Need to sell your home fast in San Jose, California? You’re in luck: Silicon Valley is one of the hottest real estate spots nationwide, with beautiful San Jose right at the center. As the third most expensive housing market in the U.S. — behind only San Francisco and Manhattan — the tech-focused San Jose boasts opulent property values thanks to its abundance of jobs and enviable Mediterranean climate.
According to local statistics, home prices have risen from a median $300,000-$400,000 in the late 1990s to a cool $1.3 million in 2021, pushed even higher by pandemic-driven home purchases. That reminds us… Have you checked your home equity lately? It’s likely a great time to cash out and reinvest.
Maybe you’re looking for a less expensive city in California — hello, Fresno! — or to get out of the metro chaos and enjoy a more peaceful pace of life in, say, Berryessa. With San Jose housing stock as limited as it is, someone will be eager snatch up your abode in this cultural epicenter — you just need to know where to find them. Follow these seven expert tips for a quick sale in the capital of Silicon Valley with a savvy online marketing strategy, curb appeal that shines, and a real estate pro who can navigate such a high-stakes market.
1. Team up with a top local San Jose real estate agent
First things first. To sell your San Jose home fast, hire a top local agent who understands what buyers are looking for in your area and can tailor your listing to their house-hunting checklist from day one. Sound easy? Not exactly.
According to our real estate transaction data at HomeLight, San Jose has at least 14,524 real estate agents alone! But not all San Jose agents will deliver the same level of service and results. In fact, the top 3% of agents in San Jose do 77.8% more deals yearly than the average area agent and — get this — move homes 53.2% faster.
When you don’t have time to spare, you’ll be glad to have an agent who knows the difference between first-time buyers in Willow Glen and Blossom Valley; who has insider knowledge on what buyers desire regarding school districts, neighborhood lifestyles and attractions (like the Tech Museum of Innovation or Japanese Friendship Garden); and who can piece together how these factors will shape your selling strategy.
Fortunately, HomeLight can help you connect with an all-star real estate agent with an outstanding track record of selling homes faster and for more money in their area and who also have earned rave reviews from former San Jose clients. Simply tell us a bit about your selling needs, and we’ll connect you with up to three high performing San Jose agents who specialize in your neighborhood, price point, and property type — with the statistics to prove it.
2. Show buyers they could WFH at your San Jose digs
Well-known companies such as Adobe, eBay, PayPal and others have made San Jose home, so it’s no surprise that this large Northern California city attracts a number of tech professionals. Furthermore, its surrounding towns — including Mountain View, Menlo Park, and Cupertino – headquarter the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple. Translation? More potential buyers for you, most of them affluent — and many of whom will shift to a remote or hybrid work arrangement even post-COVID.
Santa Clara County happens to lead the region in jobs eligible to be done from home (51%), causing many buyers to search for a roomier abode with an extra bedroom for pounding out spreadsheets and taking meetings. So if you have three bedrooms, you’d be wise to stage one of them as a guest room, and another as a home office.
To transform a sleeping quarters into a bonafide office, remove the bed, nightstand, dresser, and other furniture to a storage area or the garage. When in doubt, a desk with a glass top makes the room look bigger. In addition, a stylish chair — rather than a standard rolling office chair or ergonomic monstrosity — creates a more inviting space for staging purposes.
Lay down an area rug over hard surface flooring to define the desk area, and place a bookshelf with a few scholarly works on display behind the desk as a web conferencing background. Keep the desk clear of paperwork and clutter, leaving only a laptop and a few decorative accents for show. For more tips, consult our step-by-step guide on home office staging that inspires.
3. Promote your San Jose house across the web (even on LinkedIn!)
In 2020, 52% of homebuyers found the home they ended up purchasing on the internet. What’s more, stellar listing photos will help sell your house up to 32% faster than if you took blurry iPhone pictures.
But in San Jose, the home of 6,600 technology companies, you’ll need to level up your online marketing and use technology to make a statement. Video tours and upscale photography that highlight your home’s unique features and well-timed social media posts on a variety of platforms will catch the eye of potential buyers who spend a lot of time on the web.
For example, Andrew and Jennifer Oldham, two top-producing real estate agents in the San Jose area who, on average, close 16% more homes in the local market than their professional peers, go all-in with their social media promotions. They make sure all of their listings show up several times on multiple platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
4. Enhance the curb appeal of your San Jose home
Imagine buyers driving around your neighborhood and looking for your home after viewing the listing. What will make your home stand out, enhance their excitement and encourage them to take a closer look? Certainly not a drab yard with no landscaping and a door covered with chipped paint!
Curb appeal matters in any city or town, but, in a beautiful place like San Jose, it is emphasized even more. The Oldhams point out that simple efforts to make your home exterior shine will only serve to complement the area’s natural beauty known for its palm trees, sunny skies, and scenic views.
- Power wash your siding and driveway.
Don’t overlook the chance to refresh your curb appeal with a simple cleaning. Pressure wash your exterior, including the driveway, to avoid a grimy or unkempt look. If you’ve never washed your home’s exterior, be aware that certain materials require different pressure, with wood siding, aluminum, and stucco requiring a gentle 1,200 to 1,500 PSI, or pound force per square inch. For a foolproof job, hire a local professional, such as Clean Sweep.
- Touch up the front door.
Does your front door look faded from all the sunny days in San Jose (about 257 on average)? Does your hardware need swapping for something shiny and high-tech? Invest a little time and effort in the front door so potential buyers will look forward to seeing the rest of the home. Visit Alum Rock Hardware, Windows & Doors for new screens, hardware, and even smart locks. Then finish off with a fresh coat of paint to harmonize with the rest of your exterior color scheme.
- Add a little color to your landscaping.
Think about all the yards you’ve admired since you became a homeowner. Chances are, they had some sort of colorful landscaping. Flowers and plants go a long way in beautifying a home and adding curb appeal. African Daisies, Sundrops, California Wild Lilacs and Chasmanthe are all colorful choices that thrive in the San Jose area’s dry climate, according to the UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County.
5. Stage and brighten your home, like a sunny San Jose afternoon
Staging your abode to bring out its best qualities is a delicate balance of making the home appear inviting but also leaving it open to a buyer’s interpretation. Though your home is likely to sell either way, staging can enhance your price point, according to Vanessa Nielsen, owner and principal designer at Encore Staging Services in San Jose. Staging also speeds up your sale. According to HomeLight’s Q1 2019 real estate trends survey, nearly 83% of top agents say a staged home sells faster than an unstaged home.
“In this market, it’s more than likely that your home sells, due to low inventory,” Nielsen explains. “However, you may be leaving quite a bit of additional money on the table if a home is sold and presented ‘as is.’ Home buying is an emotional purchase, and staging enhances the emotional experience.”
Design trends in the San Jose market, according to Nielsen, veer toward contemporary and fresh. One tip she offered is to swap out the warm, cozy lighting in your home with brighter bulbs that mimic the sun, making rooms appear brighter and larger.
“I always like to allow for as much natural light as possible and further complement it with updated light fixtures with integrated LED lights or daylight bulbs,” she says. “When living in a home, a soft white bulb falls between 2,700 to 3,000 on the Kelvin scale.
“This casts a warm color temperature. But when you’re selling a home, I always recommend we go brighter, with daylight bulbs. The glow cast resembles daylight or sunlight and provides excellent brightness in homes.”
6. … But avoid extreme renovations while San Jose’s market stays hot
Home improvement television can make even the most frugal seller want to tear out entire kitchens and bathrooms in hopes of creating the home of their dreams. But when it comes to selling quickly in a market like San Jose, this isn’t necessary, according to Jennifer Oldham.
“Demand in Silicon Valley has been exceptionally high for several years,” she says. “As goes high tech, so goes the home market in San Jose — the increase in stock values has been the catalyst for demand.”
Because the demand is already high, it’s best not to press your luck; you may not recoup the cost of extravagant renovations.
“With low inventory, you know you’re going to get demand,” Andrew Oldham remarks. “If you’re putting in a $30,000 or $50,000 kitchen, you’re probably not going to get that increased demand because [the demand] is already there.”
Furthermore, the Oldhams caution that taking the time for upscale renovations can actually be the wrong move. If more inventory emerges for buyers to choose from, demand for your home might decrease.
“We can put in the new flooring [while] there’s no homes for sale, and, in the time it takes us to put those improvements in, there might be three more homes for sale on the market,” says Jennifer.
7. Cater to the classic San Jose buyer wish list
The market in San Jose is hot enough that sellers need not worry whether their home will sell. Rather, it’s a matter of finding the buyer who will make the fastest, best offer.
So how can you find this buyer who is willing to pay a premium for your home? Highlight the best qualities of your residence, and ask your agent for help. Buyers everywhere have their own home-related dreams — hardwood floors and stainless steel are a few popular ones — but there are certain perks that are likely to impress buyers in San Jose in particular:
Is your home within easy strolling distance to supermarkets, pharmacies and other errands? Traffic in Silicon Valley can get rather gruesome, and a great walkability score could convince buyers that your home is the right choice.
- Natural gas
Because of California’s wildfires — 58,950 taking place in 2020 — electricity is often turned off in large areas, making natural gas a popular alternative for household efficiency. If your home offers gas heat, gas water heating and gas cooking, highlight this to potential buyers.
- Move-in ready
Andrew Oldham points out most buyers in Silicon Valley aren’t looking for a fixer-upper – they simply want a home they can move into and start living. “They want the ability to move in with very little headache,” he says. “We try to [show that] the house is clean, the house as well-kept, and you could move in today.”
Header Image Source: (stellamc / Shutterstock)