CFAH

830 El Camino Del Mar

Once again, as a plugged-in reader wrote a little over a year ago:

I know this house and [had] spoken with this owner decades ago. Since 1998 he has put it on the market 11 times, each time with a [high-end/profile] realtor at an improbable price.

As we wrote in February:

Make that twelve. 830 El Camino Del Mar is back on the market asking $15,000,000. And while that’s $3,000,000 less than eight months ago, it’s also $6,000,000 more than was being asked in 2002.

Reduced to $11,500,000 in April but then withdrawn at the beginning of July, it’s another plugged-in reader that notes 830 El Camino Del Mar has been relisted for $11,900,000.
And yes, a new agent and brokerage are leading this thirteenth charge.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by San FronziScheme

    Increasing a price? Maybe the price was too low and the property wasn’t taken seriously? Yeah, I think that’s the problem.
    I’d advise the seller to increase the price by 400K every month until a smart buyer decides to jump in. That will create a panic-induced purchase!
    Then again, we have seen crazier things.

  2. Posted by Chad

    Call me a fool, I would pay no more than 6 Mil for this Gorgeous Beauty 🙂

  3. Posted by whatever

    LOL, I don’t think the current owner has owned it for decades. My recollection is that in the late 90’s, the previous owner passed on and the property was being sold without being advertised. I got a couple of developers to make a quick walk-through, and they decided to make an offer. I remember the attorney for the estate reviewing the offer and asking “is this offer for the entire property?”, LOL. As it turned out, the property comprises 2 parcels, and they already had a better offer from a friend(?) of the decedent that was getting confirmed by the court.
    Not long after this is when it first came on the market.

  4. Posted by auden

    All this agent hopping, jumping on and off the market at various improbable prices doesn’t add up. Either the owner has a secret vendetta against realtors and uses this home as a vehicle to torture them, or he/she is a delusional fool.

  5. Posted by lolcat_94123

    @auden –
    It’s in San Francisco – of course the seller is delusional.

  6. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Question for the realtors out there: why would an agent even take a listing like this?
    I’m assuming that rookies aren’t usually given high-dollar listings, so this place keeps getting represented by experienced agents with at least some track record, right? Given the history here, what business-minded agent would willingly waste their time with this whimsical seller? Is it the $ at play?
    Maybe somebody figures it has a 2% chance of selling at the ridiculous price, but commission if it does sell is $595K, so why not waste the MLS bandwidth for a month or two.

  7. Posted by viewlover

    2510 Jackson sold for 11.5 and its’ the most expensive property sold in SF in 2009. I guess this seller thinks they are comparable properties. I wonder if Real Estate Intervention will do a piece on this property.

  8. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Dude – I think you have answered your own question.
    ExpectedEarnings == pSell * commission * salesPrice
    where :
    pSell == probability of selling before agent contract expires
    commission == agent’s portion of commission (2.5% ?)
    salesPrice == number of quatloos given forth for this unique piece of Vulcan real estate
    So taking on a $600K listing with a 80% chance of selling yields the same expected earnings as selling this place if there’s a 4% chance of it selling during your watch.
    So if you think you have a greater than 4% chance of selling this house (or more realistically convincing the owner to accept a lower offer) then this pencils out as a non waste of time.

  9. Posted by jon

    It s called “cancel if close”. As in cancel that stoploss order if the price gets close to it. It s a losers game. Each time the offers get close the owner cancels the listing and raises the price.
    Sometimes greed isn t good.
    Nice house tho. Good realtor bait.

  10. Posted by Fishtarian

    It’s a trend. Properties that have been sitting for months are now increasing prices. I see that even in the rental market. It’s as if they are on the market only to shill for other properties.

  11. Posted by Morgan

    Was this at one time the home of now deceased Marshall Wais, the wealthy industrialist who was kidnapped from his home in Sea Cliff and held for ransom? Friends used to point to this house and told me this is where the 1996 crime took place.
    http://sfgate.info/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1996/11/20/MN69962.DTL
    [Editor’s Note: As the Jefferson Airplane connection is likely not a coincidence, we’d say that your friends were right on.]
    [Editor’s Note: Or then again not (and neither were we).]

  12. Posted by auden

    You guys aren’t considering the costs associated with marketing a 10mil+ property into your equation. Property website, print marketing campaigns…

  13. Posted by Legacy Dude

    The marketing costs seem minimal here, though: no fancy website that I could find, MLS doesn’t even have photos. Do properties in this price range even have open houses? I thought they were only shown by appointment, so the agent doesn’t need to waste their Sunday making small talk with a bunch of curious neighbors and watching tumbleweeds roll by.
    I guess you could view this listing like a layover at the Las Vegas airport. If you’re already stuck there for a few hours, might as well toss some quarters into a slot machine. Odds are nothing happens, and you waste some time for a modest cost. But there’s always that 1/1,000,000 shot you hit a jackpot. Stranger things have been known to happen.
    As an FYI for the future fourteenth agent who will likely represent this property in about 6 months, I believe the next number in the series should be $12.87 million.

