Patricia’s Blog

11/4/2022

Yesterday Cherrywood Sq went under contract as “active contingent”  which means they accepted a contract and the buyers have contingencies in place.   Having contingencies in place is a part of our new market- it’s no longer standard that all buyers write offers that are free of contingencies.  Typically the 3 big contingencies are: Property condition contingency, Finance contingency, and/or Appraisal contingency.

We are in the process of beginning to “prep” a new listing in the complex – not certain of arrival to the active market dates; but stay tuned and reach out of you have interest or if you know anyone who is looking to live in the fabulous Merrivale West complex!

You can also follow us on @lindsayandkelner on Instagram/Facebook if you want to keep up with a broader look at our local market.

11/2/2022

October is a wrap and we are lumbering our way into November- best news is there’s been RAIN!

What to make of the Real Estate market ?  well…
In Santa Clara county inventory declined again this week from 1095 single family homes for sale to 1053, a decline of 42 units. Inventory will probably continue to decline as that is historically what happens this time of year,  but additionally this year there is a lot happening right now…mid-term elections, a Fed that is hell bent on battling inflation by raising interest rates,  a stock market that is barely showing signs of hitting a bottom….

And yet life moves on for many people and there are always homes being sold.

If we look at the townhome market in the Campbell area right now there are 8 active listings (this doesn’t include the condo market) 3 of the 8 are new construction townhomes in the Pulte new division, Plaza, that is behind the Winchester Mystery house/Santana Row area. Those homes appear to be selling at a decent rate– there are currently 5 pending units.

11 townhomes in Campbell area closed escrow in October –7 of the 11 sold AT or slightly above the list price. The average list price was $1,205,475 and the average SOLD price was $1,201,450.  Of the 11 sold townhomes 4 had taken a price reduction from the original list price.

At Merrivale West there were 3 closings in October.

  • 1440 Woodgrove Sq- which closed 20K over the list price
  • 1420 Phelps Ave- which closed AT the list price
  • 1474 Golden Meadow Sq which closed 17.5K below the list price

Both 1420 Phelps and 1474 Golden Meadow had limited exposure to the market. 1440 Woodgrove Sq was staged and marketed for a full week, they also had the highest sale price of $995,000.

Currently there is one pending sale, 1334 Merrivale West Sq- which will close next week.  We hear it will close slightly below the list price.  It did take 30 days on the market to find the buyer. This unit is the floor plan with one full bath and ½ bath downstairs, and that unit/floor plan has typically struggled more than the other floor plans that have 2 full baths.

1376 Cherrywood Sq is currently still  in Active status with a much lower list price of $799,850 then we’ve seen sellers list Merrivale West homes for since 2020 (exception was the 962 sq ft inverted floor plan that was listed in 8/2021 and they ended up with multiple offers and a $892,000 sale price). My guess is they are hoping for an overbid, however that kind of market currently is not in play in most situations.  They have an 11/1 offer deadline date.  We’ll see in the next few days if that strategy worked and they accept an offer – or if they wait out the market for a higher result.

We’ll keep you posted-

9/28/2022

Throughout September we saw much sales activity at Merrivale West- but you might have missed it… because several properties that are currently under contract and working their way through the escrow process only were “shown” (or not) to a very limited number of buyers.

1474 Golden Meadow Sq, which closes escrow on 10/3, was marketed at a “Members Only Do Not Show” for a brief period.  The listing agent changed the status to Active proceeded with limited marketing (only 2 photos on the MLS) no staging, reports upfront ect.  They allowed showings on 9/7 and accepted a contract on 9/8.

1440 Woodgrove Sq also had a full 9 days of being Active; they DID have professional photo’s, marketing, Open Houses.

1420 Phelps Ave was also a “Members Only Do Not Show” premarket status and had no marketing other then one photo on the MLS and a sign out front.  They switched the status to Active on 9/22 and accepted a contract on 9/23.

There is also currently an Active property at 1334 Merrivale West Sq which has been on the market since 9/10.   * this is the floor plan with 1.5 baths and that’s a challenging floor plan for many buyers as they generally prefer more bathrooms.

My prediction is that when we see the closed sales results in early and  mid-October there will be 2 properties that sold at below, or very close to list price.  There will be one that closes higher then list price.  You guess which ones…..

*”Members Only Do Not Show” is a MLS category that allows agents to premarket the property, not occur Days on Market, test out a list price and if the list price is changed when property goes into Active status doesn’t show up a price adjustment.  The listing does not go out to ANY auxiliary sites – such as Zillow, Redfin etc.  until the status is changed to ACTIVE.

9/13/2022

There is now another listing that is officially listed as “coming soon”  1420 Phelps Ave – which is showing a $949,000 list (keep in mind that on coming soons the list price frequently changes before the agent makes it officially ACTIVE status- as this coming soon is a way for the agents to “test” a price)

Also to note that the 3 listings currently on the MLS – the HOA monthly fee is listed as a range – $260, $300, $323.   For Sellers a good idea is to review what information your agent is inputting….   Kudo’s to the agent on Merrivale West Sq who got it correct!

9/8/2022

A new listing at 1440 Woodgrove Sq today- the largest sq foot floor plan 1368 sq with 2 bedroom and 2.5 bathrooms.  This unit was originally built with a sitting room on the upper level, which many owners have creatively turned into a 3rd bedroom.  Strangley enough this unit has a one car garage…  a short sighted move by the builder, Ditz Crane, who built the smaller sq ft units with 2 car garages and the larger units with one car garages.

The property is well presented- updated kitchen and baths (except hall bath has original shower over tub- but primary bath has tile shower)   A new A/C unit is called out as a recent installation- which should be a big bonus when visiting this weekend!

The list price of $975,000 will probably go higher – this is a much desired floor plan and the inventory level has shrunken in Santa Clara county for 8 weeks straight.

There are a few more “coming soon” signs in the complex – 1474 Golden Meadow Sq, 1420 Phelps Ave (yes, the complex has a few units that face out to Phelps Ave) and one in Merrvale West Sq. but my guess is none of them will be direct competition to the 1440 Woodgrove Sq, as mentioned that larger sq ft and ability to create a 3rd bedroom makes it a strong option for many buyers.

8/23/2022

This week we’ve had the 7th straight week of inventory levels declining in Santa Clara county.  Current Santa Clara county inventory was 1810 (single family & townhome/condo’s) which is 64 fewer then last weeks 1874.   We also had 281 of them go into contract which is more units then the 258 properties from the previous week.

We are “shifting” again.  If you are a buyer I’d suggest getting out there now- before you are competing with multiple buyers for the same property.  Just this past week we had a single family home listed in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose.  List price was $1,48,900.00.  It’s a well prepared and marketed home that received buyers and agents attention from day one- and on day 3 we had an offer and then later that afternoon another offer….  It’s in contract over list price and no contingencies.

Check it out: 6525 San Anselmo Way San Jose or you can visit our website at LindsayandKelner.com, OR check out  Instagram/Facebook under @Lindsayandkelner

Sellers are thrilled – as they’d been watching the market step back and very worried about the outcome.

That’s not to say every listing is receiving the same attention and action- but we do know that buyers are back out looking (Open House traffic over the weekend was busy) and other Realtors are telling similar scenario’s going on for homes that have:

A List price that is  realistic  (not based on comparable sales from early spring, but listed closer to last several months activity)

Marketed and well presented

It is also a good time for buyers to re enter the market- after taking the summer months off for travel and vacations.  Early fall generally brings an increase in buyer interest.

 

8/11/2022

This week we are starting to see the market in a slightly different light –

Inventory levels are not increasing, as we had seen in the past months.

As of TUES am (our office meeting date) the total inventory for Santa Clara county, single family homes and townhouse/condo’s was 1953 properties, which is 80 fewer then the prior week, which was 2033 actives.

  • Of this weeks inventory numbers of activity inventory of 1953, 311 of them have been listed in the past 7 days (again from Tues the 9th)  AND that number of 311 is 88 less then the prior week.
  • Santa Clara county had go into contract last week which was 8 MORE then the 244 from the prior week.

This moving out of the high summer inventory numbers is historically typical as we see more buyers return to the market and inventory churns faster.  Buyers should consider that they may have less inventory to choose from in the future as we move into late summer and early fall.

What about interest rates you may ask?  well…

We have a saying ” MARRY THE HOUSE AND DATE THE RATE”   Interest rates fluctuate and you can change your mortgage rate with them as they fall in the future while you are living in the home you love!

We are advising all the buyers we are working with this might be the best time to make offers and get them accepted.

8/3/2022

Wondering what to do now that there are clear signs the real estate market has changed?

First don’t panic- values are still over the end of 2021 results.  Let that sink in.  We haven’t fallen off the cliff with prices free falling and properties not selling.   BUT, We have seen the wild market of spring 2022 roll back to more of a balanced market with increased inventory, fewer transactions, longer days on market, and list prices sellers are choosing closer to their expectations:

  • More inventory (32 as of today with 7 of those listed in the last 7 days)
  • Longer days on market (average days on market for closed sales in July was 24 days)
  • List prices reflective of what sellers actually expect to receive (closed townhomes/condos in Campbell for July, 14 total, received an average of 100% of the list price)

 

Campbell townhomes/condos sold

……………………………………………….July 2022                         July 2021                          Dec 2021

# of units sold                                 14                                     41                                      18

Median price                                  $897,500                          $854,401                          $782,500

Average over list                           100%                                 103%                                 102%

Average days on market               24 days                             16 days                             30 days

 

Interest rates do affect the buyers and they have bounced around making everyone jittery – but for buyers the suggestion is to “marry the home and date the rate”.  Rate’s change and they will forever continue to move around, just ask anyone who purchased a home in the late 80’s or 90’s.

This is still a good market- buyers don’t feel the pressure of competing against hordes of other buyers and sellers are still receiving offers that, while aren’t in the all-time high range of early spring 2022, are still in the upper end of values historically for the area.

We have less transactions, but we think that will even out as we move out of the summer when a lot of people’s attention was on travel (who wasn’t travelling and making up for the 2 years we couldn’t easily travel) and social events (our calendar has been full of outdoor events this summer). The start of the school year grounds people again, and they will start to filter back into the buying market.

We are betting on more activity in the market early fall then we had this summer.

7/21/2022

The real estate market has shifted.   This is not only a national trend but it is very much a local trend. Even more significantly to the purpose of those of you reading this, a major impact on property values at Merrivale West.

By late March there were many factors at work to signal that change was in the midst for real estate sales and probably more coming: rising interest rates, global issues, inflation.

Locally we continued to have low levels of inventory and multiple offers for properties continued so it was difficult for sellers to prepare for the impending shift.  Two weeks into April we began to experience the amount of offers dropping off and the over list price bids coming in lower than the comparable sales.  The 3rd week of April offers slowed, and they were coming in below the list price.

Recent time line of Merrivale West property activity:

3/17/2022 list date -1371 Cherrywood Sq, a 1056 sq ft unit, 3/31/2022 the status was changed and the property went in pending status, an offer had been accepted.

15 days later it closed escrow at $1,180,000.   The all time high for a sale in Merrivale West.

4/20/2022 list date- 1459 Woodgrove Sq, a 1,292 sq ft unit, went pending on 4/29/2022.  The property was active for 9 days and they had one offer, they attempted to counter, but the buyer stuck to their offer price.

Escrow closed at $1,141,000.

5/10/2022 list date 1459 Golden Meadow Sq, a 1,292 sq ft unit, went pending on 5/18/2022.  The property was active for 7 days, one offer was received.

Escrow closed on 6/23/2022 at $1,070,000.

5/13/2022 list date 1367 Cherrywood Sq, a 1064 unit *, went pending on 5/19/2022 AFTER they took a price reduction on 5/17/2022.  *Original list price was $999,750 and price reduced list price was $949,000

Escrow closed on 6/21/2022 at $950,000.

5/19/2022 list date 1424 Millich Lane, a 1220 unit, went pending on 6/22/2022. A 31-day active period before an offer accepted.

Escrow closed on 7/13/2022 at $935,000.  The seller did receive a 30-day agreement to occupy after close of escrow.

5/20/2022 list date 1328 Merrivale West Sq, a 1292 unit, was sold on 7/9/2022, a 45-day active period before an offer was accepted.

Escrow will be closing on 8/10/2022

6/1/2022 list date 1441 Golden Meadow Sq, a 1056 unit, on 6/114/2022 went to Active Contingency status – meaning the offer accepted had contingency period(s) in place.

Escrow closed on 5/15/2022 at $925,000.  The listing agent was also the buyers agent….  Hmmmm

The trend is obvious – but consider that up till the very end of 2021, at 1380 Golden Meadow Sq which closed at $1,075,000, the sales results in Merrivale West remained below the million dollar mark since early 2019.   In 2018 there were 8 closed sales in the complex and 7 of them closed over 1M.

Markets change – and when they do it is often a difficult adjustment  for sellers.  We worked with 2 sellers this summer, and both were wise and knowledgeable.  As listing agents, we are grateful for those qualities in our clients, and we are hyper aware that communication plays a major role in how the decision making process is handled.

Our advice moving forward:

  • List your property closer to expected sales price you will receive. Multiple offers are very infrequent currently.
  • Property preparation is even more critical now then ever- your property needs to shine and stand out from what else is being offered in the market
  • Chose an Realtor who knows the market and is active – full time, current marketing plan: professional photo’s, Open Houses held frequently allow buyers in the market to easily plan visits, works closely with other Realtors in the area.
  • Communication – know the market, make certain your Realtor knows the market.

 

Reach out with any questions/discussions – both David and I love to hear from homeowners and discuss/share what we know is happening in the market.  You don’t need to be planning a move now to discuss real estate with us – we like to share our knowledge.

5/6/2022

Maybe you saw our sign at 1459 Golden Meadow Sq?

1459 Golden Meadow Sq is showing on the MLS as “members only do not show” – which translates into COMING SOON.

We will arrive on the MLS, full ACTIVE  status Tues 5/10.

This home is fully updated -1292 sq ft with 2 bedrooms (and the 2nd bedroom is a decent size) a ½ bath on the first level, and 2 full baths on the upper level. Remodeled kitchen features Samsung gas range, Caesar stone counters, tile backsplash, recessed lighting and white cabinets. Kitchen opens to the living and dining rooms. Luxury plank vinyl with upgraded baseboards throughout lower level and slider to private patio area graced by a wisteria covered pergola. Upstairs features 2 bedrooms & 2 remodeled bathrooms, one w jetted soaking tub. Large primary bedroom has shower enclosure, newer vanity and abundant closet space. Attached garage with ample overhead storage. Lower level ½ bathroom is remodeled also.

We hope you’ll come by for visits starting Wednesday May 11th, 9:30am-12:30, Friday May 13th 5:30pm-7:00pm for those of you just arriving home after work, and both Saturday & Sunday 1:00-4:00.

We encourage you to come look- as it’s truly one of the best floor plans and completely updated units that has been on the market in a while.   Attention to detail abounds!

4/13/2022

1336 Charmwood Sq closed at $912,500 which was much lower then recent closed sales in comparision.  Condition was very poor.  The listing agent put a note in the Agent section of the MLS that this property should not be used for comparable purposes and he added photo’s (they had only been a few when it was listed/active.) This was generous of him as it allows appraisers/buyers/agents to know this was not a sale that should be considered “normal”

We’ve seen a slight increase in inventory the past weeks – but not leaps.  As of Tues AM the inventory in Santa Clara county only had 138 townhomes for sale and the week prior that number was 132.  There were 208 condo’s and the week prior was 197.  Still very low.  At the end of March 2022 we had a combined total of 346 units, thus only picked up 30 units in the past 2 weeks.

3/31/2022

Yesterday 1438 Millich Lane closed at $1,161,000.   WOW- it’s the highest a Merrivale West property has sold for historically.  It was a well done and presented unit (see my notes below on 2/23)  They had a total of 10 offers.

The runner up for the 2nd highest closed sale was in 4/3/2018 when 1344 Charmwood Sq, a 1056 sq foot with 2 beds and 2 baths sold for $1,125,000.  It is said that in our local market buyers tempered their enthusiasm in 5/2018 and we began to see the market shift/slow.

This result is in line with that timeline. It shows that it’s taken 4 years since for this market to launch to the current high level.  I have no doubt we’ll see strong results for the newest pending at 1371 Cherrywood Sq, which went pending yesterday.

Stay tuned as we will have a new listing in Merrivale West coming to the market in MAY – it’ll be the 1292 sq foot unit with 2 beds and 2.5 baths.  Redone kitchen, baths, flooring, windows, plumbing – pretty much everything.   Buyers will be impressed!

2/23/2022

Newest listing in the complex at 1438 Millich Lane is taking offers today- I’d expect they will be under contract within the next day or two.   I visited yesterday and have to say it is nicely presented for a property that was a rental (owner is also one of the sellers and they stated they are doing a 1031 exchange for this transaction)

One thing thing I’d not seen in the past is that this unit has a window is the upstairs hall closet, which allowed them to show this (oversized hall closet) as a small office space.   It’s a great way to enhance the property- home offices are at the top of the list that buyers want/need in their home purchases.

I also liked that they had made the pass way counter between the kitchen and dining area extended- created a breakfast bar.

Both additions added to the features/benefits – keep in mind this is the floor plan with only one full bath, so finding new ways to add value is important, as most buyers would prefer 2 full baths.

 

1/31/2022
It seems that ever since I’ve been writing this blog my main refrain has been “sellers’ market, low inventory, prices increasing” all that said I’ve NEVER in my 18 years of selling real estate, and David echo’s this sentiment with his 36 years of selling, have we seen the amount of assertiveness in the market.
January 1st we listed a single family home on 1085 Harlin Dr, SJ 95129. We hosted Open House the following day and had over 100 groups (at a certain point it’s difficult to keep track) the following day 7 PREEMPTIVE offers arrived. The offer date had been listed for the following week, but 7 buyers decided to jump ahead and send in an offer. The home sold for $1M over list price for Cash.
January 10th we listed a condo, 88 Bush ST #1148, SJ 95126. The following week on the offer date we had 6 offers and 3 of them were Cash. We closed escrow in 10 days with a record high in the complex; for that floor plan. *This is a complex that has rarely received multiple offers on listings.
Then take the example of 1404 Cherrywood Sq; they just closed on 1/28 at a cool $1,100,000. They also had a 10 day close of escrow. The listing agent, who is terrific and represented the seller when they purchased this home 4 years ago from our seller, told me that had 20 offers with 13 of them CASH!
As of this morning in Santa Clara County (stretches from Palo Alto to Gilroy) there are 459 Single Family Homes listing on the Multiple Listing Service, but here’s the catch 96 of them are listed as “Members Only Don’t show” which translates into Coming soon. They cannot be shown to the buying public until the status is change to “Active” *if you recall this also means these listings only show up on the MLS and not on any auxiliary websites, thus no Redfin/Zillow etc until they become Active.
Condos/Townhomes have 227 Active with 42 of them “Members Only Do Not Show” Last week 1/25 we had an increase of +7 listings, the prior week 1/18 +22.
Each week since the New Year we see some increases – but nothing major since the turn is so great.
If you are contemplating a move/sale this would be a GREAT time. More buyers than sellers is an understatement.

12/28/2021
Last week of 2021 and we’ve hit all time lows with our available inventory levels.
As I write this there are 32 townhomes listed as ACTIVE in Santa Clara County– you read that right. But even more stunning is that of those 32 listings only 19 can be shown, as 13 fall in the category of “no show, coming soon”
Condo’s are showing 100 active listings – with 81 that can be shown. 19 are in the category of “no show, coming soon”
The big question is will the flood gates open come January. No one is predicting that – we will see more listings, as we historically always do after the holiday season BUT we’d have to see hundreds to be back into what would be considered a somewhat balanced market. Our prediction is that seller’s will continue to be in the driver’s seat well into the New Year.
I’ve heard today that the currently Pending 1380 Cherrywood Sq property will close over $1M and closer to $1.1M. Additionally, right after the new year there will be another active listing in Cherrywood Sq – reach out if you would like further details.
Lastly, look for our year end Merrivale West postcard- it’ll be hitting your mailbox in a few days- and if you don’t reside or own a property in the Merrivale West complex and would like a copy – again, reach out.

11/23/2021
The current pending sale in Woodgrove Sq has not posted yet. I spoke with the listing agent last week and thought they’d be closing this Monday and ending in the mid $860,000 range. That floor plan (968 sq ft), which used to be consider a less desirable floor plan, due to only one bathroom and the unusual inverted floor plan (all other units in the complex are a standard floor plan- living space on the ground floor and bedrooms on the 2nd level) has come into its own this past year. There have been 4 on the market this year and most have done well. The oversized garage space has become a big bonus and the extra outdoor space with the wrap around decks.

Their value has also shot up because as we moved into the 2nd half of the year and the inventory available continual churned from Active to Pending any townhome in the $800K range became more desirable. There just hasn’t been enough inventory for all the buyers.

Here are notes from our office meeting this morning regarding Santa Clara County

WEEKLY MARKET REVIEW
 This week’s total active inventory in SCC is 794 properties (single family, townhouse/condo’s)
Which is 120 units FEWER then last week’s 914 active properties.
 Of this weeks total active inventory of 794 properties, 225 of them have been listed in the last 7 days.
 SCC had 292 properties go into contract last week, which is 2 fewer then the 294 properties from the previous week.

INVENTORY BY CATEGORY
Single Family homes 488
Townhomes 72
Condo’s 234

WOW…..

10/7/2021
Closed sale on 1450 Woodgrove Sq posted at $950,000, this was the 1,384-floor plan (largest in the complex). Rather an underwhelming result since 1384 Pinehurst Sq recently closed at $950,000 which is the 1056 sf foot floorplan and 1406 Cherrywood Sq which is the 968 sq foot (& inverted floorplan) closed at $892,000.
Because the sellers of 1450 Woodgrove Sq accepted an offer quickly, 4 days on the market, I’m thinking few buyers/agents/public were probably not able to see the condition plus there was limited photos and marketing so it’s hard for me to discuss condition/upgrades. The MLS notes don’t state any improvements, the comments were mostly about the complex and asking for a clean offer. ON the other hand, we do know 1384 Pinehurst Sq was attractively updated. The sellers of Pinehurst, wisely, had the property exposed on the market for 7 days prior to accepting on offer.
In our area the HGTV effect is in full play. What’s the HGTV effect? well, it’s when the buying public is willing and ready to purchase at a premium price home that are move in ready and look like a home featured on one of the HGTV shows. In other words, updated and move in ready. Also, the buying public needs to see the home (photos and marketing), ability to visit the home (easily) and know its condition. 1450 Woodgrove Sq did not provide any inspections/reports up front for the buyers to review, a rarity in our market for sellers to choose this approach.
While $ per Sq foot don’t explain/quantify the full value of a home as greatly as some would think- because of floor plan differences, condition, location values ect – but consider this:
1450 Woodgrove Sq $694.44 per sq foot
1384 Pinehurst Sq $899.62 per sq foot
1406 Cherrywood Sq $921.49 per sq foot *keep in mind this unit only has one bathroom, and that has impact and is a bit of a different property, but due to being the smallest sq foot unit the $ per Sq Ft are higher

Inventory continues to be turning and trending down weekly. On Tues AM of this week there were 173 “townhomes” in Santa Clara County verses 192 the prior week. 2020 at the end of Sept we had a total of 690 units of condos and townhomes this year we finished September with 515.

9/30/2021
Just back from 16 days away! While David remained working I was able to go away and have time at a yoga retreat. Lovely experience and helps put life in perspective.

2 closings in Merrivale West while I was gone – 1384 Pinehurst Sq and 1406 Cherrywood Sq.

Another closing to note- which is just down the street, 732 #A Millch Dr, Campbell. They closed at 1M on a $924,000 list price with 2/2 and 1018 sq ft. Its been a while since a townhouse in the immediate area went over $1M.

9/13/2021
Whew- lots of activity the past few weeks – currently 3 pending’s and one active property in the complex.1455 Golden Meadow Sq has been challenging to find their buyer. They have been active for 26 days and took a price reduction from the original list price of $899K to $850K.

Since we crossed the mid year point of 2021, when only 4 properties in the complex had gone up for sale, there has been an increase in listings – 3 have closed, and 3 are pending plus the one Active. That is 7 listings in the 2nd half of the year and we are only in Sept.

The 3 properties that closed escrow, during the 2nd half have had an average of 12 days on market, the 3 current pending’s are down to 4.66 days on market. That is an indication that buyers are out and active in the market.

8/25/2021
One new closing- 1411 Pinehurst Sq, which I believe did well with a final close price of $840,000. The prior sale for this floor plan Woodgrove Sq, which was on the market late June and early July had a closed sale price of $865,000. They both had Days On Market of 14 days but I think timing of the market, which had a different vibe in June to July affected buyers and their desire to make offers.

A new listing at 1406 Cherrywood Sq came on the market 2 days ago, which is the same inverted floor plan. This size unit is always a corner unit and has a wrap around balcony, which is a plus, great outdoor space, and minus as wood/termite repairs always factor into the care and maintence of each unit. I do still see listings where the notes indicated this is an HOA responsibility to maintain, which would be a general assumption for many HOA’s, but at Merrivale West the responsibility falls to the homeowner.

This floor plan has a modern feel to it and when left as Ditz Crane, the builder, originally built this floorplan it has a spacious open upper level “public” space. Many homeowners convert part of the space on the upper level to an extra bedroom/office. We have listed both versions- converted and original open floor plan and it was interesting to hear what buyers liked the most.

Today is offer date for 1455 Golden Meadow Sq- and tomorrow an offer date is now listed for 1384 Pinehurst Sq.

8/20/2021
2 new listings in the complex this week- 1384 Pinehurst Sq, 1056 sq ft, 2bed/2baths for $899,500 and 1455 Golden Meadow Sq the 1220 sq ft, 2bed/1.5 bath for $899,000.

As noted in our list of active properties the Golden Meadow property has the floor plan without a balcony and the upstairs bathroom is a “jack and jill”, meaning 2 entrances to the bathroom so that you can enter from the large bedroom and the hallway.

There were also 2 closed sales last week – both over list and the same closed sale price- $945,000. Both units were the 1056 floor plan.

1413 Millich Ct was on the market for 26 days and had taken a price reduction from the original list price of $950,000 to $900,000.

1366 Merrivale West started higher and took 14 days to find a buyer from a list price of $939,000.

What most listing agents are sharing is they are receiving 1 offer – not multiples. Days on market is longer (but compared to rest of the country on the lower end) and growing. However, the one listing that was the opposite of the longer days on market trend was 1417 Millich Ct, which was only active 9 days and had listed an offer date. They recieved their offer that day. This was most likely because they listed at a competitive price of UNDER $900,000. While the prior listings for the 1056 floor plan came on in the mid $900,000.

Note the new listings have picked up on this and are both listed for under $900,000. 1455 Golden Meadow Sq is feeling so confident that they have an offer date listed for 8/25 Wed.

8/6/2021
In case you missed yesterdays San Jose Mercury News article https://mercurynews-ca-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=0aefbfe97_1345e99

I think for the most part it is a fairly accurate description of the current residential real estate market – except that they predict inventory increases. While it might be true that in the late summer and early fall we see some increases in overall inventory, but those seasonal increases have not been enough in the past four years to eliminate our shortage of homes available for sale. This year will more then likely be the same.

On Tues AM of this week there were 538 Condo/townhomes available in Santa Clara county- 26 less then the prior week. Single family homes were at 999 homes and that was 39 units lower then prior week. The inventory that comes on tends to be turn quickly- even though its not less then a week, in most cases it is generally not over 2 weeks.

So, yes there will probably be a few more homes for sale but they will not push the inventory numbers up significantly. But what may change the market is buyer’s taking a new stance. I do very much agree with the last paragraph of the article “But Rao believes buyer sentiment has shifted in the last several weeks. Buyers who once looked at a potential bidding war and said, “ Oh, man, I may not get this house,” are now asking a different question, Rao said. “ Do I really want this home?” Rao being a local Realtor they are interviewing.

For Merrivale West sellers what could affect their homes desirability to buyers is condition, condition, presentation, presentation, and list price. Taking buyers for granted, which is something that our aggressive market can create is something to be wary of -the move in ready homes, strong marketing (professional photo’s and staging) disclosures and inspections-updated and easily available, accessability of visiting the property, all contribute to creating a scenario where the buyer(s) are engaged and are thinking and acting on ” yes, I really do want this home”

7/30/2021
2 Merrivale West properties went PENDING this week – 1417 Millich Ct and 1411 Pinehurst Sq. Both had posted offer dates, and I do know that one of them received only one offer, not multiple offers. This seems to be more of the norm as we move through July, and not just at Merrivale West.

Buyers have held back in making offers so the multiple offer scenario has been reduced to sellers receiving 1 or 2 offers on the posted offer date, or on the offer date receiving none.
I know of 2 single family home listings in 95129 this past week were they received one offer, but both were offers 100K over the list price.*both had Cupertino schools. Two other single family homes in same area blew past their offer date with no offers. Highly unusal for this very competitive area.

I personally worked with a buyer on a condo offer in Santa Clara were there was an offer date and only 2 came in, and an even more interesting scenario in 95124 a single family home, Cambrian area, where 2 offers came to the sellers on day 21 of the listing! (we are in contract on the single family home 🙂 and lost out on the condo :(.)

Its a very different market we are experiencing this month verses June. While this reduction of the multiple offer scenario is happening we aren’t seeing a roll back in pricing, as I mentioned the 2 single family homes did receive offers over 100K the list price. The question is are buyers sitting out for an extended period because they are worn down by losing out on offers they write, price increases, and lack of inventory or is it a “pause” due to the time of year. Historically the summer months in No Calfornia the Real Estate activity slows. This year May and June remained hot with activity.

