Category Archives: Sellers

How to Sell Your Home in Sunnyvale

If you’re planning on selling a home in Sunnyvale, CA, you’re in luck—the Sunnyvale real estate market is HOT, which means homes are selling fast and for high prices. But before you just toss up a listing on Zillow, here are some home-selling tips to ensure you get the MOST money in the LEAST amount of time.

How to Sell Your Sunnyvale Home for More in Less

Omit these steps, and you could be losing out on hard-earned equity! Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success by following these crucial home-selling steps.

1. Find the Right Agent

sell your home in the silicon valley with a great agentYou may be considering saving on Realtor fees and listing your home For Sale by Owner (FSBO). But before you jump right in, consider the advantages of working with an agent. Yes, you’ll pay more, but odds are, your home will sell for more (and more quickly) when you work with an agent who has the expertise to price it right, as well as the resources to promote to the largest possible buyer pool.

2. Price Your Home Accurately

find the right price to sell your home in sunnyvaleYou may think your home is worth a certain amount or be expecting to get a certain price for your home. But before you list your home where you think it should be listed, ask your agent. Remember, your home is worth what buyers are willing to pay, NOT what you think it’s worth. List your home too high, and it will sit untouched even in a hot market.

3. Get an Inspection & Complete Repairs

get a home inspection and complete repairsMost home offers are contingent on an inspection, so take the guessing out of the game by hiring an inspector first and completing any repairs—before they can deter a potential buyer or drag out the sale process.

4. Declutter, Clean & Stage

clean and staged home for sale in sunnyvaleReally want to wow your buyers and make them pay the price tag you want? Make sure your home shines, from top to bottom. Remove excess clutter that can make your home seem smaller. Deep clean everything, from floor to ceiling, every nook and cranny. Don’t give your buyers the wrong impression! Then, take some time to make your home as bright, welcoming, and decor-neutral as possible.

Tip: A great realtor can offer staging and professional photography services that will make your home really stand out from the crowd!

5. List Your Home & Get Ready to Show

buyers touring your home for sale in the silicon valleyOnce your home hits the market, your agent handles the big things like marketing, advertising, and talking to prospective buyers and their agents. But you’ve got to be ready to show, even at a moment’s notice. That means keeping your home clean and staged at all times and having a place to bring kids and/or pets if a buyer wants to visit.

Are You Ready to Sell Your Home in the Silicon Valley?

If you’re thinking of selling a home in the Silicon Valley, then it’s time to contact Gary & Robert. We’re here to help you find the right price for your home, get it ready to sell, and successfully list it on the Silicon Valley real estate market.

Save on Energy Bills with These Seven Simple Tips

replace lighting to save on energySaving money on those monthly bills doesn’t have to be hard! In fact, there are numerous little things you can do to cut back on your energy expenditure and save on your utility bills, even during the cold winter months. Here are # easy ways to save big on energy during the winter.

1. Replace Incandescent Bulbs with CFLs

No lifestyle changes here, and you can save up to 75% on your lighting costs! Simply change out your old bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs)—which also conveniently last longer (and will produce less heat during the hot summer months). Be sure to also turn off lights when you’re not in the room!

2. Use Natural Lighting

Open up those windows and let in the sunshine! Not only will you avoid using electricity, but letting in sun will help heat your home, too. Just be sure to close them again at night to avoid losing heat through the windows.

3. Replace Furnace Filters

Did you know furnace filters are supposed to be changed every three months? Leaving the old, dirty ones in slows down the flow of air and makes your system work harder. It’s an easy and affordable swap.

4. Turn Down the Temperature of Your Water Heater

use smaller appliances to save on energy costsAnother easy fix is simply adjusting the temperature of your water heater to “warm” (120 degrees). Older heater? Add an insulating blanket to reduce heat losses by as much as 45%!

5. Use Smaller Kitchen Appliances

Avoid using the oven if you can use a smaller appliance, like a toaster, microwave, or counter-top grill. And when you do use the oven, keep it closed. Every time you open it, the temp can drop as much as 25 degrees!
You may also consider skipping the dry cycle on your dishwasher and letting those dishes air dry instead. And be sure to check and make sure you refridgerator is properly sealed, and possibly adjust the temps on your freezer and fridge, too.

6. Unplug Electronics When Not in Use

No, it’s doesn’t have to mean hunting under your desk for the computer plug or behind the TV for the Xbox cord. Simply plug everything into a power strip and switch it to “off” when you’re not using your electronics.

