Attracting Palo Alto Buyers to Menlo Park Listings

by Michael Repka | CEO & General Counsel

At first blush, some homeowners in Menlo Park may assume that they should limit their search to Menlo Park-based listing agents when selling their home. Their reasoning is that a local Menlo Park agent knows the community and the other agents in town. While local knowledge is very important, the downside to an agent that focuses primarily or exclusively on Menlo Park is that these agents don’t have the geographic reach to bring the Menlo Park property to people considering other areas that are even more expensive such as Palo Alto. The DeLeon Team is the #1 listing team in Palo Alto, and number #2 in Menlo Park (per MLS data 1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017), giving us the perfect combination of local knowledge and broad reach.

Nowadays, buyers who are already focused on Menlo Park are easy to attract. Free services, such as the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”), Zillow, Redfin and other online services, coupled with automated listing alerts, ensure that these focused buyers will see a Menlo Park property. The key measure of a listing agent should be their ability to bring in additional qualified buyers that would not otherwise see the property.

While not intuitive, there is a very substantial advantage to be had by using a listing agent based in a city that is even more expensive than Menlo Park—in this area, that is Palo Alto. As the top listing agent in Palo Alto, with a sales volume of over four times the next highest agent or team, I am regularly called in when Palo Alto homeowners are considering selling their properties. Many of my listings command aggressive bidding from multiple bidders and sell well over list price. In fact, I was recently featured on a CBS News story about Silicon Valley homes selling for more than $1 million over asking because their research revealed that 6 of the 10 Silicon Valley homes that commanded such a jump in 2017 were my listings.

Buyers that lose in multiple-offer situations are often disappointed, frustrated, and more than happy to explore alternatives in other attractive cities. Through my interactions with the buyer agents whose clients lost in a multiple offer situation in Palo Alto, I am able to bring my Menlo Park listings to these buyers’ attention. Naturally, this is in addition to running TV commercials and full-page ads in Palo Alto, as well as in Menlo Park.

When expanding their search to Menlo Park, many buyers find our comprehensive videos introducing the town and neighborhoods very educational. Additionally, the custom website we create for each property (containing a professionally-produced and narrated video of property and nearby amenities, parks and schools, 3D virtual tour, features lists, and disclosures for the property) illustrates the essence and elements of the homes. These buyers are often quite surprised by how much more they can get in Menlo Park while still enjoying an extraordinarily high quality of life, great schools, and a friendly welcoming community. In fact, many current residents of Menlo Park started their home search in Palo Alto, only to “discover” that Menlo Park’s combination of lifestyle and relative value was a better fit for them. Ken DeLeon himself owns two homes in Menlo Park and only one in Palo Alto.

Further, our robust marketing — such as TV commercials, full-page ads in local newspapers (e.g., the Almanac, Palo Alto Weekly, Mountain View Voice, and Los Altos Crier), Chinese radio commercials and websites, paid Google and Facebook ads — attract attention from multiple sources and cast a wide net for buyers for our properties. All of this attracts qualified buyers that would not otherwise see the Menlo Park property merely from being on the MLS. Other factors that the sellers should consider when selecting a listing agent include, but are not limited to, the agent’s background before entering into real estate sales, the agent’s experience, the breadth and depth of his/her marketing, his/her local knowledge, and his/her ability to achieve the highest possible price.

DeLeon Realty’s unique team approach, industry leading marketing, and Palo Alto-based location give us unique competitive advantages. When coupled with the local Menlo Park knowledge that comes from listing more homes in Menlo Park than every Menlo-based agent and team except one, we think we offer the perfect combination of local knowledge and potential reach. We would love to discuss the benefits associated with using a Palo Alto based agent at a private, no obligation listing appointment.