During this period (and I believe during ALL periods) it is critical for sellers to be realistic; list price effects how your home is viewed by buyers- just slightly too high and buyers don’t make offers or have interest in visiting the home. A great example is 1413 Millich Ct, which was ACTIVE for 23 days before they were able to accept an offer, and that was after they took a price reduction.
OR consider how your home is presented – is it move in ready for new buyers? It should be if you want to make the best impression, that includes on line marketing and in person presentation. OR is your commission offered to buyers agent commiserate with what the local market norm is? Our local real estate community is comprised of very sophisticated buyers and agents; and you need to appeal to ALL of them. LIsting a home without preparation and factoring in how buyers and agents consider your home and price is really not giving yourself the best shot at the highest price and offer terms…

ALL of those scenario’s are taking place in our market- and you can see the results of longer days on market, possible need (s) for price adjustments, and less activity. It will be interesting to see how July’s results close out and what takes place in August- stay tuned! *if anyone would like to receive a further deep dive into the numbers and market results reach out.

7/25/2021
since I last updated this there have been 3 new properties listed as Active and 1413 Millich Ct went pending after they took a price reduction.

My understanding on 1413 Millich Ct is that it went over the original list price of $950K – which clearly illustrates how important getting the list price right at the beginning can be. When they lowered the list price from $950K to $900K they had offers and the offer price was higher then the original list price of $950K (which did not entice buyers to step up and make an offer) Good for them that they could quickly pivot and make the bold move of a price reduction

2 of the currently Active properties have listed offer dates/times – 1417 Millich Ct has offer date listed as 7/26 at 5PM and Pinehurst Sq has Wed 7/27 mid day listed. Generally when sellers and listing agents post an offer date they feel confident they have enough interest to gather up offers. But recently I’ve seen properties blow right through the offer date and come up with no offers, so watch and see how this plays out. *that did happen at 1413 Millich Ct when they were still listed at $950K.

7/14/2021
I just noticed that 1413 Millich Ct has sent an offer date- Today. As I thought the new price has shaken a few (more more) buyers loose. Listing agents don’t generally set an offer date and publish it unless they are confident there is enough active/promise of receiving offers.

I’ve visited both active properties-this one shows very well.

7/13/2021
While posting the new listing at 1366 Merrivale West Sq I failed to call out that you won’t see this listing on sites like Redfin or Zillow – it is listed on the MLS as “members only”.

I’ve written about this status in the past, but a refresher is in order.
In order for our MLS to comply with “clear cooperation” rules any property that is advertise outside of your brokerage for sale must be placed on the MLS within a short period of time to assure all Realtors and buyers have access to know it is available.
Thus the various MLS’s (there are many throughout the country and each is a local geography area- we have various ones in the Bay area. The various MLS’s frequently share info.- thus we can search on our MLS and view listings in SF, East bay, San Mateo county- but not out of state for instance)

We have a status on our MLS which is “do not show Members only” this is basically a coming soon listing. These listings do not go out to the auxilary sites like Redfin or Zillow etc. they remain only visable on our MLS. Once the status is changed to “ACTIVE” then the information is desiminated out.

There is also the ability to keep a listing as a “Members only show” which means the listing will only be viewed on the MLS. To be honest I have no idea why a seller would agree to that unless there was a need to limit exposure, and that makes no sense to me either…. 1366 Merrivale West Sq is a “members only show”

7/12/2021
New listing at 1366 Merrivale West Sq as of today- List price is $939,000.

What is interesting is 1413 Millich Ct just took a price reduction on 7/8 for $50K. It is the same floor plan.

My guess will be that 1413 Millich Ct will garner some action this week with that price reduction and we’ll see it pending soon.

7/9/2021
Michelle Ronco, Aculist Senior Product Marketing Manager provided these details as to why Aculist doesn’t show a slowing market, quite the opposite. “Despite talk of a softening market there are no signs that the housing market is slowing down, at least not for San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. MLSListings June data from July 6 shows Santa Clara County’s median price at $1,740,000, a 28 percent increase since January, and San Mateo County’s median breaking at $2,094,444, a 40 percent increase since January.
June closed sales hit 1,321 in Santa Clara County and 550 in San Mateo County. Condo and townhome sales in both counties are at an all-time high. New listings, which slid slightly in May, were back up in June in both counties, a sign that sellers are confident.
While about 8-10 percent of sales saw price reductions in June, Ronco said they do not appear significant as those percentages are nowhere near double-digit price reduction percentages in the past. The sales-to-price ratios prove this as buyers continue to pay 110-111 percent over list price and homes are still staying just a median of eight days on market.”
Ronco distinguished between cycles and a softening of the market, noting market cycles illustrate typical trends, such as a slowdown in the summer months, which is not necessarily an indication of market softening. For now, Ronco said the indicators show no signs of softening or even a cyclical change. Signs that could indicate the market is changing include increasing price reductions, a decreasing sales-to-list price ratio, increasing days on market, a decrease in new listings and decreasing median prices. Other considerations include a decrease in mortgage applications, fewer offers and rising interest rates>

7/7/2021
Woodgrove Sq has gone pending- it took 12 days but I’m told it’s in escrow over list price. That will make the sale the highest sale price for that floor plan historically.

6/25/2021
First time in over a year and a ½ that Merrivale West has 2 active listings. 1413 Millich Court and 1435 Woodgrove Sq. These 2 properties are only the 3rd and 4th listings in the complex this year. Typically, we do see more listing coming on in the 2nd half of the year- but to have only 2 in the first half is rather unprecedented. It speaks to the overall market- people have tended to stay put in 2020. In 2020 there were 4 listings in the first half and 7 in the last half.
The other interesting call out is that both these sellers purchase these homes in 2017 and 2016- that is a fairly quick turn. The 2 prior closed sales in Q12021 also had short ownership periods, 2015 and 2016. So for the last 4 listings in Merrivale West (and the only listings in 2021) ownership has changed have an average of apprx 4 years, which is very much different then the trend that homeownership time frames have increased since 2020 to an nationwide average of 8 years and in CA those numbers in the metro area’s of San Francisco, San Diego and LA it is in the range of 10+ years. (sorry, they missed calling out San Jose…) stats from First American Data and Analytics. It is interesting that no long term owners have decided to sell their homes, so far in 2021.
What will the 2nd half of the year bring- my guess is more listings. Prices have increased and buyer activity has been strong. People overall are feeling confident about re entering the world we all used to be part of pre Covid. BUT my other guess is that most activity will come in August/Sept. July is tough to capture buyers attention- the focus is elsewhere and this year it’s going to be enjoying the ability to be out and about.
You can visit 1413 Millich Court this weekend as they are hosting an Open House. The listing agents state they have steady interest and will be taking offers as they arrive – they are not setting an offer date. 1435 Woodgrove Sq doesn’t have Open Houses and some limited times to visit each day, so chances are it will be more challenging for buyers to visit. They also have no offer date set.

6/21/2021
1413 Millich Court has come on the MLS as ACTIVE- it had been listed for several week as a “coming soon”
They had shown the list price at $949K during that period, thus in switching up to $950K they must have felt confident the market could support that OR the sellers/agent felt it was closer to what they really needed to reach in terms of an offer.
We had listed this property back in the fall of 2017 and it sold for $880K. It appears the new owners did so some upgrades.

We would caution seller’s about the market in the past few weeks – its “that” time of year and the recent high price point closed sales are creating some hesitancy for buyers to jump in and write offers.

We listed listed a single family home property in Campbell 2 weeks ago week, on the same street a few doors down a similar sized property received 11 offers 3 weeks prior.
Ours had a new kitchen and updated bathrooms and better (open) floor plan. The interest and showings were very strong. The property down the street closed and posted the sale price 2 days before we took offers on our property.

We ended up with 6 offers and did receive more then the closed sale, but while talking to various agents who had indicated they were going to write offers we were told several times their clients declined to write offers because they were feeling they couldn’t compete based on the closed sale. They didn’t want to participate. I think it’s an indication some buyers are really feeling pushed and backing off. I don’t think it’s a huge market change, but it speaks to a market that has experienced really high over bids and how some buyers are sitting on the sidelines.

My comment on “that” time of year is because historically we see a cooling in activity during late may- early august. This coincides with kids out of schools, vacations, graduations, weddings, generally the buying publics focus being on other life events. We did not see this trend last year- obviously not much was going on for everyone.

6/16/2021
Mid-summer – and the Real Estate market active continues to move along at the same pace as prior months. We generally experience a slowing of activity during the summer months while buyers focus on other areas of their lives- school ending, graduations, weddings, travel. We have not seen that drop off in activity/interest this year. Inventory levels are remaining consistently on the lower range. Santa Clara county had 977 single family homes for sale as of Tues 6/15 am the prior week it was 987 homes available. In the Townhouse/condo category thee were 518 homes and the prior week was 522.
What is interesting is that historically our inventory will begin to increase as we move out of spring into summer. This year our inventory, in both categories has stayed fairly consist
Single family homes inventory ending
March 881
April 898
May 989
Mid June 977

Townhomes/Condo inventory ending
March 556
April 565
May 545
Mid June 518
Last weekend David and I hosted our first open house since March 15th, 2020. We were at our listing in 1464 Woodgrove Sq and it felt very eerie and uncomfortable as the news of Covid 19 was gathering full steam. THIS weekend was the opposite- buyers and agents happy to be out and visiting properties. Pleasant and happy to follow the protocols of masks and signing in. All understood when we asked them to limit touching and keep their children close (out of 50+ groups – only two families had children with them). Serious buyers were out and about.
Our hours of being open were from 1:00- 3:00 – shorter then usual, but we really did not know what to expect. Both days we overflowed into the 4:00 range. Saturday was the heavier traffic and Sunday we did see a few neighbors mix in the crowd (sheepishly) Overall a good mood.
We are currently accepting offers today on that property- 1360 Cameo Dr, Campbell. Multiple offers, non-contingency and terms that will work for the sellers. The market continues to be in favor of sellers.
BUT, 2 weeks ago I had a first-time homebuyer couple who got their contract accepted with a 3% down loan and in a multiple offer situation. I could not be more thrilled for them. The listing agent was from out of the local area, it took the sellers 4 full days to chose the buyer. We stayed engaged with the listing agent and 4 days after we sent the offer to them, we received that happy phone call- Accepted. Sometimes it just works out the right way….

5/26/2021
I am pretty certain most of you reading this blog post are aware that our market is considered a “seller’s market” with multiple offers expected on most properties AND almost all properties closing over their list price.
GREAT for sellers- but what about buyers? AND what happens if you are both a Seller and a Buyer? Unless you are considering a move out of the area it is daunting to consider how to make all this happen smoothly and without multiple moves.
Buyers need to be knowledgeable about the market, not just that they will be up against having to make offers OVER list price and competing with multiple buyers, but also how can they make their offers to purchase, “standout” so they are chosen by the sellers as the winning buyer. Your offer “standing out” will include price and terms, but also the finer details about the way in which your lender/loan is presented and how your agent presents your offer.
Here’s some items to consider:
Chose your lender carefully- not only will you want their rates to be competitive but also what you want is their ability to keep timelines short. Are they a lender who will pick up the phone and speak to a Seller’s agent? Communication is key. Listing agents like to know the lender is going to be highly involved in making the loan close on time and that you have excellent qualifications!
Has an underwriter viewed your file? Not all preapproval/pre-qualification letters are the same. Listing agents will quickly decipher which buyers are further along in the loan application process and being further along makes you more qualified/desirable with the ability for the loan to proceed faster. Chose a lender who can get their underwriter to review your file – before you make an offer- that will allow you to have short timeframes for finance contingencies, or in some cases NO contingencies.
Have you reviewed and signed all the disclosures the seller has provided, and does your agent include them with your offer? Ask your agent if they have completed their “Agents Visual Disclosure” with your offer- this form is frequently left out when a buyer’s agent presents the offer. Listing agents want to see that you are fully ready to move forward and there are no outstanding paperwork/disclosures left to be completed.
Agree to wire your 3% good faith deposit to Escrow the day after your contract is accepted. This costs you NO $ and again shows the listing agent you are fully ready to move forward and committed.
Has your agent communicated with the listing agent prior to sending or presenting your offer? Asking what is important to the seller, so that you may be able to tailor your offer better to the seller’s needs: Is a leaseback needed? What would be a “good” close of escrow timeframe for them? Are there items the seller would like to exclude or include with the sale? (the MLS will frequently state the seller’s preference, but the MLS doesn’t always include all the details, so it doesn’t hurt to ask)
They say the “devil is in the details” and these “details” don’t cost anything to implement. Ask your lender and agent about how they handle the “details”…. You may surprised and delighted your team is already doing these things OR you might decide that you need a different approach.

5/25/2021
I’m pretty certain most of you reading this blog post already are aware that our market is considered a “sellers” market, with multiple offers expected on most properties AND almost all properties closing over list price.
GREAT for sellers- but what about buyers? and what happens if you are both a Seller and a Buyer? Unless you are considering moving out of the area it is daunting to consider how
5/18/2021
Open Houses are a thing again! if you say my post on FB and Instagram last Friday we are BACK.

While it won’t be exactly like prior to 2/2020 and earlier Open house versions, there will be limitations on the number of people who can visit at one time and everyone will be asked to keep thier masks on.
We expect this to be a moving target as the CDC,State and County guidelines for Covid 19 protocols are developing.

One big change is you’ll be asked to sign in – and if you choose not to you’ll probably not be allowed inside, as Realtors we are required to keep these lists in case we need to notify anyone at a later date. You’ll also be asked to sign an acknowledgement and disclosure regarding Covid 19 protocols. The good news is some of this can be completed digitally and the form is now 1 page; down from a lengthy 2. That is progress 🙂

Some Sellers may chose to remain with the “appointment only” visits and have their agents eschew Open Houses until we are further along with the reopening, particularily if they are owner occupied. That model has worked really quite well and allows Sellers, Buyers and Agents to make certain that serious buyers are visiting in an established manner.

Current market conditions are that county wide we are at a total of 518 listings this week, which is down 17 from last week. The days on market for Active listings is speedy, the market is continues to be a strong sellers market. If you’ve been comtemplating to list your property- now would be a great time! We’ve seen prices come back to pre 2/2020 levels.

5/13/2021
1431 Woodgrove Sq closed yesterday at $970,000 an increase of $55,000 over list price. There have only been 2 closed sales in Merrivale West this calendar year. That is the lowest amount of closed sales we’ve ever experienced for the first 1/2 of the year.

I’ve been missing in action for a month and 1/2 – the market has been HOT and with limited inventory it makes for strange times and selling/buying scenario’s. Multiple offers, appraisal issues, buyers/sellers changing minds (not with our buyers/sellers but the stories abound within our Real Estate community that is is happening frequently)

Last night the California Association of Realtors announced that we’ll be returning to being able to host Open Houses as of 5/15. We are still waiting to hear the specifics of how this will work… stay tuned.

3/27/2021

Here’s this Thursday’s idea for home improvements, that add value to your home, before you do the “listing scramble”.

TILE – if any of you follow me on Instagram , #lindsayandkelner, you know I love tile!  You can transform a bathroom with a fun pattern, it’s been fully embraced by the design community.  We are seeing most newly remodeled bathrooms with a combo of tile patterns being used.  It screams “current”.  I recently helped a client with a small bathroom and we did a subdued gray color theme, but 3 different patterns and it turned out smashing.  (watch for it on my instragram soon)

Kitchen backsplashes have been using fun tile colors and patterns for awhile- my only caution is make certain the pattern doesn’t take over.  In a kitchen where the backsplash often wraps the entire kitchen you want to make certian it works with all the other elements; cabinets, appliances, window treatments and so forther.

I like to immediately find a salesperson when I enter a tile store and ask them to show me the patterns people are chosing frequently and then I ask what they personally like.  Often you’ll receive an honest response and you can weight them.

3/23/2021

Here’s our newest listing https://www.youtube.com/embed/52p-l5wjrPw  check it out!

760 Shearton Dr. San Jose  CA 95117  , 4 beds and 2 baths, a 2145 sq foot on a 7200 lot for $1,450,000.00

This home is just up the road from Merrivale West- so if you like the general location let us know and we can arrange a showing!

 

3/18/2021

Thurs Home Prep idea:

Rent a Pressure Washer.  You can make your front entrance area and back patio sparkle when you remove the gunk.  While smaller pressure washer models can be purchased for less then $200.00, big box home improvement stores also rent them out at affordable rates.

Its a simple process- hook up a hose to an outdoor wate spigot, turn on the machine and have a fun afternoon experiencing immediate gratification as you spray away the grim.

If you follow me on instagram and facebook  @lindsayandkelner you’ll see video and photo’s of me enjoying myself pressure washing at several of my listings; it’s my favorite clean up task (have to admit I do love to pull weeds AND trim trees… but special place in my heart for power washing)

3/16/2021

I like this description of the Real Estate market by opinion writer Cara Ameer:

The 2021 real estate market is off to a challenging start for buyers, but it’s more than thrilling for sellers. Extremely low inventory, mega multiple offers and homes being absorbed the moment they come on the market make it tough for buyers to have success.

On the other hand, many sellers are simply overwhelmed by the number of offers they are receiving. Trying to sift through them all to determine which ones have the best chance of getting to closing can be daunting.

Frenetic markets often lead to frenetic decisions, particularly from buyers who might be throwing multiple darts as quickly as possible with the hopes of something sticking. Oftentimes, rushed decisions lead to cold feet and properties returning to the market after inspections, regardless of whether inspectors found major or minor issues.

Appraisals that are nowhere near the contract sales price might also derail the deal for those buyers who were fortunate enough not to have to waive their appraisal contingency in the first place.

Would-be sellers are hesitant to sell their property due to uncertainty about where they might go next?

 

How does this translate with our current inventory numbers, which took an upswing this week:

Single family homes in Santa Clara are currently 832 units, as of 3/16, which is an increase of 34 units over the prior week of 823 units.  34 units is a fairly large increase when the prior weeks either had an -7 units and +7 units.

Townhomes and Condos have 394 units which is another sizeable increase of +31 units.  Prior week, 3/9, had been 512 units.   Of the 394 units there are 149 townhouses and 394 condo’s and the prior week, 3/9, the break down was 148 townhomes and 364 condo’s.  You can see the townhome market is consistent and the increase falls into the condo category.

It should be interesting to see if this is a blip or the trend continues next week.

3/11/2021

Each Thurs I’ll be posting some renovation trends/suggestions for Merrivale West sellers to consider when prepping their home.  Many homeowners feel that home renovations are daunting BUT if you tackle them over time (not just the month before you want to list your home) you can enjoy the renovations/updates while you live in your home AND take small chunks out of the large list you may have drawn up.

Here’s my list for sellers to consider:

  • Kitchen and Bathrooms updates will pay you back when you go to sell. Consider these on your “big” list. Cabinets, counter tops, appliances.  Consider choices that are on the clean and contemporary side, if you want to appeal to todays buyers.  Buyer still love stainless steel appliances, but if that is an option try for all in one color.  Quartz countertops still rein as the number one kitchen countertop choice, as its resistant to bacteria, they are man made and non porous.
  • Fresh Paint and flooring will always pay off – check out current color trends for ideas. Floor surfaces have come alone way- currently there are terrific options with plank vinyl that can have the look and feel of a wood surface or tile.
  • Front entry clean up. You can rent a power washer and give the steps and concrete a new look free of marked pathways, cobwebs, and old leaves and debris.  Consider the front door paint- does it need a wipe down, fresh coat of paint?  Doorbell; is it working, or would you consider a newer smart technology option like a Ring doorbell?
  • Back patios freshen up. Trim or remove overgrown plants.  Power wash the patio surface.  Consider slimming down your potted plant selection to a few pots that are strategically placed.
  • Lighting update. Kitchen light boxes aren’t a current look and scream “70’s”.  Canned lighting is a fresh look, can be installed with “green” aspects (another renovation bonus), older button ceiling lights can be inexpensively installed/replaced with a more contemporary look.
  • Replace older door handles and knobs. This you can do as a smaller project and replace older brass style with newer brushed nickel.
  • Fresh Light switch Inexpensive to replace.
  • Declutter. Starting now! Recycle your unused stuff (we all have it..) it’s good for everyone.  Letting go is challenging but very freeing as well.

Feel free to reach out- your list may be smaller or larger but I assure you all of the above will bring you positive responses from a potential buyer.

 

3/9/2021

1381 Millich Lane went under contract in 4 days- which is very quick considering the average days on market for townhome properties in Campbell to go PENDING is 11 days.  I throw a caveat in there- they were listed as Coming Soon on the Multiple Listing Service for several weeks prior and had photos (most Coming Soon won’t have photos because they are still in the prep stages, but because this property was listed at end of 2019 they had photos) so buyers could potentially have been waiting to visit after viewing on line.

We are now almost at the  one year anniversary of the Pandemic shutdowns being in place. Covid protocols are still in place for the showing of homes- even though our county has gone into the Red status and some changes have gone into effect.  For the Real Estate industry we still have no Open Houses and all visits to properites are scheduled in advance with only 2 buyers and an agent able to visit the property at a time.  All visits much sign a disclosure that they will follow protocols ie. Limit touching, masks worn, safety guidelines, etc

Here are some market indicators for Townhomes in Campbell, based on end of Feb results

The Selling Price vs Listing Price reveals the average amount that Sellers are agreeing to come down from their list price. The lower the ratio is below 100% the more of a Buyer’s market exists, a ratio at or above 100% indicates more of a Seller’s market. The February 2021 Selling Price vs List Price of 102.4% was up from 99.9% last month and down from 103.4% in February of last year.

The number of New Listings in February 2021 was 14, down -6.7% from 15 last month and up 16.7% from 12 in February of last year.

The February 2021 Selling Price per Square Foot of $693 was up 1.0% from $686 last month and up 0.1% from $692 in February of last year.

The Average Sales Price in February was $955,517, up 1.6% from $940,450 in February of 2020 and down -14.9% from $1,122,500 last month. February 2021 Average Sales Price was at a mid range compared to February of 2020 and 2019.

 

 

Townhome and condo inventory in Santa Clara County

Week oF:/units/ increase or decrease from prior week

2/9 –489      (7)

2/16 –519    +30

2/23 –512    (7)

3/2 –505      (7)

3/9 –512       +7     * condo #’s 364 and townhouse #’s 148

Looks like a steady market for most Sellers in the townhome category- not as aggressive as Single Family homes – but very solid.   It’s still a good time to be a Seller!

 

I’m going to be adding a weekly feature to this Blog- each week on Thurs (my goal to be that consistent in posting) will be dedicated to prep ideas for selling a home.  I see many opportunities that are not overwhelming for Sellers to consider that can have impact.   I hope you look for this new feature and reach out if you have comments!

 

2/22/2021

I visited 1381 Millich Lane on Friday and it shows well.  It has nicely chosen upgrades: plank vinyl flooring, updated kitchen with s/s appliances, wide baseboards. I found it interesting that the 2nd bedroom upstairs seemed to be a bit bigger than other homes with this same floor plan, as did the width (but not length) of the patio. Garage was cleaned up and had some cabinets (older versions) but still extra storage.

The added enhancement of Millich Lane is that 2 car garage and the driveway. We have found this to be very attractive to buyers and a rarity within townhomes complexes to have 2+ parking available.

The last 1056 sq foot unit that sold in Dec 2020 at 1375 Pinehurst Sq, took 18 days to sell. They had a list price of $879,000 and close of $888,000. But the one that is every buyers and homeowners memory as the highlight of 2020 was 1379 Pinehurst Sq, which sold back on 7/30/2020. The difference was the list price of $788,888 and a close of $905,000, they were active for 8 days. That strategy still works to gather up a lot of attention based on list price and condition.

 

2/10/2021

So far the  2021 Real Estate market  has remained consistent: low inventory, single family homes highly desired, low days on market and sales above list price but not by huge margins. Townhomes are slightly less active, and condos are considered the more challenging market.

Consider that in the Campbell real estate area there are currently 29 active Single-Family listings and 59 pending’s *. 16 new listing came on the market in the last 0-7 days and 12 properties went pending in that same time.  That is a swift turning of active properties into pending.  * 10 of the pending’s are new construction

In the townhome/condo category there are 37 active listings with 29 pending’s.  14 properties came on as Active in the last 0-7 days and 7 went pending.

The surrounding areas have similar Active listings for single family homes: Cupertino 27, Santa Clara 25, and Cambrian 22.

Townhomes/Condo’s active listings: Santa Clara 43, Cupertino 10, Cambrian 6, Sunnyvale 35. Keep in mind Cupertino and Cambrian area’s both have lower number of townhome and condo’s complex compared to areas such as Campbell, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale.  *New construction complexes are coming online in both Santa Clara at the Nuevo complex by Summerhill Homes- which is a dense build out with 457 for sale Residential units and 537 apartments. They have almost completely sold their built-out units and will break ground on the last phase in the next few months. In Sunnyvale there is the Prism by Dividend Homes complex which has 62 units in the complex and the Elev8tion by Taylor Morrison. There are other new build outs coming online but these 3 are the only ones currently listing some of their units on the MLS as Active.

Showing activity is busy for most new listings and Listing agents are challenged to get all showing requests organized.  Both David and I have been arranging showing, since every showing requires an appointment and disclosures to be signed and sent to the listing agent, in a range of area’s and price points.   We have been able to get our clients into contract on properties in downtown San Jose, Santa Clara (new construction!) and Santa Cruz in the past couple of weeks!   I have also had to complete in multiple offers situations and had Listing agents cancel scheduled appointments because their sellers took a preemptive offer.  Much is going on!

If you are considering selling your home and moving in 2021, I’d recommend looking into prepping your home- the ones that are move in ready, staged, and priced correctly are the one’s that are turning quickly.    Call us- we’d love to talk about how to set the stage for success!

Quick note on Millich Lane- still listed as a “members only- coming soon” no showing availability.

1/22/2021

New Coming Soon property 1381 Millich Lane

My prior post was fortuitous – there is now a listing on the MLS as “members only- do not show” which is a coming soon.   1381 Millich Lane shows a list price of $899,000.   This property was on the market in late 2019 and it did not sell (8/2019-10/2019) for the same list price.

This will be an indicator of how different our current market is from late 2019.  IF all conditions of the property remain the same.   I do recall they had an “appt only” showing directions and the listing agent had several well turned out Open Houses during the listing time period in 2019.   Currently we don’t have the ability to host Open Houses and  due to Covid protocol ALL listings have to have an appointment.

1/15/2021

Middle of the month- seems like we’ve been in “January” a lot longer than just 15 days.

We have some inventory build going on in the Campbell real estate zone – as of today we have 30 active listings, 14 pendings in the townhouse/condo catagory.  11 of the active listings came to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the past 0-7 days.   There are a total of 5 properties that show up on the MLS as “members only” listings.

This “members only” is a new feature on the MLS that allows us to market listings prior to them becoming available to show and to have exposure out to MLS members, they are not shared with any axillary websites.  The “members only” properties fall into 2 categories  “members only no show” (this will allow MLS members/agents to share this information with their clients) these properties are not considered ACTIVE yet, so no “Days on Market” will accrue a until the listing agent changes the status to ACTIVE.  There is also “members only show” which are considered ACTIVE but which also have “No Days on Market” adding up.  As with the other category of “members only” these listings will not show up on websites (Redfin, Zillow, etc) you’d only be able to view them if you received the information from the MLS.  (hint there is currently only 1 of these properties in the Campbell area and  4 of the “members only” don’t show i.e. “coming soon” in the townhouse/condo market, and 3 “members only” don’t show’ in the single family home category.

Confused?  – Very understandable because it is confusing.  The takeaway is that if you are only utilizing searches on the consumer websites like Redfin and Zillow you won’t see these properties until/unless their status is changed to a regular ACTIVE properties.  MLS members can give their clients a heads up on properties that are coming on the market in the future and a few that you might not see at all.

We have all our buyers on an MLS search, and they receive updates on these properties. If you are actively searching and waiting for what is soon to come on the market reach out and I’d be happy to send you a MLS search for the area/area’s you are considering.  You will have a better view of what is coming on the market.

1/4/2020

Happy New Year!  May this year bring everyone peace, happiness and health.   A better year for all.

2020 Sales Stats:

  • 11 sales in the complex in 2020 verses 10 in 2019
  • Percent close to list price +3.2%
  • Average closed sale price was $861,909
  • Active Days on Market is 12.5

 

2019 Sales Stats:

  • 10 sales in the complex 2019 verses 8 in 2018
  • % sellers received over list price .45%
  • Average closed sale price was $855,600
  • Average days on market increased to 34, verses 14 in 2018

The take away-

Average number of units sold increased, a more active market

Average % sales price over list price increased

Active days on market was less in 2020 then 2019

Average closed sale price increased from 2020 to 2019

While it seems that some recent closed sales in the complex didn’t hit the mark in sales results, overall it was a better year….   For the most part Sellers have been more realistic about list price (there are always exceptions) and less of them needed to take price reductions.

The need for strong marketing has always been important, but in the past 9 months were buyers were forced to truly “shop on line” before arranging a showing, signing disclosure documents prior to a visit, “mask and glove up” and arriving at a set appointment time, the initial presentation of a property – strategic upgrades, staging, photo’s, video, and floorplans – critical. 

Welcome 2021!

12/30/2020

1375 Pinehurst Sq closes at $888,000- $10K over list

Congrats the seller and listing agent at 1375 Pinehurst Sq- this afternoon you’ll see the updated numbers on the MLS.  I spoke with the listing agent and she confirmed the sales price and that she received 3 solid offers.

I had written about visiting the property on my 12/4 post – they had a attractive property, it was well priced, staged and updated. They did it right- and it paid off.

