Biggest Recent Ask/Close Spreads

By Dave Fratello | October 20th, 2016

People want to sell their homes. They know the Manhattan Beach market has been white-hot for as long as anyone can remember. (Well, 3-4 years, but how long can you remember?)

So they try for the most money they can. And then reality intervenes.

Here's more proof that the market in general, and 2016's market, in particular, doesn't look like those go-go days when you could simply name a number and people would be lining up at the door to offer more.

This list of recent sales with notable price cuts simply comes from sales so far in the month of October:

933 9th Street Manhattan Beach CA933 9th (4br/3ba, 3950 sqft.) is a Hill Section home on a big (7500 sqft.) downsloping lot that was built in the 1980s.

There have been updates since, with a glam polished-stone floor, somewhat newer cabinetry and counters, a nice master bath update. 

But really, this was not a $3.6M home, as it came out in April, and it seems that was apparent to all but the sellers. After 2 months, $400K came off the top, and it was starting to get reasonable at $3.195M.

When a buyer knocked, they took another $250K off.

Closed price: $2.930M (-$665K/-18%)

625 17th Street Manhattan Beach CA625 17th (4br/4ba, 4380 sqft.) is an absolutely charming custom build, with a lot of Old East Coast flavor. The 50' wide lot allows for a spacious floorplan. There's a sizable yard. Ocean views.

And did we mention that it's on a rare cul-de-sac block that's not only quiet and close to everything, but that living on this street is like joining a private club?

For all those pluses, the market firmly rejected this home in June when the asking price was $5.195M. We showed it then, and groused aloud to clients that this beauty ought to be $4.6M or so (really), but that the sellers didn't look realistic enough to try to make a deal with at the time. (Do you really want to even bother offering 10% or more below the asking price?)

Guess what? Those same sellers had a change of heart over the Summer, brought the property back to market in September at $4.495M, and got multiple offers. The final sale price was $4.600M, pretty much how we saw it in June. If only...

Final sale price of $4.600M was +$105K/+2% over the September asking, but also -$595K/-11% off the June asking.

747 18th Street Manhattan Beach CA747 18th (5br/4ba, 3625 sqft.) is a 1980s custom build that could use some rethinking on the outside, but on the inside, had gotten a decent once-over so that there was a new master bath, new paint and carpet everywhere, and the chance to see the home's potential, even if it wasn't exactly perfect.

Location right near the Martyrs neighborhood (and literally steps to the school as well as Pacific Elementary) made this a plus, despite running along Pacific Ave. on the eastern/garage side.

There were not a lot of similar comps, for some obvious reasons. So they started out high, under $3M but not too much, at $2.875M. 

Now it's closed at $2.615M (-$260K/-9%).

1022 2nd Street Manhattan Beach CA1022 2nd (3br/3ba, 2850 sqft.) is a Hill Section house with some views on the top floors. It seems to have been held back by the unusual floorplan (master and living rooms upstairs), small kitchen, location on 2nd and the need for some repairs.

Still, all things considered, we pegged it at around $2.3M way-back-when.

We were surprised to see it drop and linger all Summer.

Closed price: $2.000M (-$299K/-13%)

511 N Dianthus Street Manhattan Beach CAHey, you might say, what's up with all the Hill Section sales coming in low?

At 511 Dianthus (3br/3ba, 1900 sqft.), you see a bigger drop if you measure against the attempt to sell last year. 

In November 2015, this one was out at $1.899M for a total of 2 weeks. That didn't work – and the time of year was lousy – so the sellers packed it in to wait.

Then in August this year – also not a great time of year, but who can account for timing? – they came out more than $100K lower at $1.775M.

Sale price of $1.695M is -$80K/-5% from this year's start, -$204K/-11% from that Nov. 2015 flirtation.

232 6th Street Manhattan Beach CA232 6th (5br/7ba, 4325 sqft.) is a glamorous, fabulous new home with big views on a walkstreet south of the pier. We've said plenty of nice things about this one, and toured clients through who oooohed and aaaaaaahed.

The only problem here was figuring out a price. And that took a while.

The launch was $9.000M. MBC seemed to make no new friends after an upbeat review in February was followed by this commonsense observation:

"The start price of $9M is obviously ambitious for a home that is on Highland, but that's what walkstreet homes are going for now, and this one's all-new. One to watch."

We showed it. We watched it. To the seller's credit, they never "re-listed" it, even while chopping prices and building a hearty DOM count of nearly 6 months. Eventually, it sold.

Closed price: $7.385M (-$1.615M/-18%).

721 12th Street Manhattan Beach CA721 12th (4br/4ba, 3500 sqft.) is a custom remodel with a modern style just east of Highview in the south Martyrs hill area.

While walkable to town and school, it's in kind of a forgotten zone.

And speaking of "forgotten," the listing ran January-July this year with no action. The $3.499M start price was an overreach, with the first chop coming 4+ months in, and another later, down to $2.999M. The listing actually quit.

But quitting was just the beginning! Then the interest picked up. Sometimes, it's a drastic act like canceling that brings out the buyers.

We next saw 721 12th suddenly on the market and in escrow in late August. A deal had been arranged off-market.

The sale shows as 1 DOM and a mere $99K chop from start.

The reality: 203 "combined" DOM (2 listings) and:

Closed price: $2.900M (-$599K/-17% from January start).

Did you notice how both this one and 625 17th will look a LOT different in the MLS statistics? One will show an over-asking sale, without reference to the huge overreach earlier in the year. One will show a sale very close to asking, despite the 17% comedown from start.

Let's be clear, here.

We like a calm market. One where things are more predictable. Where buyers have some time. Where sellers who price right are rewarded. 

But some sellers have needed to learn "the hard way" that the market isn't quite where they had hoped it was. Timely corrections and some flexibility got it done.

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