Sellers rule in San Francisco’s hot housing market

Bidding wars are common for properties with asking prices under $2.5 million

Aug.August 29, 2015 11:30 AM

The residential real estate market in the San Francisco area is so hot that many home sellers are sure they will get offers and the only question is how much over the asking price.

“The key is getting the extra $100,000,” said Ken DeLeon, a real estate agent in Palo Alto. ”It’s easy to sell.”

In the San Francisco Bay area, sellers who invest at least $15,000 to prepare their homes for sale can get more than the asking price and easily recover these upfront costs.

For example, Melanie and Adam Gensler spent about $8,000 to fix up their loft-style condominium on San Francisco’s Haight Street before listing it for sale. They spent another $13,000-plus on “staging,” which included leasing paintings from galleries via the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Homes newly listed for sale in San Francisco have become scarce, pushing prices higher. In June, the number of new listings was about 23 percent lower than in June 2014, and new listings stayed on the market an average of 26 days, down from 31 a year earlier.

The median sale price in June was $1.177 million, an increase of 12.1 percent from June 2014.

San Francisco-area real estate agents say bidding wars are most common for properties priced under $2.5 million, and buyers may have to bid for as many as 20 properties before making a winning bid.[Wall Street Journal ] – Mike Seemuth

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