The how and the why of off-market sales

This month I am closing three deals that are all “off-market” sales of homes that were not in the MLS at the time they went into contract.

Each one sold quietly for different reasons:

The first one was pulled from the market and then went into escrow. After a discouraging two-month marketing period for my listing at Parc Telegraph where the odds seemed stacked against us (possible dues increase, construction crews in the common areas), we pulled the home from the market at the beginning in December with a plan to remarket it just about now. As often happens, a buyer requested a showing just days after we withdrew the home from the MLS. After some negotiation, we went into contract and are scheduled to close at the end of this month.

The second one is still under construction. This newly-converted TIC unit was due to go to market in February after a complete down-to-the-studs remodel by the building’s developer. My client figured out it was likely to come one after the two other units in the building sold. We contacted the listing agent for all three units and closed on the home subject to completion. The work is scheduled to be finished by the end of this month.

The third one was marketed during the holidays with tenants-in-place. Late December is often the slowest time of the year and we were reluctant to over-expose this downtown condo at The Royal, ,but our seller was anxious to see if the market could meet her $699,000 target price. Tenant-occupied also meant restricted showings and we wanted to limit (as much as possible) access to only well-qualified buyers accompanied by agents who understood the challenges of selling a tenant-occupied property. By working we closed on the home last week for $725,000-a new price-per-square-foot record for the building.

I had one other off-market sale in the past year-a single family home in the Sunset District that I learned about by asking an agent who specialized in the neighborhood what he might have coming up. Turned out he had the “just-right” home available with an investor-seller who was ready to sell to a ready, willing and able buyer ready to meet his price and terms.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email