The DeLeon Insight September 2017


By Ken DeLeon | Founder

famous empirical study by Steven Levitt, one of the authors of the famed Freakonomics, discovered a fundamental difference between listing prices that real estate agents choose for the homes of their clients and their own properties. An economics professor at the University of Chicago, Levitt examined the Chicago real estate market and found that agents would price their own properties higher than those of their clients. The agents’ properties would take longer to sell but, in the end, obtained a higher price…READ MORE


By Michael Repka, ESQ. | CEO & General Counsel

Whenever homeowners mention the possibility of selling their home without using a professional real estate agent, various agents are quick to counter with the argument that a lot of legal pitfalls are lurking out there. These agents continue that the sellers need a qualified agent to help the sellers navigate through the disclosure and legal landscape…READ MORE


By Adrian Tan | Realtor®, MBA, Buyer Specialist for Palo Alto

Tesla, Inc. started taking $1,000 deposits for its new solar roof tiles back in May and will begin installing roofs in California any day now. So, what do you need to know about their new technology, and what does it mean for us here on the Peninsula? Read on to find out…READ MORE


By Ken DeLeon | Founder

When Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market recently made headlines, I was reminded of my desire for a combination of the quality of Whole Foods with the pricing of Trader Joe’s. That wish may be granted due to the aforementioned acquisition. However, this desire for the best products at affordable pricing is not limited to groceries. DeLeon Realty has instituted an analogous value proposition to create the best of both worlds for our clients…READ MORE

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The DeLeon Insight July 2017

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By Michael Repka, ESQ. | CEO & General Counsel

Buyers often say they would like to purchase a home over the summer and settle in before the new school year starts. Nevertheless, the majority of listings are brought onto the market during two windows of time: spring and fall. In effect, the summer becomes a “dead time” in large part because of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Namely, Realtors® believe there will not be enough listings on the market to keep a buyer’s attention, so they advise sellers to wait until September to sell.

Generally speaking, this is good advice. The steady flow of new listings during the busy spring months of March and April and the fall months of September and October keep buyers constantly checking the newspapers and the MLS. As the number of listings dies down, so does buyer interest. There still are plenty of buyers looking to purchase properties, but it requires an extremely aggressive marketing campaign to jolt them out of hibernation…READ MORE


By Michael Repka, ESQ. | CEO & General Counsel

Most real estate transactions close without a hitch. Agents on both sides explain the rights and responsibilities to their clients, and everyone does as required and expected. By and large, agents are competent and thorough, and buyers and sellers are reasonable. But, things don’t always go as planned.

When a dispute arises, most parties fall into one of two camps. There are those who are too eager to sue, and those who are too scared of litigation. This often leads to unfair results. In an effort to avoid lawyers, some parties give in and give up their rights or claims, even though they are entirely correct in their positions and could receive restitution with little effort. On the other hand, some parties casually threaten litigation as if it were a mere inconvenience rather than an onerous process…READ MORE


By Ken DeLeon, ESQ | Founder

I was invited to an international real estate conference in South America to discuss what factors led to Silicon Valley’s rise, and how it consistently reinvents itself through continual innovation. This article explores what unique factors led to Silicon Valley’s explosive growth. By identifying these, other regions can follow a successful blueprint to build their own innovation centers.

Silicon Valley is a region of worldwide fame that is often emulated, yet has never been successfully replicated. How did this small region grow from humble origins 70 years ago into the economic juggernaut that is now the epicenter of world innovation…READ MORE


By Caroline Wong | Realtor®, Attorney, Los Altos & Los Altos Hills Buyer Specialist

I often hear of buyers’ fears of competing against cash buyers. As a Bay Area native, I have witnessed many of my friends move away to more affordable cities, partly due to high real estate prices and the frustration of competing against cash buyers. The buyers I represent are often in technology or professional industries— individuals with great salaries but not necessarily a large amount of liquid assets. They are able to get loans with competitive interest rates through our preferred lenders, but oftentimes are forced to compete against all-cash offers. A recent survey of listing agents showed that approximately 33 percent of offers in Silicon Valley were cash offers—the highest in California, with San Francisco following closely behind at 30 percent.

