December 31, 2009

A "Rebirth" For 2290 (Green) As Father Time Closes Out 2009

2290 Green

Listed for $1,900,000 in March 2008, the sale of 2290 Green closed escrow four months later with a "confidential" sale price reported at $1,900,000 on the MLS (public records, however, peg the actual sale price at $1,775,000). From the listing at the time:

2 family dwelling & 3 guest rooms per 3R report but listed as 5 units per tax records. Nice Victorian details in main building which is configured with two vacant owners units on the upper level and two units below, with the rear unit vacant.

Renovated and "Reborn" over the past seventeen (17) months, the property is back on the market as a single-family home with one-bedroom in-law. Asking $4,325,000.

UPDATE (1/4): Ask and ye shall receive (sometimes). Additional photography for 2290 Green have been added to the listing.

2290 Green: Kitchen

The address, however, is currenlty "undisclosed" (once again, unless you're plugged-in).

∙ Listing: 2290 Green Street (4/3.5) - $4,325,000 [MLS] [Listing in 2008 via Redfin]

First Published: December 31, 2009 8:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Pretty.

I especially like the chandelier in the bathroom. ;)

but Anna, it "meticulous" not "maticulous".

Posted by: diemos at December 31, 2009 8:41 AM

What are they smoking? Over $4 Million in that location, and in this market? Good luck.

Posted by: ab at December 31, 2009 9:02 AM

I like victorian touches......umhhhh, where are these.

Posted by: jon at December 31, 2009 9:08 AM

and it's Carrara marble, not Carrera

a good 50% of listings have it wrong

Posted by: asiago at December 31, 2009 9:29 AM

The listing agent has a chance to net almost $130,000 from this transaction and all she posted to display this $4,325,000 million dollar listing were 8 marginal photos that she may have taken herself. Bravo.

Posted by: nsc68 at December 31, 2009 9:45 AM

Typo's are something zephyr agents are really good at!

Posted by: RobG at December 31, 2009 9:48 AM

The plural of typo is typos. People in glass houses ...

Posted by: anonn at December 31, 2009 10:09 AM

It's hard to say much about this house with so few pictures
-2 pictures of the view
-1 picture of part of the front exterior
-1 picture of the vanity
-1 picture of a bathroom
-1 picture of the skylight
-2 similar pictures of the living (?) room that makes the room look like a very odd shape.

0 pictures of the kitchen, a bedroom, the dining room, the back yard, etc.

0 pictures of the "one-of-a-kind, artist created & handset, Arabesque mosaic tiled entry landing "

0 pictures of the amazing decks or patios.

Terrible listing.

Posted by: ex SF-er at December 31, 2009 10:17 AM

I am not sure that bad spelling counts as a typo.

Posted by: bonbon at December 31, 2009 10:19 AM

at any price point, but particularly this one, thi sis an extremely lame marketing and spelling effort on Anna's part. Just goes to show, it ain't what you know, its who!

Posted by: anon$random at December 31, 2009 10:39 AM

I think you have to give the listing agent some time. It's tough to get things done over the holidays. If that agent's preferred photog is away this week, you may find more and better listing photos next week.

Posted by: tipster at December 31, 2009 10:45 AM

Those commenting upon this do not know what the listing agent's marching orders were. They sure look like they might have been, "Get this out by New Year's Eve, no matter what." Wait a few days and then see how it looks. Agreed on the spelling part, though. (Anon$random, you meant to say it's, not its.)

Posted by: anonn at December 31, 2009 10:46 AM

I thought that in San Francisco one is not allowed to take rental units off the market (or at least the city makes it very difficult), yet this building seems to have been converted from a 5 unit to a single family home? Anyone know about this?

Posted by: marco at December 31, 2009 10:47 AM

I would guess that since the 3R said two units that is what Building/Planning went with. At that point I think the main house was converted to a single family and there is still another unit in the back which became the official second unit. Looks like they added stairs to the rooms down, and changed the stairs to connect the 2nd and 3rd floors.
So it is still a 2-unit place, kinda like the Duncan street house the Twitter family bought.

