Offer DeadlinesIt’s a seller’s market in Silicon Valley right now.  Many sellers are getting multiple offers and overbids, especially in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Menlo Park.  For home owners trying to maximize their sales price, does it make sense to have an “offer deadline”?

Maybe.

If you are pretty confident that you can get multiple offers, the deadline helps in a few ways.

  • it prevents the offer situation from being a mere “foot race” (fastest one wins, rather than highest offer and best terms)
  • it allows everyone enough time to see the house, read the inspections, disclosures etc.
  • it provides enough time for the sellers and agents to plan

As with all strategic plans, this one can backfire too.  If you or your agent publishes an offer deadline and then no bids are forthcoming, it’s more than just a let down.  It’s a market signal that this home is overvalued by its owner and agent.  Then, suddenly, it can appear to be an old or stale listing, even if it’s just been on the market 7 to 10 days.

Many real estate agents take a middle path, saying nothing about offers until agents ask. If they are asked, they will give a date in the future – usually a couple of days after the open house.  But the MLS won’t say it for these agents unless they hear many buyers’ agents asking about offer presentation.  They don’t want to look bad, they don’t want your house to look bad.

We never know until a property goes on the market how it will fare.  It is wise to be cautious about advertising an offer date unless you are very certain that you will be seeing multiples! The market right now is a little funny. Homes priced aggressively are getting multiple offers. Homes priced AT value are not moving quite so fast. And homes price for values in spring of 2018 are not selling well at all.

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San Jose - Valley View 2019-1-20San Jose is the biggest city in Silicon Valley (and considers itself to be the Capital of Silicon Valley), is the tenth largest city in the United States of America with over 1 million in population, and it has a very large footprint – approximately 180 square miles. Because of the size, it isn’t surprising that many distinct neighborhoods exist within the city. In this blog you can find descriptions and outlines of these districts or neighborhoods. You can also find market analysis dedicated to different regions of San Jose.

If you are looking for a home in Silicon Valley, it is best to consider San Jose by its neighborhoods rather than as a whole to understand the market. Nonetheless, looking at the big picture can often give you a general taste for the housing conditions overall. Currently, it’s a sellers market, but prices declined substantially in the 2nd half of 2018, so the response the property gets will be determined in large part on the list price. It is easy to overprice at a time like this. Homes that are priced aggressively low continue to get multiple offers and overbids if the condition and location are good.

View from a high rise in downtown San Jose, looking east - Autumn 2011

Below you will find the Altos Research Charts, a live feed of data on the markets in San Jose. You will also find the RE Report, charts with statistics comparing sales in the last month and comparing them month-over-month and year-over-year. These are both the usual tools I use to gauge a market. Directly below are links to the market analysis of specific neighborhoods in San Jose. Some of these, where I work the most, are updated monthly, and others are updated every few months.

Altos Charts for San Jose as a Whole – automatically updated each week – single family homes

First, the market profile and then the basic charts for single family homes or houses. FYI, Altos uses LIST prices. The RE Report further down uses SOLD prices (which is part of the reason why I utilize both).

List prices of single family homes / houses by price quartile:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Average days on market of listed homes (houses) by pricing tier:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Inventory levels for the last 3 years for houses for sale in San Jose:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

 

Altos Research charts for the condomium and townhouse market in San Jose – automatically updated each week

Condominium and townhouse LIST prices by quartile: Continue reading

The Ranch on Silver Creek is a newer subdivision in the Evergreen area of San Jose with the 95138 zip code (that zip code is shared with part of South San Jose on the valley floor). It enjoys a lovely knoll top location – and recently I flew over it and grabbed a nice image to share with my readers here:

Aerial view of The Ranch on Silver Creek

Aerial view of The Ranch on Silver Creek (taken by MPH in January 2019)

What is the neighborhood like on The Ranch on Silver Creek?

Mediterranean or contemporary style homes were built there between 2003 and 2006 – which makes them practically “brand new” by Silicon Valley real estate standards! The community is set around a golf course & clubhouse and is nestled in the hills such that there are many different views available from one area to the next without leaving the neighborhood. Many San Jose area home buyers strongly prefer newer homes in newer communities, rather than a remodeled home in an older neighborhood, and this area will certainly fill that requirement. It’s a tidy area with sidewalks which invite a comfortable stroll to discover the sights.

