1. “There’s no place like home.”
Origin debatable. Number 23 in the top 100 American movie quotations, this phrase was invoked by Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. The character says something almost identical in the Frank Baum novel of 1900, but it was also the last line in the 1822 song Home! Sweet Home! Regardless of its source, it’s true — possibly because it’s vague enough to cover any unique home experience.
2. “The way you live in a place and the way you sell are two entirely different things.”
Cynthia Cummins. I remind sellers of this, as they contemplate purging possessions, moving out before marketing, or paying for staging. In a sophisticated market like San Francisco, selling a house is about 3 parts theater to 1 part realism.
3. “Home is where one starts from.”
T. S. Eliot. A great first line from Four Quartets “East Crocker,” a poem you might want to read sometime. Eliot started in St. Louis, Missouri and suffered from a congenital double inguinal hernia as a child. This meant he didn’t get to play with other children and spent a lot of time alone. Hence, he became interested in — you guessed it — literature!
4. “Sellers stage.”
Cynthia Cummins. Another of my favorite sayings. It’s a nod to the old real estate adage “Sellers sell,” which means that if you’re selling you take steps that result in a sale. In the classic sense, this means you hire a professional agent, follow her advice, respond in good faith to offers and so forth. In San Francisco, one of those crucial sale-producing steps is staging.
5. “The fellow who owns his own home is always just coming out of a hardware store.”
Kin Hubbard. The humorist’s humorist, who also said, “The only way to entertain some folks is to listen to them.” The hardware-store quote is self-explanatory.
6. “Buyers don’t buy in a buyer’s market.”
Cynthia Cummins. The “right moment” always seems to be in the past. This is a phenomenon buyers inevitably experience if they wait for the market to reach the bottom.
7. “Home is the nicest word there is.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her “Little House” books notwithstanding, Wilder endured plenty of “not nice” hardships growing up on the prairie, including near starvation, poverty, violence and life-threatening winter weather.
8. “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
Not Mark Twain. This favorite San Francisco aphorism is usually misattributed to Twain. He did say, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.” But nobody knows where that famous SF summer quote originated.