Off to see open houses

Not much new on today. Leona Helmsley’s place is open again to us agents but I’ve seen it once and, while it’s very nice, I don’t have any customers in her $125,000,000 price range so I think I’ll pass this time. Those statistics I posted yesterday were so depressing that my manager told me that she was not going to pass them out at today’s sales meeting for fear that everyone would run into the street and beg to be run over. Ah, it’s just a cycle. Just like automobiles or airplanes, these things go round and round, up and down. The uncertainty – how down will we go, and for how long? – is what’s whacking the market right now, but we’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again.
In the meantime, if you’re a buyer and have access to cash or a mortgage, you’re king.
More after the tour.

Update
Well that was quick (quicker than writing this update, which disappeared down the rat hole when I tried to post it). One decent house in north western Greenwich on a beautiful acre and asking $1,499,000 which I think is pretty good. I’ll have pictures and a write up of it soon. Other than that, we were treated to a Belle Haven house that sat unsold for a full year at $16,800,000. It now has a new broker and a new price, $14,250,000, but I don’t think that will do the trick either. “Belle Haven premium” notwithstanding, I suspect that, at this price, the house will still be here a year from now. Another house, on three close-to-town acres, offers either a total renovation project or is a tear-down. Asking more than $9,000,000, it too will probably continue to linger. All in all, current sellers seem to be ignoring Dr. Johnson’s warning about second marriages which he described as “the triumph of hope over experience.”

5 Comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Curious to know if you think the houses you see today are more accurately priced than (i.e. lower) than they have been in the recent past.

    Keep up the good work – LOVE your blog

  2. Anonymous

    Well – at least the home owners are adjusting their price – seems – some-one is listening – Chris!

    Yes – looking forward to the pictures – I made a post earlier – so – I quess that went down the ‘Rat Hole’ too!

    Good One!

  3. drfinn

    Here is a question, what do you do if you like a home but its asking price is way too high. Lets use the Belle Haven home as an example. They have dropped the price by 15% and you still think its over valued.

    Can you honestly go to someone and show them a bid that is 20% or 25% of their asking price?

    I know I can legally do it but I mean seriously am I just going to anger the seller?

  4. Anonymous

    I’ve noticed several new listings in last couple weeks, priced at or below purchase price from 2005. I consider that the work of good agent and rational homeowner whose motivation is to sell into this market. That we have foreclosures listed in Greenwich Times nearly every other week and that we have properties selling on almost weekly basis for less than they were purchased in 2004 – 2007, provides sufficient data to support what previously was an expectation–that real home prices are falling in Greenwich.

    As best I can tell same house comp sales are back to 4Q’03 or 1Q’04 prices–at least that’s a decent starting point today.

  5. Chris Fountain

    Lots of sellers, told that they should lower their asking price, respond by saying,”let someoen bring me an offer – I’ll talk”. What they don’t realize is that most buyers (not, all, but most) are reluctant to proffer what might be considered a low-ball offer for fear of insulting the seller. And it’s true that, while an offer 10% less than asking might not offend anyone, a more realistic offer of 25% or even lower will raise blood pressure and nothing else. Yet, these days especially, it’s the low ball offer that’s often the more accurate one.
    So what do you do? You can try a low offer but, generally, you’re better off waiting for reality to strike some sense into the seller, often a year (or in the case of 44o Round Hill, 5 years) after they first put the place up for sale. Best advice might be to have your agent speak with the seller’s agent and try to get a sense of her client’s possible reaction to a really low offer. It’s possible that there’s some financial problem lurking in the background that would make tempt him to listen or he’s just sick of owning the place. But if it’s clear that a low offer will only offend, wait or move on to another house.