$302,000 Worth Of Furniture Comes With This House…Sort Of

Originally listed for sale in the Fall of 2012 for $1,850,000, price chopped, relisted a mere 11 days ago, now asking $1,798,000, this property apparently has an “expansive, unobstructed view of the City and the bay”, but that’s not all.

From the “agent only” remarks we occasionally can’t help but to share with you. It’s a “beautifully remodeled home in Diamond Heights, with the option to buy the house furnished for $2,100,000.00. Show this house blind.”


Are we the only ones that are confused by the marketing of a home that apparently has a fabulous remodel, great views, and great furniture ($302,000 worth), none of which we get to see?

Oh…hold on, hold on, hold on. It’s there…”Show this house blind“. Now we get it.

-21 Ora, San Francisco [MLS]

13 Ways To Say The Same Thing…”Bring Me An Offer!”

Given the recent amount of junk Realtor mail flooding our inbox, we thought it high time to see how many different ways Realtors can slice the same pie. Awards should be given, but we’ll save those for our Sexiest Realtor Contest which will begin in earnest next week (lots of pretty faces out there!).

So here is what happens. One week, we get an email that says in the subject, “Prime Noe Valley Victorian”, the next it says, “Best location Noe Valley Home”, the next it says, “Coveted Noe Valley Single Family Home”, we click on the email to open it… Alas! They’re all the same home!

The best is when we get the emails doing the same thing with the subject to trick you into clicking, but also changing the way they say “bring me a f*cking offer, I have a desperate seller here!” How many ways can YOU say the same thing?

We’ll try first:

1. Motivated Seller (As opposed to the un-motivated seller that lists his home during holidays and a global recession.)
2. Seller must sell (and agent needs the commish.)
3. Price negotiable (Aren’t all prices negotiable?)
4. Price reduced (Thatta girl! Keep it going.)
5. Bring offers (We’ll bring the punch.)
6. Amazing Tax benefits! (Ahhh…the tax advice from a Realtor.)
7. All offers welcome (Can I buy you a drink?)
8. Holiday discount! (We’re feeling it. Look under the tree son…we just bought you a house.)
9. End of year price reduction won’t last (Meaning the price will go up in January?)
10. New Reduced Price! (So is that a new price? A one time price reduction, or a new price reduction different from any previous reductions?)
11. Amazing New Price! (Different than the Amazing Original List Price.)
12. Last chance price! (Who’s chance?)
13. Lucky 13….Sellers Facing Foreclosure (which is kind of stupid, because any offers at that point will be lowballs, likely end up being below what the seller’s owe, and turn into a short sale or foreclosure anyway, but that’s a tangent and a totally different subject.)

We’re sure there are more ways to skin that, “I need to sell this bloody listing” cat, but that is just a sampling of what we see on a daily basis.

Carry on…and feel free to share your favorites in the comments below.

Strippers Wanted For “Entertaining” Prospective Clients


Oh this is good. Do you want to be an “entertainer”, get people wasted, and take their money? Well, you’re in luck. You don’t have to be a stripper to land this job. You can be a Realtor’s assistant!

From the Craigslist Ad:

Models Wanted for Happy Hour Events
Date: 2009-11-16, 9:00AM

We are looking for female models for happy hour events in San Francisco.
We are a a group of Real Estate agents who entertain prospects and clients.
You will be responsible for making sure that our guests have fun and everyone makes it home safe.
These events are at resturants and bars in San Francisco where you will be entertaining prospective clients for business relationships.
You must be friendly, outgoing, and be able to drink responsibly.
We will be doing interviews this week on Thursday in Burlingame.
Do not reply if you have a drug or alcohol problem.
You will be paid $20.00 per hour for which you will be given a 1099 for.
Please send at least 3 photos to be considered. The next job will be Tues next week.

Hiring Organization: Reply by email
-Location: San Francisco
-Compensation: $20.00 per hour 2hr min
-This is a part-time job.
-Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
-Please, no phone calls about this job!
-Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

And from us here at theFrontSteps, please be careful and make sure to take a picture of these [fill in the blank] and send it our way!

“Liquor, beer and wine, it’s the flashing sign I see…” Every single morning when I wake up, I wanna sell some property. (Google “Reverend Horton Heat’s” song to get the melody.)

Oh so fun to be in real estate.

Thanks to InsideSFre.com for the “tip”…no pun intended

-Patrick Swayze, Chris Farley Chippendales Audition Video
-Bay Area’s Sexiest Realtor Contest

Things We Love About Real Estate: The Realtor Voicemail

Is it just us, or do Realtors always feel they have to let the world know they wouldn’t for a second think about doing anything but working? Case in point, the Realtor voicemail.

Try this for fun. Pick a Realtor, any Realtor (preferably a “top producer”…such a bogus title, but we won’t go there), and call their voicemail. Chances are really good you’ll hear something like this:

“Hi, this is so and so, and it’s Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m., I’ll be in and out of the office on appointments all day and checking voicemail periodically.”
Translation: My tee time is at 9:30, so I’ll get back to you in about 5 hours after my 18 holes.

