Category Archives: Home for Sale

Just Sold in Santa Clara for $2,100,000…

For this home I just sold in Santa Clara for $2,100,000, I was the agent for the sellers who are moving out of the Bay Area. It was a long process from start to finish, in that they needed their kids to finish the school year, and do some things for prepping the home, so it took months to prep and also have the home ready at a time in which they could work with the timing of the school year ending.

Over that time, the market was shifting, and we just paid close attention to try to best capitalize on the right timing for selling and also realistic timing for staying until the end of the school year.

It was a bit of a rocky ride monitoring the market, because we were noticing the market changing and we wanted to make sure we made this all work. The sellers did a lot over the course of time to prep the home, so it really did look amazing when it was ready for sale. Some key things they did to really dial it in for curb appeal made a huge difference. They had already spend a lot of money on upgrades over the years when they were just living there and not in the market to sell. So, the upgrades truly were over the top and super high end.

One thing that I personally noticed prior to listing the home was that the county records did not match the actual house in that the bedroom count was off. The county records were showing 4 bedrooms, when the home is actually 5 bedrooms. So, that was something I asked the seller get corrected right away so that there were no questions about it. And, it truly is per the county, a 5 bedroom home, so the county just simply made some kind of error and did update their system to get that corrected. That can take time, so anytime county records are incorrect, it’s a really good idea to get that corrected, so that when one does go to sell, they aren’t dealing with that at the 11th hour. It takes time for the online sites and records to catch up to the county records, sometimes many months. So, it’s good to get that taken care of well in advance.

When we listed the home, due to the superb home condition and location, the expectations were high for this particular home, so when the open houses were not as busy as expected, it really was a sure sign that the market was slowing down. Thankfully, we did get a full priced offer after the first open house weekend, and a buyer that would work with us for the timing of the school, and we also had some additional interest. It just didn’t go as it would have last year at the same time, where we would have likely had 10+ offers. But, luckily, the right buyer came along and it was all good.

I know not to say “I have seen it all in my 24 years as a real estate agent”, because every time I feel I have been through basically everything, and really have seen it all, something new happens. And, in this case, there were 2 things that popped up that were quite stressful frankly. Thank God, both of these things came up BEFORE we accepted the offer and went into contract, so that we could alert the buyers of the situation BEFORE everything was said and done, so really, that was a true blessing. I felt very thankful for finding out in advance.

I received a call from the City of Santa Clara telling me there had been a complaint filed in regard to the shed, actually, it appeared the complaint was something about a water pipe on the shed, or something of that nature. Apparently, someone saw a water pipe on the shed during my open house weekend, and called the city about it. But, to this day, I don’t know if the complaint was truly about that water pipe, or the people were trying to get the City out to see that shed too close to the fence without the proper set back. Mind you, this is a VERY nice shed built on a foundation! It wasn’t old or raggety, it was really nice and no way did the seller or buyer want it to go away. But, the City called it and made the sellers remove the shed. The shed had been there for years and the seller told me that when they bought the home over 10 years ago, the shed was there, and that’s how they bought the house. They didn’t build the shed. So, that was SUPER stressful for the seller to get the shed removed and we also had to let the buyer know, that they were buying this home without the shed, sorry! Ugh!

And, since the City had been contacted with the complaint in regard to the shed, apparently, the City Inspector was reviewing the file for the home itself for some reason and noticed that there were never final permits filed on some of the remodel work that was done to the house. This work had been completed a couple of years ago, and it was done by a licensed contractor who assured them all was in order, everything was signed off, and they had permits. The sellers had all the paperwork and there were initials and things looked in order, but apparently, the actual final sign off was not complete, which means the contractor did not complete his job and the sellers had no idea. So, not only did the sellers have to remove the shed on a whim, but now they had to get a final permit on all the remodel work they did a couple years ago, the contractor was nowhere to be found, and they have to scramble to make this happen, while also dealing with the shed situation. So, it was a stressful time for the seller, to say the least.

