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Terri Vellios' Blog

By TerriVellios.Com | Broker in Campbell, CA
  • "We Pay Cash for Houses"

    Posted Under: General Area in San Jose, Home Buying in San Jose, Home Selling in San Jose  |  October 14, 2014 2:54 PM  |  8 views  |  No comments

    You're waiting for the signal to change to green and you notice next to you a bright yellow sign; "We Buy Homes for Cash"  then the next light and the next light.   I believe we've pretty much all have seen these signs.  Do you know what they are?


    It is a lead generating vehicle for real estate agents, investors, and companies who sell the information as leads.  


    The first company really does buy homes for cash at a greatly reduced discount, 20% or more off of market value, and they will discount it an additional % for what a seller would pay in real estate commission.  This is not a deal for the seller.  They have now told the world that they are interested in selling their home.  


    The next company, knowing full well a smart home owner is not going to sell their home below market, captures those names and compiles a list, this list is now sold to real estate agents as leads.  The agent will call the seller soliciting them for their lisiting.  Once the seller is on this list it is impossible to get off of it, the do not call list is worthless as those solicitors are offer a service not a product.


    So what is a motivated seller to do?  I suggest they do not contact those generic yellow signs on the side of the road (believe me, I have been to seminars encouraging me to use them).   There are many professional real estate agents that will give you an honest opinion of the value of your home, what it will take to sell it, and if you decide not to sell?  Well, they are not going to give your contact information to anyone but keep it private to follow up with you when you are ready.


    So now you know.  Just say no to "Little Yellow Signs."

  • Listing for Less Than Six Percent

    Posted Under: Home Selling  |  August 3, 2014 10:51 AM  |  29 views  |  No comments
    I received a text this morning from a company called <6Percent offeriing me a lead to someone who wants to list their home.  In exchange I would give <6Percent 30% of my commission.

    Now let's do some math here.  Let's say an agent list that home, they have to give 1/2 of the commission to a Buyer's agent, and 1/3 to <6Percent, of the remaining commission to the Listing Agent they will share with their Brokerage, could be another 1/3, then the agent has to reserve about 1/3 for their income taxes, pay their business expenses, then anything left can now be used for marketing the property.  I wonder, how much marketing that agent is willing to do as they still haven't even paid themselves yet.

    So I caution people when looking for an agent on line, to do some research.  Understand the fees completely.  Then ask yourself, if an agent is willing to cut their own income how much skill do they really have to negotiate and keep the client out of risk?  
  • What's that Smell?

    Posted Under: Home Selling  |  April 30, 2014 5:54 PM  |  183 views  |  No comments
    What smell you ask?  Home buyers and agents viewing homes are put off by a home's odor more often than by the decorating choices.  The reason is it can be difficult and expensive to correct.

    Home sellers having lived in their home are acclimated to their home, and this includes the lingering odors.  Lovely Fido, precious kitty, smokers, burnt foods, and strong seasoning all find their way into drywall, sub-floors, ventilation, and park themselves in wait.  It can be one of the most sensitive subjects discussed between listing agent and seller, and a buyer may never put pen to paper (or in today's digital world fingers to keyboard) on a contract for that same reason.  Or if they do the buyer will significantly reduce the price.

    What's a seller or agent to do?  First, if you can remove the culprit during the selling period that will greatly reduce the order.  Perhaps lovely four legged pets, even those without legs, can stay at a neighbor, friend, or family member's home.  Then a thorough cleaning from top to bottom.  

    I've recently come across a company that guarantees odor removal, and the product they use is all natural and non-toxic.  Their process can take 3 days to three weeks, but once they are finished the home is free of odors. Those who decide to hire such a company should discuss any desired painting that will take place. Painting before may mask the process and painting after may leave a paint odor that others may be sensitive to.  And finally, please do not use synthetic room fragrances.  They only add to the odor and many people are allergic to fragrances.  

    The goal is for a buyer to invest as much time in your house for them to see it as their home. Your agent will have resources to help you.   How open you are to their suggestion will result in how quickly your house sells and the bottom line net.
  • How to Get Your House Ready to Sell

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Campbell  |  March 20, 2013 2:41 PM  |  1,330 views  |  No comments
    In today's hot fast paced real estate market, it is still important to do the right steps in getting your home ready to sell.

    The easiest thing to do is select your Broker and they will give you a list specific to your home and your desired time-line.   To speak in general terms the following are tried and true.

