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.


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.



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….


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.



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.


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.


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


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.


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)


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?



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.


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.





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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Terrific turn out for 1459 Woodgrove Sq-  we took offers yesterday and received 9.   The Sellers are in the process of reviewing.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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.


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!


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.



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.


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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


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….


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.


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.


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!


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