Pat Kapowich's "Market Wise" Q&A in the SJMN: Is Home Flipping Worth it in an Upscale Area?


Realtor Pat Kapowich's Market Wise Q&A column for The San Jose Mercury News and The Bay Area News Group Silicon Valley Realtor Pat Kapowich's Market Wise Q&A column for The San Jose Mercury News and The Bay Area News Group

Q: We live in an expensive area, which is rarely the case on these home-flipping TV programs.  My sister plans to flips property in a more expensive city based on the teachings of one of these realty TV gurus. How much credibility should be given to the home flippers on TV and their star power or star status? 

Kapowich Listing Before Transformation of Fireplace, Flooring, Walls & Ceilings

A: None. These so-called gurus entice unsuspecting consumers into buying their costly programs and seminars with the promise of riches ~ but only the one who is getting rich is the guru, by taking your hard-earned money.

Before Silicon Valley Realtor Pat Kapowich's Transformation of Listing Fireplace

Late night comedians used to make fun of the gurus who hocked get rich quick real estate infomercials.  Home flipping reality TV stars who have put untold trained actors out of work, are now working through the pocketbooks of their viewers.  Shrewdly, their ilk switched to nationwide radio ads to promote their “intellectual property.”  They use all the catch phrases of  “proven results,”  “call today,” “seating is extremely limited” and “in town one day only.” Laypeople have approach me over the years who have “invested” $350 to $750 ~ for the gurus’ books containing so-called “proven formulas” after a fee-based workshop or free seminar.

During Living Room Redo

But sometimes we need to pay for play. Many real estate agents are at the mercy of technologists who created a bevy of very popular world-class websites to promote homes for sale.  From this creation, an understandable trend has slowly intensified: consumers are first seeking properties and values, not top-notch agents. Agents are now chosen with the forethought of picking a parking valet.  In my hometown of Sunnyvale, agents pay $310 to $1,900 per zip code each month for their headshots and contact info to appear on Zillow home searches. Yelp “sells” those same zip codes to agents from $350 to a whopping $2,200 a month for the privilege to expose us to “their” clientele.

"After" photo in Silicon Valley Realtor's Pat Kapowich's Listing

Many of the over 1,000,000 agents in 43,000 zip codes are operating under the time-honored maxim “if you want to dance, you have to pay the band.”  If your home flipper wants to dance, she can stick with music; but currently, many agents are stuck dancing with third party technologists to that cringe-worthy retro tune “pay for play.”


Your referrals are safe with the 2013 SCCAOR “President’s Choice” award winner.

 Pat Kapowich

A Trusted Name in Silicon Valley since 1960.

A Respected Name in Real Estate since 1988.

Pat was named the 2013 Santa Clara County Association of Realtors“President’s Choice” Award Winner.For demonstrating the principles of good real estate practice among brokers; for promoting and protecting home ownership and property rights for all; and for distinguished service to the members of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and the community at large.”

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(408) 245-7700

Kapowich Real Estate

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