may be for that more independent lifestyle as opposed to having a landlord that makes all the rules. Most people prefer to own once they can afford to do so, as opposed to renting forever.
Once you buy in a home, unlike rent, the payment is fixed, and won’t go up over time like rentals do. Renters have very little control over rent prices and increases.

 

So, just some food for thought. For those with a stable job and feel financially secure, it’s still a good time to buy, regardless of the increase in interest rate, since the prices have come down to compensate for the rate. Now that the home prices have softened, and the competition is mostly gone, I am seeing more buyers come out that could not afford to buy in the hot market, taking advantage of being able to lock in a home, as opposed to when the market was hot, prices were high, and these buyers just could not compete.

Some buyers that do not have the highest paying jobs now have an opportunity to squeak into homeownership. For those buyers who have stable jobs and feel financially secure, it may be a good opportunity to lock in a home, while prices are soft and buyers are more in control of negotiations and such.

I have found over the years that taking the oppportunity to buy when most people are not buying, really pays off in the end.

On the flip side, in my opinion, the only reason to sell in this market, is to have the opportunity to get a contingent sale through and also buy low and lock in the next home at a lower price. And, often when the market is hot, a buyer who has to sell a home in order to buy, just can’t even get their offer accepted. This would be a time in which more sellers would likely be open to negotiations and taking a contingent offer if they have no other options.

Otherwise, it’s not a great time to sell…unless there is a real need to do so.

Rent or Buy?

Rent or Buy?

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Just Sold in San Jose for $675,000…

For this condo I sold in San Jose for $675,000, I was the agent for the sellers. I sold this condo to the sellers as their buyer’s agent back in 2007! And, I believe this is the 5th time working with these clients over the years!

Where do I start??? This listing was a doozy!!! Ahhh, so much to say, but I’ll try to keep it to the highlights.

Craziness happened even before the condo was listed. When my clients first reached out about selling this condo, the market was questionable at best for sellers. It was a hard call whether they should even list it for sale or just keep it as a rental until the market was more predictable.

We were going back and forth on if it was even the right time to list it. Another condo came up for sale in the community, the exact model and was getting little to no activity. So, we had a discussion that we surely did not want to compete with another condo just like theirs in this market and if they weren’t getting activity, there’s no logical reason we would do any better. So, we were on the road to not listing at all.

Then one day, the listing agent of that condo said she has a better than normal weekend and had 2 offers at once, and actually was able to get OVER the listed price. Come to find out, 1 offer was over the list price due to the competition, but the other offer was under the list price.

So, they took the over list price offer of course. And, that meant there was an actual buyer interested in this model! So, I went back to these clients to let them know the developments. And, that buyer was interested in the condo, so we thought we had an easy buyer!

Well, turns out, not so easy…The buyer was a VA buyer, and did make an offer, but I personally know that a there are certain things that need to be in order for a VA loan, so I advised my clients that we should not accept the offer until we know the VA will give a loan in this community.

I asked the agent to talk to the lender and make sure the VA would approve this community and that it would be a solid deal.

In the meantime, we decided to list the condo on MLS, knowing we had this buyer who wanted to buy the condo and then to see if there was anyone else out there in case this didn’t pan out.

The open house weekend was extremely slow, basically no real buyers even showed up, so we were very hopeful for the VA buyer. Come to find out, the VA has a requirement that the community is at least 50% owner occupied. And, this community falls short by literally 2 units!

The pending unit was going to be owner occupied, and then this VA buyer was going to be a owner occupant which would bring it up to 50%, but that’s only if the VA would accept this buyer to make it 50% AND we would have to wait for the pending sale to close.

Well, the VA buyer’s agent went MIA, just pretty much stopped communicating, which I thought was a bit rude, but also tells me that they didn’t want to move forward.

So, back to square one. At that point, we were getting just random showings, buyer’s agent calling with questions, and a few saying they thought they would be sending an offer, but then nothing would come of it. And, we did get a low ball offer that we countered, and then they changed their mind and nothing came of that offer.

And, then it went to just basically no showings at all. And, nothing was really happening.

So, once the listing was about to expire, and the sellers didn’t want to lower the price to see if that would spark interest, it seemed to just be a sign to take it off the market and rent it out again.

The listing expired, and within 1-2 days, a buyer’s agent calls me asking about it! He said his buyers had been looking for some time, were very interested, and my thoughts were…Where have you been the last 60 days??? Apparently, they were looking in a lower priced budget, but not finding anything, so were looking a bit higher in price for more options.

I had literally just removed the staging and was about to grab my lockboxes. I let the agent know he was welcome to show it, but the staging was gone, they could check the MLS photos and tour, but physically, it was empty.

