Successful Selling in San Francisco with Kevin Ho & Vanguard Properties 

Is it Time to Sell?

Sure, you hear it all the time: there is no better time to sell than now. But is it really true? If you’re an owner in San Francisco it may well be. We have been in a market cycle whereby  inventory is very low (replacement properties are hard to find) but also a time where low mortgage rates favor buyers (who can buy more) and sellers (who can sell and buy for more). There are, of course, capital gains implications, decisions on when best to come to market and what terms a seller can place on a sale that should be considered and they will be if you work with Kevin Ho.

The latest MLS data from February 2014 says that median sale prices in San Francisco are up. They’re up 35.7% for single-family homes and 23.5% for condominiums. Moreover, inventory is down by 17% for single-family homes and nearly 19% for condominiums, TICs and stock-cooperatives.

All of this data more than suggests that demand will outpace supply for quite some time beyond 2013. The fact that 1/3rd of my clients won their respective properties in 2013 while still not being the strongest offer made is also telling that we presented the best and strongest terms possible and that nearly 2/3rds of them had written at least one other offer for a home before getting the home they eventually bought.  It should also give you the confidence to know that I will be able to help you assess the merits of offers that come in.

If you want a realtor who lives and breathes your deal, keeps you constantly abreast of your property’s progress and does nice little things like pay for cleaning services himself, you have to call Kevin Ho.  The era of the blue haired real estate yentas is over. We have ushered in the era of smart, technology literate, well educated, vibrant deal closers like Kevin Ho. Thanks Kevin.


— Peter G.

Advertising Executive, Bay Area news organization (Residential Seller, The Palms, SOMA)


Custom Property Websites for Kevin’s Listings

Among my skills is web design. Here are some of those sites:


Mid-Market Condos

(788 Minna)


Eureka Valley/Castro Luxury Condo

(4658 18th Street)


Large, Top-floor Inner Mission Listing

(873 South Van Ness) 

Stately Nob Hill Two-Unit Building

(1228-1230 Leavenworth)

Next Steps


More than a Flash.

I think it should hardly come as a surprise that the breakneck positive growth starting in February 2012 continued well into 2013, which turned into the year of multiple bids, way-over-asking price offers that were contingency-free. It’s my thought that 2014 will also be a strong one where both buyers and sellers have power:

  • The condo conversion lottery legislation will continue to have its impact felt – most people probably failed to appreciate what these would be when they passed the changes in April 2013, but we’ll see more activity play out in 2014 (remember if you’re converting in 2014 materials due soon);
  • Mortgage interest rates will rise – it’s just a matter of when not if but will remain historically and relatively low;
  • The city’s housing crunch will be felt evermore with more drama, more emotions, and now, promised tinkering with rent control and eviction control laws such as the proposal that would make new building owners wait 5 years before using the Ellis Act to empty a building;
  • More money, more cash. Those who have waited on the sidelines will get off the bench. If past IPOs are any indication, the twitter money that’s released after the typical 6-month stock sell restriction period ends in April won’t have an immediate impact. But money from Google, Apple and Facebook among others like Genentech will.
  • More investor-based money will enter the market.
  • Buyers will get fatigued of off-market  listings, pre-emptive offers and multiple offers.

It’s definitely a seller’s market. So what are you waiting for? Give Kevin a call today to learn more.


Prices and price growth has been strong all around the City. Here are few examples:

A single-family home on Innes in the Bayview that sold in December 2013 for $525,000 sold in March 2014 for $750,000 (+43%)  without anything being done to the house during the interim.

A single-family home on San Jose Avenue in the Mission Terrace neighborhood was listed at $895,000 for a large, renovated home, received 28 offers and closed above $1.2M. in Feb/March 2014 (+34%).

Another single-family home on 26th Street in Noe Valley that was listed for $1.450M received just two written offers and closed after a 7 day long escrow with the winning offering being contingency-free and all cash. Final closing price: $1.75M (+20%).




Success At 873 S. Van Ness (Inner Mission)

What: Two-unit, Owner-Occupied 2400+ sqft TIC, 3 Bed/2Bath, Extra-wide lot, top floor

How Much: Listed at $1.195M 

When: July-August 2013

SOLD: $1.2M, All-cash, 8-day close (100.4% of list, $498/sqft)

Kevin’s Clients Were: His Sellers (Couple + daughter + dog)

SOLD IN 10 DAYS:  Congrats to my sellers 873 S. Van Ness for getting into contract after just 10 days on the market and closing escrow just 8 days after that.This top-floor, bright home has 2400+ sqft of space with 3 Beds & 2 Baths, shared backyard, “man cave” separate garage. The space wasn’t fully-staged and the sellers instead collaborated with me, listening to my tips and strategy that ultimately got a $1.2M all-cash offer. After owning for just 27 months, the sellers managed a +56% gain on their property. Yes, everyone was pleased.


A Double Agent? On Dual Agency

It’s somewhat common to have two agents of the same brokerage represent a buyer and a seller in the same property transaction especially if the agent’s brokerage has a lot of the listings and good market share (e.g., Vanguard). The presumption is that while the agents are from the same brokerage it’s no more than a happy coincidence that makes the transaction easier. So long as confidences are maintained and written consent is obtained from both sides, this phenomenon  is perfectly routine and allowed.

Questions arise in the rarer situation where the same agent who lists a property also represents a buyer. Some agents refuse to represent both out of conflict of interest concerns. For other agents, it can be a difficult line to maintain. But for attorneys maintaining confidences and protecting sensitive information is second nature. It is here where my experience as an attorney sets me apart. With your permission, of course, I am capable of representing both parties in a transaction where the orientation for each party may be different but they aren’t necessarily in conflict with each other.  But unlike litigation’s sero sum game, in real estate the goal is to strike a bargain that is mutually beneficial and acceptable to a large number of people. Nevertheless there are folks who will need a more segregated arrangement and  we can take other measures to make sure everyone is comfortable.


Sold and Listed  by Kevin:

4658 18th Street Lower Condo & the Penthouse

Elegant Eureka Valley Homes

Penthouse: $1.85M (Buyer Represented)

Garden & Main Level Home: $1.53M (Seller Represented)

Congratulations to my clients at 4658 18th Street — all of them

Join me in congratulating our neighbor and my client Chris in his purchase of the 2-floor Penthouse condo at 4658 18th St. With its 4 decks, soaring ceilings, elevator access and luxury finishes this home is as luxurious as it is rare. The Penthouse sold  at $1.85M. We worked to buy the Penthouse before it came to the open market with a smart and strong offer that closed in just 14 days.

The sellers were so impressed they hired me to sell the other unit at 4658. There, I brought in a team in to revamp the property into a luxurious one. I worked to upgrade the look, touch and feel of the space. Then, I combined my persuasive attorney skills, web design skills and sales experience to sell the property successfully to the right buyer — this deal closed in just 7 days.

Visit 4658-18th.com to see how I presented the property including one of the best YouTube real estate tours you’ve seen. And to learn how you can get the same successful, top-shelf service and skills contact me today.

4658 18th Street


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