Leaving so soon? Have you done your bid in San Francisco; came, saw, conquered the trendy boutiques of Hayes Valley, drank blue bottle coffee in the Embarcadero, enjoyed the vibrant art and culture in the Mission District, and now it’s time to sell your home fast and blow town?
If you’re ready to say farewell to the city with the Golden Gate backdrop, we can help.
With the emergence of a new, smart-set San Francisco buyer pool; a whole demographic of savvy tech entrepreneurs and startup magnates, the homeowner expectations in San Francisco are shifting from their traditional Italianate and Edwardian roots to a new era in sleek, open, and eco-efficient standards.
Kristen Stuecher, a top real estate agent at Climb Real Estate who ranks in the top 3% of San Francisco agents says, “San Francisco buyers want to see ‘turn-key’ properties with smart features, open floor plans, and close proximities to the [tech] peninsula.”
To sell your house fast in San Francisco, it’s up to you to be in sync with these ever-changing neighborhood trends and buyer expectations, which could get you top dollar in one of the most profitable housing markets in the country, but that doesn’t mean you have to go in alone.
At HomeLight, we’ve got your back with a comprehensive guide to selling your house fast in San Francisco.
Let’s get down to business.
Shape Up Your San Francisco House
To get top dollar for your San Francisco house, you want to make sure it’s in shipshape before you put it on the market. As one of Energy Star’s most efficient cities and home to a booming tech culture, San Francisco prides itself both on its green score and modern-minded values.
Likewise, a modern San Francisco home buyer likes to see these values reflected in their listings. Kristen Stuecher says, “modern cosmetic updates, sleek fixture and lighting replacements, and natural stone in kitchens and bathrooms” are some of the key upgrades to focus on when getting your San Francisco home ready for market. If your house fits the bill, Stuecher also told us that San Francisco home buyers love houses that have exteriors with San Francisco old world charm and modern, updated interiors.
Pinpoint some of those old inefficient appliances and upgrade to more modern and energy-efficient alternatives. San Francisco has a goal of going 100% solar/clean energy powered by 2025, so the closer you can get to self-sustainability the better.
If you’re in a real hurry to get out and get out fast, it may be a good idea to leave some repairs up to prospective buyers by giving them decorative and maintenance allowances. This is money you offer the buyer in order for them to upgrade carpet, appliances, paint etc.
Most San Francisco homes come fixed with antique hardwoods, which are currently trending, so you may be able to highlight this in the listing and reduce your allowance budget.
Tackle Curb Appeal Like a True Warriors Fan
With an abundance of unique neighborhoods, architecture, and home styles, aesthetics are a key component of the San Francisco housing culture. Even those living on opposite shores have a good idea of what a San Francisco home should look like, be it from television and movies like Full House and Mrs. Doubtfire, or artists like Thomas Kinkade.
With some of the most unique and colorful homes in the country, the expectations of aesthetics are held to a higher standard in this city, and with such a high cost to own, you need to put the best possible face on your property if you expect to sell your house fast in San Francisco.
Let’s get into the specifics on curb appeal for San Francisco homes.
Paint Your House Like San Francisco’s Painted Ladies
Much like the freewheeling mythos of San Francisco, the faces of homes here vary widely in terms of paint schemes and are virtually limitless in terms of creative interpretation.
Two-and-three-tone houses with bright, contrasting trim are common throughout many neighborhoods in San Francisco. The awnings, eaves, and shutters practically invite the most vibrant of designs, and while you may be able to take the reins creatively, it’s best to leave the actual painting up to the pros.
If your San Francisco home features original woodwork and stucco, you should find a local painter with experience working on these classic San Francisco styles. With over thirty years in the area, SF Painters would be a good bet for this job, and they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
Take Care of Your Lawn, San Franciscans Love Green
Lawns are a scarce commodity in the San Francisco housing market, with many homes featuring little more than a stoop and sidewalk between their curb and threshold.
