Most of the orchards are replaced by homes and many residents commute to tech jobs, but the South Bay gem of Saratoga still commands some of the highest real estate prices in the Bay Area.
While the makeup of this barely 12.5-square-mile city has changed in the past 50 years, its attraction to homebuyers hasn’t, Coldwell Banker Realtor Steve McCarrick emphasizes.
Keeping home values at their peak continues to be the exclusivity of this city of 32,000 residents.
“Saratoga will remain resilient,” explains McCarrick, due to constant demand, a lack of land to develop, low inventory, top-rated schools and the strong Bay Area tech industry. Additionally, many international buyers with cash are spending at record levels and creating new market values. Home prices in the city limits can range from $2.5 million up to $30 million.
Raised with seven siblings in Saratoga, the Saratoga High and San Diego State graduate is a second-generation Realtor who now specializes in his beloved city. The 21-year veteran of Coldwell Banker, an ex-model, came back home to raise his family and hone his skills at closing a real estate deal.
Those skills have made him the No. 1 listing agent in Saratoga for more than five years. He only represents sellers, pioneered the 100 percent “as-is” strategy with no contingencies and continues to achieve the most record-breaking prices.
“Saratoga is a unique and interesting market,” McCarrick says. He calls selling a home in Saratoga “a soil sale.” At this price point, “people are buying the dirt and preparing to go through the planning stage to build or remodel a new home” customized for their lifestyle. There is no more land to develop in Saratoga and the only new construction projects are the new homes replacing the older ones. He believes in selling real estate in Saratoga “as is” adding that “any upgrades or repairs to the older home wouldn’t add to the value of the real estate and would be demolished in the end.”
He would support and even encourage remodeling kitchens and bathrooms or upgrading features before going on the market if these improvements would add a percentage of profit over the cost. However, McCarrick says, he is able to negotiate record-breaking sales prices despite the “as-is” condition of the homes.
The real estate market for luxury homes in Saratoga and other exclusive Bay Area locations is also a worldwide market. McCarrick utilizes Coldwell Banker’s expansive marketing tools to market to clients in Shanghai, India and Tokyo, where his clients rely on the marketing materials, flyers, virtual tours and ads since they never even set foot in the homes. To better serve these clients, McCarrick has a Mandarin-speaking agent available at open houses to “help bridge the language barriers” plus specialists in feng shui and vastu shastra, the Chinese and Indian arts of creating a positive flow of energy in a home environment.
McCarrick’s patience benefits his clients. “Negotiate, negotiate, and be smart about it,” says McCarrick, whose clients flock to him because of his ability to clinch a deal. “I’m never in a hurry to get record sales prices.”
“Anybody can put a sign out front of a home and they will sell a home,” he adds, but “they are not selling it at the price it should be.” He says he shows the true public record of sales to justify the prices. “Numbers don’t lie.”
Living in and being a part of the community helps McCarrick keep his finger on the pulse of the market. He couples his proven negotiating skills with the “highest expectations on every deal” and considers every offer for the maximum gain. He also prides himself on gaining the trust of his clients. “Without honesty, people in this business (of real estate) will not last.”
McCarrick shows his homes by appointment only and is always on-site to greet potential buyers. “My clients get me, a top negotiator who will be handling every facet of the process.”
When not negotiating a real estate deal, McCarrick, married and father of a son and daughter, has also enjoyed coaching youth softball, football and basketball, and mentoring youths. “Sports teach a large part about life — about teamwork and learning how to lose,” he says. Never focused on the best record but rather how they played, McCarrick said what youths “gain in experience and confidence and all the smiles it produces is priceless.”
Published at Tue, 26 Dec 2017 19:32:53 +0000