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Home Selling in Palo Alto : Real Estate Advice

  • All334
  • Local Info27
  • Home Buying162
  • Home Selling21
  • Market Conditions42

Activity 22
Sat Aug 26, 2017
Jessie E. Turner asked:
Sun May 3, 2015
Sam Shueh answered:
There even sell radiant heater in Home Depot and Lowes. You need a permit contact your hoa.
0 votes 18 answers Share Flag
Sun Sep 14, 2014
Barbara Vasquez answered:
Sat Dec 14, 2013
Annette Lawrence answered:
As you noted and other expert professionals have confirmed, ALL professional fees are negiatiable and the seller CAN dictate the compensate provided..
Many sellers get cranked when a portion of the compensation they agreed to provide the buyer's agent is handed to the buyer. If you are a buyer, working with a rebater, you may be hurting your position.
Buyers are trying to purchase the best house possible for the money they have available. When the FSBO discussion takes place and they realize their OUT OF POCKET expenses will increase by MULTIPLE -THOUSANDS of dollars, they typically say....'Don't show me any houses where the seller is not fully compensating the buyers agent." This includes many homes submitted via flat fee and discount brokers.
Then there is the situation Marge Draper suggests. An non-vetted seller can become a serious issue as the process gets closer to the closing table. I've encountered FSBO's attempting to sell before the estranged spouse found out about it. The live-in was presented as and assumed to be authorized to sell. A HIGHER fee is merited. Much higher.
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1 vote 17 answers Share Flag
Wed Aug 28, 2013
Michelle Carr-Crowe answered:
My best advice is to allow me or another agent here provide you with a free and confidential market analysis of your home-and a market snapshot of what's happening in your area.

Palo Alto homes are in high demand, however keep in mind there are proposed changes to the capital gains tax benefit, so talk to your tax professional ASAP.

Do you have other sources of income? If you plan to sell and claim the capital gains tax benefit, you must have lived in the home 2 of the past 5 years-so keep that in mind as you make your decision.
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0 votes 20 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Realitychecker answered:
Michael Lewis wrote The Big Short: . He also long ago wrote the first real expose of Wall Street: Liars Poker. Princeton grad, and smart enough to explain well complex financial matters to the impatient reader.

1.1M does seem a bit low for the place, but not that low in my opinion; the listing photos show a serious need for full bath and probably kitchen renovations. I walked by the other day and the landscaping is a mess too. Tear down candidate.
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0 votes 45 answers Share Flag
Tue Apr 10, 2012
Elena Talis answered:
1. Move out.
2. Run home and termite inspection and fix the problems they found.
3. Paint inside and out.
4. Replace front door
5. Trim/upgrade landscaping
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Sun Jun 19, 2011
Bay_area_ll answered:
seems like you dropped the price a number of times i would consider changing real estate agents. With that many price drops your agent doesn't appear to understand the local market. ... more
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Sun Jun 5, 2011
Lostpassword answered:
I"m no expert here, but don't believe you'll get the price your asking from someone looking at it as an investment property based on comparables I've seen. I'd guesstimate that the tax break that accrues to you at the current low assessment is worth around $300,000, but unfortunately that won't pass to the new buyer. As an investment property it is worth significantly more to you than a purchaser.

I think, btw, it is too nice a place to rent to college students -- there are plenty of grad students and young professionals who would be interested in it and take better care of it.
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Tue Oct 5, 2010
Terry Bell answered:
Dear Cp, you are in one of the strongest markets for real estate, did you go see the Facebook Movie yet??? What are you goals? Do you need to sell immediately? What about a home modification loan? If you want to buy, can you rent your present house? Think creatively to get through this ugly period! You need some good professional advice, check out Marcy or other agents that are agressively pursuing business here and elsewhere, and have them give you their opinion of your strongest card! Up here in the wine country of Sonoma County there are also a lot of ugly foreclosures, but people who have money, and there are still some left!, want a home in good condition and are willing to pay for it, and don't want a broken down old foreclosure! Good Luck! Best, Terry Bell, Realtor, Santa Rosa, CA ... more
0 votes 16 answers Share Flag
Sat Aug 7, 2010
Andrea Wince ~ Lic. 01439761 answered:
At the most, in today's market, I believe that home might appraise for about 2.5m. Bottom line, property is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. They might find someone who has lots of cash and MUST have that house ... and they will pay more ! ... more
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Thu Jul 15, 2010
Norman Alessandrini Warren Weston answered:
Hi Javier,
Yes there are currently 14 homes that fit your criteria, I am assuming that you ment 1 to 2 million range.
If you would like me to sent you these properties, I would be happy to assist you, or if you need other assistance please let me know. I have experience working with families that are relocating and understand there needs.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you at this time.
DRE# 01397256
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sat Apr 10, 2010
John Souerbry answered:
You may want to hire an appraiser to get a reasonable sense of the value of your home before you hire a broker. Depending on your neighborhood, you could be up or down. Palo Alto is an extremely diverse town in terms of lots of different neighborhoods that will be valued differently. I usually hire an appraiser to help set listing prices for my Palo Alto listings for that reason.
Regarding 120 Byron, the MLS description says it has unpermitted expansion remodelling, so the price will be skewed lower for that and I wouldn't use it as a benchmark for valuing other properties. The price could be much higher if the remodelling had been permitted.
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Wed Sep 9, 2009
Jonp answered:
Bmerkel -

Like you, I'm curious about 1212 Parkinson too. It got multiple offers in the $2.1M+ range last December and it ultimately sold for $1.76M in August. So I'm trying to figure which one of the following two things happened:

(a) either the Palo Alto market for SFR homes in the $2M range has actually softened by that much since last December -- which is scary, or

(b) it was a situation unique to that particular house and to that particular seller's sales & marketing plan.
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0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Tue Sep 1, 2009
Jster answered:

This house was on the market for ages. The initial listing was at $1.9M and it sat there unsold for months, even after they cut the price. It was a good example of a house priced at 2006-07 levels despite the severe weakening of the market.

