Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Los Gatos real estate market graphic with home near downtownThe Los Gatos real estate market had been cooling down, but suddenly the activity level is up noticeably, and when we get the statistics for December’s closed sales, I believe we will see a rise in pricing, too. At office meetings and with friends in the industry I am hearing many stories of multiple offers and overbids. In one case, a property I was watching (near but not in LG) sold for 16% over list price. Many are surprised by the surge in buyer interest, which appears to be strongest in the lowest priced homes which are in good locations and in excellent condition (meaning recently and thoroughly remodeled).

Market uptick in November: pending sales increase

Throughout Santa Clara County and San Mateo County, pending sales increased dramatically in November, and the ratio between active listings and pending sales narrowed (chart below). When this happens, meaning that the absorption rate increases, prices normally rise. The reason is simple: supply and demand. Typically, supply shrinks in fall, but demand does not always shrink as much as supply. Hence, selling in autumn can be good in that the odds of selling increase. That’s good for sellers. For buyers, it may be tougher to buy due to limited choices, but prices often are a little softer in the late months of the year than they are in spring. Bottom line: if you need to buy or sell, it can happen in the last quarter of the year. Buyers cannot be too picky, though, as selection is limited. (See similar data for the Santa Clara County real estate market on the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog.)

Active and pending listings in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032

Below please find a chart of 2019 active listings of single family homes in Los Gatos (MLS area 16, zip codes 95030 and 95032)  in relation to the pending sales the same month. When active listings far outnumber the pending or contingent sales, it’s harder to sell and easier to buy. Conversely, when the two are closer together, a larger percentage of properties are going under contract.  Notice how close they are in November of this year.

 

Graph representing Los Gatos active and pending listings of single family homes in 95030 and 95032 in 2019 year to date

 

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Selling Your Home in a Rainy El Ni

January 19, 2010

Lightning is flashing, thunder is rumbling, the rain is coming down and instead of hibernating, you are trying to sell your home.  With a front yard saturated and soupy, what can you do to make your home inviting and pleasing to the serious home buyers who brave this kind of soggy winter weather?

Winter home selling poses some challenges, and all of them are exaggerated in a year like this El Ni

Simple Rules for Landscaping to Sell Your Home

March 01, 2008

We all like easy answers, preferably with a short list. That’s why titles like “Five Easy Ways to Make Millions” seem to sell so well. With that in mind, let me provide a few very simple rules of thumb for staging your Silicon Valley home to sell in any real estate market. But let me warn you: I’m going to be painfully, brutally blunt. 

The first rule for “staging your home to sell” is the topic of today’s post and it involves landscaping and curb appeal. The front of the house needs to look great. Seriously. If the front doesn’t look wonderful (or at least really good), the buyer will never go inside to see how great your home is.  Especially now, when the majority of homes are not selling.

Here’s Mary Pope-Handy’s “Simple Rules for Landscaping to Sell Your Home”:

  • Street view of a Los Gatos home that features a wall of juniper in front. Get rid of juniper. I’m not kidding. And ivy too, while you are at it. These two plants are hated by most buyers and tend to give them the sense of “if they’ve lived with that, what else have they lived with?”  There are front yards which consist of nothing but ivy and juniper. Tear it out.
  • Make sure the door(s) and windows are fully viewable and not at all obstructed from the street. This is dual purpose. First, it allows the buyer to see the home as uncrowded from the outside, and it lets a maximum of light get inside. If your bushes are growing over any part of the window, beat it back. I mean, trim it back. Mature landscaping is good. Overgrown is bad.
  • Have a healthy lawn in front. Fresh sod is nice, but a nearly weed-free, inviting patch of green will do. (In ground sprinklers required. Timers and auto drip a plus to buyers.)
  • Plant colorful flowers near the walk way and near the front door.
  • If you have a porch, make it appealing with good furniture – but not overcrowded. Think uncluttered. If it’s a tiny porch, use tiny bistro-like furniture.
  • Keep garden hoses rolled up and tidy, keep walkways clear of debris, keep all the living things healthy (unless you’ve got moss – get rid of that living thing!).
  • Clean your windows, door, porch, exterior. A power washer is a good friend – it’ll help you clear cobwebs. Make sure the door opens easily and the hardware is clean.
  • How’s your mailbox? If it’s tired, replace it. Ditto that for the front mat.
  • When selling, make sure to keep your garage door closed (and that it operates properly). If the driveway, walkway or sidewalk is badly cracked or damaged, consider repairing or replacing it. This is particularly true if there is any tripping hazard. (Imagine a buyer getting hurt while viewing your property – you want to eliminate this possibility.)

That’s it for the exterior. Not too painful, was it? (Well, not if you didn’t start with a heavy load of juniper and ivy.) If you can make your front yard approachable and welcoming (no walls of ivy, no overgrowth), it will do wonders at beckoning people to see the inside of your home too.