Ten Takeaways from Million Dollar Listing SF

11 Sep

Ten Takeaways from Million Dollar Listing SF

San Francisco Street Scene (Panorama)

As an active real estate agent in this beautiful city, I had to cringe with embarrassment while watching the first season of Million Dollar Listing San Francisco (MDLSF). It was exasperating to watch the characters go through their fictional shenanigans. Many of my clients have asked me about the show and it is clear that the show offers a few lessons that we can all learn from:

  1. Get hard statistics on your agent’s sales performance before you employ the agent. Does he or she have a track record of success?
  2. Total honesty between the agent and client is a prerequisite. If the agent does not believe your property will fetch the price you want, then you should change your expectations or consider another agent.
  3. Ask your agent to explain their pricing strategy. For example, does the agent prefer to list properties low, generate multiple offers and sell above the list price, or do they set the list price high and settle for a lower sales price? Once you are comfortable with their strategy, listen to your agent’s advice on list price.
  4. The agent’s goals must be aligned with the client’s goals. Hire an agent who is focused on your goals, who can look beyond their own self-interest.
  5. Real estate negotiations must be conducted in writing. An offer is not real unless it is in writing. A real estate contract is binding only when it is signed by both buyer and seller.
  6. Real estate negotiations are not conducted in bars and restaurants.
  7. The value of your home is exactly what a qualified buyer is willing to pay. Value does not depend on how much you have invested in the property or how much you need at the end of the sale.
  8. “Reality” TV is made for entertainment with little connection to reality. Few of the situations and buyers depicted in the show are real.
  9. Many factors drive San Francisco’s real estate market. So called “tech buyers” are only one factor.  And not all buyers in San Francisco are under 40. Baby boomers, millennials, empty nesters and foreign buyers are all players in our market.  The best way to reach the widest pool of qualified buyers is with a robust internet marketing strategy and with active networking in the brokerage community.  Not by throwing parties!
  10. One truth in MDLSF: San Francisco is a gorgeous city with a diverse collection of desirable properties and neighborhoods.