Home Selling in 94087>Question Details

Paige, Home Seller in Sunnyvale, CA

Should I remodel or just reduce selling price? in 94087 area

Asked by Paige, Sunnyvale, CA Fri Jun 26, 2009

The question is that based on some agents opinion, whether to remodel the house prior to putting it on the market. or to reduce the selling price.
the house is located between cascade and homestead, where houses are valued around $1m, and the ones that on market are in very good condition. I just wonder leave a house in "as is" condition will shred money.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello Fantastico and thanks for your comments.

Actually, I live in Sunnyvale near Paige (and I think I saw her sales sign on the front lawn yesterday). The community where we live (as well as many other "high demand" school districts) have pretty strict enrollment rules for schools. In the case of Cupertino Schools, the parents need to close escrow by the end of July or first part of August in order to enroll their children in the school near their home. In some cases, especially where the school has a better reputation than others in the same district, the school may not have room so the longer you wait, the less likely your child will end up in the school near the home that you've just spent so much money purchasing. Also, in Cupertino we need several forms of residency verification and, again, those forms need to be gathered over the month prior to enrollment. Smart parents know of these enrollment requirements and many know that waiting until August means not getting your child into the school of your choice--thus, the second "wave" of buyers tends to enter around July and taper by mid-July, falling off significantly in August and evaporating completely by September.

Also, a significantly important factor this year has been interest rates. In all likelihood, we'll see interest rates rise this summer, which will be another negative factor depresssing the market. We've seen a small reprieve from interest rates in the past week, but given the activity in the long term T-bills in the past two weeks, I would not be surprised to see interest rates approaching the high 6 and low 7's by the end of the year. Our recovery in housing is currently so tenuous that even a small 50 bases point bump tends to negatively or positively influence the market depending on its direction. Even with the $8000 taxpayer credit, in our area (with homes over $900K to $1.4 million) even a small increase in interest rates can have a huge impact in the overall monthly mortgage payment.

As I'm out all week and weekend looking at homes in many of my "market areas", I am seeing some significant drop off in buyer activity in the past week--again, partly due to interest, and partly to schools. This has been my reason for stating that if you wish to sell, getting the home on the market now (sooner rather than later) is extremely important to any seller.

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
Sunnyvale, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 29, 2009
Hi Paige: I guess, as mentioned numerous times, it depends on the condition of your home and what the repairs are. I am agonized by a similar decision. Buyers nowadays seem to not give credit to last-minute cosmetic fixes. Also, if you have to capital gains taxes, a higher sale price also means higher taxes.

Hey Grace: I am curious to know why you think that buyers will evaporate by July. Is it because parents want to close the deal so that they can put their kids in the right schools by the end of summer? What are the other reasons (that will likely affect areas with so-so schools)?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 28, 2009
Hello Paige

Obviously, the current condition of your home will determine how much work should be done to the property in order to obtain a good, competitive offer. I have at least three buyers right now who would like to purchase in our neighorhood, and most are looking more for a bargain than a fully refurbished home. Of course, keeping the home clean, removing clutter, painting the interior, and keeping the home "show presentable" will go a long way to helping to sell the home quickly and well. If the home's interiors are truly dated, however, some improvements may be warranted.

However, I worry that we're losing "daylight" even now, and if you wait the two to four weeks that it will take to completely update the interiors, you may lose the chance to sell your home for the most money because buyers will begin to evaporate in July.

I do agee with the other agents, however, that obtaining the sound advice of a competent agent will help you determine costs and to see what work should be done to make your home presentable in the shortest amount of time.