Keep in mind that 75% of buyers are now looking at properties on their handheld devices-  if you property doesn’t look enticing from the first photo on.. you’ve probably lost a lot of interested buyers. We are all searching and swiping quickly (I know my time on my handheld is broken into short time frames and swipe off/on quickly- I’m like everyone else)

 

 

12/29/2020

1320 Charmwood Sq is officially posted as “closed” on the MLS.

This unit is the 1368 sq foot unit. All of the 1368 sq ft floor plans were built as corner units and had 2 beds, an upstairs sitting room, and 1 car garage. This unit had converted the upstairs sitting room to a 3rd bedroom. We’ve seen that done several times in other 1368 sq ft units and generally that has been a boon to the number of buyers who are interested.

The last time a 1368 sq foot unit was sold was in 5/11/2018- it was our listing at 1434 Millich Lane and was sold at $1,060,000. 1434 Millich Lane had no discernable updates and was not staged.

12/28/2020

1320 Charmwood Sq still shows “pending” on the MLS,  however the listing agent confirmed today that is “closed” at $898,000.

He plans on switching the status soon. This listing was active for 54 days and had a close of escrow date of 12/17.

The agent told us they’d received an offer 3 days after the property was active in September. They decided to hold off on accepting that offer because it was below, significantly, the list price (at that time it was listed at $999,000). Further along in the listing they had another offer, again below the list price.

Finally after they took a price reduction to $899,000 they received, in a short period, of time 5 offers.

There is a saying that “sellers list at a price they’d like to receive, but buyers decided what the value of the property really is”

There is one more “pending” on the MLS- Pinehurst Sq, and they have a close date listed as 12/28 (today) as soon as they post I’ll be updating the final 2020 results for Merrivale West, so check back later this week.

I can tell you one year end stat: in 2020 there were 11 properties in the complex that were sold, 2019 there were 10.   In many ways 2020 outperformed 2019 in the local real estate market, which does seem counterintuitive due to the pandemic and an economic slow down.  However the Silicon Valley market continues to be extremely active.   2021 should be interesting!

12/16/2020

Our local MLS (which comprised of 5 counties – Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo,Monterey and San Benito) reports for November 2020:

“Driven by high demand coupled with low inventory and continued low interest rates, the real estate market in the five MLSListings counties maintained its blistering pace during November. Closed sales improved in all counties over the same month last year; in fact, November activity in San Benito and Santa Clara counties was at its highest in 11 years. In Monterey and San Mateo counties, the last time November had this much activity was in 2012, and Santa Cruz had its best November since 2017. Median sale price once again grew across the board compared to November 2019, ranging from 3% in San Mateo County to 25% in Monterey County. The median time a listing spent on the market (i.e., days on market, or DOM) stayed at 12 days or less in all five counties, as DOM once again decreased everywhere. Low inventory continued to be a factor in all five counties, with only San Mateo showing a 19% improvement over the already-low inventory versus November 2019. Meanwhile, inventory was down in other counties year-over-year, from 10% in Santa Clara to 32% in Santa Cruz. “

When drillig down into the  condo/townhouse market the results are a bit choppier; in Santa Clara county we have more listing active (the most since 2011), our median sales price increased in Nov 2020 from Oct 2020, our days on market DOM decreased to 13 days from 14 in Oct 2020, but was significantly better then 2019; when we had 23 days DOM in November.

I’m happy to provide the plethora of reports and data that show the markets results, just email me and I’ll forward them  Patricia.kelner@cbnorcal.com.  If you are considering selling in 2021 you’ll want/need to know where the market has been in order to plan the for the future.

Tomorrow is the listed close of escrow date for 1320 Charmwood Sq – if you remember this listing is the largest unit (and a much coveted end unit).  They had take a 100k price reduction and had been on the market for 54 days prior to find a buyer.

12/4/2020

No movement in the complex this past week –

1375 Pinehurst Sq is still active, and 1320 Charmwood and 1374 Cherrywood are still in the pending mode. 1374 Cherrywood has been in escrow since 10/19 so they should be closing any day (generally escrow periods run 25-40 days in our area) 1320 Charmwood has a listed close of escrow date of 12/17/2020.

We visited 1375 Pinehurst this past week.  It is well presented and staged.  The kitchen has been updated at some point in the last 15 years… wood cabinets, granite counters, updated appliances and lighting.  Floor is engineered hardwood through main areas and no “popcorn” ceilings.   The unit has the direct access from the home into the garage (a plus).

The question as to why they are still active after 15 days- could be several reasons. Time of year and THE year (2020).  Sales in the Campbell area for the townhome and condo market are slower then prior months and recent years.  Currently 41 active listings and 9 pending’s that went under contract in the past 0-7 days.  Of those 9 units only one was on the market less then a week and the average Days on Market was 46 days. Historically November and December are months that have fewer new listings coming on the market.

Recent closed sales, for this floorplan and bigger units, have sold at a lower price. That is a reflection of the current market trends, but it could also be condition/upgrades. Many factors are involved with what makes a property sell quickly or linger longer.

We currently are working with several sellers who are actively making plans for listings after the 1st of the year – even through interest rates and inventory levels are low Sellers feel that late winter and early spring will be work better for them to prep and place their homes/properties on the market.  Much hope for 2021!

 

11/20/2020

New listing 1375 Pinehurst Sq

New listing posted yesterday – the 1056 Sq foot floor plan.  List price is $879,000.  Last 3 closings for this floor plan were:

1348 Millich Lane, closed 9/2020 at $865K,

1468 Millich Lane, closed 7/2020 at $890K

1379 Pinehurst Sq ,closed 8/2020 at $905K –note this was a total upgraded remodeled unit 

I would say that sold prices in the complex have declined from the high of 1379 Pinehurst, which keep in mind was marketed and put in contact in August. 1359 Cherrywood will post any day, and that will be closing under $860K.

The new listing was last sold in 11/2016- you can check out how it was presented at that time on the mls #ML81628014.   From current listing agents photos and comments the upgrades since the last sale have been new flooring and fresh paint. Staging is in place and it’s attractively presented, staging always makes a property show better in photo’s and in person.

 

11/16/2020

3 Cherrywood Sq closings, a Pinehurst Sq “coming soon” and what to make of the current market

1389 Cherrywood Sq closed on 11/14 for $825,000- which was the list price. The seller never did have this property actively marketed on the MLS prior to accepting an offer. They had a “coming soon” sign in the front of the property and also did have it listed on the MLS as a “coming soon”.   *“coming soon” properties are only able to be viewed by Realtors who are members of the MLS.

1359 Cherrywood Sq, a 1056 sq ft floorplan, was set to close today however the listing agent told me they’ve pushed the closing date back to the end of the week.  They were listed at $859,000.  She told me that while price was considered by the seller terms and conditions factored in greatly, thus it will not be an over list price sale. 1374 Cherrywood should also be closing this week based on the date they went under contact. This listing agent used an out of area MLS and they show different information, thus a closing date is not listed.

There is a Merrivale West  property that is showing up at the MLS as a “coming soon”- 1375 Pinehurst Sq.  They have it listed as $879,000, it is a 1056 sq foot floor plan.  My guess is that may change based on the results of the most recent closed sales.

I’ve also been following the rental market for Merrivale West and we’ve seen a range of $2,900-$3,200 asking for montly rentals in the complex. * for 2 bedroom floor plans, the 1 bedroom floor plan is generally significantly lower.

Currently there are 2 listed on Zillow- 1328 Merrivale West Sq, the 1292 Sq Ft floorplan which has been on the Zillow platform for 34 days and they are asking $2,695 monthly.    1403 Millich Lane just was posted 8 days ago for $3,150 monthly.

I’ll keep you posted on the next 2 Cherrywood Sq closings.

11/10/2020 

San Jose Mercury News Article ” Bay Area prices soar again in Brisk Market”

Bay Area homebuyers shook off any lingering reservations about shopping during the coronavirus pandemic, driving median sale prices up nearly 20% in September in a tight housing market.

The median sale price of an existing Bay Area single-family home climbed to $965,000 in September, near peak levels set in 2018, according to DQNews and CoreLogic data.

Real estate insiders say a swell of high- end sales pushed prices higher, as homebuyers sought bigger houses and yards for a longterm future of remote work.”

Which is very upbeat and positive for Single Family homes-  however at the end of the article

Condo prices dipped nearly 2% in Santa Clara County and almost 8% in San Francisco, according to DQNews.”

The desire and need for buyers to find more space -increased indoor and outdoor space, higher room counts ect have factored into the increase in buyers trying to move into the the Single Family home market.

We worked with Buyers and Sellers in Sept/October. A townhouse listing in 95136 which received multiple offers and sold over list price in 6 days of Active timeframe. We listed a single family home sellers at 1516 San Gabriel Way, in the Willow Glen area. 4 offers and $150,000 above the prior sale of the property that took place in MAY 2020.  *this was not a flip; the buyers, who moved to CA and the home 5/2020 had decided that due to remote work they could live closer to family verses CA. They decided to move back to their home state to be closer to family. They made money on owning a home in CA for less then 5 months 🙂

Meanwhile our buyers found a home in Blossom Valley, after several attempts, decided they needed to compete with an no contingency offer. That offer get them into contract and moved!

11/4/2020

No changes in sales/listing activity at Merrivale West since last week – 3 pendings and 1320 Charmwood Sq still active.  Its very unusual for a unit the size of 1320 Charmwood Sq to remain Active for +40 days.  At 1368 Sq ft with a converted upper level sitting room was into a(nicely done) 3rd bedroom. They took a price reduction early on in the listing period from $999,000 to $949,000 on 10/16- which is the same week that 3 other Merrivale West properties went pending.

Campbell  overall has had a slow couple of weeks – only 3 properties went pending last week and only 2 the prior week.  *condo’s and townhouses.

In the single family home category there was a little more activity; 11 pendings last week and 7 the prior week.  Cambrian area has had more activity with 18 single family homes pending last week and 14 the prior week.   Their number of active properties have been similar; in the mid 40s range.

* Cambrian, which include 95124 and 95118 has much fewer condo/townhouses inventory so difficult to make a comparison.

Hopefully post election we’ll see some more Campbell activity.

10/26/2020

Feels like FALL today- chilly am and warm sunny afternoon.  Air feels fresh and crisp –  lovely time to buyer or sell a house!  It least that is what our local market continues to tell us- even though there are many things that currently feel off kilter, homes continue to sell.

In the last 9 days at Merrivale West  3 homes went under contract; and to top that one of those homes hadn’t even been listed on the MLS as Active, only has a “coming soon”.

One property, that has struggled to find the right buyer was taken “off market”.  This home has not only struggled to find the right buyers they have struggles to find the right list price and had changed listing agents mid stream.   1459 Woodgrove Sq was removed from the MLS after 58 days and 2 price changes.  Prior to this round, last year they listed on 11/8 through 1/22, with a different Broker and Realtor, they had also tried out several list prices during that period.  They had also done a series of different marketing/showing strategies, having at one point they stating in the MLS notes they were during remodeling/upgrades while on the market.

Our advice as we meet with prospective sellers is that having your property ready the day you become an ACTIVE property is vital.  There is not a “trying it out” period in the market.  Buyers expect to see a list price that is in the current range of fair market value (which means could be very much on the low side of value but it you go over the perceived market value your home it has reduced chance of being considered) and condition.

Pricing your property at fair market value, from the start, will generate the most activity from Buyers and Real Estate agents.  The price must attract enough attention to result in showing and offers.

Studies show * Coldwell Banker Comparable Market Analysis data

IF the pricing is :

15% over market value    The property appeals to :   20% of buyers

10% over market value                                                30% of buyers

5% over market value                                                  50% of buyers

Current market value                                                   95% of buyers

It’s much better to be in the 95% range – then only 20%….

10/17/2020

More Merrivale West listings then the complex has had at one time for years.  4 actives and  1 listed as“Coming Soon”- which I’ve been told will not be hitting the MLS as Active, as they have accepted an offer.

1389 Cherrywood has a “Coming Soon” sign up and does shows up on the MLS as “Coming Soon” for $825,000. It is  the 1,292 sq ft floor plan, 2 beds and 2.5 bathrooms, one car garage.   My understanding is that it did not bid up.

I visited 1374 Cherrywood Sq yesterday – this is a 1220 sq ft floor plan with 2 beds and 1.5 bathrooms- one car garage listed on 10/8 for $795,000.  The agent is out of area and there was limited prep work- no staging. The list price does reflect condition and the 1 and ½ bathrooms.  The agent did have an offer date listed as 10/20- Tues, but he texted me and asked if my client was writing an offer as he’d received a preemptive offer.

Both the active Cherrywood Sq listings, 1374 and 1359 Cherrywood Sq don’t have for sale signs – but interesting enough the “coming soon” listing- with a sale sign up is the one that has received and accepted an offer…

/11/2020

Pricing ranges galore in the 4 active listings in the complex – $795,000 for 1374 Cherrywood Sq, 1220 Sq and 2/1.5 bed/bath count to $999,000 for 1320 Charmwood Sq for a 1368 sq and 3/2.5 bed/bath count- a seriously wide range.

My guess is that 1374 Cherrywood Sq will find a buyer and they will see an fairly solid increase over list price and the higher priced listing may take longer.   Buyer respond to lower range of value listing price, when in place while the listing is new the market.  (check out the last 2 closed sales)

10/8/2020

New listing in the complex yesterday – 1359 Cherrywood Sq. The 1056 floor plan and this has a nice location within the Cherrywood Sq somewhat tucked away for privacy. The list price of $859,000 appears to be spot on for the level of upgrades and presentation.  My guess is you’ll see the sales price climb a bit over the list price.

The listing agent at 1359 Cherrywood Sq  is gracious and we were able to visit the property this AM – I was also able to visit 1320 Charmwood Sq with a client last week.  While the photo’s on the MLS  give you a sense of the property seeing it in person is very helpful in determining pricing/value.

Note:  the mural on the wall below the stair case at 1320 Charmwood Sq  appears to have been hand painted, the counter from the kitchen that opens to the dining is without a edge and is lower then the original kitchen build out, thus it cannot be used as a breakfast bar.  Unless you are really looking hard its not obvious which properties still have popcorn ceiling intact. As you may know, visiting property during this period when Open Houses are not allowed is challenging.  You generally have to be a serious buyer and working with an listing agent; who can arrange the showings and signing of the necessary disclosures for any person, agent or vendor to enter the home  you have to rely on photo’s and written description.  Which may leave a lot of information about the property unknown. We try to see as many properties as possible to be able to share that information with our clients.

Regarding popcorn ceilings I just found a new vendor who will do the removal for a reasonable price – reach out and I’ll share his info.

Woodgrove Sq did a price INCREASE on 10/5 back up to their original list price of $899,000. They had taken the price reduction to $799,000 on 9/2.  The price reduction had been a reaction to 2 other Merrivale West listings  that came on the market end of July and early August that both had a list price of $788,888 and both had single digits for Days on Market.  Getting the list price right to begin with is CRITICAL to your success at receiving attention and interest from buyers  and ultimately offers.

10/3/2020

Beginning of October and there is significant activity in the market- a topsy turvey year.  Historically this time of year our inventory levels start to increase as we head into a slower fall selling season.  But as I’ve written about this year is very different, we are seeing inventory at low levels as single family home purchases are, in many cases, selling quickly and with over list prices.

Townhome and condo markets are different –

Currently there are 49 units in the condo/townhouse market in Campbell available and 17 Pendings.

Single family homes have 35 units available and 68 pendings.     2 very different markets.

Front page article of the SJ Mercury News on Sat 10/3

“That demand has kept prices high. Last month, the median sale price for a single-family home in the county increased by nearly 14% over September of last year, according to Goss. But the condominium market appears to have softened; the average price for a condo or townhome was down 4.5% over last year.”

As of today at Merrivale West there are 2 active listings;

1320 Charmwood Sq newly listed (9 days) at $999,000- it is the largest floor plan in the complex and an end unit.

1359 Woodgrove Sq which is now 43 days on the market (that doesn’t include the several months it was on the market last fall/winter & early 2020.

A “Coming Soon” is showing up on the Multiple Listing Service at 1359 Cherrywood Sq, this has been a rental for many years and was purchased back in 1974 by one of the original owners.   They place to list at $890,000 for a 1056 sq foot unit.

What we see happening is well prepared and realistically priced units are selling in the townhome market.   Experience with preparing and marketing make a huge difference in the close of escrow price sellers receive.

Last week we had a listing in the Willow Glen area – a lovely single family on a tree lined street with Campbell schools.  Our sellers had purchased the home earlier this year at the height of our Shelter in Place rules– we represented them as buyers agent.  They had to relocate to Silicon Valley for jobs and were very happy with the house and location.   But 4 months into living in the San Jose and working from home, limited social interactions and ability to enjoy all that our climate has to offer they decided to move back to the area they grew up at and where their family and friends still live want to have family and friends to support them and can do their jobs from there (really anywhere).

We went back on the market and 6 days later had received 4 offers – ALL strong and over (significantly) the list price.

I also helped a young couple who had been pre approved with Navy Fed Credit Union.  To use Navy Fed you have to have been in the military or have a relative that qualifies in the military.   They proudly told me they had a ZERO down loan pre approved and my first thought was “this is not going to work in the Santa Clara county area”  I was honest and they looked into other forms of finance, but came back and said they wanted to try using the pre approval with Navy Fed.  Sooooo we tried…  I told them I’d do my best and they understood the chances weren’t terribly high of an offer being accepted with Zero Down, 20 day appraisal contingency, 30 day loan contingency, and a 45 day close of escrow period.

We made an offer on a townhouse in Morgan Hill – it was in rough shape, had been on the market over 25 days and had tenants living in the property.   The listing agent told me our offer was so low that they would not consider it. I asked her to counter – 3 counters back and forth and we were in contract.  We met in the middle.

The sellers hadn’t completed any inspections prior to placing the home on the market – they looked at it as saving money to have the buyer order and pay for the inspections.   We did the inspections, property and termite, and there was many issues (which we could see during our visits, so no surprises) we negotiated further with the sellers and they agreed to credit the buyer $6,000 towards closing costs.

IT worked – and have to say in my 15 years I’ve never had a buyer receive funds at close.

9/24/2020

1348 Millich Lane closed on Wed 8/23, list was $788,888- the same as list price as 1379 Pinehurst Sq (and size) close of escrow was $865,000, while 1379 Pinehurst Sq closed at $905,000. The difference in the 2 units, sold less then one month apart, was the upgraded elements. 1348 Millich had some of the kitchen remodeled with original cabinets still in place but painted and same with bathrooms. Both had new flooring, counter tops in kitchen, paint. 1348 Millich Lane did have the acoustical ceiling in place.

Also to note the Pinehurst Sq unit utilized staging – I believe that makes a big difference in how buyers view homes. Staging helps buyers envision actually living in the space- not thinking about what it would look like with furniture. It is worth the investment.

9/22/2020 3:17pm update

update:  1459 Woodgrove Sq has been switched back to the correct classification – Townhome/condo

9/22/2020

Are you wondering where the 1459 Woodgrove Sq listing went?  It was Cancelled on the MLS, and interesting enough, the agent relisted it as a SINGLE FAMILY home.    Which is quite a novel approach to marketing a townhouse….

Also the listing agent changed brokerages.  Lots of spinning going on.      

It appears that some remodeling was done recently- carpets removed and acoustical ceiling taking out.  I’m basing this on the photo’s- and they finally staged the home and took new photo’s.    Same list price (reduced from their original list of $899,000) at $799,000.  and what didn’t change it that it still shows 30 days active.

9/15/2020

½ way through September – how is that possible when our lives all seem to be in a slow mode due to the challenges of being outside (air), not being in large groups and socializing.   It’s a very plodding a long feeling for me and I imagine most everyone else too.  And YET! – the Real Estate market continue to have low inventory and single family homes in Santa Clara county continue to sell at a quick pace with low days on market and increase over list price.

Total single family homes for sale on the MLS in the entire Santa Clara County, as of this AM, is 923 units. That is a mere 4 units over the prior week ( generally after a holiday weekend we will see inventory increase because sellers held off placing homes on the market prior to a holiday). A 4 unit increase is a low number.

The townhouse/condo category has a total of 682 units and that is up 7 units over the prior week.

Campbell area has a total of 41 single family homes Active and 53 townhomes/condo. But where there  is the difference in the 2 categories; Single family has 60 units pending and townhomes/condo’s have only 22 units pending.

The Days on Market for Pendings in both categories are similar-21 days for SFH and 19 days for townhouse/condos- BUT the actives (the ones that are hanging out not sold) SFH is 41 days average and townhomes/condo’s is 55 days average- that equates to an additional 2 weeks.

Sales results for the past 30 days for Single family homes closed on average 4.6% above list price (50 homes) and for townhomes/condo (22 units) an average of 2.9%  when you break out townhomes from the condo category townhomes were 4% and condos a much lower 1.5%.

In the Merrivale West complex 1349 Millich Lane remains pending. Their original close of escrow date had been listed as 9/10 and that date came and went. They have now updated their close of escrow date to be 9/24.

1459 Woodgrove Sq is still Active- the listing agent has notes that they are doing remodeling from 9/8-9/18.  It’s unusual to be doing “remodeling” in the middle of marketing a property, especially since they had remodeled/updated the kitchen prior to this listing. The new list price that they lowered to on 9/2 doesn’t appear to have kicked off a flurry of offers, which is generally the goal when a large price reduction is taken during the Active period ( original list on 8/23 was $899K and price adjustment to $799K on 9/2)

I always want to put out to all of you- that any questions about the market/ Merrivale West activity please reach out – I love to share the ins and outs.  We are in such an unusual fall – historically this time of year in our area it’s slower demand and we see inventory building, this year it’s the opposite.  I also have some insights into the rental market – again very different trends from pre Covid and higher end rentals verse lower end rentals are also different.  I’ve even seen owners advertise 6 month rental periods – unusual.

Last note- don’t forget to change out your furnace a/c filters – I’ve been suggesting everyone switch them out much sooner then you are used to, 3 months verses 6.  I’d like to say you’ll be amazed at how dirty the filters are, but you won’t because we are all breathing and seeing the dirty air.

Stay safe!

9/2/2020

You might have noticed that 1379 Pinehurst Sq closed recent and they did quite well- with a close price of 13% over the list price of $788,888. This strategy of pricing was an approach that was used throughout 2017 and first 1/2 of 2018 successfully. We referred to as “dynamic pricing”; list on the low side of value and create a multiple offer scenario where the buyers would bid up the sale price. It worked very well as an way to garner a lot of attention a for most any property. We had a market where the savvy buyers were aware the list price was really just the “starting” price. 

Mid 2018 the market in Santa Clara county was at its peak, end of May prices stabilized and the market activity slowed. We began to see Sellers list their properties closer to the actual price they expected- the market had shifted. Sellers weren’t receiving the massive # of multiple bids and there were not the overbids going on. It became prudent to list your property much closer to what you expected to actually receive.  

1379 Pinehurst was a remodeled property and they had the luck of market timing- June 2020 we began to see activity levels increasing and single family homes in particular began to move at a quicker pace, July began to take off even more aggressively with activity levels and sale of well priced and presented homes moving quickly. Inventory tightened up. The trend continued through August and even homes that had sat on the market with an upward tick of Days on Market.

1348 Millich Lane came on the MLS and they did the same pricing approach.  They are pending with a close of escrow date scheduled for 9/8/2020.  Their results will be interesting, as they weren’t as remodeled and not staged at all.  But they did have the extra parking that is their driveway (a big draw).

Then just 9 days ago 1459 Woodgrove Sq came back on the market after having been listed and withdrawn at the end of 2019 and early 2020.  The Seller did some kitchen updates and came back on at a list price of $899,000.   Comparable sales were close to that list price- but with the 2 prior listings in the complex having priced on the low end of value to attract maximum attention – it was a very different listing price strategy and may have been confusing to buyers.  Hence today they dropped their list price by $100K.

I’m not certain how that will work 9 days in- the first week of a listing is the most attention a property receives in terms of internet viewings and in person visits. The first question a buyer generally asks is “how much is the home listed for?” and the 2nd question is “how many days has it been on the market”

8/24/2020

New listing, actually a re list from 2019, 1459 Woodgrove Sq. We sold this property to the current owner on 8/18/2017 for $850K. The seller listed the property on 11/8/19 with the Realtor who helped her purchase the property on 11/08/19 for $915K and then quickly lowered it to $899K 14 days later. They left it on the market until 1/22/20 when the listing was cancelled on the MLS.

The seller had, as that point done no upgrades from when it was purchased. After taking it off the market in early 2020 she and the listing agent worked towards having the kitchen updated and from the photo’s it appears that new kitchen cabinets, counter tops, flooring in kitchen and entry have been completed.  All other upgrades had been completed when it was listed in 2017.

The pricing strategy is the opposite of the last 2 listings that are currently pending. They listed low and quickly gathered up offers that pushed their offer prices higher. We are still waiting to see how they ended up as they are currently in Pending status.

This listing is on the higher side of list prices. Only 2 properties have sold above $900K in the complex since 6/13/19. Earlier this year 1439 Golden Meadow, which had the same strategy; a re listed property from late 2019 listed for $899K and end up with a cash offer and received $947K, 1331 Charmwood Sq was sold in 6/13/19 for $988K *check out the “sold” property tab for details.

The current listing agent is from a different brokerage then when it was listed prior.

8/12/2020

Here’s a quick snapshot of data points from MLS Listings for month end July regarding the townhome/condo market- this includes all of Santa Clara County:

In Santa Clara County, the median Residential Common Interest home cost $830,000 and sold in 15 days for 101% of the list price based on 351 sales in July 2020. • Inventory rose 16% from June, but is down -7% from July 2019 with 692 homes available, compared to 748 homes last year. • Average days on market (DOM) increased 3 days from 23 to 35 or 9%; median DOM dropped 1 day from the month before. • Number of new listings for the month of July increased 27% over June and was up 21% from July of last year. • Closed sales increased 31% from June from 268 to 351 and were up 8% from July 2019.

My weekly stat’s show that on 8/11 (tues am) the Townhouse/Condo market in Santa Clara was at 642 unit active on the MLS

8/11/2020

1348 Millich Lane has accepted an offer- preemptive prior to the date they had listed as the day they would receive offers. In fact in the private comments the listing agent still has the offer date comments in place. I’m seeing this quick turn happening on some well priced properties. Sellers aren’t holding off when they receive a strong preemptive offer.

Listing agents are working fast to move all interested parties along when they start to see showing activity and interest.  I was working on showing a listing in Evergreen area that had been active for only 3 days.  When I contacted the Listing agent to set up an appointment she reached back and told me it was pending, she was in the process of changing the status. She’d had 5 offers total.

Today I was in conversation with another listing agent regarding a Los Gatos property that has been active for 1 day he told me the sellers wanted to hold off on reviewing offers till the property had been active 7 days, BUT if an offer came in at X amount they’d take it immediately. I guarantee they will receive an offer within the next day or two. My buyers and I are visiting it tonight 🙂

Advice to buyers: if you think the property is desirable and well priced arrange to visit it asap. Sellers and Listing agents aren’t waiting, they are ready to spring into action.

8/10/2020

The new listing at 1348 Millich Lane has posted an offer date of Wed 8/12 at 12:00.

8/6/2020 6:00 pm

Newly active property in the complex at 1348 Millich Lane this afternoon!  They are trying out the same list price as 1379 Pinehurst Sq did – $788,888.  From the photo’s it looks like there have been some recent upgrades – flooring, paint, kitchen counter tops and appliances.  No staging in place.

The properties on Millich Lane generally have an extra parking ability- since they have their garage and the driveway in front of the garage.  That adds value.  This is the 1056 sq ft unit and they do have a 2 car garage.

8/6/2020

1379 Pinehurst Sq went pending after 8 days on the mls.  Based on their list price of $788,888 they were (obviously) hoping that they’d receive enough attention to receive a substantial overbid.   The last 2 Merrivale West properties that were of the same Sq Ft floor plan, 1056 sq ft, sold for significantly more. 1428 Millich Ct $816,000, sale date of 5/21/20, and 1433 Golden Meadow Sq at $947,000, sale date of 2/27/20.

Our local market is a Sellers’ market – the economic nationwide gloom we feel throughout the past months has not translated into how Santa Clara County has performed with regards to residential real estate sales currently.

Condo’s and Townhomes, which has been less aggressive market  then single family homes sales were up in terms of price received for close sales and number of unit sold. Median sale price in JULY of $829,500, up 3.6% from $800, 512 in JUNE 2020.  Compared to JULY 2019 the median price was up 3.6% up from $801,000. Average sale price in JULY was $905,350 up 2.9% from $879,616 in JUNE 2020 and up from JULY 2019 which was up 2.6% from $882.187.

*Median mean middle (the same number of properties sold above and below the Median

Properties that sold (closed escrow) were 352 verses only 268 properties in JUNE 2020, 31.3% higher. That shows how active the market became in June, when most of these properties would have entered into contract.

Our slice of the Santa Clara county market in the Campbell area currently; as of today has 44 Active properties and 21 pending’s. 22 properties closed escrow in July. They had average days on market of 16 days and an average list price of $778,897, with a closed sale price of 786,518 at .97% over list price.

22 units closed in July, 20 in June, and only 11 in May 2020.  Compare those numbers to the Single Family Home category 53 in July, 37 in June, and 33 in May 2020.

Interest rates continue to be low; sellers are feeling they don’t necessarily need to be so close to work as they are looking at not commuting to work for the rest of the year, and probably much longer for many tech companies.  It’s a wide open guess as to what will continue- but for right now it’s a Sellers’ Market again.

