Aggression Pays

By Dave Fratello | October 8th, 2007
You have to hand it to the sellers of 754 14th: It appears that truly aggressive pricing has gotten them a quick sale in these largely sluggish days.

Take a step back for context. This home is the fourth in the Arbolado Ct. development to come up for sale since March. These make for good studies because the homes were all built at the same time in the same style (slightly different sizes) by the same developer, making them more directly comparable than most listings scattered around town.

As we have noted previously, of the three that came on the market this Spring and Summer, one sold, one quit and one has lingered for 7 months, with no action besides several price reductions.

754 14th is situated between the long-timer, 758 14th, and the market-testing quitter, 752 14th. Having watched their neighbors' errors, and apparently meaning to sell, they did something drastic – they under-priced. As a result, the listing didn't even make it to the first open house.

The first aggressive thing about 754 was its price at $1,000 below 758 – $1.698m compared to $1.699m. Not only is that less money, it's also obviously a better value. 754 is slightly larger, and much more attractively (and recently) remodeled and decorated.

The next-most aggressive fact is that the PPSF for 754 was about 9% lower than the PPSF for the one recent sale in Arbolado – 1140 Laurel. That one sold for $1.535m at the end of August, for 3br/3ba, 2550 sq.ft. ($602/PSF). The location and condition for Laurel were inferior to 754 14th, so 754 could have gone higher. Going below – at $547/PSF – was an eye-opener.

More incidental results of the aggressive pricing – unless multiple offers bid up the sale price, 754 14th has just ruined the prices for two other listings that are now at $1.699m (the neighbor, of course, and also 2413 Elm, comparably sized but in a minus location).

And if $547/PSF were to somehow come to rule the day among other Tree Section listings below $2m, chaos would erupt. The 19 listings in that range as of Sept. 30 averaged $746/PSF. (Let's not go too far with that, as PPSF is just one of many imperfect price gauges.)

MBC customarily notes prior sale prices when possible. 754 14th was purchased for $1.230m in June 2003. At $1.7m, they're up $470k tax-free before costs of sale. Not bad at all, and they did it, somehow, in a market full of yellow and red flags.

UPDATE: The escrow has posted as "contingent." With that, the link formerly provided to the property details via Redfin has gone dark.

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