2542 Fillmore: Hall
As we wrote in August 2008 when 2542 Fillmore ended up selling for $5,000,000:

As you might recall, the reconstructed 2542 Fillmore hit the market two months ago with a list price of $4,995,000 and buzz, received a pre-emptive offer of $5,500,000 cash with a five day close (which was refused), raised its list price to $5,250,000, and then failed to received an offer on its designated offer date.

And now as a plugged-in tipster notes, 2542 Fillmore is “coming soon” which ought to be interesting on an apples-to-apples and bids-to-bids basis.
2542 Fillmore Closes Escrow: Still A Big Win (But Still A Whoops) [SocketSite]
The SocketSite Scoop On 2542 Fillmore: In A Word, Whoops. [SocketSite]
Built In 1904 (But “Reconstructed” A Century Later): 2542 Fillmore [SocketSite]

87 thoughts on “This Ought To Be Interesting On An Apples-To-Apples Basis”
  1. Oh no… They’re totally boned. I don’t think the buyers ever moved in. I walk down Fillmore pretty much every day, and I’ve never seen any signs of life other than routine maintenance.
    There’s another home on Fillmore coming soon as well on the 2700 block. Should have spectacular views. Green Couch is staging it.

  2. (in my best Nelson Muntz voice): HAHA.
    I don’t usually have schadenfruede (in fact, far from it)
    But this case is especially irksome to me.
    Don’t list your house for $5M if you’re not going to take an offer for FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars more.
    we need to get away from creating buzz and bidding wars, and make the house buying process more open and transparent. I still don’t understand why a house has to be bid on blindly in the first place. why not an open auction instead, with people bidding over a certain time frame (it can be weeks or months).

  3. August was the top of the “that will never happen to us” period. Then the ground fell from under the market for 6 months.
    The last move was pure hubris. This will be interesting. I say they put it on the market for 5.5M in pure 2008-style dementia.

  4. I think it is a nice home. But the games they played with pricing in ’08 really is a turn off. I don’t think I have ever seen Malin lower an asking price. And when they turn down an over-asking offer… that is just arrogance.

  5. Just to be clear, the current owners (soon to be sellers) aren’t the ones who turned down the $5,500,000 pre-emptive offer in 2008, they’re the ones who bought it for $5,000,000 after no other offers materialized on the offer date.

  6. SocketSite– thanks for that clarification. I did know that, but the “they” I was referring to was the agents who are the pro’s and advise the clients on pricing. You are right though, the current owners are not to blame for the fiasco.
    I don’t know if this place has ever been lived in or not. I’ll defer to Denis and his morning walks. But I recall the original offer was by someone looking for a pied-a-tier… I can’t recall if they were the ultimate purchaser.

  7. @ ex-sfr, often with sealed bid auctions, one is able capture the ‘outlier’ bid. on live, incremental auctions there isn’t an incentive for the bidder to spend 10 or 15 points more on their bid when he/she can push up their bid by 1/10th of a point. but of course, this is not always the case.

  8. Perhaps we’ll check back here in a few years to see how this listing fares in a resale transaction.
    Posted by: eddy at August 25, 2008 9:51 AM

    I am extremely interested in where they set the listing price on this home. This home still has a lot of unique features. I thought that it should have gone for sub 1k/psf at the time. Still do, but to be honest, this is still a new home and the current owners did something to this place so I can only assume its ‘better’. These high end finished homes are still commanding freakish premiums. Good luck!
    Anyone know who the selling agent / firm was in 2008? Odd they went with the same listing agent and not use their trusted buyer agent in 2008.

  9. Denis, I assume you’re talking about 2755? That house was pocket listed back in 08 in the 4s and needed some work. Should be interesting to see that one now that its updated.

  10. ex-SF-er:
    we need to get away from creating buzz and bidding wars, and make the house buying process more open and transparent

    You’ve been here long enough to know that the real estate industry depends, nay, is built upon information asymmetry. Refer to the weaksauce drizzled casually over such chestnuts as DOM resets, pocket listings, maybe sq footage, and so on. Nobody involved seems to have much of a problem with this stuff.

  11. True, and the RE industry will not change something it thinks is beneficial unless forced to do so (see recent antitrust injunctions). Of course, information asymmetry can work in either direction. In a buyer’s market like we have today, it benefits the buyer, who can work a deal as to multiple options simultaneously to get a better price or other concessions, unbeknownst to the sellers, without a whole lot of concern that another buyer will swoop in.

  12. It does appear (no Deed of Trust) that it was a cash buyer in 2008 by the husband-and-wife team who co-founded MD Buyline in 1983 changed the way hospitals and other healthcare facilities evaluate and acquire capital equipment and information technology. Their goal was to “create a level playing field for hospitals and medical technology vendors, empowering members to make sound technology and financial decisions.” Today, with its online database on medical capital equipment and IT, including evaluations, user feedback and vendor information, MD Buyline remains a competent and comprehensive tool for strategic sourcing.

  13. AT:
    I don’t think a buyer’s market affects it at all. Sure, a given buyer will have more places to choose from, but the degree of information available for each one would remain unrelated.

  14. EH, but the point is that you, as the buyer, also possess valuable information that the seller does not have — how much you are willing to pay, other places you are interested in and what they cost, concessions others are willing to give, etc. Heck, you can just make up facts (like sellers do all the time — “I’ve handed out 15 disclosure packages!”) regarding other places and the deals they are offering, and the effect is the same. In a seller’s market, a seller can just tell you to pound sand and move on to the next buyer, so the asymmetry is skewed in the seller’s favor. In a buyer’s market, it is the other way around, and the asymmetries favor the buyer.
    Note that most realtors don’t grasp this, and those working for buyers generally have little interest in exercising these powers because they just want a deal done, any deal. The best realtors in town understand and take advantage of these dynamics very well, which is why they are the best.

  15. anything with painfully obvious fake shrubs in the front should not be listed for millions of dollars.

  16. Yes, 2755… I believe that it was part of the same development as 2300-2304 – built in the late 80s. Not the best use for that lot really. I can’t guess the price considering how small it looks, but I think it’s a good condo alternative.
    Still, I think it gives 2542 a bit of competition.

  17. Agreed. The best / recent comp is 2306 Broadway that sold for $5.235. Not as new, but it certainly had views.

  18. Just to be clear, the current owners (soon to be sellers) aren’t the ones who turned down the $5,500,000 pre-emptive offer in 2008
    @editor: thanks for the clarification. my shadenfreude slinks away in shame.
    You’ve been here long enough to know that the real estate industry depends, nay, is built upon information asymmetry
    @EH: yes, I know. this is exactly what needs to end. I will also note that opening up the bidding process and increasing transparency would likely help sellers AND buyers. I remember once when my offer was not even relayed to the seller, because it was “too low”. not sure why it hurts to show the seller my offer.
    often with sealed bid auctions, one is able capture the ‘outlier’ bid
    @OA: I know. but again, I don’t think this is a “good” thing. I would hazard a guess that most sellers would rather consistently get the best price for their property as opposed to once in a while hitting the outlier jackpot.

  19. @exsfer, most sellers are as clueless on the selling process as they were during the buying process. Anyone selling a multi-million dollar home that isn’t using one of the best agents in the city is taking a huge risk. These agents are very good at getting the outlier buyer. This home is case in point. It might seem like a ‘jackpot’ but I would argue that these agents know their game and consistently produce better results than the average agent.

  20. ex SF-er: very interesting to hear that an agent failed to present your offer to the seller. I was under the impression that passing on all offers was part of the (very minimal) fiduciary responsibility of a “Realtor”, regardless of what opinion they might have of its fitness.

  21. @eddy
    What I want to know is: Who are these “outlier buyers”? And why do they hate their own money so much that they are too lazy to spend the 15 minutes required to surf the internet (i.e. zillow, redfin, propertyshark, not to mention socketsite) to figure out how much they should pay for a house. I know that all houses are different and special, blah blah blah, but there is so much information readily available for free online that I can’t believe that people are still falling for the whole “exclusivity-once in a lifetime opportunity” line.
    I know that luxury houses in great neighborhoods in SF are still fairly rare, but given how much competing high-end inventory is available in Marin and the Penninsula I’ll be very surprised if the over-asking outlier buyer phenomenon can continue for much longer.
    All of that being said, if this house sells for more than it sold for in August 2008, I will eat my crocs.

  22. I can understand why some would make a wild guess and make a bid way higher than the other offers. SF is wildly overpriced. Most purchases do not pass the rent vs buy test and by a huge margin. How do you know the difference between “greatly overpay” and “stupidly overpay”? If you are crossing the “overpay” line by doing a purchase in SF, then all bets are off anyways.

