It’s not easy selling a million-dollar home, even in Cupertino, where the averaging listing price earlier this month was $1.19 million and the media sales price was $950,000. Just ask Kim Connor.
Connor, a Realtor with Century 21 M&M and Associates in Cupertino, knows it takes attention to detail, “staging” a home and even a splash of fresh paint. The proof is the number of seven-figure homes she’s sold and acclaim she has received.
“I’m having a good year,” she said. “Last year I was Double Centurion*, and I think I’ll be there again this year.”
In August, she sold a six-bedroom, 3-1/2-bath home for $1.575 million and earlier this spring she closed on a $1.468 million property. Connor said in Cupertino, prices are determined by the home’s location within a top-ranked school.
Schools are rated and ranked by the Academic Performance Index established by the California Department of Education. Schools scoring in the 900 range are the most desirable. Connor said the home she sold for $1.575 million would have been worth $2.5 million if it were located just two miles closer to a top school.
“People are willing to pay up to $1 million for a 1,200-square-foot home in the right school district,” she said.
Homebuyers today do their initial shopping on the internet, said Connor. It’s essential for her listings to jump out to potential buyers.
“They’re looking at a lot of homes,” said Connor. “I believe it takes 11 seconds for them to decide if they’re going to look at your listing.”
To maximize her 11-second window of opportunity, she hires her own photographer and makes sure everything is as perfect as possible in the still photos and 360-degree virtual tour.
“I’m unique that I do all the staging myself,” said Connor. “The attention I put into detail is greater than anyone else I know.”
She shared two of her special tricks in staging, or preparing a home for sale.
“I actually add accent colors to the walls,” said Connor. “I have my own painter come in and accent the walls that I think are important for the photographs. I like to show contrast.”
A Connor staging also features something to appeal to children.
“I always do a kids’ room. Something for a young boy or girl that captures the imagination of children coming to the open house with parents,” said Connor.
One child’s room she prepared had a ballet theme, with ballet artwork, hanging toe shoes, tutu and matching bedding. “One little girl told her parents she didn’t care about the rest of the home, she wanted them to buy that room for her,” recalled Connor.
Connors said the Cupertino real estate market is strong but cautious.
“I think it’s cautious, because people aren’t going crazy about over spending,” she said. “But there’s an energy about wanting to be here.”
Mei Ling, a fellow Realtor at Century 21 M&M in Cupertino, concurred the local market is solid.
“The market is doing well,” she said. “Better than last year, but a little bit slower right now for the last couple of months. But there’s still people buying.”
Ling, a six-year industry veteran, said she typically sells homes ranging from $600,000 to $1.8 million. “The $600,000 to $800,000 homes are selling faster certainly than the higher range homes,” said Ling. “A $600,000 home only takes one week to sell.”
Most of her sales are from nearby Santa Clara, which has an average listing price of $564,845 and a median sales price of $498,558.
“I don’t sell much in Cupertino, even though my office is there,” said Ling. “I live in Santa Clara and that’s where I specialize.”
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*Double CENTURION® – an agent must close 120 – 179 units or earn $380,000 – $569,999 in Adjusted Gross commission during the calendar year.
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