Just Sold in Fremont for $873,000

For this townhome I just sold in Fremont for $873,000, I was the agent for the buyers, who were referred to me by clients who also bought a townhome with me. At this price point, the market is crazy hot and competitive, so I was very hopeful to get this townhome because it was so perfect for them and it’s so hard to find a home in this price range because inventory is just so low.

This sale felt like a HUGE blessing! It’s a beautiful townhome, has a really nice yard, and a very nice area. This was the very FIRST offer my clients had ever written. They had only seen a handful of homes, and just really fell in love with this one. The pressure was really high because I knew that this was such a perfect match and I also knew how hard it was to find such a great place at this price point, that I really hoped to lock it in.

There were 15 offers! Yes, 15 offers on this home! And, WE got it! Praise God! Seriously! That is CRAZY competition and to actually beat out 14 other offers and have it be a buyer that has never written an offer before and be the very first offer and actually get it against that much competition, that’s just amazing!

The transaction itself was quite smooth. All went well. As much of the time, the banks are overloaded, so when it comes to the loan, it always seems to be the last minute rush to close, which was the case here as well. But, overall, it was a very good transaction.

Just Sold in Fremont for $873,000!

Just Sold in Fremont for $873,000!

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Just Sold in San Francisco for $1,208,000

For this home I just sold in San Francisco for $1,208,000, I was the agent for the buyer, who was referred to me by another client. Wow, talk about luck! We looked at only 3 homes, and he bought this one! This was his very first offer, there was NO competition, he got the home for UNDER the listed price, and the home appraised for OVER what he paid! What a nice break from the usual!

This home is a flip home being sold by investors, and it is practically like new inside with an amazing view! Super cool place! And, the sellers were so easy and accomodating to work with and even did some touch ups at closing to ensure the home was in tip top shape.

The transaction itself was super smooth and seamless. So refreshing!

Sold in San Francisco for $1,208,000

Sold in San Francisco for $1,208,000

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Just Sold in Los Gatos for $1,350,000…

For this townhome I just sold in Los Gatos for $1,350,000, I was the agent for the sellers. This is our FOURTH transaction together over the years and I actually sold this townhome to them as buyers over 10 years ago.

Talk about timing…when we initiated the discussion of selling this townhome, they had tenants living there. And, at that time, it was a bit before COVID started to become a hot topic. But, at that time, townhomes were selling for high prices in the community and still moving.

As weeks went on, shut downs were starting to happen and news was getting more intense. The renters found a place to move, and at that point, weren’t interested in staying, since the idea was to sell this home. Although, as COVID was the news, we thought it may be good if the tenants would just stay and put this idea on halt.

Well, the tenants moved out because they had already found another home, and since the place would be vacant, went ahead with the plans to sell. However, by that time, this community had practically come to a complete halt, and nothing was selling at all. There was another listing that was the exact same model and even same street, just doors away that was just sitting on the market with no activity at all.

At this point, the complete shut downs were happening, that mid March timing, when contractors could not even go do work, and when even us realtors could not show homes. Once the tenants were out, we actually had to wait for some time until the contractors were able to work again. So, we just kind of waiting around a bit.

And, all the while, the other listing was sitting there, as well as a few others. Once we were ready to list the home, there were quite a few  others on the market as well in the same community, and really the only way to differentiate ourselves was price, to list at an aggressive price under the other listings, to spark something.

And, it worked! We had an interested buyer within days of listing the home who was very interested in buying, but needed to do a 1031 exchange. And, to our misfortune, at that time, the rentals in the community were tapped out. My clients could still rent out their home, but if they were to sell, the buyer would need to live their as their primary residence, because there was a waiting list to rent. What a major buzzkill to say the least! Trust me, we tried to see if there was any way this buyer could still buy, but nope, wasn’t going to happen.

We then really had no other serious interest at that point, and more inventory came on the market as competition, plus, other homes stole our idea and lowered their pricing too, in order to compete with us. The other downside that seemed to be an issue in this COVID environment when it was all new and scary, were that buyers seemed to be backing off due to the high HOA dues of $760/month. It didn’t seem to be much of an issue before COVID and when the market was super hot, but buyers seemed to be more conservative and really looking into all factors and seemed more cautious about this community due to the high HOA dues.

