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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park and
Santa Clara County

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Posts Tagged ‘market’

The Monte Sereno Real Estate Market

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

How is the Monte Sereno real estate market? Because the city is small, with just about 4000 residents, there usually are few homes listed for sale or selling, and with small numbers we can get seeming volatility.  Additionally, some of the properties carry hefty price tags, so reductions in those can really fiddle with the stats overall. Finally, while nearly all Monte Sereno properties are within the boundaries of the Los Gatos Union School District and the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District, a small handful has Campbell schools with the Campbell Union High School District.  Homes in the latter area will sell for a bit less, so sales there will pull the average and median sales price down a little and not give an accurate impression for most of the city’s real estate market.

This morning I ran the numbers in MS generally and also by high school district.  To get the months of inventory, we divide active listings by the number of homes sold over the last 30 days.  As you can see in the charts below, homes are selling (closing) faster than they are coming on.  In the Campbell HSD area, there are no recent closings but there is one pending (and I have been told by the listing agent that the pending got 8 offers; similarly, I had a listing on the same street & HSD close escrow about 6 weeks ago and it got 5 offers).  It appears that the market is equally healthy in both high school districts.

Monte Sereno real estate market by high school district on 6-25-2014

Closed sales in Monte Sereno in May: prices up about 5% from previous month and over 30% from last year

Here are the quick statistics for the closed sales in the last complete month to give a sense of how things are going. Sales data comes from my Monte Sereno Real Estate Report .   Given that the supply of homes to study is tiny, what can we tell from this data?   (more…)

Home seller’s remorse

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Unhappy houseEveryone’s heard of home buyer’s remorse.  The same phenomena happens with sellers sometimes, too: seller’s remorse.  Incredible as it may seem to Silicon Valley home buyers, this can happen even in a strong seller’s market!  In fact, the remorse experienced seems to have little to do with the market conditions at that moment.

Seller’s remorse has everything to do with expectations.  Seller’s remorse comes from unrealistic expectations.  It also comes from agreeing to a list price which is less than what that seller will really accept when offers are presented. Sometimes it’s an “over the cubicle wall” event, when all’s fine until people not involved with the transaction undermine the seller’s confidence by saying “you sold for too little” or “you sold too fast” or other critical comments.

What happens when seller’s remorse makes an appearance? (more…)

Smaller numbers of offers on homes now

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Where have all the offers gone?Real estate agents from Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties are relaying that although it’s still a strong seller’s market, they are seeing fewer numbers of offers.  Where there used to be perhaps a dozen bids, now maybe there are 5.  For properties that might have gleaned six offers in March, now there are 2 or 3.  Even with just three offers, overbids are the norm and frequently, the successful bidders are the ones going in with few or no contingencies for loan, appraisal or inspection.  (That’s not a safe practice and not recommended, but the reality is that sellers want to know that once’s it’s sold, it is going to close for sure – so they pick the buyers who will take on all the risk and who also bring in the best price.)

And, as before, not every home gets multiple offers.  Some get no contracts at all.

There’s so much hype about the multiple offers and overbids and bidding wars that many Silicon Valley home owners have unrealistic expectations regarding the summer real estate market and find themselves very disappointed with the results of their labors in getting the property to market.

Unfortunately, our multiple listing service,, does not track the numbers of offers, so we do not have an official way of measuring what’s happening with this particular factor.  Networking with other agents, writing and receiving offers, though, Realtors are “boots on the ground” and can gauge the market with issues like this before the impact shows up in other measurable data such as the sale price to list price or days to sell.

Sellers, don’t worry – it is still a fine time to sell your San Jose, Los Gatos or nearby home.  It is very important to work with a great realty professional who will guide you on pricing, staging, showings, and every other facet so that you maximize your net takeaway in this market.  Some home owners will be unrealistically optimistic about the market conditions and will overprice their homes.  Don’t be that seller who gets set up for failure in a market where success is probable.  Understand that summer markets are usually cooler than spring and that getting things right is more important now that there is less buyer interest.  One good offer is all it takes, but if you can get two or three, you should be set up for a happy ending.

