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April 4, 2016

Underpricing Strategy Still Works for Sellers


If you’re a homeowner who’s about to list your San Francisco property this Spring, have no doubt about where to set your list price: Well below the sale price you’re seeking.

If there’s any doubt that underpricing is the best way to jack up your value, take a gander at how things played out at 1812 Church Street. The 2BR/1BA single-family home on the border of Glen Park and Noe Valley was first listed for $1,495,000 in mid February. When no buyers materialized after two weeks, the price dropped to $995,000. A week later, the house went into contract with no contingencies, and closed on March 18th for $1,445,000.

Unusual? Not really. An obvious comp for 1812 Church was the 2BR/1BA house further down the street at 1454 Church. Listed in early December 2015 for $995,000, the sale closed for $1,510,000.

Of course, it’s important to have realistic value expectations as a seller—and then set your list price accordingly. Keep it low, and buyers will come. You’ll get better and faster results with a lower price than you will with one that’s too high.

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