Category Archives: Stalefish ™

30plus

The 30+ Club

From 333 Grant #707 to 4348 21st St, an $11,000,000 Penthouse at the Four Seasons to a 1 bedroom condo on the 46th Floor of that big ol’ tower by the Bay Bridge, there is a little category out there that is often overlooked and it’s high time it gets the attention it deserves: Properties on the market more than 30 days a.k.a the 30+ Club.

As much as I like to highlight Overbids and Underbids, properties that make the jaw drop, multi-million dollar sales, and my own triumphs, this category should actually get more attention, because if you have a property to sell in San Francisco and it hasn’t sold or gone in contract within 30 days, you’re doing something wrong, and if you’re a buyer continually getting beat out by the other guy, there is opportunity right here under your nose.

So get on the list, and if you’re an agent, send this list to your clients, and let’s help put some of these Stalefish out of their misery.

*This data is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed accurate by the MLS or myself, although it’s pretty damn close to 100%.

-30+ Club: list of properties on the market 30 Days Or More

Stalefish: San Francisco’s New Delicacy

About once a month, on sfnewsletter, we put out our list of Stalefish Properties for our readers’ delight. Today, we thought we’d share that same list with you, and highlight some of the Stalefish swimming in that Stale Pond.

175 Bright…future not so bright. It is a short sale (possibly the reason it still shows as active) and has spent a meager 291 days on the market. Maybe it’s because it shows “0 bedrooms, 0 baths”. That could be an issue.
175bright

So you’ve heard of the “Little Engine That Could”, but what about the Little $6Million Firehouse That Can’t Sell? We have one of those in our Stale Pond too:
firehouse

Fans of Kirkwood Ski Resort? Well set this Stalefish free and live at 1526 Kirkwood St. in San Francisco…only 322 days on market:
kirkwood

Take your pick at the Ritz, where for a mere $5.4Million you can get an unfinished slice of pie in the sky.
ritz
Not a fan of the raw, un-finished Stalefish swimming in the Ritz pond? Fear not, there are plenty of fully cooked units to choose from.

Remember that ultra slick, sleek, can’t do no wrong building called the Brannan? Well, you can get this Stalefish for $1.4M (down from $1.8M), but beware…we see a ghost (likely just an agent skimping on photographer expenses) in that glass!
brannan

So what’s the moral of this Stalefish story. Although San Francisco’s Stalefish pond is filling up with properties, there are still many tasty treats to be had and buyers have bargaining chips on their side, so don’t be shy…jump in the Stale Pond with both feet and see what you can find swimming on the bottom!

[Editor's Note: What is a Stalefish? A property that has been on the market 100+ days (give or take). Nothing more, nothing less.]

You Changed Your DOM But Were Never BOM, 4148 23rd St Returns

You know that feeling you get when you meet someone and you just know you’ve seen them before, but you just can’t figure out where? Well, fortunately for us folks in the biz of real estate, we have this little feature called “property history” that is becoming all too necessary to check religiously. As it turns out, we have seen 4148 23rd St (4 bed, 2.5 bath, Renovated Noe Valley Edwardian) before.

414823rdfront

We saw her first in 1998 when she sold for $435,000. Then we saw her again (with a face-lift) in April of 2008 for $1,799,000 when she was on the market for 140 days and pulled off the market in August. She resurfaced (very briefly) in December of 2008 with the same look, only different price ($1,599,000 or 11% less than before) and a fresh new DOM (days on market) of zero. Come to think of it, we never did see her BOM (back on market).

414823rdbath

Now we see her again in January 2009 with the same price, but new DOM, and still no BOM. This can only mean she never did find a suitor. So why the new DOM? It’s a trick we agents play, and the public is on to us.

We knew we saw her before, and it almost slipped passed us. Now we’re left to wonder what she’ll look like when we see her again…SOLD, BOM, or with yet another new DOM?

-4148 23rd St, $1,599,000 [listing detail page by sfnewsletter]
-Resetting DOM, Buyers Speak Up, ABC News Nightline Is Listening [theFrontSteps]

Reduction, Ad Nauseum

I’m not a Realtor, so I’ll tell something I’m more qualified to comment on: buyers’ perspectives. For instance, I can tell you how buyers looks at a property that’s been reduced more than twice. We feel sorry for them. They’re like awkward teenage boys at their first dance, pretending to be terribly busy with their shoe laces to avoid eye contact. We all know these boys can’t really be too picky; they have to take what they can get.

This analogy might not totally work for reduced priced properties. I’m just saying that as a buyer, we tend to feel a lot more powerful when we notice a home’s asking has come down not once, but twice– a feeling that multiplies with each subsequent reduction. That’s why, as a seller, I’d really hope my agent were savvy enough to price my home right. Of course, we can’t, unless we are Dione Warwick, know what the future holds, and some of the current meltdown has caught us by surprise. Still, the writing’s been on the wall awhile. Most literate people, I’d think, would have read it.