At this point, there are a LOT of homes in the community for sale, basically, none of which were selling, unless there was some unique feature to it, like on the view side, or something that just really stood out as a big difference. Otherwise, there were PLENTY to choose from, all of which competing with eachother. So, we made one last effort to lower the price to differentiate ourseives yet again, and hit yet another price point that additional buyers would fit into, and that worked!

We received an offer shortly after that price reduction. A buyer that waived ALL contingencies (loan, appraisal, and inspections) and we grabbed it! Once we went pending, a few of the other homes also reduced their pricing similar to ours, so thank God we did it first, to grab the next buyer looking in the lower price range, before we had more competition yet again, with homes similar in price.

The transaction itself was decent, a little bumpy only because the buyers didn’t seem to understand they bought in ‘as is’ condition and kept going back to the property, time and time again, to find one thing after another, to ask the seller to fix, want a credit, etc, etc. I was personally kind of baffled as to why they didn’t see all they needed to see before they made the offer, and they also had all the inspection reports as well. The various trips back to the property to report additional items every time they went, was a little troubling, but we got through it. They wrote an offer with NO inspection contingency and in ‘as is’ condition, so I don’t really get why they kept going back and asking the sellers to address anything. And, to top it off, the requested items were just so small and picky. I didn’t get it, but…we got it done! Meanwhile, to this day, there are still quite a few of the other townhomes sitting on the market in this community, so I am VERY thankful we got this home sold!

Just Sold in Los Gatos for $1,350,000!

Just Sold in Los Gatos for $1,350,000!

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Just Sold in Morgan Hill for $1,275,000

For this home I sold in Morgan Hill for $1,275,000, I was the agent for the sellers, and this is our 2nd transaction together! Historically, this general neighborhood doesn’t have ‘quick sales’, in that it’s pretty far out in Morgan Hill and the more rural area. For years, buyers have wanted the shortest commute possible, so this area in Morgan Hill has been more of a niche market. Homes often sit on the market for even up to a year.

Well, times have drastically changed largely due to COVID. Buyers want to stretch out and roam and do not seem to care as much about commute and being close to work. This home was HOT and there was a lot of interest in this home. It even surprised me! I told my clients that once I listed the home for sale, likely there would be the most action on the weekend. I knew we would get the home sold quickly, but I didn’t expect SO much interest and so quickly.

Well, to my surprise and theirs, as soon as I listed the home, I had calls to show the home that very day! It was incredible! We knew we priced the home very well, but we still did not anticipate this type of action. The sellers weren’t even sure we would get it sold quickly at all. But, things went very well indeed!

We had interest and offers within days. We debated over continuing to show the home or just go ahead with the buyers eager to buy the home. The sellers decided not to hold off and continue to show the home to more potential buyers, and take the bird in hand, since it overall was a good offer and buyers that really loved it.

The buyers that made an offer wrote a very lovely letter and their extended family was going to also live close by. So, it just seemed to be ‘the one’ for these buyers and their letter was partly the slam dunk because it just seemed so right for them.

We went into contract at a time when the interest rates were very good and the banks were inundated with purchases and also refinances. So, that made our transaction a bit stressful.

The buyer agent was very aggressive with the loan contingency removal, to do it in only 7 days, but he said that he put that in the contract because that’s exactly the time he needed for another transaction he recently did. Well, I guess in that time, times really changed for how long the bank needed to approve a loan and close it.

So, the main ‘stress’ to the sellers for this transaction was the unknown of getting the loan approved. It just dragged on and on, although, in the end, we were able to close on time. But, just the daily and weekly checking in with the loan officer, who seemed to really have no info on when this would get done, was the main issue of this sale. It was practically an every day follow up with the loan officer asking for updates and when we would get the green light. The other aspects of the sale went very smoothly.

Just Sold in Morgan Hill for $1,275,000!

Just Sold in Morgan Hill for $1,275,000!

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Just Sold in Saratoga for $900,000…

For this condo I just sold in Saratoga for $900,000, I was the agent for the seller. I have now sold this very same condo 3 times! The condo market is definitely not as hot as the SFR market, so it’s a little more questionable for how things will go with a condo in this COVID world we live in. Fortunately, there was a buyer that really loves this community, and was actually waiting for another condo to pop up, so we likely got lucky in that sense. Once we listed the condo, the buyer made an offer right away, and based on the overall activity and such, we felt it was best to take the bird in hand and not mess around.

