Secret ways to make an extra $10,000 on the sale of your Mid Silicon Valley house

Vicki Moore
Published on July 10, 2017

Secret ways to make an extra $10,000 on the sale of your Mid Silicon Valley house


When it comes to real estate standards, every county has its own.  As realtors, we tend to follow the standards that won’t upset the apple cart.  Sometimes it’s just easier; sometimes it depends on the market.  If you’re a realtor representing a Mid Silicon Valley house seller in a sellers’ market, it’s a lot easier to make up new rules.

One short comment on negotiations

Each realtor has their own belief about negotiating and how it should be done.  I’m not talking about ethics or sneaky dealing.  I’m talking about expectations.  We’ve talked about expectations before.  Any time you go against them, you’re going to get some push-back.   The amount of the opposition you get will depend on how far away you’ve gotten from the standard.  To make an extra ten-thousand bucks on the sale of your property, we’re not talking much.  At all.  But it does require negotiating.

Here’s the section of California Association of Realtors contract that I’m referring to:

We’re looking at who is going to pay for what.  It’s determined by standard, not law.  Standards can be changed, especially if you have the upper hand.

7A.  A Natural Hazard Zone Disclosure Report is required – by law – to be included in the sale of every residential property.  You can see at that first blue arrow, it’s open as to who is going to pay for that report.  The standard is that the seller pay for it.  They cost from $99 to $126.  So we’re talking peanuts here, but we’re on our way.




Section B., subsection (1), Arrow 2:  Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and strapping the water heater are another standard seller-pay item.

Current laws require carbon monoxide detectors be installed outside of each sleeping area or bedroom and on each level of the home; if there’s an attached garage, natural gas or propane furnace, range, oven or wood-burning fireplace.  That’s the law.  If your property doesn’t have any of those, it doesn’t matter.  You still need a carbon monoxide detector to please the appraiser.  Remember, they’re in charge.  And what they don’t want is to be argued with about whether or not the house does or doesn’t require one.  Just put them in.

You’ll need a few more smoke detectors than that to be in compliance for the sale of your Mid Silicon Valley house:  Each bedroom should have a smoke detector inside the bedroom and outside each sleeping area; on each story, including the basement.

Not only that, the detector must show the date of manufacture and provide a place where the installation date can be written. The law also requires that the battery-operated detectors have a battery with a minimum ten-year lifespan.  Those ones you put in when the kids were small aren’t going to work.

Watch out for paragraph B. (2)(i)  and (ii)

That could cost you more than you can ever save with all of these nickle and dime ideas put together.  If you live in Pacifica, Burlingame, Millbrae – and more cities to come – the sale of every house in those cities is required to have a “clear” sewer lateral inspection.  In other words:  No breaks in the sewer line.

Ever called Roto Rooter?  You have a break in your sewer line.

If your house has a broken sewer line, it could easily cost $5000 or more.  When that box is checked “seller” you’re expected pay for it, which is also standard in Mid Silicon Valley house sales.

A little further down on paragraph C, you’ll find Escrow and Title.

Mid Silicon Valley house buyers pay their own title and escrow fees.

The negotiating can come in with the county and city transfer taxes.  If you’re selling in the cities of San Mateo ($5 per thousand of the sale price) or Hillsborough (.30 per thousand of the sale price), there will be city transfer fees.  $2 million house in San Mateo will cost the seller $10,000 in city transfer taxes.

No matter what city you live in, San Mateo County has a transfer tax which is about $1.10 per thousand dollars.  A $2 million house will cost $2,200.

D. Other Costs

This is another drop in the bucket item.  Perhaps you can get $500 from having the buyer pay the fees related to the homeowners association documents and transfer.

The bottom line of getting an extra $10,000 out of the sale of your Mid Silicon Valley house

The buyer is going to give you their offer with all of these items already checked.  It’s probably going to be within the standards of the county.  That’s okay.  You might think that you’re going to get so much money for the sale of your Mid Silicon Valley house, it’s not worth negotiating for $10,000 more.  You might want to just ask them to pay the city transfer tax or even ignore the whole thing.  But…if you’re going to negotiate on something really important like the price, there’s nothing wrong with asking the buyer to pay some of these other things too.

Both you and the buyer have the same three options:  You can accept, reject or counter offer the other party.

Now let’s celebrate!


Today’s Real Estate article “Secret ways to make an extra $10,000 on the sale of your Mid Silicon Valley house” was written by Vicki Moore, Today Sotheby’s International Realty.

You’ll find Vicki selling homes in Mid Silicon Valley, San Mateo County, in the cities of  Foster City Homes and Condos For SalePacifica Homes and Condos for SaleRedwood City Homes and Condos For SaleRedwood Shores Homes and Condos For SaleSan Carlos Homes and Condos For SaleSan Mateo Homes and Condos For Sale.

Call Vicki at 650-888-9268 or email if you have questions about boosting your home’s value.

Vicki Moore, a licensed California Real Estate Agent, CA BRE 01234539, serving Mid Silicon Valley | San Mateo County since 1998. Today Sotheby’s International Realty, San Carlos, CA.

You can speak with Vicki by calling/texting her at 650-888-9268 or you can email her at: if you need to sell your Mid Silicon Valley home.

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Secret ways to make an extra $10,000 on the sale of your Mid Silicon Valley house
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