7/29/2020

The Santa Clara county market is holding, even in the midst and ongoing Pandemic times. Lots of sales activity…and an average number of listings coming on for this time of year. Inventory is not really growing, in fact we have seen a decline in Active properties in single family homes (Santa Clara county)last week (but an increase the prior week)  on Tues  7/28 AM there were 989 homes available- that was down 29 from the prior week of 1018 available. Condo/townhouses were at 592 units available with a decrease of 7 units from prior week’s # of 599 units on 7/21/2020, and the prior week in this category had also been an increase.

Locally in the Campbell area the turn is a good clip for Single Family homes, but the townhome/condo market has a slower pace, higher inventory levels. While sellers are still receiving over list price in the townhome condo market (4 units)  that was a mere .7% last week, while the Single family homes that closed (16 units)  had an average of 2.5% over the list price.

As I’m writing this on Wed afternoon there are 48 single family homes for sale in Campbell and 38 townhouses/condos. There were 10 units that went Pending last week (0-7 days) in SFHs and only 5 in the townhome/condo market)

Keep in mind the .7% over list comes out to $5,512 (average) for the townhome/condo sellers and for SFHs the 2.5% over list averaged $35,139.

We were on both sides of the listing agent/buyer’s agent last week;  receiving offers on a newly renovated SFH in Willow Glen that went over list price by 3% with a non-contingent offer (one of 2 received) and a buyer’s purchase in Alum Rock neighborhood of San Jose that we went into contract for 6% below the list price. TOTALLY different markets but that is the equation I’m happy with ( over list on the sellers side and below list for my buyers J ) Those kind of ranges in location, type of homes and price points are interesting to work in; it allows us to have a broader sense of the market and hone our skills for negotiating. It’s important to know your local market but also what is happening throughout our valley area.

7/22/2020

Currently no active listing on our MLS – but received an text from a fellow local Realtor, on Monday 7/20 , that a coming soon email has been circulating about a new listing in Merrivale West (price and location included), which because we have a new rule for our multiple listing services in not in compliance with state and national MLS policies.   The Clear Cooperation Policy, adopted by the National Association,  is aimed at benefiting consumers and ensuring a level playing field for brokers and the public, the new policy requires MLS-participating brokers to share listings with other brokers in the MLS within one business day of marketing the property to the public.

Many buyers have seen a for-sale sign for a house that wasn’t in the MLS, or have asked their agent about a property they found online.   Low inventory levels and tech-enabled pocket listings have resulted in a growing number of off-MLS listings, leading to questions of fairness and serving sellers’ best interests. Amid mounting frustration, brokers, agents and MLSs across the country asked NAR to consider policy that would reinforce the consumer benefits of cooperation and that policy was adopted in late 2019 and became effect this spring.

Section 1.01 – Clear Cooperation

Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public. (Adopted 11/19)

It’s always unfortunate when a policy that is intended to create fairness and promote cooperation is ignored.

 

7/10/2020

1468 Millich Lane closed today- $890,000, $9,000 below the list price of $898,000.   The last sale for this floor plan was 1433 Golden Meadow Sq on 2/27/2020 which closed at $947,000

All things equal I believe 1468 Millich Lane did well- so much has dramatically changed since Feb.   The townhouse and condo market is less aggressive then the single family home and we continue to see that play out as we enter what has traditionally been slower months in No Cal Real Estate.

I’m reminding myself as I write this the thing about basing our current market expectations on historical trends is that we are in such a different phase, so its challenging to make normal assumptions; showing properties is a cumbersome process, buyers and agents are relying on photographs and disclosures prior to visiting homes and deciding whether to visit a home, lenders are backed up so approvals and close of escrow dates are taking much longer (due to low rates and an influx of Refi’s lenders are backed up dramatically).

On that note a big word of caution- when making an offer be certain to query your lender as to their current timeframes- even if it’s a lender you’ve used and trusted before.  The big banks are very backed up.   I just had a buyer in contract and on day 23 of the contract with a CitiBank lender we could not get confirmation that the underwriter had reviewed the file. The area manager (yes, we did a “karen” and took it to the manager) was unable to get an expected date of the underwriter viewing the loan/contract since Monday – But today I received this response.     (on Monday they were 6 days behind already and our close of escrow was suppose to be MONDAY 7/13)

“We are struggling with capacity issues and yes these capacity issues are impacting more than just your client.  We are doing our best to get caught up, this loan is on our priority list and unfortunately we still have several loans ahead of this one with COE dates ahead of this one.  We are pulling loans by close date to try and hit or get close to meeting COE for as many loans as possible.  Given current capacity, this loan will be reviewed early next week, Monday or Tuesday is the ETA.”

Many challenges for buyers- so sellers need to be patience, realistic and work with an Realtor that can really dig into offers and verify dates/current trends and monitor the process day by day.

6/27/2020

Mid year already!  And yet it feels like much much more time has passed since early March when our lives and the market took a different turn with Shelter in Place going into effect in our county on 3/17.

January and February, especially February, were HOT in the real estate market.   Homes were selling over list and in short periods, 1433 Golden Meadow was only active for 3 days and they received a premium offer – $947,000 at 5% over the list price.   They listed on 2/24 and entered into contract 2/27- they just missed all the Covid drama.    Where as 1464 Woodgrove Sq, our listing, listed on 3/10 and entered into contact on 3/22, right as we all were settling into Shelter in Place rules and limitations on showing properties to the buying public.   We ended up closing 1% below list.

The only other property that has sold in the complex in the past 6 months (yes, 3 total) is 1428 Millich Ct and they came on at very low list price of $749,000.   They wanted to generate interest – and they did receive an offer in 5 days.   The close price was $816,000 for a unit that has 1292 sq, which is the 2nd largest floor plan in the complex.  They had the largest sq ft of any of the sales in 2020 but ended up with the lowest sq foot $ received at $631.58.   They listed on 5/15 and entered into contract on 5/21- 5 days.   *1433 Golden Meadow Sq received $896.78 per sq foot and 1464 Woodgrove Sq received $805.79.

While there have been 3 pretty different outcomes one common theme is they all had fairly short Days on Market (days they were active on the MLS)  The average for all condo/townhomes sold in the first ½ of 2020 for 95117 was 36 days, and if you take just townhouses it was 22.   The Merrivale West homes sold much quicker at 3, 12, and 5 days.   That speaks well to the desirability of the complex and way buyers want to purchase, rather quickly, Merrivale West homes.

What will the 2nd part of 2020 bring for Merrivale West sales- in 2019 the bulk of the sales in the complex took place in the later part of the year.

Stay safe!

6/3/2020

New Merrivale West listing today at 1468 Millich Lane, 1056 Sq foot floor plan with 2 beds and 2 baths.   The sellers took a big leap with a list price of $898,000.   The current pending property at 1428 Millich Ct has more sq ft and and additional bathroom  and was listed for $747,000.   Back in Feb – when the market was RED hot 1433 Golden Meadow Sq did have a list price of $899,000 and ended up with a sold price of $947,000- but it’s a different market due to the past few months, so it’ll be interesting to watch how the market reacts to this list price.

The photo’s show upgraded kitchen and bathrooms, one of which appears to have been reconfigured with the remodel.  This unit is on the end of Millich Lane where the owners have a 2 car garage and an extra parking space- a bonus to many buyers.

5/23/2020

Happy Memorial Day weekend –

1428 Millich Court went pending on 5/21 – after 5 days of being active on the MLS. They plan on closing escrow on 6/18. They did have multiple offers and are in contract over the list price, which was to be expected with the lower listing price of $747,000.

5 days on the market is significantly lower then what the recent trend has been for townhomes and condo’s in our area. There are 10 townhomes/condo’s Pending status in the Campbell area – the other 9 of them (besides Millich Ct) averaged 17.7 days on the market. However, the 3 properties that went pending this week were 5 days, 3 day and 5 days.  A much quicker turn.

Last week was the first week since 3/17 Shelter in Place that Real Estate professionals were officially allowed to show properties that were Occupied, prior to that during the SIP we were only suppose to be showing Vacant properties. The rules are that no occupants are suppose to be inside the property during showings and there are guidelines for mask wearing, sanitizing and other safety protocols. All buyers, vendors and agents who visit property should be reviewing and signing an disclosure and advisory prior to the visit.

Coldwell Banker has provided us with a Protection Plan that we post at each listing and adhere to. Keeping everyone safe is important to us all and you.

Enjoy the sunshine this weekend.

5/15/2020

Wow- new listing 1428 Millich Ct at an incredibly low list price of $747,000.   This unit is $1,292 sq ft and a 2 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom.   The pictures on the MLS show a very clean and tidy home.   The upgrades don’t appear to be recent- but it certainly is not original condition.

The last unit that sold with this sq footage was 1436 Millich Lane and they went into contract on 3/19/2019; which is about 14 months ago and they ended up with a closing price of $925,000.  But more recently the sale that would be comparable in terms of  sq footage and bedroom and bath count was 1433 Golden Meadow Sq, a 1056 sq foot unit with 2 beds and 2 baths. They went into contract on 2/27/2020 and closed at $947,000 on 3/20/2020.  * this property had been listed in 11/2019 and was pulled off the market as they did not receive the activity they wanted and relisted on 2/2020. They went under contract after 3 days of being relisted.

Unfortunately due to Covid 19 showing rules there will be no Open Houses, but many agents are doing Virtual Open Houses.   We are only allowed, as Realtors, to physically show properties with one agent and 2 buyers from the same household being present.

This sounds challenging, but it is really good we have clear guidelines that helps to keep everyone safe.

I’m very intrigued to watch what happens with this listings, as most sellers are receiving offers that are close to their list prices.  This appears to be a dynamic pricing strategy that will hopefully translate into a lot of attention for the listing, and that in the past has increased the number and amounts of the offers received.  However if that happens that will be different then what most sellers are experiencing in this recent market.

All that said, as I’ve written about prior, I’ve participated as a buyer’s agent with full use of technology, since my buyers were out of state, and we were up against multiple offers.  We ended up getting in contract with an over the list price bid and are closing the single family home on Monday!

Crossing my fingers for them and hoping they receive much interest.  I’ll keep you posted.  Stay Safe.

5/13/2020

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We did see another week over week inventory increases in Santa Clara county – Total single family home available 1026 an increase of +21 homes and for townhomes/condos we have a total of 438 units for an increase of +18 units.  *as of 8:00 am 5/12/2020

5/7/2020

1464 Woodgrove Sq closed on 5/1- we are happy that we were able to move forward during the Shelter in Place and be able to find a buyer, move into contract and close the sale!  We had a list price of $789,000 and ended up closing at $780,000 with the sellers being able to stay in the property for a brief period after close.    Both Buyers and Sellers are relieved that they could move and execute this major life transaction (selling an buying a home is a major life stressors according to various studies and add on to that a Pandemic!)

This Monday the SIP rules were adjusted and we can now show occupied properties – we had been instructed only to show Vacant properties and to only 2 buyers at a time.  The number of buyers that can be shown in a property at one time is still in place.

Today and yesterday the San Jose Mercury News ran front page articles about the state of the Real Estate Market titled  Home sales, price expected to dip, recover  http://mercurynews.ca.newsmemory.com/?publink=124610d28.    I’m not certain the article was clear, in fact I rather found it slightly confusing.  Certainly we’ve seen less sales of total home overall.  Inventory levels are low, as some sellers have held off on their plans to place their homes on the market and others pulled them off the market BUT those sellers who did step off the curb have for the most part experienced good results.  The last few weeks we’ve begun to see increases in the inventory levels.

On 5/5, last Monday, Santa Clara county had 1005 single family homes for sale which is an increase over the prior week by 53 units and Condo’s/Townhomes had 420 units a slight increase of 9 units.

Have a good week as we all enjoy glorious weather and begin to see some loosening up of the SIP orders- but please be safe and keep your distance.

4/29/2020

We are facing more weeks of the Shelter in Place – and I think everyone would agree that are many many challenging aspects (a huge understatement)  However, we are adapting and moving forward in the residential Real Estate world. The mid to lower range properties that are vacant and priced correctly tend to be turning into pending sales at a solid pace.  List prices reflect a slight decrease over prior month list prices- but not significant.

Santa Clara County inventory Active Properties

Single Family                      Condo/Townhomes

As of      3/31       745                                      317

4/7         820                                      345

4/14       868                                      380

4/21       907                                      405

4/27       952                                      411

Single family inventory increased by 45 homes this past week and Condo/Townhomes increased by 6 units.

We’ve seen a steady number of new listings coming on the market throughout SIP

New listings Santa Clara county                  Single family                      Condo/Townhomes

Week of 4/24                                                  112                                      39

Week of 4/17                                                  89                                         23

Week of 4/10                                                  89                                         24

As you can see we have a slight upswing last week and I think that is because Sellers and Agents are feeling more comfortable with using the technology tools that we’ve all been adapting to using; Virtual Open Houses, Virtual Staging, floor plan maps and room dimensions posted on the MLS AND Sellers are no longer willing to wait and see when this situation ends. Right now it looks like we have many more weeks of Social distancing and adjusting to this Covid Virus situation. Sellers are moving forward with plans to list and buyers are active and engaged when new properties come on the market

Current inventory in Campbell- as of today 4/29

Single family homes 39 active      26 pending/contingent

Condo/Townhomes 25 active       12 pending/contingent

Please stay safe- hang in there and remember we are all in this together!

4/17/2020

Day 31 of Shelter in Place. I hope all of you who read this blog are safe and finding ways to stay informed, healthy and sane during this time.

The CARES act is in place to help people negatively impacted by the Covid 19 virus.  Important to remind homeowners that Forbearance and credit protections have to be approved and agreed to by your loan servicer, they are not automatic. Reaching out sooner rather than later is important.

There are even forbearance provisions for owners of multifamily owners of property, IF your mortgage is federally related, so again you’ll need to check with your servicer.

The Real Estate market is still active – interesting enough February 2020 was across the country one of the strongest February’s in history.  (Seems years ago at this point..) so the shutdown has obviously slowed that momentum and displaced the market. However there are still sales and closing of escrows taking place, albeit at a much lower rate.

We personally helped clients enter into a contract to purchase a home this week– and it was all done remotely. By leveraging technology, following the new rules for safety and keeping the public safe we were able to utilize virtual tours via our laptops, on line meetings, share floor plans, AND the lender even agreed to have the appraisal completed as a desk appraisal.  !!!

As in every Real Estate transaction honest, direct communication is a key- but in this transaction it became paramount.  Many conversations took place regarding locations, neighborhoods, commute times, quality of the remodeling repairs (the home is move in ready and Sellers have updated most of the home during their ownership) and almost anything and everything that involves living in Santa Clara county as our buyers are moving from out of state. With technology backing all of us up and the ability to be in real time remotely we all felt good about the decision to purchase.

Note: the home the buyers purchased received multiple offers- yup, in the time of the Shelter in Place there are still multiple offers. Our Real Estate market has not fallen off a cliff; prices (so far) have remained consistent.

1464 Woodgrove Sq is on track to close escrow in 2 weeks – all parties to this transaction relied on technology to make the process move forward, safe distancing at all times and mutual trust that everyone had the same goals to complete the sale.

If you have any questions about the effects of Covid 19 on the Real Estate market or rental market please reach out- we’d be happy to hear from you and share what we know.

STAY SAFE

4/9/2020

As the CARES Act is in the process of being implemented information is coming on line-  I’ll be trying to post  links to information that may be helpful.

One point that is continually stated and restated during the webinar’s we are attending, through Coldwell Banker and our National and State Realtor Associations, is that our current situation is a Medical crisis and not a Financial crisis.   There are many tools out there to deal with the financial aspects of the current situation – our markets and lending institutions are still functioning and actively working to update and support processes to keep us moving forward through this time period.

Here’s a good link to anyone with questions about CARES Act and mortgage forbearance, there is a brief video when you scroll down that is helpful.

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/

4/8/2020

Day 21 of our Shelter In Place –it’s tough and straining on all of us and our resources. But we are find new ways to approach not only the day to day but also our work environment.  I’m certain almost everyone would agree these is not such thing as “business as usual”

Currently we are still having homes being sold and purchased.  As Realtors we are supposed to be using the new laws that relate to the Pandemic and Shelter in Place. Some Sellers have chosen to wait out this period, but others have chosen not to and they see it as an opportunity to continue to move forward with their goals. Also there are Sellers who have a need to sell their properties for a range of reasons.

Today David and I are conducting a “virtual walk through” with clients who are in NYC and need to move to our area by early summer. We will be donning masks and gloves to visit a vacant property  using Facetime to show the clients the floorplan, interior features, exterior features of the property.  We’ve reviewed the inspections and disclosures the Sellers provided so that we can look at and discuss any issues or questions the buyers might have regarding those documents. It’s a new way of showing property!

In the Real Estate world our local organizations – California Associations of Realtors and many brokerage companies are attempting to help all of us sort through what is allowed and isn’t during the marketing, showing and contract phases of the Listing and Purchasing of a home. We are receiving clarity and training about the various government programs for aid/help being discussed.  Coldwell Banker has advised us to strictly follow the state mandated guidelines for working with clients.

Our current guidelines from California Association of Realtors:

  • Showing should be done virtually, if at all possible
  • All activities should be completed electronically, if at all possible
  • Only a single agent and no more than two other individuals are to be in a dwelling at the same time during a showing. If other persons are necessary for a showing, they should wait outside or in their vehicles to observe the social distance guidelines.
  • Sellers are to be advised that they should not be present within a dwelling at the same time as other individuals. Sellers are to be advised that they may remain on the property or in the common area of an HOA but not in the dwelling unit itself while agents, buyers, inspectors or others are viewing it. If a seller insists on remaining on the property, that seller is to agree to the terms and sign the declaration (see below) that is required for persons entering the property.
  • Agents should read and understand the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to protect yourself. This is critically important!
  • Any persons on the property must agree to adhere strictly to the social distancing guidelines at all times by remaining at least six feet apart per the recommendations established by the CDC.
  • Any person entering a property shall provide by declaration that to the best of their knowledge, they are not currently ill with a cold or flu; do not have a fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, or exhibit other COVID-19 symptoms; have not been in contact with a person with COVID-19; and will adhere to and follow all precautions required for viewing the property at all times. All persons visiting a property will agree to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer prior to entry, and to wear disposable rubber gloves and a protective face mask, if one is made available. In addition, sellers must disclose to all persons who enter the property if the seller is currently ill with a cold, flu or COVID-19 itself, or has a fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms, or has been in contact with a person with COVID-19. Further, if anyone who enters the property is later diagnosed with COVID-19, the person who is diagnosed must immediately inform the listing agent, who will then make best efforts to inform everyone who entered the property after the person diagnosed, of that fact.
  • Sellers and buyers must be expressly made aware of the risks of showing and visiting properties: that it may be dangerous or unsafe and could expose them or others to coronavirus (COVID-19). Sellers and buyers must be advised of their responsibilities pertaining to COVID-19 protocols regarding social distancing and other CDC guidelines.
  • The agreement of the seller allowing any person entering onto the property or into the dwelling must be expressly obtained from the seller. Apart from marketing and pre-marketing activities, a standard purchase agreement grants the buyer broad discretion to conduct various inspections and investigations. The seller should be apprised of their obligations under the purchase agreement so that they enter into such agreements with a clear understanding of the attendant risks.
  • To the extent possible, the use of various third-party services providers for non-essential services must be avoided and, where unavoidable, the providers must agree to sign an agreement to follow CDC guidelines.
  • REALTORS® should follow the above protocols when conducting any in-person interactions, but should refrain from any non-electronic unsolicited marketing during the COVID-19-related declaration of emergency.
  • Brokers should consider extending listings and putting a hold on marketing activities or other accommodations for those who, for health or other reasons connected to the COVID-19 virus, wish to stop actively marketing their property for the duration of the governor’s stay-at-home order.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, communications with clients should be done via electronic means or by telephone. In person conversations should be minimized unless absolutely necessary.

Best practices related to entering a seller’s property:

  • Listing agents should not leave brochures and flyers in the property but instead utilize any showcasing or other marketing features available through one’s MLS system to highlight the property.
  • All showings are to be held by appointment only.
  • Discourage anyone who does not need to view the property from attending a showing.
  • Agents conducting the showing should meet clients at the property and not drive the client to the property, so as to minimize risk. Information relevant for the showing should be provided in advance to the clients electronically. Keep in mind that MLS rules generally require agents to have obtained seller’s permission for client to enter without the agent being physically present.
  • Consider limiting in-person, non-virtual showings to “serious” potential buyers, who are those who have provided verifications of funds and lender prequalification letters to show they are able to purchase the property that is the subject of the showing.
  • Let the seller know well in advance that there is an appointment for a showing.
  • If using a lockbox, be sure to disinfect the key, the box, and the doorknob prior to utilizing.
  • When using disposable gloves, be sure to put them on prior to entry and to dispose of them after leaving each property.
  • Ask seller to turn the lights on and leave interior doors, drapes and blinds open. If the property is vacant, agent should ensure these tasks are taken care of prior to the showing.
  • Refrain from touching any surface during a showing.
  • As indicated above and following the CDC guidelines, maintain a safe distance from anyone in the property by staying a minimum of six feet apart.
  • If the size of the residential unit makes it difficult to maintain the six-foot distance for all parties attending the showing, individuals may need to wait outside and come in the property one at a time, at all times maintaining proper social distance.
  • Bring your own sanitizers, and gloves — don’t rely on others to bring them. If hand sanitizers are unavailable, liquid hand soap for hand washing should be made available.
  • Follow suggestions in the CDC’s Cleaning & Disinfecting Guide and provide this information to your sellers, advising them to disinfect the property according to those guidelines after the showing is complete.
  • Discussions after the showing with the seller or clients should be conducted through electronic means such as email, telephone, Zoom or FaceTime, rather than in person, as maintaining a conversation while adhering to the social distance guidelines is difficult.

For HOAs, have the seller obtain a copy of any new rules that may govern showings of common areas or entry to the property.

 

Landlord-Tenant Issues in the Coronavirus Environment

Landlords and tenants have been impacted by Federal, State and local Executive Orders, and judicial decrees, imposing eviction restrictions and temporary rent relief due to the Coronavirus pandemic and Stay-at-home laws. Two new forms have been added to our form library at CAR that will help the landlord and tenants address and clarify how to proceed when there is a rent payment issue/delay/repayment.

Please reach out to us and we can walk you through what these new laws and the documents a landlord or renter can enter into to protect both sides.

Lastly – please be aware of new scams regarding the CAR act – all websites that deal with these programs end in .gov.

Please stay safe and follow the Shelter in Place guidelines for your own safety and for our community as a whole. We would be happy to try answer any questions you might have about the state of the current Real Estate market, Rental market and support available. Reach out –   Patricia & David

3/30/2020

It is amazing that during all this SIP there is still activity- more so in the  early days of the SIP, as buyers had been out prior to the SIP and been able to visit properties, now that’s challenging because as Realtors we’ve been instructed that we should not be interfacing with anyone face to face, thus no Open Houses.   It’s a whole different process trying it that way, but Coldwell Banker and our California Association of Realtors have been very active in working to clarify and give us tools to continue to market properties and provide protections/clarifications to all parties when there is a contract formation.

Our local MLS now lists any property that has been listed since 3/17 as 0 days on market, to send and support the message it’s not business as usual when considering a normal Days On Market count.

We are still seeing Sellers place homes on the market 0-7 days  there have been  96 new listings for Single Family homes and 66 for the condo/townhome category.  Some Sellers have reasons that they need to sell – our office had at least 2 single family listings last week that the sellers decided not to wait any longer and the listings went active.

I’m seeing some very interesting comments from Realtors bringing new properties on line- some using Virtual staging (could be tricky as when a buyer finally see’s properties it could look vastly different with old paint colors, flooring, kitchens etc) also some NO showings so you can only make an offer subject to inspections (as some point because Property Inspections have been deemed “non” essential*) but my favorite marketing I’ve seen so far is “This home is a perfect environment for you and your family to Shelter in Place”

So far no big price differences in the new listing and the recent closings indicate the market prior to the SIP (mostly) so they aren’t an indicator yet.

*3/28 the Federal Government’s classification of residential and commercial real estate services as ‘essential’ businesses.  However, it’s complicated…

The state of California and the various counties each have their own respective lists of ‘essential businesses’ and neither of them expressly included residential real estate services. California Association of Realtors has put out a message which assumes that the Governor’s order has changed based on the Fed’s revised list, however, C.A.R. may or may not be correct with this assumption. The Advisory Memorandum from the Fed states, “This list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered, a federal directive or standard…Individual jurisdictions should add or subtract essential workforce categories based on their own requirements and discretion.”

AT this point we are still being instructed to stay with No face to face interactions and virtual showings when possible.

3/23/2020

Happy to share with you that 1464 Woodgrove Sq is in contract and PENDING status.   While  I’ve been writing that there has continually been market activity continuing during the Covid 19 news and the Shelter In Place orders any Realtor will tell you it’s challenging in every aspect.   Challenging for Sellers to be allowing showings and Buyers to be making decisions.  We appreciate our Sellers who have been very accommodating and tuned into where we are in the world right now- same with the Realtor and buyers who brought in an offer.

Our local inventory of Active properties is declining.   In the Campbell area we have 11 Active Condo/townhouses and 23 Pendings.     For Single Family there are 24 Active and 43 are Pending.

In the last 0-7 days there have been 8 single family homes that came on the MLS and 2 Condo/Townhouses.

3/20/2020  11:00 am

I tallied the 0-1 days on market  activity:  basically anything that took place yesterday and so far today

 Current Inventory Levels in Santa Clara county

Single family homes: 717

Condo/Townhomes: 287

NEW Active  Listings  in Santa Clara county

Single family – 19

Condo/townhouse- 11

Properties that entered into a Contract

Single family total- 18

Condo/townhouse total 6

Breaking down of the 2 status’s

Pending– (if the agent is posting correctly this  means there were NO contingencies in the contract)

Single family –  13

Condo’/townhouses – 3

Contingent ( has some contingency in place)

Single Family- 5

Condo/townhouse- 3

Sold- Closed Escrow 3/19 

Single Family  25               DOM (days on Market) average: 15           Median price: $1,450,000                Sold over list price +4.7%

Condo/townhouse – 8    DOM (days on Market) average: 24           Median price: $770,000                 Sold over list price +3.9%

 

*This is truly a snapshot- but the #of new listings and properties going under contract do indicate buyers and sellers are still engaged.

The entire industry is working to figure out how to do closings electronically, disclosures about buying without seeing the property (it’s happening) and more.   Daily information is coming our way.

Here’s what the local MLS has done to stop days on market accruing:

In light of the Shelter in Place (SIP) order, the MLSListings Board of Directors approved a policy to suspend the accrual of days on market (DOM) on all listings from March 17, 2020 until the SIP order is rescinded.

Specifically, this means that:

  • All Active listings will stop accruing DOM effective March 17, 2020.
  • Any DOM accrued prior to March 17, 2020 will remain with the property. For example,

o             A property listed on 3/1/20 would show 16 DOM and will not increment until the SIP order is lifted. If the order is lifted on 4/7/20, then on 4/8/20 it will show 17 DOM.

o             A property listed on or after 3/17/20 will show 0 DOM. If the order is lifted on 4/7/20, then on 4/8/20 it will show 1 DOM.

o             If a listing is Cancelled, it will show only DOM accrued through 3/17/20.

  • All Withdrawn listings (which do not accrue DOM) after 3/1/2020 will be marked as New in Matrix only, when returned to Active.

3/17/2020

Today is day one of Santa Clara County “shelter in place” orders.   While it’s daunting to consider the next 3 weeks and what this will mean to our private and work lives I also believe it is much needed to protect all of us from Covid 19 and halt the spread of the further infections in our area.

Our listing at 1464 Woodgrove Sq is available and garnering interest- please check it out on line.  We did have a strong Open House last weekend.  The people who visited were respectful and aware of keeping “social distancing”.    Through discussions with many of them it appears that there still is a big desire by buyers to find new home- one couple told me their lease was up May 1st and they had a baby on the way!  Lots of motivation.

We are both taking the opportunity to spend some online time taking classes and live Webinar’s and reaching out to family, friends and clients.  There seems to be a collective need to connect- I’ve never been a part of so many ongoing group text chats.

As we enter this strange new environment we’ll all depend on our technology more then ever -BUT please beware their are more Fraud attempts being reported.   Real Estate transactions have always been a big target for Fraudsters – so please verify before sending any funds.   It is recommended to call and speak with the person directly who is requesting the transfer before following any emailed instructions.

Here’s the most recent Market data that our MLS has provided for Santa Clara County regarding Townhomes and Condo’s FEBRUARY 2020:

In Santa Clara County, the median Residential Common Interest home cost $792,500 and sold in 12 days for 102% of the list price based on 258 sales in February 2020.
• Inventory rose 5% from January, but is down -39% from February 2019 with 319 homes available, compared
to 527 homes last year.
• Average days on market (DOM) dropped -19 days from 53 to 34 or -36%; median DOM dropped -20 days
from the month before.
• Number of new listings for the month of February increased 15% over January but was the same as
February of last year.
• Closed sales increased 26% from January from 205 to 258 but were up 34% from February 2019.

Keep in mind that our local market would have even more aggressive numbers- Campbell area has been HOT from January -February.

Stay tuned I’ll be blogging more frequently – as my goal is to continue to share the information we are receiving from Coldwell Banker and our local partners.   Stay safe and wash your hands frequently!

3/13/2020

1464 Woodgrove Sq is Active – please check it out on line,  and we have flyers at the property.  PLUS we will hold an Open House this weekend.   Plenty of hand sanitizers and we’ll be practicing Social Distancing.

You may wonder how our current global and local situation is effecting the Real Estate market ?  In the past 0-3 days there have been 177 Single Family homes put under contract in Santa Clara county.

