If you’ve been trying to sell your home in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Almaden Valley, Cambrian, or anywhere in the greater San Jose area but haven’t received an offer yet, don’t despair! With our mild winters, you really can sell real estate any time of year. And inventory is still fairly tight right now, increasing your odds of success.
In late November and December a lot of folks DO pull their property off the market, and the result is a, even further tightening of inventory across Silicon Valley from the months immediately prior. The ratio between listed and sale pending homes improves dramatically. (The “absorption rate” tends to get better with fewer houses, condos and townhouses listed on the MLS.)
But you’re thinking: it’s a hassle. It’s the holidays. Is this any time to sell Silicon Valley real estate?
And you’re right about that. So do it differently.
But before I tell you how to do it differently, it’s important to address a few key things. How is your home positioned in the marketplace? Are you viewing recent sales, or using some from the peak of the market, which was about 6 months ago? What’s the feedback been like if the home hasn’t sold? This is critically important information you should be getting from your real estate agent or broker. What is selling, and what are market conditions like in your home’s neighborhood? You can check the Santa Clara County real estate market trends on my RE Report site – it is updated around the 5th to 10th of each month.
If the price is too high, the condition is too poor, you need to first address those items. All the marketing in the world won’t help if the buyers believe your house is priced too high for the current market. If you are getting no offers or only low offers, there’s probably a 90% chance or higher than the problem is over pricing.
What if it’s not the price?
If it is not the price, it could be a few other things, or a combination of things. Sometimes, it’s the condition of the house or neighborhood. Perhaps the home or yard need tidying, staging or being deodorized. Aggressive or smelly pets can hamper a home sale. Perhaps you are there during showings – sorry, but that is creepy to buyers! Perhaps the commission rate offered to the buyers agents is not making them excited to sell your home. Check out a list of potential issues here:
But if your home is priced well, shows nicely, and it’s a mystery as to why it hasn’t sold, then read on. Time may be on your side!
When it’s a buyer’s market, or when it is a declining market headed in that direction, it’s really a procrastinator’s market – buyers believe that if they wait, homes will be cheaper in the future. For people who want to buy now, the selection is lessening by the minute. So if you are patient, assuming your home is not overpriced or has some other “issue”, your chances of selling are improving by the moment.
Implement a “Holiday Marketing” Plan to Sell Real Estate in November and December
To make life easier for the next 4-6 weeks, I suggest implementing a Holiday Marketing Program. Showings will be fewer, but the buyers more serious. Here are my suggestions:
- take the sign down and forget open houses – combined, they are about 7% of all sales, per a recent NAR study
- take the lock box off the doorknob or outside hose bib and make it portable for now – use only if necessary
- make all showings by appointment only – you can leave the lock box out if need be
- continue marketing on the web and on the MLS – buyers are there!
Homes often look their best during the holidays, and many buyers write serious offers during this time. If your Silicon Valley home is well positioned in the market and has had good feedback, hang in there! Take it a little easier the next two weeks but don’t give up. Your odds are improving!
Thinking of putting your Silicon Valley home on the market during the holiday season?
You can begin marketing your home during this time with a “low risk” and low exposure plan for now, with the same plan as above but without having your house, condo or townhouse listed on the MLS. It may be possible to sell your home “off market” via a private, quiet sale and a limited number of showings. Although normally I do not recommend this approach (because more traffic is usually ideal), in the middle of the holiday season it can work well for you. One reason is simply that the home shows well and buyers who DO get in to see your home realize that they are fortunate to get a “jump” on the market.
If your home does not sell in December, you can then get the property the full exposure in January without the penalty of showing long “days on market” on the MLS. Talk to your trusted agent about this. Or, if you are looking to hire a top Silicon Valley Realtor, please contact me today!
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(all data current as of 1/25/2021)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.