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.


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.

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

 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.

Single Family homes 488
Townhomes 72
Condo’s 234


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”

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.

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.

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.

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”

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.

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>

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.

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.

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.

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….

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.

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
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.

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.


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.


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!



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)


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.


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.



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!



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.



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.


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.


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.



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)