Here’s our local breakdown

Campbell

Pending in the last 0-3 days:  13 single family homes, 2 condo/townhouses

Inventory levels – Single Family 28 units and 9 were added in the past 0-5 days

Townhouse/condos 21 units and 9 were added in the past 0-5 days

While none of us know how the Real Estate market will continue, for now we have both Sellers and Buyers engaged.

Please reach out to either David or I if you have any questions about the market or 1464 Woodgrove SQ

 

3/6/2020

We are excited to announce we will be having a new Merrivale West listing this coming week – stay tuned as we’ll be up and running on TUES and hosting a Open House on WED AM

Going into the weekend we are still in low inventory numbers for the Campbell condo/townhouse market.  Only 19 active condo/townhouses, but the other part of the conversation is that is 5 properties went pending this week and we had 8 new listings.

OF the 8 properties that Closed Escrow they had an average of 9 days on the market.  9 days!!  (keep in mind that our year end Days on Market for Merrivale West listings in 2019 was 34 days)  Condo’s (3 total) % of list price to sale price was almost flat at .07% over list, however townhouses (5 total) had 4% over list price.

We are excited to announce we will be having a new Merrivale West listing this coming week – stay tuned as we’ll be up and running on TUES and hosting a Open House on WED AM

2/28/2020

1433 Golden Meadow is pending- 3 days active on the MLS.    They had relisted at $10K more then their listing price in last fall.

quick snapshot of what the  town home/condo inventory is like as of today:

Campbell market

  • 15 actives
  • 23 pending/contingent sales
  • 7 properties changed status to Pending/contingent in past 0-7 days
  • 8 closed sales in the last 0-7 days

OF the sold properties that are in the “town home” category
520 W Sunnyoaks Avenue Campbell,   List $999,000 Sold $1,050,000 

75 Union Avenue #6 Campbell,   List $899,990  Sold  $950,000

3157 Loma Verde Drive #52 San Jose,   List  $829,000 Sold $840,000

AVERAGE days on Market – 9

2/24/2020

1433 Golden Meadow Sq has been relisted as Active.   This property was listed from 10/28-11/26/19.  During that time period they did have an offer date and time set but never went pending (accepted an offer)   Agent’s notes state that the seller now has secured where they are moving and thus ready to sell again.   I think that means they are more serious.

The market IS very different from November and I’m fairly certain there will be renewed interest.  How the prior listing period effects buyers interest is probably minimal, since the market has moved forward.

I was able to work with a buyers who were able to get into contract this weekend.  They were able to purchase a single family home in Cambrian.  We competed again 21 offers.   Whew- this as a challenging market.  One of the keys was having realistic clients and knowing the current market in that area (we’d written several contracts in Cambrian and Campbell in the last week, frustrating at the time but great learning curve in a market that has ramped up)

Also we presented a very “clean” offer – no contingencies, pre approval with a loan officer that picked up the phone and spoke with the listing agent about the buyers qualifications, prior conversations with the listing agent about what the sellers needed/expected,  all disclosures signed and presented in a manner that we easy for the listing agent and sellers to review.    It took coordination, diligence and patience from the buyers, loan officer and myself – a true team effort that paid off.

2/20/2020

Inventory is moving. After the 3 days weekend we’ve seen markets experience an increase in inventory, while at the same time listing agents are confident to be posting offer dates (a sign they feel  they will be receiving multiple offers)  I wrote last week I’ve personally been involved in several multiple offer scenario’s and a couple more this week.   It’s a market where writing an offer with contingencies in place generally won’t work nor will offering list price.

In the Campbell condo/townhome market there were 4 sales that posted CLOSED Escrow this past 0-7 days and they averaged a total of 9 days on market (DOM).  Keep in mind these are sales that went under contract in mid to late January.

One of those closed sales was 3159 Payne Ave #27, a PUD townhome just down the street from Merrivale West. They had listed in early January and closed escrow on 2/14.   List price was $789,000 and Closed sale price was $900,500.  It is 1,300 sq ft, 3 bed and 2.5 baths.   I’m certain that increase would not have happened in Oct, Nov or even Dec (when some properties started to turned at a faster rate)..

2/12/2020

The Real Estate market has been heating up- this past weekend I toured properties with clients who were interested in 3 properties.  Here’s what happened to those properties.

2914 Manda Dr, San Jose 95124 – a single family home that had been extensively remodeled.  It was listed for $998,000. 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms in a 1,515 sq ft interior.  Very charming home that had all the bells and whistles any buyer would want; new kitchen and baths, floors, paint, new lighting open floor plan with a lot of natural light.

The list of what could have been considered less then perfect –no landscaping; the entire backyard was black bark, slab foundation and a wall furnace was the only heat source.  Buyers didn’t care. 27th offers were received and 8 of those 27 offers were above $1,150.00, as reported by the listing agent.

Dynamic pricing worked!  List below market value and allow buyer’s interest to run up the number of offers and viola! Buyers took big leaps in terms of offer price and there were no contingencies in place for most of the offers.   It was like competing in 2018 all over again- we didn’t experience much (if any) of these kinds of competitive situations in 2019.

Sure, it was a single family home listed below $1M and you might ask how does that reflex the townhome market in the Campbell area?  Well, 2 other Campbell townhomes we visited  each recieved 4 offers yesterday  and both are in contract significantly over list.   Days on Market was 6 and 8 respectively.   That’s far from 20+ that we had as an average the last quarter of 2019.

152 Monte Villa, Campbell is in a small complex on the border of Campbell and Cambrian close to the 85 freeway.   They received 4 offers and are in contract $50K over the list price of $848,999.   This is a 3 bedroom and 2 bath townhouse that was built in 1984.

121 Orchard Oak Circle, Campbell which is just blocks away from downtown Campbell, had 4 offers and they are in contract over list price. It had been listed at $1,299,000 with 1695 sq ft and 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and was built in 1996.

Currently the Campbell real estate zone (95008, 95117, some 95128 and 95129) has 16 active listing. Only 1 new listing this week so far. Inventory had been tight all of January and appears to be getting tighter in mid Feb. You’ll soon be reading/hearing about these new sales – as this is a changing market and only the past few weeks has the flurry been taking place.  It’s a good time to be a seller.

1/22/2020

1459 Woodgrove Sq was removed from the MLS today-  officially listed as Cancelled.   The listing agent tells us the seller has decided, after 75 days active, to do some remodeling and relist as a later date.   SO in less then 4 months there have been 3 properties listed on the MLS in Merrivale West that did not sell and the owners cancelled the listing.

1381 Millich Lane was cancelled after 61 actives days on 10/1/2019.  They had been listed at $899K

1433 Golden Meadow Sq was cancelled after 23 days on 11/26/2019.  They had been listed at $889K

1459 Woodgrove Sq was cancelled after 75 days on 1/22/2020.  They had been listed at $899K

None of these properties had taking  a price reduction while they were on the market (frequently price adjustments come after several weeks on the market and no offers received/accepted). While no seller wants to take price adjustments they can help re engage buyers and sometimes create interest/activity in the marketplace.  There is a saying that buyers aren’t rejecting your property when its not selling; but they are rejecting your list price.

We don’t know the backstory of these particular properties, although having 3 removed in a 4 month period does speak to list price when there were 5 other Merrivale West properties that did close escrow in that same time period.

1/17/2020

If you have held off listing your property because you thought (rightly so) there had been a decline off the peek we saw in 2018, you may want to reconsider.   The market shows signs that activity is strong- at least in the lower end of the market to mid range.

I’ve been hearing from my fellow agents about crazy multiple offer situations; one who wrote on offer on 1898 Naglee Ave (in the Rosegarden area) on a small and well presented single family home that the sellers received 17 offers and it went over $1.2m  on a list price of $948,000.  It’s 2 bedroom and 1 bath at 1152 sqs.

Additionally closer to Merrivale West complex is 3159 Payne Ave #27 – just down the street towards Winchester that is a PUD townhome, they received 12 offers and are in contract around $900,000 on a $789,000 list.  It is a 2/2.5 with 1300 sq feet.

Both those properties went pending this past week.  Inventory is low in Campbell with only 24 single family homes on the MLS and 17 condo/townhouses.

1/15/2020

Just saying…. I’m looking over the new listings on the MLS and many, many agents are stating offer dates; translation is that the listing agents and sellers  are so confident of receiving multiple offers they are holding off till a set date to receive offers. We had seen a big tapering off of offer dates being listed throughout all of 2019-  seems like they are back.

1/14/2020

Just stepped out of our first 2020 office meeting and the number of homes on the Multiple Listing Service is very low (again) for Santa Clara County, but we had an increase over the year end #’s –

Single family homes    1/14/2020 – 469 units      Condo’s/townhouses – 253 units

Reports are that Open houses this past weeks were very busy and agents who were showing clients report much renewed interest on their buyers part.   There is a consensus among those agents that we’ll see some price increases as multiple offers are back.

The listing agent 1459 Woodgrove Sq has told me she is seeing an uptick in her showing activity also.

1/10/2020

Happy 2020!

What I do love about January is that Real Estate activity, in our area of the country, starts to become active again and there is a sense of energy when meeting with clients and showing property.   Buyers, sellers and Realtors, all are ready to begin again. Generally the last few months of the year are some of our slower months and the late winter and early spring are the most active. In most of the other parts of the country, especially area’s that experience inclement weather, have a different pattern of activity levels.

So how different was 2019 from the prior year 2018?

2019 recap of Merrivale West complex

  • 10 sales in 2019 verses 8 in 2018
  • 2019 Average was $855,600.00 in 2018 the average sale price was $1,040,620.00
  • Days on Market in 2019 was 34 verses 14 days in 2018
  • In 2019 3 out of the 10 sellers had to take a price reduction from their original list price in order to find a buyer; only one seller took a price reduction in 2018
  • 3 sellers who had listed their homes for sale removed them from the MLS as “withdrawn”
  • In 2019 the shorts amount of days on market for homes that sold was 8 days and the longest was 80 days

Currently there is one active listing in the complex- 1459 Woodgrove Sq, which has been listed for 63 days and took a price reduction from their original list price of $915,000 to the current list price at $899,000.

12/20/19

We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and able to find some time to relax and reflect on 2019 and all the changes it brought to all of us.  I love the quote “To know your future you must know your past” –  George Santayana

This applies in life but also as we view the world around us, knowing our past is critical to moving into the future successfully.

The last sale of 2019 closed escrow on 12/17/19. This was originally listed on 7/10/19 for $$879,000. They took a price reduction on 11/1/19 to $758K which was the list price at the time of the sale.

There is still 1 active listing in the complex-1459 Woodgrove Sq. They currently have been listed as Active for 42 days.  Their original list price was $915,000 and currently they are listed at $899,000.

It appears there will end up being 11 closed sales in the complex for 2019. (Of course we still have 11 days left in 2019 and a buyer could still swoop in with an offer and a quick close, but chances are slim)

2018 saw only 7 closed sales* take place in the complex- which is against the trend of less sales overall in our general market place. Merrivale West complex had the reverse – a 30% increase of total units sold; and those stat’s doesn’t include the 2 sellers who took their homes off the market after having listed them on the MLS for a number of days.

One of those sellers appears to have rented their home instead of selling after having tried for 61 days and the other may possibly be returning to the market in the New Year hoping for more buyer activity.

I’ll be compiling and sending out the year end postcards that we do annually for the complex in the next few weeks, but if any of you would like a deeper dive please reach out, as I have available more stat’s and info. I can forward.  Patricia.Kelner@cbnorcal.com

 

The quick take away is

Sale prices did show declines compared to 2018

Condition and preparation are critical for sellers to achieve strong results in terms of price received, days on market and terms

Overpricing is a nonstarter. The 3 homes that had single digit Days on Market were priced correctly and received multiple offers and results that were over the list price – 1331 Charmwood Sq, 1400 Pinehurst Sq, and 1364 Merrivale West Sq. 2 homes has 20-30 Days on Market received Over their list price – 1396 Pinehurst (a sale that went under contract in 12/2018) 1406 Cherrywood Sq was an probate sale and was required to have more than 10 days of market exposure prior to taken/reviewing offers.

 

*listed on the Multiple Listing Service, there could have been private sales that we are not aware of“

11/25/19

Last week 1365 Cherrywood Sq closed at full price. It was an challenging transaction since we had 2 TFT’s (Transaction Fell Through) during the course of the listing. ONE TFT is challenging- but 2??

Any of you that were able to visit the property know it was a highly desirable renovated property-with modern finishes with an attention to detail and design. The sellers had enjoyed the process of updating their home, and it showed.

Within a week of listing the property the seller’s had 2 offers, they decided to accept an over list price offer that had a few contingencies. Within about a week the buyer came back and requested a signification price reduction, based on a walk through completed by an out of area contractor. Fair enough, most buyers do rely on contractors and other professionals’ opinion regarding condition. However, the comments/suggestions from the contractor were regarding items already disclosed in inspections and reports that the seller had provided to the buyers prior to them making an offer and going into contract. AND the contractor made comments about the overall condition of the complex (yeah, he had suggestions about how the Merrivale West complex should improve construction) WAY over the top.

Was this a way for the buyer and or the buyer’s agent to attempt to renegotiate after the contract was accepted and pending? Yes. Did they lack sincerity regarding their original offer? Yes. It was a very frustrating situation for the sellers, who had acted in good faith all along.

We came back on the market and found another buyer very soon – unfortunately that buyer had a change in employment and we found ourselves back on the market. BUT within a week and ½ the buyer returned with good news- they were able to move forward.

Ups and downs galore. Sellers remained calm and we continued to market aggressively throughout. The closing took place rather quickly, thanks to Wells Fargo, after we went back into contract with buyer #2.

Other complex updates 1433 Golden Meadow Sq is currently withdrawn from the market. The listing agent isn’t certain when they will come back on the market.

1459 Woodgrove Sq has taken a price reduction of $15K on 11/22 after being listed for    days.

This is the time of year that listing activity s l o w s way down and frequently sellers will take listings off the market, that haven’t sold and have higher Days On Market, and then return them as active in the New Year. It’s also a time of the year that focused and heavily engaged buyers will be out and about looking for the “deals” to purchase before the end of the year.

11/15/19

I received an email from the listing agent on 1433 Golden Meadow Sq- they have scheduled an offer date of Tues 11/19.    There have been no price reductions since the property was listed on 10/28. thus it’s interesting that the seller/agent is posting an offer date 3+ weeks out from the list date.   Generally offer dates are scheduled when there is a fair amount of interest and activity in the property and the seller/agent want to corral the offers into one day creating an multiple offer situation.   Having an offer date out after an extend period of the listing is an interesting approach.    Let’s watch and see what happens.

11/11/19

And then there were 2! (active listings)  both 1365 Cherrywood Sq and 1460 Woodgrove Sq have gone Pending.

My guess is the other 2 may be on the market awhile- the average Days on Market for Townhouse/Condo’s that closed in the Campbell area zone is 37 days (last  0-30 days).   1460 Woodgrove Sq took a price reduction early November from $879,000 to $858,000 plus the 2 new listings in the high $800’s and the low $900’s made the pricing of 1460 Woodgrove look attractive and negotiable.

We are very happy that 1365 Cherrywood Sq was able to get back into contract with the same buyer –  sometimes everything works out well for all parties.

11/8/19

Seems my blog posts for 2019 have disappeared!   That’s what happens when your blog infrequently I guess.   Still looking at what happened-

Meanwhile we know have 4 Active listings in Merrivale complex.

1365 Cherrywood Sq                      968 sq feet listed @ $749,000

1460 Woodgrove Sq                       1056 sq feet listed @$858,000

1433 Golden Meadow Sq               1056 sq feet listed @$889,000

1459 Woodgrove Sq                       1056 sq feet listed $915,000

There is a range of Days on Market for these listing

1365 Cherrywood Sq                      33 days

1460 Woodgrove Sq                       79 days

1433 Golden Meadow Sq               11 days

1459 Woodgrove Sq        `              0 days

In the last 180 days there have been 5 closed transactions – ranging from $998,000- $838,000 and from 6-73 days on the market. * All these properties were 2 bedrooms and ranged in sq foot interiors from 1056 to 1,220. There are not only wide swings in results but also in the number of active days  the properties were on market before they found a buyer .  I would expect that we’ll see the same types of results with the current Active properties as they close escrow.

2 of the active properties- 1365 Cherrywood Sq (our listing) and 1459 Woodgrove Sq both have been under contract and the transactions fell through, thus they came back on the market as Active listings.  It is an unfortunate and frustrating situation to happen to sellers.  Both situations it was the buyer’s inability to perform and close the transaction.

The Active properties also have diversity in condition and presentation- 1365 Cherrywood Sq is the only one that is staged and remodeled.  1433 Golden Meadow Sq has an updated kitchen and floorings.   1459 Woodgrove Sq, which is a property where we were the listing agents when it last sold in 2017, is in the same condition as that transaction. Needless to say sellers and agents take very different approaches to selling.

1/7/19

1472 Woodgrove Sq finally posted as “sold”  with a sale price of $900,000.  Keep in mind it took them a whopping 73 days to find a buyer and ultimately ended up with a sale price $90,000 below their original list price.     I visited this property the first Broker Tour/Open House and it was very nicely presented and updated.  The agent was not certain of the list price- he asked my opinion.  I told him I thought it was high for the current market, even though there had been a recent closed sale on Charmwood that was in the high $900’s.   That sale was a different floor plan and listed in the spring.  June is a tough month to list a property in our market (in my opinion one of the toughest months to attract buyers as their focus is off and the market softens)

He was also an out of the area agent; he was very open and proud that he worked in several area markets up and down the bay area, east bay, SF ect.  He felt that give him an insight into the total geo area and buyers.

You can go back and look at sales that struggled with properties that have experienced longer days on market and pricing and there is a trend.   Real Estate sales are very local in nature- and the ins and outs of each market is different.   I’m writing an offer for a property in Sunnyvale today and it’s very different then Campbell and Cupertino.   AND that’s just a few miles difference.   I’d have very limited knowledge of a east bay market.

Ultimately the sale price seems in line with what we are seeing – but it cost the seller 73 days of carrying cost.  Maybe the seller didn’t mind those 73 days, but in my experience most do.

10/1/19

Activity in the complex- but unfortunately not the kind we like to see-  1381 Millich Lane has been cancelled- after 61 days active and no contract.

1472 Woodgrove Sq is still listed as pending 1 week after the listed close of escrow date of 9/26/19.

We did have a nice amount of traffic at  open houses at 1385 Cherrywood Sq this weekend – even while the Square is busy with construction of several balconies and painting prep.

9/26/19

Good news/Bad news update

1400 Pinehurst Sq is closing today.  We had multiple offers, closing price of $870,000 which is $20K OVER list price and a 15 day close with a 6 day ACTIVE period (days on market).   Amazing buyers agent and loan officer made all this happen rapidly.

This closing is a sign of an uptick in the market and timing, plus strong marketing AND the most important of all being priced correctly.  July and August are really tough times of year to place a property on the market- we had worked with our seller(s) to hold off and wait till after the school year began and people were back in town and re engaged in the buying process.

 

1365 Cherrywood Sq came back on the market Tues 9/24 after we had accepted an offer on the prior Friday pm.  The buyer attempted to renegotiate during the contingency period – and unfortunately we weren’t able to move forward with them.

1460 Woodgrove Sq also came back on the market- they had blown through the close of escrow date by over a week and finally had to exit the contract with the buyers they had in place.   Buyers couldn’t perform.   A tough situation and very frustrating for the sellers and agent.

1472 Woodgrove Sq is listed as closing today- so we’ll have those results in the next day or two.  They had been on the ACTIVE market for 73 days and had taken a price reduction.

9/21/19

1365 Cherrywood Sq is Contingent- we received multiple offers and are under contract in 9 days.   It’s obvious that there has been some nice activity in the market in the past few weeks – at least in our world.   The same day we were able to put Cherrywood into contract we also had a single family home in the Willow Glen area, which is a fixer property, receive 5 offers and go under contract.   1490 Hervey Lane, 95125.

9/12/2019

1365 Cherrywood Sq is ACTIVE and 1400 Pinehurst Sq is under contract in 7 days with multiple offers!!

Come visit us for this weekends Open Houses at 1365 Cherrywood Sq

Whirlwind of a couple of past few days- but thrilled that the market responded so favorably to 1400 Pinehurst Sq.     There are 2 other properties in the complex still active- 1381 Millich Lane and 1426 Millich Ct.

9/10/2019

1365 Cherrywood Sq will be active on 9/12/2019- this is the 1 bed and 1 bath unit.   The interior is a total remodel- very chic and many unique features.   Legrande light switches, shower and tub that have distinct features, 2 decks, copper plumbing and much more.   Well worth a visit to check it out- Friday Pm open house 5-7 and both Sat and Sunday 1-4.

IF you missed seeing 1400 Pinehurst Sq – we host Open House and Broker Tour tomorrow AM 9:30-12:30.

This unit is very spacious at 1220 sq feet it has a 2nd bedroom that is the largest of any of the other models in the complex.  Plus a closet on the 2nd floor that could be a office or meditation space (I’d vote for a mediation space)  Many options.

9/3/2019

1400 Pinehurst Sq will be ACTIVE on 9/5/2019- come see us at Open houses Friday pm 5-7, Sat and Sun 1-4.

Updated bathroom, flooring throughout, painting, new lighting and kitchen appliances.

Watch for our next Merrivale West listing at 1365 Cherrywood Sq- that property a totally redone 1 bed and 1 bath will be active on 9/12/2019.

Lastly, 1472 Woodgrove Sq went pending on 9/1/19 after 72 days on the market.   They did take a 50K price reduction a couple weeks ago.

8/27/2019

In the local real estate market we are generally happy to see August close out and move onward to September and (hopefully) the increase of  overall activity.   It is generally thought that the 2nd week in Sept sets the trend for what inventory levels will be going forward till the end of the current year /beginning of the new year.

We are at the end of the 2nd month of the last 1/2 of the year-  this has been pretty tough road for listings in the complex.

3 current listings

1472 Woodgrove Sq- 68 days active and one price reduction of $50K to its current list price of $938,888.

1381 Millich Lane- 26 days active, they had set an offer date 2 weeks into the listing and it came and went- still active at $899,000

1426 Millich Ct- 20 days active and listed at $839,000

one pending

1460 Woodgrove Sq- they were active for 35 days prior to finding their buyer and their list price was $879,000

We do have a new Merrivale West property coming on Sept 5th – 1400 Pinehurst Sq.   This is a 1220 sq with a 2 bedroom and 1.5 bathroom.  This floor plan has the large closet in the upper level with can be used/converted to many different uses; office, storage.

We are finalizing the merchandising of the property with painting, new flooring, kitchen appliances, lighting and more!  We have Open houses on Friday PM from 5-7 pm and on both Saturday and Sunday – 1-4.

We welcome all residents of Merrivale West to stop by.

8/9/2019

Watch for our newest listing coming early Sept – 1400 Pinehurst Sq.

1472 Woodgrove Sq took a price reduction to $939,999.00 after 50 days on the market.  50 days is a very long time to remain at a list price without finding a buyer.

Buyers and the market are letting you know by their lack of offers/activity what their opinion of value is…

 

8/7/2019

4 active listings in Merrivale West – a 4th one came on the market yesterday.   1426 Millich Court, which is a 2 bedroom and 1.5 bathroom listed at $839,000.   The property is owner occupied and thus the showings are currently listed as appointment only.

I cannot recall the last time there were 4 listings in the complex – its been longer then my memory for the complex activity.    The range of list price is also huge-  a difference of $ 149,888.     Sellers are challenged and no doubt confused with where to list and values.  Buyers are pretty clear the market has changed and they aren’t willing or ready to make offers that sellers find realistic.   I’ve been told that there have been offers for one of the properties- and the seller has declined all of them.   I’ve also been told there is less activity at Open Houses then agents expected.    The 2 properties that have been listed the longest- both in Woodgrove Sq have not (at this point) taken price reductions.  (49 days and 29 days active)

 

8/3/2019

3 active properties in Merrivale West- when did that last happen?

All 3 properties are the same floor plan – each have upgrades, newer kitchens and baths, dual pane windows and 2 car garage.   1472 Woodgrove has been on the market 44 days, 1460 Woodgrove  has been active 24 days, and now 1381 Millich Lane is active 2 days.

What gives??    Time of year; summer months are always traditionally the slowest months in silicon valley real estate, buyers confusion with why is one listed so much above the others and overall pricing in general? low level of turn out at Open Houses, and a market that is apprx 10% off from the peak in 5/2018.   (Campbell area) 

There are many, many  price adjustments being taken by sellers in the general market  – yet neither of the currently active Woodgrove Sq properties have adjusted.    There are only 6 townhouses listed in 95117 and 3 of them are in Merrivale West; the other 3 have all taken a price adjustment.

3 pending sales and 2 of the them took a price adjustment prior to find a buyer and going under contract.  The Pending property that didn’t take a price adjustment prior to finding a buyer is 4197 Blackford Circle, they were listed at $848K and on the market only 15 days.

1 closed sale of a townhome in 95117 in the last 30 days at 3703 Victorian Pines Place.  The sold 3.8% below their original list price of $955K after 55 days active for a final sale price of $920K.

Generally after schools are back in session and people are done with summer vacation we see interest levels from buyers pick up- and this year that might also be fueled by interest rate drops.

 

7/23/19

Both Woodgrove Sq properties are still active – interesting there has been no price adjustment on 1472 Woodgrove Sq, which has been Active on the market for 33 days and has a list price $110,000+ more then the newest Merrrivale West property at 1460 Woodgrove Sq which was listed 13 days ago.  Both properties are the same floor plan, 1056 Sq ft.

I have visited both and think they have similar updates and upgrades.  Newer kitchen and updated bathrooms.

We have always cautioned our sellers that July is probably the most challenging month to list a property – buyers are frequently not focused on home purchases.   Travel, kids on vacation from school….   we frequently counsel sellers to hold off til mid to late August if they can wait.    Other parts of the country have very difference trends

7/10/19

One newly listed property in the complex today – 1460 Woodgrove Sq, 1056 sq ft, 2 bd and 2 baths.  List price $879,000.   Aggressive initial list price;  there hasn’t been a 2/2 listed on the complex at this price or below since 5/18.

Currently there is another listing at 1472 Woodgrove Sq- same sq footage and floor place.  Listed on 6/20/19 at $988,888.    I’d expect you may see a price adjustment soon on this listing.

6/5/19

New listing in the complex- first new since mid spring.   1331 Charmwood Sq shows nicely on line.

Currently there are 56 ACTIVE listings for condo/townhouses in the Campbell zone (95008, 95117 and some 95128 zip)  they currently have an average days on market of 37 days.   Yes- quite a difference from the past several years….

Last week, ending 5/28/19 the number of listings for condo/townhouses in Santa Clara county increased by 62 units to a total of 704 Active listings county wide.   The last year we had that many condo/townhouses was 2011.    Single family homes, a larger category, has grown by leaps and  bounds too- up to 1574 Active homes on 6/4/19.

A return to a buyers market??  not just yet, but a definite return to a more “normal” market where the buyers ability to chose and negotiate has increased.

 

5/21/19

Days on market and the number of available (active) properties has grown.

Currently there are 55 active condo/townhomes available in the Campbell real estate zone, 24 of them are townhomes.   Average days on market for those townhomes is 27 days.

I also see the rental market having much longer days on market and more properties available.

None of this is new  “news”, since last May the shift began.  It’s been slower and not a major decline in prices –  but what is different this past month is the number of units of Active properties is increasing.   In Campbell zone there were 12 new condo/townhouse listings placed on the market in the past 7 days and only 7 properties went pending/contingent.    This trend has been going on for several weeks.   Plus we think there is more inventory being prepared for sale- property inspectors and termite inspectors are over a week out for taking new appointments.  They are fully booked.

We are part of this trend- having 5 new listings that will be arriving on the market in June.    We  expect these high levels of new inventory arriving on the market  will continue  throughout the summer months.   Sellers will have to be patient, strategic and realistic.

We are working with a Merrivale West seller – and their home will be available late summer or early fall.

 

4/23/19

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted- due to many reasons but mostly we are just busy.   Market was a little quiet in Jan and the we started to see activity.  Not the crazed pace of 2018 but activity nonetheless.

In the past few’s months we’ve worked in a wide range of markets- 2 sales in Aptos, 1 each in  Gilroy, Almaden,  Campbell and Los Altos Hills respectively – all on the buyer’s side.  Plus several listings in San Jose, Santa Clara and Campbell.   For us that is more buyer activity then we worked with all of 2018.

We have a couple of listings that are taking a while to get into contract – but that is not unusual in the current market.  A one week active period is not the norm- but we did have a single family on Communication Hill that attracted 4 offers and is in contract 9% above the list price and we were only on the market 8 days.

Sound like a different market??   It is.   At open houses we are asked if it’s a “buyers market” and my response is generally “not yet”, but buyers do feel more empowered and thus offers with contingency periods aren’t unusual and buyers taking more time to decide prior to making an offer.

There have only been 3 closed sales in the complex in 2019- and one was a sale that actually came on the market at the end of 2018.    That is a very low number.

Campbell and the surrounding area have had some new construction come on the market and they have done well-  small town home complex on Railway Ave, Towne38 has almost sold out.  Plus we are seeing some resale of the newer construction town homes at  Hamilton Landing  and the Robson town homes off Sam Cava.

Currently inventory shows a total of 40 active units for condo’s/town homes in the Campbell real estate zone with 17 of those being town homes.   But the important reflection is the number of closed sales in the past 30 days – 25 total condo’s/town homes and 14 of them being town homes.     A very different pace then 2018.

 

1/31/2019

The first month of 2019 is almost over and we have more condos/townhomes available for sale then we’ve had in 6 years!

