What sits and what sells?

Not every listing sells. Even in a red-hot market, a good number of properties have prices reduced or are withdrawn from the market before selling, usually due to overpricing. There are also hotter and cooler pockets within the market: Right now, more affordable homes – for example, condos under $1 million – appear to be in particularly high demand.

The MLS shows 161 houses, condos, TICS and two-to-four-unit buildings that have all been on the market for longer than 30 days. Here are some highlights among the ones that have been sitting the longest.

1735 Franklin is a giant single family home that came on just around Thanksgiving of 2013. I can’t say definitively what is keeping this home from selling (I don’t have a buyer for it), but it’s an odd, expensive duck on a very busy street. Originally listed for $10,250,000, the last price reduction this week took it down to $8,995,000. I haven’t seen it in person but the photos are fabulous. Showings are by appointment only. If you want to see it, call me and we can go together!

The next three homes sitting the longest are all in Southern neighborhoods like Visitacion Valley or the Excelsior District. Of the three, I think I like 159 Dublin best, because it’s set up high on a hill right next to the glorious outdoor spaces of McLaren Park. It’s listed for $749,000 which is within the realm of reality for this location, BUT-like the other two homes, it is tenant-occupied and tenants can be like Kryptonite when it comes to trying to sell a house. It also doesn’t help that the agents are in Santa Rosa and probably not very motivated to come into town for showings.

The condo that has been sitting the longest on the market is an itty-bitty studio at 776 Tehama, listed for $350,000. That sounds like a killer price for anything in San Francisco, but the catch here is that this property falls into the City’s Below Market Housing (BMR) program and you can only earn a certain amount of money each year in order to qualify for the purchase. You can click on the address link for more information.

The condo that has been sitting on the market for the second longest time is a glorious penthouse in a glorious building in the heart of the Tenderloin. 631 O’Farrell, aka The Hamilton is like something straight out of a Dashiell Hammett novel. If you picked it up and moved it just four blocks to the North, the condos inside it would all be worth a whole lot more. The penthouse up top is a whole bunch of apartments stitched together into a dramatic and confusing 3,591 square foot 3BR/3.5BA home (with $4500+/month HOA dues). I went to see it shortly after it came to market and never quite figured out the layout. Now, many months later, all I can really remember is that the best views in the place are from the bathtub. This is another really fun one to visit and also only shown by appointment. Call me and it will be my pleasure to go back for another look.

I’ve given you the very extreme examples of homes that sit instead of sell, but the reality is that the “sitters” are often the ones that offer the best value to a buyer. If you would like to talk further about developing a strategy for reviewing these homes and seeing if there’s one among them that could work for you, please call me. I love creative problem-solving and this is a worthy strategy to pursue.

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 cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com

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