  23. Certain strategies work well in certain situations. The high end agents generally know the market for buyers of high end homes. These buyers are not in a rush and have detailed criteria. Obviously, these buyers don’t know each other exist, but the high end agents do.
    So let’s say there are 3 high end buyers that all are looking for new construction, in D7, walking distance to shopping and max budget of $6M. It is not unusual to have buyers with this type of specific criteria. Why not create a sealed bid deadline. The agents know there are 3 buyers who will likely bid, and they can create a little frenzy, and most likely one of the 3 will go over market. Trust me, this happens all the time. The high end agents are extremely smart and manipulative.
    One strategy I recommended to high end sellers is that they should force the listing agents to immediately disclose whether they have existing clients that are potential buyers of the home, as well as to disclose during the sale process if any interested buyer that emerges has any prior relationships with the selling agent or listing office. These are very real conflicts.

  24. Anyone able to offer me any advice?
    A. Is the neighbourhood nice enough? Because it seems 2542 is being surrounded by apartment buildings. And is the outdoor space a normal size compared to other homes within the same price r./area
    B. Would u pick this one over 338Spear Street PH42B (The Infinity), 206 Palo alto av. or 3816 22nd St (Firehouse 44)???

  25. Firehouse is actually a good comparison. I’d offer $4.2 for this place pre-emptive and take it over any of the other you listed. Nabe is fine.

  26. Listed where? $4M! Seems like the Nina strategy of low pricing. There was a home on Clay that just sold recently for over $4m and over asking. No MLS = Confidential Sale. Except you can bet the buyers are going to want that property tax re-assessd sooner than later.

  27. Hmmm.. It’ll be interesting if it does show up sub-4. This summer has been brutal for high-end listings. A tanking stock market, craptastic weather, nightmarish street construction, and an inordinate amount of new listings have basically frozen D7. There have only been a handful of homes going into contract in June. Without a major stock market rally, July is going to be worse. It seems like total suicide putting anything on the market right now even if the sellers are willing to take a 20% loss…

  28. 2574 Clay is listed in the mls with the sales price of $4,025,000. There is a significant “pocket listing” market in district 7 and many high-end properties are trading quickly without going into the mls. District 7 is far from frozen…The Clay St property is a better location than Fillmore- no busy street and no bus line. Buyers are deducting more than in previous markets for “challenges,” in this case the location, so $3,995,000 makes sense for the current market, might still be a bit high.

  29. 2574 was listed on the MLS in the high 3s and sold over asking in less than a week. I believe it was a legitimate sale. Better location, but not as nice overall. It had one nice floor, but the overall floor plan / finishes were just OK. Fillmore is done really well throughout.

  30. Clay was marketed privately before going into the mls as many properties are… Location is worth a lot!

  31. I trust that your “Info” is good. Care to shed any insight into what price Clay was marketed at, and whether it was sold before it hit MLS? Otherwise your statement is sort of just a statement. Fillmore is being already being “privately marketed” off MLS on sfproperties. Can you confirm that Fillmore is being shopped and is “on the market” at the price you mentioned? Or is your post confirmation? 😉

  32. I’m still not convinced that the D7 market is healthy at all… Which off-market, 3+ million properties have gone into contract and sold since the start of June? If Malin could’ve moved this off the MLS, I’m sure she would have. I’m pretty sure I remember Eddy saying this was the worst buy in D7 over the last few years.

  33. That is correct. At the same time this was one of the first fully major renovations where we started to see these crazy sale prices that defied logic. I still think this was one of the worst buys in recent D7 history. As for the D7 market, we’ve seen quite a few homes sell but the volume of low-quality stock is overshadowing the quick pickups. Like the Green St home, another Green St fixer, Clay St, 2 Broadway homes bet fillmore/steiner, the 2 Pacific st homes, Kirk’s house. Buyers are out there at the right price.

  34. So basically I would be an idiot for making a 5 mill offer on 2542 Fillmore?
    (This is the only house that has made me question buying a condo at the Infinity…)

  35. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be a prudent move at this point since the comps would suggest a lower price at this point. But for all we know the sellers will not sell for anything less than $5M so it really comes down to what the sellers are willing to accept. I can pretty much guarantee that if you make an offer at $5M you will have a deal. Go for it!

