Sellers’ Resources

Choosing to sell your home is exciting and a very important decision. We live in one of the most sought after and complicated real estate markets in the country. We are experienced in the current San Francisco market and can help. With careful planning, attention to detail and consistent follow through, we will be your advocate and excel at obtaining the maximum sales price and best terms when it comes to the sale of your home.

Mount Davidson Manor

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The Power of Negotiation

Strong negotiating skills are absolutely vital when representing clients in one of the most competitive real estate markets in the country. Todd is a proven expert negotiator, just ask his clients!

Local Knowledge

We have a solid working knowledge of the San Francisco Real Estate market and local neighborhoods. Both Todd and Kim have lived in San Francisco for 30 years and know our respective landscape well. Liking a neighborhood is one thing, but knowing those markets well enough to match aspirations and purchase capabilities will save you countless hours.


Relationships are built on trust and respect. Agents work with other agents whom they trust and know will close the transaction. When you are honest, reliable and provide excellent service a good reputation follows easily. These inter-brokerage relationships can mean the difference between success and failure in our highly competitive marketplace.

Success and Expertise

Todd has been a Top Producer every year since he began his career. In 2013 he made the Top Ten List out of over 250 agents. His achievements lead him to encourage his wife, Kim Wiley, to leave her successful career in the financial services industry. We compliment each other for the benefit of you!

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Tips Before You Sell

Let us help you determine which process, improvements and repairs make the most sense so your sale will attain the highest price possible. We will bring in our trusted network of preferred vendors for quotes on repairs and upgrades. Nothing turns off a potential buyer faster than peeling paint, a broken window, or a splintered front step. A house in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership—one of your best sales tools. Start by covering these areas:

Fix or replace damaged flooring, such as torn linoleum or cracked tiles.

If you can’t afford to replace damaged or worn floors, please considering talking to us about our loan program or alternative lenders who will help you attain the resources needed to prepare the property in a manner that will net the greatest return on sale.

Fix any drains, faucets, or plumbing fixtures that aren't operating.

Fixes can range from replacing a faucet washer to buying a new toilet.

Paint the interior.

Fill and paint any cracks or holes in the walls. (You may need to repaint entire walls to mask such repairs.)

Replace burned-out bulbs and broken electrical sockets.

Most agents will want you to turn on all the lights before a showing.

Replace or fix broken stairs.

Fix any creaks as well.

Fix any doors that don't open easily, including the garage door.

Make it easy for a buyer to walk in.

Although who pays for various closing costs is negotiable between the buyer and seller, the following is the customary division in San Francisco County. Closing costs are the various charges made by the lender, the title company, real estate agents, and other service providers necessary to complete a transaction.

The SELLER customarily pays:

  • Real estate commission
  • Document preparation for deed
  • Documentary transfer tax (amount is dependent upon sales price)
  • Payoff of all loans against the property
  • Interest accrued on loans being paid off, reconveyance fees and pre-payment penalties
  • Home warranty (if specified in contract)
  • Any judgment or tax liens against seller
  • Property tax proration
  • Unpaid homeowner’s dues (for condominiums)
  • Bonds or assessments
  • Delinquent taxes
  • Move-out fees (for condominiums)
  • Notary fees and recordation fees
  • Third party Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement & California Tax Disclosure Report
  • Pre-sale pest inspection fee
  • Underground storage tank report
  • Energy & Water Conservation inspections & recording
  • Miscellaneous charges

Summary of Laws and Codes

These are some of the most important codes, statutes, and laws governing the transfer of real property. Your property may be affected by some or all of these.

Since September 20, 1982, the San Francisco Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance has required that all residential properties built before 1978 be brought up to specified standards.

