• What’s It Take to Sell an Edgewood Park Home? Part 3 — Pricing Trumps All

    Pricing is going to be the single most important factor in getting your home sold. Pricing it correctly.

    Zillow will tell you one thing. A “neighborhood expert” might tell you something else.   This can sometimes be a delicate conversation, particularly if you think your home is worth X, and the rest of the world thinks it’s worth Y.

    In its most basic form, here’s some guidelines:

    The Market Value of Your Home is NOT:

    1.         What you have in it.

    2.        What you need out of it.

    3.         What you want.

    4.         What it appraised for.

    5.         What you heard your neighbor’s house sold for.

    6.         What the tax assessor says it is worth.

    8.         Based on memories and treasures.


    The True Market Value of Your Home Is What a Buyer is Willing to Pay:

    1.         Based on today’s market.

    2.         Based on today’s competition.

    3.         Based on today’s financing.

    4.         Based on today’s economic condition.

    5.         Based on the buyer’s perception of the condition.

    6.         Based on location.

    7.         Based on normal marketing time.

    8.         Based on showing accessibility.


    Properties That Sell in Today’s Market:  On a Scale of 1 – 10, the “10’s” Are The Ones That Are Selling.  How Can Your Property Be A “10”?

    1.         By improving the condition dramatically.

    2.         By offering good terms.

    3.         By improving the way the home shows.

    4.         By pricing it realistically.


    As a Seller there are 3 things you control, and 3 things you can’t control:

    1.         The price you ask.

    2.         The condition of the property.

    3.         Access to the property.


    As a Seller you do not control:

    1.         Market conditions.

    2.         The motivation of your competition.

    3.         Value

  • Q4 Market Update with Carole Rodoni – New Gory Details Podcast

    Yes, it’s back!  The latest Gory Details Podcast features once again the immensely knowledgeable Carole Rodoni.  She’s a highly regarded speaker, author and advisor in Bay Area real estate. Formerly president of Fox and Carskadon Realtors, COO of Cornish & Carey Real Estate, President & COO of Alain Pinel Realtors, and now president of her own consulting firm, Bamboo Consulting, she is..the one, and only, Carole Rodoni

  • What’s It Take to Sell an Edgewood Park Home? Part 2 — Promotion, Promotion, Promotion


    As mentioned in yesterday’s post, easily 80% of buyers look at Internet listings before they even contact a real estate agent

    Now why is that?… it’s because of the availability and proliferation of MLS data to the general public makes it so much easier to just pull up your laptop, iPad, or real estate app and to narrow down your search from what’s available, to homes that buyers want to see.

    Now there’s the obvious, tactile things that need to happen – well designed and professional looking brochures, professional photography, signage, and open houses.   They’re a necessity, but they’re also table steaks – fundamental competencies.


    The key is, for any seller, how well, and how quickly, is your agent getting your home promoted to the pool of potential buyers out there.  And here quickly is my diatribe on print advertising (my opinion only, but I know I’m not alone in the realtor community with this) – print ads are just not worth the money.  The primary beneficiary of an ad in the local weekly real estate rag, or in the weekly local newspaper, is not your home. It really primarily benefits the agent, and his branding, and the promotion of his name to the masses.  That does really nothing for your bottom line.


    Some of this is going to happen automatically – MLS data feeds its data (syndicates) to many of these websites that buyers use as resources – Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, and many others. Here’s my only warning with those websites….What I’ve found is that, even though they pull their data directly from the MLS, I can’t be so sure they do it on a regular (daily!) basis.  I’ve gotten Zillow and Trulia inquiries about my listings that closed escrow 2 months prior – with the unfortunate requester of that info hopeful that they’ve actually found a home they like!


    Other means of promoting your home: it can’t be overstated, but Social Media should be playing a big part of your agent’s promotional plan.  And this does NOT mean just putting a post on Facebook or Twitter when the home comes on the market.   The digital media that’s produced in support of your listing can be leveraged in vast many ways – virtual tours is one, address-specific domains is another, but most importantly, Search Engine Optimization (SEO).   Part of it comes down to taking these things, and intelligently promoting them.  It’s not about individual posts or tweets, but rather, it’s about promoting content. Hopefully your agent has at least their own website – again, table steaks. Even better, your agent has a blog (or two). Even even better, their own business page on Facebook. Bonus points for their own video channel on YouTube.

  • What’s It Take to Sell an Edgewood Park Home? It’s All About the 3 P’s!

    I recently had the pleasure of getting interviewed by Joe Cucciara for the RE360 radio show, on KDOW 1220 AM.  If you haven’t checked them out on Facebook, look them up here.

    In my segment, I spoke about the 3 key important things that sellers need to be on top of when they sell their home.  It’s what I call the 3 P’s: Presentation, Promotion, and Pricing.

    In today’s post, I’ll talk about the first P, Presentation (the other 2 P’s will follow in the subsequent 2 days).

