When it comes to selling your home in Sunnyvale, or any home, in fact, it’s really important to tune into the mindset of a buyer who’s looking to move into the area. Keep in mind that your potential buyers could either be the couple from a nearby town or a family coming from halfway across the country. In either case, you’re going to want to highlight the aspects of your home that truly give it that Sunnyvale feel so that it’s a comfortable transition for your potential buyers. With over 20 years of real estate experience in the Sunnyvale/Silicon Valley area and watching it blossom into the city, it is today, we’ve figured out what the key is to sell your home for the most money in today’s market. Note that it’s a combination of these things that’ll allow you to sell your home for above your asking price. So aside from hiring the right real estate agent that knows how to get top dollar for your home, here are some of our secret tips to selling your home for 15% more in Sunnyvale, California.
1. Make your home smart
If you’re planning to sell a home that’s located in the midst of the world’s largest tech companies, you better make sure that it comes with some smart appliances. Chances are that the buyers looking into homes located in the Silicon Valley are either future or former employees of a tech company, so think of how much more value you can add to your home by tuning into your audience’s needs. According to a study done by Coldwell Banker, 64% of agents are noticing that buyers are asking more frequently about connected features than they were two to five years ago. Although the tipping point isn’t quite there yet where smart features will help a home sell more quickly, agents predict that these tech investments will soon pay off. What better place to start that tipping point than the place where technology was pretty much founded?
2. Tune in to the “Prius Effect”
Have you ever noticed how many people own a Prius these days? You’ll probably see a handful each time you hit the road. Although owning a hybrid car has many perks in terms of mileage and carbon footprint, a big reason why people choose to drive a Prius is due to their desire to show off their green bona fides. This ideology of being prideful for making the world more green is known as the “Prius Effect”, and it has made its way into the world of real estate. On top of pragmatic reasons like lower utility bills, green homes are more valuable because it’s a type of status symbol for homeowners. Green certified homes sell for 9% more than regular homes in California and their premium is highest in the hottest and most eco-minded areas. Single-family homes with green certifications sold for an average of $34,800 more than comparable homes from 2007 to 2012 when the average California home was priced at $400,000, according to the University of California research. Anyone who has visited the Bay Area can tell you that we are the leaders when it comes to living a green lifestyle. Heck, we have to bring our own recycled bags every time we go grocery shopping! If there’s any place worth investing in a green home, it’d be the Bay Area.
3. Upgrade your kitchen
If had to make one renovation that’ll appeal to home buyers, we’d recommend upgrading your kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of any home, so it’s worth it to spend some money on upgrades if necessary. About 69% of homeowners said they were willing to spend more money for new kitchen appliances, and this usually amounts to 1.5x more than what your investment will be. Add in some granite countertops and hardwood floors and you’re looking at a significant increase in your home’s value. In Sunnyvale, food really is where the heart is so highlight that in your home. Additionally, during the Covid19 pandemic, there’s been a large influx of people cooking all their meals at home, instead of ordering in or dining out.
4. Price it right the first time
Make sure that your home is priced right to sell from the get-go because your listing will attract the most attention from qualified buyers the first day it goes live on the market. Statistics show that the most favorable time to generate a sale on your Sunnyvale home is between three to seven weeks after the home is listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing System). Time on the market can significantly impact the sale of your home so it’s important that your listing doesn’t become stale or stagnate on the market for months. If this is the case, buyers will assume there’s something wrong with your home and will most likely ask for a discount. Avoid the discounts, price it right, and increase your chances of having multiple interested buyers.
5. Don’t save repairs until the last minute
Repairs left undone will cost you more money than the repair itself, so it’s better to get it done before you sell your home. Once a needed repair becomes evident to a buyer, they’ll start to wonder if the home was really maintained properly and probe around to find hidden repairs that are not visible to the naked eye. This will lead to them asking for reductions in your asking price which will end up costing you more in the end. Buyers love to negotiate the home sales price after the home inspection, so don’t give buyers a reason to want a discount. It’s also important to not try and hide a defect because you think that keeping it to yourself will help you sell your home for more money. Buyers can sue you for not disclosing a home’s structural issue, so be honest and avoid getting slapped with a lawsuit.
6. De-clutter & Depersonalize
In real estate, space is money so the more room you make in the home, the higher it’ll sell for. Make sure to clean out all areas of your home before open house time comes around because buyers will spend that time analyzing how much space they have in the home to fit all their belongings. They’ll look through your closets, cabinets, and even storage spaces (garage, attic, basement, etc.) so double check to make sure everything’s been cleared out. A big chunk of money can be lost for not putting in a little extra leg work. Also, keep in mind that what you love may not be what a prospective buyer loves. For example, you may think that your mounted hunting treasures gives your home more curb appeal when in reality buyers find it to be a distasteful distraction. When it comes to selling your home, it’s better to play it safe by neutralizing it and removing personal belongings so that it’ll appeal to a larger pool of buyers.
7. Bring the outside in
Whether you need to install some well-placed skylights or invest in a renovation that’ll give your home more floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s important to give your home as much natural light as possible. As you may have already guessed, it’s usually sunny here in Sunnyvale and the people have grown accustomed to a certain type of lifestyle. Sun is a necessity and the more it’s accessible at home, the more appealing it is to buyers. We’ve sold hundreds of Eichler homes above the asking price in the Sunnyvale area all because the design concept was based on bringing the outside in. Just remember two key components that’ll allow you to achieve this Eichler philosophy: Natural lighting & Visuals of the outside world. For more information on Eichler homes, click here.
