We'll Give You 5 Bucks

By Dave Fratello | March 14th, 2008
What can you get for 5 bucks these days?

A latte, of course – with cash left over for a tip. Some Sticky Bumps. A kid's meal at Wahoo's.

Here's another great thing you might buy for 5 clams: Mention on the week's "hot sheet."

That's right, for a mere 5 smackers you can get your listing treated as "news" in the RE world.

Just take 5 doll hairs off the previous price, and wham!, it's news! People, you need to pay attention! Look here, they're cutting the price!

The same agent tried this trick Thursday on 317 17th and a condo/TH listing at 1300 Manhattan Ave (unit B). 17th is now at the awkward price of $2,698,995, after shaving a Lincoln off the previous price. Manhattan is at $2,598,995 after also lopping off a fiver.

Oh, we get it – we're actually helping these listings by mentioning them, thereby validating the tactic. That's fine. Perhaps a little mockery might discourage the practice before it blossoms into an epidemic.

Putting aside these 2 non-reduction reductions, the past couple of weeks have seen a pickup in activity on the price-chopping front. Here and there, sellers are starting to realize that the Spring Selling Season isn't going to magically emerge from behind a shamrock and start buying up properties. That means sellers are going to need to draw buyers out of hiding with real moves.

Since our Feb. 29 market update, here are some of the more noteworthy cuts:

In the Hill Section, 923 1st cut another $150k, putting it down $403k from its start in early January. It's at $7.595m. (See "Unpredictable" for MBC's review.)

In the Sand Section, 516 24th (swoon) made its first cut, -$100k after about 5 months on the market. Now at $2.395m. Also, 4419 Highland cut yet again, -$50k more, and now stands at $1.299m, down a hair less than $400k from start. Remember when the whole project was being offered for $1.4m as they were laying the foundation?

In the Tree Section:
  • 1708 Oak is campaigning to be the lowest-priced sale in the Trees in a while – well, wait, there was that $799k price on the 1br, 600-sq.-footer at 626 Rosecrans, now in escrow. Does that count? Oak is down $50k from its modest start, now $899k.
  • The sellers of 737 36th briefly awoke, noticed their house was still on the market (300+ days now), chopped $27k (27? really?), and went back to sleep. Now $1.538m, down $247k from start.
  • The month-old listing at 3500 Blanche (new construction) chopped $150k to $2.399m, making it the 5th house at that price now.
  • As we've mentioned recently, among other newbies, 570 27th blew its $3m price point by chopping $200k – now $2.99m, and 1821 Walnut is down $100k more to $2.495m (-$255k from start). Add to that list 742 33rd, which cut another $50k to $2.949m (it had already blown $3m), down $346k from its start in August 2007.

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