Daily Archives: March 13, 2006

The Power of the Multi-List
A property in Havemeyer came on the market last week priced, by its Stamford real estate agent, at $739.000. Don’t tell Bud Dealy but Havemeyer land is worth far more than that. Whether the listing agent was clueless about Greenwich values or slyly intended to set off a bidding war is irrelevant because, thanks to the property being exposed to every agent in town, she got that war. The property went via sealed bids two days after being listed and I’m quite sure it sold for far more than its asking price. As I’ve noted before, you simply can’t under-price your house in this market; so long as you put it on the multiple listing service and expose it to everyone, its price will be bid to it’s proper level. Over-pricing, on the other hand, is quite another story.

Not Over-Priced in Riverside
I saw three really nice, well-priced Riverside houses during last week’s snow squall: 10 Knoll Street, 22 Oval Avenue and 9 Willow Road, priced at $2,150,000, $2,195,000 and $2, 695, respectively. (And listed by, in order, Mairead O’Sullivan, Rick Loh and Randy Keleher). The first two houses are almost certainly gone by today and I expect Willow will go quickly too. As an aside, the Oval Avenue house is graced with Thomas Moser furniture in the dining room and master bedroom. I don’t think the furniture is included in the price but a shrewd negotiator ….

Riverside is always an active market and anything remotely well-priced will be snapped up, but there are buyers out there for all areas of town, at all levels. I heard from one friend that when she went to show a new, $10,000,000 listing she learned that hers was the 40th showing of the week. I find it reassuring that there are that many bonus babies wandering around town with huge wads of cash in their hip pockets. Even if they’re still at the tire-kicking stage, their presence should give comfort to every builder of 10,000 sq. ft. starter homes.

Have You Hugged Your realtor Today?
I received the nicest email from a client recently, simply thanking me for my efforts on her family’s behalf. While writing venomous complaint letters is more fun, I’ve learned that there is a particular satisfaction in drafting a complimentary missive, precisely because they’re so rare. So find something your satisfied with (I realize that’s impossible for some of you, but try) and tell someone about it. But please, do keep your hate mail coming here – it’s so much fun learning that one of my darts has hit home.

Selling It
My number one pet hate is, every six years or so, having to subject myself to the intellectual pond scum that poses as car salesmen. They have one script, probably drafted by Henry Ford himself in 1915, and try to persuade me to visualize a new car in my driveway, defer any questions of price to the always-mysteriously absent “manager” and appeal to my ego and what they think is my sense of pride. It’s awful and I can’t stand it so this morning, when offered a chance to attend a sales meeting where I could learn to apply those same techniques to my own clients, I passed. Out – of – towners think that slick sales tactics will fool Greenwichites into buying houses they don’t want or can’t afford. I disagree: anyone who has amassed the wherewithal to buy property here is a lot smarter than I am, so how am I going to trick them? Any good Realtor will tell you, I think, that the key to success is building relationships. You provide solid facts, an honest opinion and information that addresses objections and you’ll do just fine. You can also sleep at night, which is nice. Plus, you save the cost and time of a seven-week course on hucksterism.

Apartment Conversions
I feel bad for the tenants of Putnam Green and Weavers Hill which were sold last week (for $223,000,000!) and will be converted to condominiums at an average asking price, I read, of $1,000,000. I don’t dispute the right of the new owners to do what they want with their property and the real estate agent in me gloats at the prospect of 464 new condos to sell but it’s sad to contemplate what is about to happen to all those families who’ve rented there. There are almost no three bedroom apartments for rent in Greenwich and certainly not at the prices these have historically rented for so, once again, we’ll see another exodus of young families and old folks shoved out of town.

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