Your property must be inspected by a certified energy inspector and a report must be recorded. There are varying dollar limitations on the amount of work required, depending upon the type of property. Requirements include attic insulation, insulation of heating ducts, weather stripping exterior doors, and water heater insulation. Water conservation requirements include low-flow shower-heads (2.5 gallons per minute), low-flush toilets (1.6 gallons or less per flush), as well as aerators on sink faucets. A copy of the Report of Residential Building Record must be provided to the buyer of every residential property. This report includes the authorized use of the property, the number of legal units, building permits that have been issued, zoning, and related information. This comprehensive law may substantially affect an owner's rights regarding the use of a property. The ordinance is enforced by the San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board. If laws are not strictly followed, it can create serious liability for an owner. When purchasing rent-controlled property, an owner who wishes to occupy may be required to provide money for moving expenses to any displaced tenants. The city requires all underground storage tanks to be removed or otherwise made safe when discovered. The property owner is responsible for the cost and related contamination clean up. This is required even if the property is not sold.

All sellers of real property are required to disclose the presence of any known lead hazards and to provide purchasers with the pamphlet "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home."

FIRPTA requires buyers of any property owned by a "foreign person" to withhold 10% of the gross sale price and forward it to the Internal Revenue Service. In order to avoid this, sellers must fill out an adavit certifying that they are not a "foreign person." Federal Lead Hazards Disclosure Requirements.Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act.

This act requires that the California Division of Mines and Geology develop maps delineating areas subject to earthquake hazards. These hazards are: liquefaction, enhanced ground shaking, earthquake induced landslides, and various types of ground failure.

The delineated areas are called "Seismic Hazards Zones." New development in a Seismic Hazard Zone will only be permitted if the developer can show that geologic hazard mitigation can make the site acceptably safe. This act places a disclosure obligation on sellers and real estate agents. Specifically, the agent for sellers of real property located within a mapped Seismic Hazard Zone must disclose this information to prospective purchasers. Zephyr will arrange for a geologic service to provide the mandated information. Zephyr will provide you with a copy of the publication "The Homeowners Guide to Earthquake Safety," which also includes a Residential Earthquake Hazards Report Form. Sellers must fill out this disclosure and buyers must sign it before close of escrow. A real estate broker must disclose the duties and responsibilities of agency to all clients. Brokers representing buyers are also required to make this disclosure. The form of agency in the transaction must always be clearly disclosed to all parties. There are three forms of agency: Seller's Agent, Buyer's Agent, and Dual Agent. All sellers of buildings with four or fewer residential units are required to provide the buyer with a written disclosure that outlines the condition of the property in detail. The buyer has three days after receipt of this statement (five days if received by mail) to rescind the contract. In San Francisco a Seller's Supplement to the Transfer Disclosure Statement is also customary. All sellers of residential property are required to disclose known environmental hazards to buyers. Zephyr will provide you with a copy of the publication required by law that makes the necessary general disclosures. This publication was prepared by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, in cooperation with the California Air Resources Board and the California Department of Health Services. It is not intended to disclose specific hazards which sellers may be aware of on their properties. These must be disclosed separately. All sellers of condominiums must provide the buyer with a statement from the homeowners' association disclosing the financial status of the association, including major maintenance or repair expenses, planned assessments, and delinquent assessments. The first time a converted condominium is sold, the seller is required to give the buyer a written statement disclosing any known defects in the property and common areas. All management documents (such as CC&Rs, bylaws, articles of incorporation), plus minutes of recent homeowners' meetings, are required to be presented to the buyer. Buyers are required to withhold tax from sellers who are not California residents. The California income tax to be withheld is an amount equal to 3.33% of the selling price. There are some exceptions to this requirement. Zephyr will help sellers determine if any of these apply. California law requires that every single-family dwelling must have an operable smoke detector, approved and listed by the State Fire Marshal. Sellers are required to certify that the property is in compliance with state law prior to transfer Although not a point of sale requirement, California law requires that every single-family dwelling and condominium must have an operable carbon monoxide detector - if there are gas burning appliances on the premises. Some appraisers will not complete their report without these devices being installed. California law requires that all new and replacement water heaters and existing residential water heaters be braced, anchored or strapped to resist falling or horizontal displacement. Sellers are required to certify that the property is in compliance prior to transfer. This law requires that every sales contract for residential real property contain a specific written notice that a prospective purchaser can access the database containing information about registered sex oenders. It provides that upon delivery of the foregoing written notice the seller is not required to provide additional information regarding the proximity of registered sex oenders. This notice is included in the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® sales contract.