7. Lower the Thermostat

Not everybody likes to bundle up, but did you know that every degree you raise the temperature above 68 degrees can add as much as 10% to your energy bill? That might make you reach for your sweater…

Looking for BIG Energy Savings? Take on Some Small Projects

If you don’t mind putting a little work into your home, or you’re planning to sell it and want to see a little more return on your investment, here are some great ways you can really improve your home’s efficiency and value.

1. Seal Air Leaks or Replace Windows

Sealing up your leaks can save up to 30%! Caulk windows, add weatherstripping to doors, or consider a whole new set in more modern, energy-efficient designs, like double-paned glass.

2. Insulate Hot Water Pipes

Simply insulating your hot water pipes can raise the water temperature 2 to 4 degrees! Then you can turn the temp down.

3. Install Low-Flow Showerheads and Aerators

Reduce your water consumption with low-flow showerheads (less than 2.5gpm) and aerators (less than 1gpm).install a programmable thermostat to save on energy

5. Insulate the Roof

Check your current insulation in your roof or attic—older insulation may need to be replaced. Consider using more energy-efficient materials to really see some savings.

6. Install a Programmable Thermostat

You don’t have to go full-on Smart Home—you can still save big just by installing a thermostat that will automatically adjust while you’re away.

7. Replace Old Appliances

If your appliances are getting on in years, it might be time for an upgrade. New appliances are designed to run more efficiently. And if you invest in ENERGY STAR certified appliances, you can see some big savings while really upping your home value.

Planning Energy Efficient Improvements to Increase Your Home Value?

If you’re thinking of increasing your energy efficiency because you’re planning to sell your home, then it’s time to contact Gary & Robert. As your guides to all things real estate and lifestyle in the Silicon Valley, we’re here to help you find your true home value, get your home ready to sell, and list your home with ease.

Are You Attending Our Sunnyvale, CA Client Appreciation Event?

ComedyTicket_ResizedWe here on the Gary & Robert Real Estate team don’t just like to say that we appreciate our clients, we like to show them as well.

That’s why each year, we hold a Client Appreciation Party to say “Thank You” to all of those clients who have chosen to work us when buying or selling real estate on the Sunnyvale, CA area real estate market.

Interested in going? If so, here’s all of the information you’ll need to know:

  • When: 7 p.m. on Nov. 14
  • Where: Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club in Sunnyvale
  • Who: Past Clients of the Gary & Robert Real Estate Team
  • RSVP: As soon as possible at

We’re Your #1 Sunnyvale, CA Real Estate Experts

Often our Client Appreciation Party is quite a momentous occasion. Why? Because over the years, we’ve helped scores of home buyers and home sellers just like you secure a successful outcome on the local real estate market. And these kinds of great professional relationships last long after the final closing.

If you’re ready to enter the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we encourage you to connect with us at The Gary & Robert Real Estate Team. We would love to help you every step of the way!

Until next time,

Gary & Robert

Your Sunnyvale CA Housing Market Report for June

Home Selling 4It certainly is a great time to be a home seller on the Sunnyvale, CA real estate market, at least according to the latest market data.

Evidently, the average price per square foot for Sunnyvale homes has increased significantly, as has the median sales price.

Thus, if you’re looking to get a great price for your home for sale, now would be a great time to act!

A Closer Look at Sunnyvale CA Housing Activity

Here’s what every home seller should know about the current state of the market:

  • Currently there are 99 homes for sale on the market, including a couple of dozen in some stage of the foreclosure process.
  • Between March and June, the average price per square foot for homes was $826, up 23.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
  • Also during that time, the median sales price for homes was $1,179,250, based on 246 homes sales.
    Compared to a year ago, the median home sales price increased 31 percent, or $279,250.
  • And the number of home sales decreased 7.2 percent.
  • Broken down further, the median sales price for a 1-bedroom home was $500,000.
  • The median sales price for a 2-bedroom home was $825,000.
  • The median sales price for a 3-bedroom home was $1,170,000.
  • And the median sales price for a 4-bedroom home was $1,700,000
  • During the week ending on June 10, the average listing price for Sunnyvale homes was $774,382, down 0.3 percent from the week before.
  • During that previous week, the average listing price was $$776,400.
  • Popular neighborhoods in Sunnyvale include Sunnyvale West and Ponderosa Park, with average listing prices of $1,237,552 and $903,987, respectively.
  • More specifically, during the week ending June 10, the average listing price for a 2-bedroom home was $450,360
  • The average listing price for a 3-bedroom home was $792,066.
  • And the average listing price for a 4-bedroom home was $1,084,266

We’ll Help You Sell Your Sunnyvale CA Home

As you can see, home sellers are getting some great prices for their properties right now in Sunnyvale. Perhaps the only issue is that there aren’t enough homes listed on the market to meet demand.

