Top SF Realtor POV: Dream Homes and Nightmares

Top SF Realtor POV: Dream Homes and Nightmares

Writings about residential real estate and all things home, by Cynthia Cummins of Kindred SF Homes.

Reading time: 2 minutes

The term “dream home” gets lots of airtime. It’s what every residential real estate buyer is seeking. It’s what we agents are trying to find for our clients.

There’s inevitably a discrepancy (minor or major) between dream and reality, and during their search buyers may experience sleepless nights full of worry and scared-awake startles brought on by anxiety over the big-money process of buying a home. It’s common during an escrow to hear a client recount a dream wherein they showed up at their new home and couldn’t find the front door, much less the keys to it.

Realtors have dreams, too, as well as their fair share of nightmares. (Even with our superpowers, we agents are people, too!) When a transaction gets tough or when the market is murky or – sometimes – when everything is hunky dory, my sleep is disrupted with nighttime narratives of deals gone bad. 

Last week I was visited by a doozy of a dream. Luckily, it had plenty of comedic moments, and I awoke feeling amused more than alarmed.

My new listing – a nondescript Victorian in San Francisco – had just been staged and I was doing the final walkthrough before photos, only to find:

  • A living room wall with a big hole in the middle covered in plywood. The room was nicely painted in a pleasing color, except for the analogous patch.

  • An array of tchotchkes and mismatched accessories on every surface, as if someone had raided the clearance bins at Ross Dress for Less: Disney themed hair clips, black plastic earring trees, weird rococo soap dishes, ugly toothbrush holders, trays with no purpose, fake wheat grass, and tacky statuary (in particular, a silver frog in Padmasana position)

  • Atrociously bad art 

  • A pink child’s bedroom that felt like the inside of a Pepto Bismol bottle

  • Towels emblazoned with inane sayings like “Working nine to wine” and “I’ll clink to that”

Throughout, were various stained or ugly furnishings I'd beheld in other listings – like the tired outdoor settee used in a recent comp, with muddy-raccoon-paw prints on the cushions and a broken leg propped up with a yoga block.

As I retraced my steps through the space, I was confronted with changes made to the rooms that were even worse than what was there before. But I couldn’t seem to communicate with any of the stagers, movers or painters who were milling about.

The dream culminated with me switching on a backup generator that was part of the staging (why?). Turns out it was just an inert prop (again, why?) but it gave me a shock and simultaneously shorted out all the electrical in the place. 

At which point I woke up.

Photo Credit: Toa Heftiba

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