Case in point the next three properties, whose reduction history goes from bad to worse.

1. Studio TIC at 1059 Leavenworth St #5 San Francisco, CA 94109. Current price: $325,000. In over 120 days on the market, the list price has come down thrice:

Jul 02, 2008 $399,000
Jul 03, 2008 $329,000
Sep 09, 2008 $325,000 

2. 532 Clipper St #B San Francisco, CA 94114, currently at $539,000 is a 2 bed/1 bath TIC flat. In over 170 days on the market, it’s suffered 5 reductions, each one not very big, but the conglomeration of so many price cuts is pretty damning:

May 14, 2008 $679,000
Jun 11, 2008 $659,000
Aug 13, 2008 $639,000
Aug 28, 2008 $599,000
Sep 25, 2008 $570,000
Oct 28, 2008 $539,000

3. 3630 22nd St., San Francisco, CA.  A 2bed/1bath detached cottage TIC, this one I’ve saved for “worst” because though it has not been cut as often as the above property, the overall slash down is quite dramatic. In over 100 days on the market:

Jul 18, 2008 $749,000
Sep 05, 2008 $649,000
Oct 06, 2008 $589,000
Oct 29, 2008 $499,000

In this last case, the current price seems a lot more fair. I went to the open house yesterday and the listing agent informed me the place needed about $250K in repair and pest control. I have to wonder who would have ever, ever, ever paid the original list price.

I also wonder what other SF real estate agents or buyers or sellers think of these reductions overall, so I’m serving this blog up on the Front Steps for commentary. Take it easy on those awkward teen age boys though. Everyone, and everything, is fragile right now.

Isolated Panic amongst some San Francisco Realtors, or something larger?

Recently, we’ve been contacted by more than a dozen Realtors asking if we could “plug” their listings. Typically, this is not something we do as it defeats the purpose, honesty, and transparency of this blog, but we got to thinking…why not? We could make a little $$ from it, and help get the word out about some pretty cool properties that happen to still be available. Truth be told, a lot of “tips” from “tipsters” are essentially “plugs” anyway. Right?

Well, don’t worry, we’re not going to start whoring ourselves out…yet. But what has us thinking is the increase in requests to do so for properties that have only been on the market 2-6 weeks. In any other part of the country having a listing for 4 months is normal, and panic usually sets in around the 6th month that it is not sold, so why such alarm after 2-6 weeks? San Francisco Realtors are so accustomed to homes flying off the shelf, and when they don’t…they PANIC! Remember, a listing isn’t a “Stalefish” until 100 days have passed, so why all the panic?

We still say it all comes down to pricing, pricing, pricing, and location, location, location, and there is no need for panic across the board. We’re still hearing many more reports of multiple offers and properties flying off the shelf than we are of properties sitting, but is the national trend finally starting to hit San Francisco on a broader level, not just the southern districts? We’ve heard reports of homes in the Inner Richmond, Cole Valley, Westwood Park, Bernal Heights, Inner Sunset, Noe Valley (Gasp!), Parkside, Potrero Hill, and a few other nabes getting a bit stale. Properties that previously would have sold in the blink of an eye. So what gives?

We want your thoughts, especially you Realtors. Go ahead and comment anonymously, we won’t tell. And we certainly hope to hear from the Fluj, who, in case you missed it, we caught.

[If you'd like to check out what we've written about other neighborhoods in San Francisco, look to the right hand column and "Browse Site by Category".]

What happened? Redfin got it (1826 Filbert)

Make no mistake, we love busting the chops of other companies out there, but that doesn’t mean we’re wrong or right, and they’re bad or good. It just means we like putting things out there that we, and hopefully you, might find interesting. So far, we’ve been pretty successful.

So a reader asks:

Just curious if you know what happened to 1826 Filbert, an over priced $1.7 mil 2/1 SFH being sold by Redfin. Place was 1,000sqft and quirky. I noticed the person moved out, but can’t find a sale.

1826filbert.jpg

Well, according to MLS, the property was on the market in June for $1,795,000, then withdrawn end of June, then back on the market at the same time, same price. It appears now the listing has expired (same price), which for all practical purposes means it may not have sold, or it may have been sold in an off market deal, or Redfin simply forgot to update their MLS listing.

Of course, a big indicator of why it may not have sold is the fact that when you call the Redfin 877 number you get the full “national” run around, and as of yet (20 minutes calling over and over) you get no live person. When you call the 858 number, it sounds like they say, “Hi, you’ve reached Redfin San Diego.” Hmmm… They must be out surfing.