Evergreen The Ranch view of Downtown San Jose

In Evergreen: The Ranch on Silver Creek’s view of Downtown San Jose

What are homes like at The Ranch?

There are a few hundred homes, so there’s quite a bit of variety there.  Entry level townhomes are nice, but fairly modest, and at the other end of the spectrum there are estate quality properties on large view lots.

Houses range from about 2,000 square feet to more than 4,000 square feet. The tiniest parcels or lots are less than 4,000 SF and are townhomes or town houses, and the largest homes, generally, sit on land sized between 1/3 and 1/2 acre (though most are not so big).

Many houses are 2 stories, but there’s a fair number of single story homes, too. Most properties include an attached 2 car garage.

High ceilings, open floor plans, plenty of windows with lots of natural light are all typical here at the Ranch.

As with most newer construction, these houses are built on slab foundations.

Evergreen the Ranch subdivision 1

Evergreen the Ranch subdivision 1

What does it cost to buy a house at The Ranch?  How’s the real estate market?

Continue reading

The Santa Clara County real estate market has been in a cooling trend, but it warmed slightly in October and appears to be warming again with the January sales so far. Prices are certainly down significantly from the peak pricing a few months back, but sellers will welcome the fact that sales prices are moving upward again. If this continues, we may be revisiting the normal seasonal patterns – which many economists have predicted would be the case.

2019-1-15 Santa Clara County city and town stats

The average sale price to list price ratio is still at 100.1% for the county, but is under 100% in many areas now. (And when I pulled that from the MLS just now for the first 15 days in January, I see that it has sunk to 99.6%. Days on market, though, shrank from 35 in December to 34 so far in January, interestingly.)

Home Prices in Santa Clara County:

The numbers themselves point to a general movement of  values sliding – at least until October, when it ticked up a little, and again here in the first half of January, when we also see upward pricing from sales that went under contract in December. I’ll jot the median sale price for the county here – it’s a large enough pool of sales to be pretty reliable as a gauge of the real estate market in the San Jose area. I pulled this data directly from the MLS:

January 1 – 15  2019  $1,200,000 prices up (so far) 5% from last month
December 2018 $1,145,625
November 2018 $1,250,000
October 2018 $1,290,000 prices up a hair
September 2018 $1,238,000
August 2018 $1,280,000
July 2018 $1,350,000
June 2018 $1,385,000
May 2018  $1,400,000
April 2018  $1,420,000
March 2018 $1,454,000 – PEAK
February 2018 $1,381,000
January 2018 $1,170,000

Between March and July, the median sale price dropped $100,000, or 6.89%. As you can see, it had also jumped considerably between January and March, and even at today’s lower median sales price, it’s still higher than January. It will be interesting to see where it ends up in January of 2019.

 

Median and Average sale prices in recent years

I think this is really interesting. Most years, both the median and average sale price are lowest in January (I have drawn in the pink or red lines at January for each year), but some years the lowest has been December for the average. This year, though, it looks like both the median and average will be lower in December 2018  than in January 2019. Have a look:

Median and Average Sale Prices for SFH in Santa Clara County

 

What does that mean? I’m not sure – most years both the median and average hit a low point in January. In a few years, the average hits a low in December while the median is still lower in January. Right now, it looks like both median and average will be lower in December than in January. Are we starting an early spring climb? Maybe so. We’ll have to watch and see.

 

 

A quick look at the numbers for this month’s Santa Clara County RE Report:

Trends at a Glance

Trends At a Glance Dec 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,163,000 (-7.0%) $1,250,000 $1,293,690 (-10.1%)
Average Price $1,437,380 (-7.1%) $1,547,350 $1,556,330 (-7.6%)
No. of Sales 548 (-23.8%) 719 704 (-22.2%)
Pending 528 (-26.3%) 716 515 (+2.5%)
Active 682 (-38.0%) 1,100 271 (+151.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.1% (-0.3%) 100.4% 109.3% (-8.4%)
Days on Market 34 (+13.0%) 30 21 (+62.0%)
Days of Inventory 37 (-15.8%) 44 12 (+223.3%)

 

Please view the online, interactive RE Report here: http://popehandy.rereport.com
Or pull up the four page, printable PDF here:  http://rereport.com/scc/print/Mary.PopeHandySCC.pdf

 

Bottom line, I still think we need to see what happens in February before we’ll know if we are returning to seasonal patterns or not. Right now, I don’t see anything that makes me think we are going into a correction right now.

Like most of Santa Clara County, the wild appreciation of the last 5 to 6 years in Blossom Valley seems to now be slowing, and maybe flattening.  It is possible that we have hit the “peak of the market”, but it’s also possible that this is simply a seasonal pattern. Often in late spring to early summer, we see inventory levels rise while buyers pull back. This can cause home sale prices to quite appreciating, and in some years, prices decline just a little bit. In 2017, it seemed that the normal patterns simply broke, as late in the year – November and December – buying was at a feverish pitch normally reserved for March.

About Blossom Valley

The Blossom Valley area of San Jose is on the south end of the city and covers the 95123 and 95136 zip codes. For our MLS, it’s “area 12.” A more affordable section of Silicon Valley, Blossom Valley has much to offer in addition to more reasonable housing prices. Many areas enjoy views of the Santa Teresa Foothills or the Communications Hill knolls or even the coastal foothills in the distance, as with the photo below. One corner of it sits alongside beautiful Almaden Lake, too. One corner is located at the crossroads of Highways 85 and 87, making it an easy commute destination for those working in downtown San Jose. And there’s an abundance of shopping and dining opportunities.

Blossom Valley from the Church on the Hill

Much more could be written, but let’s now instead turn to the real estate market there.

First, “live,” automatically updating Altos Charts for San Jose 95123 and 95136 and single family homes (houses and duet homes). These use list prices, not sales prices.

The median list price of both 95123 and 95136, all prices, single family homes (houses and duet homes, if there are any).

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Next, the median list price for just the San Jose 95123 area of Blossom Valley, and separated by price quartile:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

And next, the median list price of just San Jose 95136 by price quartile:

 

Continue reading

Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose - the proximity of parks will impact the Santa Teresa real estate market for that neighborhood

Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose

How’s the Santa Teresa real estate market?  The scenic Santa Teresa area of San Jose is popular as it’s a bit more affordable but offers lovely views of the hills and public schools that seem to be improving over time, making the area more desirable. These positives seem to be helping that area to hold its value pretty well.

Santa Teresa (our MLS Area 2)  includes a small bit of the 95123 zip code, which is more expensive, but most of that zip is Blossom Valley, so we will omit it. The 95138 zip code is about half Santa Teresa and half Evergreen (more expensive area), so take those numbers with a big grain of salt. I find the 95119 zip code to be most helpful, but even then, the school district is divided between Oak Grove and Morgan Hill.

Weekly update from Altos Research with a “market profile” of San Jose’s Santa Teresa area, zip code 95119 for single family homes / houses:

Weekly update from Altos Research with look at a glance of zip code 95138 for single family homes or houses:

Weekly update for 95139:

Here’s quick view of the real estate statistic and trends for just the Santa Teresa area’s single family homes (houses / duet homes):

Santa Teresa real estate market stats & trends from the RE Report:

The Santa Teresa single family home market is down year over year, but up compared to November’s sales.

Trends At a Glance Dec 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $892,000 (+4.1%) $857,250 $1,005,000 (-11.2%)
Average Price $928,385 (+4.3%) $890,283 $978,761 (-5.1%)
No. of Sales 20 (+33.3%) 15 13 (+53.8%)
Pending 18 (-30.8%) 26 12 (+50.0%)
Active 18 (-41.9%) 31 (+260.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.6% (+2.3%) 98.4% 108.7% (-7.5%)
Days on Market 31 (-27.0%) 42 11 (+179.7%)
Days of Inventory 27 (-54.9%) 60 12 (+134.0%)

 

And the month before:

Trends At a Glance Nov 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $857,250 (-17.6%) $1,040,000 $950,000 (-9.8%)
Average Price $890,283 (-16.2%) $1,062,130 $945,578 (-5.8%)
No. of Sales 15 (0.0%) 15 23 (-34.8%)
Pending 26 (+44.4%) 18 13 (+100.0%)
Active 31 (-27.9%) 43 (+416.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 98.4% (-3.6%) 102.1% 105.5% (-6.8%)
Days on Market 42 (+44.7%) 29 12 (+250.2%)
Days of Inventory 60 (-30.3%) 86 (+692.2%)

 

You can read the Santa Teresa area real estate market report at this link if you’d like more details and statistical analysis. This particular page goes to the report for houses, but you can navigate home type to see condos/townhomes or any other area in San Jose, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, or Santa Cruz County. Continue reading

How is the Campbell real estate market?How is the Campbell real estate market?  Campbell is in a fairly strong seller’s market, but like the rest of the county, is in a period of cooling off in terms of pricing (compared to spring), numbers of offers, and sale price to list price ratio (again, compared to spring, there’s been some “up and down” recently). 

