Giant Price Drop on Elm

By Dave Fratello | July 7th, 2007
Another new listing that isn't so new draws our notice today, because it's down $775,000 from the initial asking price.

A perfectly nice early-90s home – updated in key areas – at 2909 Elm first went on offer November 7, 2006, at $2.8 million. That price was really pushing the envelope, garishly high, for what the home is (5br/4ba, 3450 sq. ft., slightly larger lot at 5600 sq ft).

By springtime, the price was down to $2.495m, and briefly in late June, down again to $2.395m. Even at that level, it was at or above the price of similarly sized, nearby new construction.

In a different market, you could keep waiting to get your price. But in the glutted Tree Section, the writing was on the wall: $2.4m was never going to happen.

Reality intervened. This week: New agent, new MLS number, and a new price: $2.025m.

At the moment, this makes 2909 Elm the lowest-priced home above $2m, and finally it compares favorably with the others at the same price point. (See the MB Market Update spreadsheets for more.) Now, at least, there's a fighting chance of making a sale.

Just had to shake off that extra $800,000.

These cuts brings to mind the shakedown at 108 S. Dianthus, a Hill Section home that sat for nearly 400 days before closing $1.25m below the initial asking price of $4.5m. Yes, it's possible to get your price wrong for a long, long time.

As a buyer, if you knew that Elm had made two steps down – one from a silly price to a semi-defensible price ($-305k), then down again to a more current-market price (-$470k), you might ask: How much lower will they go?!?

That's what re-listing is all about. The new agent doesn't want to answer those questions or otherwise to be saddled with the baggage of this property's listing history, so it's gone. The MLS #R937139, attached to this home since November, was canceled after 240 days, giving way to #S950200.

So please don't ask about the old listing or old prices, or what's motivating the sellers now – that's rude.

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