I seem to have annoyed at least one anonymous reader who has been posting mean things about me down below (“For Sale by Owner?”). According to this gentleman, if Greenwich homeowners will only stick to their guns and refuse to sell their houses for less than they were worth in 2007 or “a minimum of $1,000 per square foot” (by which, since almost no houses in town have ever sold for that much, I assume he means 2017 prices), buyers who want to live in our fair city will eventually capitulate and pay whatever price we dream up. Great idea, and an excellent illustration of the idiocy that is causing so many of the houses currently for sale to sit untouched.
I’m reminded of a friend of mine in law school who in 1978 used the $5,000 student loan we all were living in to buy gold, instead of food. The son of a gun bought at some ridiculously low price and managed to sell at $800 an oz, making him a small fortune and leaving the rest of us jealous as hell. I think I said something like, “we can only hope that they’ll discover that owning gold causes cancer” but, unlike my unhappy reader, I was just kidding.
But suppose our reader owned gold, instead of a house in Greenwich? If he bought it in 1978 at $800 and had been waiting for it to return to that price, he’d still be sitting on it today – adjusted for inflation, that gold would have to sell for $2, 516 per oz and, damn it, it’s still at $246 (inflation adjusted). But gold is beautiful, shiny and non-tarnishing. Everyone should want it, and our reader just isn’t going to sell his pile until buyers recognize its true worth and pay him exactly that amount. He must be bewildered by the people rushing past his gold – selling booth, going about their lives and ignoring him. The fools! The idiots! He’ll show them!
Enjoy yourself out there on the sidewalk, fella. And enjoy your gold.
UPDATE: This man’s thinking is too valuable to bury in the comments section. You won’t find a better example than this of what happens when a home’s value declines and that decline, in turn, affects someone’s sanity. So here, for your pleasure, is Joe Homeowner, sharing his insight and economic knowledge for the benefit of all:
Sellers will not capitulate the way that buyers would like. Why?
1. This is Greenwich which continues to be the premier town in the tri-state area.
2. Greenwich residents are wealthy and are not pressed to sell in a falling market. More than any other town we can ride this market out for 5 years.
3. Greenwich homeowners must hold the line! No one should list their homes below 2007 prices. We must condition the market. In time buyers will fold and come to understand that if they ever want to live in our great community they will need to pay up.
4. Brokers better wake up and side with sellers and builders. You work for us! We control the inventory and this your fate! Nothing in Greenwich should ever be priced below $1,000/sft.
5. Chris if you ever want to work in this town again I would advise you to terminate this site! Your shameless attempt to be “buyers broker” will fail as it is short sighted. Do you think that the market will not turn? It will and you will be left out in the cold. No seller will work with you – ever!!! You are cancer!!!