Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In Contract in a Flash: 102 Gates Avenue

Why did a reported 375 people descend on an open house at 102 Gates Avenue this month and dump enough offers in their lap to get a contract signed in barely 2 weeks?  Where else can you find 4-stories this close to the train listed under $1.3M?  It wasn't like the superior house across the street was empty last year when 101 Gates Avenue listed with Corcoran for $1.5M.  Even back then it wasn't hard to map out where prices in Clinton Hill were headed, as we quickly sketched on paper last year...

And now we're curious to see how high above $1.5M this house at 102 Gates will land.  Does it need work?  Sure it does.

This listing agent knows her Gates Avenue.  She's seen this movie before, having 110 Gates Avenue drop all the way from $2.45M to close for $1.7M at the end of last year.  We guess she figured this time around to start the list price low and let the bidding war figure out where the number lands.  Novices will tell you 102 Gates should go much cheaper because 110 Gates was so nice and closed for "only" $1.7M a mere 3 months ago.  Ah, but like all comps, that contract price was negotiated many months prior to the closing, and - most importantly - 110 Gates is long gone.  So who is 102 Gates' competition then?  You can brow-beat any listing you see and gripe about how it only works for you at hundreds of thousands below asking price, but we told you it's supply & demand dictating this market.  This isn't day-trading with equities where you can ride cyclical waves of price action in & out of the same stock.  Real property is a high-stakes, winner-take-all industry.  And you don't have to go to a soothsayer or read tea leaves to know that a listing like this means 374 other people who didn't get the house are certainly crawling around Brooklyn looking for the next one.  Platinum Members are scoping out a handful of properties a few blocks from here that a fraction of the hundreds of people in this house even know about.  Inefficient markets create opportunity.  Corcoran listings create happy sellers.

Pro's:  20' wide, 4 stories, close to C train, historic neighb', original details

Con's:  no secret, gone already, needs tons of work, will go way above asking price

Ideally:  skip the lines and head to properties on fewer people's radar

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