    Everyone knows  the old adage that ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’.  It holds so true when trying to sell your home as well.  You as a seller may only have 90 seconds to get this right.  Because most homebuyers need only 90 seconds to make their minds up on whether or not they will consider your home. And this is why “presentation” is so key.

    Why concentrate on the “presentation” of your home?  Let’s put it this way: you dress for success, don’t you? You dress up for a job interview, a first date, right? Well, shouldn’t you do the same for your home when you’re selling it? Because that’s essentially what we’re talking about here: dressing up your home  – both inside and out – so that it goes from house for sale to house sold as quickly and profitably as possible.

    But don’t just think that it’s the inside you need to worry about. We’re talking about the well held notion of ‘curb appeal’.  When someone drives up, you as a seller want them to stop and get out and come in. You don’t want them to slow down, take a look, and then keep on driving.

    So here’s the essential things you have to do – paint the house if it needs it – particularly if you’ve currently got it painted in a very personal or unique color. If it’s a home with a front yard, spruce it up! Add redwood bark, plant new plants, trim back excess branches and foliage, rake leaves, etc…..and, this is one thing some people forget, look at your neighbor’s houses.  Is it an eyesore? Do they leave their garbage cans out all week? (my personal pet peeve) Does their front yard need raking?  These are potentially things you might need to address – and sometimes very diplomatically.

    There’s also the backyard to think about too, because you can’t necessarily spruce up the front of the house, and the inside, and blow off the backyard.  A good agent will be able to help you figure out what needs to be done and where, to put your home in the best possible light.

    So now, let’s get to staging.

    Statistics show that houses for sale that are staged, sell faster and for more money than those that aren’t. And I know, everyone can argue statistics, but this goes to something you can’t quite measure, and that is basic human nature and behavior, and moreover, appealing to emotions. Because by staging a house, you’re transforming it into an object of desire! That’s why so many real estate agents work with professional home stagers, because it’s not about fixing a faulty faucet or regrouting your shower. It’s about taking that plain Jane house for sale and turning it into Miss America.

    Some of the other good reasons to stage a house for sale include:

    • Staged homes look better on the Internet. 80% of clients look at Internet listings before they even contact a real estate agent
    • Staged homes make great first impressions on buyers.
    • Staged homes leave a lasting impression. Potential buyers will remember how beautiful the home looked
    • Staged homes come across as better maintained
    • Agents know that staged homes show better and are more likely to show them more often
    • Staging a home makes it easier for potential buyers to imaging living in the home themselves
    Tomorrow’s post will address “Promotion”.
  • Market Indicators for August 2012

    The Reader’s Digest version: Inventory is down, median prices are up. (wait, does anyone really still subscribe to Reader’s Digest anymore? Was that a seriously dated pop culture reference?)

    Anyway, the latest housing market data report for August 2012 from our local MLS shows some interesting data points. Single family home inventory still is down double digits from the same time last year across all counties, and median home price is very healthy compared to 2011, with double-digit percentage increases in four of five counties.    

     Month-over-month comparisons tell us that compared to July 2012, sales varied across the counties – from a substantial increase in Santa Cruz County, and up slightly in both Monterey and San Benito Counties, to flat in Santa Clara County, and down slightly in San Mateo County. And, compared to July 2012, median prices started to feel some slight downward pressure in Santa Cruz County, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, but increased substantially in San Benito County and Monterey County.

    MLSListings Market Data Report: August 2012

    (Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties)

    August Housing Update: Silicon Valley Outpacing the Nation in Lean Inventory

    Days on Market Plummet Compared to 2011

    Single family home inventory still is down double digits from the same time last year ranging anywhere from 19 to 39 percent. Santa Clara and San Mateo counties shared the largest drop at 39 percent. This is more than the national average of 31.2 percent as reported by the National Association of REALTORS®. Compared to 2011, sales were up 20 percent in Santa Cruz County, 12 percent in San Benito County, 3 percent in Santa Clara County, but Monterey and San Mateo counties are down four and two percent respectively. Median home price is very healthy when compared to 2011. San Benito prices increased 38 percent, Monterey 27 percent, Santa Cruz 17 percent, Santa Clara 12 percent, and San Mateo just 4 percent.

    Sales were up a healthy 26 percent in Santa Cruz County, 10 percent in both Monterey and San Benito Counties, flat in Santa Clara County, and down 8 percent in San Mateo County. In general, days on market decreased anywhere from 23 to 39 percent in all counties because of the low inventory numbers. Compared to July 2012, median prices started to feel some downward pressure and dropped 7 percent in Santa Cruz County, 3 percent in both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, but increased 22 percent in San Benito County and up 14 percent in Monterey County.

  • Finger Ave. Project Moving Forward After 7 Long Years

    The Finger Avenue Development is an infill project located 300 feet from El Camino Real parallel to Cordilleras Creek on the northern portion of Redwood City. Currently the property holds six homes of various sizes and ages. The property is surrounded by residential and commercial.  The project converts three large lots (1.7 acres total) into nine medium-sized lots with single-family homes on each. Each new lot ranges in size from about 6,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet. In fact, no new zoning is required for this project and it fits within the city’s current general plan.  The project also restores native vegetation on about 300 feet of the southern portion of Cordilleras Creek. The developer also says he is doing more to restore portions of the creek then the Friends of Cordilleras Creek have even attempted.

