Does anyone out there know the expression "When In Rome Do As The Romans Do.” I grew up with that old adage and have always kept it sacred as a way to adapt, observe, fit in and not offend. Funny how little pearls of wisdom can go a long way to a fulfilling life. The same theory holds true for buying and selling San Francisco real estate. I’m writing this as a brief overview for the non-native San Francisco buyers wanting to get into the SF market, but view our competitive selling psychology as extortion. I don’t know the exact stats or psychology in other communities, but it has come to my attention that many non-native buyers come from an environment where they’re used to a home being priced over what the seller actually expects to get. Buyers in those communities go in under asking and with a little back and forth the deal is negotiated somewhere in between. Not so in SF. Here we price properties at fair market value or a little under because buyers know the expectation is that the property will go over asking. It is the kiss of death to price a property above market value in this city. If the disgruntled outsider buyers could look at the market through a different lens, our real estate culture might be more palatable. So here goes, can’t help myself…There Are Many Paths To Buddha… and so goes the road to procuring real estate in different markets. I would venture to guess that, in the end, each community’s approach yields a similar outcome. A house priced at $3M in Connecticut might end up closing at $2.75M. A house priced at $2.5M in SF might end up closing at $2.75M. Catch my drift? When writing an offer in San Francisco I would listen to your agent, after all he/she knows the market. If your agent tells you there are 15 disclosure packages out and at least five offers are expected I would suggest going in over asking, and I’m sure your agent would too. Why, because in San Francisco listing agents set up a competition. Bring me your best offer. If you really want a home, don’t get hung up on wanting a “deal.” Our strategy is not set up for that. Winning may not be everything, but it sure feels better than losing. In the end, San Francisco real estate is an amazing investment for the long term. When you go to sell in 10 years, the gain on your investment will look like you got the deal of a lifetime when you bought your gold mine.