Seller Transaction Process

The Flow Of Real Estate Transactions: A Sellers Guide to Selling Real Estate for The Best Possible Price

Initial Consultation

  • Understand your needs, priorities, and time frames
  • Examine local market conditions
  • Determine market value of property
  • Discuss pricing and marketing strategies
  • Define Agency relationship
  • Explain how we will work together

Signed Listing Agreement

  • Open escrow with title company
  • Order Preliminary Title Report
  • Review and address any potential issues found in Preliminary Title Report
  • Order 3R Report
  • Order HOA documents if necessary
  • Prepare Property for Market

Perform pre-inspections

  • Make repairs and improvements
  • Consider new paint
  • Maximize property presentation
  • Remove clutter, stage, partial stage


  • Complete seller disclosures on property condition,
    history and improvements
  • Review and sign all available disclosures and reports

Listing Preparation

  • Schedule professional photographer
  • Write property description
  • Create marketing materials
  • Ensure all disclosures and marketing materials
    are complete
  • Enter property listing into MLS


  • Prepare customized marketing plan for your property
  • Implement extensive Internet and Social Media marketing campaign
  • Distribute property flyers
  • Leverage Zephyr’s network to showcase your property
  • Schedule open house(s) and broker tours

Gather Feedback

  • Follow up with all agents showing property for feedback
  • Collect statistics on every open house and broker tour
  • Conduct weekly review of showings, statistics, and
    feedback with sellers
  • Re-evaluate pricing if no offers within 14 - 21 days

Review Offers and Negotiate Contracts

  • Create a spreadsheet of offers price, contingencies and
    financing terms
  • Review offers with sellers
  • Develop and implement counter offer strategies
  • Negotiate and ratify contract
  • Ensure delivery of contract to Title Company

Initial Escrow Period

  • Report “Pending Sale” to MLS and place “Pending” sign
    on property
  • Secure and negotiate “back up” offers
  • Confirm key escrow dates and requirements with buyer’s agent
  • Verify buyer’s agent and buyer have received all
    disclosures, inspections, and reports

Transaction Review

  • Audit and confirm all documents are properly signed
    and acknowledged
  • Resolve any issues arising from buyer’s review of
    disclosures and inspections
  • Confirm progress on buyer’s loan application, appraisal, conditions, and document delivery time frame

Contingency Removal

  • Review any repair requests
  • Negotiate repairs (if needed)
  • Manage contingency removals for property condition
    and financing
  • Confirm closing date
  • Schedule final walk-through
  • Change status on Multiple Listing Service to
    “Do Not Show”

Record and Close Escrow

  • Review document package with sellers
  • Confirm sign-off dates
  • Attend final walk-through
  • Sign-off and funding
  • Exchange keys
  • Escrow is closed


  • Change mailing address for all bank accounts, bills, magazine subscriptions if mail was being delivered to sold property


  • Contact The San Francisco Real Estate Group about reinvesting into another property or investment opportunity

Tax Planning

  • Refer to The San Francisco Real Estate Group for any resources or documents you may need for tax professionals


  • Update estate plan and trust to remove sold property address
  • Consider meeting with financial planner to update financial plan

Testimonials From Our Clients

Kim and Todd Wiley are wonderful agents. We live in San Diego and needed an agent in SF. A young couple we know in SF bought their first home through Kim. We sold a hoarder home in SF and Kim arranged everything for us. She hired a fiduciary (Ashley fantastic) to look through hundreds of boxes. They found cash took photos immediately contacted us and secured it until we arrived in SF a month later. They repurposed everything to thrift stores, churches, schools and arranged all the recycling. Who does that for their clients?? A professionalteam and that is The Wiley Team. They are knowledgeable, kind, get back to you immediately and just made such an overwhelming task seem easy.