It’s pretty much established that most of us like a beautiful home. It’s our safe space where we let our hair down and recharge from the madness that is Life. Not all of us can rely on the acute eye of an interior designer and while some of us have a knack for colors and sprucing things up, a few of us are simply hopeless in that department. We are here to offer some guidance to help even the most design-impaired. We want to share with you a secret that cheers up any space and that will leave all your friends in awe about your decorating skills. What is this special secret you might ask? Well, it’s all in the details.
These are little things you can add to your home that will make all the difference. We’re talking about accent lighting, rugs, pillows, and a little bit of paint.
A more fleshed out list of things you can add to your home include:
- Types of lighting
- Wall decoration and art
- Pillows and rugs
- Window decoration (blinds, shades, curtains)
- Furniture details, such as nailhead trim, cushion piping, the shape of the feet, etc.
- Switchplates and plug outlet covers
- Architectural trim
- Handles and knobs
How Do I Start?
We recommend focusing on one room at a time. Take the surroundings in, make an intake of what you have in the room, what you like, and where you’d like improvements. Simply hopping online or going to a store and buying what pleases the eye could possibly leave you overwhelmed and you could lose track of the space and measurements.
A design board is very useful. You can use software, Pinterest, or simply draw your space on a piece of paper. Having a visual cue really helps our brains sort and organize and keep track of the project at hand. It will also help not to end up cluttering a room even more.
One of our stagers, Rochelle Dutsako, recommends considering what style complements your lifestyle. If your job is very stressful you may want to create a peaceful space with calming colors and minimal furniture and accessories; If you have a dull job you may want to create more excitement with color and pattern in your home. If you are not a very good housekeeper, adding tchotchkes to every surface in your house may make dusting an overwhelming chore, and perhaps embracing minimalism may work better for you.
It’s also ok to have fun with it. Mixing in some natural materials can really help balance a room that feels cold and uninviting. Even very modern rooms can benefit from a mix of natural elements.
Lights are details that must never be overlooked. Let’s see a few examples:
- Adjust the height of the light to add value to space.
- Play with different styles of lampshades, or wall-mounted lights.
- Play with Ambient lighting to draw eyes to certain spots.
- Consider smart lighting.
People tend to focus too much on the hardware of their lighting. Don’t get caught up in only the light fixture, pay some time on what type of color the lightbulb should be, i.eHalogen, compact fluorescent, and LED come in a range of warm or cool hues. The type of glow you, just like your wall color should be based on your personal preference and personality.
If your walls are painted in cooler tones, you might want to warm the room up with a warmer glow and you may want a cooler glow to brighten up a darker space.
This is the fun part. You can select a theme or even stage all your souvenirs. This can also fuel your new obsession with antique shopping. Some typical accessories include:
- throw pillows
- small artistic objects
- storage boxes
According to Rochelle, a tray can be a game-changer for your coffee table. “It can bring a few smaller items together and ground the table, a large coffee table book can do the same. Liven up your coffee table with a combination of different heights, shapes, sizes, and materials. You can also add succulents or fresh flowers to your coffee table to add an organic element and if you don’t have a green thumb, there are some really great realistic-looking faux succulents available today.”
She also advises practicing restraint. “Less is more. If you have a collection of a lot of little tchotchkes, consider rotating them, keeping some of them away in a cabinet, and bringing out different ones each season, this way your collection is not overwhelming and you’ll feel excited again about each piece as you display them.”
3. Accent Furniture
“It is better to invest in a few nice pieces that you really like than to fill your room with things just to fill spaces. Take your time in selecting things that bring you joy. Your home should be a reflection of you.”
A colorful accent chair can make a world of difference. We don’t need to follow the old norm of matching furniture sets. We can go bold and mix and match. Have fun with color, patterns, and styles. You also don’t need to buy everything new or secondhand, you can also consider reupholstering some existing furniture.
Rochelle suggests adding a statement piece to command attention. It should be the star of the show but also reflect your style. A statement piece should draw the attention first to itself then the eye should look around to secondary things and the rest of the room should flow with the statement piece and the secondary pieces. “Your fireplace, for example, tiled floor to ceiling with dramatic tile could be a statement piece, your sofa might be the secondary piece in the room that draws attention then the eye flows to the rest of the items in your room that play the supporting roles.”
Color affects our mood. A nice shade of blue can send us into a tranquil state of mind on a lazy Sunday afternoon, while yellow cheers us up and energizes us. Use color to create the mood you wish for each room in your home. Accent walls look stylish and cost less. Wallpaper is also coming back into style. Museums don’t need to be the only place with art walls, group all of your art together or make a family wall. But Rochelle warns that you should also resist the temptation to fill up all the wall space with art. “Provide space for the eye to rest, when a space is too full it can feel too busy and claustrophobic.”
A useful tip that Rochelle offers when selecting paint colors is to try samples on the wall and live with them for a couple of days. “The color might look different in the morning than it does in the evening.” Speaking of paint colors, be aware of the undertones in the colors and make sure they all work together. There are many neutral paint colors to choose from but one neutral may have a blue undertone whereas another one may have a pink undertone. If a room feels cold, consider a paint color that has a little warmth to balance it out. “Paint is an easy thing to change and can make a big difference.”