  14. Posted by Karen

    I just don’t get what is going on with this house. They had it listed with some of the most high profile agents in the area. And now it is listed with telegraph hill properties??? This house is located no where near telegrah hill lol… Just by doing some quick research on this company and realtor and the company has a PO Box listed so they dont even have an office, and this agent has no other listings. Bad move on the realtors part he is going to end up loosing the thousands of dollars he will (or should) spend on marketing material!

  15. Posted by Conifer

    Does the Wais family own this still?
    If so, it seems odd that they are playing such a silly price game.

  16. Posted by Jim T.

    Something struck me wrong about this being the Kantner/Slick house. Back in the day a house further up the road, 890 El Camino Del Mar, was alway pointed out as their place. It’s a few homes to the west of 830, and is the last house before Land’s End park. Absolutely magnificent as well. A quick check on Property Shark confirms both Kantner’s and Wais as former owners of 890, not 830.
    [Editor’s Note: Cheers (and thank you for setting us straight). We’ve redacted the update and will run a full correction Wednesday.]

  17. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    auden – the problem isn’t marketing. There is no market at this price. The problem is convincing the seller to sell this house.
    This is sort of like a seller hanging a pinata filled with a quarter million dollars (or a few hundred Krugerrands is you like to think like LMRiM). Agent after agent has tried to swing the bat at the pinata but each has found that they do not have the super human skills to jump 20 feet (and higher every 6 months) to make contact.
    A better strategy would be to wait your turn and take watch for your 6 months. Apply minimal effort towards the market. In that time the seller might get tired and release the rope. Or the seller might pass away, leaving heirs holding the rope. Or maybe you could hypnotize the seller into lowering the rope. I wouldn’t be surprised if some Neuro-linguistic programming type would get a realtor’s license just to take a crack at this seller.
    Its a lot of bucks and hey, buy a lottery ticket even if the odds are slim.
    This house will eventually sell some day.

  18. Posted by auden

    I know why the house won’t sell Milkshake. But I don’t know why agent after agent is willing to put down thousands on a place they have a 2% chance of selling. I haven’t followed the listing closely, but I remember that the last set of agents did build a custom website for the property. If I were an agent, I would only agree to do the listing if there was an agreement up front to do no marketing beyond listing it on the MLS and facilitating private showings.

  19. Posted by viewlover

    When you stage a house some realtors absorb the cost but only as a credit after the house closes, the seller pays up-front. Some of the more elaborate marketing costs may have a similar arrangment.

  20. Posted by jaja

    That poor agent. I don’t know what he/she is thinking… representing this house. What a waste of time and money. Houses like this probably have a carriage run for top agents/brokers. Then it’ll open up only to qualified buyers. So probably not too much work for the listing agent. Since this house has been on the market for so long and so many times, I do wonder when this place has a carriage run, do any top brokers even bother to show up anymore? Unless there is champagne and caviar, I wouldn’t if I were a broker/agent.

  21. Posted by auden

    viewlover…please pass along the names of those agents, as I can’t get mine to pay for anything.

  22. Posted by viewlover

    Auden, I”m not sure how I can tell you my current realtor and keep things anonymous.
    I wonder if some of the realtors that post on here would chime in. Paul, Anonn? What is your take on this, sharing staging costs for example. I know that legally you can’t pay for it up front, but you can do anything with your compensation, at least that’s how my old Zephyr agent put it. She sold my house and wrote me a check after closing. Have you seen this in your profession or did I find a couple of desperate realtors with my last two transactions?

  23. Posted by Billy

    Isn’t this owned by some wine merchant and his girlfriend or is that the Spanish Colonial Revival near by?
    Think they would take $6,000k cash.

  24. Posted by anon

    Auden;
    Looks like you need to fire your agent!

  25. Posted by billybobberkeley

    The owner of this place is crazy. I know someone who represented him awhile back when he was trying to sell before. Tales of him being irate were common. Finally they dropped the listing.
    His place wasn’t staged either. At least not when “someone” was representing him. Regardless, for a 2 bedroom house it’s not worth 12 mil. It’s setup is a little odd too. Maybe it’s more about the lot. Somebody with the money will come and buy it and then build whatever they want.

  26. Posted by slobone

    The photos on the MLS site are all view shots — not a single interior. That’s usually not a good sign…

  27. Posted by billybobberkeley

    That’s because the owner recently had another falling out (so I hear through the grapevine) with his agent (that’s agent #12), and since those images were created under #12’s tenor they were pulled. Something about licensing. I didn’t get the whole story, as it was all very 6 degrees of separation. None of it surprises me though.

  28. Posted by kathleen

    I hope I get to babysit this listing when hits the $25,000,000 mark!
    I should live so long. There’s always inflation.
    (The above material constitues a joke)
    (I’m not that funny)
    Property pix are owned by the entity that paid the photographer. That is genererally the agent or brokerage.
    When we list a Single family for sale our specific to the property costs run between $8,900 and $25,000 to launch a good marketing campaign on a sub 3 million dollar home. That does not take into account the day to operational costs of being Simply Fabulous. Or time, which is priceless.
    I suppose a no marketing materials, no open showings or brokers tours,listing is one way to show you are active in the MLS and active and plugged into the Luxury Market.
    It may also speak volumes on the agents ability to play well with others.
    This realtor could be the one. Let’s hold that happy thought and see what happens. You never know.

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