Jim and Joanne M
San Diego

I inherited my house in San Francisco, and a lot of people would think I am very lucky... but. San Francisco to me is not the same as it was 20 years ago for me. I decided to sell my house back in June/July, and looked into different approaches. The road to selling my house was certainly bumpy, luckily I had Todd to smooth it all out for me! I was referred to him by my estate lawyer (Alma Soongi Beck) and like anyone else I was skeptical at first... but that went away quickly. At first I was just going to sell to a private buyer, but after talking to him I was convinced that listing my home would be better for me in the long run. We started back in August, the road was not easy....

Tiffany L.
San Francisco

Earlier this year I was referred through a law firm to work with Todd and Kim Wiley for a challenging trust sale of my mother’s four unit building on 16th Avenue in the Richmond District of San Francisco. They have worked tirelessly since I hired them in May to bring us to an eminent sale this December. Because I was the trustee of my mother’s estate and I live in New York City, this sale was especially challenging due to my distance and matters involving a beneficiary who refused to move so that we could settle the estate...

Paul W.
New York, NY

As an executor of an estate, I had two properties in San Francisco to sell both of which had long term tenants. Todd had the expertise needed to negotiate this complicated process. He knew how to market the properties and to whom. You will be hard pressed to find someone who matches his knowledge of tenant and rent control issues in San Francisco.

Joan M.
Santa Rosa, CA


This glossary is offered to help understand terms used in the probate field. Be careful, words can take on different meaning, depending on their context. Please see California Probate Code § 20, et. seq. for more precise definitions to many terms used in the probate field.

The purpose of this glossary is to provide general information on the law, which is subject to change. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. If you have legal questions, you should consult an attorney.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM): A mortgage where the rate changes over time in line with movements in an index. ARMs are also referred to as AMLs (adjustable mortgage loans) or VRMs (variable rate mortgages).

Adjustment Period: The length of time between interest rate changes on an ARM. For example, a loan with an adjustment period of one year is called a one-year ARM, which means that the interest rate can change once a year.

Amortization: Repayment of a loan in equal installments of principal and interest, rather than interest-only payments.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The total finance charge (interest, loan fees, points) expressed as a percentage of the loan amount..

Assumption of Mortgage: A buyer’s agreement to assume the liability under an existing note secured by a mortgage or deed of trust. The lender must approve the buyer in order to release the original borrower (usually the seller) from liability.

Beneficiary – An individual or organization to whom a gift of property is made. A person who inherits when there is a will.

Blocked Accounts – Cash or securities that are placed in a bank, trust company, insured savings & loan or insured brokerage account, subject to withdrawal only upon court order or statute.

Codicil – An amendment or supplement to an existing will.

Community Property – Real or personal property that is owned in common by husband and wife as a kind of marital partnership. Either spouse has management and control of the community real and personal property; however, both spouses must join in a transfer of ownership or lease for more than one year of community real property or a gift of community personal property. All property acquired during marriage from earnings, and the earnings themselves, are community property. Property acquired by gift or inheritance is separate property, not community property

Conservatee – A person determined by the court to be unable to protect and manage their own personal care or financial affairs, or both. And, for whom the court has appointed a conservator.

Conservator – A person or organization appointed by the court to protect and manage the personal care or financial affairs, or both, of a conservatee. (See LPS Conservatorship)

Conservatorship – A court proceeding wherein a judge appoints a responsible person (conservator) to care for another person (conservatee) who cannot care for him/her self or his/her finances.

Custodian of the Will – The person in possession of the will when the person who wrote the will dies.

Contingent Beneficiary – A person who may share in an estate or trust depending upon the happening of an event.

Decedent – A person who has died.

Declaration – A written statement made under penalty of perjury..

Decedent – A person who has died.

Devisees and Legatees – Persons named by a decedent in his will. A bequest or devise generally refers to real property and a legacy of money or personal property.

Disclaimer – A refusal to accept, for example, a testamentary gift that is made in a prescribed manner and time.

Domicile – The specific location of a person’s permanent residence that determines, for many purposes, the laws that will govern his affairs. A person may have many residences, but he can have only one domicile. The domiciliary proceeding is that created in the jurisdiction of the decedent’s domicile.

Donee – A person who receives a gift from another.

Donor – A person who makes a gift to another.

