Fall Is When You Cut

By Dave Fratello | September 30th, 2014

You may not hear the tick-tick-tick out there, but home sellers do.

There are just a few weeks left of our typical selling season here before real estate market slows notably. We recently called the upcoming slowdown the "Holiday Dead Zone."

So if you've had your listing out there a while, and mean to get a deal done, now's the time to convince buyers that you're serious.

Just a few recent chops:

40 Dover Place (3br/3ba, 1820 sq. ft.) is a somewhat remodeled Village TH that's just about to finish its third month on market.

For a while it looked like everything in the Village was going to sell quickly. A neighbor at 26 Dover (3br/3ba, 2040 sq. ft.) hit the market at the same time and had a deal within a week. The Village is steaming toward a 10-year high in total sales behind the gates. (See "Village Should Exceed Recent Sales High.")

Well, if it looks easy, guess what? It's not.

So 40 Dover has cut $100K from its ambitious asking price of $1.399M, and is trying to be seen as a deal at $1.299M. Maybe that'll do it.

10 Cayman Ct. (2br/2ba, 1465 sq. ft.) is another Village TH with some upgrades. It's been lingering at $889K for more than 3 months.

Now they've taken a $10K chop to $879K and the listing screams that the sellers are "motivated."

Fair question: If they're "motivated" (and we're not using the all-caps that are screaming in the listing), why is the cut $10K?

The market speaks in numbers, not in words.

1540 Manhattan Beach Blvd. (4br/3ba, 2100 sq. ft.) is a slick, modern and newer TH overlooking the park toward downtown LA... and obviously on MBB.

There's plenty to recommend the place, but you have to get people in the door and over the MBB factor.

At one month on market, they've made a quick adjustment of $25K down to $1.325M.

This one figures to get done here in the Fall season, if you're the betting type.

906 9th (6br/7ba, 5425 sq. ft.) is a 2009 build that has never actually sold.

After a period renting out, the property's been emptied out, refreshed and repainted and is showing "like new." (Per the description.)

There aren't any other new or newer homes in the Hill Section with this kind of size, so it's alone in its market tier. 

The current price of $4.795M is newly down $100K from the $4.895M they were asking for 5 months.

The $4.795M is $100K more than they first sought in 2010 and $900K more than the last listing in 2012, but they're betting that the market's a bunch more favorable now. 

There have also been $100K cuts recently at:

  • 2602 Pacific (3br/3ba, 1300 sq. ft.), now at $1.390M and 2+ months on market.
  • 2310 N. Ardmore (4br/3ba, 3670 sq. ft.), in only its fourth week, but down to $2.775M.
  • 3401 Pacific (2br/1ba, 820 sq. ft.) now at $1.199M and with 3+ months on market.
  • 1341 17th (6br/4ba, 3400 sq. ft.), a big but dated TH now ending its second month and coming out of a broken deal, now asking $1.395M.
  • 1144 Highview (3br/4ba, 2800 sq. ft.), a unique modern near downtown, in its third month and also recently emerging from a failed escrow, asking $2.749M.

And then there's a very recent, smaller cut at 1345 Voorhees (3br/2ba, 1750 sq. ft.), a flipper remodel that has only just begun its second week on market.

They've already cut $25K to $1.450M, as if to say, "We're not holding onto these keys much longer. Seriously. Get over here."

We're interpreting here, but that really should be the message everyone's sending.

The message will get louder as Halloween nears, and some sellers start to really get scared.

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