McGUIRE Roundtable Round 4
Understanding the real estate market can be difficult. The Market is forever changing while buyers and sellers are constantly being bombarded by information from the media. McGuire's Top Producers Roundtable (a four part series appearing in 7x7) strives to make sense of it all with a quarterly perspective from some of the city's most successful agents. Take a look at what buyers are looking for—green, eco-efficient homes—and find out why McGuire is the brokerage of choice for clients and agents.
1. What's your outlook for residential real estate sales in San Francisco thru the New Year?
MD: San Francisco is a unique market and tends not to follow the trends found in the rest of the country. The 2007 San Francisco real estate market has pockets of high activity with multiple offers while in other areas properties tend to languish particularly where over-building has occurred. (Since San Francisco is represented by the most active segments of the economy, notably technology, biotech and the financial professions, it also has active and qualified buyers in all price points. )
RC: My outlook is very positive. The market in the city has been very strong, especially in the Single Family Home and Condominium markets. The nice properties that price right seem to sell quickly. This is a good time for sellers because the city of San Francisco is limited in size and each property is unique in its own way, so the value is there. This is a good time for buyers because once they purchase can now enjoy there property with the assurance of maintaining and increasing their investment.
BC: I agree, the San Francisco housing market will continue to remain strong and vibrant into the New Year. San Francisco, being the world-class city that it is, continues to remain very much in demand.
LdeB: True, there are so many people who want to live in San Francisco, and since I don’t see these people disappearing, demand for real estate is high.
MR: My research has shown and I believe that through the New Year values will stay steady. The demand for quality San Francisco homes is still equal if not higher than our current supply.
DP: Yes, I think there will be a lower volume of sales than in the last quarter of 2006, but prices will still trend upwards, especially in the single-family home category.
2. How have you guided your clients thru the recent realities of the credit market and sub-prime loan issues?
RC: I have guided my buyers to make sure that their finances are in order and that their lender has all the required documents for the loan they are promised. This is done mainly to prevent any surprises later on, as lenders are going through everything with a fine toothcomb.
LdeB: I only recommend Banks to my clients that have a reputation of doing what they say they are going to do.
DP: Actually, my sellers have been more concerned about the impact of the credit restrictions than have my buyers. I have reassured them that the kind of buyers we are likely to attract for their properties tend not to be candidates for Alt-A or sub-prime loans.
BC: Recent credit market and sub-prime loan issues have not been a concern to my clients. While these have been significant in some areas of California, I do not believe San Francisco has been involved to any great degree.
MD: Fortunately, the majority of my clients have not been affected by the credit market and sub-prime loan issues.
MR: Yes, my clients have not needed much guidance either. Credit has tightened and qualifying income ratios have gotten smaller. In many cases that has been an advantage to my clients. Instead of 10 offers on a property, the marketplace values quality buyers who can perform under the new standards.
3. What do you think today's real estate buyers are looking for?
LdeB: Buyers are looking for three key things: views, good condition, and location
BC: True, today's buyers are looking for value. They tend to be very sophisticated and well educated. They are proactive in this regard. They attend open houses and research the web.
MR: Also, buyers always want to feel like they got “a deal” or, at the very least did not over pay for a property.
DP: Right, many buyers are still hopeful that prices will drop, but I don’t see that happening in San Francisco. I think more buyers are looking for move-in condition properties than those needing major work, however remodeling only gets more complicated through the permit process.
MD: Today’s buyers are looking for the same thing buyers are always looking for: great space! They want a place they will love coming home to that uniquely expresses who they are and how they live. One of my strengths is helping clients recognize the properties that best exemplify their uniqueness.
RC: The buyers today are smart and savvy. Buyers want the best guidance, so they are looking for an agent who knows the market well and has their best interest first. So when a buyer does purchase a property, they know that they have acquired value both on the emotional and financial levels.
4. A lot of attention has been given to green building and eco-efficient homes. Have you noticed a higher demand for environmentally friendly homes with your buyers and sellers?
BC: I recently sold an extraordinary eco-efficient home in the Marina District. There was tremendous demand for this property. During its marketing I gained an added appreciation for the fact that buyers are becoming more concerned about the environment and look for properties that have incorporated green features in their design and construction.
RC: Yes, San Francisco is really leading the way in the eco-friendly market! In fact, my sister, Regina Callan has built beautiful eco-friendly homes in the city.
MD: I am thrilled about the increasing awareness of eco-efficient and environmentally friendly living (and work) space. Many of my clients are embracing this trend and want their housing to reflect those values. I "go green" as much as I can in my remodels and encourage my buyers and sellers to do the same. I was gratified to hear a seller ask me last week that his staging remodel be done with eco friendly paint, flooring and lighting. We are beyond the tipping point and progress is definitely being made!
LdeB: Agree, the recent changes that are occurring with eco-friendly buildings is very interesting.
DP: I am sure demand for eco-friendly buildings will become more prevalent, especially if we start measuring the carbon footprint of properties!
MR: I definitely have experienced higher demand for green buildings, but what I have found is that you pay a premium for them.
5. How long have you been with McGuire Real Estate and what do you tell potential clients on why they should work with McGuire and you?
DP: I have been a full-time broker for almost 22 years and with McGuire for over 14 of those, having joined in mid-1993. I was San Francisco’s Realtor® of the Year in 1998 and President of the local Association of Realtors® in 2002. I am a Director of both the California Association of Realtors® and the National Association of Realtors® in 2007. My education was in Computer Science and Systems Analysis and my prior career was in the computer software industry. I tell clients that the McGuire company background, legal, marketing and operational support complements my personal experience in a fashion that is hard to match with anyone else.
LdeB: I have been with McGuire for 20 years. I tell my clients the following. One of the best things about McGuire is that it is a 3rd generation family owned firm and the family is still local and involved. Also, we have our great deal-making, live in lawyer, our wonderful appraiser, who is very creative in his ideas about properties and our excellent advertising and marketing department. I don’t tell clients too much about me except that I’ve lived here all my life and that I am plugged in and that I’m 100% here.
MR: I have been with McGuire Real Estate for 19 years. It is easy to sell clients on McGuire Real Estate. There is no other company that has the San Francisco tradition and quality in which McGuire excels. We have always been worthy of our clients’ trust and that will never change.
BC: During the 15 years that I have been with McGuire, McGuire has been consistent in commitment to excellence and its ideals of integrity, knowledge and exceptional service. My clients know that these are also my ideals and commitment.
RC: I have been at McGuire coming on 4 years now, but I have been in real estate my whole life! Both my grandfathers owned real estate companies, and both my parents are in real estate in San Francisco. My mother Barbara Callan and I work together here at McGuire. I tell potential clients that I am a 5th generation San Francisco native, I am a property owner, and I have the knowledge and experience needed to guide my clients to make the right decisions. McGuire is a San Francisco boutique company founded I 1919 and has a very strong name and great reputation in the real estate market. I take great pride in the work I do because I know that buying and selling property is often the largest and most important thing a person does in their life.
MD: I have been with McGuire since 1986. There are only two other agents who have been there longer than me. Over the years, the company’s founder, Florian McGuire Moore, would consistently remind me "…what differentiates a good agent from a great agent is honesty, integrity, professionalism, and experience..." She was a fantastic role model for me and her sage advice has contributed greatly to my personal and professional success. I tell potential clients the same thing Florian told me: "…As long as you have a choice, choose greatness…!"