Tag Archives: Buying a Home in San Francisco

“Sensibility And Overall Likability Are A Winning Combination”

I just wrapped up a deal with some buyers in NOPA, and this is what they had to say about working with me:

Great agent. Not only did Alex stick by us through multiple offers but finally landed us our new home even though we weren’t the highest bidders and we were up against all cash offers. By really getting to know us and meeting with the sellers agent at offer time Alex was able to position us as the best fit for the home. His knowledge & navigational skills through this unpredictable market combined with a down to earth sensibility and overall likability are a winning combination. Thanks Alex – we look forward to hosting you at our moving in party!! Lauranne, Mike and Mary

Thanks guys! Looking forward to beers and barbecue. I’ll bring Tequila!

Buying A Home In San Francisco: 5 Step (Awesome) Infographic

Remember that post I did about the “5 Steps to Buying a Home In San Francisco“? Well, check out this awesome infographic, using that awesome information, I shared with you awesome people:

5 Steps to Buying A Home In San Francisco
[Click Image to Enlarge]

Thank you Paragon Real Estate for putting this together.

-Step 1 to buying a home in San Francisco [theFrontSteps.com]
-Step 2 to buying a home in San Francisco [theFrontSteps.com]
-Step 3 to buying a home in San Francisco [theFrontSteps.com]
-Step 4 to buying a home in San Francisco [theFrontSteps.com]
-Step 5 to buying a home in San Francisco [theFrontSteps.com]

Buying A Home In San Francisco – Step 5 And Beyond: Depends On How Step 4 Goes

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There is one guarantee after writing an offer on a property in San Francisco, and that is there is no guarantee you’ll get the property. With multiple offers all too common, sellers holding the upper hand, extremely low inventory, and thousands of buyers in the market, writing an offer is only part of the property winning (yes, we use the term winning) equation.

So what is the next step, then? The only certainty is if your offer was rejected, you can shuffle back up to Step 3 and start the touring again. There is a learning curve in San Francisco real estate, and you likely won’t get the first place you go for. Patience is paramount, and communication is key. Stay in touch with your Realtor (because now you have one), and keep hope alive. You will get there in the end. It may just take more time than you had expected.

If your offer was not rejected, and you’re the lucky winner, there are so many different steps that could happen next, we need not mention them in detail here. Things like: did you receive a counter offer; was the counter offer a multiple counter offer; have you been offered what is called “backup”; did your offer include inspections; how much time do you have to remove contingencies; do you need to sell your own home; is the seller asking for a “rent back”; so on and so forth. It is here that you will see value in a Realtor, and why we are so very comfortable giving you all of the tools you need to find your property on your own, online.

In the end, there will be about 10-20 more steps (at least) before getting keys to your home, and you’re going to need someone to guide you, because the process is so very not cut and dry, and we hope to earn your business. Feel free to learn more about us here, and read some testimonials here. Or better yet, drop us a line so we can chat about what you need.

If all you do is read these steps, set out on your own, find your own Realtor, and never contact us…we truly wish you the best of luck!

-Buying a Home In San Francisco – Step 1: Get Pre-Approved / Provide Proof Of Funds [theFrontSteps]
-Buying a Home In San Francisco – Step 2: Get New Listings Fed To You Automatically [theFrontSteps]
-Buying A Home In San Francisco – Step 3: Go See Some Property [theFrontSteps]
-Buying A Home In San Francisco – Step 4: Make An Offer (Choose A Realtor) [theFrontSteps]

Buying A Home In San Francisco – Step 4: Make An Offer (Choose A Realtor)

Here you are, having completed Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 of the home buying process in San Francisco. Now what?

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ve found the perfect (or almost perfect) property, you’re educated on the market, you’ve seen what other comparable properties are selling for, you love the area, the price is right, and you’re ready to go for it. Even though you could have theoretically made it this far without a Realtor, now you need one. You can choose to work with the agent listing the property, or you can hire your wife’s brother’s best friend’s uncle (it happens), or you can simply look no further. (If you’ve read this far, we’re practically best buds anyway.)

Working with a Realtor is going to give you the absolute best shot at securing a property in this competitive market. We could share our secrets of success and how to make your offer as “strong” as you can, but why would we do something silly like letting what could be your competition know how we’re going to play this game?