Thus, if you’ve been on the fence about whether to list your own Silicon Valley home on the market, we encourage you to take that next step toward listing your home on the market.

Contact us at The Gary and Robert Real Estate Team for assistance in selling your home today! We’d love to help you every step of the way!

Until next time,

Gary and Robert

Why It’s Time to Sell Your Sunnyvale and Campbell, CA Homes Now!

Home SellingThe most recent national housing market data is in and they all seem to be saying the same thing: NOW Is the time to list your property on the real estate market!

Evidently, according to this recent article we were reading, homes were selling 15 percent faster in recent months and for more money!

And those aren’t the only indications that now is a great time to sell your property. Continue reading to learn more!

4 Reasons You Should List Your Silicon Valley Home Now!

There’s a low housing supply. Tight inventory is one of the primary reasons why this is currently a seller’s market. The level of unsold homes was 4.6 months in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. A balanced market is considered to be more like five to seven months. Tight inventories like what we are seeing now tend to increase home prices and can even result in multiple offers on homes. This is good news for sellers!

There are fewer cash buyers. During the last couple of years, all-cash and investment buyers helped buoy home sales. In fact, in 2014, all-cash buyers made up nearly 31 percent of all sales, according to RealtyTrac. But those numbers are likely to be less in 2015.

Higher interest rates are expected. Although mortgage rates remain historically low, experts are saying that more buyers will enter the market in the coming months, especially in light of hints from the Federal Reserve that higher interest rates could be just around the corner.

Rent will continue to increase. Higher and higher rental prices are spurring more and more tenants to take that leap toward ownership. In fact, rent prices have increased 15 percent nationwide in the last five years in 70 metro areas, even though income hasn’t kept up. Americans’ tolerance for these astronomical rent prices is reaching its tipping point. This will definitely result in home sellers seeing more interested home buyers on the market in the coming months.

How Can We Help You With Listing Your Silicon Valley Home?

We hope you found the above information insightful as a prospective home seller in the Silicon Valley area.

If you’re ready to take that next step toward listing your Silicon Valley property on the market, please make sure to connect with us, at The Gary and Robert Real Estate Team.

We’d be happy to assist you by answering any questions you might have as well as providing you with some valuable home selling resources.

Until next time,

Gary and Robert

Report: Now Is An Excellent Time to List Your Sunnyvale Home!

Home Selling 3The latest real estate numbers are in and the conclusion is clear: Now is a great time to be a home seller in the United States, including in Sunnyvale!

Evidently, the National Association of Realtors recently released data that indicated that more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, marking the third straight month of gains in that department.

What’s more, the seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 1.1 percent to 108.6 in March. And the index as a whole has increased 11.1 percent over the last 12 months.

This developments, along with others, suggest that it truly is an opportune time to list your home.

More Encouraging Home Sales Data

The National Association of Realtors had even more encouraging data to share with home sellers recently:

  • Pending home sales improved in the south and the west, even as the number of signed contracts decreased in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • There are indications that would-be home buyer demand is increasing.
  • Inventory of homes remains low, which is helping drive up home sales prices.
  • Existing homes sold at an annual pace of 5.19 million in March, which is a solid uptick when compared to the below 5 million that sold in February and January.

We’ll Help You Get a Great Price for Your Home!

Are you encouraged by the recent numbers as a home seller? You should be! Home owners like you have a great opportunity to get a fantastic price for their home.

So contact us at the Gary & Robert Real Estate Team today to get the home selling process started. We’ll work diligently to get your home sold as quickly as possible – and for the best price possible!

Until next time,


Now Is a Great Time to List Your Silicon Valley Home!

Silicon Valley Home Selling 7If you’ve been on the fence about whether to list your Silicon Valley home on the market, we’re here to tell you that now is an excellent time to do so!

After all, according to recent market data, the median home sales price for Sunnyvale homes is showing year-over-year gains.

