All These Turned Out To Be Good Bets

By Dave Fratello | March 30th, 2021

Bringing a listing out publicly involves all kinds of calculations and hopes. To some degree, you're betting that if you do x, y and z right, buyers will respond as you expect.

Then you get to test your theories against the actual market.

Here are some recent cases where sellers made a certain kind of bet, and it all worked out.

East 11th St. Townhomes

When some land became available in furthest East Manhattan, a builder made a big bet:

We'll develop 6 new townhomes here. 3 per lot, like North Redondo.

If we give 'em quality and style, people will flock to the front doors.

One of the front units didn't even make it the public market. It pre-sold. Good sign!

Now, three publicly marketed 3br units have all sold:

1829 11th Manhattan Beach CA1829 11th (3br/3ba, 1828 sqft.) at $1.649M (full asking)

1825 11th (3br/3ba, 1812 sqft.) at $1.630M

1823 11th (3br/3ba, 1828 sqft.) at $1.649M (full asking)

Meantime, the two 2br middle units are still on offer (1821 11th and 1827 11th, both $1.499M).

The gamble was that building with quality was worth the effort and money, even if people might be itchy about the location. The rear units back up to commercial and get some noise from MB Blvd., but also get city and mountain views. But that could be overcome.

It all worked.

The 90s Walkstreet Cosmetic Remodel

312 20th Street Manhattan Beach CAWe've written before our appreciation for the market prep done for 312 20th (5br/5ba, 4085 sqft.). (See "Great Prep Can Mean Quick Sale," from February.)

Because the floorplan is a bit quizzical and many buyers will plan a remodel, the temptation would be to present the home as a fixer.

Instead, they put quite a bit of effort, imagination and money into prepping the house to be the best it could be, including good staging.

The $4.850M list price was kinda up there, but justifiable if buyers could really groove on the house and put the idea of remodeling in the back of their minds.

The $5.150M sale price, now, after multiple offers, justifies the prep work in spades. Boom!

The 100-Block Fixer

116 26th Street Manhattan Beach CAMaybe you had this reaction at one time, when 116 26th first came out:

Are you kidding me? A 100-block home for $2.5M?

Doesn't everything down there have a 4 in front?

But yes, there it was, on offer for $2.499M, with unblocked views to the north over the parking lot and the LA County lifeguard station at the foot of Bruce's Beach Park. (The view is over the approximate location of the storied Bruce family waterfront property a century ago.)

Upon further investigation, the front-unit townhome at 116 26th was only a 2br, and its mid-1980s vintage meant there was going to be a lot of work to do for any buyer. What's more, in a nearly 35-year-old building, you also start to worry about basic systems needing upgrades.

And, go deeper. While this 2-unit building hadn't seen any almost sales since its original construction, there was one recent sale: The back unit, a substantially larger 3br unit (3br/2300 sqft.) at 118 26th just sold in Aug. 2020 for $2.420M.

Now, we all know that the front unit with superior views is worth more than the rear unit.

But 116 was smaller. And 118 26th had really gotten stuck on the market due to its dated condition. It ran almost 200 days on market and had cut more than $1 million in asking price by the end.

Wasn't that a cautionary tale?

Shouldn't the smaller, dated unit be priced conservatively, in light of the challenges for the back unit?

The bet was, roughly speaking, that the rear unit sold "too low" on account of its extended time on market and overall more challenging condition.

The 2br unit at 116 26th came out asking more: $2.499M.

But that wasn't as daring as it seemed, in the end.

The closed price: $2.637M, after multiple offers.

A bonus: The listing group also represented the buyers.

Betting has its privileges.

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