I took a look at it: Pros: very big, some nice--but not too new--furnishings. Cons: small lot, on a crowded, busy part of Bryant (cars parked all over the narrow street), over-priced, tired exterior, idiosyncratic layout downstairs.
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Fri Jul 31, 2009
Ruth answered:
This property was sold for $2,475,000, according to Zillow. What 's going on here? Can somebody explain this huge difference between the alleged price and the true price?
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Thu Jul 2, 2009
Terri Vellios answered:
These are all very good answers. I've been a full time licensed realtor and in the past 11 years have also been a buyer and seller several times. Twice I've hired and paid a realtor to list and sell my homes and I'll explain to you my reasons.

1) They do not have the emotions attached. And believe me the tables do turn when it's your home. They were objective and straight forward, honest, professional and experienced.
2) The contract is designed to protect the client. Anything not done correctly and timely can cost so much more than the commission paid. This second set of eyes is priceless.
3) I know that when a home is listed by owner or discount company the buyer factors that "savings" into their offer, thinking "after all why should you the seller benefit"? The buyer wants the benefit of the gain.
4) I wanted to filter the negotiations and transfer that aspect to my agent (again taking away the emotional element, such as liking the buyer and giving away concession when not necessary)
5) There are several required disclosures, Federal, State, and Local and I wanted to make sure they were all included and completed, again with the second set of eyes.
6) Strangers will be coming into the home. I wanted to insure there was a way to track those visits and the buyers were qualified before letting them into my home.
7) FSBO properties carry a certain stigma, agents and buyers often read into them... that the seller may not be reasonable...cooperative...understand what is required of may be over priced...who will have to do the work, etc...
8) I was able to sleep at night knowing that someone else was doing what was necessary to market, show, sell, coordinate, and take care of all the facets of the transaction. The commission in my mind was a cost to market and sell.

Finally, there was a great article a while back in the San Jose Mercury News Real Estate Section by Ron Rossi, attorney. I quote “The best real estate attorney in the world can't do as good a job for you as a skillful, experienced agent who's looking out for your best interests."
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0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Mon Mar 23, 2009
Erica Glessing answered:
As a longtime Palo Altan (attended Addison, Jordan and Paly) I'm much more drawn to old PA than mid-town. I'm going to vote for expand your current house. You keep your tax base; you control your spending; and you don't have to prepare your home for sale. In addition, you could be in a stronger equity position with a home worth more than you paid for it -- than if you buy up. If you buy up, it will take time to build equity and since none have a crystal ball, you could actually lose equity and be in a slide situation. Where as if you increase your current home, you could change your plans midstream and narrow or expand your focus as time and the economy progresses.

You could also have fun (and use a lot of energy) walking down both roads simultaneously.

1. Prepare your home for sale. Get a pest and property inspection and make all repairs wise for a smooth home sale (should you go that route). Invite a realtor or a few to come over and share how the home could best vie for strongest market price (sprucing up? hardwood flooring? granite?).
2. Look at bigger homes. Get ideas for expansion at the same time!
3. Contact a construction expert. I highly recommend Dean Axtell and company in Palo Alto, specializing in custom home expansion and construction (650) 493-6136. Get an idea of what it will cost to do the expansions you envision.
4. Identify what you are trying to fix. Is it just bigger home? Or do you want a different location and neighborhood mix?
5. You can go as far as to list your home for sale and then reject all offers if they don't do what you want the offers to do (provide enough capital to comfortably make the move). However, this is kind of painful as far as disappointed buyers and stressed out real estate agents, so I don't actually recommend it. It's just an option if the amount you would sell your present home for in today's market is the determining factor in your decision.
6. Speak with a financial advisor regarding long term financial repercussions of both pathways.

As far as the timing, it is a better time to buy than sell, as everyone is sharing. Even in Palo Alto, the numbers of buyers approved at the level to purchase your current home has shrunk from years past. So, we aren't seeing the huge number of multiple offers that we have seen in the past. Strong offers, yes. It's just the numbers that have diminished some.

Good luck!

Erica Nelson
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0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Fri Mar 20, 2009
J R answered:
If someone like him has difficulty understanding the market, it is not surprising that it takes so long for a correction in real estate to run its course, causing great damage to the economy in the interim.


Most sellers think their home is bigger, nicer, different, unique, better than everyone else's. They absolutely block out of their minds any analogy I give them: I paid $32 a share for my stock last month. It's now selling at $2 a share "I gotta get, I'd like to get, I WANT to get, I NEED" all those things mean nothing. No one is going to pay more than $2 a share for my stock. Or. . . I have a 1999 VW. I "NEED" 68,000 to buy a porche. So can we advertise my VW for $75,000? I need some negotiating room too? And to make matters worse there are agents who will list for whatever pipedream the seller wants. It's endless.
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1 vote 14 answers Share Flag
Wed Dec 3, 2008
Nina Daruwalla answered:
Hi Jonathan,
Are you seriously interested in this property? If yes,call me, we can then take the next step. It has been taken off the market for whatever reason.....but if you are seriously interested in it, call me, we can arrange for you to go see it. We would have to sit down and talk prior to that.
If not this home, perhaps another one in Palo Alto. Is it the schools (Gunn High) you are interested in or the exquisity of the above home? What are your personal requirements?
I am a Realtor with Coldwell Banker, and also a Public Safety Commissioner with the City of Cupertino. I take good care of my clients Real Estate needs. Lets talk Real Estate.
Be well and safe, regards,
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
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