Tag Archives: Greenwich pricing

Overpricing is nothing new

799 Lake
799 Lake

This is a nice looking house – in fact, I may send its picture to a client and see if he agrees. It was reduced today to $3.450 million from its original price of $3.850 but in reviewing its history I noticed that the last time it sold it started at $4.175 in December 2003 and didn’t sell until June, 2005, for $3.285.

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Overpricing is nothing new in Greenwich

There’s a new listing on the market that I find illustrative of a long time phenomenon in our fair town: going for the moon. It’s a house that sold for $1.050 million back in 1997. The buyers added on and did some renovating and placed it back up for sale for $1.895 million in 2001 and sold it seven months later for $1.385, 27% off original ask. And that was in a good market (well, 9/11 stopped the market that year, but not in June). Now those buyers, having also done some renovating but without adding any additional space, have put it up for sale for $3.3 million, or $1,000 sft for each foot above ground (there’s a finished basement).  Will they get it? That’s not a price I’d have thought to reach for in this market but I’ll defer to the broker. And to the market. I’ll let you know what happens to this.

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No open houses today

Well there are a few but I’m not going out to see them. I’ve already seen the $5.9 million condos at 56 Milbank and while I admire their builder’s tenacity in pricing them there in January 2007 and sticking with that price until he gets it, I’ve seen them once and I’m sure that, if I need to view them next September, I’ll have that chance. Or, next time I’m at Whole Foods, I’ll just stick my head over the retaining wall and take a gander.

There’s an empty lot at 5 Fox Lane which offers either a to-be-built house at $1,000 + sq. ft. or three acres as is for $4.5 million. I have no clients interested in paying $8 million for new construction and as for land, the 4.6 acres at 228 Round Hill Road is better. In my opinion, of course.

There’s new construction on the Byram side of Byram Shore Road, by which I mean non-waterfront, for $3 million something. That would set a record for that side of the road, I believe, so I think I’ll wait a bit and see if the price drops. Or it sells – it could happen, I suppose.

Other than that – eh? Nothing new and no price reductions large enough to catch my eye and want to revisit at the lower price. While it’s true that shaving a few million dollars off a listing price can have the same effect as a lovely woman losing 75 pounds, the price reductions I see on today’s list are the equivalent of a five-pound drop. Getting there, but ….

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For Sale By Owner?

Not always. Wealthy types with homes in Florida and Greenwich are telling their agents that they’ve calculated what it costs them to carry an empty Greenwich residence and figure they’ll wait out the market a few years and get their price when the market recovers. Good luck with that but if spending a few hundred thousand brings a million down the road, good for them. It’s entirely likely, however, that they’ll spend that money only to discover that it’s been wasted because the market has not recovered, but that’s why it’s fun to be rich – what do you care?

It does go back to my point of a few days ago, however, about how many houses currently shown as inventory aren’t really for sale. These houses are going nowhere, because no buyer will pay the seller’s price and the owner is determined to stick. Guess what houses we don’t waste our time showing?

So if you’re looking to buy and see 126 listings in your price range, review them with your agent so that you can narrow them down to the handful that are seriously for sale and skip the rest. You’ll save time and irritation.

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22% off, still available

I can’t remember whether I’ve seen 520 North Street but from its pictures it looks appealing. A renovated 1840 barn on 4 acres with a pool, it started last spring at $5.0 million and is down now to $3.9. Not too long ago, the new price would have seemed appropriate – I’m not vouching for the original price, in any market – but today? We’ll see.

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Not every Greenwich builder is desperate, yet

I heard last night of a $5 million offer made on a newly-constructed house that has been on the market forever (which I define as more than a year). I was first astonished that anyone is bidding $5 million for anything right now, and then further astonished when I learned that the builder’s counter-offer amounted to, in effect, “take a hike”. My personal suspicion is that that builder will be crawling, not hiking, soon, but he obviously is in no financial distress and can afford to wait for his price, or thinks he can. 

I have been advising buyers to focus on new construction because builders are so financially vulnerable, but this is a good reminder that not all builders are in bad shape and won’t accept 80% offers. It’s also a reminder to both buyers and sellers that there are buyers out there. If you’re considering buying a house, don’t assume that you’re the only game in town. And if you’re a seller, realize that no one wants your house if they don’t see it as priced low enough to save them from another 12 month decline in prices. Adjust your behavior accordingly.

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