June 7, 2012

Taking A Pricing Cue From The Industry (But Not An Agent)

440 Teresita (www.SocketSite.com)

Purchased for $900,000 in 2005, the Miraloma Park home at 440 Teresita Boulevard was put on the market in 2009 listed for $1,200,000 but failed to attract a buyer.

Taking a pricing cue from the industry, but not an agent, it’s a plugged-in tipster that notes the three bedroom and 2,458 square foot home has just hit the market for sale by owner (FSBO) with a "list" price of $700,000 ($285 per square foot).

Will the owners manage to orchestrate a "shocking" bidding war as well as a Realtor? As always, we'll keep you posted and plugged-in.

∙ Listing: 440 Teresita (3/2) 2,458 sqft - $700,000 [homesbyowner.com]
Real Estate Linkbait Listbait™ [SocketSite]
Have You Heard The One About The House With Over 50 Offers? [SocketSite]

First Published: June 7, 2012 12:15 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I love it. Interesting to see what happens.

But, all in all, they probably should get some pictures up on the web....

Posted by: soccermom at June 7, 2012 1:09 PM

Buyers: Just say no!

Posted by: sanfrantim at June 7, 2012 1:28 PM

Is this place really 2458 sq.ft? Seems kind of high for a pre-WWII 3br 2ba place. I would have expected less than 2000'. Maybe the seller is counting the garage.

I'm already feeling bad for all of those buyers and their agents who will be wasting time on this one.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at June 7, 2012 1:38 PM

So it looks like the realtors have become too tricky for their own good. The sellers have caught on that if you just price the thing artificially low, you'll get plenty of bidders without a realtor needed. Then you can pocket the commission.

Buyers, look for your realtor to try to shut this practice down by making every excuse why you shouldn't bid and then refusing to do it if you ignore them and insist on bidding. Plan on switching realtors to make a bid here, possibly to a redfin or other out of area realtor. If necessary, just make a bid subject to an acceptable written agreement between you and then go hire a lawyer for $300 and pocket the 2.5% you would have paid your realtor if he balks.

Your realtor will do everything possible to make this hard for you and if you find that to be the case, switch realtors as you'll see on whose side "your" realtor is really working. Showing times will be botched, all sorts of mistakes will be made, supposedly by the owner when in realty they will be fabricated by your realtor, to make sure you stay away. Plan on this and avoid it. As soon as you get a whiff your realtor is pulling this nonsense, fire him.

Posted by: tipster at June 7, 2012 1:58 PM

Aren't they just pricing them at what most SocketSite readers think they are worth? =P

Posted by: wc1 at June 7, 2012 2:04 PM

Good luck to the sellers. Realtors hold too much power in an opaque process. The self-dealing, advantages taken of the clients, and conflicts of interest are stunning...

Posted by: Joshua at June 7, 2012 2:28 PM

@tipster

Most realtors will just tell you to make the bid yourself, or tell you that you will have to pay them directly if the seller is not offering a commission. It's not nefarious, they don't get paid, so why would they do the work and take on the liability for free?

I certainly agree that agents have too much control over the market, and it's not all that difficult to do a transaction on your own, but I wouldn't recommend it for a first time buyer as there are many details that you will not be familiar with. The only issue to worry about is when the deal gets difficult, which can happen, but most transactions are relatively smooth.

I doubt you can get much from a lawyer for $300, but the title / escrow agent will often take care of much of the required details of the transaction, and that doesn't usually cost any more than the standard predefined title fees, which you always pay.

If things get difficult then you will need an attorney, and it will cost a lot more than $300, but probably a lot less than your half of the commission would have been, so still not too bad.

Posted by: lyqwyd at June 7, 2012 3:01 PM

I hope SS readers will visit this place and post their best estimate of its market value here, so that the rest of us can evaluate how the For Auction by Owner strategy plays out.

I suspect that many buyers may be reluctant to venture a "bid" without advice from an agent about what to bid. And, for the reasons stated by others above, I suspect that agents will discourage or bias downward many bids.

Posted by: observant neighbor at June 7, 2012 3:34 PM

Yeah, this doesn't look quite right. 700 is an odd choice, no photos, not the neighborhood to support a big competitive runup, etc. But regardless, I used to love finding FSBOs for clients or myself off craigslist a while back. Before it got cluttered up with spam, scams and time wasters, I used to find a lot of great deals like this one would be for 700K. (And yes, it's comedy gold when Tipster utilizes his helpful, wise, avuncular tone. What a helpful guy!)

Posted by: anon1 at June 7, 2012 3:52 PM

Hardly seems like a serious effort to sell the place when they don't even spell the name of the street correctly.

Posted by: R at June 7, 2012 4:18 PM

Yeah, this sounds like it could be a "place an overbid that might make me move" strategy. What do you think will happen if the seller receives a stack-o-bids with $850k at the top of the pile? It would be the de facto market price but perhaps not the windfall that the seller hopes for.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at June 7, 2012 4:44 PM

Looks like this house got a realtor and an MLS listing ($1,199,000) after all:

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/440-Teresita-Blvd-94127/home/2021851

Posted by: 4h clubber at June 18, 2012 8:35 AM

I wonder what happened here? It seems a very odd strategy to list it FSBO for $700k and then get an agent and raise the price a half million.

$1.2 seems a stretch for this, even in this hot market. It is a nice house, but on an odd-shaped lot with little privacy. It is a 2/1 with an additional 1/1 built out below connected by a spiral staircase.

Posted by: Watcher at June 20, 2012 8:42 PM

Unable to generate a bidding war, the list price for 440 Teresita was raised from "$700,000" to $1,250,000 in June. And unable to find a buyer at $1,250,000, the listing for 440 Teresita has been removed and it appears as though they're now trying the rental route.

Posted by: SocketSite at August 6, 2012 10:44 AM

Well, it may have generated a bidding war, just didn't get the price up to what the seller wanted.

Posted by: R at August 6, 2012 11:51 AM

Strange - I walk by this house every day, and the sign in front had "Sale Pending" on it for the last two weeks. Redfin has this marked as the same status.

Posted by: 4h clubber at August 6, 2012 11:59 AM

Redfin is showing this as sold for 1.2 million.

Posted by: 94114 at August 13, 2012 2:42 PM

According to Redfin, this house closed escrow today at $1,200,000.

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/440-Teresita-Blvd-94127/home/2021851/sfarmls-397785

Posted by: 4h clubber at August 13, 2012 2:47 PM

Did they use a realtor? Looks like this one is "up" since 2009. Lots of apples.

Posted by: eddy at August 13, 2012 4:07 PM

The seller did switch from the FSBO site to a Fresno-based realtor pretty early on - Shauna Yager, Estate Homes And Land, Inc.

Posted by: 4h clubber at August 14, 2012 9:48 AM

Seems worth a follow up. Good Apple. Showing an increase from 2009 (i.e., no buyers at $1.2 list versus sold for $1.2 in 2012). And it lends some credibility to having an agent; although it casts some doubt on having a local agent. I'm sure a fresno agent making 6% on 300k homes would be happy to list this on MLS for 3% (or less). Interesting story. Seems worth of a plugged in crowd. Same thing with 45 Lake. Surprised no follow up on this obvious Apple. Odd?

Posted by: eddy at August 14, 2012 10:58 AM

It is odd, until you realize it's not an apple at all.

Posted by: anon at August 14, 2012 11:38 AM

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