Posted by: sparky-b at December 31, 2009 10:57 AM

I be the price was a marching order.

Posted by: viewlover at December 31, 2009 11:17 AM

worth $3 - $3.25 max

Posted by: ab at December 31, 2009 11:29 AM

The past time or three that the peanut gallery cried "crappy listing!" the responses were "give 'em time" or "hey it's a Friday" and guess what? The listings were never updated.

I'd love to see quality photos of this place, and hey,
"it's a holiday", but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: FAA at December 31, 2009 11:51 AM

This might be a basic question, but can someone explain to me the public records price vs the MLS price?

Posted by: aquestion at December 31, 2009 11:53 AM

Old listing states 3950 sqft. $1k psf is not a major stretch if it's really in tip top shape. Pretty quick turn around on the flip.

Posted by: eddy at December 31, 2009 12:09 PM

The MLS is a marketing tool of the local realtor's association. They are free to screw with the numbers anyway they wish.

The actual sale price is required to be reported to the authorities and placed into the public record as it is used to determine property taxes. (not that there aren't ways to finesse that too.)

Posted by: diemos at December 31, 2009 12:16 PM

But even if flipper gets only $3 mil for the place they will still make a profit. And if they get north of $3.5 mil they may do quite well. Not bad considering many other SF flippers got hosed in the last two years!

Posted by: 45yo hipster at December 31, 2009 12:30 PM

But even if flipper gets only $3 mil for the place they will still make a profit. And if they get north of $3.5 mil they may do quite well. Not bad considering many other SF flippers got hosed in the last two years!

Posted by: 45yo hipster at December 31, 2009 12:31 PM

So, the MLS can report any number for the sales price? How is it that there is no regulation on this? How prevalent is this? You could easily encourage buyers to spend more money on a property based on comps with bad information. It's hard to believe that this happens. Is it a one-off kind of thing?

It is kind of crazy that a house is the biggest purchase that any of us will ever make, yet we have the least real objective information on it.

Posted by: aquestion at December 31, 2009 12:34 PM

The MLS is a marketing tool of the local realtor's association. They are free to screw with the numbers anyway they wish

This is baloney.

Posted by: anonn at December 31, 2009 12:38 PM

Yes, anonn, it is absolute baloney. Which is why so many non-relitters dislike and mistrust the MLS.

Posted by: OneEyedMan at December 31, 2009 12:52 PM

What are the likely consequences to a realtor in reporting a fictitious sales price on MLS?

Posted by: Amen Corner at December 31, 2009 1:13 PM

^He gets a commission.

Posted by: tipster at December 31, 2009 1:34 PM

"They are free to screw with the numbers anyway they wish."

Of course, one of the things that they wish for is for the public to take the MLS seriously which limits how far they're willing to screw around.

"This is baloney."

Excellent! Please point me to the US law which governs the operation of the MLS and the regulator charged with enforcing it.

Posted by: diemos at December 31, 2009 1:46 PM

diemos, take a look at section 1 of the Sherman Act and also the FTC Act.

Posted by: anon at December 31, 2009 2:16 PM

So, the MLS can report any number for the sales price?

The various MLS databases are the property of the local real estate brokers involved with that MLS(usually the local chapter of the NAR).

since it is a private database, they can do whatever they want with it.

some local MLS databases are "better" than others. In general, it has been my experience that the Californian databases are subpar compared to others for numerous reasons.

MLS statistics are derived from the MLS database. Obviously, the quality of the data that comes out depends ont he quality of the data that goes in.

The local MLS databases have different rules/setups, and can and do change those rules depending on what the local MLS owners wish.

it is true that the MLS could in theory lie outright with all RE sales data, but if they did that then nobody would pay attention to them. Thus, the MLS would never be that egregious.

