Saturday , 23 February 2019
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When a Property Sells Substantially Below Asking In a Hot Market!

Sometimes a property sells substantially below the asking price even though the market is hot as demonstrated by a recent sale in Twin Peaks. The property had sold for $2,000,000 in May of 2014. (Having seen this condo recently, it became clear to me that the seller paid way too much in what must have been a bidding war in 2014.) It was brought back on the market less than a year later in February of this year for $1,999,000, the seller apparently hoping to get his $2,000,000 plus, since properties generally sell for well over asking in this hot market.

The property did not show well. It was a large 4 bedroom condo in an unappealing 60’s building and was not staged (likely against the advice of his agent) but instead was shown with the seller’s oversized, dark furniture. Each of the bedrooms had large wooden ceiling fans which the seller had installed after he moved in. The kitchen was outdated with a tiled counter, white appliances and white particleboard cabinets. The best feature of the condo was the expansive view of the distant city and bay. You get the picture. After 29 days on the market, the price was reduced to $1,795,000. After 86 days, the property was taken off the market.

A month later, the property was put back on the market, after being painted a bone white in the living area and being beautifully staged with smaller, more attractive furniture. The ceiling fans were removed and replaced with modern white round light fixtures. Plants were strategically placed throughout and patio furniture with brightly colored pillows was put on the view deck. Within five days of going back on the market at $1,695,000, the property was in contract. It closed for $1,758,000. Staging and pricing it properly did make a difference in eventually getting this property sold. However, it still sold for 12% less than its asking price – ouch! Be careful not to pay excessively in a bidding war and if you buy in a hot market, plan to stay in the property awhile.

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