This buyer was super solid, large down payment, made an offer over the list price, and waived ALL the contingencies (loan, appraisal, and inspections).

The transaction itself was super smooth…until it wasn’t…towards the very end of the transaction, the seller got a letter from the HOA that they noticed the sellers had hard flooring and are an upstairs unit, which does not comply with the HOA rules and regs. Well, firstly, in the community there are a number of upstairs condos with hard flooring, AND for this particular unit, the ONLY hard flooring is in the entry and hall, and is a VERY small part of the overall flooring.

Secondly, this owner did NOT even install the flooring, they bought the condo this way. Not only that, but even the previous owner did NOT install the flooring and bought it the same way. The flooring was put in over 8 years ago and 3 owners ago. Apparently, the HOA was looking at online pictures of the inside of units while they were on the market and that’s how this all came about. They never even had a complaint from the downstairs owner.

So, there was a lot of back and forth about this flooring issue, which probably takes up maybe 4% of the overall flooring and never a complaint from any other owner or neighbor, just the HOA actively seeking out violations on the internet. Wow!

The owners were able to get an emergency board meeting, since we were seriously close to closing the transaction. This notice came very close to the closing of the sale, so the timing was really crazy. And, the HOA decided to let the flooring stay as it is, as long as the neighbor below has no complaints. We talked to the neighbor below and she had no issue with the flooring and even advocated for the sellers that it was no problem for her.

So, in the end, after all of the back and forth, and this notice coming out of nowhere just maybe a week before the transaction closing, the end result was to do nothing and just let it be.

Most people don’t even read all of the rules and regs of the HOA docs, especially to the level of what type of flooring is permitted. And in this case, this condo had been passed on from owner to owner now 4 times (to include the most recent buyer), without any of them even aware there was an issue until this came up. There are currently a number of upstairs units with hard flooring in most of the space, so it’s a rule that not too many seem to be aware of. But, now I know…and NOTED!

Sold in Saratoga for $900,000

Sold in Saratoga for $900,000

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Just Sold in Livermore for $680,000…

For this home I sold in Livermore for $680,000, I was the agent for the seller. This was our 2nd transaction together. This sale was a JOURNEY to say the least! A major roller coaster of the worst kind!

I listed this home back in early March, in which the word on COVID was just starting to hit the news. I listed the home the weekend before COVID became big news, but the concern was circling. I held an open house the very weekend before the Shelter in Place happened on March 17th, having no idea at the time that something called Shelter in Place was even a reality!

At the time, since this thing called Coronavirus was in the news, and people were nervous for good reason, the open house was very slow and hardlly anyone showed up. Usually an open house will generate a buyer, but not in this case, due to the COVID situation. Come the very next Tuesday, Shelter in Place happened, at which time, this listing went completely ice cold, in that no one could view the home in person.

Initailly, when Shelter in Place first went into effect, everyone stayed home, nothing could really happen. So, essentially, we weren’t going to be able to sell this home, if no one could view it. Then things lightened up in which buyers could see vacant homes. This listing was occupied by the owners, and they were not in a position to move out so that the home could be vacant for showings. So, basically, again, it just sat there, ice cold, since no one could come view it.

Then May 4th came along, in which guidelines were loosened a bit more, and occupied homes could be viewed under strict circumstances. So, basically from mid March until early May, this home just sat on the market and no one could view it in person.

Come May 4th, I started to get phone calls and showings, and within days, we had our buyer! This buyer needed to sell her condo in order to buy this home and the transaction was contingent on that sale. The buyer was willing to pay OVER the listed price if we would work with her through it.

The buyer already had a buyer for her condo and was about to go into contract. So, we felt pretty good about the situation, plus the seller was not in a hurry to move at the time, just as long as our transaction was solid.

The transaction itself was smooth between the seller and our buyer, but was a mess for the buyer that was buying our buyer’s condo. It was just one thing after another for the condo buyer and the transaction just lagged, and lagged, and lagged on for weeks.

Our parties were ready to close on time, but our buyer’s buyer had all kinds of delays and such with their loan. Their loan was just one delay after another and it was maddening and held up our transaction.

We were confident both transactions would close, but it was a matter of when, and in the meantime, just the day to day question of when is this going to happen? We had multiple extensions but finally got it closed.

Just Sold in Livermore for $680,000!

Just Sold in Livermore for $680,000!

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Just Sold in Sacramento for $485,000!

