One House's Slide with the Market

By Dave Fratello | December 15th, 2022

We still can't really show you with data that prices in the Manhattan Beach real estate market are declining.

But we do continue to find examples of homes selling for less than they would have, could have, should have, earlier in the year. They are anecdotes worthy of your attention.

Another has just landed.

It's 3004 Oak Avenue Manhattan Beach CA3004 Oak Avenue (3br/2ba, 1794 sqft.), a remodeled home with a second story bedroom suite in back.

And it has now closed for 17% less than its original list price back in July. 

First, the home ran 2 months (July-Sept.) at $2.650M. When that didn't work, it was re-listed with 0 DOM with the same agent for another month at $2.495M.

3004 Oak Avenue Manhattan Beach CAThe market still wasn't there.

TBH, the fact that this home would not get absorbed near $2.5M was probably readily apparent at the time of the mid-September re-list.

But it can be very painful to face a fact like that.

3004 Oak Avenue Manhattan Beach CAYou don't really want to believe the good times are gone. You know what your neighbors were getting for their houses just back during ski season. We'll guess that the $2.5-ish re-list came along with some discussion of how the listing agent could go ahead and tell potential buyers that they were still flexible on pricing.

Whatever the actual history, it didn't work, so they canceled after 5 weeks to regroup.

Last month, 3004 Oak was back with a new agent and a radically new price: $2.199M. (See our weekend new listings post from then.)

(Listed by Daniel Jensen, Jensen Realty.)

That was almost $300K lighter than the last listing. Wowza.

They did get over asking price... by $1,000.00.

Final sale price: $2.200M.

Let's say this. It was bold to drop the price so radically. The same sellers had tried a $150K drop just weeks earlier, which flopped.

This time they wanted to send a clear signal: We. Are. Selling.

Maybe the huge cut was meant to drive a bidding war?

If so, the $1K-over-asking may have been a letdown.

But getting the property sold... that's a relief. Nobody likes having their house in limbo for months.

Does this sale mean that the market is down 17% since July? It does not!

Before you can generalize from one sale, you have to go back and ask: How was that first start price in July?

Asking $2.650M for 3br on the commercial side of Oak... Would that have been ambitious, even in March? Yeah, kinda.

The one truism we see reflected in this sale is something we always say about pricing a listing: Ask too much, and you may sell for too little.

And hey.

Just sayin': We've been there. Had the home that got stuck and sold low. Had the listing that was undermined as the market shifted. We can feel this, and tell you how it feels, because the experience at 3004 Oak rhymes with situations we've been through.

The biggest problem they had at this particular Tree Section listing was the element of surprise.

No memos were issued early in 2022, nor updated in June, to say "this year is going to start out just like the last two, then poof! it'll be over, be ready!"

As we close out 2022, and get ready for the 2023 market, no one should suffer from being surprised.

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