Category Archives: Home Owner Tips

Sellers, Get Rid of Your Old Paint

Sellers, Get Rid of Your Old Paint

Most new homeowners aren’t thrilled to inherit a collection of old paint cans. If you’re planning to sell your home and have a stash of irrelevant paint, deck stain, or other hazardous materials, I highly recommend having it all removed.

You can do this for free through Recology’s Household Hazardous Waste Pickup Program. Simply call 415-330-1405, Monday through Friday, and let them know exactly what you need picked up. Appointments are available Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday mornings. You just need to be there to provide access to where you have the paint stored. (They don’t want you to leave anything on the curb.)

Here’s more on the program at the Recology Web site.

What You Can Expect To Spend When You Sell

Your property presentation will largely dictate how much buyers will pay when you’re selling your home.

Today’s buyers are discerning, and expect a certain level of sparkle when they go to an open house. Want to improve your chances of getting top dollar? Don’t cut corners on the prep work.

Most homeowners aren’t aware of the average costs for fundamental prep work. The bottom line: You can expect to spend $10,000-$20,000 if your property needs a little of everything. I thought I’d round up the must-do prep work with average costs, based on all the listings I’ve readied for sale over the past several months. Cost ranges are based on a two-bedroom house or condo with 1200-1400 square feet. Prices go up or down, depending on the size of your space and how much work is needed. Continue Reading

Sellers Need Lead Time in Spring Market

Allow yourself enough lead time for pre-sale work if you’re planning to sell your San Francisco home in the Spring.

Though some future sellers start strategizing in January or February, others wait until April or May. At that point, painters, stagers, contractors and other critical tradespeople may be booked well in advance. Continue Reading

Five Things That Cut Your Condo’s Value

We’re fast approaching the busy Spring real estate season, and many people are getting ready to put their condos on the market. That means there’s a lot of discussion happening citywide between sellers and real estate agents about value.

There are a lot of factors that can limit resale value, but I wanted to highlight a few things that can narrow the buyer pool for your condo. Here are my top five, based on what I’ve seen recently in the market. Continue Reading

Buyers and Sellers: Use October Sales as Your Guide

We’re well into the Fall real estate season, and the holiday home stretch is just around the corner. October numbers will be the best guide for buyers and sellers as they respectively decide how much to offer and how much they want for their homes.

Here’s where we are right now in the market. Continue Reading

How Real Estate Agents Get Paid in San Francisco

I’m often contacted by prospective buyers and sellers who eventually ask how payment and commissions work. So I thought I’d give you the bottom line as to how real estate agents get paid.

Homeowners who list their properties are typically responsible for paying the commission to the brokers (e.g., the companies affiliated with each agent) who represent the seller and the buyer. The listing agent negotiates a commission up front, and this is included in the seller paperwork. Total commissions for both brokers range from five- to six percent, and are typically divided equally. For example, a five percent commission on a $1,000,000 condo would find the seller paying $50,000 in commissions, with the brokers each receiving $25,000. Continue Reading

Time To Transfer Your Property Tax Base

If you’re a California homeowner age 55 or older who’s thinking about moving, you may have the opportunity to take your property tax base with you. That’s a huge benefit, as property tax bases are a large homeownership expense.

Propositions 60 and 90 are constitutional amendments passed by California voters that allow homeowners aged 55 and over to transfer their property tax base when purchasing a new principal residence. Your replacement home must be of equal or lesser current market value than the original property. And you can only do this once. Prop 60 allows transfers of base year values within the same county, and Prop 90 allows transfers from one county to another. Continue Reading

Precita Park Tops Bernal’s Microhoods in 2015

Precita Park Tops Bernal’s Microhoods in 2015

I unveiled my Bernal Heights microhoods more than a year ago, and the post inspired local blog favorite Bernalwood to create its own more humorous, cartoonish microhood map—not to mention inspired a few real estate agent marketing pieces that you may have seen around town lately.

But if you know Bernal and are a serious buyer or future seller, you’ll know that the microhoods I carved out last year will give you the most accurate sense of neighborhood values.

All the microhoods have made substantial jumps in their sales price averages since my initial post in March 2014. But the biggest boost belongs to Precita Park, which has basically exploded over the past year. The Precita Park microhood now carries an average sale price of $2,203,857.

It’s a good time for an update on how home prices are doing in each microhood. (Note: All 2015 numbers are based on the time period April-July 2015; the 2014 averages referenced in my initial post are based on sales that took place from September 2013-March 2014.)

North West Slope
Average Price: 2014: $1,195,589 / 2015: $1,498,146
Price Increase: 25%
northwestslope
The North West Slope has been going strong these days. Of the 15 homes sold, five sold for more than $1.5M. There were two cash sales, including the one at 52 Mirabel, which was the most expensive home sold in the past few months at $2,625,000. Continue Reading

The Story Behind Unwarranted Spaces

An “unwarranted” space is one that hasn’t been done with city permits. If you’re doing a major renovation—say, adding a unit or bedroom and bath—you’ll typically apply for a permit from the city. Besides serving as a revenue stream for the city, a permit warrants that the appropriate city inspectors have reviewed and approved electrical wiring, plumbing, etc., and that everything is up to code. Continue Reading

Defer Paying Taxes with a 1031 Exchange

A 1031 exchange is an excellent option for investors looking to cash in on the San Francisco market. You can defer paying big capital gains taxes, move up to a bigger and better investment property, and build your wealth in the process.

The Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 allows investors to reinvest proceeds from the sale of one investment property into another similar property while deferring capital gains that would otherwise be due on the sale.

Here are the four simple guidelines for exchanges, as per the Asset Exchange Company in San Francisco: Continue Reading

Thanks for Another 5-Star Yelp Review!

It’s always a pleasure to receive an unsolicited Yelp review from happy clients. The latest is from the sellers of a house in Ingleside, which closed escrow a few months back. My clients were a pleasure to work with; I consider myself fortunate to have met and helped them. (Click on the review to enlarge.)

yelpreview_dax

If you’re thinking about buying or selling in 2015, please get in touch with me at ebermingham@zephyrsf.com or 415.823.4656. I am actively seeking new clients and would love to chat about your plans. Check out my other 28 Yelp reviews if you’d like to read more about how I work with clients.

Today’s Buyers Love “Done” Homes

The real estate market is booming, and many potential home sellers are wondering if it might make sense to do some remodeling for sale purposes. The answer? Yes. A little sprucing up can go a long way with today’s buyers—and maximize your selling price. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

Back to Top

Back to Top

Show All
Marina
Mission