There always is a chance, it will depend on the exact location and condition of the property. As for the sellers, the market is pretty strong for the sellers right now, not everyone wants to sell as the market has been moving upwards this year - nobody is giving anything away in this town, not even the REO (bank owned property) or short sales, the demand is just too strong right now.
Those who don't have to move will not sell for bargain basement prices. The Inner Sunset and Noe Valley are two of the most desirable neighborhoods in San Francisco, so these types of areas do not typically find sellers eagerly handing over their four-bedroom homes for less than $1M unless there is an issue with the house. However, if you are willing to be flexible with respect to what you need in a home, opportunities are out there.
I think you definitely can, as long as you are patient and wait for the right place. Also, you may find some large 3 BR's that could allow for a 4th BR to be added. And you are right that there is often room for negotiation in this market, sometimes much more than you would expect. Forexample, we bought a duplex last year that was originally listed at $1.2 for $925K.
But Danielle is right, you need to have your act together so that you can move quickly when the opportunity arises. That means you have a solid pre-approval from a respected lender, and the ability to close quickly if that helps make the deal.
Most important though is having the right representation. Many buyers don't give a lot of thought to who their representative is because the seller pays the commission - big mistake. An experienced and skillful negotiator who knows the business can not only help you save a lot on the purchase price, but also avoid homes with issues. They also understand that getting an offer accepted means positioning as well as price.
If you need help, interview a few agencies and see which one makes the most sense, and don't be afraid to ask the tough questions.
Lance King/Managing Broker
Yes, I do! Right now, there is a very nice 4-bedroom home for sale in the Sunset for under $1,000,000. It just came on the market.
There are good values out there and if you are ready to act, you can take advantage of this market. By having your ducks in a row (i.e. being fully pre-approved for financing and working with a real estate agent), you will have the tools to find out about the best homes on the market and the ability to jump at the right opportunity.
Good luck with your search and if I can be of help, let me know.
Danielle Lazier, San Francisco Realtor
Zephyr Real Estate
danielle (at) zephyrsf.com