SF Condo - Sell Now or Wait - Market Strategy

Asked by House, San Francisco, CA Wed Oct 31, 2007

My wife and I own a 1/1 condo in Pacific Heights. It is in amazing shape - parking, shared yard, private deck. We need to sell as we are expecting twins. Questions are:

Do we sell now as the inventory for similar units is low/none at present (which makes our unit unique)?

Do we wait for the market to warm up for sellers as there is a lot of concern/mis-information out there about the general situation - much less San Francisco proper.

If we place it on the market and do not get our desired asking price and pull it, would this have a negative effect on us say in a year when we go to sell?


Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Liz Stevens, , Berkeley, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2007
Consider redefining "Market Strategy" into "our plans, our life strategy" - If you take the long view, keeping your property for 10 - 12 years will probably profit you more in real dollars. selling it now may mean you must take less than you think it is worth. If this is an investment, use this rule of thumb, "only sell an investment when there is a better one in front of you". Doesn't that sound curious from a Real Estate Broker? - but that is the truth from the long view. Liz Stevens
2 votes
Michael Robe…, Agent, San Ramon, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2007
Hello Home Seller, I concur with Tanja. There should not be any negative effect on your position as a Seller unless, of course, Prices were to jump dramatically and a sharp buyer tries to test you with the previous price. Not very likely. Inventory is everything today. There are so many of the same properties being offered that buyers are only buying the Best of the Best or the seriously undervalued properties. If you can sell today, tomorrow you will be able to take advantage of the market in your favor. Proportionately you will be better off . (selling small and buying big) If you wait you will be in a market that is uncertain at best. Good Luck! Price it Right! Enjoy the coming additions to your family. Congratulations!

http// http://:www.MichaelRobertsHomes.com
1 vote
Scott Rose &…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2007
Hello home seller,

You can put it on the market now. You are right with having a unique position without any inventory and competition. It will not hurt you in any way to pull the listing and put it back on the market later on but I don't think this will be necessary since you are in a very desired area. Most important is the pricing strategy. Your Realtor will help with it. Good luck to you.
Web Reference:  http://www.TanjaBeck.com
1 vote
Mary Fenton, , San Francisco, CA
Wed Nov 7, 2007
While I agree with some of what has been said, there are a few unaswered questions. Will you be buying as well? Do you need to sell in order to buy? Have you already located or bought the replacement property?

There are different ways to structure when buying and selling. Ideally, if it is possible, you would find your replacement property first. That way you are not under a time crunch to find a home, and you can take advantage of the current market as a buyer. You may have to take an equity line out on your condo in order to make a down payment.

Once you have an offer accepted on a replacement, you can prepare your condo for the market. Most likely, unless you already have the replacement, that will bring you to the beginning of next year as we are already in mid November, which will be a good time to sell. You will also be selling a vacant and hopefully staged condo which very often sells faster and for a higher price than those that are not presented that way. Doing things this way will mean that you will have two mortgage payments for the time it takes to sell your condo which could easily be two months (including escrow period).

If you are not able to do that, and you need to sell first, putting the condo on the market now would not hurt your chances of selling next year if it did not sell. It is clear to people that the market is in a transitional stage; buyers will understand that the timing was not right. Having said that, it sounds like your unit has all the components of a desirable property. Good condition, parking, and an outdoor space are all key features; I'm sure that is what attracted you in the first place. The style of the building and the exact location (block) are also key factors.

If you want my thoughts on your specific property without giving away that information publicly, please give me a call. My partner and I can come by, have a look, and talk strategy with you.
Web Reference:  http://www.vanfenton.com
0 votes
David Blockh…, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Tue Nov 6, 2007
SF Condo Owner,

Head down to E'Angelo's for some good pasta and wine (water for the misses). Forget about selling this year. Watch the market over the next few months and get your home ready to sell in spring. Buyers still have the yips about buying and are in a look and see mode. You should be doing the same. You might get an equity loan lined up in case that larger home comes on the market and yours isn't ready to sell. To ideally time it (and it rarely is timed ideally), I would look to buy in February and sell as soon as you get into contract on the buy side. Since you're in Pacific Heights and I assume a reasonable location (my wife lived on the corner of Washington and Baker), selling your home will be easier than buying. Good luck!
0 votes
Horace Bryan, , 11235
Tue Nov 6, 2007
Yo, HomeSELLER, My guru Ric Edelman reminds of "the opportunity cost of money" ie while you are waiting for the market to bottom out then PEAK again the equity as tantamount to being under your mistress Except that it will be less liquid in the property than in the mattress. Taking your "Losses" now and parking the money in an interest bearing account, waiting for the right time to Jump Back into the market. Remember, "cash is king".
0 votes
Adam Toups, , San Francisco, CA
Tue Nov 6, 2007
Listing and not selling could have a negative impact, depending on how quickly you relist. One suggestion is to hire an agent to do a pocket-listing or off-market listing. In this senario you are relying on an agent's industry contacts to sell your property as it will not appear on the MLS. Our real estate group does a lot of off-market listings either to test pricing or when sellers don't want to be burdened with Open Houses. Keep in mind I would only suggest doing this with an agent or real estate group with a proven record of moving off-market listings. Hope this helps.
Web Reference:  http://www.climbsf.com
0 votes
Infinity Rea…, , Saratoga, CA
Thu Nov 1, 2007
Best bet contact a local realtor that knows and understands the local, and mean local blocks area. Specially in San Francisco there are very specialized markets, and some are not suffering while others are. If this is a family situation like the expecting of twins, it might be something you will have to deal with sooner or later. And if you prepare yourself right now, then you can move forward and get some good advice from a couple of local professionals.

If you are able to sell and take a smaller profit, see if you cant make it up on your next purchase and get a good deal.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more