“Every first quarter of the year, it’s the same story for San Francisco real estate: buyers are ready, sellers are not.”

At the 2012 inaugural Zephyr Real Estate office meeting, held on January 4th, the Managing Broker, Randall Kostick, posed a casual survey question. Of the 100+ agents in the room, who had upcoming listings coming to the market in the next week or two? About a quarter to a third of us raised our hands. Then, he asked us how many of us had “ready, willing and able” home buyers looking to buy a home right now? Hand to G-d, almost every hand shot up in the air!

I am one of those agents who have both listings coming to market this month and buyers ready to buy. But to be honest, I definitely have more buyers than sellers. (Let’s change that, eh?) And, I am not alone. Case in point. I brought 2950 Clay Street #302, a new Pacific Heights condo for sale last week. We were going to wait until the end of the month but seeing the severe lack of inventory in Pacific Heights and throughout San Francisco and the strong interest in capitalizing on today’s interest rates, I pushed our marketing up by a week and got it on the market ASAP.

Here are the highlights of what we did.

  • Monday morning: professional house cleaning
  • Monday & Tuesday: professional home staging
  • Wednesday morning: Zephyr Real Estate & Top Agent Network listing preview — 50+ agents showed up! It’s all about efficiency, baby!
  • Wednesday afternoon: Agent lock-box installed so a buyer’s agent could show the house 24/7.
  • Friday afternoon: Private showing with buyer client. While showing our client, not one but 5 other Realtors showed up to use their lock-box key to show the property! And this was in the middle of the day.
  • Sunday 2-4pm: First Public Open House — 100+ buyers came! We ran out of property statements.
  • Tuesday morning: First MLS Broker Tour — of course, all of Zephyr and the top agents in San Francisco had already previewed the condo the week before
  • By Wednesday, we had given out 20 disclosure packages to buyer agents with interested clients.
  • Thursday noon: 14 offers arrived at my office! 9 were OVER the asking price of $799,000, 1 was at the asking price and 4 were under the asking price.

My sellers are THRILLED. “We are still awestruck at the great response and cannot begin to thank you for all your effort and support!! Beyond happy :-)”

Boy, do I wish I had 13 other listings like this to sell…OK, well maybe 10 more since the 4 under-asking offers were not dealing in reality. It may be hard to believe but the San Francisco market, except for a select few areas still in trouble, has been recovering for over a year and there is more demand than supply. In other words, there are more buyers than sellers. In other words, well-priced and presented listings are selling for more than the asking price and receiving multiple offers. In other words, if you have been considering putting your home on the market this year, you may want to get started.

Seller, where for art thou? Your time appears to have come again.

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