Surrender on 36th

By Dave Fratello | June 12th, 2008
It was 3 years and 3 months ago (March 2005) that the current owner of 737 36th closed escrow at $1.250m and moved in.

A year and a half later, in Fall 2006, it looked like time to cash out. Up went the for sale sign, and up, up, up went the value ascribed to the place – it began at $1.795m. Holy soap suds, was that ever a dream price: +$565k/+45% in less than 2 years.

Needless to say, that didn't work.

During the Spring Rally of 2007, the owner – a realtor, for what it's worth – tried again, this time chopping just $10k ($1.785m).

The home sat, and sat, and the credit crunch hit. Another $145k more came off and it was at $1.645m by Labor Day. MBC said then that the seller was "starting to look less crazy. Slightly." They got it into escrow last September, but it fell out.

By March 2008, the price was down again to $1.538m. But, as we say here sometimes, homes that don't sell have a way of not selling. You take a price problem, add a huge DOM problem and the everyone-assumes-there's-something-wrong problem, and you're really stuck. The listing canceled in April.

To the rescue: A new agent with no stake in the property and no emotion tied to the price.

Mission: Unload this thing.

Price: Flat after 3 years – $1.299m.

The custom southwestern home was once owned by Peter Brady, er, Christopher Knight. (Though we keep learning that celebrity ties don't translate to value-added around here.) The main home offers 4br/4ba and 2500 sq. ft. or so, with another 400 sq. ft. in guest quarters above the garage. (Not accounted for in the tax records.)

Make no mistake, there are buyers out there who can stomach the $1.2m-$1.3m range a lot better than the $1.5m-and-up range. Suddenly, 737 36th gets into the game.

Meanwhile, the seller has provided ample demonstration of the perils of overpricing in a shifting market.

Instead of a $500k payday, or any kind of payday, the seller chased the market down over the last 21 months and will now get out flat or, just as likely, with a modest loss. After owning in MB for 3 years.

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