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In Silicon Valley, Homes Are For Sale Even When They Aren’t

by Nena Perry-Brown

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A house for sale in Palo Alto.

If the low inventory of homes for sale in the DC area is frustrating you as a buyer, a New York Times article may offer some hope or inspiration.

The article reports that the severe shortage of homes for sale in Silicon Valley has buyers resorting to cold-calling owners whose houses are not on the market. While this may seem like audacious or inappropriate behavior for a prospective buyer to engage in, it seems that homeowners are far from offended; in fact, many are more than willing to use demand in the market to their advantage.

“There is a long history among Silicon Valley’s elite of buying houses that are not for sale,” the Times article noted. “Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire chief executive of Facebook, found a place he liked near San Francisco’s Mission District in 2012 and paid the owner at least twice what it was worth.”

While they may not have been planning to sell and move, for many homeowners, parting with their home for double the purchase price or netting a seven-figure profit is a fitting pay-off to their investment in the neighborhood. Zillow has even provided a way for these homeowners to flirt with the market by posting “make me move” notices online. Conversely, real estate agents are reverting to phone calls and sending letters (not an uncommon tactic in the DC area) in hopes that adding a personal touch may give their buyers a leg up in suading owners to sell.

Real estate market dynamics like these are only reminders that everything is for sale — for the right price.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/silicon_valley_homebuyers_barter_owners_into_selling/11637

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