Couldn't Sell In '18, Now Sold

By Dave Fratello | February 12th, 2019

It's frustrating to bring a home to market and not sell.

If the point was to sell, not just to test the waters, it can feel like a failure to seller, broker and all.

But sometimes you just need some time on market to find the right buyer. And you may have lessons to learn from unsuccessful marketing.

Early this year, we're seeing sales on homes that were offered in 2018 but couldn't get it done.

For these sellers, 2019 is off to a good start, maybe thanks to the time they spent on market last year.

Here's a selection of recent sales and new escrows on properties that previously did some time in 2018:

424 2nd Street Manhattan Beach CA424 2nd (4br/6ba, 4350 sqft.) is a custom-built "East Hampton"-inspired classic that the sellers commissioned in 2014.

That quiet, South End location is on a nice block near Robinson school, and across the street from a new construction sale at 425 2nd (5br/6ba, 4130 sqft.) that closed for $5.575M in Sept. 2018.

424 2nd Street Manhattan Beach CAAt one point in April 2017, 424 2nd began at $5.399M and didn't look so out of line. Over 6 months, it dropped to $5.235M and later rented out.

A new listing in May 2018 began at $4.900M and gradually dropped to $4.695M. One challenge was that the home was being sold subject to a lease. You could buy it, but not move in for a while.

The home has racked up 453 DOM over 2 listings since early 2017, must have endured endless numbers of tours, but only made its deal in late January. It's in escrow now.

(Disclosure: Dave has shown 424 2nd a few times and is rather openly a fan of the property.)

3529 Oak Avenue Manhattan Beach CA3529 Oak (3br/3ba, 2030 sqft.) is a custom-remodeled SFR in the Tree Section near the hotel.

With a bright, open series of first-floor living spaces, and lots of windows along the south side of the home, it's unique, bright and cheery.

For the Tree Section west of Sepulveda, its longtime list price of $1.799M was always a tick "low." That was best explained by buyers' resistance to the location.

The listing ran up 6 months on market in 2018 before a holiday-season strategic cancellation.

In 2019, it needed only 6 DAYS to find a buyer. In escrow now.

416 35th Street Manhattan Beach CA416 35th (4br/4ba, 2700 sqft.) is a corner-lot SFR in the North End on the plateau ("the flats").

They gave it a go in the depths of Summer 2018, trying for about 5 weeks at prices from $3.375M down to $3.250M.

It wasn't happening, so the sellers took time off.

They made a few big changes. First, a milk-chocolate brown exterior was replaced with a freshly painted white exterior. Check.

The master suite was repainted, simplified and restyled.

And the price came down to $2.998M. (That's -$250K and -8% from when they left the market in August '18.)

Just 6 DOM later, the home was in escrow, and 10 days after that, SOLD for $2.920M.

You can really see how they learned their lessons about timing, presentation and pricing from the exposure in 2018.

2801 Alma Avenue Manhattan Beach CANearby, 2801 Alma (3br/4ba, 1950 sqft.) is a Mediterranean townhome with some ocean views that just found a buyer.

In 2018, the listing tried for 2 months at $2.739M and with a reluctant cut to $2.695M. No action, so the listing dropped off after Thanksgiving.

They rebooted Jan. 10, saw no results and cut $100K to $2.595M. Within a week, they had a deal.

3108 N Poinsettia Avenue Manhattan Beach CAOver in the Tree Section, a custom, midsized SFR with effectively 3 levels at 3108 Poinsettia (3br/3ba, 2220 sqft.) tried for 2 months during what should have been a good time of year, September and October.

They began at $2.338M and cut to the more conventional $2.295M, but made no deal.

Returning to market right after the Super Bowl, they made a deal in 6 days. (Yes, that's the 3rd listing we've referenced that only needed 6 DOM in 2019.)

221 Homer Street Manhattan Beach CABack in the Sand, right at the Manhattan/Hermosa border, 221 Homer (4br/4ba, 2670 sqft.) lingered for 6 months over 2 listings at big numbers, waiting for just the right buyer to come along.

First it was at $4.950M, then higher: $4.989M.

The super-custom, midsized home on a view lot (~1700 sqft.) is splashy with its beach-modern details.

It was already a bit of a sensation when it sold in 2016 for $4.467M, more than you might have expected at the time for what's almost like a half-lot SFR, but better.

In January 2019, the latest listing made a notable cut to $4.849M (-$140K).

Now 4 weeks later, they're in escrow.

And we could discuss 3617 Pacific (5br/6ba, 2800 sqft.), a midsized custom modern/Spanish hybrid in a super difficult location, right at Pacific/Rosecrans.

They came out at $2.195M last September, cut to $1.999M in mid-January and finally found a buyer.

3208 Pacific Avenue Manhattan Beach CABut what's really worth noting is the potential end to the saga of neighboring 3208 Pacific (4br/3ba, 3180 sqft.), a modern-inspired new construction home.

This one debuted in May 2018 at $2.799M, pulled a bogus re-list then later a true re-list, with a new agent, and still needed time on market.

The latest cut was to $2.499M in late January.

Within a week, there was a signed purchase contract.

That latest list price made 3208 Pacific the cheapest new construction listing in the Tree Section of Manhattan Beach since 2012, a year which occurred a long time ago, particularly in real estate terms. (See this blog post from early January.)

But you'd rather sell for less than not sell at all, in most cases. So they're part way there.

Now, this is good news for all the sellers we've mentioned above.

But we also count 60 listings out of 87 active today (Feb. 12) that had some market time in 2018 and are still on market. (Many have re-listed to freshen up the DOM counts.)

That's basically 7 out of 10 active listings carrying over from last year.

Some are going to need some luck, as new inventory emerges to compete.

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