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December 7, 2015

Avoid the Real Estate Slow Bleed: Price Your Home Realistically


There are fewer situations in real estate worse than an overpriced property from sellers willing to spend months chasing the market—only to end up with a price that’s less than they could have achieved had they priced the house properly in the first place.

The recent sale at 100 Delano in Mission Terrace is one that made me cringe. This was a large Tudor-style house that came on the market in March for $1,600,000.

From there, it was truly a slow bleed on the list price, with June seemingly being the tipping point. The seller knocked $100,000 off the price at the beginning of June, followed by another $100,000 two weeks later.

Buyers stepped into contract at that point, but the property fell out of escrow. So it was back on the market again at $1,400,000. When that didn’t work, the sellers trimmed another $100,000 off the list price again in August. By mid September, the house was in contract again—this time, for good.

Can we have a drumroll, please? 100 Delano closed escrow on October 20th for…$1,160,000.

The takeaway for future sellers is that buyers are not irrationally throwing money at every house in San Francisco that comes on the market.

If your house isn’t showing well—Delano, for example, had a variety of oddly presented bedrooms and a chapel in a bonus room—and requires an excessive amount of “vision” for buyers to see its potential, the value will be lower than the comps that didn’t have those challenges.

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