They Want the One They Can't Have

By Dave Fratello | April 23rd, 2010
Demand is a funny thing.

A home can be offered for months without closing a deal, then all of a sudden a line forms to buy the place.

The buzz now is that's what is happening with 440 6th (6br/6ba, 4200 sq. ft.), a new Cape Cod on a corner lot at Ingleside – after it quit the market this week.

We've gotten inquiries about the listing since it quit and evidently the phones are ringing, too.

How did a cold listing get hot?

Children of the 80s might think of Morissey belting out:

"I want the one I can't have;
And it's driving me mad;
It's all over, all over, all over my face."
Well, he was probably singing about something else (especially that stuff about "the riches of the poor"), but there's still something to the sudden attraction of a property that quits. 

A flood of questions pours in: What's happening? Is it renting out? Is it going to an off-market deal? Are the owner/builders moving in?

Hey, we'd like to know the real story, too.

New construction has had a habit of sitting all over town, and buyers have been perfectly happy to wait for listings to adjust over time, almost competing against themselves at some point.

The wait-to-pounce strategy has served lots of buyers well in the last year or 2.

But what if the one you want suddenly becomes unavailable?

A bit of history here, since Redfin can't show you anything on a canceled listing...

440 6th was not a spec home per se, but rather a custom build that the owners switched gears on midstream and decided to sell. They picked up the lot for $2.050m in Oct. 2007, bidding over the list price of $1.899m. (See "MB Market Update for 9/15/07.")

The listing for 6th began at $4.495m in July 2009, and posted a deal in late August without any price cuts (see "Newly Gone, South").  At the time, we heard that the (contingent) offer in hand was for less than full price, but not a big discount, either. When the contingency (an out-of-area sale) couldn't be met by the buyers, the home came back on market.

Over time the price dropped substantially to $3.598m.

That's where 6th last was when it was available.

If it sells now, let's see if others copy the move strategically – drop out, draw bids. Demand is funny.

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