Poll Results: 421 Marine

Posted by Dave Fratello on Monday, November 2nd, 2009 at 5:00am.


Last week we backed into a pricing poll on 421 Marine.

The MBC story on the property ("Whose Gain?") said that the starting list price of $1.350m might be below market value.

When a reader suggested that we run a pricing poll on the property, we started that up shortly after. Despite the unconventional beginning, reader participation in the poll was good.

Something else unconventional: plenty of readers who voted agreed that the property is "underpriced." (A conclusion also reached by the Ideal Home Brokers "Fundamental Value Report" on the property – click to download the 8-pg. PDF.)

Recall that this duplex (2 separate units) was purchased just over 3 years ago for $1.850m. Start price was down $500k (-27%) from there.

Too far down?


You can read this graphic's many green portions to say that most readers voting thought $1.35m was acceptable or low. The slender red segment covers the few voters who thought there could be some kind of overheated bidding war taking the final deal price over $1.6m.

A majority of those voting (54%) took the options right above and below the $1.35m start price – the total range being $1.2m-$1.45m (about 18% high/low). As you see, those who went a bit above or a bit below were evenly divided.

An optimistic 12% foresaw the property getting bid up by more than $100k to $1.45m or more, up to $1.6m. That's not hard to imagine if there are multiple bids.

The most pessimistic regarding the value of 421 Marine were the 24% who thought it would go below $1.2m. Another 6% said the property wouldn't sell.

We're now 10 days into the listing, and there's one change.

No, it's not posted in escrow. Instead, it's now officially a short sale.

MBC's original post ("Whose Gain?") mentioned an early-October NOD and specifically noted that the listings was not, at the time, posted short. The change is not a big surprise, though, since the loan against the property is well above the list price.

Shorties can take longer to resolve, a lesson we've learned more than once. The bank that made the loan may or may not exist, there may or may not be staff to process the request, the Congress may want to pass a new federal subsidy to backfill short sales and protect investor profits, etcetera...

It's conceivable that there is a price near the high end of the spectrum reflected here that could avoid the short sale hassles, but there would have to be a few bids. There's a big question – as we noted in our first post – as to who, exactly, is the kind of buyer who steps up here. Are there enough to push the price up?

Whenever 421 Marine is resolved, we'll point back to these results and see how we all did.
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