The three greatest temptations for sellers in a raging hot market

House for saleIn a raging hot seller’s market such as we are experiencing today in Silicon Valley, home owners may be subject to some very costly temptations.

Home seller temptation # 1: overconfidence on the market

Because folks read about the dozens of offers on some homes, by extension, it’s easy to believe that every home sells, for top dollar, with no effort or planning on the part of the seller. This is a huge mistake. Perhaps we should even call it a myth since it may be commonly believed.

In today’s wildly hot market, there are still some homes that DO NOT SELL. 

What are the odds that your home won’t sell?

I just pulled some numbers from the MLS today, July 23, 2018. You may find them surprising!

  • In Santa Clara County, there are currently 1274 single family homes on the market
    • 490 of them have been on the market at least 30 days – 38% are not moving quickly & likely need a price reduction, if it hasn’t already been done
    • 211 of the 1274 have been for sale for at least 60 days – 17% have had 2 months worth of open houses, keeping the home spotless, etc.
    • 107 of the 1274 have a “days on market” of 90 days or more – 8% have serious market rejection
  • These are not all luxury homes!
    • 9 are listed at under $1 million
    •  13 are offered between $1 million and $1,499,999 (“normal” houses in our area)
    •  9 are on the market between $1.5 mil and $1,999,999
    • 14 are listed at $2 million to $2,499,999 (these are still not luxury homes in most cases)
    • 11 are priced between $2.5 mil and $2,999,999
    • That’s 56 homes of 107 that are under $3 million. The balance are “high end homes”, which usually are more challenging to sell

The best homes, those which are well priced, well marketed, and are easily shown, sell within 2-3 weeks. After that, home buyers view them as stale listings and assume something terrible is wrong with them. After three weeks, unless the home gets a deep price reduction, it’s unlikely to get multiple offers.

This first temptation is the greatest one, and it often leads to mistakes in areas #2 and #3, listed below. (more…)

How Realistic Are Your Homebuying Goals?

Now is a great time to buy a home in Silicon Valley: interest rates are incredibly low (and clearly will not stay that way forever – they never do!).  Depending on your desired or required price range and area, the market varies in terms of how much of a bargain you can get. Please understand that buyers are not 100% in charge, though, and sellers are not “giving away” their homes.

Recently I saw a buyer request for a Cambrian Park home. The buyer in question wanted a 3 bed, 2 bath home in the 95124 area with the very best schools. So far, so good. The buyer expected to pay between $200,000 and $500,000 for this home – and unfortunately, that is just not terribly realistic. What he or she wants may be close to $550,000 but if the home is on a standard lot (not a patio home) in good shape, and has no issues (no high voltage lines, no busy road, no converted garage), it wil not be less than $500,000, even if it’s a bank owned property.

In Los Gatos, it is very unlikely to get a good 3 or 4 bedroom, 2 bath home “in the schools” for less than $1,350,000 unless there are issues such as deferred maintenance, bad neighbors, weird floorplan, remodeling needed, busy road, backs to something undesireable, etc.   A really fixed up, turnkey home will probably cost close to 1.4 or 1.5  million if it’s “in the schools”.

In Saratoga, it’s unlikely to get that same home for less than $1,400,000.
(more…)