Sorry, Cutie

By Dave Fratello | August 19th, 2008
Maybe we should forget the buzz that greeted 1308 Elm just 5 days ago. (Click address for pics & details via Redfin.)

MBC readers, as a group, didn't think it was so hot.

A new Tree Section property hitting the market at the $1.2m price point apparently has a welcoming audience. (See our original story, "How Fast Will Cutie Go?")

Plenty of folks would like to buy in at around that price. There was real excitement to begin.

Elm's bonuses (a "flag lot" garage entry, bonus square footage above that garage, old-time charm) seemed to give it extra potential.

And then came the reviews. Awkward layout – no master. Baths that need complete overhauls. Some improvements that, er, need improving. Suddenly, $1.2m didn't look so great.

MBC posed the poll question in a different way this time: How quickly would the "cutie" at 1308 Elm actually sell?

Very few (6%) opted for a quick sale; not many more (15%) thought it'd be gone within a month.

In this guess-fest, the real divide was over the question of whether 1308 Elm will sell within 60 days, or after more time. (Of course, after 60 days, we imagine greater price adjustments are part of the deal.)

A combined 45% voted that the property would sell within 60 days, while 43% thought it'd be more than 60 days.

Even greater pessimists were those who said 1308 Elm wouldn't sell at all. They numbered 12% in the poll. They were bolstered, in part, by news that the home was a rental, has been available for rent, and continues to be available for rent (at $4,500/mo.).

The greatest single vote-getting category in this poll was 100+ days – with 28% of the vote. To believe that the property will sell, but will take a long time to sell, one views the market as tough for buyers, the property as overpriced to start, and judges the competition to be a real factor.

We mentioned 3 competing properties in the original story, but one more joined the market this week – 2401 John (pictured).

John hit the market in early May and lasted roughly 10 minutes. It has been lingering in a "pending" status since then. Monday, it hit the market anew, evidently after a failed escrow.

The listing is comparable to 1308 Elm – living space that's a bit smaller, a lot that's a bit bigger, and a location that is better. But John re-enters the market $10k below Elm at $1.189m. (Same price as it began in early May.)

That's a challenge to Elm, but the little cottage may yet surprise people. Stay tuned.

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