San Francisco real estate has gotten so crazy that this startup founder was offered stock options for his house

Joe fernandez house

From million-dollar teardowns to homes selling for 70% above their asking price, there have been plenty of crazy stories about the San Francisco real estate market.

This one might take the cake.

Joe Fernandez, cofounder of social influence startup Klout, was looking to sell his Noe Valley home before making the move to Los Angeles with his wife.

The home, a three-bedroom Victorian house whose gutting and renovation had been featured in the New York Times, was listed for $US1.895 million at the beginning of March.

Fernandez said hundreds of people showed up for the open house in the days that followed.

“I guess people researched and found out that I was the one who owned the house,” he told Business Insider. A “Klout For Dummies” book on a shelf also probably tipped off visitors to the owner’s identity.

Soon he was being contacted with several interesting offers: stock options as part of a deal to buy the house.

“We’ve heard in this market about people offering cash with no contingency. People are doing whatever they can to be creative and sweeten the deal,” Fernandez said.

Joe fernandez house

Fernandez admits he was tempted by several of the offers, but the process of selling a home with stock raised some complicated tax issues. He declined to share which companies these interested buyers held stock in.

“These were companies whose products I use and love that everyone expects to IPO,” he said. “It’s interesting that their stock came up in offers, but ultimately it becomes a very complicated transaction once you include them, so I would be surprised if this became a regular thing.”

He eventually sold his home for $US2.6 million, roughly 37% above its asking price. These days, it’s not uncommon for homes to sell for much more than they were asking. According to Fernandez’s realtor, however, the stock-options offer is not something you could expect to see happen very often.

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