He showed it, they loved it, and they made an offer. We negotiated a bit and then came to an agreement.

The transaction itself was a HUGE headache at multiple levels, it seemed nothing went smoothly. The buyer’s agent put in various contingency removal dates, rather than just have all contingencies removed on a date, or maybe 2 dates, but there were like 5 different dates! Who does that??

The buyers wanted updated HOA info since we didn’t have a most recent copy because we were taking it off the market. So, we had the bulk of the HOA docs, but not the last couple months in which we didn’t think we would even sell the place. The HOA was HORRIBLE in getting us the updated docs, so that took FOREVER and many calls, emails, texts, etc.

And, that caused delays in contingency removals not only for HOA, but also the loan.

Once we received all of the HOA docs, the buyers asked for a ridiculous credit because they claimed that the HOA was not financially strong. The HOA gets everything needed done, all is in order, the seller said they are always maintaining the community and it looks great. The sellers are not responsible for the health of the HOA financials, so the answer was a hard “no” for the seller to credit the buyer due to the HOA!

Also, the buyers had a home inspection, which is perfectly fine, but they were SUPER picky about nothing items. I understand if something reasonable comes up, but if it’s just small little maintenance items, not cool! And, they asked for a crazy credit for these little items. The sellers gave a generous credit, just to show they cared and proceed in good faith, but surely not what they asked for, and frankly, they should have never asked.

Also, I was chasing the buyer’s agent to remove their contingencies. None were removed on time, and since there were too many, I was reaching out for every single one, on multiple occasions to get me the contingency removals, or extensions, or whatever applied.

One of the sellers was out of the country, so he had to sign his final docs at the American Consulate. And, the other seller was mostly in the area but travels frequently. So, with all this extra paperwork floating around due to the contingencies and such, it was a lot for myself and my clients to have to sign more than usual paperwork and keep this contract together.

I worked on this listing even well before it was listed. And, then worked on the transaction pretty much every single day until the closing day. It was just one frustration after another. It’s in my top ‘worst transaction experiences ever’ category. The sellers were troupers going through this whole experience from pre-listing, listing, and then this crazy transaction.

But, in the end, we got it done! Praise God!

Just sold in San Jose for $675,000

Just sold in San Jose for $675,000

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Just Sold in Santa Clara for $1,075,000…

For this townhome I sold in Santa Clara for $1,075,000, I was the agent for the buyers who were referred to me by another couple that also bought a home with me. Although the market has softened, inventory is quite low, so even though there is less to no competition and prices are down, there aren’t a lot of homes to choose from in this market.

It didn’t take them too long to find the right match, but there were a couple of places they liked, even places that got multiple offers due to the shortage of inventory, that came on the market at aggressive pricing. And, then there was a home that was overpriced for this market, but the seller just didn’t recognize that the market has changed, and was not being reasonable. That home is still on the market today, 116 days later. I wonder if they regret not taking our offer. Although, personally, I like this home better. 🙂

And, then this townhome came on the market in the same community as the overpriced townhome. We were the only offer, and were able to negotiate the price UNDER the list price. The transaction itself was smooth and seamless.

The key to this market is just finding the right balance between price and the interest rate to come up with a reasonable mortgage payment. It’s always a good time to buy, as opposed to throwing money away on renting, at the right price coupled with the interest rate.

In fact, when the market softens and there is no competition, the end game is that buyers get a better deal overall, as opposed to buying high with fierce competition. Buyers lock in the lower price, which also locks in a lower property tax, and can concentrate on paying down/off the mortgage and/or refinance when rates go down. And, if you are a cash buyer, it’s a great time to buy and get a good deal.

Just Sold in Santa Clara for $1,075,000

Just Sold in Santa Clara for $1,075,000

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Just Sold in San Jose for $1,200,000!

For this home I sold in San Jose for $1,200,000, I was the agent for the seller. I have sold a number of homes with this family and this sale was dear to me because it was a client that I worked with many years ago who passed away (the reason for the sale). The family members wanted me to be the realtor and even said my client who passed would have wanted me to be the realtor. So endearing and heartwarming! I just love this family! This home was owned almost 50 years by the original owners!

The timing for putting a home on the market was questionable at best, in that the interest rates went up and the market had drastically slowed down. And, it was at the cusp of not quite knowing exactly what buyers would be willing to pay in the market coupled with the higher interest rates. We priced the home where I felt the home would sell fast in this unpredictable market and we did quite well! It was important to the seller that the home sold quickly…so…no pressure at all…LOL.

