Category Archives: For Sale in San Francisco

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Merry and Bright. And White.

You might think you’re in heaven. OR some Hollywood version of it. Like at any moment Morgan Freeman will invite you to choose your harp, pull up a cloud and start plucking.

Or you might think you’re in an Apple store. Reaching blindly for your sunglasses in order to mitigate the bright, shiny, squeaky clean, sci-fi-spaceship environment.

Naturally, this current San Francisco home décor trend is most clearly displayed in the kitchen. It’s the heart of any home and the room that speaks loudest about its inhabitants’ taste and style.

In the early 80s we got “European” cabinetry. Off-white matte cabinet faces with a plain oak strip like a Scrabble easel at the bottom.

In the late 80s and early 90s everything became pickled, “distressed” and colored in pleasing pastels of baby blue, fresh peach and nursery pink.

In the years astride the Millennium, we saw a resurgence of hominess: Maple or cherry cabinets with Shaker lines, hulking KitchenAid mixers, and Wolf ranges so big you could roast your grandmother.

Over those decades, walls went from off-white to pale lilac to heritage golds and reds. And now? My house-painter partner hasn’t had to do much color matching over the last two years. It’s been a matter of WHICH WHITE –Simply White, Super White, Moonlight White, Linen White, Ultra Pure White, Alpine White or Frostline.

And why white? Some say it reflects the tech buyer’s conscious (or subconscious) preference to eliminate the distinction between life at work and life at home. White walls, white cabinets and white Carrera marble on a 10-foot long island that mimics a jumbo conference table.

Add nano windows and some wide-plank oak floors, and you’ve got a style so popular and au courant it’ll be passé faster than you can say “bubble.”

I can hear it now. My 2020 buyers will sigh and start doing the math. “Oh, well,” they’ll say, “The basic plan is okay. If we can get it at the right price, we can afford to remodel in a couple of years.”

Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For info on SF real estate visit http://CynthiaCummins.com. This article was re-posted at McGuire.com.

Katie Scarlett, Better Call Off the Stager

You’ve seen that movie: There’s a horrible crisis and a character is obsessing about some silly, irrelevant and possibly symbolic detail?

Scarlett O’Hara’s dad, for example. In Gone With The Wind. Scarlett has just come home to Tara after delivering Melanie’s baby and escaping Atlanta on fire and hiding from marauding Yankees only to learn that her mother has died. The mansion needs some serious cleaning and renovation, but her grief-stricken dad just stares at his deceased wife’s sewing box and mutters to himself.

What I mean to say is it’s normal to pay attention to the “wrong” things in the midst of a real estate transaction. For example, I’ve witnessed:

  • The market debut of a $4 million home delayed for crucial weeks by seller’s wish for Salvation Army to accept an antique sideboard for donation.
  • A closing delayed by a dispute over whether or not a countertop microwave is included in the sale.
  • An offer failing because a buyer wants a one-day inspection clause on a developer-warranted all-new house

Smart sellers and buyers need to ask their agents “Is there anything I’m doing or choosing to focus on that is sabotaging my chances for success?” Clever clients should insist their agents muster the courage to be brutally frank. That’s because, sometimes – in the name of pleasing the client and choosing battles wisely – an agent is reluctant to speak up.

This arises most often in the midst of clearing out a house in preparation for market. Longtime owners get mired in the marsh of socks, scarves, old Christmas cards, tchotchkes and – most insidious of all – books. Meanwhile, the market for a $2 million condo is slipping away as seller deliberates over whether Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance should be given to a grandson, sold at Green Apple Books or donated.

Here’s where the smart and caring agent shows up with resources and tips to liberate the seller from the swamp of stuff – both literal and psychological. In my years as a Realtor, I have collected many proverbial ropes and winches to free clients from the muck. One of these days I’ll share some here.

In the meantime, contact me if you’d like some new purging, cleaning and decluttering tips.

 

Suffering from Real Estate Depression?

Yes. Real estate depression is a Real Thang. Lisa Selin Davis, a writer for Realtor.com, has personally suffered the pangs of regret over not buying at the “right” time. And like many would-be buyers, she sought solace for her distress.

She interviewed me, and we talked a long time about archetypes, self soothing and the value of wanting what you already have. Check out her story, “Suffering From Real Estate Depression? Here’s the Cure,” just published on Tuesday.

Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For info on SF real estate visit http://CynthiaCummins.com. This article was re-posted at McGuire.com.

Tangerine Dreaming

Love or loathe ‘em, property websites and glossy photography are an integral part of San Francisco real estate marketing hubba hubba. Bad photos are bad for business. (No photos are worse.)

Some gorgeous houses are simply not photogenic, no matter how many angles and lenses are employed.

And some photos make dowdy houses seem entrancing. A good reason why online shopping can’t entirely replace in-person viewing.

Whether I’m representing buyers or sellers, I spend inordinate amounts of time clicking and swiping through images. If you’ve seen one nighttime pano-view shot, you’ve seen them all.

But every now and then, a photo really jumps out and makes me smile. This was the case this week with a shot that Open Homes Photography captured for my new listing, 1099 23rd Street #4.

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The architect-designer owner chose art, paint and furnishings that set a striking tone. When you first enter the live-work loft, the entrance really grabs you and tells you this isn’t your usual Dogpatch loft. The photo fully conveys its drama.

I love the tangerine square, the narrowing perspective and the geometry of the photograph. It’s even better “live in person.” Come see for yourself this weekend. Click here for website and schedule.

Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For info on SF real estate visit http://CynthiaCummins.com. This article was re-posted at McGuire.com.