Santa Clara County Real Estate Market

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

The Santa Clara County real estate statistics for Single Family Homes

May 2014 saw a little bit of a pullback on pricing in the San Jose area, which led to many watching the industry to begin speculating as to the cause and significance of the change (which was not huge).  Over the course of a year, or of several years, we do not see only straight paths up or down.  Nor to we see perfectly level pricing.  From month to month or quarter to quarter, fluctuation is part of the formula.  When I saw the numbers for the closed sales in May, it looked to me a lot like the normal seasonal patterns we tend to see.  This afternoon I pulled some of the stats using our local multiple listing service,  Where are things for the first half of June?  Back up, please  have a look at the 2nd chart below.

Those “normal seasonal patterns” usually include a runup early in the year followed by leveling off, and sometimes even a slight drop in pricing later in the year.  Some years there’s another rise in September and October, and some years that doesn’t happen.  What is normal, though, that that the Feb – April price escalation does not continue all year long.   We see more inventory toward summer – sellers seem to think that summer is the best time to sell, while many buyers are done by June, so that change in supply and demand often causes the prices to quit rising.

So let’s look at the numbers.

First, here’s a 3 year look at completed months for the median sale price in Santa Clara County.  The last month shown is May 2014 (since we’re not through June yet). You can see the little notch downward at the far right.  Please notice that there are lots of “notches downward” in the 3 year period – but the overall trend is not down, but up.


Santa Clara County Median Sale Price last 3 years

Santa Clara County Median Sale Price last 3 years

Next, let’s see just 2014 year to date, including the first half of June.
Santa Clara County Median Sale price YTD Jan - June 15 2014

Santa Clara County Median Sale price YTD Jan – June 15 2014

Here you can see that little downward movement in May is overshadowed by an upward movement in the first 15 days of June.  In fact, May is a tiny glitch on the overall upward trend of these numbers since January.


Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Los Gatos real estate market is varied from one price point or school district to the next, but over all, this is a stable period with some appreciation and in many cases, a warm seller’s market (as the sale price to list price ratio indicates).   Here are the current numbers, per my Los Gatos real estate report (click on the link for full information).  The sale price to list price ratio actually rose, and that implies that no value is slipping.

Median Home Price +6.8% $1,580,000 $1,480,000 +29.5% $1,220,000
Average Sales Price +18.8% $1,870,250 $1,573,910 +37.0% $1,364,810
No. of Homes Sold -14.9% 40 47 -24.5% 53
Pending Properties +13.2% 43 38 -21.8% 55
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Listings -8.8% 62 68 -26.2% 84
Active Foreclosures +100.0% 2 1 N/A 0
Active Short Sales 0.0% 1 1 -50.0% 2
Sales Price vs. List Price +1.7% 103.5% 101.8% -0.6% 104.2%
Average Days on Market +35.3% 27 20 +66.4% 16
Please continue reading for info on the LG condo market, and for real estate market information for Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountains too. (more…)

How to get a great buyer’s agent in a seller’s market (when most Realtors would rather assist home sellers)

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

When it’s a hot seller’s market, like it is right now in Silicon Valley, it is challenging to be a home buyer.  That means it’s also hard to be a buyer’s agent, since it may require writing many, many offers (and a lot of time and energy) before the clients get into contract.  Since Realtors are usually only paid when a property closes, that means it’s not too hard to go broke if a real estate professional focuses a lot of time with buyers.   In other words, in a market like this, most agents would prefer to work with sellers rather than buyers, because it’s more likely that they’ll make a living.