Here’s another:
“Hi, this is so and so and you’ve reached my voicemail. I’m either on the phone or out with clients, so please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
Translation: I never go to the office, and I’m guaranteed to not be on the phone, but if I tell myself and you that I’m on the phone it makes me sound and feel busier, and I’m really not out with clients in my car in the age of the internet, I just wish I was. I think I’ll get a pedicure today.

One more:
“Hi, this is so and so, top producer 1999,2000, 2002-2009. For more information about my listings please check my website at http://www.aplusrealtor.com. If you’ve reached my voicemail I’m either on the phone or out with one of my many clients touring property, but I’m never too busy for you and your referrals. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
Translation: Leave a message, and then read more about me and my awesomeness at http://www.imajackass.com, because I love stroking my ego. Not enough info there? Look for me plastered all over the shopping carts at your local supermarket. Aren’t my teeth so shiny and white? Never mind that my picture is 25 years old, I still got it! And how cute are my dogs!?

We just don’t get it. Do you?

Real Estate Agents…Spare Us The Mugshot

Zillow provides us with raw data to back up the fact that your image does nothing to sell you, or the home. But it does make for a damn good Sexiest Realtor contest.

From Zillow’s Blog:

Zillow makes money by selling ads on the site. But, to be a successful media company, we need to make sure our customers are realizing success with their ads. To help our customers do this, it is important to look at what the best-performing ads look like, and the lowest performing, because ad content is crucial to performance. Actually, these findings can apply broadly to any advertising campaign, not just those on Zillow.

The #1 takeaway:


Observations from the Top 50 ads on Zillow:

-100% were ads for listings
-45 of 50 ads were an exterior home shot, 3 were interior, 2 were aerials
-42 of the ads mentioned a specific area (neighborhood, city or address)
-8 central messages revolved around Short Sale, Foreclosure or price reduction
-2 were Open House ads
-0 photos were renderings (illustrations), all were actual photos
-0 ads promoted a specific person, business or brand
-22 of the ads had a specific price visible
-7 had a phone number visible
-50 had photos that were taken on a sunny day

Observations from the Bottom 20 ads on Zillow:

18 of the ads promoted an agent/broker/brand
1 did not have a photo (and no clicks)
1 had some type of call-to-action on the ad

There you have it. The mugshot does nothing, the public wants details about the real estate, not how you look or whether you’re a “Top Producer”. We vote to remove agent mugshots from all marketing in the future on all media. You with us?

-Why are Realtors so arrogant and such assholes [theFrontSteps]

In Real Estate, Size Does Matter

We have been a bit M.I.A, but our readers certainly haven’t lost their need to send us tips. Please keep them coming! (thefrontsteps@gmail.com):

I think the size of a dwelling is an important matter, especially in San Francisco. Would you start a thread? [We can try.]

‘I know my home is too small when ….’
and the twin post
‘I know my home is too big when …’


Okay, we’ll indulge first…I know my home is too small when I walk into a port-o-potty and think…”Wow! This is HUGE!”


On the other hand, I know my home is too large when I yell at my kids to “go to your room”, and they ask me where it is, and I can’t answer.

Your turn….

-Walkabout: Los Altos Edition, and a $7M price reduction [theFrontSteps]

The Actual Retail Price Is….!

“I’d like to bid $1, Bob”….crowd goes wild, contestant jumps around uncontrollably, Bob Barker raises pencil thin mic to his mouth, opens envelope turning to contestants with gray haired enthusiasm proclaiming, “The actual retail price for these lovely San Francisco multi-family buildings is…..” Ding, ding, ding, ding!


Go ahead, make your bid, just don’t go over.

Parking Love Letters, San Francisco Style & The Red DPT Curb

Judging by the hand-writing, we’d say the author of this love letter was female, approximately 38-45 years old (not a Cougar), mother of….we’ll say two, likely drives a Volvo or Mercedes “SUV”, we’re thinking blond hair, light colored eyes, ponytail, and definitely not the life of the party. You?


Happy Friday…somebody needs a f*cking cocktail!

[Editor's Note: According to a follow up email from the person that sent the "love letter", the car was not blocking the driveway like this, but was apparently "not even hanging over one inch into the drive, but definitely blocked the 1 foot of red DPT paint on the curb."]

[Update: The discussion has begun, and if you'd care to comment on more than this love letter...specifically whether the red DPT curb (fake or not) can have legal implications, you're cordially invited to join in.]

theFrontSteps Bought By Large Corporation For $4 Million

We are very excited to announce that we have been purchased by a large local corporation and will cease regular publication only temporarily to build our new product. It is a great day in the land of theFrontSteps and we thank all of our loyal readers for getting us to this point. We also thank “Eddy” for his great idea on this here April Fool’s Joke!

HAH! Back to work. Cocktails!

