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Are you a San Jose area homeowner considering selling your home? I invite you to read my testimonials to learn how dedicated I am to the process of getting your home ready to list and sold. For me, it’s not just about taking a listing, putting a sign in the yard, and hosting an open house. It’s about preparation, marketing and selling.
Are All San Jose Real Estate Agents Created Equal?
If you answered yes, I cannot say that I blame you. I am one to stand proud and tall and say that all San Jose real estate agents are not created equal. I know the real estate industry does not have a glowing reputation. In fact, I’m willing to say that it actually has a very bad reputation. Sadly, as humans, we tend to believe what we want to hear. Our inner knowing may be telling us that what we are hearing is “just too good to be true” and yet we may still buy the bag of bull.
Let’s be honest here … and let’s get real. The industry has a bad reputation because so many home sellers have had a bad experience in selling a home. The bad experience is caused by a multitude of factors not the least of which is a ton of bad information disseminated across the Internet. It may start with an online “estimate” regarding the value of your home.
The public is so deceived by online valuations. There is no way a database can accurately value a home. Online home value estimates are generated from aggregated “data” from surrounding properties. The only way to provide an accurate valuation of any home is for a trained and experienced professional to enter the home and assess it in terms of condition.
- What upgrades have been done?
- What is the quality of the upgrades?
- When were the upgrades completed?
- Was the work done by a licensed contractor?
- Were permits pulled with the City, if permits are required for the work that was done?
- What is the age of the roof?
- How old is the plumbing?
- How old is the home?
- Is there a lot of deferred maintenance?
- Is the landscaping maintained?
A trained professional will also look at the physical location of the home.
- Are the schools top rated schools?
- Is it on a busy street?
- Is it on a corner lot?
- Does the home back up to a shopping center or gas station?
- Does the home back up to a freeway?
- Is there a power tower on or near the property?
- How close is the nearest hospital?
- How close is the nearest fire station?
This is just a sampling of the many things that impact value.
A trained professional will also factor the market climate.
- Is it a sellers market?
- What is the average days a home is on the market in the specific neighborhood?
- How many homes are currently for sale?
- How do those homes compare in terms of location and condition?
- How many homes recently sold in the neighborhood?
- What was the list price to sold price ratio? In other words, are homes selling for more than asking price?
I lost track of how many times I’ve met with a homeowner to list their home and they say to me: “BUT, Zillow says my home is worth [fill in the blank.]” And there you have it folks … bad information, aggregated data, online free information, and the consuming public, for the most part, believes it! We believe it of course if the value is higher than what a trained and experienced real estate professional, with supporting relevant data, in other words, recently sold comparable homes, would suggest the market would dictate.
Zestimates are not always high. Some are actually low. I’ve never had a homeowner say “I do not want to list my home for $800,000 because Zillow says it is only worth $650,000.” Therein lies the irony. We believe it only if we want to believe it.
Many Sellers Will Hire the Agent That Tells Them What They Want to Hear
Even when the agent knows what they are telling the seller is a bunch of bull. Shocking right? Back to the fact that real estate is a bad reputation industry. Why? This is another reason. Some people are just deceptive and dishonest. Some agents are desperate for their next paycheck and will do whatever it takes to win business. Some agents are just all about their numbers. They are focused on what they want and need and not what is best for their client, or potential client. That’s the game of sales and why I am not a sales agent.
I live by the Golden Rule. I simply treat others the way I want to be treated. First and foremost, that is with dignity, honor and respect. With that comes honesty. I go bonkers when I discover someone has lied to me. I will not … Will Not tell someone what I think they want to hear to earn their business. I’ve walked away from potential clients who believed their home was worth $1 Million and I new it was not. They hired an agent who listed the home for $1.1 Million. The home sat on the market. The price was reduced. The home sat on the market. The price was reduced. The home sat on the market. The price was reduced and eventually sold for $979,000.00 which was exactly my recommended list price. I just cannot make this stuff up.
Could I have smiled and agreed with the homeowner just to win their business and take the listing? Yes. I believe that is the wrong approach and doing so is doing a dis-service to the homeowner. What that means is that I am unwilling to sell my soul and integrity for $29,370.00 in commission or for that matter, any amount of money.
I stand tall and proud and I sleep at night because I do the right thing. There are people out there that may think I am a fool for not doing whatever it takes to win business. There are people that find honor in how I live my life and manage my business. My clients, those who hired me, appreciate that about me.
Every seller and every home is unique. Listing a San Jose home for sale is not a one size fits all task. At least it is not for me. While many tasks are the same, there is almost always something unique or different that must be addressed with each individual home. Every seller’s specific needs and requests must be considered. My focus is on my clients – the seller. I believe every seller deserves specialized care and attention. Because I believe that, I live it. For me, it is that simple. I truly live by the Golden Rule!
Preparing Your San Jose Home for Sale
Imagine you are a buyer looking for a home like yours. I tell all my seller clients … “be the buyer.” What would you want to know about the home if you were buying it? This is where having all seller statutory disclosures ready and available when the home is listed on the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”) is important. Buyers and their agents need the information disclosed about the home in order to make informed decisions. All of the questions I’ve posed above will be answered in the seller disclosures provided a seller has truly done their job.
Sellers do their job correctly when they hire an agent that leads and guides them through every step of the process. That is what sellers hire me for. They know my attention to details will keep them out of trouble and save them a lot of money. More on that below.