1/29/2019 – 425 units

Jan 2018-      99 units

Jan 2017-    187 units

Jan 2016-    202 units

Jan 2015-   198 units

Jan 2014-   288 units

Jan 2013-   300 units

Jan 2012-  837 units

*this figures are all end of the month numbers

Dec 2018 ended with 297 units available for sale.

1446 Millich Dr, which in in the Merrivale West complex, went under contract on 1/11/19 after 36 days active.  They have a projected Close of Escrow date for late Feb, dependent on the probate courts approval.   They received one offer only.  The property was in fairly original condition and limited upgrades.

Just down the street on Millich Dr. in the 95008 zip there were several properties available throughout Nov, Dec and Jan.   Currently 1 is pending, 2 are still active and 1 has been withdrawn from the Multiple Listing Service.

615 Millich Dr has been active for 139 days they have taken one price reduction to $899,000.               628 Millich #A has been active for 62 days at a list price of $839,900.

732 Millich Dr #A did go under contract on  1/29/19, after 19 days on the market with a list price of $825,000.   They had been on the market back in Oct/November and  had withdrawn the property at the end of November.  They did some upgrades and brought it back at a new price of $825,000.  The ppgrades included electrical, plumbing and the promise that termite work would be completed.

640 Millich Dr #B was on the market for 76 days and one price reduction they withdrew it from Active status on 1/17/19.  Their last list price was $859,000 and they had started out at a list price of $899,000.

All these properties tell a story of the current market; much longer days on the market then what we have experience in the past several years, price reductions, and seller having to reset some of their expectations for the current market.   Meanwhile Buyers feel empowered to hold off on making offers as quickly as they had in the past several years and are well aware they can negotiate and expect the prices to line up with condition.

It will be interesting to see what February brings; we do hear that we should expect a significant number of new listings to hit the market throughout the month.

12/4/2018

1396 Pinehurst Sq went under contract last week on 11/27.   They are expected to close escrow in early Jan 2019.   They had been on the active market for 26 days, which may sound like a significant amount of time,but in reality their Days On Market was actually less then the average for all Pending condo/townhouses in the Campbell zone.  Average Days on Market for the 15 pending sales is currently 33 days.

Inventory levels as we move into December have declined from November and October but are an increase over December 2017 levels.  In fact we have to go back to 2012 to see more inventory then we currently have for Condo’s and Townhomes in Santa Clara county.   Same for Single Family Homes.

Typically December is a slow month for listings, as most Sellers will hold off until the new year to place their homes on the market.   We might see some clearing out of properties that have been active on the market and not experiencing much activity/interest- buyers and their agents can negotiate assertively and without much competition.  I always like working with Buyers in December.   It often feels like you are the only people out looking, as everyone else’s attention is on holiday activities.   Most Realtors who have been in the business more then a few years have stories about writing offers and getting them accepted the last few weeks of the year- or even Christmas Eve or Day!   If you are a  buyer who has been looking for awhile you should be open to a few visits to homes in December, you might just find the perfect home and at a lower price then other months of the years

11/28/2018

Update

732 Millich Dr #A was withdrawn from the MLS yesterday.

11/27/2018

Sluggish activity in the condo/townhouse market area surrounding the complex

5 active properties in the immediate area surrounding Merrivale West and they aren’t moving through the selling process quickly.

503 Latimer Circle active 35 days

615 Millich Ct  active 74 days

1396 Pinehurst Ct active 26 days

640 Millich Dr #3 active 25 days

732 Millich Dr #A active 31 days

Pinehurst is the only property that attends Moreland elementary schools – the bal all attend Campbell Unified elementary schools

 

11/8/2018

9 active listings in 95117- townhouse/condo’s

No sooner then a day after I had posted my last update did a new listing show up in the complex – 1396 Pinehurst Sq.    An interior 1296 sq foot unit with 2 beds and 2.5 baths and 1 car garage listed for $950K.

Currently there is a great deal of competition for the buyers that are out looking in 95117.    9 active listings,  7 of which attend Moreland schools.   List prices range from $950K for  1396 Pinehurst Sq to $450K for 3588 Payne Ave #11 a 910 sq foot 2 bedroom and 1 bath unit in Stonegate Villa’s complex.

The properties that went pending in the Campbell real estate zone in the past 15 days took an average of 28 days to find their buyer(s).   Townhouses, tend to sell much quicker then condo’s, which had an average of 17 days on the market.

Watch the days on market for 1396 Pinehurst Sq – this will be a good test for the market.  Their list price is apprx $50K less then the past 2 listings.  One of which sold quickly in 13 days, 1435 Golden Meadow Sq.   The other, 1468 Golden Meadow Sq, which couldn’t find a buyer and went off the market (cancelled)  after 33 days.  Both of those properties had recently well done updated interiors and 2 car garages.

10/29/2018

No activity for resale in the complex currently; but in the surrounding area there are several new listings and one that has been on the market for a month and half.

732 Millich Dr #A is listed at $849,000 for a 1018 Sq foot unit, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  They have a $312 monthly HOA and attend Campbell schools.   They came on the market 2 days ago.

1375 Phelps Ave #11 is listed for $610,000 with 840 Sq feet, 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.  This property attends Moreland schools (a plus to many buyers) but they do have some Rental Restrictions.   They have been active for 10 days.

615 Millich Lane has been on the market for 45 days at $969,000.  3 bedrooms and 2 and 1/2 bathrooms in 1,245 Sq feet.   They have a $368 HOA and attend Campbell Schools.

I have noticed a significant number of rentals being offered on Zillow within the complex.   At one point 3 weeks ago there were 4 properties listed.   Today there is one listed in Charmwood Sq.

Zillow has become the go to place for posting rentals.   CraigsList is still used but on a much lesser degree,  I’ve found the site is ripe for unscrupulous people scamming your ads.   Most renters tend to mostly use Zillow, which updates all their fellow companies- Trulia, Postlets, HotPads with the rental information.

Will sellers be waiting out the next few months?   My guess is yes.   The last few weeks the inventory levels overall have leveled out- we see about 1450 Single family units and townhouses/condo’s inventory level remain close to 600 units  * Santa Clara county.     BUT if you  are a buyer and have been exhausted by the market in the past year or so- this would be a perfect time to be out looking…  more inventory, fewer people to compete against (and in some cases no one else to compete against) and the ability to make a decision without being rushed.

The average days on market for single family homes that closed escrow in the past 0-14 days was 25 days, condos/townhouses were on the market for an average of 21 days.   That is very different from the 7-12 day averages we experienced in the last year and half.

10/17/2018

Cancelled listings

1468 Golden Meadow Sq has been cancelled on the MLS as of 10/16.

This is the 2nd listing at Merrivale West in the past 2  months that has been cancelled.   1436 Millich Lane was cancelled on 8/30/18.

All signs point to a changing market.  The exuberance we had in the market earlier this year has dissipated and we are seeing buyer’s have a much different approach when making considering IF they want to make an offer and at what price.

As I stated in my post yesterday strategies for selling a home in this current market need to be different then the past year’s approach.    Realtor’s challenge is to help sellers have realistic expectations.

10/16/2018

33 days on the market, a $200K price reduction taken 19 days ago….

1468 Golden Meadow Sq is an updated and remodeled property- gas cooktop, hardwood floors, updated kitchen and bathrooms, skylights, 2 car garage, staged and well presented.   So why is it still not under contract?

In a changing market, which we are in the midst of for the past 5 months, initial list price is critical.    The strategies that worked last spring regarding list price aren’t in play.

Initial list price is critical.

Studies show that if the initial asking price is:

15% over market value you will appeal to ONLY 20% of Buyers

10% over market value you will appeal to ONLY 30% of Buyers

5% over market value you will appeal to ONLY 50% of Buyers

Current Market value you will appeal to 95% of Buyers

So the question then becomes – how do you know you have initial list price correct?   Market knowledge.  Experience.   Research.

We are no longer in a  Real Estate market where there are high number of buyers out looking, most agents will report that Open House traffic and overall interest is much lighter.   Some of that is seasonal, some is “buyer fatigue” and increasing interest rates.     But no need to panic- homes continue to sell and many continue to receive over asking offers.    The initial list price will either make or break the interest levels- important to choose those numbers wisely.

 

9/30/2018

1468 Golden Meadow Sq made a bold move yesterday- a price reduction of $200K.   The listing agent had an offer date listed as “Thursday” (which one I’m not certain) but 2 Thurs have passed and the property was still active.

The price reduction from $998,000 to $799,000 is dramatic and will attract attention.   But will the seller’s be able to get the offer price up to the range in the high $900,000, or over $1M?   1431 Golden Meadow Sq used this strategy in mid May was successful with an list price of $729,000 and ended up with a final close of escrow price of $1,030,880.

This is a very different market and buyers will be very aware that for 17 days there were no offers at the list price.    Hoping the strategy works for them

 

9/26/2018

Changing market 

The current inventory levels reflect the changing market – as of this past Monday there were 607 condo’s and townhouses listed as ACTIVE in Santa Clara county.  The last time we had  numbers of ACTIVE properties in Santa Clara was in September of  2014.

Currently in the Campbell geographic area we have 24 ACTIVE listings.   That’s double the numbers we had earlier spring.  At the end of Jan 2018 there were only 6 units ACTIVE.

Days on market has increased to 16 days on average for the condo/townhouses that closed in the past 30 day (24 units total)    The positive news is that of those 24 units the seller’s averaged a 6% increase over their list price.  The interest levels are still intact as properties continue to go under contract and receive above list offers.

1468 Golden Meadow is currently ACTIVE – this property shows well with a new kitchen and baths, plus paint and flooring.  It has been on the market for 13 days at a list price of $998,000.

Just outside the complex at 615 Millich Dr, located in the Hamilton East complex, is also ACTIVE.   They are listed for $969,000 for a larger unit with 1,242 Sq Ft and 3 beds/2.5 baths.   Note that this property is assigned Campbell schools.  They have been ACTIVE for 12 days.

9/3/2018

1436 Millich Lane was “cancelled” on 8/30/2018.   There is no indication if the property will come back on the market at another time.  My guess is that they did not receive the interest they had anticipated- the market has changed.   August was a challenging market for sellers- less traffic from buyers and agents, and less interest overall.   Inventory levels had climbed during July and early August, back to 2016 levels,   we continued to see longer days on market overall.    Sellers had to be patient and agents had to set realistic expectations.    The knowledge of the local market is critical- because its no longer a put a listing on the market and take offers 7-9 days later.     Average days on market for condo/townhomes in Santa Clara county that are under contract is currently 25 days, and in the Campbell real estate zone it is 15.

A new listing on Golden West Sq has set an list price of $998,888- which is the highest list price we’ve seen so far.   The listing agent has posted an offer date of 9/10 – a bold move in the current market.   Most listing agents are not posting offer dates and instead asking buyers agents to contact them directly for offer dates and instructions.   That way they can gauge the interest level and make decisions if they have enough interest to have an offer date or take offers as they come; there is generally no clearer way to gauge interest then to engage the buyers agents in a conversation.

Golden Meadow has a new kitchen, baths and is attractive on line (photo’s)  so they may gather up buyers.

8/26/18

1458 Woodgrove Sq PENDING after 30 days ACTIVE

The complex has not had a property ACTIVE for this many days since August and Sept of 2016, 1405 Millich Lane took 57 days.    The floor plan of 1458 Woodgrove is one of the more spacious floor plans with a larger living area that included a den, plus it was a end unit.

8/17/18

New Merrivale West Listing and current market updates regarding price reductions 

1436 Millich Lane came on the market yesterday – currently you can find the listing on Redfin, but not our local MLS as the listing agent has it listed on a east bay MLS.  It probably will migrate over at some point in the next day or two?    This was the same situation with 1317 Merrivale West Sq earlier this year and it took them 24 days on market before they found a buyer (property had an offer early on and they “fell out of contract” then had to go back on the market and resell it)   see my blog post from 3/16/18.

Check out the SJ Merc News front page article this am:

A slight chill coming for the Bay Area housing market?

What is important to keep in mind Zillow is using “sold” numbers from June.   July sales had more price reductions taken as the market slowed through the late summer months.   AND they did not break out the single family category from the condo/townhouse category.  The most current numbers are from closed sales in the last 30 days in the Campbell/West San Jose area:

  • Single Family homes closed sales 44 units – 8 had taken a price reduction.  18%
  • Townhouse/condo closes sales 16 units- 1 property  had taken a price reduction. 6%
  • Pending sales in the condo/townhouse properties (properties that have accepted an offer and are moving through the escrow process)
  • 28 units and 4 had taken a price reduction.  14%   The Days on Market (when they were looking for a buyer prior to accepting an offer) was 19 days.

These numbers are the most current indicator of the market in our local area.   The article did state that increases are still expected for the Bay area at a slower rate.

My take away for Sellers:

  • Expect long days on market
  • List price is VERY important – dynamic pricing that has worked in the past,list low and strive to receive Multiple offers, is not in play in all the local area markets.   * it does still appear to work in some aggressive markets and with very desirable homes that are located centrally,updated, marketed well.    Having a local agent who has area knowledge is critical.  Real Estate, after all is Local, each market can be different.  
  • Expect few multiple offers and expect to negotiate.   Buyers have different expectations and they are hyper aware of the market changes.

All that said- homes are continuing to sell and Sellers are still experience strong results if they have the above in play.

 

8/10/18

1458 Woodgrove Sq price reduction taken

Day 14  the list price was reduced by $20K on 1458 Woodgrove Sq.

The first 2 weeks of an Active listing are big indicators of how buyers are reacting to your property price and condition.   That is the time period that the most buyers will be actively looking at your property on line and visiting in person.   We’ve been in a market for the past several years that rarely have properties remained on the market for over 15 days, unless the seller and agent wanted to expose the property for a longer period of time (and that does happen), longer then a 2 week period.

At Merrivale West there have been only 2 properties in the 2017 and 2018 time period that had longer days on market then 15 days;  4/28/17 1455 Golden Meadow Sq was active for 21 days, 3/23/18 1317 Merrivale West Sq was on the market for 24 days .

At 1455 Golden Meadow Sq the listing agent was a limited broker, meaning they listed the property and most of the marketing and showing would be the sellers responsibility.   Frequently the negotiations will also be the sellers responsibility.   The property sold for the list price.  A rarity during this time period of escalating values.

1317 Merrivale West Sq was on the market for 24 days.  This property had found a seller early in the listing period, but the buyers had backed out of the transaction and the seller was forced to place the market back on the market, thus losing the initial momentum.   Although they did end up closing over the list price.   The listing agent was an out of area agent and the property wasn’t listed initially on our local Multiple Listing service.

Condo’s and Townhouse are still a valuable commodity in our area – as of today there are 19 active units, 25 pendings, and 16 units close escrow in the past 30 days.     Of the 16 closed sales they had an average of 14 days on the market as Active before they went under contract AND they closed at an average of 5.5% above the list price.

It’s still good to be a seller.

7/30/18

718 Millich Dr #a Closed and visit to 1458 Woodgrove Sq

718 Millich Dr #A posted close last week- after being on an off the market since 4/19/18.  They had  been under contract with 2 different buyers (the transaction fell through) prior to them them finding the right buyer in mid June and that buyer progressed through close of escrow.    Having buyers change their mind and exiting the contract after acceptance is not uncommon in our current market, but very frustrating for sellers and agents.

The challenges that this presents is that a seller had accepted an offer and the property was listed as “pending or contingent” on the multiple listing services.    After a buyer changes their mind(s) the seller and agent have to relist the property and try to regroup and round up buyers interest for a second time.    The momentum has stopped and the agent must try to recreate interest levels.    The “Days on Market” clock continues from the beginning of the listing- so the properties “newness” is viewed by the buyers as an extended period of time.     Agents will work very hard to contact the buyers who had been interested or written offers prior to the property going pending, but frequently those buyers have moved on.

There can be many reasons for a buyer to exit the contract-  if the property had contingencies in place they have a contractual right to exercise this option.   As a listing agent, David and I, try to make certain our sellers have as much information about the buyers and their agents as possible prior to accepting an offer.  We believe this helps them make good decisions in their choice of who they enter into contract with.

We speak with loan agents, have the disclosures and inspections acknowledged by the buyer(s) and their agent upfront.  We ask the buyer(s) agent how many contracts have they presented with this buyer(s) and if they have every chosen to exit a contract (if you don’t ask you’ll never know,  you’d be amazed at what agents/loan offices will tell you when you ask….)   and even with doing all that TFT’s, transaction fell through, can still happen.

Sometimes it can be as simple as a buyer(s) waking up the following day and feeling too nervous about their offer that they exit immediately.   We always pick up the phone the day after acceptance and speak with the agent to find out if the buyer(s) are still engaged and excited.

I visited 1458 Woodgrove over the weekend- kitchen has new cabinets and counter tops as does both bathrooms.  New flooring and carpets were recently installed.   The agent did say the traffic was alittle slow, which is not unusual for a mid summer listing.   Other Open Houses in the area that both David and I visited we did notice this was the norm- and we both visited a combination of 10+ open houses between Sat and Sun

 

7/26/18

New listing in Merrivale West

just listed today is a 1458 Woodgrove Sq, a 1152 sq foot unit with 2 bed and 2 baths at a list price of $968,000.

This is the highest list price for a Merrivale West property so far.  The agent has listed an offer date for next week.   Considering our current market conditions this will be a good property to watch and see how strong the market remains for Merrivale West properties.

7/24/18

Shifting market numbers and insight

It’s been  over a month since I posted – partially because we’ve been on vacation for the past several weeks.

What we are experiencing is a building of inventory and an increase of days on market for active properties,  and some price reductions taken by sellers.  Currently Santa Clara has approx. 1700 active properties –  as of Monday 7/23 there were 1275 single family homes for sale and 416 condo/townhouses.

In the Campbell geographic area there are 63 single family homes and 18 condo/townhouses.   is another sign that the market has shifted in that we have less Pending sales then we have active for single family – 40 pending sales total.  Why is this a sign ?  For the past several years our pending sales and actives were generally very similar numbers, that was because the turn was swift- most of the new inventory was sold very quickly, within 7-10 days on average, and that kept the ACTIVE #’s low as there was no build in the numbers.

The current Average Days on Market is 25 days for Single Family homes.  Of the 63 active homes 13 of them have taken a price reduction, 20 %.  Pending sales the Average Days on Market is 29 days.

Condo’s and Townhouses are a little different; this has to do with the price point.   Of the 18 Active properties there is only one price reduction.   Average days on market for the Condo category is 15 and for Town homes (generally a higher price point) it is 25 days.  The Average days on market for Condo/townhouses (attached multi unit homes) is 19 days.   Pending sales, of which there are 19 currently, have an Average days on market of 19 days.  There are only 3 properties that took a price reduction, 15.7%.

As a buyer this allows more leverage and choices.  As a seller you need to be aware that what took place in the spring- multiple offers and large overbids on the list price are not generally occurring.  Pricing correctly and having a realistic view of the current market is important.   Keep in mind our market is still a sellers market – low inventory continues even with the active property inventory numbers building in the recent past weeks.

The most recent closed sales tell a story that it is still a Sellers market.   Single Family homes that closed escrow in the past 14 days received an average of  5.6% over list price.  Townhouses received an average of  5.8% over list price.  Condo’s, again the lower price point generally had  an average of 7.9% over the list price.   The sky has not fallen.

6/22/18

Price decreases taken this week

We ran the numbers today- in Santa Clara county there are approx 1000 ACTIVE listings for single family homes (the number goes up and down depending on new listings and properties going under contract) the average all week has been around 1000- 82 homes have taken a “price decrease” in the past 7 days.   That is apprx 8% of the active listings.     Of those 82 units 6 price reductions were taken in the Campbell/West San Jose area.

Condo/Townhomes are  approx 300 units this week that are  ACTIVE and of those units 23 took price reductions in the past 0-7 days.  None of the Condo/Townhomes in Campbell/West San Jose took a price reduction.    This market remains strong as we only have 15 ACTIVE properties and that is fairly steady number we’ve seen in the past months 12-14 units active on any given week.

 

6/20/18

Dynamic pricing pays off….

1434 Millich Lane, our listing, closed last week at $1,060,000 and 1431 Golden Meadow closed at $1,030,880

Here’s the interesting part – 1431 Golden Meadow Sq was in original condition, except for new carpet in upper level and some paint.  It is a 1056 sq ft unit.   This is a great example of “dynamic pricing”  the list price was $739,000.   ALL the other listings in the complex this year (3) have had a list price of $899,000.  The new  Buyer of 1431 Golden Meadow  jumped in and made an very aggressive offer.   A few units away 1448 Golden Meadow Sq, a much larger unit with 1296 sq ft and 2.5 bathrooms only closed at $1,000,000 – and there had been some upgrades made- counter tops, flooring, paint, bathrooms.   Bottom line the list price attracted alot of attention and it paid off for the seller of 1431 Golden Meadow.

“Shift” in the market

This AM we had 60 active single family units in the  the Campbell/West San Jose area (later this afternoon that number shifted back to 58 units as a couple properties went pending)  It has been awhile since we hit 60.  We are also seeing some price adjustments as properties are remaining on the market longer.

We have 55 pending units and have had 66 closed sales, in single family units, in the past 30 days.   Of those 66 units the average days on market has grown to 14 days (average) with a median sales price of $1,600,000.

I also ran the numbers for closed sales in the last 14 days and the days on market was the same, 14 days, but the median sales price was $1,509,000

Regarding Townhouse/Condo’s we have 14 units – which is just slightly higher then the past few months.   We aren’t seeing inventory increasing because these units are turned rapidly and they are the entry level buyers market, in most cases.

Closed sales units were 36 for the past 30 days and a median sales price of $1,014,000.   The closed sales in the past 14 days, 14 units, actually went up to $1,045,000 median sales price.

We personally have seen the number of multiples offers decrease – in mid April we had 359 W Rincon Ave #c in Campbell receive 12 offers.   The last 4 listing in Campbell/West San Jose market we  had go under contract in May received on the average of 1-3 offers- dramatic decrease overall.    The interesting part is they all went significantly over list price and went under contract in less then 10 days.

Its a definate “shift” and it will be interesting to see what the rest of summer brings in terms of inventory levels and what buyers are willing to offer as the interest rates have increased and they have a few more choices.

 

 

6/6/18

1448 Golden Meadow Sq is till showing PENDING on all the Real Estate sites- however the county records were changed today to reflex the closed sale price.   $1,000,000.  The sale actually closed escrow on 5/24/18.

The multiple listing service has rules about reporting status changes for closed sales and they should occur within in 24 hours of the sale being closed through escrow.   This sale was closed 13 days ago.

6/5/18 

Listings UPDATE

We had a short “flurry” of listings in the complex at the end of April and early May- 3 total and as of today all 3 are still “pending”

1448 Golden Meadow Sq was listed on 4/25 for $899,000 and went under contract on 5/2/2018, 8 days on market, which has been a fairly average amount of days as “ACTIVE” for several years.  The listing agent has a Close of Escrow date listed as 5/28 (come and gone….)  The listing agent had told us that she received multiple offers and was closing under $1M

1431 Golden Meadow Sq was listed on 5/9/2018 for $729,000 and went under contract on 5/17/2018 8 dayson market.  The Close of Escrow date is listed as 6/6.   This was a fairly original unit and had some recent paint and carpet in the upper level.

1434 Millich Lane, our listing, was listed on 5/4 for $899,000 and it is the largest Sq foot unit in the complex at 1368 Sq.   This property went under contract on 5/11/2018, 7 days on market.   This property has one of the best locations in the complex, in my opinion, an end unit with private entry facing green space.    We had less traffic then we’ve had during prior Open Houses.  This property is closing 5/12.   It will be closing well into the $1M+ range.

Inventory Levels

I’ve been writing and talking about our low inventory levels for what seems like years.   Week after week we’ve experienced a decline in the number of units available.   Even during periods where there were what we considered a fair amount of new ACTIVE properties they quickly were gobbled up and the following week the ACTIVE numbers would shrink.

Recently that trend has shifted –  as of 6/5 we had  90+ units of single family homes available over the prior weeks numbers in Santa Clara County.  A total of 1029 units available.

A smaller amount of increase was seen in the condo/townhouse market, there were +20 units.   For a total of 300 units ACTIVE.

We had seen numbers as low as 431 Single family homes ACTIVE at the end of Jan 2018 (an all time low number) and 99 units of condo’s/townhouses for same period.

The general feeling in the Real Estate community is that some of this increase is seasonal (late spring/early summer) we’ve generally see an increase in inventory levels, except in 2017 when the inventory levels decreased during this period.   There are also concerns about the “affordability factor”  and that means less buyers can participate as our prices have increased year after year.

Buyers who are feeling  “pushed” and not willing to make quick offers because they fear losing out in multiple offer situations.  They are approaching the purchase of a home differently- and much more critically, then what I have experienced in the past 2 years.    In all our listings in the past 45 days, which is 6 in total and one new one this week, the number of multiple offers have decreased from prior listings.   The caveat is that while the number of offers has decreased there are still offers that are significantly over the list price.

I think we’ll see the real outcome of this in the next several weeks –

 

5/4/18

Our newest listing is ACTIVE- 1434 Millich Lane which is the largest floor plan in the complex at 1,368 sq with 2 bedrooms AND a sitting room (easily convertible into a 3rd bedroom) and 2.5 baths.

This property has extra parking- the garage plus long driveway which can part 2 cars.  New AC in 2017 and new Copper Plumbing in 12/16.    The other lovely feature is that it is a end unit and has a private entrance.

Come visit us at Open House on Sat 1:30-4:30, and Sun 1:00- 4:00 PLUS next WED AM on Broker Tour/Open House

1448 Golden Meadow had listed an offer date of 5/2 and they are still active.

4/28/18

We just signed a listing agreement on a 1368 sq unit this afternoon.  It is an end unit with a private entry- we’ll be on the market this week.   Stay tuned for more details!

I visited the newest listing at Golden Meadow- which has some nice updates, counter tops,  and some original aspects (cabinets)  this is the 2nd largest floor plan.

4/13/18

317 Merrivale West Sq posted as Closed – with a final sale price of $1,055,000.   This property was ACTIVE for 24 days- much longer then the area average of 8-9 days.

The listing agent for the Merrivale West property was  an out of area, East Bay agent and initially the property was not listed on our local MLS,  after several days the agent was able to figure out how to have the property appear on on  local MLS.   But unfortunately she had added some characters to the address and didn’t show up in a regular search for properties (on our MLS)     As I wrote about in my 3/16 blog post the property had gone under contract originally on 3/7 and then came back on the market after 9 days into the escrow process and the agent/sellers had to find a new buyer which took till 3/23.

This was the 1056 foot floor plan , 2 bed /2 bath,  listed at $899000 on 2/28/18, close date was 4/11/18.  The sale price is not surprising- this is similar to other closed sales in the Campbell area.  Prices have continued to increase as the demand for properties to purchase has outpaced the supply.

At our newest listing ,a townhouse in Campbell – 359 W Rincon Ave #c took offers this past Tues.  12 offers. The demand remains strong- IF the property is priced right and the marketing is in place.

There is an new sign up in front of  1448 Golden Meadow Sq – it doesn’t state “coming soon” but the assumption is that is the case.   The brokerage listed on the sign is Soyla Real Estate – for fun google name.   Appears it’s an E-agent, thus very limited info. – unless you want to leave your info.     It appears this  property had been a rental.

We are seeing basically 2 kinds of sellers right now;  sellers deciding to sell their rental properties; they feel that it’s a good time to take the high sales prices and put their funds elsewhere,  OR/AND  sellers who are permanently leaving the area.   Our last 3 listings have been sellers selling their long term rentals AND our next 2 listings which are  single family homes. both  coming on to the market early May, are a long term rental and the other is a seller moving out of state.   We don’t see many sellers who are selling their homes to move up into a bigger/better home.   It’s just too tough of a market for sellers to find a replacement home they can afford and purchase in a timely fashion.   Many people are staying put- thus we have a very low amount of new inventory.

3/20/18

David and I have received recognition for our work in 2017 and have gained membership into Coldwell Banker’s  International President Elite Team designation.   We ranked #25 in the top 100 agents in Coldwell Banker Northern California.   We are very grateful – none of this would have happened if it were not for all our wonderful clients who put their trust in us for their real estate needs in 2017.

We are SO proud to be a part of our great office here at Saratoga Coldwell Banker!  A huge thank you to all that supported us in 2017 and helped make it happen: Shawn Carroll, Mary Lou Reyes, Lori Bleeth, Alice Plescia and our wonderful escrow officer Susan W and Yvette Lawson at Cornerstone Title. Their help was priceless.

3/16/18

1317 Merrivale West Sq is back on the market as “active”  the buyer they had chosen to work with could not perform.

It an interesting turn of events- because generally the seller and agent would have received multiple offers and when a TFT occurs (transaction fell through) the sellers agent can move on to the next  best offer and try to negotiate them into the terms and conditions of the 1st offer they had accepted.   When you have buyers clamoring to purchase this is the be  path.

Buyers do change their minds – in this market where buyers are required to make decisions about the purchase and terms in a rather short period overly exuberant offers do happen…. thus  David and I feel it very important to really do a through assessment of the buyer, the lender, the buyers agent to make certain everyone is on the same page and we have all the important questions sussed out.     Last year, out of the 30 sales transactions we handled only one time did a TFT happen and because we had a back up in place to take over for the buyers who changed their mind,  the morning after the offer had been accepted, we were able to seamlessly put the 2nd buyer in place. 

I’m not familiar with the details of this transaction -but I do know that a townhouse  on Rincon Ave took offers last week and had 7.  They ended up with an accepted offer over $250K above the list price.    Pretty amazing.

