Daily Archives: March 18, 2010

A Broker Always Knows….

(Gideon Fountain writing for Christopher Fountain)

Super-broker (or is it Uber-broker?) Steve Archino, has been heard to say, upon leaving a first-time open house of a particularly over-priced property, “If that place sells, I’m leaving the business.”  Similarly, when a house seems under-priced, Mr. Archino , having exited, reaches the driveway and mutters, “If that place doesn’t sell, I’m leaving the business.”

Have no fear of Steve hanging up his little Greenwich MLS name-tag because, as mentioned in the previous post, the over-priced ones never sell and the under-priced ones never fail to sell.

Brokers really do know, after just a few minutes of walking around a house, whether the price is good or bad.  Occasionally we’re perplexed, like when the house is very close to being over-priced but not quite.  Then we look at each other and go “Well?  What do you think?” And we’ll each start naming recent comparables to justify our own opinion (we’re simple folk).  In cases like that, the house usually ends up selling for a bit below ask. The reason we get a little panicky is that, while we trust our instincts, we want them to be validated by the market, and we are anxious to see what the market will do.

Along these lines, when I walked out of the first open-house for 5 Dairy Road , off Clapboard Ridge Road, (listed by Carol Clarke of Sotheby’s) back on March 2nd, I was so sure there would be a bidding-war that I e-mailed the listing to Christopher Fountain with the subject line “This will be gone in a week.”

Imagine, then, my disappointment, when I called Carol Clarke a week later and she said “Nope, still available.”  “Lots of showings, though,” she added.

I saw her today at my open house on Club Road, Riverside, and this time she said, “Gone.  Bidding war.”  Phew!

5 Dairy Rd., asked: $4,695,000. Selling for: (we'll see...)


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The Market Thus Far….

(Gideon Fountain writing for Christopher Fountain)

So far this week…

Sales reported:  9

Contracts reported:  8

Not bad for this time of year (private school vacations and some overlapping public school vacations, always bad for real estate deals)

Real estate agents, like all salesmen, tend to be optimistic.  Who but optimists would choose a line of work where most of what you do produces no revenue, and rejection is a daily experience?  So we’re always looking for some good news.  The way that we start to get a good “feeling” about the market is when we have a customer in a particular price-range and, while arranging for properties to show them, calling all the different listing brokers, we keep encountering the words, “Sorry, that one has an accepted offer.”  (Whether you should show such properties and whether listing brokers should encourageshowings at this delicate stage of the transaction, I will discuss at a later date).

So it’s the phrase “Accepted offer” that is the broker’s first clue that things are moving and, since listing brokers, particularly these days, tend to hold back on officially reporting this status, that word-of-mouth “buzz” is what starts the ball rolling. Brokers talk amongst themselves a lot so word travels fast.

That’s the long way of saying that I’m hearing about a lot of “accepted offers” and that makes me happy.  Look at it from a salesman’s point of view: the absolute BEST line in our noble profession is “Well, if you won’t pay that price, somebody else will.”  Fat lot of good that line is if, weeks later, the damn place is still on the market!  But all kidding aside, brokers need sales to build sales.  You must be able to point to some recently sold properties and say “See?  Somebody’s buying this stuff, why not you?”


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