Escheat – The term which describes the transfer of property to the state in the event a person dies leaving no valid will and no heirs at law surviving him.

Estate Taxes, Federal – The death taxes imposed by the federal government on the transfer of assets upon death.

Estate – A person’s total possessions (assets), including money, jewelry, securities, land, etc. These assets are managed by a fiduciary subject to a court order. E.g., guardianship estate, conservatorship estate, or decedent’s estate.

Executor – The person named in a will to carry out the directions as set forth in the will. This person is the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.

Ex Parte – A judicial proceeding granted without notice.

Fiduciary – A person or organization that manages property for a person,with a legal responsibility involving a high standard of care. E.g., conservators, guardians, personal representatives, agents, or trustees.

General Power – Enables the donee to designate himself, his creditors, his estate, the creditors of his estate, or any other person, as owner of the subject property.

Gift Tax Annual Exclusion – Both California and federal law allow a donor to exclude an amount of gifts from taxation each year, if the gifts are of a present interest and to a specific individual. A present interest gift is one in which has an immediate unrestricted right of use, benefit, and enjoyment.

Grantor – The individual or corporation who makes a grant (transfer) of property to another person (e.g., grantor of a trust, grantor of a deed of property).

Guardian – A person appointed by the court to protect and manage the personal care or financial affairs, or both, of a minor (ward).

Heir – A person who would naturally inherit property through a will, or from another who died without leaving a will.

Holographic Will – Generally, a will that is completed handwritten, dated and signed by the person making the will.

Inheritance Tax – A tax imposed on heirs who inherit property.

Inter Vivos Trust – A trust set up during the lifetime of a person to distribute money or property to another person or organization (as distinguished from a person who transfers money or property after death).

Intestate – Without a will. Opposite of Testate.

Intestate Succession – The order of who inherits the property when the decedent does not have a will.

Irrevocable Trust – Trust wherein the grantor has expressly released the power of revocation.

Joint Tenancy – A form of property ownership by two or more persons, often designated as “joint tenants with right of survivorship.” Joint tenants always own equal parts of joint tenancy property. When a joint tenant dies, his or her interest in the property automatically goes to the surviving joint tenant.

Letters – The court document that establishes the authority to act as a guardian, conservator, or personal representative (executor or administrator). In decedent’s estates, an executor’s letters are designated “letters testamentary,” and an administrator’s letters are “letters of administration.”

Life Estate – An interest in property, the term of which is measured by the life of its owner.

Life Tenant – The person who receives the benefits from the real or personal property during his lifetime only.
The benefits stop when he dies.

Limited Conservatorship – A type of conservatorship for developmentally disabled adults.

LPS Conservatorship – A specific type of conservatorship, under the Lanternman-Petris-Short Act, which allows for involuntary detention and treatment of a person (the conservatee). This conservatorship is a result of mental disorder and the conservatee appears to be a danger to himself/herself or others, or is gravely disabled. The Public Guardian must file this matter. (See Conservator and Conservatee)

Minor – As used in the context of a guardianship, a person under the age of 18 who is placed in the care of a court appointed guardian.

Mortgage Life Insurance: A type of term life insurance often bought by mortgagors. The coverage decreases as the mortgage balance declines. If the borrower dies while the policy is in force, the debt is automatically covered by insurance proceeds.

Pretermitted Heir – One who would normally be beneficiary of the decedent but who is not mentioned in the will.

Personal Property – Anything owned by a person that can be moved such as money, securities, jewelry, etc.
(See Property)

Personal Representative – An administrator or executor appointed by the court to administer a decedent’s estate.
A written, formal request, properly filed with the Court, for a specific action or order. The petition is a pre-printed Court form in some cases, or written in proper format on pleading paper in others. E.g., petition for Probate, petition for conservatorship, etc.

Petition – The legal process of administering a will. Also, the judicially supervised process for marshaling a decedent’s assets, paying proper debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the persons or entities entitled to them.

Pour-over Will – A will that provides for the transfer, after or during the probate court proceedings, of all or part of the net assets of a decedent’s probate estate from the executor’s control to the control of a trustee who is in charge of a trust that was in existence immediately before the death of the deceased person (inter vivos trust).