So instead, the "bad" data tends to be more subtle. Things like Days on Market (which is often misrepresented IMO in SF listings) which then affects the statistic of average DOM, etc. Or putting an * in the price, which I THINK (am happy to be corrected) makes it appear as though the property sold at asking. Not sure how that is factored into the MLS derived sales price histories.

in addition, if I recall correctly, the methodology for "affordability index" was changed a while back when it became clear that almost nobody could afford to live in CA.

overall: it's their right to do whatever they want with their data. The same way it's my right to do whatever I want with my personal financial research.

Posted by: ex SF-er at December 31, 2009 2:30 PM

"Please point me to the US law which governs the operation of the MLS and the regulator charged with enforcing it."

That would be the FTC and the DOJ, both of which have successfully brought enforcement actions against multiple listing services, most often on restraint-of-trade grounds.

Posted by: anon at December 31, 2009 2:31 PM

Thanks for the pointer. I wouldn't have thought that real estate would fall under the "interstate commerce" clause.

The FTC enforcements all seem to be about preventing attempts to restrict listings to the MLS. I don't see anything about data accuracy and I'll quote from the MLS website.

"All data subject to ERRORS, OMISSIONS, or REVISIONS and is NOT WARRANTED. - Copyright: 2009 by San Francisco Assoc of REALTORS"

Posted by: diemos at December 31, 2009 2:32 PM

I'd love to hear more informed opinions about prices on MLS listings. It's really hard to believe that people can just lie in reporting sales prices and I'd like to know how this works. That said, I have been told bald-faced lies about properties for sale before, so who knows, maybe it is true.

In general, I'm a free markets kind of person and don't favor regulation, but a lot of how houses are bought and sold in this day and age is surprising.

Posted by: aquestion at December 31, 2009 2:32 PM

@aquestion:

in the end, a lot of this is freedom of speech.

remember, the MLS is NOT for you (in theory) it is to facilitate transfer of information from broker to broker. The broker works on your behalf (in theory, ignoring conflict of interest issues), so presumably they know how their local MLS works and they thus should know how to interpret the data as they give the data to you.

if the broker misleads you in a sale then you likely have recourse under fraud laws (if you can prove it)... but the accuracy of the info in the MLS itself is unlikely to get tried IMO.

it's similar to the ratings agencies. their research was crap, influenced by conflict of interest by being paid by the investment bankers. yet not a case in court wins. why? it falls under "freedom of speech" or something.

disclosure: I am not a lawyer nor do I have anything to do with law.

Posted by: ex SF-er at December 31, 2009 2:38 PM

diemos, the "interstate commerce" limitation flows from Congress' enumerated powers under the Constitution and is, in effect, no limit at all. Selling real estate via a joint enterprise among competitors -- the MLS -- plainly is within the Sherman Act's purview. The FTC Act is extremely broad and prohibits all "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce." Providing false information on the MLS would clearly be within the FTC's jurisdiction and would run afoul of the Act.

The MLS' attempt at a disclaimer is meaningless.

People commit all sorts of crimes all the time and do not get prosecuted. That does not mean that the conduct is not unlawful.

Posted by: anon at December 31, 2009 2:41 PM

diemos wrote:

> The MLS is a marketing tool of the local
> realtor's association. They are free to
> screw with the numbers anyway they wish.

This is true (and why many properties reported as “sold 10% over list price for $1mm after only 5 days on the market” may really be “sold for $1mm under the original list price for $900K after two full years on the market”…

Then anonn writes:

> This is baloney.

Some real estate companies are better than others at stopping agents from entering false sale prices in the MLS, but I have never heard of any firm that does not play with the “original list price” or “days on market” on a regular basis, and I don’t know of many firms that make much effort to see if the sf data is even close to accurate. For an agent that does not work for a big firm with some kind of control over the MLS data they are free to enter any number they want in any data field.

Posted by: FormerAptBroker at December 31, 2009 2:46 PM

So, the MLS can report any number for the sales price?

No. Or more accurately, while an agent could it would be in violation of the rules which could result in a fine or loss of privileges (if caught).

As we've previously noted, however, sales considered to be "confidential" on the MLS are reported at their last list price with an asterisk. Unfortunately said asterisk doesn’t travel and confidential sales are treated as having sold "at asking" with respect to MLS based reports, analyses (including the one above) and data feeds (hence the discrepancy displayed on Redfin).

Posted by: SocketSite at December 31, 2009 2:48 PM

And of course, diemos is nowhere to own his b.s. How many read his willfull lie and moved on, never to return? We'll never know.

Posted by: anonn at December 31, 2009 3:16 PM

Tsk, "willful lie", I actually didn't know who, if anyone, was in charge of policing the MLS. Now I do, and it was pretty much what I thought.

The MLS is self-policing and while there is a rule that data must be correct there's no outside verification and the penalty (if caught) is a wrist slap.

"We'll never know."

Now you do.

Posted by: diemos at December 31, 2009 3:26 PM

Out with the old and in with the new; 2134 Green #3 hits the auction block today with an unpaid balance of $456,482. Refinanced in 2006 with Wells Fargo. Don't worry, it's only a conodo...

Posted by: EBGuy at December 31, 2009 4:49 PM

saw the place 2 years ago. put an offer on it. missed it. guy's gonna make a great profit. get over it.

Posted by: resp at January 2, 2010 6:50 PM

Anyone dare to make a wild guess as to what is break-even for this project?

Posted by: wow at January 4, 2010 6:42 AM

UPDATE: Ask and ye shall receive (sometimes). Additional interior shots of 2290 Green have been added to the listing. The address is "undisclosed" (unless you're plugged-in).

Posted by: SocketSite at January 4, 2010 10:39 AM

Oh my, there is a classic case of "staging allows you to imagine how the space will be used for living" - NOT! - in photo 34 of the MLS listing.

Cloth armchairs near the stove ? Covered with white upholstery ? Across from a stove without a vented hood ? really ?

Those chairs would reek and look dingy after a year of normal cooking.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 4, 2010 11:15 AM

Nice house. Everyone has their axes to grind, but it's clean, crisp and classic renovation.

@Milkshake: while I agree with you on the fantasies of stagers, that's a gas range in second kitchen, which by law must be vented. In this case, probably through the rather swank microwave/convection/exhaust directly above.

Posted by: Rocco at January 4, 2010 2:48 PM

4 mil for this home? The realtor might have reported erroneously.

Posted by: Jeff Green at January 7, 2010 11:02 PM

worth $3 What are you thinking!!

Get better photos!A chance to net almost $130,000 from this transaction and all she posted to display this $4,325,000 million dollar listing, is bad bad photos, invest on your listing.
It is sad. I am sorry for your client.

Posted by: Wells at January 26, 2010 2:19 PM

In San Francisco one is not allowed to take rental units off the market (or at least the city makes it very difficult), yet this building was converted from a 5 unit to a single family home.How they did it!

Posted by: Imlahy at January 26, 2010 2:33 PM

In Escrow. Never underestimate the power of a gut job.

Posted by: eddy at January 28, 2010 10:24 AM

^a first class gut job. In a great location, and with an unobstructed view.

Posted by: tipster at January 28, 2010 12:02 PM

Pretty amazing actually. Congrats to all if it closes north of 4.

I've lived in a D7 bubble for a long time, and never really thought the northern district RE market grossly inflated until these smallish Cow Hollow homes started selling in the 4s back in 06 and 07. I thought those days were long over. Maybe not.

Posted by: sleepiguy at January 28, 2010 1:28 PM

3958 square feet (at least), beautifully remodeled and stunning views. Should hit north of 4. Hardly smallish.

Posted by: tipster at January 28, 2010 2:07 PM

The sale of 2290 Green closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $4,225,000.

Posted by: SocketSite at March 5, 2010 7:31 AM

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