When it’s time to put your Greenwich house up for sale, one of the most important marketing tools is the Listing write-up. Ad people call short descriptive essays like this “blurbs.” In Greenwich listings, its importance is second only to the curb-appeal of the photo that appears above it. When the blurb is thoughtfully crafted, it can shape prospects’ expectations by highlighting the best features while softening less desirable details. A huge backyard could be “park-like”—while a tiny patio could be “cozy” or “intimate.”
An example of this was last month’s lightning-fast sale in Sunnyvale, California. The listing agent had been working with a home that was definitely “cozy.” The blurb called it “a charmer”— a carefully-chosen adjective given its size (just 848 square feet of living space) and unremarkable lot size (about 1/8 acre). The blurb diplomatically pointed out a “large backyard patio.” Now, the fact is that even though the single-story house clearly belonged in the “modest” category, its proximity to leading Silicon Valley campuses like Google and Apple merited a hefty asking price– only $1.4 million. What’s key is that the listing price represented a strategic move setting an asking price below comparables. The listing appeared on a Wednesday, and by Friday, despite a request that offers be withheld until a week had passed, a “persistent” Realtor® submitted her client’s offer.
If you are reading this while standing, please sit down. The offer was for a flat $2,000,000. That jaw-dropping sum works out to $2,358 for each and every one of the 848 square feet —making it not only the highest square foot price recorded in Sunnyvale; it is the highest price per square foot ever recorded in local MLS history. It generated headlines from coast to coast.
Greenwich sellers might be tempted to disregard this tale from a notoriously superheated market as somewhat irrelevant—but I’d argue that there are real-life Greenwich lessons to be learned. In fact, I’ve employed a tight-to-the-rails pricing strategy a couple of times in the past three months, and in each case, multiple offers resulted. Before you race to change up your pricing strategy, I’ll caution that this isn’t a one size fits all strategy– it needs to fit the market, the price segment and the particular property. For further discussion on this topic or other Greenwich real estate matters, contact: