Recommendation for Buyer's Agent in Sunnyvale


#1

Hi, everyone! Looking for a recommendation for a good buyer’s agent to help a young family that is shopping for a starter home in Sunnyvale. They’ve been looking and are getting discouraged. With how the market has exploded, they probably can only afford a townhome at this point.

Would you recommend going with a Redfin agent in this competitive market? The commission refund is a nice bonus for going with them, but not at the cost of losing out on the service needed to put in a winning (but reasonable) offer. If Redfin is a good way to go, any specific Redfin agent? If not, they’re open to other suggestions.

What they need is someone who can help them navigate the competitive market and who knows how to put together a winning offer while keeping a cool head. Want to avoid an agent that would encourage them to go crazy with overbidding and concessions just to win a sale.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!


#2

Wow, does something like that exist???


#3

I know, right? I guess it’s all relative what a starter home is and how much it costs. But I think they can manage a 3 bedroom townhouse.


#4

What is the price range for a starter home in Sunnyvale?
Running the query below, gives me the minimum price of approximately $1M. Top few(sorted by price) the schools seem bad. So private elementary it will have to be(assuming there are/is kid/s).

https://www.redfin.com/city/19457/CA/Sunnyvale/filter/sort=lo-price,property-type=house+townhouse,min-beds=3


#5

There are far more experienced & knowledgeable people on this forum as far as Real Estate in concerned on this forum.

However, I went with Redfin & following are my observations based on my experience :

My Redfin experience wasn’t special. My agent was not up to the mark on area knowledge, however I was well prepared with research on my side. The agent was patient enough, however after our looking for @3+ months he started to grow impatient. I then had to give him some medicine to cool him down. Like most agents(whether Redfin or not Redfin I’m assuming) according to him, every house is the best buy ever for me.

On the plus side, for Bay Area where there is multiple bidding for good houses, I got the house because of him only. We were not the top bidder, however the seller’s agent called my agent to inform, & because we liked the house on all criteria we upped our bid price & this was all done by my agent in consultation with us . The top bidder did not up the price to match ours & we got the house. However, I do feel this was due to this particular agent’s initiative & also because he wanted to get us off his back. :wink:

We got back @0.81% on the listing price. However, I have heard that there are other non Redfin agents who also return money .

The buying experience was very smooth for us. In addition to Redfin other reason for smooth buying was the Mortgage officer, I found a really good Mortgage officer/agent. ( I dealt with few other mortgage officers(in big banks) and they in my view should not be in this business)

Redfin agents can vary because they are people, & like difference between individuals you will get variations.

Other info: We looked at 100+ houses over 3 months(on our own without the agent with us, while being represented by Redfin) & bid on 4, so we were better prepared than our agent & had developed a “feel” for the “right” house. That, I think in our case was invaluable.


#6

@Roy321, thanks for sharing your experience. Super helpful!

Was it easy to schedule showings with Redfin? Were they responsive?


#7

I think I know why this family is discouraged. Because they are waiting for a magical realtor or an imaginary transaction, in today’s super hot market.

Do you want an agent that help you purchase a home? The commitment from the buyer and willingness to bid (and overbid) is much more important than good agent. No agent is going to put together a winning offer without $$$.

Do you want an agent who willing to write below market offers repeatedly, to save money for buyer? Well, in flat or falling market, this can work. In today’s market, it won’t work. And any agent trying to do this is likely inexperience, incapable of getting other clients, and thus willing to waste time with this family. And to be honest, this type of agent is doing dis-service to the buyer. Because lost time just cause buyer to be priced out of the market.

I hate to be blunt. These are the facts. Sooner the family understands, the better they can decide if they really want to buy a home or wait it out.


#8

Did someone call?

Signed,

Jason “The Machine” Chan

(Sorry, I only do Fab 7x7…)


#10

I posted a link about house in Sunnyvale selling for $800k over asking. Then I saw there is post on this already, so I withdraw the post.


#11

Duplicate stories happen, no biggie


#12

@jk88cal, I appreciate the honesty and bluntness, and all that you’ve said is nothing less than the reality that both the family and I are well aware of.

To be clear, this family hasn’t put in any offers yet. What they have done is diligently track the market to understand the lay of the land as they’re preparing to jump in the fray. They know they need to bid above or even far above asking to be competitive.

It’s ironic that you reference the story about the Sunnyvale property that sold for $800k over asking price, as the family and I were just discussing this which prompted me to post my question to help them out. These folks are relatives of mine, and our family in general has a long (albeit modest) history of shared experience with purchasing Bay Area property. None of us have ever wasted time submitting anemic offers that do nothing but waste everyone’s time.

Maybe I’m naive, but I’d like to think there are reasonable and competent agents out there who wouldn’t egg their clients on through a bidding war just to close a deal and make a fat profit for themselves.

This family is not looking for a magical realtor nor an imaginary transaction. They know how the market is, and they’re just looking for an agent with some integrity and enough competence to close a deal without needing to make one of those far-above market offers that leave those of us in this forum scratching our heads.

Thanks again for your thoughts.


#13

If anything I think my Redfin agents were not aggressive enough back in the days. Maybe they have changed over the years. In hindsight I’d rather have agents who tell me the truth, and the truth is the market is white hot and buyers need to over pay. Sunnyvale is kinda “done” now. The battle has shifted to Santa Clara.


#14

@manch, agree completely that an agent needs to be frank and aggressive in this market. Unfortunately, Sunnyvale is, as you say, “done” now, but they have several reasons they’d like to be in that location. They’re going to give it their best go.


#15

Starter home for a young family should be a townhouse :grin:
Should be able to get for $1.25 mil :slight_smile:
For example, 125 Connemara Way #106 SUNNYVALE, CA 94087 should be able to get for $1.02 mil :joy:


#16

Yes. I never faced any problems.

Most of the houses we looked at were open houses. For the ones we missed or the ones we really liked and wanted to look at again we scheduled a showing with an agent. We also visited houses which we were considering to send in an Offer at night.

I agree with the comments made on this thread, however personally, I wasn’t totally comfortable giving full control of my buy decision for possibly my biggest purchase to someone, whose monetary interest lies in a transaction happening ASAP , vs sole Client’s sole interest.

As, I said earlier from starting till ending@3.5 months (of house hunting process), we saw @100 open houses & by the end of it had a good “sense” of what a good house + good price is for the Area. So, when we made our final decision I was reasonably confident that I made a good decision. In fact, when I look back at my house buying experience, some of the initial houses that we bid on do not feel good at all in hindsight.


#17

@ Manch

A rising tide lifts all boats as the saying goes for the santa clara industrial area you mentioned …at one point we got so desperate and frustrated that we even considered it and put in an offer. Went down to the local Santa Clara PD to check on stats but the seller was greedy and better sense prevailed on us and we walked. Thank God for that! You should visit the place at night …the home we were considering was next to the park …


#18

@ Manch

You are correct Sunnyvale is so done battle lines have moved to Santa Clara and its not even the “Sutter School” part.

These days to win a house a strategy i have seen some buyers employ is to walk in to different homes and let the listing agent know they can represent them


#19

Chiapet828: I sent you pm on realtor referral.


#20

I still take my car to Foreign Affairs for service and their shop is in that part of Santa Clara. I don’t get a good neighborly vibe there. It’s an odd mix of light industrial and residential, with a big church and a park thrown in for good measure. But you can’t beat the location. You can bike to work to Intel, Oracle and Nvidia, so commute time is something like 5 to 10 minutes. Given time the area will gentrify to a certain degree. But the light industrial will never go away. You’ll always have that.


#21

This is one place where the adage "location location location " does not really make it worth it. The other is the cluster of single family homes on the opposite side by the railway tracks on Cheeney street. The townhomes across the tracks ( Garzoni etc) sell for more