On that note we do have a new listing coming to the market at 359 W Rincon Ave the first week in April – 1665 sq ft, 3 beds, 2.5 baths and totally updated.   Contact us for details 

3/8/18

1317 Merrivale West Sq has been updated to show Pending as of 3/7/18.  No doubt there was a demand for the property, as there are about 6-8 townhouses and condo’s on the market in any given day.   The property final did show up on our local MLS- took several days.      In the local area there is a new listing at 623 Millich Drive, Campbell 95008 which is listed for $799,000 with 1,110 sq ft , 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.  This property is located in Hamilton East complex which was built in 1975.  They have HOA dues of $368.    

2/28/18

New Merrivale West active property 1317 Merrivale West Sq.  However as of this PM the listing doesn’t show up on the local MLS only on an East Bay  MLS (EBRD).   They do state there will be Open Houses this weekend.    I’d (hope) for the sellers sake they do find a way to have it listed on the local MLS.  Real Estate searches are local in nature.

2/20/18

I hope you were able to read the terrific SJ Mercury News article in this mornings paper regarding Village Harvest.

We’ve been very active the past 5 years with our local neighborhood association, LynHaven Neighborhood Association, running our annual fruit harvest.   I’ve been in partnership with Natalie Helig in planning and implementing the local event.

This year our date is Saturday, March 17th.   If any one would like to volunteer we’d welcome the help.  Please reach out to me at patricia.kelner@cbnorcal.com and I’ll provide details.    Its an wonderful way to help provide food for Second Harvest from our local neighborhood fruit trees that would go to waste if not harvested.  We need drivers, pickers, and sorters.  We generally start at 8:30 ish and are mostly completed by 12:30ish.

Backyard harvest: Volunteers fill food banks with fresh, local fruit

2/14/2018

Happy Valentines Day!  I hope you are spending it with people you love and enjoy.

In our local real estate world we’ve seen a little more inventory come on line –  18 single family homes for sale in Campbell area and 5 townhouses and condo’s.   Almost all the inventory is fresh and new- the longest days on market for the area is 15 days as Active- the rest are 8 days or below.  Our turn time is swift.

There are currently have no active listings in Merrivale West.   At this time last year there had been 2 listings; 1383 Millich Lane and 1321 Charmwood Sq.  In  2016 there has been no listings until early March.   Going back to 2015 there was one listing in January and not another one until last March.   Based on those trends we generally see more activity in late spring and then again later towards the end of the summer.

The trend towards total listings/sales in the complex has been to see fewer properties change ownership- but not by an significant amount, but still a trend that reflects the overall market.

2015 – 14 closes sales   2016 11 closed sales   2017 10 closed sales

Our “new normal” is for us to have very lower inventory levels and the general consensus is that we’ll see some ebbs and flows of inventory as we go through the year.

David and I have several new listings that will arrive on the market throughout mid to late spring – a true “fixer” single family home in Willow Glen with a larger lot (8000 sq ft) which will be active in Mid March.   A townhouse in the downtown Campbell  area that has 3 bedrooms and is 1650+ sq ft will arrive on the market in early April.   Late May we will have a large single family home, again a larger lot, in 95128.    If you are interested in more details give us a call so we can stay in touch as the time come closer.

2/6/2018

Check out this link to Market Report that addresses the condo/townhouse in the Merrivale West market report.   If you find the information interesting I could have it emailed to you directly- it’s a great (and simple) way to track the local market

Merrivale West market report

There are also great Area reports and we can tailor to your interest

reach out to me at patricia.kelner@cbnorcal.com

1/25/18

Good news – inventory growing!!  6 properties for sale in the Campbell real estate zone- prices range from $1,250,000 for a unit at Santa Row (yes, it is the Campbell zone) to $599K for a unit on Teatree Ct.     In the Single Family units there are 13 for sales.

1/22/18

I wish I was writing about Real Estate ACTIVITY in our area- but atlas our inventory activity levels remain low.  Just 1 active listings in the Campbell area (zips 95117 and 95008)

3550 Alden Way #4 listed at $598K and they came on the market today.

There is 1 property Pending in the local area-    462 Boxleaf Ct, 95117 for $545K.  They had 712 Sq Ft and they were on the market for 8 days.

One Closed Sale in 2018 at 3179 Loma Verde Dr #4 that was listed at $699K and sold for $885K, with an average amount of days on market- 8.

Slow start to a year where we have many predictions about the local market – talk of the “google” effect spreading out from our downtown area, many new construction projects that will be coming on line (have you seen the plans for the “Winchester Corridor”? and what about all those units by the VTA station in downtown Campbell),  prices up or a leveling?

As I am fond of saying my crystal ball isn’t working, but I do know we’ve been in a wait and see mode- but hoping the pause button will come off soon and inventory and activity levels will increase.

1/4/18

The National Association of Realtors, NAR, has done a lot of lobbying and work on legislation that effects homeowners and the Real Estate industry here’s their take on the new tax laws

https://www.nar.realtor/taxes/tax-reform/the-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act-what-it-means-for-homeowners-and-real-estate-professionals?tp=i-H43-Bb-1Jq-1cVhh-1p-E872-1c-1Z75h-14q5pj&om_rid=23954673%20&Om_ntype=NARstandard&om_mid=5074

1/3/18

Welcome to 2018.   I’m already feeling behind, as I’m writing this on 1/3/18….

As of today there are 2 properties in the condo/townhouse category on the Multiple Listing Service – both came on the market on Jan 2nd.   7 single family homes are available for sale.   That makes a grand total of 9 homes for sale in the entire Campbell area (95008, 95117, and parts of 95128).

The lack of inventory in 2017 propelled buyers to step up financially when purchasing a home.   As buyers they faced fewer choices and competed with multiple offers for each property.   It made for a dynamic market that continued to see increases in sales results as the year progressed.

Each property that closed in the Merrivale West complex increased over the past sales results, thus ending the year with 1309 Merrivale West Sq, our listing, closing at $920,000 and $871.21 per sq foot. These are all-time historical highs in both the categories for the complex.

The tax laws that we will face in 2018 still are a great unknown as to how it will affect buyers and seller’s psychology and desire to purchase or sell.

We had 4 listings in the complex in 2017; none of them had contingencies (finance, appraisal and property condition) and no appraisal issues.  * Even though the offers did not have an appraisal contingency we always are aware that buyers face challenges with their loans if an appraisal doesn’t come in at value.  In fact we did not have any appraisal issues with any of the 30+ transactions we represented sellers and buyers in 2017.

The number of offers each of our listing received shows just how many buyers there were actively looking to purchase verses the number of homes available.

1383 Millich Lane – active Jan 2017 – 15 offers

1459 Woodgrove – active in July 2017 – 9 offers

1413 Millich Lane- active in August 2017 – 10 offers

1309 Merrivale West Sq – active in November 2017 – 20 offers

This was the same trend we experiences in all of our 19 Listings we had in 2017.   When we represented buyer’s  we did have some similar results, but also did have several transaction on the buy side were there were a very low number of offers and a few were we were the only offer.

At Merrivale West 10 properties were listed on the MLS, Multiple Listing Service, & closed escrow in 2017.  One additional property was sold “off market- the agent listed the sales results on the MLS for comparable purposes only after the property closed escrow.  These results are is similar to the 2016 results 19 properties were listed on the MLS in 2016, with an additional property “sold off market”.

What do we expect for 2018?

Well, no one is predicting our low inventory levels will dramatically increase, foreseeing any major changes in our local and national economy.   We hope that the new tax laws will not keep sellers from placing their homes on the market, thus making our already low levels go even lower (yikes!)  The lack of inventory may continue to push prices up- as our local economy remains strong and we continue to have buyers wanting to purchase homes.

What we are seeing is the softening of the rental market- there are new properties and developments coming on line thus affecting that inventory. Rents are still high- but we are seeing renters having more choices and landlords having their properties available longer and frequently lowering the rental offer price.   Check back in a couple months- we should see if this is just seasonal or the trend continues

There is a move to expand the ability of older property owners to transfer your property taxes throughout the state – currently there are only a handful of counties, 11, participating. https://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/27/california-realtors-launch-ballot-drive-to-expand-prop-13-for-senior-homeowners/

Contact us if you have questions- we’d be happy to share the information we have available and discuss what our we see currently happening in both the Real Estate sales market and rentals.

12/15/17

1309 Merrivale West Sq closed escrow at a final sale price of $920,000.   This is the highest $ sale in the complex and the highest $ per sq foot @ $871.   We represented a family who had really wanted to find a buyer who would enjoy the community they way they did for the past 8 years.   It was a lovely sentiment to the Merrivale West community.

The pent up demand has continued to propel prices to higher levels then expected.   We are seeing this with each listing we have – this week we took offers on a Duplex at 1194 -1192 Palm St, 95110 downtown San Jose.  We had a great turn out from interested buyers/investors and received 20 offers.    Duplex’s are a hot commodity since the San Jose City Council voted to exclude them from the Rent Control ordinance they have put in place.   I spoke with many buyers who had been looking for Triplex’s or larger investment units and have switched gears.   Rent Control  scares away investors for properties that fall under the Rent Control rules.

While we continue to experience the continued surge in homes sales prices we are also seeing and experiencing the rental market being a bit sluggish.  I’m guessing that you will be reading more about this in the coming months- unless the spring season brings about changes.   This slowing is partially a seasonal result- last November and December (2016) we had a similar rental market and then in January it picked up again.   This “sluggish” market is both for the townhouse/condo market and single family homes  – I have a client attempting to rent a 2bed/2bath condo in a well maintained and located building in Downtown SJ that has been actively listed as a rental for over 55 days  They were offering out the same rental amount that they had in place for their prior tenants and have lowered it by $150 and still it’s slow.   Another client is attempting to rent a new construction condo unit in the Santa Theresa area that has taken over 30 days.   Both report the number of potential renters contacting them  are few and far between.

IF you are in the Santa Clara area this weekend come visit our newest listing at 2230 Crocker Way in Santa Clara during our Open Houses on Sat and Sun.   This property has been owned by the same family since 1965 – original owners.   It’s a 4 bedroom and 2 bath 1676 Sq Ft and a 8000sq foot lot.   It is listed at $1,398,000.

11/17/17

1309 Merrivale West Sq is pending.  It was very apparent as we reviewed the offers that there were a group of agents who really knew the complex and it’s attributes.   Strong offers and great presentation- we wish we had other properties for them to purchase, as most told stories of trying and trying to write an winning offer for their clients.

The number of offers actually totaled up to 20, I had reported in my prior post we had received 19.   Yesterday afternoon an offer arrived in my email from an agent inquiring why there had been no response to his offer.   My heart sank.  We had been really focused on making certain every agent received an acknowledgement when we received offers.   I was horrified to think there could have been an offer that wasn’t addressed.

Immediately after that email was a second email- same agent- this one had an offer attached and a note that the agent had sent the email to the incorrect email address.     I felt relief, but still felt terrible for the buyer who had put forth an offer that hadn’t been included with the other offers when we presented to the seller the prior evening.   Upon reviewing the offer it was quickly apparent the offer was in the very low range of the all the offers sent to us,  it wouldn’t have changed the sellers decision.

This was the 2nd offer that had been sent to the incorrect email address (again misspelling the email address was the issue ), the other agent had followed up with a call and we quickly were able to let her know she needed to resend to the correct address.

So, what does this say about the offer process and agent’s role?   To me the buyers agent was cavalier about duties and responsibilities- agents should ALWAYS check to make certain the offer arrived.   It also tells me the agent knew the offer wasn’t going to be in the price range of the what the current market conditions would produce.   (it was below ALL the recent comparable sales in the complex  for the last year….)  Why else would you just email off an offer and not bother to check that it arrived?

There was another unusual situation surrounding offers on this property.   I had two different agents call asking a few questions about the property, not unusual as we field a lot of calls prior to agents writing their offers.    Our conversation wandering into the area of recent sales in the complex.  Both agents indicated they had a really strong offers and in both cases when it became apparent to me that the offer was really far off the mark of the recent sales trend I asked what comparable sales they were considering?  Both replied that there weren’t any recent sales they could find, thus they were looking at 2016 sales results….

I asked them to look for the recent addresses of closed sales: 1413 Millich Ct, 1372, Cherrywood Sq, 1459 Woodgrove Sq, and 1338 Millich Lane.  Both agents were at their computers as we were speaking and pulled up the information- crestfallen is the only way to describe their reaction.    I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to go back to their clients and show them those comparable verses the one’s they’d originally shown them from 2016 and tell them they had missed them when originally presenting comparable sales.   It would have changed the whole dynamics of writing the offer and what the property values are in the complex.  As an agent it would be hard to recover and convince the values were about $100K more.

Lastly there we a group of offers that reflected a limited knowledge of the complex – we saw several offers right at the offer price of the last closed sale, 1338 Millich Lane (somehow they chose to ignore the other 3 which closed just a few weeks prior, one of which was the exact size floor plan as 1309 Merrivale West Sq ,1056 sq ft).   They used the closing price of $810,000 as their comparable.    It’s as if they “wished” this was the only comparable because the others reflected a much higher close price.   It also showed a lack of knowledge and research – the inverted floor plan has historically always closed at a lower range then the other floor plans, plus it has one bathroom.

Lastly we saw a huge outpouring of buyers and agents during the 4 open houses- more then I’d experienced during any prior Open Houses at Merrivale West.   Pent up demand is very high for the complex and for properties as a whole.

 

11/15/17

What a couple of days!  Yesterday we took offer for our listing at 756 S Genevieve Lane, San Jose and received 43 offers.

Today was offer date for 1309 Merrivale West Sq – 19 offers.  That is a record for us at Merrivale, prior to this the highest amount of offers for a property in the complex was 15.

There is a tremendous amount of appetitive for buyers to purchase.

Long but very happy days….

11/11/17

Come by for Open House today & tomorrow- 1-4  @ 1309 Merrivale West Sq –

Last night I  hosted an Friday pm Open House from 5-7 – strong turn out, 18+ groups, for a rainy evening.

 

11/6/17

Today we staged and photographed 1309 Merrivale West Sq- tomorrow the property will be active on the MLS at $739,000.

There probably will be some questions about the list price- this has been the list price for the 3 of the 4 recent listings, the only one listed at $699,000 was the 956 Sq foot unit that has an inverted floor plan.  The list price is not what the sellers expect the final sales price to be, or even close to that amount, but it’s more of a “starting price” and buyers will consider the market activity and the recent closed sales.   This bidding up of the list price is very much a Northern California reflection of the market, our inventory levels, and buyer demand.

The last closed sales price for this floor plan was $880,000 for 1413 Millich Court which closed on 9/27/17.  Our listing.    There was a sale that closed right after that on 10/11/17 at 1378 Cherrywood Sq with 1292 Sq ft at $900,000.

Our sellers felt they wanted to stick with what had worked – thus the list price of $739,000.

We’ll be Open on Wed AM 9:30-12:30 and Friday PM from 5-7, and the regular scheduled Open houses on Sat and Sun – 1-4 pm.

10/30/17

Today is what I think of as our first “Fall” day – you need a light jacket most of the day even though when you stand in the sunshine you still feel warm.   My house is “chilly” and I’m tempted to turn on the heat (just for a little while) to warm the interior up.

We are still on track to have our new Merrivale listing hit on market on 11/7- this week is finalizing the prep work- inspections, cleaning, carpet and a few small updates.  We are also bringing a duplex  onto the market within the next few weeks at 1194 Palm St, San Jose, 95117.  Great for investors or a buyer who would like to live in one unit and rent out the other.    Additionally we will be listing a single family “fixer” in the Caputo acres – hitting the market at $799,000 with 1,400+ interior and a 7,770 lot.   Contact us directly if you want specific details and dates.

The market is at an all time inventory low – and yes we’ve batted that phrase around a lot in the past few years – but get this – today in the Campbell Real Estate zone there are 3 condo’s and townhomes for sale on the MLS.  3.

In the last 7 days 5 properties went under contract as pending or active contingency (mostly straight to the Pending status).   Our demand cannot keep up with supply.

It feels like we are at a standstill- and may remain there till the new year as this time of year we historically see a slow down in new homes being added to the MLS as inventory.   Almost every property that comes in the market sells- quickly.  BUT in the meantime IF you are considering selling this would be a prime time- you’d have all those buyers at your doorstep, willing and ready.

10/25/17

We have a new Merrivale West listing arriving in 2 weeks- we expect it to hit the MLS on Nov 7th-  its the 1056 Sq foot floor plan (bi-level unit) with 2 beds, 2 baths and 2 car garage.  Currently we are working with our vendors to prep- new carpet in upper level, fresh paint, and few plumbing repairs.   Pretty simple stuff as the seller has nice upgrades – kitchen and baths, dual paned windows, no acoustical ceilings, hardwood floors in the lower level, and a/c!  See you at the Open house(s).

This from CB Northern California President Mike James-

The California Association of Realtors reported that San Francisco overtook San Mateo as the most expensive market in the state. Supply remained tight as every single county in the San Francisco Bay Area saw a reduction in unsold inventory, as did most parts of the Central Coast and Central Valley. San Francisco saw the highest price per square foot in August at $871/sq. ft., followed by San Mateo ($863/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara ($668/sq. ft

10/15/17

Last week while I was away on a short vacation (up to Washington state- gorgeous this time of year)   2 of the Merrivale West pending properties closed escrow- 1372 Cherrywood Sq at $900,000 and 1338 Millich Lane at $810,000.  Neither one of the closing sales results were a surprise- we’d known about the Millich Lane property from the buyers agent and we knew that with our close on 1413 Millich Court  at $880,000 the Cherrywood property (with more sq ft) would probably be a higher sales results.

You can see the fully posted results on the “sales” – we don’t post the close of escrow date but have the sale date posted.  We use this date because we think it’s a bigger indicator of the market when the property goes into contract verses when the closing takes place.

As of this morning there are 9 condo/townhouses for sale in the Campbell real estate zone as of this AM.    3 of them are new construction on NW Redding Rd and one is in Santana Row.     17 Single Family homes on the market in Campbell- only one is under the $1,000,0000-   it’s listed at $999,000.

10/8/17

The housing crisis that is frequently discussed in our local media is very real and concerning –  no one seems to have answers as how our local job market can continue to expand/grow or even maintain when we have limited opportunities for people moving into the area, or  people who already live here and want to be homeowners or move up buyers.   Our inventory is gobbled up as soon as properties hit the market in the entry level and mid range homes.

The end of Sept in 2016 we had 1,299 single family homes for sale,  Sept 2017 we ended with 742 units.  Condo’s and the Townhouse category had 425 units for sale at the end of 2016 and a jawdropping 157 units in 2017.     Currently there are 12 Condo’s/townhouses for sale in the Campbell area with 4 of them a new construction at 180-186 NW Redding Rd that are listed at $1,050,000 for a 1,302-1,308 unit.  They are all 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.

Considering those numbers it not at all surprising that the Merrivale West properties that are listed have been met with a great amount of buyer activity, multiple offers and closing sales prices that  continue to increase.   Our last listing to close, 1413 Millich Ct, which is a 1056 Sq Ft floorplan sold for $880,000.  I’d expect the Cherrywood listing that is set to close this week may be above that because it’s a large sq foot floor plan – 1292 sq ft.

This weekend we’ve been preparing a new listing that is coming on the market out in “The Villages” – if you aren’t familiar with this area it’s in southeast San Jose, also known as the Evergreen area.   It’s a 55+ and older community that is includes a golf course and community that embraces older adult lifestyles. There are over 1,700 housing units in this community- single family homes, townhouses and condo’s.     Its a bit of a drive from our area in San Jose, at least 25 minutes during off traffic times ( if off traffic times even exists in our area any more..)

The grounds are immaculate and the maintenance overall impressive.    Driving into the complex you can feel yourself slow down and exhale- it’s as if all the hustle and bustle of the Silicon Valley area has dissipated.  Wild turkeys are strutting around and every so often a deer (or 2) strolls by.    I have to admit I always rather thought of The Villages as a place for much older people and not terribly interesting and now having been there frequently I have a totally different impression.   It looks enticing to live in an environment that isn’t rushed – and I do mean slower because if you end up behind a gold cart, which frequently happens, you just need to chill…. and that’s not a bad thing.

Slower also seeps into the selling process- no Open houses are allowed, no signage, and of course only sellers who are 55 years and old.   We are staging the property – but with a less contemporary feel then we usually ask our stagers to create.   There won’t be an set offer date- we’ll look at offers as they arrive.   It’s a different selling process.

What about pricing?  Well, that is different too – this townhome which is over 1,600 sq feet, an end unit of 3 attached homes.   There is a generous patio, cathedral ceilings, a large master suite,  and spacious garage and storage area’s.   Our seller is a nonagerianian and I can only hope to be as independent and charming- she’s a joy. She is leaving an clean and well taken care of home- the new owners will be lucky.   We  will hit the market on Friday, 10/13, in the low $800,000s.    Come visit or make an inquiry if you have ever thought about an adult community…. 8628 American Oak Dr.   Prop 60 would allow you to transfer your properties taxes with you!  (one person has to be at least 55+ years old)

10/3/17

Shawn Siddhu a lender from Thrive Financial shared this blog post and I thought it was a good explanation of current loan standards.   BTY Shawns contact is 408)599 3628

What is a Non-QM Loan?

 

9/22/17

I’ve heard the 1338 Millich went significantly over the list price and far beyond the comparable sales for this floor plan.  Congrats to the seller and new buyer.

9/20/17

We were finally able to post 1459 Woodgrove Sq as CLOSED at $850,000.   The final underwriting department for the loan was located in Florida and they had to disperse files to other regional offices due to Hurricane Irma, which then delayed the final release of funds and our close of escrow date by over one week.   As frustrating as this delay was cool heads prevailed and both the Seller and Buyer were patient and understanding of the situation.

Both David and I have been receiving inquiry calls from agents and appraisers the past two days regarding the closing prices on 1459 Woodgrove and 1413 Millich Ct as agents are attempting to gather information for their clients who are consider making offers on the 1338 Millich Lane property and appraisers are working with refinance loans.   As I wrote last week we had the same kind of calls before 1372 Cherrywood took offers.  This time the agents weren’t aggressive but more bewildered by the pricing and how to approach an offer price.   We understand – it’s really challenging to try figure out how the offer pricing will ultimately shake out and this floor plan has historically sold for a different price range then the other floor plans in the complex,   BUT there are 2 comparable sales with the exact floor plan in the past year,   And we continue to have a rising market.

One of the appraisers who called us was working on a refinance for a client of USBank.  He asked, several times, about the list price verses the sale price and repeatedly told me he needed to focus on the list price for the pendings and it made it “difficult” for him since they (the list prices)  were in the lower to mid $700 range.   We referred him back to the sales from earlier in the year- 3 of the 5 were above $800 and into the mid $800, and all had a significantly lower list price.   I found myself really working to convince him that the home he was appraising (a 1056 sq foot floor plan) would have a value of $850,000 OR above.  *we didn’t discuss who his clients were just the sq foot.   He’d also didn’t have knowledge of one of the pending sales… it was apparent he was either new to appraisals or not from our immediate area.    I hung up with a feeling that the appraisal results were not going to go well for the owner who was trying to refinance….

As we know from our experience at Merrivale, being listing agents, there will be several strong offers on the newest listing which is taking offers tomorrow – there typically are a couple stronger offers, several in the mid range (but above list) and a few that come in around list.   The formula might be abit different with the inverted floor plan- but its still an aggressive market and few properties available for larger numbers of buyers who struggle to get their offers accepted.

 

 

 

9/14/17

New listing at 1338 Millich Lane.  I would expect we’ll see a few more listing coming in the next month or two in the complex.   After a couple  listings take off (1459 Woodgrove Sq, 9 offers and 1413 Millich Ct, 10 offers) with multiple offers, and I’d expect that 1372 Cherrywood Sq had the same experience this week sellers start to jump in the market.

1338 Millich Lane is the inverted floor plan – and that floor plan has (historically) tended to sell at a lower $ due to some buyer resistance to the floor plan and one bathroom.   However, with the market being the way it is we could see this one bid up.   My best is guess is that there will be fewer offers (the last 2 versions of this floorplan each had between 2-3 offers)

They have priced it at a very competitive list price of $649,000 and that will attract  attention.  Plus the on line photo’s are enticing.   I’ve always liked the wrap around deck, even with it being the smallest sq foot floor plan in the complex, there’s so much opportunity to utilize the deck and patio, which is off the bedroom, as an outdoor kind of room environment.

The comp’s for this property are 1338 Pinehurst Sq- which sold in mid May 2017 for $700,000 and 1435 Woodgrove Sq which sold back in mid November 2017 for $710,000.

9/12/17

We are waiting for the loan documents to arrive in title for the close of escrow on 1459 Woodgrove Sq.  We are about 1 week delayed and it might be a little longer..   As any of you, that have purchased a property in the past few years, are aware the last few days prior to close sometimes has a few blips- the underwriter is reviewing the file prior to the final approval for the loan doc’s to be sent out for buyers signatures,  the lender  may ask for additional documents, or an asking for an explanation of a document  the buyer has already submitted, and then there is the final verification that is made to insure the borrower is still employed (none of these are the reason we are delayed on Woodgrove…)  but as you can tell there are several reasons a closing can be delayed that are unexpected at this stage of the escrow.     Unfortunately the underwriting desk for this loan is located in Florida and storms have delayed their processing.

Both David and myself have been taking calls (many)  from Real Estate agents looking for information about both 1459 Woodgrove Sq and 1413 Millich Ct as they plan their strategy for offers on the Cherrywood listing.    This isn’t unusual for an agent to call and try find out what took place on the prior listings in the area, what I find rather interesting is that there is frequently (recently) some aggression in the questioning and an expectation that we will share price and terms with them  outright.   This is not always possible- as we aren’t always in a position of the seller wanting that to happen OR the stage of the escrow process isn’t far enough along.

I think this aggressiveness is brought out by the frustrations agents are feeling as they deal with  multiple offers and large overbids of the list price.   Agents often don’t know what to suggest to their clients regarding offer amounts and they also want some proof of what took place to try show their clients that properties will ultimiately sell for a higher amount then they (buyers) can conceive.   Its a tough market for buyers and their agents.

Good news is that we saw a small hike in # of new listing coming  on the market after the holiday weekend – we hope the trend continues.

9/6/17

1459 Woodgrove will close in the next few days-  we are just waiting for the loan documents to arrive.   1413 Millich Court is moving through the escrow process – all good!!

The new listing at 1372 Cherrywood is active, I stopped by for a visit today.  Its very nicely presented and listed at the same list price we had for our past 2 listings $739,000.   The agent is a Coldwell Banker agent and she does a nice job of presentation.   My only call out is the property doesn’t have A/C and I’m certain they are very happy they have Open House this weekend and not last as that would have been challenging….  they have already set an offer date of 9/12.

8/30/17

1413 Millich Ct is PENDING.  Offer date was Wed (yesterday) and the sellers accepted a strong, well written AND presented offer, that had no contingencies.   We had a total of 10 offers.  What was the surprising was that none of the offers were from buyers who presented offers on 1459 Woodgrove Sq (just 2 weeks ago) – it shows that buyers will often move on quickly even when the price and location are similar.   Often it’s a great deal about timing.   *all the prior buyers and agents were contacted and aware of the new listing and several visited during open house and broker tour.

This property had more upgrades then 1459 Woodgrove Sq – so it could be that there was a different kind of buyer looking at 1413 Millich Ct.   Also interesting is the number of offers was very similar – 9 for Woodgrove Sq and 10 for Millich Ct.

8/29/17

Today we are receiving calls from agents about 1413 Millich Ct- this is generally what takes place prior to an offer date.  Agents and their clients are looking for information that will give them a “leg up” for their offer.  It’s challenging to respond to their questions without sounding vague- because honestly we don’t know how tomorrows offers will pan out.   We DO know there is a significant amount of interest and there are few properties out there available for sale.    We don’t want to scare off potential buyers and we want everyone to participate in writing an offer, thus when agents ask for the number of downloads for disclosures I always state I don’t think it’s not a  strong indication of the number of offers being written, but instead an indication of buyer interest.  Our experience is that sometimes  buyers will ask agents for disclosures before they’ve ever been out to visit a property OR they go to Open House and ask their agents to send them disclosures for ALL the properties they visited  (a buyers agent just told me he has buyers who visit open house over the weekend and then will contact him and ask for 8 different disclosure packages….  )  it happens.

What we do expect is that it’ll be  similar experience to our listing that was 2 weeks ago at Merrivale West, 1459 Woodgrove Sq, which received 9 offers.

At the Open Houses I had a lot of conversations with visiting buyers  about what type of property ownership the Merrivale West complex has, the answer is it’s a PUD, Planned Unit Development– there is quite a bit of confusion about what is a Townhouse or Condominium ownership.

Here’s what Cornerstone Title has provided as a clarification:

Knowing what you own or are going to buy is critical. The following information explains the differences between Planned Unit Developments, Condominiums and Townhomes, and how they affect title insurance policies and/or policy coverage.

Planned Unit Developments (PUD):

Today, many cities and counties are fitting more and more people into smaller areas. The most common way to accomplish this is to create a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

Technically a PUD is an area where the standard zoning rules do not apply. A PUD allows for a higher density of housing units to be built per lot than would be allowable for Single Family Residential (SFR) construction.

Within a PUD the owner will own a lot inclusive of the structure and improvements and will also benefit from an association that provides common areas and amenities. Of course, this brings along all the rules and regulations of the association. Zoning should not be the basis for classifying a project as a PUD.

A PUD can have multiple types of dwellings including: single-family detached residences, townhomes, multi-family buildings, commercial, and even industrial properties.

When property is in a PUD, a lender will often require an endorsement called the ALTA 5, known as the CLTA 115.2, which gives the lender assurance for issues arising from the association and assessments.

