Corrections Can Be Made

By Dave Fratello | May 20th, 2014

What's that? Your start price shot the moon?

Don't worry. Buyers can fix it for you.

That's what happened with two sales that closed this week, somewhat defying the market-wide trend of ever-higher shockingly high sale prices.

The sellers knew what they had in 2009 Palm (5br/5ba, 4050 sq. ft.): An oversized, remodeled house on a prime street. They asked for $3.150M starting last Fall.

Now, there are homes in the Trees hitting the 3's nowadays, and the extra square footage was a part of the argument for that kind of a number at 2009 Palm.

But still, it's an early-90s custom home that gets the extra square footage by shortchanging the backyard. (Pre-ZORP, this was common.) The remodeling was very specific to one family's taste, edging toward modern. (In our review last September, we raised our questions about the style.)

It never felt like a $3M house, and time bore out that feeling.

In February it was re-priced to $2.899M, and by mid-March, chops brought it to $2.750M. A buyer knocked in late March, fully 6 months after the market debut.

The closed sale price of $2.675M now looks pretty good.

It's $475K off the top, and a 15% spread from the start price.

Now you can see the home in perspective. For today's market, that's a lot of house and a super location for the price. Hard to replicate.

Instead of feeling like they had to pay extra for the pluses, the buyers could rightly feel that they got a lot for the money.

A little more surprising is the sale at 225 1st (3br/4ba, 2100 sq. ft.).

A remodeled ocean-view SFR in the South End, this one had a lot going for it when it launched in early February, the dawn of our Spring market. They put a pricetag on it of $2.399M and waited for the rush.

We had clients with potential interest, so we comped it out at the time. Whoops, it looked like a 2.2-ish property, where maybe you'd hit 2.3 if there was definitely other interest, but we really liked it lower, even, than 2.2.

And so, apparently, did everyone else.

Quick correction – just 12 days into the listing, they chopped the price to $2.199M. Surely that would kick up some action.

But no. Two weeks later, another $200K came off. They had chopped 17% in just 4 weeks. If there was one message that was clear, it was: "We're selling. Get over here now."

That last cut got the house sold. The listing agent got the buyer, too. Final sale price: $2.025M, fully 16% off the obviously inflated start.

Interestingly, that's "only" $125K more than the peak-year sale of the same property, at $1.900M in June 2007.

This update on successful sales prompted us to look back quickly at the 3 properties mentioned one month ago in "Price Chops in a Rising Market." How are they faring after high start prices hampered them out of the blocks?

Over at 319 S. Poinsettia (6br/6ba, 4830 sq. ft.), they're sitting tight at $3.599M, the adjusted price from 4 weeks ago.

The FSBO ocean-view TH 312 44th (listed as 4br/3ba, 2700 sq. ft.) cut to $2.450M, then quit in late April.

3314 Laurel (4br/3ba, 3335 sq. ft.) had adjusted 13% to $2.399M and now has a deal.

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