While this lack of lawn may make for an easy tick in your curb appeal checklist, the presence of a little foliage and life outside your front door shouldn’t be dismissed, especially in one of the nation’s greenest cities.
With a top 3 Park Score, it’s easy to see that San Franciscans love their green spaces. Sustainable greenery in the form of urban-friendly trees, aloe, succulents, and ornamental shrubs will bring much need warmth and color to catch the immediate eye of any prospective buyer.
Your Interior Needs to Make an Impact
To sell your house fast in San Francisco, you need to strike prospective buyers straight off and showcase the openness, spaciousness, cleanliness, and timeless modernity of your home.
Whether featured online, in brochures, or during an open house, it’s essential that your house invites prospective buyers and has them falling in love at first sight.
Here’s how you get there:
Photos Sell Homes in San Francisco. Period.
San Francisco houses are usually set close together and extend backward rather than sprawl from side to side so make sure the buyer knows exactly how big your home is.
A great real estate photographer knows just how to capture every room with angles and perspectives that highlight the space your home has to offer.
BrightRoomSF and Leila Seppa have the local experience and expertise to tackle any size shoot or home in the area. Visit their websites and you’ll see the creativity and respect they show to San Francisco architecture, not only in single-family homes but in big-time commercial and rural properties as well.
Staged Homes Sell Faster in San Francisco
Just as important as size, a home’s feel can make or break a sale in a very fast way. You want to stage your home for both photos and open houses in a way that maximizes the potential for each room and meets those aforementioned cultural expectations of your prospective buyers.
With such high prices, Stuecher says, “Today’s buyer is looking for longevity first and foremost,” so you want the décor to be timeless and set up in a way that makes the house seems as big and open as possible for those growing families.
Contacting a home staging crew with their finger on the pulse of the San Francisco market and long-standing ties to local suppliers will help you tremendously in this endeavor. With a wide selection of designer packages, five-star customer reviews, and decent rates, White Harmony off 6th and Geary seems like a great place to start.
Get the Right Price to Sell Your House Fast in San Francisco
Now for the tricky part. If you’re selling your house fast in San Francisco, there will be concerns where the money comes in, and getting the right price for your San Francisco home will depend on several factors.
‘Tis the Season
Studies show that Spring and Fall are optimum times for getting the most value out of your sale in San Francisco: the Chronicle found that March had the highest seasonal change in median home values in the city.
Location, Location, Location
You’ve heard it in every real estate article, housing magazine, and home hunting reality show. Especially in a city like San Francisco, where the landscape can vary so much from neighborhood to neighborhood, location is a vital asset when looking to sell your home.
Bart Access is a Plus
Proximity to Muni and public transport, co-ops, and public services like post offices and community gardens are great selling points for any San Francisco neighborhood.
Gentrification on the Rise
Survey the landscape of new business in your area and assess whether your neighborhood is up and coming like the Mission, Mission Bay, Bayview, Hayes Valley, or Inner Sunset. Niche has a great San Francisco neighborhood guide to give you some ideas.
San Francisco Home Seller Beware
With one of the most sought after markets in the world, San Francisco is rife with real estate investment companies and agencies looking to exchange fast cash for your home.
You will likely sacrifice top-dollar value in these short sales and there are many scammers out there. If you do choose to take this route, local real estate investment clubs could be a great asset in weeding out illegitimate offers and pointing you toward the best local buyers.
Get the Right SF Real Estate Agent
A licensed top real estate agent in San Francisco is going to be your best asset in managing everything from the pitch to the offer. A top San Francisco real estate agent can get your home sold within an average of 28 days, and are shown to sell homes for 119% of list.
Find San Francisco's Top Agents
We analyze real estate transactions to help you find a San Francisco real estate agent that can sell your home faster and for more money.
Do yourself a favor, scope out the San Francisco market and choose a great real estate agent that not only has local experience but puts up good numbers in speed, sales, and average closing price in your specific San Francisco home type.