Given the uncertainty of the market, we didn’t post an offer due date, only asked to get through the open house weekend for exposure purposes. It was pretty incredible in that we had a good open house weekend, with lots of positive feedback, but no offers. Then Tuesday came along, and lots of calls, emails, etc but no offers. Wednesday came along and out of nowhere we had 3 offers! Competition! And, the home sold for OVER the list price with the buyer waiving ALL contingencies. Go figure! Basically, if any of the 3 buyers would have made their offer on Monday or even Tuesday, they would have been able to get the home for a lower price, but….yay for the seller!

The transaction itself was very smooth and seamless. And, we were able to sell and get this done quickly for the seller.

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,200,000

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,200,000

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Just Sold in Capitola for $2,300,000!

For this home I just sold in Capitola for $2,300,000 I was the agent for the buyers. This is my 4th time working with these clients over the course of many years!

Their dream has been to have a beach home and their dream just came true! They have been looking over time, but inventory is often so low, and beach homes tend to be in such high demand with a lot of competition. But, due to the softening of the market, this opportunity popped up and they jumped on it!

There was still competition on this home, in fact, there were 2 other offers. 1 of the other offers was not competitive, but the other offer seemed to want the home as much as my clients, so the competition was fierce.

Both my buyer and the other buyer had very similar price and terms. Both buyers were all cash buyers. Both were willing to close quickly. Both were willing to buy in ‘as is’ condition.

God was with me on this one, because this listing just coincidentally happened to be the home of a colleague in my office and the home has been in the family for many years and is cherished by their family. I have a great relationship with my colleague so they swayed our way. Both offers were basically the same, so without any emotion or pull involved, it was a coin toss. But, luckily for me, I know the owner’s family and was given the opportunity for my clients. Praise God!

The transaction itself was super smooth and seamless…that is usually how it goes with all cash buyers and no loan/bank or appraisal to deal with and be at the mercy of. 🙂

Just Sold in Capitola for $2,300,000!

Just Sold in Capitola for $2,300,000!

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Just Sold in San Jose for $2,025,000…

For this home I sold for $2,025,000 in San Jose, I was the agent for the buyers. This is my 3rd transaction with the buyers so we go way back! There were 3 offers on this home. One offer was actualy under the listed price, so that buyer was pretty much eliminated immediately. However, the other 2 buyers were in fierce competition to get this home, 1 of which was us.

My clients had been looking for a long time to find ‘the one’ and for them, this was ‘the one’. Apparently, the other buyers felt pretty much the same. And, apparently, both offers were quite similar in price, terms, and strength of finances. By the grace of God, I know the listing agent and we also go way back and worked together on a transaction many moons ago. So, he worked with me to make it happen for my buyers and swung it our direction. Yay!

The transaction itself was smooth overall and all went well. There was some frustration with the lender that was a bit annoying, especially since the lender was out of state. But, the buyers muddled through dealings with the lender to get it done.

After the many, many months of searching, the buyers are in their what can be ‘forever’ home.

Just Sold in San Jose for $2,025,000!

Just Sold in San Jose for $2,025,000!

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Just Sold in Fremont for $1,200,000

For this townhome I just sold in Fremont for $1,200,000, I was the agent for the buyers, who were referred to me by clients that bought a home with me in the past.

This is a crazy story. The buyers had been casually looking at open houses and we chatted on the phone as our initial introduction. I sent them some listings and they went to open houses that weekend.

There were 2 townhomes in the same community that came on the market at roughly the same time that they liked, but both homes back to a street that is fairly busy, both were the same overall floor plan.

Although the market was not as crazy as prior months, there were still homes getting multiple offers. Both of these townhomes had offer dates within a day of eachother. For the 1st home, they were still deciding and let that one go. But, after taking more time to consider the busy street, driving by in the evening, getting a sense of the street, they decided to go for the 2nd one.

There was 1 other offer they competed with and our offer was actually LOWER than the other offer, but the agent was also the seller, and we had a lot of communication and I kept in touch and she just felt more comfortable with our offer and presentation, so rather than countering us to match the other offer, they accepted our offer at the lower price! Also, the other place received 2 offers as well and went for WELL over the one we went for, so the buyers ended up getting this home for LESS than the other one and also LESS than the very recent comp that has just sold. And this was their very first offer on basically their very first weekend with me as their agent!

The craziest part is that I never even met these buyers before they went into contract! Due to the circumstances and timing, and the fact they went to the open house weekend, then was casually there to see the neighborhood in the evening and the seller happened to be home and let them in for a second look, and then offers were due shortly thereafter, we had only talked on the phone and communicated via text and email! So…I sold a home to clients I never even met in person!

Even after 27 years of being a realtor, I still to this day have 1st experiences and this was a first to sell a home to clients I didn’t even meet in person first.

The transaction itself was super smooth and easy with no hiccups.

Just Sold in Fremont for $1,200,000

Just Sold in Fremont for $1,200,000

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