I get a tremendous amount of flack from fellow agents, all blaming this blog for the death of the Greenwich market. (My favorite quote: when someone defended me to a broker by saying, “well he’s just telling the truth” the broker responded, “how dare he!”).
But as I’ve suggested before, I’m not the one driving this death spiral, I’m just reporting it. Every day, buyers receive a message that is exactly contrary to what some agents are telling them, to wit: prices are falling, and if you wait, or toss out a low ball offer, you will benefit. Take the lovely home pictured above. In July 2008 it was priced at $8.6 million. Today it’s been marked down nearly $2 million, to $6.750. 84 Meadow Wood, in Belle Haven, asked $7.150 last June and today will accept $5.950. 34 Perna Lane, in Riverside, wanted $975,000 in October ’07 but will accept $750,000 today.
And so it goes. I represent a buyer who bid $4 million on a $7 million house last summer. The seller wouldn’t respond but has now lowered his price to $5 million. $4 million may still be unacceptable but the lesson my buyer learned is that by waiting a bit, he saved $2 million. He’ll wait a bit longer, and who can blame him?
Same thing, by the way, for rents. Today two price reductions were posted for houses on Milbank. Each started out a few months ago around $8,000, and now the owner will accept $4,000. So don’t blame buyers, or other agents, for low bids. Experience is telling buyers that they’d be chumps to offer anything like full asking price.