I will say, and I did explain this to the sellers, that really, we were VERY blessed to find this out in advance, and not during the transaction when there would not be enough time to correct the issues and/or having to give this new info to the buyers during our transaction. And, to top it off, it was best that this happened while they were still the owners, and not have the buyers close on the transaction, and then find this info out months later. That would have been all bad. So, as frustrating as it was, I really felt we were lucky to get this all resolved and be able to pass over to the buyers, a home that had everything in order and no surprises down the road.

I think that once the sellers left the area, they were relieved to put this all behind them. It was a LOT to make such a big move, selling this home, buying out of the area, these surprises to pop up out of nowhere. It was just a LOT! But, now it’s all over and they can move on to the next chapter of life!

I guess the moral of this story, is when you think you are getting work done with permits, make 100% sure that everything if signed off and finaled by the city inspector. If you don’t know where to look, then go to the city and have them show you that it’s complete, don’t rely on the contractor. And, when you have a shed or any kind of structure really close to a fence, know that it very likely does not have the proper set back, and you just never know when someone may tell on you.

Just Sold in Santa Clara for $2,100,000!

Just Sold in Santa Clara for $2,100,000!

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Just Sold in Capitola for $1,100,000…

For this home I sold in Capitola for $1,100,000, I was the agent for the buyers, who wanted to buy a vacation home. This is my 2nd time working with these clients. Years ago they bought their first home with me in San Jose.

I won’t even sugar coat it, this sale was frustrating from Day 1 and continued to be frustrating to the very end and beyond. The sellers were completely off radar for the reality on the current value of the home. They listed the home for $1.2m, my clients were interested very soon after the home went on the market and we made an offer for $1.1m, being the max the buyers felt the home was worth.

Well, come to find out, the sellers listed at $1.2m, expecting to get at least $1.4m, so they would not even consider the $1.1m offer. Ok, no problem, it was newer to the market, so we just sat back and waited. We figured, if it was meant to be, it would be. I reached out to the listing agent periodically to see if the sellers achieved a reality check over time. Well, not only did they not have a reality check, but were upset and felt they listed to low, even though they only got our 1 offer and nothing else! So, they actually raised the price to $1,350,000. How well do you think that went??? Not good…so they again lowered the price to $1.2m and then did manage to get an offer higher than our $1.1m offer, but lower than the $1.2m list price.

So, we figured it was not meant to be and moved on. Well, come to find out, that deal fell through, and it was back on the market. The sellers at this point felt more motivated to sell, and 93 days later…they accepted our $1.1m offer and we were in contract.

The transaction itself was rocky at best. The sellers were just not easy to deal with and frankly I had hoped another property would come along that was the perfect match, because I personally didn’t want to deal with these people. But, emotions aside, the buyers loved the home and location, so we needed to make this happen, regardless of who we were dealing with as sellers.

Long story shorter, through trials and tribulations, we managed to get through it all, including a sewer lateral upgrade during escrow that almost wasn’t completed in time, the seller wanting to leave things behind so that they didn’t have to go back to pick them up, and then when the buyers didn’t want all their stuff left behind, but would take some of it, the sellers decided to get back at them by taking items that the buyer said they could leave and actually wanted.

The good news is it all worked out and the buyers are really happy with the home and excited. It’s their dream to have a home near the beach. It’s an amazing location. And, I’m sure they will make countless wonderful memories there.

Just Sold in Capitola For $1,100,000

Just Sold in Capitola For $1,100,000

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Just Sold in Newark for ~$1,078,000

For this home I just sold in Newark for ~$1,078,000 I was working with the buyers in a brand new community. The process started back in January of 2018 and their home was not ready to move in until March of 2019! It was absolutely absurd. When the buyers originally locked in this home, they knew there would be a decently long wait, but it was never supposed to be this long. Basically, it was just one thing after another, delay, after delay, after delay, excuse, after excuse, after excuse. It was simply maddening. Time and time again, we would get a timeframe for the home to be ready, and then there would be yet another delay. When the home finally did close, it was almost surreal at that point. To top it off, after such a long wait for this home to be built, the contractors still managed to make mistakes on what the buyers had picked out as materials, which had to be redone. Wow!