Many sellers also qualify for a Seller Protection Plan. That is another added benefit of working with me. You won’t find a National or franchise brokerage that offers such a protection plan. In the 9 years I affiliated with a Big Box Brokerage, I did not have direct access to a real estate risk management attorneys either. All I had access to was the so-called office manager who had less knowledge, experience and education than I did who rarely had an answer and only gave the response … “just close the deal.”
While I do not feel the need to consult with an attorney often, I have found myself in situations that a prudent person would feel the need to get a legal opinion … because it is the right thing to do to ensure my client is protected. Just closing the deal is not going to happen on my watch. It is my job and fiduciary duty to protect my clients. Sometimes that means I am consulting with an attorney.
Why Pre-Listing Inspections Are Important
Remember the point I made above about buyers making informed decisions? That is where pre-listing inspections come into play. One of the most misunderstood concepts in home buying is the term “as is”. Full disclosure here. I am not an attorney nor do I play one on T.V. I am a real estate broker licensed in the State of California. With that on the table, as an independent real estate broker I have a risk management real estate attorney on my team. What follows is my attorney’s legal definition and legal interpretation of an “as is” offer to purchase.
“As-Is” means as known, and as disclosed.
Let’s boil this down by way of example. I love to learn and I love to teach and help others to avoid costly mistakes. Costly mistakes made because we rely upon bad information.
Example A: Seller gets pre-listing inspections completed and includes them with the seller disclosures: Buyers read and approve the inspection reports as well as all other seller disclosures when they make their offer. Remember, and this is crucial, buyers need this information in order to make informed decisions about their offer. In this example, the seller not only disclosed everything they know about the home they are selling, the seller is also disclosing what a home inspector, termite inspector and chimney inspector has outlined in their written report. A seller wants to know about any deficiencies in the home before a buyer discovers them. This is discussed in detail during my consultation with a seller.
Buyer submits their offer based upon having read and approved everything the seller provided. Seller accepts the offer. Buyer now gets their own inspections. Unknowing buyers, and their untrained and unknowing agents, submit a request to the seller for repairs or credits for items listed on the buyer’s home, termite, or other inspection report. An appropriate response would be: That was already disclosed and approved when the offer was submitted. Getting inspections done upfront protects a seller. It also provides the seller with the option of making certain repairs before listing their home for sale.
Example B: Seller does not get any pre-listing inspections done: Buyer makes an informed decision on their offer based upon the information made available. Buyers offer is accepted. Buyer gets a home, termite, chimney and other inspections done. Buyer then submits a request for repairs, a seller credit, or reduction in sales price based upon the $20,000.00 in deficiencies discovered by the inspectors. Seller says … no way, you wrote an “as is” offer. Yes, the buyer did, but the buyer’s offer was made on what was known and disclosed at the time the offer was made.
Can the seller say no deal to the buyer? Yes. The ramifications of this are discussed in detail during my consultation with a seller. It is not a position a seller wants to be in.
Marketing a San Jose home for Sale
There is far more to listing a home than signing a listing and putting a sign in the yard. Marketing your home is a huge piece of the equation once we have everything else completed. I frequently marvel at the photos many real estate agents use to market homes. Not only is the quality poor, there are often only a few photos available. Buyers want to see photos. Lots of photos. The more photos – the better. The eyes buy.
Where Are Buyers Looking For San Jose Homes for Sale?
Buyers are looking online on the Internet. This is where listing syndication comes into play. Another benefit of working with me is that I understand buyers behavior and the power of the Internet. It is why many years ago I got my Internet Marketing Specialist Designation.
Homes I list for sale have a single property website complete with lots of photos and a virtual tour. I use a listing marketing syndication software that syndicates listings to online portals where buyers are searching. By optimizing every listings, I know that buyers looking for the features and benefits of your home will find the listing.
We will discuss the full suite of items I manage when I list a home for sale during our consultation. I’ll share the dirty little secret about open houses as well.
I do not sell 100 homes year. Selling a lot of homes does not equate to better although some people believe that is true. I equate that thinking to fast food restaurants that sell “one-size-fits-all” menus. While some may like the food, and find it convenient, it definitely may not serve us well.
By choice and design I own and manage a boutique-like brokerage. After affiliating with a national franchise company for 9 years, I’d had enough. What they “sell” does not fit who I am or how I chose to conduct my business.
My clients are not treated like they are passing through a chain or franchise drive-thru or self-serve restaurant. My clients receive the white glove concierge’s service. I employ a highly consultative approach to listing home. I am not about grinding out large numbers of sales for personal profit and gain. I happen to have witnessed first-hand how clients pay the price for that … even though they may not know it. Did I mention that I also like to sleep at night? Don’t get me wrong. I like money. I’d like to make more money than I do. I’m just not willing to sacrifice my clients for personal gain and profit.
Call me at 408-972-1822. If we click, and we both agree that we will work well together, I will get started on an individualized plan created specifically for you. One-size does not fit all. I know that to be true regardless of what other agents may claim or what the national franchise companies “sell” consumers. When people fall for the national brand that may be all they get. Behind the brand is the agent they hire. The agent does the work – not the broker and not the brand. I’ve never been fired by a seller. I offer all of my clients a Satisfaction Guarantee, in writing.
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