San Francsico Real Estate Can Yield High Prices

Be realistic about pricing real estate

Getting ready for those sophisticated San Francisco Buyers

Want to Get The Big Bucks in Real Estate? STAGE

Real Estate Buyers in San Francisco are sophisticated and most have champagne taste. They want to impress. Their homes are a reflection of them. This is important for Real Estate Sellers to know.

So when I got a call from a man who said he wanted to get the highest price possible for a home 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 many Real Estate Sellers, “Reginald” 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.

Reginald 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 which reminded me of the old Harvey Wallbanger days.  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 Reginald realistic about real estate pricing and next–getting his house ready for sale.

Getting Realistic About Real Estate Pricing

On my second visit I came with a real estate market analysis showing houses currently for sale, ones sold in the past six months, ones expired and those languishing on the market.  While I reviewed each property with him I emphasized the importance of presenting a property for sale in the right way, explaining further that the higher priced properties had more amenities and were in better condition. I left the prodigious real estate market analysis with Reginald, hoping he would sift through the detailed information on his own time and become more objective on price.

Getting A Real Estate Listing Ready For Sale

Before I left, I suggested that if he wanted the highest price possible for his San Francisco home (and all Sellers of real estate do) he should consider a stager/interior decorator to help him present the home. “I will work with them, of course, to keep down the costs. I can pick someone who is willing work per hour and will use whatever furnishings they can and also help you buy some badly needed furniture. Trust me, if you truly want to get the highest price for your home staging is the answer.”

I knew the perfect person, who could help him. Sandy, an established real estate stager, had called me in recent months, begging me for some business. After a few days I was ready to follow up with the staging call: “Sandy is available to swing by either Wednesday or Thursday. What works for you?” I asked, assuming he would agree—which he did.

We were now on Part Two of my real estate listing strategy. Sandy was soft-spoken and thoughtful as she went through the house, giving Reginald plenty of time to take in all her suggestions. The meeting took two and a half hours. At its conclusion Reginald was convinced he needed both Sandy’s and my help to get his highest price.  When I mentioned my real estate company would front the money he needed to prepare his house for sale, he lit up like a Christmas tree.

This was a great deal for him as it was a perk not all real estate firms offered. Benjamin did negotiate the real estate commission from a 6% to a 5% which most Sellers were doing in this hot San Francisco Sellers’ market. I agreed because a real estate listing was a sure sale these days. An agent could work months with a buyer and never get a sale.

At the same time I also knew there would be a lot of work ahead of me, but as soon as he agreed on a realistic selling price, I brought out the listing papers for him to sign. I knew that a realistic sale price is the most important part of real estate negotiating.  A 6%  commission on a home that won’t sell doesn’t increase my commission one iota—remember we real estate agents only get paid when a house sells.

Stay tuned as more happens with this interesting client, as there will be more lessons to be learned.

Be aware that any clients names have been changed to protect their privacy. Furthermore, Paula Pagano does not accept any liability for the content of any Blogs and this Website or for any actions you take or resultant consequences of actions taken based on the information provided in this communication. Any advice is my opinion after being a 35 year experienced real estate agent in San Francisco.


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