    Over the objections of community activist groups, Redwood City’s seven member city council this past Monday voted unanimously in support of a controversial development.

    The council’s approval of the Finger Avenue project culminates a eight-year battle between a development firm and a coalition of environmentalists and neighborhood groups who say the project is an eyesore that doesn’t fit the historic community’s character and imperils treasured creeks.

    The council vote followed a two-month delay intended to give the developer and community groups who’ve filed a lawsuit against the city in the hopes of blocking the project, to find common ground.

    With no such compromise at hand, the council took matters into their own hands, green-lighting the developer to build nine single family homes on the 1.7 acre parcel.

    Mayor Alicia Aguirre said she believes the community will benefit from the additional housing stock.

    “It’s a well constructed project,” Aguirre said. “The developer did meet all the requirements set by the city.”

  • New Listing on Somerset Street

    I am proud to announce my new listing at 162 Somerset Street, to be on the MLS on Friday, June 1st, listed at $1,575,000.

    Situated on a quiet tree-lined street, this exceptional 5 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,910 sq. ft. home, with an expansive floor plan. Walk in the door, and you’ll feel right at home.

    Virtual tour can be found here: www.162Somerset.com

    With an updated, open kitchen adjacent to a large family room, this home is in move-in condition with plentiful storage throughout.   A private backyard with custom deck and artificial turf is ideal for entertaining, playing, or practicing your golf putting skills. Complementing the large master suite is a relaxing private sauna, large walk-in closet, and a large comfortable shower. 

    First open house will be this coming Sunday, June 3rd, 12pm – 4:30pm.

  • What Does a Burglar in Edgewood Park REALLY Want?

    A Burglar's Quest
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  • New Street Sweeping Schedule for Redwood City – Starts April 1!

    A new street sweeping schedule for Redwood City neighborhoods will begin on April 1st. The entire City-wide NEW schedule can be viewed online now at www.redwoodcity.org/publicworks.

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    With the new schedule, any given neighborhood will be cleaned on the same identified day each month – for example, always the third viagra on line canada Tuesday of the month, or the fourth Wednesday of the month, or the first Friday of the month, and so on.


    • It’s easier for everyone to remember to move their vehicles off the street to make room for cleaning
    • It makes for more efficient scheduling of the street sweeper.
    • It ensures no conflicts with garbage and recycling pickup.


    This year, to save on printing and postage and to be more green, the City will NOT be mailing out printed copies of the schedule. Instead, go to our Community GIS at www.redwoodcity.org/gis and click on “Search” then enter your address. General property information will appear on the right side of the screen, and near the bottom of that window will be your next upcoming street cleaning.


    The new schedule will be included on GIS as of April 1 – until then, the existing schedule is displayed in GIS. You can view the upcoming schedule at www.redwoodcity.org/publicworks.


    Have you checked out the Community GIS page? There, you will also note your street cleaning “District” (such as District 3B) – and by clicking on that link, you go to the appropriate street sweeping map and schedule for your neighborhood. If you want to see a map of all the street sweeping districts, go to the left side of the page, and under “Layers” click on “Other” and then check the box for Street Cleaning Districts.


    As you know, street cleaning is performed once a month in residential neighborhoods to remove debris that may enter the storm drain system and San Francisco Bay, and to maintain a clean appearance of our roadways. REMEMBER: please move your vehicles from the curb and gutter on your monthly street cleaning day to allow the sweeper to clean in front of your home. Vehicles can be moved back to the curb once the sweeper has passed. When vehicles are not moved for street sweeping, the litter and debris will be an eyesore until the following months’ cleaning and, during the rainy season, can flow into the Bay.


  • Change Your Clock…Change Your Smoke/CO Alarm Batteries!

    Daylight savings time 2011 begins

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to replace the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms this weekend for Daylight Saving Time. This year, Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 11. Fresh batteries allow smoke and CO alarms to do their jobs saving lives by alerting families of a fire or a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide in their homes.


    CPSC estimates there was a yearly average of 386,300 residential fires resulting in nearly 2,400 deaths between 2006 and 2008.

    Two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. That is why it is important to replace batteries at least once every year and to test your alarms every month to make sure they work. CPSC recommends consumers have smoke alarms on every level of their home, outside bedrooms and inside each bedroom.


    CPSC viagra 50mg estimates there was an annual average of 183 unintentional non-fire CO poisoning deaths associated with consumer products between 2006 and 2008. CO is called the “invisible killer,” because it is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas.

    Because of this, people may not know they are being poisoned. Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of fuel in various products, including furnaces, portable generators, fireplaces, cars and charcoal grills.


    That is why it is important to have working CO alarms in the home, on each level and outside each sleeping area.

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