The below pic is from the community, not this home itself.

Just Sold in Newark for ~$1,078,000

Just Sold in Newark for ~$1,078,000

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Just Sold in San Jose for $1,575,000…

For this home I sold in San Jose for $1,575,000, I was the agent for the seller. This is my 4th transaction with this client, and was her buyer’s agent for this home! This is a gorgeous home and very lovingly cared for, although, there were a few factors for this home, that made it a bit on the challenging side. For one, the floor plan is not that open feel type, personally, I love this floor plan, but it does not have the open type plan in which a lot of buyers are looking for these days, and it would be a bit hard to open it up for this particular plan. Also, this home sits on a T lot, so there were a number of buyers that did not want a home on a T lot. And, there was also a couple of cracks in the foundation, although, not a big deal for this particular case, easily fixable, but sometimes buyers are just leary of foundation cracks and it can be a bit scary to buyers that maybe don’t fully understand the situation at hand for this particular case. Those things, coupled with the fact the market has slowed down, and not the frenzy of early 2018, were factors in the turnout in the number of buyers for this home.

We did get buyers that fell in love with this home, just like my clients had fallen in love, and we did get an offer about list price, and the buyers were willing to give the sellers a FREE rent back. So, the sellers did do quite well, they bought the home barely 2 years ago, and did pretty well in 2 years, especially given the fact that the market has slowed down.

The transaction itself was overall smooth, although we did enter a hiccup, but we got through it. We supplied the buyers with inspection reports and explained the cost for the foundation to be repaired. I had talked to various foundation contractors who quoted me rough prices for the fix, we gave that info to the buyer’s agent. So, we were all on the same page, or so we thought, going into the transaction in regard to the foundation repairs. But, it seems that when some types of buyers have a way to re-negotiate, they just take that opportunity to do so, even if it’s not kosher, and even if they had the info in initial negotiations. I find that it’s taking advantage of the situation, so NOT cool, but some buyers just do what they do. We managed to get through that hiccup and completed the transaction. We really did everything on our end to avoid this type of mishap, but sometimes you run into a buyer that just doesn’t care about what’s right.

Sold in San Jose for $1,575,000!

Sold in San Jose for $1,575,000!

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Just Sold in San Jose for $1,100,000…

For this home I sold in San Jose for $1,100,000, I was the agent for the buyers. This is my 2nd time working with this couple. They bought their first home with me about 10 years ago and now wanted to move up to a larger home. This home had been on the market for a bit, although, the seller had received offers, just not an offer that they felt was acceptable. At the time my clients made an offer, another buyer came out as well with an offer. So, there was a little anxiety in regard to the other offer being considered as well, but thankfully, the seller chose our offer.

The overall transaction was very smooth and seamless, my favorite kind…nice and boring…no frills or drama.

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,100,000!

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,100,000!

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Just Sold in Union City for $1,125,000…

For this home I just sold in Union City for $1,125,000, I was the agent for the buyers, who were referred to me by another client who also used me as their agent to buy a home. When the buyers saw this home, it was very apparent that it was ‘the one’ and they really wanted it, so much so, it was a bit stressful on my end, because their enthusiam to get this home and their desire to do what it took to get it, put a lot of pressure on me to ensure they got this home, no matter what!

This home was just one of those ‘special’ homes. The home was immaculate. It’s a nice neighborhood. It has a great floor plan. It has nice upgrades. It has a lovely backyard. And, it was just a home that was going to spark a lot of interest, because it was the type of home that does not come up too often. And, to top it off, the listing agent listed the home at an aggressive price to just really spark a lot of interest.

