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Real Talk Ken Edwards Fall market slows down as the holiday season approaches

November 26, 2018

Only 10 properties were reported as having sold last week in Greenwich, according to our local Multiple Listing Service. Seven single-family homes were joined by two condos and a multi-family in Byram.

One of the sales was a 1966 colonial on Dingletown Road acquired by Chase in a foreclosure sale last April. It went to auction with a solicitation of “best and final” offers. It sold for 64 percent of its original asking price and only 71 percent of the town’s tax appraised value. It’s not hard to see why it’s my buy of the week.

My sale of the week selection is a condominium unit in one of my favorite complexes in Greenwich, Georgetowne North. It showed magnificently and it’s not hard to see why it flew off the market in only 34 days at almost asking price.

Buy of the week

With a dramatic twilight lead photo showing purple clouds, this five-bedroom, five-and-two-half bath colonial home took an auction to bring a buyer to the closing table. Built in 2002 with 6,368 square feet of finished space and renovated in 2004, there’s still plenty of room left in the unfinished basement and attic to add more finished space if you need it.

This estate-sized home is set on more than 2 acres of land and was newly constructed after a teardown of the previous colonial on the site. It was listed for sale in 2008 and again in 2012 for prices up to $6 million. It’s also been rented a few times but the owners (JP Morgan Chase Bank) wanted to unload this property after acquiring it in a strict foreclosure sale on April 20. The auction did it.

For just over $2 million, the successful bidders purchased a property for 34 percent of the asking price six years ago. The spoils of foreclosure sales are out there if you are patient, vigilant and ready to pull the trigger. It also doesn’t hurt to be working with a Realtor who knows the market and continually scans it for you.

Sale of the week

My sale of the week selection was a total renovation and redesign of the original four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath unit. With a relocated kitchen and renovated bath among many other designer elements, the new owners pushed its price up almost 64 percent from their purchase price in only 15 months of ownership.

Georgetowne North is one of my favorite complexes due to its location near town, its ponds and pool which make it a delight to view as you drive through Greenwich’s answer to the Georgetown outside our nation’s capital. The brick façades and shuttered windows are very reminiscent of its namesake community.

To sell this unit quickly and at top dollar, a great deal of attention was paid to the photography which is top notch. Photos sell, and if you don’t believe me you just have to view this unit’s collection of 48 photos to really feel invited into this home. Evidently the new buyers were. Now it’s theirs to enjoy.

FSBO?

Pronounced “fizz bow,” that’s the acronym of “For Sale By Owner” that describes the activities that real estate owners engage in to sell their homes without the help of a Realtor. The obvious reason for that is to save money by avoiding the payment of commissions to their agent and the buyer’s agent in a sale.

That sounds like an obvious way to improve the profitability of your sale, so why doesn’t everyone do it? Is it even a smart thing to do in the first place?

BuyOwner.com, the largest site several years ago, was sold to a Utah entrepreneur, Jonathan Holbrook, for $1 million to pay creditors after experiencing sharply lower revenues, going from $28 million to less than $250,000 in 2010. If you go on this site today, and I did, and search for homes within 25 miles of ZIP code 06830 you’ll find … nothing, nada, zippo.

Back in 2006, just before the housing crisis, I took a listing for a For-Sale-by-Owner home in Cos Cob that had been on the market for over a year and listed on ForSaleByOwner.com. I created a marketing program and started showing the property on Nov. 1. An accepted offer, higher than the FSBO asking price, was received on Nov. 28. I tell you this not to promote my own practice so much as to convince you that there are real buyers out there and that a Realtor knows how to successfully market a property to them.

FSBO sites accounted for 15 percent of all home sales in 1981 but have declined steadily since then to 8 percent in 2017 and 7 percent this year. The current statistics according to Realtor Magazine show 87 percent of home buyers using real estate agents to help them and 90 percent of home sellers listing their homes with a Realtor on MLS sites. Also, most FSBOs typically sold to a neighbor, friend, or relative.

If you’re considering going it on your own, take note. Real estate sales are a tough business. Trust me on this one.

This Week’s Success Quote

“I believe that you have one life, you need to live it to the fullest. My philosophy is to be clear about what matters most to you and integrate the things that you love to get the most out of life. You make the best decisions you can with all the information you have — and you have to move quickly. You’re not pushing hard enough if you never make mistakes.”

— Robyn Denholm, newly appointed chairwoman of Tesla, Inc., a mobility and sustainable energy ecosystem company

Ken Edwards is the principal Broker for Edwards & Associates Real Estate and has lived in town since 1974. All opinions expressed are entirely his own and not those of this publisher. Comments and questions may be sent to K_W_Edwards@ Yahoo.com or call (203) 918-4444.

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