One Up, One Down

Posted by Dave Fratello on Thursday, May 8th, 2008 at 6:40am.

Maybe you overpriced your home. Everyone does it, at least to start. No shame there.

The next move, eventually, is to trim a bit. See if that builds interest. And if not, cut again.

This seems elementary, and it’s the strategy pursued recently by 923 1st (click address for pics & details via Redfin), a Hill Section listing that began in early 2008 at a whopping $8m (-$2k). (See our review in “Unpredictable.”)

By late March, with no takers, the sellers cut $403k (-5%) to $7.595m.

That did not do the trick. The next step was to take another $220k off the top on April 28. Now the listing was down to $7.375m, as we noted in our MB Market Update the other day.

Just a few days later, however, a second listing of 923 1st began on a different MLS (SoCal MLS), and that one began at $7.595m, the old price.

No, they couldn’t be increasing the price, we figured. We chalked it up to some kind of anomaly or clerical error. The local MLS listing (on Mr. MLS) stayed at $7.375m.

And then it got strange. Tuesday, the local listing did, in fact, bump back up to $7.595m. (Graphic via the Redfin listing.) So it appears that the seller had a kind of seller's regret, and potential buyers missed an unannounced 10-day sale.

This is a strategy to sell the home?

We saw a chaotic listing like this last year. In the Tree Section, 579 29th started in December 2006 at $2.575m, dropped to $2.4m, rose to $2.519m, cut again to $2.329m and eventually sold in August 2007 for $2.250m (-$350k/-13% from start). (See stories here and here.)

The bump up did not speed the sale or net the sellers any more money, but for those critical days or weeks when they were driving the pricing, perhaps the move might have helped them dream bigger. Before reality interceded.

Meanwhile, some more conventional pricing behavior is on display over at 225 Homer. That one began at $2.3m in late March.

Last weekend, as we noted in our Weekend Opens column, the price online was still posted as $2.3m – but the open-house listings said it was $2.1m.

We kinda knew that cut was coming for real, so we lightheartedly urged readers to clip the BR listings as a coupon for $200k off last weekend. Alas, discounts usually make their way to the list price of things, no coupons necessary.

We expect the same, one of these days, up at 923 1st.
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