Are you selling a home in Palo Alto? If so you may take a look at the market conditions and think, I don't have to be nice to the buyers, they should be grateful I am letting them buy my house. This would be a reasonable conclusion considering that so many homes have multiple offers and most buyers are paying 10-20%+ over list price with no contingencies. Seems like a Palo Alto seller's paradise right? Not so fast.
Yes, there are more buyers than sellers in Palo Alto right now. Yes, it seems like sellers are in total control; but we have been down this path before. Buyers will get caught up in the emotions of so much competition to get a home. They will make all kinds of offers that are fraught with risks for the buyer. Before escrow closes on the Palo Alto house you are selling the buyer may be grateful, but once they own the home things can change.
Buyers of all homes can never know all of the things that are wrong, or that will go wrong. As long as the market is appreciating they may not be bothered by a water heater that leaks or a heater that makes noise. But if the home does not keep appreciating the good will may start to diminish. If you add to that a buyer who feels as if he/she was bullied by the seller there is a recipe for problems, ranging from annoying calls and messages to a law suit.
There is no way to completely eliminate the possibility of being sued by a buyer, but there are some things you can do to minimize this unfortunate circumstance. There is the obvious one of disclosing everything. Don't hide material facts from buyers.
However, there are additional things you can do to make a buyer feel as if the transaction was a win for both sides. One of the easiest things you can do when selling your Palo Alto home is remove all personal property and trash from the home, and bring in a cleaner. Even if you had the Palo Alto home you are selling professionally cleaned when you put it on the market, do it again after you leave. When the buyer comes into a home that they have just paid hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they were expecting, and often more than the home will appraise for, don't you think they at least deserve to have a clean home when they move in? It may not seem like a big deal, but the feeling the buyer gets when they come into a clean empty home is priceless.
Trust me, the buyer will feel so much better about a Palo Alto seller who leaves them with a clean, fresh smelling home with no trash, than a Palo Alto seller who leaves a dirty home with trash still in the garbage or even worse all over the house or garage. So when you sell your Palo Alto home, take the outrageous price with no contingencies, but do something nice for the buyer. End the transaction with everyone feeling good and hopefully it will be the end, and not just the beginning a bad relationship.
If you have any questions about selling a home in Palo Alto please feel free to contact me.