5 Important Things Everyone Needs to Know about Silicon Valley Real Estate

1. Know your Values: 2020 real estate does not require that an agent post a list price anywhere in the range of where the seller accepts the list price. That’s why you need to know the value of a home by looking at market data carefully. As an agent I do market analysis of value three ways – radius and regional sales, comparison to what other areas the same buyer may choose and the traditional method of finding 3-5 sales most similar to the subject property that sold in the last three months based on size, condition and amenities. Buyers go to Zillow or other big websites to find values but these sites use complex algorithms that do not necessarily separate for school, location , specific pocket and they may be influenced by a home that is in poor condition that has recently sold in the neighborhood. Therefore you need to rely on your agent to create comparable sales data.
2. Location, location, location: What is the secret is knowing WHERE and WHY people are buying at top dollar. Because of Silicon Valley prices, people need to travel to find housing and they are always looking for locations which will be good compromises closer to their place of work or community. First and foremost the anchor to hold value is schools. Higher scoring elementary schools generally means better neighborhoods and much higher prices. See my value predictive map . Next proximity to work is becoming more and more important. This factor due to our traffic even with more people staying at home  is  important. Schools are secondary now to a lot of purchasers with young children or considering families. That factor is changing the values of certain neighborhoods and if you are looking for a home to hold your money for 5-7 years look for these pockets of homes where school might not be primary but commute time is.
3. Condition: Buyers purchase on photographs and sometimes only see a home once before making an offer. If your home does not photograph well then the value may be driven down. Buyers beware: a home may look pretty but will be hiding many expensive upgrades required down the line. Be sure to use a realtor that knows the cost of what expenses will be over the next 5-10 years in any home. Flips that cover up termite damage or landscaping costs, poorly installed windows can be a real problem down the road
4. Area: Silicon Valley has a huge diversity of housing and locations with different socio-demographics and communities. Look at chambers of commerce, school scores even if you are not planning to have kids and ask your realtor to run the tax roles on the street that interests you – you may find out a lot when you know who your neighbors are.
5. Take your time: Buying or selling should not be a hurried decision. It may be the most expensive purchase or sale you will make. It’s far less important to negotiate details of commission by some fraction of the sale than making the whole process rewarding from start to finish and walking away with the best price for your home. Trust that a successful realtor will advise you when not to sell and add value such as tax benefits of sales and relocations. Call Sandy Kay  408 202 0608

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