Home buyers Realtors look for these traitsWhat can you do to increase the odds of finding a great Realtor who will take you seriously, work with you and for you, and give it a good effort even if it’s an uphill battle?  First, let’s understand what a real estate licensee is looking for a client – at least in most cases.  Usually, the savvy agent doesn’t want to waste time with people who are not serious, not ready, or who will not be loyal.  The smart Realtor knows that without these three things, it’s unlikely that they will be able to sell that person a home, or at least not in a reasonable period of time.

Serious home buyers:

Only about half of all home buyers will likely buy in the year they think they might, so it’s important for real estate professionals to try to make sure that they don’t spend months on someone only to have him or her remain permanent renters.  The agent must qualify the client to make sure it’s worth the risk of spending time with him or her.

Clues that the buyer isn’t serious include these:

(1) Comments like “I may have to look at homes for a year or two” or “I may need to write a hundred offers to get the right deal” or “I’m in no rush” indicate that this isn’t a big priority for the buyer (so maybe it shouldn’t be for the agent, either). This buyer is able, ready and probably also loyal – but not serious.  Some, though, will clarify with a time frame and this is a game changer. “My lease is up in July, so ideally, I’d like to get into contract in March, close in April and move in May.  But if I find the right house sooner, I’ll buy sooner.”  That works!

(2) If there are two decision makers, having only one do most of the house hunting and the other showing up at distant intervals often indicates that it’s a priority for one but not both.  Sometimes that’s not the case, but it is a red flag.  Both need to be serious. (more…)

The Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update

Friday, June 6th, 2014

My Cambrian Park Real Estate Report was recently published with the updated numbers from the closed sales last month for this part of San Jose (95124 and 95118 with a little of 95008 too).  Please click on the link above to see much more information there.

In Cambrian, we are seeing mild seasonal cooling taking place.  Prior to the downturn and recession, normally we saw a tendency for more inventory and less buyer interest beginning with May or June after the peak activity seen in February – April (most years, no guarantees).  During the market crash and slow recovery, these patterns fell by the wayside.  Last year and this, though, in our “stability period”, we have seen the pattern re-emerge.  What does this mean for buyers and sellers?  It points to normalcy – if that can ever be said of Silicon Valley real estate – and more balance.  It’s still a fine time to sell, but it’s also a calmer time to buy.

Median Home Price -1.7% $819,500 $833,250 +9.3% $750,000
Average Sales Price -0.5% $860,032 $864,777 +10.7% $776,943
No. of Homes Sold 0.0% 72 72 0.0% 72
Pending Properties -35.9% 41 64 -51.8% 85
Foreclosures Sold N/A 1 0 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 6
Active Listings -14.6% 41 48 -43.8% 73
Active Foreclosures -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 3
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 9
Sales Price vs. List Price -1.3% 105.7% 107.0% -1.2% 106.9%
Average Days on Market -3.2% 16 17 -7.9% 18

for April 2014:


Median Home Price +3.4% $821,000 $794,000 +11.7% $735,000
Average Sales Price +6.7% $860,283 $805,975 +15.6% $743,944
No. of Homes Sold +34.0% 67 50 -8.2% 73
Pending Properties 0.0% 70 70 -9.1% 77
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Short Sales Sold 0.0% 1 1 -75.0% 4
Active Listings +18.4% 45 38 -13.5% 52
Active Foreclosures N/A 1 0 -66.7% 3
Active Short Sales N/A 1 0 -90.0% 10
Sales Price vs. List Price +1.0% 107.2% 106.1% +0.6% 106.5%
Average Days on Market -1.4% 17 17 -13.8% 20
The year over year median and average sales prices in Cambrian are up a healthy amount.  Generally speaking it is still a hot seller’s market and great time to sell a Cambrian home.  We were expecting a breather, but aren’t getting it – particularly in the areas with Union and Cambrian Schools.

The townhouse and condo real estate market in San Jose’s Cambrian area
– this has been one of the hottest segments of the Silicon Valley real estate market in 2013 and 2014 is starting off strongly too.  Things are a little calmer this month compared to last, but still very healthy.