    • Order your home inspections up front.  This will give you an idea of what hidden defeats and needed repairs are lurking where you can't see.  You will also have the option of making repairs or getting estimates to provide to a future buyer.
    • Order your Preliminary Title Report. A Title Report will reveal current liens, or other conditions relating to the transfer or ownership.  For example; is title held in a trust or was it inherited?  You may need to bring additional documents to title.  The sooner the better to insure a smooth sale.
    • Spruce up the curb appeal.  Move garbage cans so they are not the first thing you see.  Trim plants, power wash the house and concrete, wash windows and add fresh flowers.   A fresh coat of contemporary paint does wonders to attract buyers.
    • Once inside remove personal items, doesn't knacks, &amp; family photos.  Start boxing up anything that is not needed or useful for the sale.  Depersonalizing is important to help a buyer see themselves in the house. 
    • Organize counter tops and closets.  This will maximize important real estate know as storage.
    • Freshen up interior paint if it is too personal or dated buyers may pass on the home.
    • Do you have hardwood floors hidden under old carpet?  Remove the old carpet and showcase those beauties.
    • Dated light fixtures, door handles, hardware, drapers, wall paper, and even interior doors draw buyers attention away from other positive features of your house.  
    • Prepare your disclosures and list of improvements.  Gather copies of permits, repair receipts, and warranties as buyers will most likely request to see them.
    • Hire a professional cleaner wash the interior including windows and blinds.
    • A stager will offer you advice on furniture placement.
    • Don't forget about the back yard, if the fence is falling get it repaired because a buyer doesn't want to have to make arrangements with a new neighbor on mending a fence.  Trim plants and store garden tools and equipment away from sight.
    • Pets are one of the biggest stress factors for sellers.  It's stressful for the pets as well.   If you can have a pet sitter take your pet during showings this will keep your home smelling clean and fresh and minimize the stress on your pet or risk the pet harming a buyer or getting lost.
    • Finally, lock away valuables, any prescription drugs.  Also, do not leave your credit cards or bills our in the open.

    I receive questions from Sellers, asking "do I need to remodel to sell".  My answer is it depends on the market, the condition of the home, competition, and the seller's time-line, goals, budget, and energy.  Your Broker will discuss your options with you.
  • Sell Your House Fast For The Right Price!

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Campbell  |  October 19, 2012 3:33 PM  |  1,327 views  |  No comments
    Just released!  If you are considering selling or are challenged with getting a home sold, this book is for you.  It is a colaboration of 20 top agents across the country sharing their own experience on how they sold the home.  
  • Where have all the houses gone?

    Posted Under: General Area in Santa Clara County, Home Buying in Santa Clara County, Home Selling in Santa Clara County  |  September 3, 2012 1:54 PM  |  1,357 views  |  2 comments
    The inventory of homes available for sale  drop once again.

         date       sfh  condo   Total
    5/28/12 1249 330 1579
    7/29/12 1317 273 1590
    8/22/12 1339 274 1613
    9/3/12 1223 247 1468

    This is the time of year when we see inventory in Santa Clara County drop off.  We've experienced low inventory all summer and if today's number are any indication of our season drop off, then fall is going to be less homes for sale.   

    For sellers this reduction has equated into price increases.  For Buyers the Buyers today are making the price for tomorrow.  The average closed price to list price in Santa Clara County is about 99+%.  This means most sellers are getting at or over asking price.  Which us agents have been well aware of for a few months.

    In order for us to have a more balanced market these numbers need to double or tripple.  

    Advice to Buyers.  If you are serious about purchasing a property today, throw away your old thoughts about "getting a deal", and bargaining.  Many sellers are not countering.  If they do, it is usually only on the best offers and then on terms.  Sellers are asking for proof of funds, copies of credit scores, pre approval through listing agent's preferred lender, and more.

    So what is fueling this low inventory?  Home owners may still have lost equity.  If they do sell, where will the Seller go? Competing with other Buyers will be difficult, and housing shortages in rentals exist as well.  Investors with zero contingencies and all cash grabbing opportunity.  

    Do we see inventory picking up soon?  We would need to see a drastic change.  I don't foresee that any time soon. As prices increase more Sellers gain equity and they then will be able to sell their home.  That will be slow in change.  So for now buckle up and hold on.
  • Summer is Nearing it's End

    Posted Under: Entertainment & Nightlife in Campbell, Home Buying in Campbell, Home Selling in Campbell  |  August 25, 2012 1:44 PM  |  1,464 views  |  No comments
    Thursday night was the last Summer Concert in Campbell.  It was so much fun to dance to Sage. The park was alive with young and old be-bopping to the live sound mix and brass section.

    This event brings out the regular chair sitters and feet hopping crowd.  Ice chests, blankets, tables, lawn chairs and a variety of food and even adult beverages were there in full abundance.  The weather in Campbell was perfect.

    Campbell's tradition of sharing the community activities brought the youth out to play games and yours truly was encouraged to participate.  I lost miserably but won laughter and a consolation glow stick.  What more could one ask for.

    As my husband and I sat and appreciated this little gem of a venue he said, wouldn't it be great to live within walking distance to downtown Campbell?  Yes, I replied yes it would.

    So aloha to this Summer and I will anticipate next Summer... 
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