“How’s The Market?” Common Replies You Might Hear Over Cocktails

“How’s the market?” This has to be the number one most common question we’re asked these days by principals and Realtors alike. So we thought we’d give you some answers you’ll likely hear at your next cocktail party (stocked with Keystone Light, and Jose Cuervo, because Lord knows Negra Modelo and Patron Silver ain’t flowin’ like it used to!):

Question: “How’s the market?”

Reply #1:

How the fuck do I know! I’m a financial analyst with an MBA and Ph.D. in Economics. Graduated from Wharton, top of my class. Summa cum fuckin’ laude bitch! What do I care about real estate? I’m making my fortune in the stock market. Oh…by the way, I just created a website…ilostmyjobandimbroke.com. It’s gonna be huge.

Reply #2:

It’s great! Never been a better time to be a buyer than now. Interest rates are insanely low, sellers are willing to negotiate, prices are dropping and volume is pretty much in the toilet, so if you’re looking for opportunity, now is the time to buy, that’s for sure. Here’s my card. You can reach me at the office, fax, email (any of the five), cell, on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, my blog, at the supermarket checkout, my kids swim practice, hell anywhere! Wait…don’t leave!

Reply #3:

It’s horrible. Our house has been sitting on the market for 100+ days and we’re afraid that asshole over at theFrontSteps is gonna feature it as a Stalefish. Wanna buy it? I’ll make you a smoking deal and I’ll even throw in my husband and kids…Gratis!

Reply #4:

Dude! The market is awesome. Buy a foreclosure dude. Don’t buy anything else. Everybody selling right now is in foreclosure. No need to make offers bro. Just wait. Foreclosures are the only way to go. Dude, we just bought this one and the basement was full of plants! Such a score bro. Whoever lent money to those owners were idiots, but they were good at growing plants. Wanna puff?

Reply #5:

I don’t know. Does my ass look good in these jeans, cuz I just bought them half off at Gap and they’re like totally having sales everywhere. I was thinking of buying some new Gucci sunglasses, but my husband like totally told me money is tight, but I totally bought this handbag at Prada and the credit card worked, so we can’t be that broke. Right? I think my ass looks good in these…you?

There you go. Have a good weekend, we’ll be back on Monday.

Buyers Are “Waiting For Godot”?

Image Source: 2dayblog.com

In Malcolm Kaufman’s most recent “Pulse of the Market”, he makes an excellent comparison of the new buyer mentality as one that closely resembles a play he had seen in his early college days, “Waiting for Godot”, where the play “follows two consecutive days in the lives of a pair of men who divert themselves while waiting expectantly and unsuccessfully for someone named Godot to arrive. They claim him an acquaintance but in fact hardly know him, admitting that they would not recognize him were they to see him.”

You see what Malcolm is getting at here…Godot being the bottom of the market. We are all waiting for it, but when will we see it, and will we even know it when it arrives? General consensus is that we will see Godot sometime in 2009 (Godspeed!), but how will we know?

Free t-shirt for the reader with the most clever comment on how you’ll know when Godot (the real estate version) arrives, when he’ll arrive (if you nail this one, we’ll come up with something better than a t-shirt for you), and what you’ll do when he gets here.

[Disclaimer: We're currently in talks with a manufacturer in China for a product that helps you see Godot. We're making them for $.10 and they will soon be on sale at WalMarts, and in McDonald's Happy Meals around the world.]

Please Remove Drying (Marijuana) Plants When Selling Home

Dried herbs, or drying (pot) plants? It certainly can’t be helping the sale of 442 Detroit, but it might be helping the occupants cope with a declining market, or pending eviction.

Regardless, it’s “two for one” on this home, so you better get it while supplies last…the homes that is.

-442 Detroit [MLS]

[Disclaimer: Of course we don't know whether that is pot or not, and we're not saying it is, so don't get your panties in a bunch.]

Vote for Barack Obama

As many of you know, I try to steer clear of political posts, but this time, I can’t. If I didn’t at least announce who I am voting for and do my part getting the word out, and that second coming of the idiots McCain and Joe Sixpack Palin make it to office, I will seriously cash in my chips and move to Mexico, Italy, France, Spain, Hell…anywhere would be better than another 4 years of this crap! The choice is clear….


Get in line with the “squiggly area” way of thinking. After all, “culture is attracted to squiggles”.

Go to 4:46 into the video and you’ll know what I mean…

Comment du Jour: “egg tossing contest” and “B&T’er”

From yesterday’s “Spot or Not: Parking in San Francisco”, and what to do with a car that blocks your driveway, (tow or ticket) a reader (“YouKidsGetOuttaMyDriveway“) hits the nail on the head:

Use as a target for an egg tossing contest and THEN have it towed. Only a B&T’er would be stupid/rude/self-absorbed enough to do that.

For those outside of the city and not necessarily in the know, a “B&T’er” would be a person (extra points for the reader that can describe a B&T’er) that needs to take either a Bridge or Tunnel to get to the city. As for the “egg-tossing”…well that’s just brilliant and why the hell didn’t we think of that?!