Plus, given that overall home inventory is low, any homes that are listed on the market are likely to sell quickly and for a lot of money.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at Recent Sunnyvale Market Trends

Here are the highlights of the latest real estate market report for Sunnyvale:

  • Currently there are 60 homes for sale on the market, including several that are in some stage of the foreclosure process.
  • Between November and February, the average price per square foot for homes was $694, up 19.9 percent from the same period last year.
  • Meanwhile, the median sales price for homes was $915,000 based on 142 home sales.
  • Compared to the same period a year ago, the median home sales price increased 12.8 percent, or $103,500.
  • And the number of home sales decreased 16.5 percent.
  • Specifically, the median sales price for a 1-bedroom home was $460,000.
  • The median sales price for a 2-bedroom home was $785,000
  • And the median sales price for 3- and 4-bedroom homes were $935,000 and $1,310,000
  • During the week ending on Feb. 18, the average listing price for homes was $781,408, down 14.3 percent from the week before.
  • Broken down further, the average listing price for a 2-bedroom home was $380,794.
  • The average listing price for a 3-bedroom home was $547,104.
  • And the average listing price for a 4-bedroom home was $1,387,097.

We’ll Help You Sell Your Sunnyvale, CA Home in Silicon Valley!

We find the above information encouraging for any home sellers trying to get a great price for their property.

If you’re ready to make that home selling dream your reality, please contact us at the Gary & Robert Real Estate Team.

We would be more than happy to help you list your home as well as to provide you with a free home evaluation, which will ultimately help determine the right list price for your home.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make the home selling process in Silicon Valley easier for you and your family.

Until next time,

Gary & Robert

Making Sense of Loan Modifications

Losing one’s home is a gut-wrenching experience. It’s something no one should have to go through. Now, sadly, many, many people are having to do just that. In many cases, however, there is another answer.

The Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP.

Part of the Federal Government’s economic stimulus plan, HAMP is an option that has yet to pick up a head of steam. It’s possible that it hasn’t gotten the necessary publicity, which is a shame, because keeping homeowners in their homes is vital not just to their well-being, but to the well-being of our economy.

Here’s how HAMP works:

Not a refinance, which replaces your loan with a brand-new mortgage, a loan modification happens when your lender reworks the terms of your existing loan. Generally speaking, this lowers payments and makes the home more affordable for you. Often, the lower payments are the result of a lower interest rate, an extension in the loan term, a reduction in principal, or any combination thereof.

If your home is your primary residence and the balance of your first mortgage is less than $729,750, then you may qualify for the program. Additionally, you’ll have to demonstrate that you’re facing hardships that are affecting your ability to make payments on your mortgage. From there, your lender will ask for documentation about your income, bank statements, as well as other financial data. You’ll also be asked to complete a Hardship Affidavit, in which you’ll describe extenuating circumstances with which you’re dealing.

“I’m doing just fine with my mortgage payments. Why is this important for me?”

Why? I’ll tell you why. The prospect of tens of thousands (yes, that many) homes suddenly appearing on the market is a pretty gruesome specter for our economy. Part of the problem of “shadow inventory” that we mentioned several weeks ago – a tidal wave of foreclosed homes entering the marketplace – would be a crushing blow to a real estate market that is only just showing signs of recovery.

Also, unoccupied homes are blights on communities. Too many can splinter a neighborhood, driving down everyone’s property values — not just those that are empty. And make no mistake: this isn’t just a problem of lower-income communities. No. Foreclosure is just as much of a problem in higher-end neighborhoods.

As Bloomberg reported late December – Homeowners with mortgages of more than $1 million are defaulting at almost twice the U.S. rate. This brings the rate of default for these considerable loans up to a skyrocketing level of 12 percent as of September, compared with 6.3 percent on loans less than $250,000 and 7.4 percent on all U.S. mortgages. This is quite a jump from the year prior where the rate for default on the $1 million dollar plus mortgages as only 4.7 percent.

So, take a look at HAMP. HAMP is offering distressed homeowners a second chance. A chance to keep a roof over their family’s head. A chance to keep the sense of pride instilled by owning your own home.

It’s not a cure-all. But it’s a place to start.

By Gino Blefari
President and CEO
Intero Real Estate Services

Mission: Distressed Properties

By Gino Blefari
President & CEO
Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

No one can deny the economic challenges we face as a country. They are the most challenging we have seen in generations. This environment demands more from brokers and Realtors than ever before; especially when dealing with those caught up in the epidemic of distressed and foreclosed properties.

Planning. Organization. Training. Execution. Leadership.

