The solstice makes it official; summer has arrived and the big question is this: Is the market going to take a vacation? The GRUBB Co. has completed 56 new sales this month so far which leads one to believe that momentum remains healthy and in fact, seems to be on the upswing.
However, if your home has been on the market longer than average, be prepared to negotiate. Flexibility is important here as Buyers take advantage of an increasingly identifiable "buyer's market."
Tough as it is to admit, selling homes is a bit like high school. It's all about "popularity. " If your home qualifies as the Prom King (or Queen), the Buyers will be lining up to dance. Congratulations - you will be in the position of picking your Buyers, your terms and your price!
"Popularity "often has to do with location, pedigree, and condition. If your home doesn't meet all three of these criteria, it is likely to be less popular. For properties that have missed their selling window, a successful transaction is ultimately going to filter down to PRICE! Find the sweet spot (the price where demand meets expectations) and you are sure to increase your "popularity" with buyers.
While we are on the subject of "popularity," Mindy Scott has listed a remarkable Traditional at 44 Sierra Avenue that offers grand living and a fabulous central Piedmont location near the park, schools and the town center that should prove my point. This extraordinary home is on the market for the first time in 35 years and although there is work to be done here, the end product promises to be a show piece that rivals the best Piedmont has to offer. With truly grand proportions and enough space to encompass all of your dreams, this wonderful residence has potential to spare. Price: $3,200,000. Open this Sunday 2-4:30. www.Grubbco.com
There is plenty of inventory to talk about this week and the following examples represent stylish homes both in and out of Piedmont - and in a range of price points. Each is special in its own right and all of them are worth a mention here! Let's begin with Anian Tunney's new listing which is a spectacular French Regency style residence on a quiet cul-de-sac in the heart of Piedmont. This elegant home at 9 Requa Place, offers 4bdrms/4bths, stunning gallery entryway with soaring ceilings, inviting patio courtyard with dipping pool, spacious formal living and dining rooms, 2-car garage and views! Open Sunday 2-4:30. Price: $2,950,000 Carol Brown's listing at 21 Park Way had terrific activity last weekend and with good reason. At $1,350,000 this centrally located, modified Craftsman, across from Dracena Park offers a tremendous amount of space and loads of potential in a charming package. Open this Sunday from 2-4:30 with offers expected early next Week!
My pick of the week in Crocker Highlands is an elegant English style home on Longridge Road, featuring 4bdrms/3.5bths, cook's kitchen, family room and guest or au pair quarters. Consider this terrific and historic neighborhood where like-kind homes are often much less than similar homes in Piedmont. With tree-lined streets and an active and engaging community, Crocker Highlands ranks high in desirability!
The 3bdrm/2bth Craftsman Bungalow on Mandana Boulevard, near Lakeshore Avenue is absolutely charming. This lovely home features remodeled kitchen and baths, original wood detailing in living and dining rooms, new landscaping and old-world charm at an affordable price! Finally, Glenview offers a beautiful and sunny bungalow on Brighton Avenue. This "pretty as a picture" home offers 3bdrms/2bths, spacious living and dining rooms, updated kitchen and baths and a landscaped garden, ideal for entertaining! I keep returning to homes in the Glenview where value is easily captured.
Several months ago I wrote a piece called The Tale of Two Agents. In it, I compared two houses that had been listed at the same time. The first owner hired a local GRUBB Co. agent who had marketed and priced the home aggressively and staged it beautifully. The second owner hired an out-of-area agent who had drastically overpriced the home, had foregone staging and had rarely held it open due to distance.
As one might expect, the first home sold in a week with multiple offers and the second one languished for several months with NO sale. Anian Tunney has now listed the second home and it is a whole new day! New painting, new staging, new front landscaping and best of all - new price! (This home has had a SIGNIFICANT price reduction.) Featuring 5bdrms/3bths and convenient Oakland Avenue location, this centrally located home now offers real value! Head back for a fresh perspective. You will be pleasantly surprised. Price: $1,349,000. www.Grubbco.com
Adding to homes that pack a big punch, Anthony Riggins has just listed a wonderful Cape Cod on 862 Trestle Glen in Crocker Highlands. Featuring 4bdrms/2bths, remodeled kitchen, formal living and dining rooms, and loads of living space. This home is in a great Crocker location, close to Lakeshore Avenue and delivers value in spades. Price: $995,000
While you are there, take a peek at another of Anthony's listings at 1206 Trestle Glen. It is a charming Traditional on two levels, offering 2bdrms/1bth, cathedral window, hardwood floors and lovely light. Price: $749,000 Last, but not least, Anne Feste has a new listing at 868 Trestle Glen, featuring 3bdrms/2.5bths, large master suite, spacious bathroom, converted home office, kitchen with adjacent family room and second story deck! Open this Sunday 2-4:30. Crocker Highlands has been on fire this year!
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 500 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.