Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When Premiums Collide: 529 8th Street

When you go to Park Slope, you know you're paying up for the name brand of a neighborhood that even the most pedestrian, non-NY'ers can rattle off the top of their heads as prime real estate. And when you go to Corcoran, you know you're getting top notch service (usually) and a real listing at a premium price. So when you combine the two, Park Slope and Corcoran, you know you're in store for some serious premium being added to the price of your listing.

Corcoran is kind of like the Bloomingdale's of real estate. They're big, bright, shiny, and they always give their more spendy customers first dibs on overpaying for a particular product when it first comes out, before ultimately slashing the price if it doesn't manage to sell with the premium on top. They even tell their sellers flat-out before listings, "Ok, we can sell your house for X dollars. So we're going to list it for X + Y + Z dollars. That way we can drop the price by Z dollars, and still have Y dollars to negotiate with or drop again, to arrive at a sale for X dollars." While price anchoring has its powerful psychological effects, it's not always how things work in the real world. (But don't tell that to your wife who wants a $5,000 trip to Brazil, just because she got a Groupon e-mail that "saves" $500 on the hotel)

529 8th Street is a 12-Family limestone in PRIME Park Slope, between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West. But don't let the $2.9M price tag fool ya. The identical (except without the exterior fire escape dragging down the curb appeal) next door neighbor just sold for $2.3M on 8/24/11. That's right, after listing for $2.9M with Corcoran in 2007, 2008, and 2009 - it then came back on the market in the spring of 2010 at $2.75M, then $2.6M, then back out this summer at $2.4M, before finally fetching its price (minus $100K). Sensing a pattern, anyone? At least that listing for 533 8th Street had a few interior pics. Now on 529 8th Street, we don't even get the pics Corcoran threw in there for the rentals:

Because why should the person supposedly spending $2,900,000 on this place see what the tenant paying $2,000/month sees? Even the exterior pic they're lifting off Property Shark, they couldn't bother to save in a higher rez version than the 8-bit-looking photo they have now. Furthermore, we get no clarity on the rent roll, other than the fact that it's two-thirds full of incredible, rent stabilized steals for the tenants, and 4 free market apartments. But we understand why they may not want to blast that gross income number over the airwaves. Worst of all, our calls into the agent were shut down when they told us they have an accepted offer a few months ago, and aren't accepting back ups. So it's basically in contract and doesn't even say so. Considering how fast 158 Garfield Place went, we're not surprised at all. We're very curious to see what price it ends up at, and if these 2 added premiums prevail.

Pro's: location, huge, will never go unrented, curb appeal

Con's: price, where's the upside?, is it still listed?, why does the rental listing have more info than the sales listing?

Ideally: when it comes to 8-Family+ bow-front limestones, we still haven't given up on 234 St. James

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