Gideon Fountain writes:
Last week I sold this place , 767 Lake Avenue, for $3,625,000 (listing broker Amanda Miller). For that price, my peeps got 5,962 square feet, 2 acres, 4-car garage, no pool. It started out at $5,175,000 in April 2007. It last sold for $4M in 2003.
My clients were very satisfied with this selling price but I’ll bet Fudrucker & Fountain (Chris), collectively stamping their Berkinstock sandals on the floor, would be shouting “Fools! Fools! Greater Fools!” That’s because Frankie & Christopher (and their Greek chorus of Real Estate Bears) are deeply offended when properties sell for anything but fire-sale prices.
On the other hand, I am not deeply offended when Frankie sells, for instance, a foreclosed upon short-sale, for way below its previous sale price. Properties like that, often in poor condition and mired in banking/bureaucratic entanglements, take tremendous skill (and patience!) to shepherd through to closing. Good for Frankie, say I ! So why, oh why, does this group (Chrissie/Frankie & Fans) get so scared when regular properties sell for “regular prices”?
Here’s my theory: When a subject that is not normally emotional, like the price of a stock, commodity, or property, nevertheless has a very emotional group arguing one side, the emotional group almost certainly has an agenda. I think in the investment world it’s called “talking your position”; you’re short some particular stock so you endlessly blather on about how bad this company’s prospects are, hoping to get the price down.
So what’s the agenda of all our Greenwich real estate bears? I think there are a couple. Frankie and Chrissie, having honed their foreclosure sale skills to the max, are actually threatened when houses are sold by brokers in the usual manner. After all, anybody can do that! Try selling something for 50% off the previous sale price, that takes skill, dammit! But if too many properties sell the conventional way, what’s left for Fud & Fount? Not much, hence their concern.
As for their Greek chorus, I figure this group is made up of renters hoping “some day” to buy, and maybe some folks who want a mansion-by-the-sea for $250,000? Trouble is, if Greenwich prices really did drop 75%, the last thing any of these people would do is buy some. They’d be too afraid!