Hill Section Duel Lasts 3 Days

By Dave Fratello | January 28th, 2016

Neighbor fights can become nasty. The sale of a couple plots of land needs not get too rough, though.

Two next-door neighbors in Manhattan Beach's Hill Section were on the market side-by-side for a time there, with a victor now emerging.

500 Pacific Avenue Manhattan Beach CAOne took the approach of overpricing and trying to make the market come to them.

That was 500 Pacific. It's a big Hill Section corner lot (11,400 sqft.) with views over wide 5th St. and over homes to the southwest.

From the top rear corner of this lot, a new home should have views of greenbelt treetops, Sand Section rooftops, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and a goodly line of blue from the Pacific.

What a commodity! A big parcel of scarce land in a prestige location with views!

In October, they listed at $6.825M. It was a ginormous number that was obviously overshooting today's market from the word "go."

Surely there were eventually offers and failed negotiations. There are buyers who want this product.

But the sellers stood firm for 3 months, chopping only once, 2 weeks ago, by $545K (-8%) to $6.280M.

Not enough. Still waiting...

Meanwhile, this week, the next-door neighbor, long rumored to be coming, hit the market.

512 Pacific Avenue Manhattan Beach CAAt 512 Pacific, they took the opposite tack. Instead of telling the market where to go, they let the market come to them.

The start price on Monday was $4.599M, a whopping $1.680M (-27%) cheaper than the neighbor.

The lots are the same. Both 11,400 sqft. Couldn't be more comparable unless they occupied literally the same physical space.

512 is higher up (view potential), 500 has the corner (view protection). Pick which you prefer.

Charging out of the gates by underpricing your neighbor by 25% might be considered to be rude. Except this is not competitive tiddlywinks we're talking about here, it's multi-million-dollar real estate.

The sellers at 512 obviously wanted to get it done, period. They had the advantage of watching the stalled marketing next door – a clear warning, if they needed it, not to shoot too high.

So that $4.599M pricetag was a "come hither" number, a clarion call that echoed across the Manhattan Beach landscape.

With no real pre-marketing or buildup, the sellers hit the MLS on Monday, got multiple offers and had picked one by Thursday. Done.

And you know the price shot up from that $4.6-ish number that had brought all the buyers. That's what happens when you spark a bona fide frenzy.

The neighbors on the corner may curse, but now, 4 months into their selling process, at least they'll know where the market's at.

A silver lining: Now they have x number of disappointed bidders in position to lick their wounds and simply change a couple digits at the top of their offers... 512 Pacific... no, 500... here's our offer!

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