You Won't Believe What's Inside This SoMa Loft
Every listing agent runs into properties that seem like a challenge to sell. But the smart ones know that when life gives you lemons ... you make them into a refreshing selling point!
When Dirk Kinley of Climb Real Estate was contacted to try to sell a one-bedroom loft, the sellers admitted it would be an interesting experience. Not only was the place well-loved (okay, cluttered), the unusually high ratio of tenants to owners made it almost impossible to finance. Plus, its parking spot wouldn't fit anything larger than a Smart Car.
Also, there was this Winnebago.
The great thing about a loft is its open floor plan. But the annoying thing about a loft is also the open floor plan. Faced with a need for privacy, the loft's owners had hit upon an ingenious idea: When they happened upon a small mobile-home trailer that had outlived its usefulness, they had it hauled through a window into their space, where it became a pre-fab VIP room.
In the listing's "before" pictures, the situation seems hopeless. I mean, who goes out to open houses hoping they'll see a place with an en suite mobile home? But Climb is known for its superstaging superpowers, and saw potential amidst the clutter. First, they selected a target demographic: "Since this live/work loft is close to the headquarters of Twitter and [game company] Zynga, we decided the target buyer was a 32-year-old hip single male who works in tech," says Chris Lim, Climb's Director of Marketing. "He's the West-Coast version of a Brooklyn hipster: drinks Four Barrel coffee, is a foodie, skateboards to work and listens to music by Joey Bada$$." Whoever that is.
With that target in mind, the renovations began. "Standard staging takes two to three days, but we worked on this home for two weeks," says Lim. About half of the modifications were permanent: They stained the concrete floors, painted the wood floors and the walls and replaced the carpet. The spiral staircase became fire-engine red, and the Winnebago was refurbished into a cozy nap spot, reading nook or makeout room. (Sure hope Joey Bada$$ has done some Barry White covers.) "We also added midcentury furniture to be on-theme with the Winnebago," he says.
When the home hit the market, it worked almost too well. "We got offers right away: People loved it," says Lim. "But the first contract fell through because of the financing problems, and the parking space was a sticking point for many." The price dropped from $599K to $499K, but after 45 days on the market, sold for close to the original asking price, which was more than market value for a one-bedroom live-work loft with under 1,000 square feet and a micro-parking spot.
For both buyer and seller, it was win-win(nebago). Hey now!