Real Estate

Real Estate: John M. Lee

Get Ready for the Spring Market

2022 is here and like in any other year, people are preparing for the big push in the spring real estate market. It seems like the COVID effect is behind us, and this year will turn out to be a normal real estate market. 

Activity in the first two months has been decent with strong buyer demand and very little inventory. A few more properties came onto the market after Super Bowl weekend and went into escrow fairly quickly. Properties in the Richmond and Sunset districts, if priced right, are going into escrow very quickly and at very high prices!

I am seeing more properties being prepared for the market and expect a good spring selling season. People seem to be more optimistic with the downward trend of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Although mortgage interest rates have been going up because of inflation, the Ukraine situation and the uncertainty in the financial markets, buyers are looking to lock in on these low interest rates before they rise.

 If you are preparing your home for sale during this time, there are many more factors to consider. Have you ever wondered why some homes sell at higher price than others? The answer lies in pricing and emotional appeal. This column will discuss how to prepare your home to obtain the highest possible price. Purchasing a home is a very emotional process and usually creates a very stressful time in the life of the purchaser. Many times, buyers are making the largest financial commitment of their lives and are unsure of whether they are getting the best deal.

 Thus, when other people are offering on the same property, the multiple offers reassure buyers that they are making the right decision because others feel the same way about the home as they do. 

 As a seller then, how do you create these emotions so that your property will sell quickly and for the highest price in today’s market? Preparing a property for sale is especially important because people today are busier than ever, and thus they are looking for homes which are in move-in condition.

 There are many inexpensive preparations which will bring returns many times over for the sellers. First of all, unclutter the house. It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates over the years. Removing large pieces of furniture and putting belongings away make a home show larger than it is, and give the impression that the home is spacious and well cared for.

 Painting and freshening up the backyard can be inexpensive, and yet provide the impression that a home is well maintained. Refinishing the hardwood floors will do wonders for showing off the house.

 If you want to go further, staging companies are available which will bring in complete sets of furniture to complement the age and décor of the house. We have found that this adds tremendous value, makes your home show like a model and separates your home from others on the market. As Richmond and Sunset district homes are selling for well above the million-dollar mark now, the staging expense is becoming a smaller percentage of the selling price and thus makes more economic sense than ever before.

 Buying is an emotional process. When a buyer walks into the home, I have a good feeling about whether he or she will buy that house. In order to obtain the highest possible price, buyers need to feel comfortable and know that this is the right home for them.

 Marketing during this COVID time also is important as some people are still hesitant about visiting properties unless they are compelled to. So, virtual tours with photos and videos are more important than ever. Online presence plays a bigger role with most buyers deciding whether to go visit a property or not, based on the internet presence. 

 From a buyer’s standpoint then, you must not only look at the staging or furnishings in the home. You must be able to stand back and look past the décor and imagine how your furniture will fit in the space. Because, after all the surface finishes are removed, the rooms will just be bare walls and you will have to decorate it the way you want to live. Buyers are sometimes disappointed in homes they have purchased after all the staged furniture is removed – unless they purchase the staged furniture along with the house!

 I always recommend to buyers to close their eyes and visualize the rooms empty. Then mentally place your own furniture in each room and imagine how it feels. That way, they won’t be as distracted by the staging and will focus more on the home itself.

 Buying and selling a home is a stressful and emotional time in one’s life and even more so during this pandemic. This year should be a good one as many people are making important decisions about their living quarters. And that’s when good advice from a professional is necessary to help make that buying and selling decision as easy and painless as possible!

John M. Lee is a broker with Compass specializing in the Richmond and Sunset districts. If you have any real estate questions, call him at 415-465-0505 or email at

Sunset Homes Sold in February*
AddressBedBathSq. Ft.Price
1135 Kirkham St.211,215$1,385,000
2055 42nd Ave.31.51,3001,398,000
3231 Moraga St.211,1251,450,000
2330 27th Ave.211,1351,555,000
2375 33nd Ave.22.51,7001,606,000
1566 42nd Ave.211,3501,725,000
2234 36th Ave.211,6001,825,000
2426 17th Ave.311,3251,859,000
*Partial listing. Source: M.L.S.
Richmond Homes Sold in February*
AddressBedBathSq. Ft.Price
707 40th Ave.211,100$1,600,000
531 20th Ave.212,0501,820,000
834 30th Ave.32.51,6241,820,000
5 Cook St.321,5852,360,000
102 Third Ave.442,6564,520,000
80 Rossi Ave.53.53,5904,900,000
1751 Lake St.656,0276,000,000
*Partial listing. Source: M.L.S.

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