If you’d like to try the Redfin experience yourself, feel free to contact the Redfin agent: Erik Van Joosten: 877-973-3346 or :858-[removed per request].

Now, does this mean we don’t applaud innovation? Hardly. More like a little quality control.

[Update: Max (listing agent) called back moments ago, (about 10 minutes after leaving a message), 2 offers under asking when it first listed, not acceptable to the seller. Seller has decided to rent it.]

More Real Estate Mashing…CyberHomes unveiled.

From a reader, via TechCrunch.

Image below is the “Change in Estimated Home Value” (Jan-Nov 2007) for San Francisco when searching our favorite Stalefish, 2901 Broadway for $55,000,000

heatmapsf from CyberHomes.com

This is what TechCrunch had to say regarding CyberHomes entry into the field of real estate websites, the likes of which include Zillow (crap!), Trulia (good), Redfin (good), Realtor.com (good, but aesthetically challenged):

CyberHomes may actually have an advantage here in that it is owned by Fidelity National Financial, one of the biggest title-insurance companies in the country. As such, Fidleity National Financial has a direct view on every home transaction in the country. “The key differentiators on the data is that we are the primary aggregator of it.,” says Frame. Other than the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that brokers use, any company that wants information on properties sold, home ownership, or mortgage issuance needs to license it from one of two sources: either Fidelity National Financial or First American (which is where Zillow gets its data, through an intermediary company called Dataquick). Since CyberHomes has a direct line into the Fidelity National Financial database, Frame argues that the data on his site is updated in a more timely fashion for the 100 million U.S. property records it covers. And it will begin to include actual MLS data as well, beginning in the first quarter of next year.

We have yet to play around with it at length, but thought you might have a little time to do so yourselves and might share a little insight.

-CyberHomes emerges from beta with claims of better real estate data [TechCrunch]

-CyberHomes.com [website]

-Technology & Real Estate [theFrontSteps]

Investor Alley

by Greg Angilly

In every market there are properties that can be obtained for below market value – many that have a strong upside. Here are two we’ve been watching for a few weeks. Our sense is these are available at or below asking and are both strong investment opportunities.

3479 Sacramento St – List Price – $1,075,000

gregsac.jpg

2 bed / 1.25 bath + bonus room down. Parking and outdoor space and on the market for 90 days. Good location – slightly busier than the typical Presidio Heights location – but surrounded by boutique shops and cafés. Well under the average price per sqft in Presidio Ht’s. I imagine there is a willingness to negotiate the price if other terms of the offer are strong. The unit doesn’t show well at all. It’s dark and could use some upgrades. That said, nothing needs to be done so you can owner occupy while you renovate. New kitchen and bath / upgrade lighting / repaint the façade / research the inclusion of bonus room via interior stairs. With basic upgrades this unit should sell for $1.15+ – if you can include the downstairs rooms you are looking at $1.35+.

2080 3rd St # 8 – List Price – $649,000

greg3.jpg

Property has seen several price reductions from original price of $689,000.  Top floor unit with walk out deck with expansive views in smaller building. If purchased for 635K the loft becomes a great investment. Can serve as a nice rental / income property – approximate rental rate is $2500/ month. There are several new projects going in on 3rd St which will bring additional owners and businesses. The Mission Bay campus continues to grow and several new businesses have recently opened along the 3rd St corridor. This area will continue to mature and a deeded top floor deck with views will be a commodity people are willing to pay money to obtain.

I will be tracking these properties for our readers, and I am open for any discussions regarding the two, and/or my opinion on their investment value.

-2080 3rd St # 8 – List Price – $649,000 [mls]

-3479 Sacramento St – List Price – $1,075,000 [mls]

Big Price, Big Wine Cellar, Big Time Stalefish ™

bvcut.jpgWe know there is a ton of interest for this property, hell…look at it. It’s beautiful. Ahhh, but it’s a Stalefish indeed. From what we can gather, 21 Buena Vista has been on the market for about 300 +/- days. First put on the market back in January of 2005 at $5,250,000, then re-listed with a different company at $5,475,000 in May of 2006, reduced to $4,950,000 in June of 2006, then $4,495,000 in November 2006, and now finally $4,250,000. It’s pretty much got everything you need: 22 rooms on four floors (6 bed, 6 bath); 2 gourmet kitchens incl. state-of-the-art appliances; a home theatre w/64 sq ft screen; 1700 sq ft of gallery space; a home gym w/massage rm & sauna; a master suite w/expansive spa and steam-room; view decks; a 3000 bottle wine tasting room; and 8229 square feet.  So what are you waiting for?

bvtop.jpg

-21 Buena Vista [Zephyr Agent site]
-Stalefish ™ [sfn BLOG]
[pictures pulled from MLS]