How Quickly Things Change

By Dave Fratello | August 13th, 2008
We continue MBC's weeklong focus on the Hill Section's growing inventory by focusing anew on 312 S. Dianthus (click address for pics & details via Redfin).

In late April, this large, ocean-view home hit the market for the first time at $3.490m.

MBC said then:
[It's] an early-90s Spanish-inspired home with 5br/5ba, 4475 sq. ft. and ocean views. It's got a roofdeck, which we do like, but a vintage 90s feel, which we don't love. Check out the pics – there are some real head-scratchers (strange mantles abound; the formal dining room appears to be outfitted with two desk chairs). Well, these are things you can fix or update after you move in.
But $3.5m wasn't quite enough. Shortly after Dianthus hit the market, nearby 869 3rd sold. It was newer and sleeker, but also smaller in terms of both home size and lot size. And 3rd was listed at $3.750m when it sold. (It later closed for $3.550m.)

So Dianthus adjusted its price upward. This tactic doesn't work often, but they gave it a try. Dianthus shot up to $3.749m in early May.

Can you believe it? Dianthus went into escrow after the price bump.

But it didn't stick.

When the listing returned June 12, it came back at the original price – $3.490m.

A week later, it was down noticeably – $3.270m.

Now it's down to $2.850m, and we're not sure how to describe its fall.

The MBC spreadsheet goes from the start price, so it's down $640k and -18%.

If we measure against the boosted price of $3.749m, it's down $899k and -24%.

The new price is aggressive and, importantly, separates 312 S. Dianthus from the rest of the Hill Section inventory at or above $3m, where there's little action.

Psychologically, it's hard to suck up a paper loss of $900k – even if the sale is going to be hugely profitable. But credit the sellers here for getting past their issues and trying to find the right price, and not in the slow-burn fashion most sellers tend to try.

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