If you’re selling, perhaps a few months ago, you’d have gotten 6 or 8 offers on your well prepared, beautifully staged, and aggressively priced home for sale. Now, maybe it is 2 or 3 offers instead. The offers are often coming in with no contingencies, but there just aren’t as many.  The massive overbids are becoming a little less massive.

Part of this seems to be seasonal fluctuation. In my 25 years of selling homes in the Santa Clara Valley,  I have seen that in MOST years, late spring and early summer sees a flattening of the market, sometimes even a slight decline in pricing, after the peak months of January through April. Last year, that didn’t happen.

The other part may be “buyer fatigue”. Buyers have had enough with the spiraling-out-of-control prices and terms so strongly in the sellers’ favor. They are voting with their feet.

Here’s a quick view of stats from Altos Research, using LIST prices:

And now –  here are some quick stats, care of my RE Report for Campbell:

CAMPBELL real estate market trends and statistics

Down year over year and month over month for the median and average list prices. Closed sales were up, but pendings down (a reverse of last month). Hints of tightening can be found in the shorter days on market and days of inventory. Meanwhile, the sale price versus list price slipped below 100%.

 

Trends At a Glance Dec 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,342,500 (+1.7%) $1,320,000 $1,558,500 (-13.9%)
Average Price $1,407,320 (+1.4%) $1,387,740 $1,568,360 (-10.3%)
No. of Sales 26 (+36.8%) 19 34 (-23.5%)
Pending (-65.0%) 20 12 (-41.7%)
Active 17 (-39.3%) 28 (+750.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 99.8% (+1.4%) 98.5% 112.4% (-11.2%)
Days on Market 35 (+74.3%) 20 10 (+262.4%)
Days of Inventory 20 (-54.1%) 43 (+1,011.5%)

 

And the month prior:

 

Trends At a Glance Nov 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,320,000 (-11.7%) $1,495,000 $1,453,250 (-9.2%)
Average Price $1,387,740 (-9.5%) $1,532,600 $1,507,670 (-8.0%)
No. of Sales 19 (+26.7%) 15 26 (-26.9%)
Pending 20 (-16.7%) 24 31 (-35.5%)
Active 28 (-17.6%) 34 (+211.1%)
Sale vs. List Price 98.5% (-2.5%) 101.0% 110.2% (-10.6%)
Days on Market 20 (-23.1%) 26 21 (-3.6%)
Days of Inventory 43 (-37.2%) 68 10 (+325.7%)

What about the Campbell CA condo market?

Continue reading

The Monte Sereno real estate market is similar to Los Gatos, but distinct - Monte Sereno shares many features with Los Gatos but is a distinct cityHow 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.

There are no condominiums or townhomes in Monte Sereno at present (we are watching closely the proposed development at La Rinconada, which is unincorporated as of this writing). One of the major challenges for this city is to ensure that at least some housing units are deemed “affordable.” You can find the city’s housing plan here (a pdf online):  http://www.montesereno.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/674

Below is a quick market profile for Monte Sereno. The price per square foot appears to be low for Silicon Valley, while median list price is high. What gives?  These are larger houses, that’s all – homes sell for less on a per SF basis when they are large versus when they are more modest.

 

Altos Research does weekly reports, to which I subscribe. You can see the full weekly report for Monte Sereno HERE and you can click the subscribe button there if you’d like to get it weekly (or navigate to another zip code or city and subscribe to that). Here’s the data on home descriptions per price quartile in the report for today, Nov 16, 2018:

Stats for recently closed home sales in Monte Sereno

Here are the quick statistics for the closed sales in the last complete month to give a sense of how things are going with the Monte Sereno real estate market. 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?

