Try Bidding 10% Below

By Dave Fratello July 9th, 2008.

Here's a nice dual success story.

A very odd contemporary home at 534 14th hit the market in late February at $3.350m.

There wasn't much interest at that level, despite the Martyrs location, proximity to downtown and ocean views. (The home has mostly been listed on the MLS as a Sand Section prop, but it's the Tree Section.)

Gradually the price came down to $2.999m (-$351k/-10%). And there it lingered a bit.

Last month, someone snapped it up. When the sale closed Monday this week, we saw that they had bid almost 10% lower. The buyers picked it up for $2.7m, another $300k off the discounted list price.

The final sale price is down $650k/-19% from that optimistic start.

Here's what's intriguing – this case shows that you can grab a listing for about 10% off its price, even a discounted price, if only you show some interest.

There are plenty of wallflower listings out there these days on which the sellers may welcome a 10%-off "lowball." They just don't want to shift their list prices now for fear of what 10% off of some new price might net them.

The caveat on this one is that the 14th St. home was unique – a little bit too much so. In April MBC said of it:
[534 14th is] a large contemporary (ca. 1990) with 4br/4ba and 4100 sq. ft. It's really two buildings. Guests & kids get the front tower with its 3br and small hangout rooms. Grownups get the entertainment spaces and a master through which the back yard pool is accessed.
That's right, one bedroom is in the main/entertainment wing, just off the pool, while the rest of the BRs, all small, are up front in a separate building, connected by a hallway. Not everyone's idea of a family home.

Still, the sellers made a deal. For a home with 4br/4ba and 4100 sq. ft., and a strange vibe, they got a respectable $659/PSF and, let's not forget: $2.7m. Maybe they shot too high to begin, but they were ready to get real when they had paper to sign.

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