Don’t blame this blog, blame sellers!

10 Taconic Rd

10 Taconic Rd

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.


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6 responses to “Don’t blame this blog, blame sellers!

  1. Sambone

    Hang in there! The “Truth hurts”. Your Broker buddies must think that your area is insulated from the rest of the US. It’s not. Those Hedgies are hurting. Private schools, Greenwich Ave., etc. Keep up the good work!

  2. anonymous

    Whether choosing a realtor or M&A banker or hedge fund manager, many of same initial selection screening criteria apply…

    Have always presumed that anyone who tries to sugarcoat (or hide) difficult facts or data in discussions with a client is likely a dishonest and/or inept advisor to be avoided at all costs…time is too valuable to waste with such bs

  3. Anonymous

    On the subject of rents – we are currently renting our 3 bedroom 3 bath home for $6500. This is the same price we agreed to 4 years ago.

    Since that time the landlord has performed all needed repairs – but nothing extraneous. The house paint is peeling, the wallpaper(!) in the front hall looks dated, etc. In otherwords the home has been lived in and not updated.

    Any thoughts if we could get a price reduction off of our 4 year old negotiated price? I should mention that we have an excellent relationship with the landlord and would hate to do anything to jepordize that.

  4. pfar

    Having a scapegoat is the easiest way to deal with difficult situations. I myself value your objective view of the marketplace, as there are few realists out there. The last time I checked the only thing that real estate truly correlates to is income and employment. Thus the above must think that you are in fact responsible for our job and income losses as well, that’s a bit far fetched. Ignore the bull market brokers who are just parroting NAR spin.

  5. Peg

    Love it! So – if you state in your blog that a house’s true value is 30% over what everyone else on the planet knows it really is – then the house will sell for 30 more ….

    These people need to get a life!!

  6. WaitingToBuy

    Chris – I have given up trying to find something in Greenwich this year until sellers become more realistic. I am guessing they are assuming that there will be some magical transformation come the fall selling season and then realize that they will be sitting through another winter. As a result, I am trying to learn more about the rentals in Greenwich – what is the best source to find all of these rentals you refer to in your blog? Thank you.