It Pays to Be Flexible

By Dave Fratello | November 19th, 2008
If you're going to sell in this market, you'll have to be flexible.

If what you are selling is a large ocean-view home in the Hill Section, feel free to begin by dreaming big.

And if things don't work out, get real.

There's always a tension between those goals – getting top dollar versus getting a deal done.

Over at 312 S. Dianthus, which recently sold, there were another couple of wrinkles to this oft-told story.

Not only did the sellers begin by dreaming big, they raised the price midstream (in 2008!) to reflect even bigger dreams.

And got a deal after the price boost! (See "How Quickly Things Change.")

But all that madness came to nothing. The deal collapsed, the home returned to market at the original price, and, over time, adjusted and adjusted.

The good news: It worked. They found another buyer.

The closed price last week: $2.6m.

That was -$890k/-26% from the start price of $3.490m. A pretty big adjustment. Good that they were flexible, no?

It was an even steeper drop from the oops-we-underpriced-our-home boosted price of $3.749m. From those stratospheric heights, the drop was $1.149m/-31%.

There seem to be plenty of cases of sellers whose homes are overpriced by double-digits, but discovering the problem and fixing it often takes much longer than it did at 312 S. Dianthus.

In the Hills, 2 other listings have sold in the past 6 months for 22% less than their start prices. Meanwhile, 5 active listings have taken cuts of $1 million or more. They're trying to be flexible.

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