Failure to Unload

By Dave Fratello | June 8th, 2009
One way to define your listing as a "deal" is to price it below the acquisition price.

Of course, no one does that for sport, or for marketing purposes alone – it's a necessity. The local RE market has adjusted downward, and homes purchased between 2005 and the present will often sell for less than the owners paid.

There's a decent pickup in sales activity these days, but those priced at a loss are not moving very fast.

What if marking the price down and being willing to take a loss doesn't work? How far do you go into the red trying to entice buyers?

Some have tried chopping, stopped and quit. We'll focus on recent dropouts first, those that failed to sell at a loss.

In another story soon, we'll also update you on actives and recent sales that fit this profile.

Recent Dropouts

  • 636 29th (4br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft.) (pictured) essentially threatened to quit and go rental late in May (see "Weekend Opens (5/23-5/24)") if someone did not buy it.
They had cut almost $200k below the Sept. 2005 purchase price ($1.890m), but still had no takers at $1.699m. As promised, after almost 4 months of exposure, it's off the market and shaping up to be a rental.
  • 2613 Oak (4br/2ba, 1775 sq. ft.), a little cottage with nice updates but gaping flaws, was purchased in late March 2007 for $1.385m (much too much). It was always priced below that level over 4 unsuccessful months on market – last at $1.249m.
  • 1604 Poinsettia (5br/4ba, 3125 sq. ft., 2004 build) (pictured) was last purchased in Dec. 2005 for $2.2m, and could not draw interest over almost 4 months, even priced as low as $1.899m (-$301k/-14%).
Interestingly, this one showed a sale, new, a year previous at $1.8m in Dec. 2004, when new.
  • 1821 Palm (4br/4ba, 3525 sq. ft.) is more than 18 years old, but remodeled in 2005. Owners paid $2.250m in April 2005, then tried to sell for 3 months this year – first at $2.395m (a little bump up), then below acquisition at $2.175m (-$75k), with no takers.
  • 877 8th (6br/6ba, 5000 sq. ft.) (pictured) was a short-term hold, a big, newer Cape Cod (2006) purchased for $3.650m in Sept. 2007.
This one hit the market in March at $3.599m and cut to $3.299m(-$351k) before dropping out after 3 months.
  • 301 Anderson (3br/3ba, 2450 sq. ft.) gradually went below its $1.9m acquisition price (Feb. '06) to $1.799m over 8+ months on market; strangely, the price shot up to $1.925m shortly before it quit last month.
  • 3011 Valley (4br/4ba, 3250 sq. ft.) (pictured) is a charming home purchased in April 2006 for $1.9m. Two years later (in April 2008), we thought it news when the listing began below acquisition (see "A Loss at 2 Yrs?").
The sellers tried for almost 11 months, dropping to $1.699m. Its fate may have been sealed when a brand-new, bigger home at 2829 Valley (5br/4ba, 3425 sq. ft.) sold for less ($1.65m). It's a rental.

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