Happy Holidays From My $75,000,000 Weekend Retreat At Lake Tahoe!

Make no mistake, it’s been a crazy busy market for me and a lot of my colleagues. It’s okay…as it has afforded me the luxury to spend Christmas and likely the New Year enjoying all that Tahoe has to offer from the comfort of my new weekend retreat. It’s not all that I wanted, but it will do until I can find something a little more grand:

Happy Holidays! Thanks again for your continued support and all of you wonderful people that have taken the steps to work with me. See you in 2013!!

Recce: A 3D Map Every San Francisco Real Estate Firm Should Note

San Francisco real estate brokerages, there is a new map app you’re going to want to check out, and in my opinion be on the ground floor of its imminent growth.

It’s called Recce, and it’s slick. Their write up on TechCrunch sums it up nicely as “a 3D, animated bird’s eye view of a city, and what is going on in it, by aggregating dozens of data feeds from other services — ranging from mapping providers to those building listings of places to eat, and social networks like Twitter, integrating it all, and then presenting it in a slick, attractive app that is essentially a searchable map”.

So why am I pointing this out to you real estate brokers? If you can’t figure that out on your own, you should shut your doors…really. Technology is here to stay, so get involved! I’ve long felt that maps like Google have missed the potential landfall of information and ad revenue that could come from real estate, and I would imagine MLS is partly to blame for such misgivings (that’s another discussion altogether), so maybe Recce will take note and hold the hand of the industry that is all about location, location, location, and get them involved in their maps.

The thing I really like about Recce is that it is a virtual 3D map of the real world in which we live, but can also be used for things in a fake world (think gaming). Brokerages could advertise listings on a location basis, but as they would exist in a virtual world. Brokerages can place “billboards” throughout the city where they have offices (or want offices) that, when hovered on or clicked, pull up only listings from that brokerage just the same as if you were to walk into the office on your stroll down Union Street. You could essentially create an office in a hot location (think Mission) without actually having to have the office there! You can showcase sold listings you have had in high rise buildings and link to details about the property that might entice a buyer to contact you (just like the coffee cup images are displayed above, those could be broker signage). Those are just a couple of the imaginative ways you could use this technology, and I’m sure we could think up some more.

Local brokerages should feed their listings to Recce themselves, and control how the information is shared and displayed. MLS, Trulia, and Zillow should not be the source of this data. Enough of the middle man games. Be involved in technological advances. Real estate marketing has changed dramatically in 10 years, and it will change dramatically more. You might as well be on the forefront of the change, and watch the clients come marching in your door (virtually and in reality).

Who’s going to be the first brokerage to step up to the plate and get involved with Recce? If I owned my own brokerage, it’d be me.

Check them out at www.recce.at.

Don’t Wait Until Spring To Sell Your Home

I’ve been advocating for listing your property for sale during the typical doldrums for years, and occasionally a few brave souls take the plunge. Have a look at this image below and the data used to arrive at the conclusion next time you think it’s best to wait til Spring or Summer:

Why should you list your home right now and not wait until everyone else? It’s simple: Supply and Demand. The buyers are still out there, but the homes for sale are not. So when a good one comes up, it’s like chum in a pool of great whites.

As an example, I was at two open houses Sunday with a client, one at 468 Noe, the other at 442-444 Noe. It looked like a holiday block party, or a daytime Halloween Trick or Treat extravaganza. It was a frickin’ madhouse! Soooo many buyers…serious buyers…walking in and out of those homes. When I hold my own open houses I usually have to stay at the front door and greet visitors. At these open houses I was able to walk around and hear the conversations. Real conversations about what it will take to “win” it. How will their financing stack up against a potential cash buyer. They could “live with the kitchen”, or “we’re definitely going to remodel”. It’s the same with just about every other good house, priced right, in a good location. San Francisco simply has more buyers than good, quality, property for sale, and so I say again…it’s a great time to sell.

Buyers are out there. Don’t wait until your competition lists their home for sale. Do it now, and put some big fat Benjamins under your tree or next to your Manora.

[I have more stories to share about my own listings and buyer competition, so make sure to check back, or opt to receive theFrontSteps via email/RSS.]

$415,000 over asking in Haight/Cole Valley [theFrontSteps]

Hows About $415,000 More Than You Were Asking? Will That Be Enough?

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a property on Clayton Street in the Haight Ashbury district (might as well call it Cole Valley too) that drops the jaw just a little bit more.

For all practical purposes, this property was really nice. It had a wonderful upper two level unit with views, deck, hot tub, and charm. It had a great lower level unit that could easily fetch $5500 in rent, or be annexed to the upper unit as a large single family (if memory serves me correctly), and it had a nice little cottage in the rear of the property that I didn’t even see, but was rented for I think $1750/month. It had all the charm, all the parking, all the amenities, and all the trappings of a great Cole Valley – Haight property, including rental income.

My clients and I decided to throw our name into the hat at their asking price of $1,650,000, knowing it was a long shot, but worth a try. We were one of 12 offers, not even in the top nine, and low and behold 777-779 Clayton closed escrow last week for a staggering $2,065,0000, or $415,000 over asking price! Happy Holidays To That Seller (Flash Gordon…no joke)!!!

We can debate the fair market value, whether it was under priced, and all that another day. For now, I ask any of you to show me a market in the world (Not Silicon Valley, not Marin, not Berkeley) where 12 buyers show up for one property, at least 9 of them offer more than the seller is asking, and the “winner” ultimately gives the seller $415,000 more than what was suggested as a fair price to purchase the property.

Perhaps it’s time to bring back the Maximum Overbid Of the Week, and consider switching from a listing service to an auction service for selling San Francisco real estate?

777-779 Clayton details [MLS]
More Cole Valley Stories [theFrontSteps]
More Haight Ashbury Stories [theFrontSteps]