There were 7 offers on this home, so that is a lot of competition, and it was rough! It seemed that a few of the other buyers wanted the home as badly as my clients, so competition was fierce. The buyers went in well OVER the listed price, waived ALL their contingencies, wrote a beautiful personal letter to the seller, and I just tried to be as up close and personal to the listing agent as possible. The agent gave very little info, so it was really difficult to know where we stood in relation to the competition.

But, thank God, we were the lucky ones! The agent called to tell me that we were the chosen offer. He mentioned that it was a super difficult decision because a few of the offers were so close. He told me that what helped to get our offer picked, was obviously overall price and terms, but also what swayed the seller our way was the buyer’s letter and also my persistence and being on top of things and keeping in constant communication. The listing agent told me that was the combination of things that tipped the scale in our favor. I ended up meeting the seller and she also mentioned to me that she loved the letter from the buyers and it really did make a difference in her decision.

This sale was the result of the actual homeowner’s death and the home was left to an heir, so it was bitter sweet. The buyers were excited to get this home. The seller, on the other hand, was dealing with a loss and it was a very sad and emotional time for her, as you can imagine. The seller just wanted to walk away and not deal with anything she didn’t have to deal with. So, there were a few challenges, nothing major, our side was trying to be compassionate and understanding, although, still with the desire to have things be properly handled per the contract. We got through it and made it happen, but it was a little rough toward the end.

The seller ensured us that everything would be out by closing day, and that a final pick up of some trash would be taken the day after closing. Well, the seller left items in the house and around the house, that she was not supposed to leave. The trash was NOT picked up the next day. And, the seller didn’t leave the house as clean as maybe a seller would for a sale that was more the result of a positive reason to sell. I personally had the trash hauled off as soon as I got word it was still there. The seller made a deal with the buyer to leave a $7,000 sauna for the buyer, if she didn’t have to come back or deal with anything else in regard to the house and items that were left. The buyers took that deal. So, it all worked out, just a few hiccups due to the general situation and reason for the sale. On a brighter note, the home actually appraised for HIGHER than the buyer’s paid, so even competing with 7 offers, the home still appraised for HIGHER than what they paid!

Just Sold in Union City for $1,125,000!

Just Sold in Union City for $1,125,000!

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Recently Sold in Fremont for $950,000…

For this home I recently sold in Fremont for $950,000, I was the agent for the buyer, who was referred to me by another client who also bought a home with me. For this particular home, it seemed timing was everything. The home was showing on MLS as active, and then just disappeared when we were going to set an appointment to view it. I found that the listing agent had taken the home off of the market, called him, and he stated that the seller was still willing to sell the home, but had taken it off the market and was planning to put it back on in a few months. Being that the home was not even on the market anymore, it gave the buyers an advantage in that likely no other buyers would be coming out of the woodwork since it was not showing that it was for sale, so there was very little chance we would run across any kind of competition.

We were able to get the home for well UNDER the listed price, it was a very good price for a 4 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms home. It was a unique home, in that very few homes in that size range and price range have 4 full bathrooms. It’s almost like finding a unicorn. There weren’t really even any comparables in the area that had that many bathrooms.

The main challenge for this transaction was that the county records were incorrect for the number of bathrooms. They had made a mistake in their computer and it was not showing properly, even though, there were permits and plans and everything was done legit. We did get the county records updated and corrected during the transaction, but I wasn’t so sure it could be updated in time, since the city/county can be a very slow process.

Also, the seller had put up an extra wall with a permit in the past to make for another room, but when she went to sell the home, she took out that same wall with no permit to open up the space again and make for a beter floor plan for selling. So, the buyer did request that since the seller had done all the other work with permits and such, that it would be good just to have everything in order and match the floor plan given and have a permit for the wall she then removed.

Again, knowing how slow the city/county can be, I was not so sure that could happen during our transacton process, but the seller was very on top of things and determined to make it happen and have everything in order by closing.