It’s true that an average Monte Sereno house is about $2.5-3.5 million, and often higher in the current market – a little steep for most folks! With 11 active, 6 pending, and 4 sales this past month, low data makes it hard to get the most accurate market information. During times like this, it’s more important to look at the trends over multiple months than to base your understanding of the market off a single month, and to compare with similar, nearby markets such as Los Gatos.

Below are the charts from the last two months. Overall, the market is this part of the valley is mostly flat month over month, but up double digits year over year. (Oddly, this market has been heating up while most of the valley has been cooling!) Please note that there were only one sold in December, so the numbers are very skewed. 

Trends at a Glance

Trends At a Glance Dec 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,500,000 (+42.9%) $2,450,000 $3,950,000 (-11.4%)
Average Price $3,500,000 (+42.9%) $2,450,000 $3,950,000 (-11.4%)
No. of Sales (-50.0%) 2 (0.0%)
Pending (0.0%) 1 (0.0%)
Active (-50.0%) 4 (N/A)
Sale vs. List Price 100.0% (+7.9%) 92.7% 88.1% (+13.5%)
Days on Market 12 (-40.0%) 20 20 (-40.0%)
Days of Inventory 60 (+3.4%) 58 (N/A)

 

And last month:

 

Trends At a Glance Nov 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,450,000 (-45.6%) $4,500,000 $3,420,000 (-28.4%)
Average Price $2,450,000 (-45.6%) $4,500,000 $3,753,750 (-34.7%)
No. of Sales (+100.0%) 1 (-50.0%)
Pending (-50.0%) 2 (-50.0%)
Active (-33.3%) 6 (+300.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 92.7% (-9.5%) 102.4% 97.1% (-4.5%)
Days on Market 20 (+66.7%) 12 55 (-63.8%)
Days of Inventory 58 (-67.8%) 180 (+700.0%)

 

Continue reading

Almaden Senior Home Sellers - smaller - Mt Umunhum from cc area of AlmadenFor retirees or senior home owners in Almaden who’ve been in their houses a very long time, the prospect of selling that beloved San Jose home can be quite daunting.  The longer you’ve been there, the more memories you’ve created and most of the time the harder it is to decide to sell and then do all the work needed to maximize that decision. This article is intended as a help for Almaden senior home sellers, their families and friends.

In today’s post we’ll go over the decision to sell the home (or not), the timing elements for selling and getting help in doing so.

Deciding it’s time to sell your Almaden Valley home

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is not the physical work involved with preparing a home for the real estate market or moving, but instead is the difficult decision of whether or not to move (and if so, when to do it).

As people age, there are a lot of losses.  There may be retirement that wasn’t chosen, but forced.  Loved ones pass away.  Vision diminishes.  It may become necessary to limit driving, or worse, give it up altogether. It is not hard for those over 65, 70  or 80 years of age to feel like it’s one unhappy challenge after the next. There’s a lot of change but it’s not all positive.

The prospect of also changing one’s residence can seem like one of the biggest, toughest and most unwelcome of all.     Continue reading

When Silicon Valley home owners prepare their property for the competitive real estate market, they want to get a good return on their investment of time and money.  Often the best staging work is a matter of decluttering, updating or improving floor coverings, wall coverings fixtures and countertops.  It’s what I call “lipstick and rouge” rather than cosmetic surgery.  Please remember that the shift is from this being “your home” and a reflection of you to a product you wish to sell.  So it’s got to be appealing to the market more than anything else – and that means taking your own personal taste out of the equation.

Today let’s talk color.

Years ago, the conventional wisdom was that all San Jose, Los Gatos or Santa Clara County home buyers wanted white walls “because it makes a home look bigger”. It is true that lighter colors tend to help with the light, bright and airy look, but all white is also all boring.  All white homes can be difficult to sell and too frequently those homes sell for much less or do not sell at all!

Have a look at the image above.  Do you find that the all-white look is the most appealing? Most buyers would say not – that a splash of color makes the room “pop” and more interesting and desirable. Continue reading

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Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
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Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.

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Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
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Mary’s Blog Awards

Top 25 real estate blogs of 2018 by RentPrep2018 RentPrep.com's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow


Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.


Best Realtor blog award
2016: Coastal Group OC's list of best Realtor blogs


The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers


Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.


Non blog award


Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
"Best real estate agent
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2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News

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