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Seller FAQ

Seller FAQs for Silicon Valley homeowners

If you’re considering selling your home in Silicon Valley, you likely have many questions on your mind. Below, we answered some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from potential sellers.

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How do I know if this is a good time to sell my house?

Just like the economy, the real estate market goes through cycles of expansion and contraction. When home prices are increasing at a fast rate and homes are selling in shorter periods of time (sometimes with multiple offers), selling your home can be relatively easy. These conditions comprise what is referred to as a “sellers’ market.”

When properties are taking much longer to sell and sale prices are declining, the market is described as a “buyers’ market.” Selling your house in these conditions is a bit more challenging.

Overall economic conditions significantly affect the real estate market. Interest and unemployment rates are examples of key influencers in the economy. Because home prices can vary from one block to the next, it’s important to look at your local micro-market trends, and not only the national and county-level market trends. Over the last five years, this has especially been true in Silicon Valley. While home prices have risen across the country, local homes in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Mountain View and the surrounding areas have spiked at even higher rates.

To look into your micro-market, watch for key indicators that will help you determine if we are in a sellers’ or a buyers’ market. These key indicators include:

  • days on the market

  • available inventory

  • final sale versus listing prices

  • the number of pending properties on the market compared to the year before

Before I decide to sell, I’d like to monitor the market for a while. What can I do?

We know it takes time to make this big decision, and it’s smart not to rush it. Start by visiting our communities page, where you can check out local market trends. To see what homes like yours are being listed for, use our custom search and enter in similar location and criteria.

We also recommend signing up for our immediate, daily, weekly or monthly listing alert service emails. You can use these alerts to be aware of new homes coming on the market, and to see how quickly homes like yours are selling.

But as a seller, you’ll want to monitor more than just listings and their asking prices. You’ll also want a deep dive of local market trends, including how many homes are experiencing multiple offers, how many days it’s taking homes to sell, and final local sales numbers. For that information, sign up now to receive our monthly Santa Clara County newsletter or quarterly reports on Sunnyvale and Eichler homes.

Last, we invite you to instantly download a copy of our Annual 2015 Sunnyvale Market Report and 2015 Eichler Market Report.

How long it will take to sell my house?

There are many key factors that determine how fast you’ll be able to sell your home. Some of these factors are:

  • Condition of your property

  • Desirability of your neighborhood

  • Seller’s motivation

  • Pricing

  • Average days on the market

  • Inventory of competing properties

  • Current market -- buyers’ or sellers’ market

In 2015, the average days on market in Santa Clara County was 28 days.  However, homes in prime locations have been known to sell in 10-12 days.

How involved do I need to be when it comes to selling my house?

That’s entirely up to you. Some clients like to be very hands-on, while others prefer that we manage all the details and keep them posted once a viable offer has come in.

For clients who have already moved out of the area or moved internationally, we communicate via phone, text and email, handling all preparation tasks for them. Our client-centric philosophy allows us to accommodate our clients’ unique needs.

I’m a trustee or executor, how familiar are you with these types of sales?

We are very familiar with the trustee sale and probate process. In fact, our team member Pelin used to be an estate planning attorney prior to her career as a real estate agent. We know the duties and responsibilities of a trustee/executor are great, and therefore take extra steps to ensure a smooth, legally sound path to closing.

What do I need to do to prepare my house for sale?

There are 9 main steps to selling your home. The first phase is preparation, which typically includes inspections and repairs, as well as cosmetic improvements. The final steps of the preparation phase are staging and landscaping.

As the leading Silicon Valley real estate team, we understand that each home is unique, so each listing should have a unique selling strategy. We customize the preparation plan based on your home, and will go over each step with you in our initial consultation.

What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home?

In today’s mobile-first world, you don’t want to hire an agent who puts up a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Silicon Valley demands a more aggressive and innovative marketing approach, and we know how to expose your property competitively to generate the best offers.

We begin by creating buzz about your home as a “coming soon” property in our email alerts to local agents and potential buyers, and continue to keep your home on the local radar until it sells. Our coordinated marketing strategy uses both digital and offline tactics to ensure that your home gets in front of every potential buyer, whether they live down the road or across the world.

I would like to sell my house, but I don’t think the sales price will cover my loan! What do I do?

A “short sale” is when the proceeds from the sale of a house fall short of the balance owed on the property’s loan. It often occurs when a borrower cannot pay the mortgage loan on his home, but the lender decides that selling the property at a moderate loss is better than pressing the current debtor. Both parties consent to the short sale process because it allows them to avoid foreclosure, which involves hefty fees for the bank and a diminished credit report for the borrower. We have handled many of these cases and can assist with the proper procedure to ensure that you are left in the best financial condition.

Okay, I would like to sell my house. What is the next step?

Congratulations! If you want to familiarize yourself with the process, read the 9 steps to selling a home in Silicon Valley. If you’re eager to get started, contact us to schedule a consultation.

During our initial consultation, we will cover these common questions:

  • How is the market doing in my area?

  • Is now a good time to sell?

  • What is the current value of my home?

  • What is the preparation process like?

  • What kind of marketing will you suggest for my home?

  • What other services will you provide?

  • What will working together look like? How often will you contact me, and how?

What can I do to prepare for our first meeting?

We cover a lot of information in our initial consultation. To make sure you get the most out of the meeting, take a few minutes to answer the below questions. They will help you identify your selling motivation and goals.

  • Why do you want to sell your house?

  • When would be the ideal time for you to sell?

  • What improvements have you made to your home?

  • Do you want or need to sell your house before buying, or do you plan to buy another home first and then sell?

  • What is your ideal outcome from the sale of your home?

After taking into consideration your goals, we will put together a successful selling strategy. There is absolutely no obligation on your part, so you can feel comfortable asking additional questions or reflecting on your decision once the meeting is over.