Tortoise's Wisdom at Village Listing

By Dave Fratello | June 12th, 2015

The old fable about the tortoise and the hare conveys one lesson, among others: Sure and steady wins the day.

We had that in mind watching a Village townhome sale close this week.

5 Malaga Place Manhattan Beach CAAt 5 Malaga Place (3br/3ba, 2065 sqft.), the first attempt to sell came 51 weeks ago, in a listing launched June 20, 2014. 

The start price: $1.450M.

At the time, there were precious few recent sales of 3br townhomes in the Village near or over $1.4M. Maybe they were pushing it a bit?

There were 2 higher sales that were very recent just before the listing launched: A super-darling remodel at 16 Dover Pl. (3br/3ba, 2050 sqft.) at $1.555M in April 2014, and the golf-course-fronting 24 Fairway Dr. (3br/3ba, 2045 sqft.) which sold off-market at $1.650M.

So 5 Malaga was going to reach for that territory and see what they could pull off.

Drawing an offer within a few weeks, things were looking good.

But no. The deal flopped, 5 Malaga came back to market and never did find a new buyer as the months tolled by, and a string of comparable units sold.

26 Dover Place Manhattan Beach CA(One was Dave's listing at 26 Dover Place, with the same Plan 7 floorplan but an attractive, complete remodel. It closed up at $1.436M with no buy-side commissions, a "market equivalent" of $1.475M with full commissions.)

They took this TH at 5 Malaga off the market in November 2014 and redid the master bath, then came back in February this year at $1.449M.

Another 3 months went by, with a $50K price cut in between.

Finally, they had a deal in May. They closed up the sale this Thursday at $1.399M – really not far at all from where the listing had begun.

It was nearly a yearlong adventure.

A total of 13 other 3br units in the Village sold between then and now.

But like the tortoise in the story, the seller here stuck to the path, waited it out – with a slight course adjustment (bathroom remodel) – and got to the finish line just fine in the end.

Not every Manhattan Beach real estate listing sells quickly over asking, but if you're confident in your price and your course, you may well get exactly where you're going.

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