Thinking of Selling A House in San Francisco, CA? Here What You Should Know

San Francisco, CA is one of the highest-cost areas in the country for housing, and like so many other markets, it has only gone up in value in the past couple of years. If you bought years and years ago, you are likely to be able to sell for a tidy profit, but people who have bought since San Francisco’s prices skyrocketed can find themselves in a tricky spot. They need to find a buyer who can make the sale worthwhile even after only a few years of living in the home. If you want to sell your house quickly, you’re best off thinking it all through carefully first.

Evaluate your options for waiting to sell

While home prices aren’t falling substantially in most parts of San Francisco, the big change compared to the past few years is that there are simply fewer buyers. As interest rates have risen, the amount of buyers who can afford a house with a mortgage, especially in a high cost of living area, has gone down. If you have the option to wait out the rebalancing of the market, you may find it easier to find the right buyer in a year or two. If you need to sell now, however, that is also fine – it’s just not as simple a decision as it was a year or two ago. 

Work with an experienced agent

Excellent real estate agents who have worked through the past few years of the housing market in San Francisco have seen it all, and they’re paying attention to the tiniest shifts in demand. Your agent will bring a gut sense for what is doable in your market right now, helping you manage pricing expectations and marketing your home well to get the right buyers excited. While it may feel like they bring simple details and help to the table, you’d be surprised how much harder it is to make these decisions well if you haven’t been focused on the real estate market daily for years.

Prepare comps from very recent sales, since the last interest rate change

One of the biggest challenges for evaluating and pricing your home right now is that interest rate increases have come so quickly and frequently. Every increase takes some buyers out of your price range, reducing demand, and requiring a re-evaluation of whether you’ll get an offer at your current price. Agents have different strategies, but one of the most compelling sources of information are comparable homes that have sold in the past few weeks, potentially up to the past few months. However, citing a home selling across the street from you 18 months ago may simply be bad information now, since they had a very different level of competition in the market then. Your agent can help you look in comparable neighborhoods, even if they are somewhat far away, to increase your likelihood of finding homes that have sold in this higher-interest-rate market. It may not feel great not to be aiming for 2020 and 2021 prices, but being realistic can help you sell your home as quickly as you need to. 

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