The following are some strategies that I have used to get my buyers’ financed offers accepted when competing with cash offers…READ MORE


By Adrian Tan | Realtor®, MBA, Palo Alto Buyer Specialist

Community Center, as it is appropriately named, is just that—a community-centric neighborhood of Palo Alto where residents feel a strong connection to each other and the neighborhood itself. With a population of approximately 2,000, Community Center sees very low turnover with only 14 homes being available and sold in the past 12 months…READ MORE


By Rob Parish | Realtor® | Attorney | Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto Buyer Specialist

For savvy buyers wanting access to the premier schools located in North Palo Alto, the Green Gables neighborhood has traditionally been viewed as the value option. With beautiful parks, tree-lined streets, easy access to commute corridors, and two neighborhood-focused shopping districts…READ MORE

The DeLeon Insight May 2017

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by: Michael Repka, ESQ | CEO & General Counsel

We formed DeLeon Realty with the belief that there was a better way to sell real estate and, in doing so, a better way to build a real estate company. We have raised the client experience through offering significantly elevated marketing for our listings; employing exceptionally well-educated and well-trained agents; fostering specialization and collaboration; better aligning incentives by eliminating the commission-based, independent-contractor model that is used at Alain Pinel, Coldwell Banker, Intero, Keller Williams, and most other traditional brokerages; and constantly striving to innovate and improve.


By Michael Repka, ESQ | CEO & General Counsel

Over the years, a number of fantastic teachers and professors have inspired me to push myself, explore varied interests, and maintain a thirst for knowledge. To this day, I owe a debt of gratitude to all of them for the time they devoted to helping me learn and, more importantly, for helping me appreciate the process of learning.

That is why I was both humbled and honored when Menlo College asked me to be an adjunct professor teaching a course on real estate economics and taxation. When I was a young law student, I found some of my classes with adjunct professors particularly interesting because of the “real-life” experience brought into the classroom. Seeing the same excitement in my students’ eyes was truly remarkable.


by Sigrid Waggener, ESQ | Listing Specialist

Spring has arrived, and prospective buyers are out in force throughout Silicon Valley, looking for the perfect place to call home. Springtime is typically the time of year when there are more buyers than homes for sale, and sellers can therefore expect multiple offers.

Most buyers are aware of the limited housing supply, and some buyers may feel anxious about the prospect of losing out on an opportunity to get into their desired neighborhood. Faced with these competitive market conditions, buyers may decide to submit simultaneous offers on multiple properties to increase the odds of getting an offer accepted. However, it is unclear whether buyers who take the multiple-offer gamble have fully considered the possible consequences of this approach.


by Kim Heng, MBA | Listing Specialist

After a 2016 that was plagued by uncertainty, trepidation, and general lethargy on the part of buyers, the 2017 spring season is off to a strong start. While there are a number of different factors that contribute to the newfound surge of the buyer pool, two causes seem to be the most prevalent.

First, there is a general optimism that seems to abound. The uncertainty associated with the election season in 2016 has given way to surprising optimism. Just like investors in the stock market, many buyers are optimistic that taxes and excess regulations on businesses will come down, and investments in businesses will increase. Given that Silicon Valley is so heavily influenced by investors’ sentiments, this has resulted in many people feeling optimistic while also obtaining a sense of urgency to buy in before prices increase.


By Lauryn Varnum | Interior Designer

Every year, new trends emerge for color schemes in home design. The majority of previously popular schemes have included muted palettes with soothing, understated colors, such as cool greys, mossy hues, slate, and neutral shades throughout the entirety of a home. It was common to see an entire home painted with colors such as San Francisco Fog, Frost, and Great White. These shades allowed for a calm, uniform scheme oriented towards transitional styles, creating a soft, blank slate capable of appealing to a wide audience.


By Ken DeLeon, ESQ | Founder

New York City is consistently viewed as the preeminent city in America, and arguably the world. However, the title of “Second City” has been more fluid, in flux from as early as 1890. Chicago was originally dubbed the Second City to illustrate its status in America. When Los Angeles surpassed Chicago in population in 1984, the informal title of Second City transferred to Los Angeles.

While Los Angeles may be the second most populated city, there are a number of reasons that the second region of greatest import in America should not be determined by a population census, but instead by a broad array of critical factors. Given this premise, there are now strong arguments that the San Francisco Bay Area has rightfully wrested this title from both Los Angeles and Chicago, despite their larger populations. This is true if one compares the four metropolitan regions of New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Chicago across several metrics that measure the strength of each region in innovation, education, culture, and wealth.

The DeLeon Insight – March 2017

The DeLeon Insight – January 2017