Trying to Get In on the Action

By Dave Fratello | March 16th, 2010
There's still a steady clip of activity in the market, but that doesn't mean every seller's got what the buyers want.

You still have to price right to get action. That seems to be the goal of a few sellers with new cuts this week.

1011 Pacific (6br/5ba, 6050 sq. ft.) has seen big-profit dreams meet reality. The sellers picked up this gorgeous, ocean-view property for $3.975m, new, in August 2004. Perhaps accustomed to bubble-era price inflation, they tried to unload the home at a big premium – nearly $6m – in Sept. 2008, a price that rolled into 2009.

As MBC noted in "Pacific Connection" several weeks ago, the failure to sell in 2009 finally began to take its toll. The listing reappeared early this year, after some time off, at $4.199m, just 6% above acquisition.

With its newest cut to $3.950m, the sellers are finally saying they know that they can't get what they paid in 2004, no matter how glorious the home, or how warm the market seems to be.

Remember, last year we documented the fact that MB was living in 2004 prices – now, so is 1011 Pacific.

That said, this is a serious move at Pacific to get notice – don't count them out. (For a little more on the property, see this "Weekend Opens" post from late January.")

In the Trees, 937 27th (4br/4ba, 3150 sq. ft.) hung around for the past 4 months at a small markup over its Feb. 2007 acquisition price of $1.9m. The listing's "new" this week on account of a new agent taking over, and the price is now at $1.899m, flat from '07.

Lest you protest that no one is getting their 2007 prices these days – a good point you'd be making if you did – 937 27th, a late-90s build, was brought up to crisp, 21st-century standards just last year by the newest owners.

So take the 2007 price, rewind it to 2004 or so, then add the value of the remodel, and make your call from that standpoint. The sellers are into the property now for much more than they paid and what they're offering it back for.

If you're so inclined, there's a virtual tour here.

A growing series of options on The Strand awaits those who can stomach the crowds, dogs and joggers, plus those pounding winds and endless window-cleaning bills.

One option made a sudden move this week after just a couple of weeks on offer.

1200 The Strand (5br/5ba, 4250 sq. ft.) is a Spanish with a few challenges.

The location is just a bit too fully in the thick of things right at the pier. The layout is suboptimal. And the décor? The listing spells it out: "completely remodeled in 1989." Let's count together – that was, 2, 5, no, 15, no, 21 years ago. And it shows.

Are we saying we'd refuse to live there, given the chance? Why, no. But in the near-$10m range, buyers are going to want more.

Last year, the property was offered for a few months at $9.9m. In late February, it re-debuted at $10.7m. On Monday, a whopping $2.250m in fat was chopped off quite quickly, bringing the price to $8.450m.

Is that enough of a cut? Consider 112 The Strand (3br/4ba, 4300 sq. ft.), built the same year that 1200 was renovated, but in the far quieter South End. It's in escrow now after less than 30 days at $7.795m.

Given the vagaries of the very high end along the Strand, it's hard to say what's right for 1200. But another cut of the same magnitude doesn't seem impossible, if these sellers are going to join the crowd of successful sellers this year.

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