You can certainly attempt to represent yourself in writing, and presenting an offer too, but I’d say don’t waste your time, or the listing agent’s time. Either hire a Realtor, or work with the listing agent. Our market is so competitive that any money you think you’ll be saving by claiming to represent yourself will be money the listing agent might lose for their seller, or money they could have earned for themselves, so we’re totally comfortable sending you packing. In a stack of 15 offers, you representing yourself will certainly be put at the very bottom. Sad, but true.

So what price should you offer? That’s a tricky question, that depends a lot on how busy or attractive a property is, how long it’s been on the market, has the price been reduced, did it just come back on the market, etc. If you come across a property that has only been marketed two weeks, offers are being accepted on a certain day, and the agent tells you there has been about 250 people through the property, they’ve handed out 30 disclosure packages, and they expect to realistically receive 15 offers…don’t offer asking price! You’re dreaming!

We could go on and on about writing an offer, selecting a price, reviewing disclosures, and everything that goes into presenting an offer, but you’re better off just knowing writing an offer is the next step, and you’re going to want to have a Realtor on your side.

Step 5 is coming soon, so check back, or grab our RSS, and get new updates via email.

-Buying a Home In San Francisco – Step 1: Get Pre-Approved / Provide Proof Of Funds [theFrontSteps]
-Buying a Home In San Francisco – Step 2: Get New Listings Fed To You Automatically [theFrontSteps]
-Buying A Home In San Francisco – Step 3: Go See Some Property [theFrontSteps]

Buying A Home In San Francisco – Step 2: Get New Listings Fed To You Automatically

Yesterday, we educated you on the first and most important step in the San Francisco home buying process, so today we’re moving on…

Step 2 – Get New Listings Fed To You Automatically (via Email or Text)

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Our market moves fast, and so must you. You might have thought the next step would be to contact a Realtor. You can certainly do this now, but it’s not necessary. You can preview all the property you want yourself, right here online, and very soon we’ll show you just how easy it is to get dialed in to seeing these homes on your own.

So how do you get these new listings “fed” to you?
a. Get dialed into MLS. Contact us with your criteria (desired # of beds, baths, parking spaces, size, price, location, and your email) and we can set you up with behind the scenes access to what we call our “Client Portal”. You’ll receive new listings to your inbox the second they hit MLS, you can save, reject, and track what properties are selling for (very important), and you can request showings from within the application. This way, you’ll also be on our radar for potential off market matches should any pop up.
b. A different variation of the same theme, but without the need to contact anyone. It’s called MyZephyr, and you can get alerts, save, search, and track property from the comfort of your own home. The only downfall to this, is that we have so many people in this system using this tool, we simply do not have time to track your activity (some might consider this a plus), and therefore we probably won’t know who you are should something great pop up “not on MLS”.
c. Browse MLS: Even less intrusive, and way more stealth, MLS is actually there and available to you 24/7. No really…it is.
d. Redfin. Hands down the best way to search property if you’re not searching with one of the tools provided above. It’s a great site, with a ton of great info, and incredibly accurate data. If you don’t choose a. or b. above, use this over option c. It’s better.
e. Trulia, Zillow, or Realtor.com. These three are crap, inaccurate, and not worth your time. The only saving grace is Trulia’s community or “Voices” area. There is some good info to be found there. Zillow Zestimates are awful, and when we’re sipping a Cerveza after we hand you the keys to your house, we’ll make sure the beers are on you if you mention one word about “but the Zestimate said it’s worth this.”

What about all of the “off market” listings that are becoming so popular, and how do you get clued in to them?
a. PocketListings.net: It’s growing, more agents are using it, and you (the buyer) can certainly browse it for “off market” opportunities. You can follow PocketListings on Twitter for instant notification of new listings, and you can even have your “buyer need” added to it…but for that you’ll need a Realtor.
b. A Realtor: At this stage, there is no way around it, and it’s the very reason Pocket Listings are growing in popularity…Realtors are taking back the control of their listings, and they’re doing this to keep themselves relevant. Listing aggregators like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com don’t always portray the most accurate data, agent contact info, pictures, and local information. The system needs to change, and Realtors are taking it back. And guess what? A human is actually a really useful tool in the home searching process and if you find the right one, said human can provide a wealth of accurate and opinionated information. If you want off market opportunities, and want to truly feel like you’re getting in the loop of what most people aren’t, you need a Realtor. If you want to just browse MLS, PocketListings.net, and go at your own pace, you can still get by without contacting one.

So now you’ve proven to all involved you have the money, you’re getting listings fed to you from all angles, and you’re ready to take the next step…Check back tomorrow, and we’ll let you know what to do.