Two years ago I represented buyers of a property in an area of Greenwich that had been experiencing slow sales. The home was built in 1930 and had seen much better days. The home needed a complete renovation, and that is exactly what my clients gave it with considerable changes to the floor plan, new kitchen, and bathrooms, new moldings, windows, roof, hardware, new driveway in a new location, change to the topography, and even making the front door the back door and the back door the front door. 4,500 square feet of perfection overlooking a pond and conservation land. Large-scaled windows with black frames spilled natural light throughout the house and added a modern vibe, appealing to today’s buyers. The property sold in a matter of weeks in a very difficult real estate market and an out-of-favor part of town.
Fast forward to this month- clients of mine who had sold their Greenwich property moved abroad and are now returning to Greenwich. The renovated back country house came to my mind, and as luck would have it, the owners were going to be listing it for sale soon. What was staged in linens and creams and quiet country sophistication when I sold it, is now a kaleidoscope of colors in art and furnishings. The condition has remained excellent but the personality of the house has completely changed. As has the price, which is 15% higher than when it was sold.
What Does The Current Market Say About The New Price? The market has remained flat in terms of average sales price over the two year period. There have been no upgrades or changes to the home or landscaping that would indicate a greater investment than when the owners bought the property. I understand that owners do not want to lose money and assume that their pricing is based on the purchase price that they paid, plus the transaction fees that they will incur in a sale. While logical from their perspective, that is only half of the equation. You simply can’t ignore what the market is saying about prices.
The Learning: Don’t price a property in a vacuum- the current market conditions and competitive properties in the market must be looked at as you set your property’s price. If you bought your property just a short while ago, know that buyers will be asking what you did to the house and property to justify the new price point, if the market hasn’t seen appreciation.