Sunday, April 04, 2010
House Tales: The Tale of a Sale... 511 N. Dianthus Manhattan Beach
In April of 2008 I listed 511 N. Dianthus in the Hill section of Manhattan Beach. The home was a probate sale. It had been owned by the same family since it was built in 1964. The initial listing price was $1,429,000 which was considerably less then the appraised value from the state and a private appraisal the heirs had ordered.
Over the next few months the financial markets would begin to crumble and home prices would soon follow. This was the home Mom had dearly loved. She had planned the yard with care and loved her pond with the Koi and turtles. The owners had grown up in the house and remembered when it was the largest home on the street. They reduced the asking price a number of times, but it was difficult watching the home where they had grown up losing value in a rapidly changing market.
While the property received offers, the owners and potential buyers were not able to reach an accord on price. As always there was lots of chatter about the real market value of the property. After being on the market for 10 months the owners decided to rent the house for a year. In March of 2009 the for sale sign went down.
But that is not the end of our tale but rather the beginning. All was fairly quiet until the fall of 2009. In September I started getting a number of calls from agents and potential buyers who had toured the property while it was on the market wanting to know if the sellers were still willing to sell. The interest generally faded away when folks realized that the home was rented until the spring of 2010. A few months later as inventory continued to decline interest again picked up in the house. By the end of November I had three potential buyers who wanted to make offers on the house.
The owners talked and decided that they would entertain offers on the property subject to the existing lease from the folks who had contacted us. If someone met their price great... and if not they would think about listing the home at the end of the lease term. It seemed that now folks were serious and we wound up in a multiple offer situation. One of the buyers agreed to the price the owners wanted and escrow was opened in December with a closing to be 30 days after the property was vacant.
I had to chuckle when reading a comment about the sale on Manhattan Beach Confidential. It was interesting that a year ago many would have considered the current price over market value and now, even though prices declined in the last year, it was a sweetheart deal. The truth is that everyone who was interested in the property had seen it when it was listed. I probably had 10-15 calls from agents and principals after it went off market. There were multiple offers on the property... but only one of the buyers was willing to meet the price the owners wanted. The property had an appraisal done by the bank. The actual sale price was $1,050,000... however the reported price... $1,030,000... was lower as one of the new owners is a real estate licensed and the price reflects that commission was deducted from the sale price. I didn't report a higher price on the MLS but did note that the price reflected the adjustment for comp purposes.
The new buyers have some great plans for the home and have promised me a tour when all is done. With their permission I'll take some pictures and post them. While many disagreed with me when the property was listed, this house has good bones and a great location. The new owners recognized that and knew that a bit of imagination and a good architect can make this a lovely home.