Silicon Valley real estate compromises

Real Estate CompromisesBoth buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley find themselves having to compromise in order to purchase or sell homes in today’s market. In a red hot seller’s market, the buyer usually makes most of the concessions. In a deep buyer’s market, that can be said of the sellers. Right now, though, it is fairly balanced in the sense that homes are selling fast – but only if they are priced aggressively. In some areas, such as the Cambrian Park area of San Jose, prices continue to inch downward.  Sellers often feel as though they are compromising left and right before they even get their property on the market! What kind of compromises might you expect when buying or selling a home in Santa Clara County now?

Silicon Valley Home Seller Compromises

Most sellers want to sell for full price and to not have to do any repairs – that is, they want to sell “As Is”.  Unless they get multiple offers, though, often that’s not the case.  Often sellers must compromise on both price and terms, and may find themselves providing a pest clearance or do other repairs in order for the property to sell.  In some cases, though, the compromises are larger still: they may need to pay points for the buyer’s loan, provide credits, re-roof or do other work to make the transaction work. A suggestion for most sellers is to do pre-sale inspections. One of my clients this last year objected, asking why they needed to spend money (the cost of the inspections) to find out that they needed to spend money (the cost of the repairs)?  But in truth, by doing this, the seller can take care of some items up front, create a more secure feeling for the buyers and then maximize the sales price in most cases. It is a compromise, though, to do these inspections upfront. That said, it’s a worthwhile one because normally it will net the sellers more money in the end! A word to the wise: selling As Is often means not getting top dollar for the property (most sellers want Top Dollar with NO WORK – it doesn’t work that way).  To get the most money out of the sale, usually a hoe owner will need to make the property worry proof: do repairs upfront, before a buyer ever even sees it.

Silicon Valley Home Buyer Compromises

Most San Jose area home buyers want to purchase a home for 10-20% less than what the sellers think it’s worth.  The main compromise is on price!  It’s sticker shock every time, but especially for real estate purchasers who are coming from out of the area. Additionally, buyers tend to want homes in turnkey, perfect condition.  That is, they don’t want issues with permits, repairs, health and safety hazards, termites, and so on. They want to move in and “not have to worry” for a few years. So moving from this position to a purchase where they take on some responsibility for repairs or updating is a major concession or compromise right there. A word to the wise for buyers: demanding every little repair and home perfection will not usually work UNLESS you pay “top dollar” for a property. If you want the best price, be prepared to take on some of the responsibility upfront. For buyers and sellers to agree on price and terms it’s going to involve compromises on both sides. With proper planning, though, these compromises will result in a win-win for all.

Buying a Silicon Valley Home? Consider Resale Value!

Perhaps one of the most important concepts that Silicon Valley home buyers need to appreciate is that someday, they’re going to be Silicon Valley home sellers.

It is true that there’s no such thing as a “perfect house” anywhere in Silicon Valley. No matter what your budget, there is always a change you might want in any home. (Often buyers want about 20% more than their budget allows, in my experience. This is equally true of first time homebuyers as it is for move up or even luxury home buyers.)

So it comes down to which compromises you’re willing to make. There will always be compromises – but which ones are acceptable, and which ones aren’t?

It is extremely helpful if you can prioritize, in order, what you must have or strongly prefer to have, in your next home. Sometimes couples have some, but not all, of the same preferences, wants and needs. Where they get into trouble in homebuying is when they have different priorities. In fact, that can make it almost impossible to buy a home and have everyone happy at the end.

I would like to suggest that one of your top priorities ought to be “resale value” and “resale ability”. Some may object, “I am never going to sell this home!” but in truth, we don’t know the future. If you buy a home with a problem that makes it hard to sell generally, and you get stuck having to sell it in a bad market, it will be brutal and possibly even risky if you later are selling due to any financial hardship.