What it takes to sell a unique Stanford home
After nearly two years, and three Real Estate Agent, this jewel of a home finally sold. What changed? Finding a Real Estate Agent with an insider’s knowledge of how to navigate the special challenges of the Stanford micro-market.
It was a dream house
A Birge Clark designed a 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival with a pool, sauna, and elevator that had been impeccably restored, renovated, and expanded. There was just one challenge: the house was on the Stanford campus. Potential buyers must be qualified by Stanford affiliates, which restricted the pool of eligible buyers. The key? Chris Iverson. His experience in the unique Stanford marketplace helped him understand how prospective Stanford buyers think, what they can afford, and how to reach them.
But first he had to convince sellers—who were on the East Coast and starting to doubt they would ever find a buyer who loved their house as much as they did—to try again, this time with a real estate agent who was a true expert.
“We went through 3 real estate agents before we found Chris Iverson,” explained the sellers. “Chris really cared about the house and really got the house. He took the time to understand it, appreciate its details, and learn more about its style. He was really able to showcase the house the way it deserved to be seen,” he continued.
Stanford is not a numbers game. It’s a relationship game.
“I couldn’t just run the numbers against some abstract population,” said Chris. “I had to think about individuals. Who was being hired by the medical school, who was being hired by the law school, or joining the computer science department? Without those specifics, I couldn’t really advise on the price.”
In addition to the question of who to sell the house to, there was the question of how to sell it. “So much love had gone into the house, but after sitting empty for 6 months, it had an abandoned air,” said Chris. The seller trusted Chris because Chris took the time to truly understand the house, its historical style, modern renovations, and how the proper staging could highlight the synergy between them.
Finding the perfect match
“Chris found the right people—people who really understood the style of the house—to stage it. He made it happen. Two months after the staging went in, the house was under contract. So it was exactly what we needed to do. And nobody else had suggested doing that,” said the seller. Chris also took into account the seller’s concerns that the house not become, in their words, “a museum.” They really wanted the house that they had lavished so much care on to be sold to another family. So Chris had to find not just a family, but a Stanford family with the right financial situation. He knew there might be contingencies, and he was right.
Dealing with a major contingency
One bidder really did want to turn the house into a museum. Several buyers couldn’t afford what the house was worth. Finally, there was a Stanford family who was perfect, except they needed to sell their Palo Alto house before they could buy the Stanford home.
That’s a pretty big contingency, but Chris created the right structure and the right relationships so that everyone felt confident moving ahead.
“You really need to have your act together to sell your house to a Stanford buyer. You have to have a lot of patience and you have to have a lot of answers. You’ve got to have everything lined up,” noted the sellers. “There were a couple of challenges. Chris kept his cool and Chris made it happen. And that’s what separates the men from the boys.“
Understanding both sides of the market
Because Chris knew who was eligible to buy at Stanford, he could reach out to people who could pay what the house was worth. Because he understood what other homes were on the market, he knew how to properly price the house. Because he went the extra mile, forging trusted relationships with sellers and buyers, he was able to arrange a deal that worked to everyone’s advantage.
“Chris was just the perfect person at the perfect time to help us get what we needed as sellers. Then he turned around and gave the buyers what they needed as buyers, so on both sides of the equation, Chris achieved a win-win. We don’t know what we would have done without him,” said the sellers.
Chris Iverson brings over 10 years of experience and deep knowledge of the local real estate market to Silicon Valley. He is regularly listed as one of the top real estate agents in the country by REAL Trends/Wall Street Journals’ list of top sales professionals.
Chris’s strong quantitative approach utilizing statistics, economics, and hard data allows him to articulate to buyers and sellers the relative value of homes across neighborhoods and micro markets. He uniquely combines this with telling “the story” of a home, highlighting the more subjective and emotional aspects that will resonate with buyers to maximize prices for his sellers. In addition to leveraging the exclusive marketing tools available to Sotheby’s International Realty associates, Chris has a vast network of personal contacts in global markets with connections to Silicon Valley. He ensures that your property is presented to motivated buyers worldwide. As part of a tailored marketing plan, this network allows him to highlight the property to the right buyers, whether you wish for a public or a more discreet marketing approach.
Chris and his family reside in Woodside, CA, where they take advantage of small-town living and the best trail riding, running, and cycling opportunities on the Peninsula. They are active fundraisers for the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy (NCEFT.org) which has helped thousands of children, adults, military Veterans, and First Responders with neurophysiological, cognitive, sensory processing, and psychosocial challenges using equine-facilitated therapy