In this market, we have had MANY buyers land properties under list price – even some that sold at prices we were seeing several years ago.
A good negotiation is one where both parties feel they won, but that can be hard to do. Prices have recently dropped and one of the biggest challenges we are are facing is that many sellers are unwilling to accept the reality of the current market situation. Understandably, sellers who bought in the last few years are faced with prices at or lower than the prices they paid and many of them have low interest loans and have options. Rents are rising and they can rent, often for enough money to cover their costs so some sellers are choosing to stay firm on the list price or take their property off the market.
Here is an example of how we recently secured a condo for a buyer – that I truly believe could not have come together without a lot of creativity – to get both the seller and buyer what they wanted.
This first-time buyer wanted to stay under a monthly payment equivalent to a $1.5m budget. She was working with our buyer’s agent, Lauren Neuschel. After some upfront legwork and touring together, the buyer realized her heart was set on Pacific Heights. She needed a 2-bedroom, but with WFH, a three-bedroom would have been ideal. In the spring market, a 3-bedroom under $1.5m on a good block in Pacific Heights was not an option – even a 2-bedroom would have been a stretch.
A property caught the buyer’s eye that was listed for $1.65m. It had been on the market for a few weeks and hadn’t received an offer yet. At $150k over the buyer’s budget, it seemed like a non-starter. Having an agent on your side who can understand and investigate what IS worth seeing and what’s likely still out of range, is critical in a market that seems less predictable than most. I’ve been seeing markets shift on a weekly basis so you need a team with eyes and ears on the ground.
Concerned about price, the client was hesitant to move forward even though she loved the place. I encouraged her to put pen to paper at her best number, which was $150k under list. The sellers countered closing the gap to $100k – still a significant difference.
Getting creative, I called the lender and spoke to them about the possibility of the seller buying a point off the loan so that the buyer could go up in price but STILL pay close to the $1.5m monthly payment amount. With the point concession, the seller sold at the price they purchased for in 2020 (and not less). The seller ultimately paid down the point in closing costs AND the buyer landed $100k under list price at $1.55m.
It takes the right agent and the right team to understand the nuances of the market and find creative solutions to win!
If you are considering buying a home in SF, we’d love to chat with you. The market has been softer in the last few months than we have seen since 2008, BUT we are seeing signs of the market strengthening with interest rates stabilizing (they’ve gone DOWN in the last few weeks) and the stock market gaining in strength. Contact us to learn how we can help you take advantage of this opportunity before it’s too late.