Let’s take a lesson from our own military, the Marines. Their reputation as hardened fighters is well documented. Their success stems from their organization and the precise training that enables the unit to understand and execute the mission of the unit leader. Their order consists of these five elements:

  • Situation
  • Mission
  • Execution
  • Administration
  • Command and Communication

Simple. Direct. Concise. Effective. And I believe this order can be implemented in real estate and guide us through and out of this current market situation. I’ll break it down as follows:

Situation – This is the background to your problem or the events leading up to where we are now. We have been facing incredible pressures and fluctuations in the housing market for over 24 months. Starting with the stricter lending requirements and plummeting home values during the sub-prime mortgage crisis that started in 2007. Two years into this foreclosure crisis we see unemployment, the traditional driver for foreclosures, come into play. While the focus has been primarily on Wall Street and the individual homeowner we recognize the tremendous pressures that have been placed on the individual agent and brokerages.

Mission – This is what we do about it. As I assess this new environment, it becomes painfully apparent that in order to respond to the needs of a distressed marketplace, we had to first and foremost ensure that our own company did not become distressed.

Secondly, we recognize that for our neighbors and prospective clients the immediate goal is saving their home. Granted, this appears counter-intuitive to our core mission of selling homes, but the underlying situation called for this. As Realtors, our mission is to get up to speed quickly, briefed on issues and expand our network of strategic business partners like never before. Therefore it became our mission to train our agents to do just that.

Execution – This describes how our mission is to be achieved. In a distressed market like the one we face today, the solutions we offer and the unique obstacles associated with delivering those solutions are changing rapidly. That is why we have created a department that specifically addressed the problems, opportunities and solutions in the distressed markets. We provide internal loss mitigation training through our Short Sales Division. We also encourage our agents to become Certified Default Resolution Specialists, to better connect and guide distressed homeowners through all of the options available to them. In addition, we are reaching out to servicers, local government agencies, non-profits and to the community to work collaboratively to address the issues and to help jumpstart neighborhood stabilization.

Administration –
This regards the resources required to accomplish your mission.  A brokerage’s most important resource is its agents and empowering them was the most important thing we could administer.  Everyone is working frantically to create new processes, new technologies, new laws to help homeowners, but they are all fruitless if there is not a trusted source to help the homeowners engage in the process. This is where our agents come into play. Servicers are overwhelmed by the number of defaults and homeowners not able to make contact with their servicer, thus never realizing they have options to avoid foreclosure, who better to address and administer to their problems than the Realtor.

Command and Communication – Who’s in charge? Who do you report to? How do you communicate with each other?

With all other forms of loss mitigation, making initial borrower contact is still the key. The fact remains that in a great number of foreclosures, estimates are between 50-60% of all REO properties, there was never any contact between the homeowner and the servicer. Obtaining accurate borrower and property data is challenging to say the least. There are many moving parts and players, which can easily lead to loss of communication.

At Intero, it is the individual agent that remains the most viable solution to engage the distressed market and affect the greatest change in the housing recovery in the years to come.

Semper Fi

The challenges we face are daunting. The road is neither short nor straightforward. It is littered with obstacles, both old and new. But it is the road we must travel in our chosen profession and the road we choose to improve for the well being of the communities we serve.

Take inspiration from my Dad, a decorated WWII Veteran awarded with two Purple Hearts, and the Bronze Star of valor (just to name a few,) quoted often, “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is forging ahead in spite of it.”

4 Reasons to Buy

Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the $729,750 loan limits being extended through 2010. And, many are excited that the tax credit for home buyers has been extended and expanded to include buyers who have owned their current homes for at least five years.

Even with those two incentives in place, there are some would-be-home-buyers that are still sitting on the fence. Here are two additional data points that may help move you into action:

  • Today the 10 year Treasury yield is at 3.2%. This indicator corresponds to mortgage rates – typically when it’s down, mortgage rates are down. Throughout this year rates have remained at historical lows; the average 10 Year Treasury yield for the last 12 months was 3.17%. However, the average yield over the last 10 years was 4.50%. In fact, from April 1953 to December 2008 the average annual yield for the 10 year Treasury was 6.36%. The highest rate during that 55 year period was 15.32%; the lowest rate was 2.29%. The high was attained in September of 1981. The low was achieved in April of 1954. Translation: Evidence shows the 10 year Treasury yield and conforming mortgage rates are at historic lows; it’s unlikely they’ll continue in this range throughout 2010. How often does a 55 year interest rate low occur? About every 55 years!
  • According to the National Association of Realtors®, last month showed another big gain in existing-home sales and inventories continue to decline. Translation: the competition is getting tougher.

Please contact us if we can answer any specific questions or if you’d like to discuss buying or selling strategies.