The Owners’ Policy legal description will show the lot as created by the map, and there will be exceptions shown for the governing documents of the association, known in the industry as CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions).

Liens affecting the association and/or common areas do not attach to the individual owners lot due to the separate ownership of the common areas by the associations.

Condominiums:

So how do Condominiums fit in?

A Condominium project is one in which individual owners hold title to units in the project along with an undivided interest in the real estate that is designated as the common area for the project. So, in a sense the ownership is collective with exclusive rights only to your unit and exclusive use areas.

CornerStoneTitleCo.com  

Source: Randy Sierra, CornerStone Title  

Many people have a misunderstanding of what the term “Condominium” actually refers to. Quite often, people think that Condominium refers to a particular design of an attached dwelling unit where the living area is all on the same level. However, this is by no means true. The term Condominium does not reflect the physical appearance, i.e., style, design, or how many floors or levels it has. A Condominium is a form of ownership that involves a separation of property into individual ownership elements and common elements.

Each owner holds the fee simple interest to his or her individual unit, and also shares in a percentage of the fee simple to the common areas (normally divided equally between all units).

The owners will also have easements for patios, storage, parking, decks, and other use areas. The unit is defined by the Condominium plan, and consists only of the airspace. All of the structure is a part of the common area.

Lenders will require to see endorsement ALTA 4, also known as CLTA 115.1, which deals with specific issues Condominiums present.

The legal description in the policy will have several parcels, one being the unit, another being the common area(s), and possibly more for any easements the owner may have.

Owner and lender policies will have exceptions for the governing documents (CC&Rs) and the Condominium plans.

Liens affecting the association and/or common area can affect unit owners as they own a percentage of the common areas.

Townhomes:

Let’s not forget the last term, Townhome.

The Townhome is not a legal form of ownership, nor is it affected by density or zoning requirements.

A Townhome is a dwelling unit, generally having two or more stories and attached to other similar units via party walls.

Townhomes are often used in PUD and Condominium developments, which provide for clustered or attached housing and common area open space.

As a Townhome is merely an architectural design, it has no bearing on the title policy other than it may indicate that there are party wall agreements that may be recorded or be a part of the governing documents.

So for title insurance, both the PUD and the Condominium have unique items that lenders require specific endorsements to address.

The owner of a PUD will have ownership of the land and structures, while a Condominium owner will have ownership of the airspace and a percentage of the land and structures.

The owners policies will have governing documents shown as exceptions and these documents should be read by any prospective buyer so they fully understand what they are getting into.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both ownerships, and any questions regarding the type of ownership should be directed to your title company for clarification.

8/28/17  MONDAY

Busy week at 1413 Millich Ct- we started the week with bring the property to the Multiple Listing Service on Tues AM.  Wed AM we hosted an Broker Tour in combination with a Open House to the public.   Traditionally this is just a tour for Brokers/agents but we’ve found that by opening it up to Buyers we “hit the ground running” and have a significant number of buyers who visit that AM.   Millich Court was no exception- buyer group outnumbered the Brokers/agents.

Friday PM I hosted a late afternoon early evening Open House- 5-7 pm.   This is also not a traditional Open House date or timeframe but we found that it allows buyers who may not have a weekend day available to visit the property.  Often neighbors also visit.  They will frequently tell us they are “scoping” out the property for family and friends and they leaving telling us they will encourage them to come visit during the weekend open house!  This was the case at both Millich Ct. & Woodgrove Sq- I meet friends and family members over the weekend

Saturday and Sunday I hosted and there was the usual large #’s of buyers groups.   Several were buyers I’d been able to contact from our prior Open House on 1459 Woodgrove Sq and we’d sent them an invite to attend.  (Our  list of interested  buyers is growing with each Open House we host)

We’ll have offers on Wed 8/23/17-

The sale on 1459 Woodgrove Sq is moving forward – we expect the escrow to close on 9/7.

Our listing on 3423 Walton Way – a single family listing a few streets away from the complex  (we have the link to the property posted on the Home page- check it out) went under contract last Tues PM.   We received 15 offers.  It’s a great time to be a seller!

David and I also work, about 50% of the time,  buyers and we are very aware how difficult the buying process can be.   We strive to make our listings easy to show, easy to view reports and disclosures, and the offer process clear and fair.I

I’ll be updating with information after the offers on Wed.

8/18/17

1459 Woodgrove Sq is pending.  Close of escrow is scheduled for 21 days – 9/7/17.  As I stated in my post on 8/16 we had 9 offers,   There were many good offers to consider.    Conversely there were a couple of agents who failed to complete the offer and sent it in with missing items ???    Then when we reach out and ask if they intended to present an offer missing information or with incorrect information they blow us off (seriously)  and tell us they will respond later.   There is no “later” in a multiple offer situation.

It never fails to amaze me…. Buyers please ask your agents about what the are the seller/listing agents expectations.   It is critical to your ability to purchase a property.  When a buyer identifies a property they are interested in that is one of the first things an agent should be trying to find out from the listing agent “what is the seller looking for in terms of an offer”   We create a very clear worksheet for the agents and it lists the necessary items that would make an offer “work” for the seller (not price) but terms and conditions.   (Price is what the buyers agent and the buyer need to come up with based on market conditions and the buyers ability to purchase).

EXCITING  news – On Tuesday – 8/22 we will be bringing another Merrivale West property on to the market – 1413 Millich Ct.  This is a 2 bedroom and 2 bath with 2 car garage.  1056 sq ft.   We look forward to seeing you at the Open Houses.

Also, if you are out and about this weekend please stop by our Open Houses a few streets away 3423 Walton Way- a single family home listed for $1,099,000.   It’s a 3 bedroom and 2 bath home with 1,640 Sq Ft on a spacious 8,073 Lot.

8/16/17

Terrific turn out for 1459 Woodgrove Sq-  we took offers yesterday and received 9.   The Sellers are in the process of reviewing.

8/5/17

Our newest Merrivale West listing will be ACTIVE on Monday- 1459 Woodgrove SQ.

This property was owned by our seller since 1978.  This is the 2nd largest sq foot floor plan in the complex at 1278 Sq ft with a one car garage.   Unique to this property is that there is a wood burning brick fireplace in the living room area – we understand it was add either at the original build or right after (the owner purchased it with the fireplace in place)  The spacious hall bath upstairs has a skylight and their are 2 hall closets.   New carpets, paint, master bath have been recently completed along with updated lighting and an new stove/hood/range in the kitchen.

We hope we’ll see you at the open houses- WED am 9:30-12:30 (in conjunction with Broker tour) FRIDAY pm 5:00-7:00 (to accommodate those who aren’t able to make the weekend open houses) and SAT and SUN 1:00-4:00.

7/17/17

We are back from vacation and recharged – unfortunately while we were gone inventory levels continued to dwindle….

There have still been only 5 closed sales at Merrivale West in 2017 – but the good news is we have a couple new Merrivale West listings coming on the market in the next few months.

Early August will be when the first property arrives on the market – and it’ll be a 1292 sq foot unit with 2 beds and 2 full baths and a half bath.  This unit also had a wood burning fireplace – yes, a real one.    The kitchen is fairly original, but has a new stainless steel stove and hood, plus new coved lighting area with recessed lighting.   Bathrooms are updated.   New paint and carpet throughout.   We’ll be posting a “coming soon”  next week.  But feel free to reach out to us if you’d like further details now.

The second property will be updated throughout.   We expect that to come on the market in early fall.

The Campbell area market for Townhouses and Condos has been a mixed bag – the last 30 days of closings (remember most escrows are apprx 30 days so the sales dates may go back to mid May)  are a total of 12 units.    The average days on market was 23 days and out of the 12 listings 5 of them sold under the list price.

Currently there are 11 active listings in the Campbell zone for Townhouses and Condos.

6/6/17

I’m working an preparing and sending out a mid year update for Merrivale West – so watch for it in your mailbox.

As I mentioned in my 5/22 blog post  we actually had one more sale close in 2017 then we had in 2016 at this point in the year (mid way)

Here’s how I see how the activity and sales have shaken out:

January was the first listing  at 1383 Millich Lane (our listing)we had great traffic and multiple offers.  The unit was an former model unit and had the attibutes of being an end unit with 1153 sq ft, extra space in the public area, plus a 2 car garage with ability to park extra vehicles in the driveway.   The sellers ended up receiving 10% above.   We had a huge # of visitors through the Open houses and could feel there was a pent up demand from buyers.

In  February  1321 Charmwood Sq came on the market, a 1056 unit.   They took a preemptive offer (they had an offer date set and ended up going into contract before the published date)  The buyer(s) were aware of the market and made an aggressive offer which the sellers decided was so strong they took it before the published offer date.   The sales price was 14% above the list price.   Highest sale price in the history of Merrivale West at $850,000.

Late March a sale was published on the Multiple Listing Service “for comparable purposes only”  1409 Pinehurst Sq, a 1056 sq ft unit.  There were no “days on market” thus the buyers and sellers had sold “off market”  for a sale price of $820,000.

Early April 1455 Golden Meadow Sq was listed at $789,000.   This list price was the highest list price for a Merrivale West property ever – the seller was very confident and expected a large overbid.    Unfortunately it didn’t work out the way the seller planned (we know this because he contacted David and I several times)  the property was on the market for 21 days and escrow closed at the list price of $789,000.    One item to add to this was the seller had used a “limited service brokerage”  so marketing and negotiating  is basically the sellers responsibility  (including  open houses and showings.  * Each “limited brokerage” works differently and their services can be negotiated.

End of April the smallest unit in the complex a 968 sq ft unit, 1411 Pinehurst Sq, came on the market.   This is the inverted floor plan with one bathroom and bedroom on the entry level and the kitchen and living space is on the second level.  The unit was listed at $699,000 was active for 10 days and they closed at $700,000.   * the same sq foot unit, 1435 Woodgrove, closed in Dec 2016 and had stronger sales results with a $719,000 list and a closed price of $710,000.  The condition of both was similar regarding upgrades, staging and marketing.

Overall some interesting results….  highest priced unit sold in the complex at $850,000,  a unit that closed higher in 2016 then the same unit in 2017, and an overconfident seller with a high list price that felt short on expectations.

The rest of 2017 should be interesting….    We do have a Merrivale West listing coming on late summer and it’ll be upgraded throughout.

5/25/17

Our listing at 4494 Norwich Way – 95130 a single family home which I wrote about in my last post went under contract last night- 5 days after listing it on the MLS.  We received 11 offers.   10 of the offers  had NO contingencies and needless to report the contract price is above list price, which was $1,149,000.

We had a very sophisticated buyer and agent writing the offers.   Many had been rejected several times prior when trying to purchase a home in the area.   Multiple offers scenario’s are tough for buyers and agents, but having  perseverance  and experience  are great motivators when writing  and presenting the kind of  aggressive contract that it takes to be the winner.    I’d also add an agent who pays attention and makes certain the contract is completely written (we receive offers all the time that are incomplete OR the agent didn’t both to follow the offer instructions

This home had been a long term rental and the owners did many upgrades preparing the home for sale- all of them paid off.   We had done a walk through about 1.5 months ago with the purpose of discussing preparing the home for 1. the rental market with a few clean ups and upgrades  2. preparing the home for sale.   Initially the sellers were focused on continuing to rent the property but as they began their renovation projects they switched gears.

Here’s the list of what they chose to renovate/upgrade

Kitchen- re-stained and rehung hinges on the older oak cabinets   ( we have a great vendor for this…- they turned out great) granite counter, new s/s appliances  (not fridge which we pulled out the old one and didn’t replace for the sale) pulled a gas line for the new cooktop, new flooring and lighting.

Bathrooms– new cabinets and sinks, new flooring and in master bath layed tile on floor and in the expanded shower stall, new lighting, toilet, faucets

Re surfaced and stained the hardwood, installed dual paned windows throughout, new furnace and A/C, new lighting (ceiling lights in every bedroom) fresh paint, garage was totally cleaned out and new utility sink was installed,  old pergola in backyard removed and new plantings in the beds.

Buyers in our area want an “move in” ready home and are willing to pay for it.   Every aspect of this home looked and smelled fresh and clean.    Buyers were impressed and it showed in their offers and interest.

5/22/17

We’ve seen inventory being turned very fast and inventory is shrinking again.   Low low levels.  This is no news flash, as it is what we’ve experienced for 2-3 years now… As of this AM only 2 townhouse/condo’s for sale in 95117.  In the Campbell zone only 13 listings (this includes 3 in the Santana Row area, which really isn’t a comparison of like properties…)

BUT, so far in 2017 we’ve seen 4 properties in Merrivale West close escrow-  at the same point in 2016 we had only 3 properties close escrow.  There is a pending property on Pinehurst, which is set to close early June.    With that property closing  5 will  have closed at the mid year market.  (verses 3 for 2016)

We expect to have a listing come on the market in mid August – a 1056 sq foot unit.

David and I had a new listing in the area, 4494 Norwich Way, SJ 95130, which was ACTIVE Sat. AM.   It’s a single family with  1,163 Sq foot interior on a 5,973 lot in the Moreland school district.  Recently upgraded and remodeled with a list price of $1,149,000    I hosted the Open house both Sat and Sun- 54 groups of buyers visited on Sat and 63 groups on Sun.     Impressive turnout.   We’ll have an offer date later this week.

I also listed a Duplex the week prior in downtown San Jose – 823-821 N 17th ST, 95112.  That property was listed for $759,000 and we took offers last Thursday.   28 total – and I’ve received calls every day since asking if agents/buyers can still submit.   (Sellers reside out of town and have requested 3+ days to respond to the offers)

There is so much pent up demand.

5/4/17

Pinehurst Sq went straight to PENDING -which generally means there are no contingencies in place.

Here’s an quick and simple post that Rob McCarthy, 101 Loans just sent out.  I think its a pretty through take on the current market and why waiting hasn’t been a good strategy for buyers in our local market….  btw Rob just was able to complete a loan for buyers we had in contract  in 23 days.  No fuss no muss- he and his team just got it done.  Having a lender who can work that quickly is very important in this hyper competitive market.

Here’s his take on buying now or waiting:

Is it Time to Buy Now or Buy Later?

What I have been seeing, are a number of clients stating that our current “seller’s market” is too tough and too competitive and that they are going to hold off on buying for the time being and wait for a correction in the market or the bubble to pop.  What they may not realize is the impact their decision may have on them that includes potentially higher property values in the future, higher interest rates and most important, being priced out in the market they originally wanted to buy in.

Let’s first address what’s needed for a real estate correction to occur:

  1. The Stock Market needs to Drop significantly in Value.
  2. The Unemployment Rate Must Goes Up.  (Currently it’s at 4.7%)
  3. Inventory exceeds Buyer Demand pushing us into an Over Supply Market.                                                                                                                      Now let’s discuss what happens to so those while they wait for a correction to occur:
    1. Interest Rates will Go Up (The Fed expects to raise rates further)
    2. Values will Go Up due to the Growth Market we are currently in. (Low Inventory, High Demand)
    3. Buyers will Pay a Higher Price for the Property coupled with a Higher Payment by Waiting
    4. By waiting, Buyers may Not be able to Afford the Higher Price and Payments causing them to continue to rent or relocate to a different area

 

5/1/17

1455 Golden Meadow Sq posted closed at $789,000 which was also the list price.   These results are surprising given the most recent closed sales in the complex and considering that sales have built on each other and we’ve seen dramatic increases.     In my estimation there are a couple of reasons for this

  1. This unit was listed by a “limited broker”.  For a reduced amount of commission the agent does a reduced amount of work.   How does this translate to sales results?   Each broker will contract for different levels/kinds of service.   It appears this agent didn’t do much of the marketing- other then listing the property on the internet.   The seller/owner held the Open houses and did continually reach out to David and myself asking us if we had any buyers interested.     They had an offer date listed about  week to a week and a half  after the property was listed- and it went and came without the status of the property changing.   The property lingered on the market for 21 days.   Yes, that is rather an unheard of amount of time in our current market and with the limited amount of inventory we have.
  2. The unit has 1 and 1/2 baths.   Buyers want 2 full baths, it may have been a deal breaker for many buyers- even though the property showed nicely.   Last spring there were 2 properties in the complex that sold one month apart- 1376 Cherrywood Sq sold in April for $720,000 it was 1220 sq ft and a 1 1/2 baths, right next door 1378 Cherrywood Sq sold in May for $801,000 it was  1292 sq ft with 2 full baths.     A difference of 72 sq ft and $81,000.   I would also add the presentation of 1378 Cherrywood Sq was much stronger also.
  3. The property was listed on the high side of value- we continue to see buyers react favorability to properties that are listed on the lower end of value.  Frequently there will be multiple offers or preemptive offers – and that results in a higher sales price and a lower number of days on market.   Properties listed on the high side of value tend to linger and don’t end up with the increase in a sales price.   Buyers just aren’t willing to jump in on this properties that are listed on the higher side of value.

I  visited 1411 Pinehurst Sq on Sunday during Open house- nice presentation and I think the price is right where it needs to be to draw offers!    It shouldn’t take long to go under contract.

4/24/17

New listing at 1411 Pinehurst Sq- its the inverted floor plan where you enter at the level of the bathroom and the bedroom, up the stairs is the kitchen and living space plus a bedroom (original floor plan did not have an upstairs bedroom)  looks great in photo’s!

4/4/17

A new sold sale showed up on the MLS – 1409 Pinehurst Sq which  closed escrow on 3/29/17.  This property was sold “off market” and had zero days on market.   The agent listed it on the MLS for “comparable purposes” – no photos and limited info.   but it does allow other agents to be aware of the sold price.   There was a listing agent and a selling (buyers) agent – thus it did involve a normal process of negotiations and some marketing to attract a buyer.   The agents were from different brokerage firms.

1455 Golden Meadow did go under contract on 3/29/17 it had been an active listing for 21 days.  Since its status is listed as “active contingent” there are more then likely contingencies in place.   IF there are no contingencies in place (fairly common in our current market) the status would be “pending”

3/24/17 Friday

1455 Golden Meadow Sq is still Active- their offer date has come and gone and they are still active…

As I had mentioned in my prior blog – the list price is very aggressive.

Sometime it’s difficult for sellers to reconcile that listing on the high end of value (or above) won’t draw offers the same way listing on the lower side of value will.  Time and time again we see this – lower end of value and the seller’s receive multiple offers, as it creates the “worry me price”, which is a David-ism.   What he means it that not only does it draw attention of a large number of buyers BUT it makes them worried that another buyer will out bid them and they will lose out on their offer, so they will (often) bid higher.

Some sellers feel their property is so upgraded and well worth the higher list price (probably true) that they list high.    But buyers don’t see it the same way- they see an listing that is priced on the very high end of value and feel that  they’d need to bid up… they move on without making an offer.

Of course this is all a generalization- and I don’t know the situation at the current active listing.   We can go back and look at listings from 2016 mid year where the pricing was high and they ended up taking price reductions and then sold below the average price of the other listings in the same time frame.

David and I have been very active this spring – all of our listings that have closed OR are pending (6) have had multiple offers and sold well over the list price.   I’ve written 7 offers for buyers in the past 3 weeks and ALL of the properties had multiple offers.  The area’s I’ve written offer are Sunnyvale, downtown San Jose and Blossom Valley.   It’s happening (multiple offers and low days on market) throughout the entire area.

If you are out and about this weekend stop by our newest listing – 19 Alpine Ave, Los Gatos.   Amazing private lot on 1+ acre  within a few blocks of downtown Los Gatos!  It’s a truly unique home and location.  Open house is Saturday and Sunday.

 

3/8/17

New listing at 1455 Golden Meadow Sq- list price is $789,000 which the highest list price we’ve seen for a Merrivale West property.   The property is the 1220 sq foot unit with a one car garage and 1.5 baths.

2/25/17

1321 Charmwood Sq went into Pending status on 2/22.  The listing agent has posted an offer date of 2/24.  My guess is they took a “preemptive offer” and it had no contingencies   If a property is under contract with contingency periods in place then its status is listed as “Active Contingent”.   When a property’s status goes directly to “Pending” then the assumption is there are no contingencies.

Our listing at 795 Shearton Dr, 95117  a single family home had a similar situation where 2 days into the Active period an agent brought us an offer- we had not listed an offer date as we expected to go through the weekend of Open Houses and then planned to set a date.   The offer was strong enough for the sellers to accept and not feel they missed any potential higher offers.     Sometimes the 1st offer is that good…

2/17/17

Hopefully you’ve all seen the final sale  price on 1383 Millich Lane- $812,000.   That is the highest dollar sale  in Merrivale West historically and 2nd highest $ per sq foot at $704.86  (our listing last spring at 1431 Woodgrove Sq, 1056 sq ft, 4/15/16 was $706.91 $ per Sq ft)

We had 15 offers and felt that some of the results were due to timing, low inventory and pent up demand after the slower holiday season.   BUT just yesterday we had a single family home listing  in the Blossom Valley area that received 13 offers- so the multiple offer situation continues as we move further in the spring selling season.

We also feel that location within the complex, end unit, the unit floor plan (had the den in the downstairs area), correct List price, our marketing and preparation all added up to achieve the results.

Next Monday we will have another new listing for a single family in the 95117 area,  at 795 Shearton Dr.  It’s a 1582 Sq foot home with a 6500 lot – it will be listed at $995,000.   It’ll be interesting to see if we draw the same kind of response as 1383 Millich Lane and 632 Orick Ct- both which were listed in the low $700 range.

2/13/17

Our listing at 1383 Millich Lane is posting closed tomorrow~ the seller decided to hold off till the set close of escrow.

1321 Charmwood Sq was “withdrawn” after one day on the market due to “personal reasons”.  The Listing agents states it’ll be back on the market end of Feb.

2/8/17

New listing in the complex at 1321 Charmwood Sq,  the agent states there is no show until 2/21…..what will happen is there will be a long Days on Market showing since it’ll be 14 days till anyone can view it and then there will be a period of time before it goes under contract.    Unusual approach.

This unit was last on the MLS.  It was last  sold in 2013, it’s the 1056 sq unit with the kitchen that opens to the dining area.

2/6/17

It’s here!!  the day after Super Bowl Sunday and its’ the week we (hopefully) will see more listings.    We currently have 3 listings coming out in the next 3 weeks – not in Merrivale West, but single family homes in Campbell and Blossom Valley area.

Stay tuned on 1383 Millich Lane- while the contract has a closing date of 2/14 it looks like we’ll be closing early!   We were able to do with the 1404 Cherrywood Sq a few months ago also.

While price and terms are very important in reviewing the offers we also place an emphasis on examining the buyers Realtor and the buyers choice for a loan officer and lender.    We spend time, before we present the offers to the Seller speaking with both and determining if all the dates/terms are realistic and can they all perform in a timely manner.   Have to say we’ve had terrific luck recently!     Thoroughness is important when reviewing offers.

1/31/17

Here’s an interesting article written by Nancy Robinson, Regional VP of Northern California

One of the oldest axioms in real estate – besides location, location, location – is that the best time to list a home is just after the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl has gained popularity as a housing-market selling-season indicator. According to traditional real estate wisdom, that’s when the busy spring home selling season gets underway.

With this Sunday’s match between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons less than a week away, I thought it was a good time to determine whether the Super Bowl as a selling-season indicator for the housing market is fact or fiction. The answer, as best as I’ve been able to determine, is that it’s more myth than reality.

It’s true that the Super Bowl just happens to fall at the time of year when the holidays are over and potential home sellers start thinking about their plans for the new year – including whether it’s time to put their home on the market. Also with all the rain we’ve been having in the Bay Area, the weather hasn’t exactly been conducive to getting a home ready for market and holding an open house.

But the fact is that there is nothing “magical” about the Super Bowl, for the real estate industry, as a point in time to kick off the selling season. In fact, after crunching all the sales data over the years, the economic team at Zillow says that for the nation as a whole the best time to sell is actually the last two weeks of March.

In an article in the Chicago Tribune, Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said there’s a strategy to it all. He acknowledged that the bulk of the listings will show up right after the Super Bowl sometime in February. But by late March, the new listings are dwindling and those listings that have been around since early February might be getting a bit stale.

By listing toward the end of March, a new listing might get to the top of the list in search engines and attract more buyer attention. The article did note that there are regional variations to all this. In milder parts of the country (i.e., the Bay Area) the right time may be slightly earlier, while in colder climates it could be later – possibly late April. Or, at the in certain price points it doesn’t really matter because everything is selling!

Whether the right time to list a home here in the Bay Area is February or later in March, one thing is clear: Now is the right time to start getting your clients ready if they plan to sell this year. Are you ready to kick-off the selling season!?

Now about that Super Bowl stock market myth….

1/31/17

1435 Woodgrove just posted closed.   The closing took place on 1/24/17 but didn’t get reported on the MLS till today.    They did have 3 offers on this property, after a price adjustment was taken.

Inventory remains slight… currently in Santa Clara townhomes/condos are 9 units under Jan 2016 ending inventory numbers.  ( 202 units end of Jan 2016 and 193 units end of Jan 2017  Single Family home’s inventory levels are much lower then 2016.   Single Family homes Jan 2016 675 units and Jan 2017 578 units.

We’ve always consider the week after Super Bowl Sunday as the kick off for the Spring selling season, so we are hoping next week brings some higher numbers.

Also, I just saw a “coming soon” listed for 1455 Golden Meadow Sq on Zillow – list price $789,000.   That’s a incredibly aggressive list price.   The floor plan is 1220 Sq ft with a 1 full bath and 1/2 bath.

1/23/17

1383 Millich Lane went pending on 1/19/17 THURS – offers were collected on WED 1/18 and we had a total of 15.    Needless to say that is a lot of offers – only one came in at the list price and all the others were above.

The Open Houses we held were all time high numbers of buyers and agents coming through- on Saturday 1/14 I had 78 groups (groups not individuals) and over 50+ on Sunday 1/15.   Friday evening 1/13, when I usually see 2-3 buyer groups and then a few neighbors, I had 10 groups of buyers (neighbors are good, they generally love living in Merrivale West and often have friends/family that would like to purchase…. neighbors are always welcome)

The offers were pretty consistent with terms and down payments amounts – however we did receive one offer that came through with the incorrect address, seems the buyer’s agent was busy sending out several offers for her clients on same day…. hmmm.   When I called the agent to ask about the incorrect address she inadvertently told me this was their 2nd offer of the day and she’d send the correct version…. it was not an inspiring conversation.

I participated as a Buyers Agent on a property in Sunnyvale this past week- it was a single family home with Santa Clara schools-  the sellers received 23 offers….  My buyers offer was very strong with an no contingency offer and we still didn’t get the property.   The sellers agent, who I had spoken with several times the days prior to the offers, had the same experience we had – more buyers coming through then he’d ever had as Open Houses.

While it was disappointing – we’ll keep working on getting an offer accepted.  That is this market, you need to get back on the horse right away….   but the good news is we were able to work with another client who had their contract accepted in Saratoga.     It was a busy week.

1/13/17

Buyers are out and about- our WED Broker Tour (we also list it as an Open House to the public)  had more buyers then agents attending.  First time that has happened- AND it was an overall terrific amount of people visiting the property that day.   A few other agents are now advertising the Broker Tour as a Open House open to the public, we’ve been doing this for over a year and had good results.

BUT not many other agents do a Friday PM Open house (5-7 pm)  – why you ask?   Well we believe that since most of our listings sell very quickly (7-9 days average) we want to make certain that ALL the interested buyers have a chance to see the property AND there are several options of dates and times to make it easier.

Marketing a property is CRITICIAL, in our opinion, for obtaining the best and highest possible offer for the sellers we work with.   If you’ve watched some of the properties that were sold in the complex last year ( 3 of them had to take significant price reductions in order to entice a buyer) and noticed their days on market

Hope to see you tonight or Sat & Sun!

1/10/17

Welcome in 2017.   1383 Millich Lane is active- 1152 sq ft interior with 2 beds and 2 baths.  I love this floorplan because it has a “den” area on the main floor right off the living room.   There is a spacious feel to the downstairs area AND the 2nd bedroom upstairs is larger then the 1056 sq ft floor plan.

This unit has several skylight – which add natural lighting to the living room and den area.   PLUS this is an end unit on Millich Lane- entry faces expansive green space.    I hope you can stop by and see it- as we always do there are many Open Houses this week:

WED 9:30 -12:30 AM hosted by David,  FRI 5-7 PM hosted by me and both SAT & SUN 1-4

here’s how 2016 turned out in the complex:

Merrivale West 2016

Year-end sales summary

Address,  Sq Ft,  List price,  Sale price,  Close date,  $/Sq FT

1375 Pinehurst Sq,  1,056,  $699,000,  $737,500, 11/21/16, $698.39

1402 Cherrywood Sq, 1,056, $714,900, $740,000, 10/21/16, $700.76   *our listing

1405 Millich Lane, 1,296, $726,900, $724,000, 10/04/16, $558.64     

1404 Cherrywood Sq, 1,056, $714,000, $740,500, 09/20/16, $701.23  *our listing

1360 Charmwood Sq, 1,152, $719,880, $720,000, 09/20/16, $625.00

1366 Merrivale West Sq, 1,056, $710,000, $730,500, 09/21/16,  $691.23

1388 Pinehurst Sq, 1,056, $699,500, $699,500, 09/01/16, $66240

1378 Cherrywood Sq, 1,292,  $698,000, $801,000, 06/03/16, $619.96

1376 Cherrywood Sq, 1,220, $675,000, $720,000, 04/29/16,$590.16

1431 Woodgrove Sq, 1,056, $689,900, $746,500, 04/15/16, $706.91  *our listing

Sold off market (not presented on the MLS and thus limited exposure)

1404 Pinehurst Sq 1,368 $725,000 11/29/16 $529.97