Most of this transaction was mainly dealing with corrections and finalizing drawings to match what the buyer was buying and that the permits and plans were all in order. I knew it could all be done, but the main stress of the sale was making sure all of this could be done by closing day, sometimes these types of changes can take months. And, amazingly, it all got done in time and we had a successful closing.

Sold in Fremont for $950,000

Sold in Fremont for $950,000

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Just Sold in Gilroy for $851,500…

For this home I just sold in Gilroy for $851,500, I was the agent for the buyer, and this was our 3rd transaction together! He bought a condo with me back in 2004, and then sold that condo with me as his listing agent a few months ago after 14 years, to buy this home!

This is a brand new community. I have to say, I am not fond of how the new communities work. They are so pro themselves and have so little regard for the buyers. They have a builder contract that gives them every loophole on the planet to protect themselves, but then are very strict on buyers and force them to be basically at their mercy. If the builders don’t stay on track, they have so much cushion of protection, if the buyers don’t stay on track, they kick them to the curb and/or even make buyers pay penalties.

For this sale, we were told the home would be ready in mid October. We were told that for months. In fact, they forced the buyer to sell his condo WELL before it was beneficial timing for the buyer to sell his condo. Again, they wanted to protect themselves and make sure the condo sold, even though on the buyer’s side it was way too early to put on the market and sell to coordinate the timing for this new home.

But, we managed and coordinated the timing. All the way through listing the condo, being in contract, and even right before closing, the new builder said we were on track for mid October. On closing day of the condo, the rep tells us there is a delay! What???? We had put in a cushion for timing just in case this type of thing would happen, over a month, but then not only was this new community a month delay, but it was more than a month delay!

It was a super stressful and aggravating situation, especially since we had asked for months and up to the end of selling the condo if they were on track, built in a month cushion for possible delays, even though we were told there were none. When it was too late to do anything, THAT was when the rep told us there was over a month delay. There was even talk of a delay until December, which was just insanity. Both the buyer and I just kept after the rep and community relentlessly and we think it worked at some level, but not to the level of being on time for mid October. It ended up closing in November. The worst part about these new home communities is they just do what they want to do, and there is just no preparation in advance for this type of thing, no matter how hard you try. Buyers are just at their mercy and you just feel so helpless.

Of course, a buyer can cancel and tell them to take a hike if the delay is too long, but typically, the buyer really loves and wants the house they are buying, so they just go along with their shenanigans to the end. And, buyers also tend to stick with it, because most often, the prices are on the rise and they have locked in a better price than the current values at the current market time.

The buyer was a trooper and scrambled around to made arrangements in coordination to move into the new home. It was such a relief when the home was ready to close, because once they break their promises, you feel that you just can’t trust them on anything they have to say. The good news is that this family can have their first Christmas in their new home! This picture is not of the exact house itself, but of the same model.

Just Sold in Gilroy for $851,500!

Just Sold in Gilroy for $851,500!

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Just Sold in San Jose for $1,150,000

For this home I sold in San Jose for $1,150,000, I was the agent for the buyer, who was referred to me by someone who told me that they have been on this here database for 10 years and has read these stories I write over the years and thought I would be a good match for his colleague! How cool is that?! I guess telling these stories really does work…lol. 🙂

I have been working with the buyer since March and it’s been a real challenge to find the right home at the right price. So often, when he would find a home he liked and wanted to make an offer, the home would have a lot of competition and would be selling for a higher price than he was willing to pay. So, when we would find out that the home would be selling for a higher price than he would pay, we would just move on. And, there were a few cases in which we would get the disclosure package and there would be a lot of work that was unexpected, so again, we would move on.

