Please accept my offer? The reality of multiple offers and how to nab your San Francisco dream home.


We’ve all heard the story. But, if you’re like the thousands of other young families fighting to stay in/get your piece of San Francisco, you’ve lived it, breathed it, probably cried over it, definitely lamented to someone about it.

But there’s no use in crying over...a lost dream home? I would beg to differ.

It’s no secret that finding the perfect home in San Francisco is difficult. And that is probably the understatement of the century. 10 years ago the neighborhood was a deal breaker for most buyers, 5 years ago if it wasn’t a single family home it was a deal breaker, and now people will make almost any exception to almost any rule, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means you need to know what you’re doing.

Dream Homes Do Exist, And One Could Be Yours

A few weeks ago I put a home on the market in Haight-Ashbury; let’s call it a ‘victorian charmer.’ It was a condo, marketed as a single family home. (3/1, living room, dining room, top floor with a deeded attic, etc.) It embodied the quintessential San Francisco style from its architecture to its overall presence. To appeal to a younger buyer / young family we sprinkled in some modern touches before we put it on the market by updating a fixture here and there and staging it with clean lines & furniture.

Charming, right??

It really was. We decided to list it for $1.249 and see what happened. As soon as it hit the market there was a flood of interest. Our open houses were nothing short of busy and when the offer due date arrived we had multiple offers, the highest coming in $1.675M--$426K over asking. 

The Plot Twist : It Wasn’t The Non-Contingent Offer That Was Selected

Let’s backup here for a second. Just in case you don’t know, in San Francisco, a majority of offers are usually written with no contingencies. (Contingencies meaning the buyer’s offer isn’t valid without a home inspection, the offer is only pre-approved by the bank, not fully approved, etc.) This might sound crazy to a non-San Francisco homeowner, but but buying property is so competitive here, that buyers have to be as attractive as possible to the seller.

Back to the story. Most realtors in San Francisco will encourage their buyers to write an offer with no contingencies & a letter to the seller when they put in their offer. It helps the seller emotionally connect with the buyer. The seller whose offer was selected wrote a letter but was not able to write an offer without a contingency. In this case, the contingency was on her loan as she was only pre-approved by the time offers were due, not fully approved.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Well Written Letter...Or Actually, The Internet

When a seller lists their home, price is definitely important, but so is preserving one of the most precious things they hold dear. So it should come as no surprise that most sellers will Google their buyers. Sellers are more likely to lean towards attractively priced offers from buyers who seem to appear stable based on both the letter they submit & their online presence.

And in this case that is exactly what happened.


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