No one’s going to sell me this house!

I’ve commented for some years now that sellers have had a philosophy that “no one’s gonna steal my house”  and pointed out that no one was putting a gun to their head but merely offering to pay several million bucks for property that was probably worth less than the seller’s opinion.

That seems to have reversed. Yesterday a buyer, told that a house had originally been priced at $3.9 million and eventually sold for $2.5 told the listing agent that “you’re trying to broker me” and stormed from the house. Look – you Wall Street guys all have your spreadsheets  and “know” what a house should be worth, but you might try respecting the knowledge of what we agents, sometimes, have to offer. Buyer’s agents owe you a fiduciary duty, owe you our complete loyalty and, while not every agent lives up to that duty, most of us do. You should certainly make up your own mind, but you might at least consider listening to our advice. We probably, believe it or not, know more than you do about Greenwich real estate. You’re on your own with valuing the Euro.


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14 responses to “No one’s going to sell me this house!

  1. Anonymous

    Talking about houses that are going well below original asking, go and outbid Biff on 425 N. Maple. He seems determined to get it.

  2. Burning Madolf

    I’d be careful using the word “we.”

  3. Anonymous

    That story makes sense. If the $3.9 was pie in the sky then any percentage off (the $2.5) is fruit of the poisonous tree. Especially, if the assessment, lack of updating etc. are not taken into consideration. Maybe $2.5 was still a good price. Fancy Dept. stores have been doing this for yrs. 50% sale on clothing when the markup is over 300%. The deal or theft is relative –

  4. Out Looking In

    how many buyers’ agents told their clients to walk away and rent from 2005 thru 2008? Just a question….

    • Well I didn’t, Out Looking. To be honest, when the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit in 2007, I figured it wouldn’t affect Greenwich – all the mortgages I’d done were at least 20% and usually far more, so what could hurt them? I didn’t realize – I’m no banker – that these cheap loans were being leveraged 400% and were going to bring down the world banking system. Silly me.

  5. Anonymous

    like i don’t get it, if the house sold and the 2.5 million is public record why is the buyer mad? besides if the house is sold, he can’t buy it. what am i missing?

  6. Mystery Shopper

    Anonymous @10:46am: 425 N. Maple is a bait-and-switch.

    The listing agent dropped the price by $417,500 to $2.395 million but at the same time reduced the land being sold from 2.6 acres to 2.1 acres. That is a drop of asking price by 14.8% accompanied by a drop in land value by 19.2%.

    Wow! what a “price reduction”. That is effectively a 5.4% price increase per acre not price reduction.

  7. Mystery Shopper

    Chris: I realize that the topic is about a different piece of land (425 N. Maple last sold in 1976 for a lot less than $3.9M). I was just clarifying a point for Anonymous@10:46AM before someone overpays for 425 N. Maple and highlighting some shady practices in the market.

  8. Looking in Riverside

    All this discounting is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is relative value in today’s market. If the $2.5mm is cheap compared to other homes in the neighborhood with similar quality and land, then it’s a good deal. Otherwise, the seller has to find a market clearing price in order to sell it.

    • Looking, the only relevant price is the last price, so you’re absolutely right. What someone dreamed of three years ago is totally not in the picture. My point is just that, sometimes, there are some good prices out there. Not always (not often, in fact) but they are there.There’s one in Riverside at $5 million, if you’re feeling flush.

  9. Mystery Shopper

    Chris: buyers shouldn’t get angry, they should just tell the agent what they think it is worth to them.

    No need to take it personally or get personal. It is just a transaction which wall street guys should understand.

    By the way, what do you think it is really worth?

  10. Mystery Shopper

    “house had originally been priced at $3.9 million and eventually sold for $2.5”

    So probably the one who paid $2.5 thought he got a great deal … an arbitrage!!