  36. 2734 Buchanan $4,925,000, 2661 Clay $2,800,000 3176 Washington $3,225,000, 3766 Clay listed at $7 million -you can check mls for a few of these as they are either put in with “for Comp purposes only” or put in after ratifying. I could list many more but think you can get the point…

  37. Most of those houses were spring listings and were featured on this site. 2734 Buchanan = listed in April, 3176 Washington = listed in April… Malin sold 2661 off the MLS, but it’s on her website. Spring was very, very good for the high-end market. Malin even sold another home on the 2300 block of Broadway off market for close to 8… My point was that the summer market is off. Very few (if any) 3+ million homes have been listed and sold since the start of June. There’s a lot of inventory on the MLS over 3 million and not much of it is moving, which makes putting this house on the market in July a greater challenge. Any word on the listing agent for 2755 Fillmore? It’s staged, seems ready to go…

  38. The summer market always slows down, you add an unstable economy and what can you expect. My point is that district 7, though not frothy, is not “basically frozen” as previously stated by Dennis. There are buyers who really want to get into the market to take advantage of the historically low interest rates and the adjusted prices. Inventory is currently low in district 7 so when a property that is priced to the current market comes on, buyers are stepping up quickly.

  39. @Info, can you please confirm your earlier post on the ‘listing price’? Would I have really overpaid?

  40. List price of 2542 Fillmore is $3,995,000 open house was this evening. 2775 Fillmore listed $4,995,000…

  41. I see 7 3M+ sales since the beginning of summer, 4 pendings, and one in contract. Is that really slow to you guys? It looks pretty normal to me.

  42. “List price of 2542 Fillmore is $3,995,000 open house was this evening.”
    WOW that is a huge loss for the owners… Do you think this is another one of the “let’s list it at $3.9 but not even look at anything below $4.9”
    Seems like it will go quickly at this price… if it is not a bait and switch thing.

  43. This pictures are up on Malin’s site showing the new staging. It still looks pretty cool, if a little Beetlejuice-esque. Is Tim Burton looking to move to SF?

  44. What’s the evidence that this place ever sold for $5m? Living near here, and watching it for over a year everyday for days at a time, no one has ever lived in it. I suspect the developer still owned it, especially since he used the same listing agent as when it supposedly sold last time.

  45. Pacific,
    House was sold 2 years ago, do not know how much was offered in the end.
    However, the home was used ad a pied a terre and the owners hardly ever stayed there.

  46. Zander, perhaps you have access to information I don’t have. Curious though why property tax records don’t seem to show the transaction and newly assessed taxes.
    Maybe someone more “plugged in” can say why they think the home sold to a legitimate 3rd party. I have no particular interest, other than being curious.

  47. House is ‘coming september 15th’
    Not only are they trying to create some sort of buzz, waiting for 2755 Fillmore to be officially sold, they’re definitely gonna try and up the price again, towards the 5mill.
    House will be in escrow by 9/20.

  48. Nice. So they list it, have an open house, don’t get the offers they want, so now, 23 days after the open house, it’s “coming soon” in six more weeks? What is this, Ground Hog Day?
    Translation: “we really need to sell it by the end of October when the market will be dead, and we’re hoping that will be more than we got in the first three weeks after listing it for a price we had originally assumed would spark a bidding war, but everyone yawned instead”.
    Unless Malin can work a true miracle in 6 weeks, I smell a catastrophe brewing.
    Nice shill Michael, Mr. “some sort of buzz”. I think every buyer will see right through it.

  49. I don’t think Michael is a shill; I think he is indicating that this property is probably now sold and will close on MLS a mere 2 days on market. FWIW, I think this house is pretty slick. Don’t like the street / location, but it’s one of the more original tweaks on some of the more standard remodel or overdone moderns turning up these days. Plus it looks like the new owners will take advantage of some of the upgrades the previous (i.e., current) owners / benefactors made in the home. The built in media center on the ground floor looks nice.
    I also think there might be a tenant in the lower level as I’ve seen a person come/go through the garage. This could also be why there is a specific date of 9/15?
    At any rate, this property is shaping up to be one of the more curious stories out there in D7 along with the other home on Pacific a few block east of this one. Still waiting for that to hit the market at some point.

  50. Nice shill Michael, Mr. “some sort of buzz”. I think every buyer will see right through it
    This Tipster guy always bites the hands that feed. More deleting and less saving, please. More real talk. Less nonsense fantasy.

  51. So the property is sold, and to play games they need to change it to coming soon so that they can pretend it sold in 2 days instead of 23?
    What an industry!

  52. I thought my last post was pretty clear.
    No sale yet. No tenant btw. And oh, no shill 😉
    No fantasy here.

  53. Either you’re a shill or you certainly know a lot about this property for reasons you are not making clear; which qualifies you as a shill of sorts, or a troll. I like it better when you post “Info”.