Talk about getting more for your money outside the Bay Area! This home I just sold in Sacramento for $485,000 would sell in a typical San Jose neighborhood for triple the price! I was the buyer’s agent with a client that bought a home with me in San Jose back in the market crash of 2008ish and was looking to move out of the Bay Area where he could get more for his money, and yes he did!

This sale was like a dream come true for any buyer. The home was a flip and the seller was SO accommodating that I just simply could not believe it. The seller had already put a ton of money into remodeling and upgrading the home and landscaping, and then offered the buyer a 1 year warranty if anything goes wrong!

The seller also repaired all of the important items that were noted on the home inspection, roof, pool, and termite report, which you basiclaly never seen done. I was just amazed at how much this investor was willing to do to make the home as perfect as possible for this buyer and still yet offer a 1 year home warranty through his own company.

Even after closing, the buyer saw a few very minor items and reached out to the seller, and the seller sent someone over to repair even small items. The seller even did a few things he did not commit to do, just did them!

It’s hard to even explain to a buyer how lucky they are to come across such accommodating sellers, because that just rarely ever happens, practically never, and unless you are a seasoned agent as myself, that sees it all over many years, buyers just probably can’t relate to how incredibly lucky they are to run into this type of seller. But, I appreciate it! 🙂

The loan was a bit bumpy in that the buyer was using a loan officer that actually lives in Hawaii, I prefer local loan officers so that you can track them down much easier and everyone involved understands the local markets best and I feel things are a little more fine tuned when a buyer uses a local loan officer. In fact, we were waiting for the appraisal, and then come to find out, when they are following up on it and asking when it will be in, came to realize that the appraisal was never even ordered! So, there were a few dropped balls and such, but we got through it.

Sold for $485,000 in Sacramento!

Sold for $485,000 in Sacramento!

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Just Sold 8plex in Marysville for $860,000…

For this 8plex investment property I just sold in Marysville for $860,000, I was the agent for the buyers who were doing a 1031 exchange. This deal was quite the roller coaster ride from beginning to the end. Initially, there were multiple offers, and my clients needed to sell a property in order to buy this property, and it was contingent on that happening. So, I wasn’t so sure we would have a great shot at locking in this property, with having to sell a property that was not even on the market yet. So, we offered a little higher in price to try to make up for the risk. And, the buyers agreed to very short contingency periods to show the seller that we were serious. And then just basically begged and pleaded, that we were the offer to pick, that my clients were super serious and committed to THIS property, that they weren’t locking in multiple properties with the 1031 exchange, that THIS was THE ONE…we promise!

Praise God, we convinced the seller to go with our offer, and then I just got to it. We put the other home on MLS ASAP and was able to sell that home with an all cash buyer who closed in 7 days.

In an investment sale, it’s pretty normal not to be able to see all the units before going into contract, although, it is a contingency of the sale to see them during the transaction period. Well, the pictures online were basically of the nicest unit they had of all 8 units. And, frankly, some units were not as up to par as expected. Also, there were some things that came out of the home inspection, also not anticipated. So, off to the negotiation table again. We were able to shave off $15,000 of the inital agreed upon price once we went back to the table with the inspection reports and also the notes of the units that were not up to par. So, the buyers were very happy with the end sales price. There were some other hiccups along the way, but everything ended up getting resolved one way or another. I think that’s just the norm for commercial transactions when you are dealing with many tenants, property managers, sellers, agents, banks, etc…just a lot of cooks in the kitchen.

Also, this transaction started before COVID really hit the news, and then ended up being right smack in the middle of it all, when people were really freaked out. In fact, there was some concern about the commerical loan, in that I was hearing the commerical brokers were cancelling loans and closing up shop. And, commercial transactons were falling apart left and right. So, although, this transaction was super solid with a huge down payment, there was still some concern that the bank would do something crazy, so our goal was to wrap it up and close the sale ASAP before the commercial bank changed their mind about giving the loan at all.

During the midst of the madness, the commercial bank for the first time in their history, added a guideline at the 11th hour due to COVID, which was to take 6 months of mortgage payments upfront. That was pretty shocking to have come up at the final moment, but the buyers just rolled with the punches, since overall, this property was a sweet deal and has a great cash flow. And, with the COVID environment, they just wanted to get ‘er done…so we did!

Just Sold for $860,000

Just Sold for $860,000

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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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