Sound Off: What’s the best strategy to ensure a home gets multiple bids and the highest selling price?

A: Our Bay Area real estate market is very vibrant and from a sellers standpoint, the envy of most other areas in the country.

But buyers are very savvy. They do their homework and are intimately aware of comps and values.

In order to obtain multiple offers it is extremely important to have your property in as good condition as it can be. Successful sellers spend a lot of time and money preparing their houses for sale, and it absolutely pays off.

Current buyers are willing to pay for “move-in condition” (fresh paint, updated appliances, and a lovely garden). The more objections the seller can eliminate, the better.

However, the most important factor is the list price. It is almost impossible to “underprice” a home in this area, because buyers will aggressively bid it up. Slightly underprice. Don’t slightly over price!

And finally, it is important to set a date to hear all offers so there will be competition, and not have your property presented as “off market” or accept a preemptive bid, as you might leave money on the table.

Anian Tunney, the Grubb Co., 510-928-7447,

A: Here’s a four step formula for getting the highest selling price:

• Improve the property’s condition. Paint, clean and stage if you can. Repair small maintenance issues.

• Use the multiple listing service. This ensures that the maximum number of buyers and agents will see the property.

• Hire an agent to deploy a comprehensive marketing plan. Think compelling photography, digital and print material.

• Price slightly below market. Create a sense of urgency by making your property look like an exceptional deal compared to the competition. Do not price too high.

San Francisco buyers are conditioned to offer higher than the list price. Buyers are hesitant to make an offer on a property that is priced at or above the true market value because they don’t want to waste their time or offend the seller. Statistics show that overpriced properties take longer to sell and eventually sell for less than realistically priced properties. The longer a listing stays on the market, the more buyers will think there is something wrong with the property.

John Solaegui, Compass, 415-999-0673,

A: The best strategy can be described as two peas in a pod: Ppreparation and Pricing. What the public sees is a fraction of what has gone into getting to curtain time. Inspections have been done, perhaps remedial work performed. The property has been spruced up, the disclosure package completed, a stager engaged, professional photos taken so the house looks its best on social media.

And second: Pricing. Buyers do not look at just one neighborhood, but rather evaluate choices in their price range. The savvy agent knows the demographics of the likely buyer, identifies competing properties and tracks them. Then lists below the best estimate of the final sales price so as to generate multiple offers, always keeping in mind that the market can turn on a dime, that what was true a few weeks ago may no longer be valid.

Astrid Lacitis, Vanguard Properties, 415-860-0765,

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