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Want A Higher Price? Staging Pays a Big Premium!

Paula Pagano opening a door

I got a call from a man who said he wanted to sell his house in the southern part of San Francisco. He was a referral from a client of mine who worked at Oracle who had bought a house from me three years before. Like most sellers, this new client Benjamin Bratt (his last name has not been changed!) had an inflated idea of what his property was worth. He knew a house around the corner had sold for $850,000; however that house had been remodeled, had an apartment in the basement, the yard had been landscaped and it was on a much preferred street.

Benjamin was a bachelor who still had his college futon as a couch in his living room, a beer distiller in the dining room and a second bedroom filled with boxes of books and assorted items as if he had just moved in. (He had lived there 25 years). The kitchen had mismatched appliances including an avocado colored refrigerator. The yard was a dry patch of dying bushes and weeds and there was no bedspread on his bed or curtains on the windows.

Besides the frayed futon there was a nondescript wooden coffee table with a broken leg and a humongous television, topped by a metal box with protruding rabbit ears that reached half way up the wall,. This room reminded me of my years growing up in the sixties. I clearly had a big job ahead of me: first getting Benjamin realistic about pricing, and next– getting his house ready for sale. (more…)

Too Many Real Estate Buyers? No Problem

to many real estate buyers

Not A Problem When The Real Estate Marketplace Has Too Many Buyers If You Have An Experienced Real Estate Agent Working On Your Behalf.

Real Life Success Story

 (Names changed for privacy)

Barry and Candy found the perfect home! They had just gotten engaged and the 3 level San Francisco Condo was located right between their two jobs, with great weather and enough closet space and parking. The condo appeared to be in great condition—built in the mid-nineties—but no one knew the status of the roof. Unfortunately offers were due the next day. We barely had time to write the offer and go through the extensive real estate disclosure package. On counseling them I told my clients to take into account that it would probably need a new roof soon.

“Plus,” I advised, “be prepared to put out additional money for miscellaneous and for moving expenses.” I certainly did not feel comfortable telling this lovely couple ‘No Problem’ to make a quick sale. (more…)

Controlling Your Emotions to Successfully Buy or Sell Real Estate

Paula PaganoBuying or selling real estate is an emotional undertaking, and the pandemic has just added more stress to this life-changing process. In my forty years as a Realtor I have seen how negative emotional responses can derail a deal, or, conversely, can get a property sold. Deals are made or broken on emotion. My bailiwick is the San Francisco Bay Area, but the challenges I see today are not unique to my area: colleagues in New York and everywhere in between report similar roadblocks with their buyers and sellers due to emotional responses that are not always rational.

A big element in the current marketplace is the huge exodus of renters and buyers leaving big city high rises such as New York and San Francisco because of its high density risk and current lack of city amenities. But many sellers are still stubbornly unwilling to face the reality of a lower purchase price than they hoped for and blame Realtors for a lack of results. As a Realtor I had to learn to control my own emotions first and foremost. There were people I worked for long and hard who suddenly switched to another agent. There were clients whose properties urgently needed to be uncluttered or staged—and refused. (more…)


Happy HolidaysIf you are feeling negative emotions, do not stuff them. I do not advise experiencing life with no feeling. What a dull and unfulfilled existence that would be! Besides, emotions will eventually resurface one way or another. As soon as you notice a negative emotion welling up in your heart feel it, deal with it and then let it go. You don’t have to figure anything out. You don’t have to know who’s right and who’s wrong. Just feel the body sensations along with the negative emotions and thoughts until it passes. It may take a minute, an hour, a day, a month, but let it all go. Once you can sit with your inner disturbances, you can find eventual peace.

We sometimes think only negative emotions cause our inner turmoil, but that is not true. Remember when you were so ecstatically happy, because a business or personal circumstance turned positively around? Remember the time the guy you had been pining for finally asked you out? You were so elated, so high in the heavens happy, that you got yourself way off balance. You didn’t pay attention to where you parked and then you got towed. Now you’re down in the dumps. All because you were not paying attention to what was happening in the moment. All because you were clinging to that feel good feeling, even though life was moving forward. By all means feel the good, but like the bad, let it flow through you and be open to what life is presenting next. (more…)