Good luck!!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
Sunnyvale, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 27, 2009
Hi Paige,
You have recieved alot of good advice, Let me give you a different point of view from which to look at.
I represent quit a few buyers and generally speaking for the most part they can't look past dirt, old carpets, marks on the walls, cracked tiles, etc. this cuts down on the buyers willing to bid on your home, and if they do bid they will generally give you a very " Low Ball " bid.
You don't have to spend a ton of money to get your home in the shape nessesary to be competitive, you can but you don't have to.
I would do what was suggested to you earlier, have a few agents come by and get their take on what would be needed to get your home in shape to sell, also find out if they do staging ( just a little staging goes a long way towards making your home that much more attractive ).
This will give you the best of both worlds a very presentable home at an attractive price, without costing you an "arm and a leg".
Feel free to contact me if you have need of assistance.

DRE# 01397256
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
Hi Paige,
I work as a full time Realtor at Coldwell Banker in Cupertino, at Stevens Creek, and live just 5 mins from where you are off Homestead Rd. I have friends and Clients in your area.
I would be happy to do a "walk through" your home and let you know which way to go, depending on the condition of the home. Your location is good, you still have Cupertino schools, and you may just need to do enough to "spiff up" the home to sell it at a good price. I will be happy to help.
Please do check out my website and testimonials, and get in touch with me if you so wish.
Be well and safe, regards,
Nina Daruwalla
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
Paige - If the home is in total disrepair...the bottom feeders will come out in full force.
(Put a helmet on and Prepare to be insulted.)

Glen's advice...ask a few agents to come in and give you before and after pricing.
Then make your decision.
Remember...time is money...be sure to include that in your equation.

Let us know how it goes.
Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.321advantage.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009

It really depends on the condition of the house. Is the house in good shape but dated or is the home old and outdated? If the home is in good shape but dated, I would not remodel. The new homeowner will want to do that down the line. However, if the home is in disrepair it may make sense to update/remodel. Should you do a remodel, keep it relative to the neighborhood (ie. not over the top).

I would suggest that you have a couple of local agents walk through the house and check it's condition relative to the rest of the market. My guess is that it wouldn't make sense to do a remodel. Price it right for the market (taking into account the home's condition) and make sure the agent has a thorough written marketing plan for you home.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009

You are going to get a wide variety of answers on this question. Personal opinion is that you should upgrade to be consistent with your competition, and then aggressively price in comparison to your competition. I believe you should also stage your home when you go on the market – we provide comprehensive staging with our listings at no extra cost to the seller.

If you couple yourself with the correct Realtor, they will be able to provide you with a comprehensive “Property Prep Plan” to maximize your home’s potential and a list of service providers / contractors to do the work at reasonable prices.

We’ve found that attractive homes properly prepared with proper pricing are currently ending up in multiple offer situations. It’s the multiple offers that will typically get you a good return on your investment and a quick sale.

Here is a post that may be helpful:


Let me know if you have any other questions.
Web Reference: http://www.carlmedford..com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
Has your agent given you a price for remodeled and a price as is? If the as is price and the costs to remodel are close to the remodel price then its definitely not worth it. You have to factor in the extra time it takes to remodel as well and what you overall goals are in getting moved. If you don't have any "fixer" competition in the area you may be able to get more that way then making it look better and selling with more competition. Picture it as two different markets get your bids and run your analysis. Hope that helps. If you need a good agent to help run comps etc. Check in with me.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
Hi Paige,
Without seeing your home it's difficult to be accurate.
I can tell you more generally, however, that a home that is upgraded will attract more interest and usually a higher price. Buyers looking at homes assess an unremodeled home based on what they'd need to do to update it, and an original home often seems to pose too much of a project for many people. The people looking for a home to upgrade are usually looking for a bargain.
So saying, a lot depends on the condition of recently sold properties as well as currently active properties in your immediate area.
Updating the home may be as simple as paint and flowers or may involve more extensive work, but it's important that you seek the advice of an expereinced professional who can advise where your money is best invested to get you the best return. No point in spending money on things you don't need to, right ?
Every home is different, and the suggestions for market preparation are very individual. If you've interviewed more than one agent and they're making the same suggestions, there's a good chance that their assessment is correct.
Best wishes for your home selling experience!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer