Model house with a sold sign
Written by Kelsey Lane

Selling your home 

You may have heard how smokin' hot the Silicon Valley real estate market is these days. And, you may have even considered selling your home to move to your next chapter. On the off chance that the process appears daunting, I'd love to dispel a big myth.

      There is not only way to sell a house.

      Yes, there is one formula that tends to work extremely well, where you essentially flip your own house with the help of a team - a Realtor, contractors, stager, and friends and family. In this scenario, you determine a budget for prep, and then you do repairs and remodels to spruce up your place. The stager comes in and works their magic. The Realtor helps you price it slightly below market so that your list price will become a marketing tool. And then it goes live on the MLS for everyone in literally the entire world to see. Home buyers come to visit your place in droves, and voila! Multiple bids ensue, and a winning bidder emerges!

What if you don't want to do it this way though?

     At times, such a public display can feel invasive and it's important to realize there is no one size fits all of home selling. What if someone in your household is ill? What if you have many pets that you don't want to disrupt? What if you're going through trauma, divorce, or any other unsettling time period...perhaps in these cases you'd wish to keep the sale a little less exposed.

Fortunately, home sellers have more than one option about how to conduct the sale. 

     The opposite of the above scenario is the Quiet Listing or Pocket Listing. In this case, the Realtor doesn't put a sign in the yard, and only markets within their office brokerage and their personal connections. Sure, only a myopic set of people will know about your home being for sale, but it may be enough, especially since potential buyers will be checking comparable sales before making an offer. Agents can bring serious buyers through your home by appointment only set with you. In this scenario, you can still do as much or as little prep work as you'd like - the more you're able to clean, purge, and do repairs or sprucing, of course the more money you'd make for yourself on the sale. It's just a matter of determining priority and communicating it to your agent.

      And then there's a hybrid of the approaches. Your listing can still go public on the MLS but have restrictions (and again, no sign in the yard if that's preferable). You can still do whatever level of prep work you'd like, and I'm confident your agent would be happy to help with coordinating resources. Some possible rules and restrictions could be that anyone coming to see your home provides a preapproval letter up front, and that they read through all the disclosures prior to their visit. A few photos could be uploaded to the MLS and your agent could supply more photos on request to qualified buyers.

      Will these alternative approaches affect how much you garner from your home sale? To be fair, yes. That said, sometimes life circumstances take precedence and you can weigh out your priorities. If there is something going on in your life that necessitates a quiet sale - or a quieter sale - a good Realtor will understand your parameters if you communicate them clearly.


Kelsey Lane has been helping clients with the home selling process (and home buying process) since 2003 as a Silicon Valley Realtor DRE #01390557. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with real estate tips and steps.