Power of Appointment – The actual power of legal authority given by the trust or will of one person, the “donor” of the power, to a second person, the “done” of the power, which enables the second person to designate the manner of disposing of the property. A power of appointment may be general or special, as defined below.

Probate Administration – The legal process whereby a probate court supervises the marshalling of a deceased person’s debts and taxes and orders the property distributed according to decedent’s will, or in its absence,
to the deceased person’s heirs. The probate court has jurisdiction over the personal representative and the decedent’s assets.

Probate Court – The court that handles matters concerning wills and estates, such as the distribution of property or money to those named in a will. In California, the Probate Court also handles guardianships and conservatorships.

Probate Real Estate Sale – The transfer of legal title (ownership) of real property from the estate of the person who has died to his or her beneficiaries or to a buyer under the supervision of the Court.

Probate Referee – Before real property can be sold through probate, it must be appraised. This is done by a probate referee. In California, probate referees are appointed by the State Controller and assigned to a particular case by the court clerk. They are paid for this service directly by the estate, usually a percentage of the appraised value.

Property – Anything that can be owned such as money, securities, land, buildings, etc.
(See Personal Property and Real Property)

Quasi-community Property – In California only, that property acquired by a decedent while living outside California, which, if acquired in California, would have been community property. For federal estate tax purposes, quasi-community property is treated like separate property.

Real Property – Land and immovable objects on the land such as buildings. (See Property)

Remainder Interest – An ownership interest in property that will become a present interest after the present owner or life tenant has received all the property benefits to which he is entitled.

Residue – The remaining part of a decedent’s estate after the payments of debts and legacies.
Also called “residuary estate.”

Residuary Beneficiary – An ownership interest in property that returns to the original owner when the intervening interest expires.

Revocable Trust – A trust in which the person making the trust retains the power to revoke the trust.

Right of Representation – A method of distribution, sometimes referred to as “per stirpes,” whereby the share of distribution of a deceased beneficiary is divided equally among his children.

Separate Property – In California, a category of property between husband and wife that is not community property or quasi-community property, but that is owned separately by the husband or wife.

Settlor – Another word for grantor or trustor of a trust. The person who “settles” the assets into the trust.

Small Estates – A decedent’s estate may avoid probate and have personal property transferred directly to an heir if the decedent’s estate meets the requirements of California Probate Code § 13100 et. seq.

Special Power – Limits the donee as to the persons to whom he can designate as owners of the property over which he has a power of appointment. The limitation of appointment can be very specific (e.g., to a group consisting only of A’s children) but can never be the done, his estate his creditors, or the creditors of his estate because this would defeat the purpose of the special power, namely, to keep the appointive property from being taxed in the estate of the donee on his death.

Successor Fiduciary – The next person or organization appointed if a vacancy arises in a conservatorship, guardianship, or decedent’s estate because of the fiduciary’s death, removal, or resignation.

Tenancy In Common – A form of holding title to real or personal property by two or more persons. Because there is no right of survivorship, the legal relationships and results are very different from joint tenancy. Tenants in common need not hold equal interest, and on the death of a tenant in common, his interest will pass by his will or according to the laws of intestate succession.

Uniform Gifts to Minors Act – A law that permits a person (“donor”) to register stock, bank accounts, or insurance in the name of another (“custodian”) for the benefit of one who is at the time a minor (“beneficiary”) without preparing a formal trust document. In effect, the trust document has been written into the law. In so doing, the donor makes an irrevocable gift of the property to the minor, but the custodian holds, invests, reinvests, and applies the property for the benefit of the minor until his majority, at which time the property is turned over to the beneficiary. This is a simple, inexpensive way to make small gifts to a minor.

Will – A document that directs the disposition of a person’s property after death. Such a document should be made according to law (see California Probate Code § 6100 et. seq.) and is filed in a probate court after the person has died.

Will – A document that directs the disposition of a person’s property after death. Such a document should be made according to law (see California Probate Code § 6100 et. seq.) and is filed in a probate court after the person has died.

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