Buying a House in San Francisco: How To Get a Deal

Buyers there are deals to be found

When you’re looking for the perfect home the details matter. We helped our client purchase a home in the Mission District for $200K under the original list price at only $739 per sq. ft.


There are a few seasons where deals can be found. Late fall and winter is one of these times. Deals do not come without compromise. Typically properties not selling are not selling for a reason.


Our buyers wanted to live in the central part of the city and they wanted a larger house for less than what is typical on a price per square foot basis in these areas. They were willing to compromise, they were willing to do the work and they were willing to wait for the right house to come up. When it did they were ready.


We take buyers through an extensive exercise where we present what has sold and what is realistic based on their wants and needs. Doing this upfront saves time, money and unnecessary heartbreak. At this point they either adjust their criteria or in some cases they wait and pounce. If a property is sitting on the market longer than 30 days there is often an opportunity to buy it for less than list price. Without really understanding what recently sold or the current market environment it is impossible for buyers to spot deals when they pop up or make the necessary compromises.


From Our Buyers

“Ruth and her team are truly top notch, literally every week through our buying process, my husband and I have commented on how great Ruth and her team is and how DIFFERENT she is than most agents. We even had a selling agent tell us that Ruth was the best and without thinking, we just said “we know”.

So why is the Ruth Krishnan team different? Let me count the ways:

1. Ruth has built a team that is super responsive to your needs, questions and they’re on top of the communication which is so so critical in a market like SF where things move quickly.

2. Frankly, we have found most brokers to be kind of useless and trading on “being friendly”. Ruth provides market insight and an expert opinion which she has from selling and buying as many houses as she does, she really understands the market. She brings value into the conversation, be it the price, types of improvements that are possible, other considerations etc. And she does it every step of the way.

3. She and her team walked us through the paperwork and the steps and so we felt like we understood what was happening throughout the process. Even though it wasn’t our first home purchase, it really helps to know what’s coming once you’re under contract. Our first agent in SF never took the time to walk us through any of those pieces.

4. Lauren, on Ruth’s team, really worked to accommodate our schedule so we could see the property multiple times before bidding, at different times of day etc.

5. She’s a stone cold negotiator and we were able to confidently come in UNDER asking in a reasonable way and feel confident about our bid.

6. All the little touches…Ruth doesn’t just mail it in on closing by sending a bottle of champagne. Literally my family and friends were very impressed with her closing gift touches but that’s a surprise for those of you who work with her. She knows how to make the experience great from beginning to end.”

– J.L., Buyer, 2351 Bryant Street


Sometimes when a property is not selling buyers question why and if it is a good idea to make such a purchase. The reality is there are reasons homes don’t sell quickly – there could be awkward features, no parking, tenants or they need work. Sometimes the house was overpriced to begin with and lost traction. Sometimes the house was priced right but a similar house came on at the exact same time and stole its thunder so it was passed over for really no reason at all. We are here to help you decipher these things, learn where you are willing to compromise and find the right fit.


Interestingly every buyer thinks they want a deal but we find that most buyers feel better competing against other buyers to win, occasionally paying hundreds of thousands over list price. It can be hard for buyers to be certain that there is nothing wrong with the house without competition. We are here to be your impartial sounding board and trusted advisor to help you spot a deal when there is one.


There is no one size fits all approach. Having an experienced agent who is innovative, understands and can adapt to the ever changing San Francisco market is critical to being able to buy or sell a home – especially right now. Please reach out with any specific questions. We’re here to help!

November 30, 2021
Success Stories , Buying a Home
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