As many know, the market has slowed down quite a bit since March, which was a good sign for the buyer, and we hoped that it would slow down enough to where the next time there was a home he wanted to buy, we would have the opportunity to lock it in at a price he was willing to pay. And, that day finally came…

For this home, the moon and stars were definitely in line to make this happen. Firstly, the listing agent was out of the area and did NOT list the home on the prodominate MLS that we use here in Santa Clara County. Both the buyer and I would look daily, he would look at consumer sites and found this home. I found it on MLS, but not the Santa Clara County MLS, so even at that moment, I knew there may be an opportunity here, in which the bulk of local agents would not even see this home come up for sale.

Secondly, this was a very unique situation in that the sellers were in a REAL hurry to sell the home because they were moving to So Cal and already have a job lined up that was starting. So, they needed to be down there ASAP. And, they listed the home on the Labor Day holiday weekend, and had an open house both Saturday and Sunday, but then wanted to review offers ASAP. So, that was lucky, in that the buyer was around over the holiday weekend, and it was only listed basically over the weekend and reviewing offers ASAP.

Thirdly, it was SUPER important that the sellers would be able to close that very month, in the month of September because they needed to move so quickly. So, they were looking for a closing of less than 30 days, preferably around 21 days.

There DID end up being competition, so we were not the only offer, there were only maybe 2 other offers. One other offer was at the same price as our offer, but that buyer was not able to close in the same month and I believe we had other stronger terms in our offer. So, we were able to tip the scale with terms in our favor to lock in the deal, even though price was the same.

The transaction itself was a bit of a whirlwind to close in 21 days. One key challenge that came up after we were in contract was that he needed his wife to sign a doc and she was out of the country at the time, and not coming back in the next 21 days. Luckily, the buyer already had plans to go visit even prior to our transaction. The dilemna was that the title company needs the doc to be signed by a US notary, which typically only happens at the US consulate. So, that was a bit stressful. He did find someone that could do it, but was charging $700 for that service. So, he actually ended up driving her over to the US border just to have a US notary, which cost less than $20. Inconvenient for sure, but it was a much less expensive option.

Another situation that came up was that the sellers did schedule a home, roof and termite inspection, but they were performed AFTER we got into contract. They were not able to get them done beforehand. A few things in the inspections came up that were a surprise, and we did ask for the seller to repair those items, since they were unknown to us before making an offer, and the seller was willing to make those repairs. So, that was great. The sellers fixed the roof, did a couple home inspection repairs, and did the Section 1 termite work, so all that we asked the seller to repair, they agreed to do so, which made the buyer happy. And, this type of renegotiation is exactly what I explain to my SELLER clients of why it’s so important to get inspections BEFORE buyers make their offer. Of course, in this case, as a BUYER agent, it was great, but when I work for a SELLER, it’s not so great.

And, the other notable item was that Citi Bank, the bank he was getting his loan was a bit frustrating for him. Apparently, they asked for docs multiple times, needed items in special formats that seemed unneccesary, one key person working on his file was out of the office the day before we were supposed to close and seemed to have no back up. And, it was really just the 11th hour rush to close on time due to various issues with the loan part of it and the lack of communication, most notably at the end when everyone was at a scramble, and all wondering what was going on when the gal was out of the office and didn’t seem to have anyone taking over for her. Also, he was working with Citi in Montana, so 3 hours ahead of us, and days were short when trying to work together because once 5pm would hit their time, we would start receiving the ‘out of office’ email replies.

I will say that the listing agent and sellers were so wonderful to work with, so accomodating, so great. It was more the loan part of the transaction that was a bit frustrating. But, the buyer was a real trooper, he got things done. I was super impressed how he could make things happen and get the docs over and the US notary in line. He was definitely on top of his game to keep the transaction moving and keep up with the pace to close on time. He told me he had almost given up trying to find a home to buy due to the prices and competition, so it’s so exciting that he did it! And, he was even able to lock in that home under the comparable home prices in the neighborhood. There was another home similar in the neighborhood that sold $130,000 HIGHER that closed while we were in contract, partly due to these factors, variables, and timing that just all worked out perfectly.

Sold for $1,150,000

Sold for $1,150,000

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