  54. So telling you it hasn’t been sold yet, and mentioning there’s no tenant to clear up a rumor is no info?
    I don’t see the problem, but if you guys think you know so much more, I’ll keep my mouth shut

  55. Would some of you numbnuts please stop chasing the people with real information off this site????

  56. 2446 Washington is in escrow after on 12 DOM with an asking of $4.45. Should bode well for 2542 when it hits the MLS tomorrow.

  57. Listed online for weeks ‘coming september 15th’
    and then changed it into ‘pending’…
    That’s just stupid!
    What Malin, you’d feel like a moron if you couldn’t sell a home within the first 4 weeks? You look like a bigger idiot because of this stunt…

  58. “Listed online for weeks ‘coming september 15th’
    and then changed it into ‘pending’…”
    Yet another good argument for why CAR/NAR stats from the MLS are deadly accurate.

  59. I don’t think Michael is a shill; I think he is indicating that this property is probably now sold and will close on MLS a mere 2 days on market.
    Ok, so it was “on the market” 1 day, or was it 0 days. Must be a new record. Oh wait, it was never on the MLS. I’m very impressed. I wonder if they got over asking? LOL

  60. So you don’t know anything?
    People come here to share information, so
    if you don’t want to tell us that the sale is probably not going to happen at this point, that’s fine.
    You say other people are a shill or don’t know what they’re talking about, then why don’t you give us the right info…

  61. While some are reporting 2542 Fillmore as “sold” (including the agent’s website), we’ll note that as of today no transfer of ownership has been recorded.

  62. Btw, upon looking at records, it looks like a tax lien on a supplemental assessment might have held this up. It was paid on October 1, and there was an amendment recorded on September 24. What’s also interesting is that the supplemental assessment suggested a value of $5M.
    I believe the former owners are the founders of MD Buyline.

  63. So info, eddy and I had the only legit guesses (I’m assuming Michael “Should I offer $5M?” was a troll). It sold for 95% of my guess and 93% of eddy’s.
    Info wins: he/she said the list price of just under 4 might be right to a little high (though he had the benefit of the listing price eddy and I didn’t have).
    The former owner loses. Big time.

  64. Lost in this massive loss for the prior owners is that this home still sold for a pretty eye popping price at nearly $4M. How or why the previous owners ever thought that this home was worth $5M is simply beyond me. In this case, they truly overpaid and I strongly believe that this home in 2008 should have been valued right around $4M; as did Sleepiguy / Denis. The inference here is this home only lost about 5% of its ‘value’ from 2008 in terms of an apple (I realize that I’m likely to get torched for this comment/analysis :).
    One more “Interesting” thing about this home and the sale is that the sellers we’re also selling the furniture in the home as well so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the final selling price included much of the existing furniture in the home; or alternatively, if there was a separate, non-recorded sale of the furniture. In either (speculative) event, it would distort the final price of the home for sure.
    Congrats to all on this property, especially Michael. I hope the new owners are very happy and it really is a cool house! Hopefully we don’t see this house on the market for a long while.

  65. The realtors should all adopt that line of reasoning:
    “Sure it SOLD for X, but it was only WORTH a fraction of X at the time. So see, VALUES haven’t come down at all, just the PRICES people were willing to pay! So really, there hasn’t been any drop in value at all!”
    That was especially convincing eddy, coming from someone who said he would do a preemptive bid at 4.2.
    And I like how you added in the sale of the furniture to try to plump up the price. “It was REALLY $4.0M folks, but they sold about $30K in furniture for $200K to allow them to post it as 3.8.” However, it’s looking like the property tax people caught onto that little trick, and reassessed the sellers for their low assessment they got when THEY bought using the same trick.
    And while we’re doing this revisionist speak, my 4.1 guess was REALLY in Thai Baht, so I was really guessing $137,493. Because we were REALLY playing by price it right rules, you were all over, so I win.

  66. I guess I had that coming. 🙂
    I did say that the furniture could have been a swing in either direction depending on how it was positioned; and it is also totally speculative as I have no idea if any furniture was sold to the new owners.
    And despite the loss for the sellers, it is actually a pretty strong comp. This cannot be argued.
    I’ve said my peace on this home. Checking out until next time.

  67. Usually “the buyer overpaid” seems like a cop out though in this case I tend to agree with eddy.
    When there’s competitive bidding you really can’t say that the buyer overpaid, the buyer just placed a bid that they thought would win the auction.
    I don’t think that there was heavy competition for this place in 2008. The seller held out for a buyer willing to overpay and got lucky.

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