Category Archives: real estate market update

Just Sold in Sunnyvale for $1,600,000…

For this home I just sold in Sunnyvale for $1,600,000, I was the agent for the seller, who was referred to me by an agent I know who lives out of the area. The seller interviewed me and a couple of other agents. In those interviews, at least one other agent pumped up the pricing pretty high, so it was a little tough for me to encourage the price I thought the home would sell for. It can be challenging when other agents do not know the market values and then I come along and have to nicely burst that bubble without actually losing the listing to another agent!

Since other agents had really pumped up the price, the seller was pretty set on those high prices, which is understandable. So, we did list higher than I thought was a good idea. But, it is a bit of a Catch 22 for me as an agent, in that if I don’t price it along those lines, and then the seller doesn’t get that pricing because they feel we priced too low, it looks bad on me. And, they feel we should have priced higher to get what they wanted, when in fact, it doesn’t work that way.

At some level, I have to price where they want to be and try my best to get that number, or higher, and then reconvene if things don’t go as the seller hopes they will. Most sellers go with my pricing, so this situation almost never comes up for me. But, because other agents were ‘off’, it just put me in a bit of a predicament this time.

We listed the home for the price range the seller hoped for and I did do my best to get that price, of course, but predictably on my end, we had no offers after the open house weekend, even in this crazy market.

The sellers were pretty surprised to see no offers after the open house weekend, asked me what we should do, I advised we go with the price I suggested, had another open house weekend, and woudn’t you know, I had an offer that was OVER the listed price I advised, and done deal! Sold! Frankly, the sale price wasn’t even that far off of what we listed in the first place, but it attracted the right buyers. It was a great offer, over the list price, waived all contingencies, and a super smooth transaction.

The reasoning behind my pricing is that the home is on a very busy street, plus the home is only 2 bedrooms. For sure, if the home was 3 bedrooms (and I did explain this to the sellers), then we would have gotten the pricing they wanted in the first place, but the buyer pool is MUCH lower for a 2 bedroom home than it is for a 3 bedroom home. There is just no comparison for buyers looking for at least 3 bedrooms, and FAR fewer buyers that are willing to buy a home that has only 2 bedrooms, especially at this price point. Plus, this home is unique. Bedrooms are downstairs and the main living area is upstairs. So, with all that in mind, that’s why price came in where it did. There is nothing I want to do more than to EXCEED price expectations of a seller client, but sometimes expectations are just too high…

Just sold in Sunnyvale for $1,600,000

Just sold in Sunnyvale for $1,600,000

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Just Sold in Hayward for $900,000…

For this home I just sold in Hayward for $900,000, I was the agent for the buyers. The buyer’s father who I sold a home to 18 years ago referred me his daughter! I remember her as a young child and now she is all grown up and buying her own home! Amazing!

The search was intense because at this price range, it’s super hot and competitive and getting harder and harder to find a home under $1m. In fact, we started more-so in Fremont, and went a little East to Hayward to find the right price point in order to get the type of home they wanted and needed.

For this home we were neck and neck with another buyer. My clients wrote a very compelling letter to the seller and I feel that also helped us lock in this home. I also begged and pleaded with the listing agent to work with me since the search was so tough in this range and they had already lost out on a few homes.

The transaction itself was basically horrible when it came to the loan. The buyers chose Quicken and it was a nightmare. I am always concerned when buyers choose online lenders and lenders that are not local who bounce buyers around to different points of contacts throughout the process. I did warn them that I was concerned about this choice, but apparently, the person that referred them had good success and they were offering a great rate so they wanted to stick with Quicken.

They sent out a horrible appraiser, not even local to the area, and the appraisal came in low. We tried to fight it. I sent my own comps. I tried to go up the ladder, see if we could get a 2nd opinion, etc, etc. The buyers also tried to stand their ground. And Quicken would not budge. And, in fact, the buyers had to change around their loan program to not as good of a deal, in order for Quicken to close on the loan. I did offer for the buyers to talk to my loan officer, but at that point, they were just done and wanted to close and get their home.

It all worked out in the end, we closed, but the frustration and stress of working with Quicken Loans was an ongoing misery and battle until closing day. And, the original loan officer who initiated the loan and was the first point of contact, just completely disappeared from the scene and was no help at all, whatsoever.

They were excited to get their keys! They gave the seller a free month of rent back, so when we closed, they still had to wait a month for the keys. When they finally got into their home, they were really happy!

Sold in Hayward for $900,000!

Sold in Hayward for $900,000!

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Just Sold in San Jose for $1,610,000…

For this home I just sold in San Jose for $1,610,000, I was the agent for the seller. This was our 2nd transacton together, in that he also bought this home with me 10+ years ago!

This was such a crazy one! As many know, pretty much every home sells after the first weekend with mulitple offers and high levels of competition, which of course, we anticpated as well. It’s a great home, great neighborhood, great floor plan, desirable schools, great zip code, has a pool which is super popular these days, and just checks all the boxes, basically.

After the first weekend, I received a number of calls, interest, etc, but no offers! Agents saying they were writing, etc, etc, but then 1 by 1, they just bailed and/or went MIA. My only explanation was that maybe buyers felt the competition would be too fierce, and then there ended up being none at all after the weekend.

So, the next week comes along…mind you, this would have been a major shoe in for any buyer to NOT compete…and all of the sudden, I get 3 offers all at once! And, the competition ended up being super fierce between those 3 parties, all of which fighting to the death for this home. 2 buyers of which had seen the home the weekend before when we ended up with no offers! Any of which if they would have written an offer ANY sooner, could have bought this home for a LOWER price since there was no one competing. How crazy is that???

Of course, the seller was happy, in that we were both just blown away after the first weekend wondering where everyone went…but then we ended up with the level of competition we expected to get after the first weekend and also the price we hoped for, so thank God, it worked out so well.

It was such a hard decision for the seller because all 3 offers were so close in price and terms, and it was just so hard to choose, going back and forth, and then just getting that last highest and best offer in, and the seller just made the call. Luckily, it all worked out for the seller and the price he wanted to achieve.

The transaction itself was very smooth and seamless, the buyer waived ALL contingencies, loan, appraisal and inspections, and at that point, the buyers were very relieved to be the ‘chosen one’ after such fierce unexpected competition.

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,610,000

Just Sold in San Jose for $1,610,000

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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 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 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 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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