An Anecdotal Update (Or Two)

I noticed on my drive home from work one day last week that the for sale signs had come down from in front of the million-dollar new construction on Avondale. Recall that just under a month ago, the price was dropped (again) to $1,275,000.

So did the house sell, or are they just taking it off the market, hoping to re-list with greater success in the spring? As it turns out, the answer is neither one. After getting no bites for six months, despite knocking $450,000 (28%) off the original asking price, the seller decided to fire their agent. The Coldwell Banker signs came down, and over the weekend, shiny new RE/MAX signs were erected.

And just like that, the property now shows up as “New on Market!” Although the asking price is holding steady at $1,275,000, at least they made an effort to make the listing appear new, with all new pictures and an amusing new description.

Old ‘n Busted:

Remarkable new construction on 3+ private acres close into redmond. Easy 520 & 405 commute. Soaring ceilings, arches, granite, tile & hdwds. Craftsman wood details throughout. Massive north & south wings. Private master wing w/library, office/workout room, 2 large walk-in closets, w/d hookup. Oversized 990+/- sf garage w/office & full bath. Spectacular waterfall cascading 30′ into pond. Gorgeously landscaped w/abundant parking. Property in 2 large tiers. Upper tier could be cleared for horses.

New Hotness:

A warm & elegant tribute to the distinctive northwest craftsman lifestyle! New majestic custom home on over 3 peaceful, close-in acres w/equestrian opp. Featuring glistening hardwoods in sun-filled rooms, arched doorways, library, slab granite, state of the art stainless steel gourmet kitchen-6 burner viking. Open & flowing w/soaring ceilings, greatroom, dining, family~bonus designed for entertaining. Showcase master suite retreat w/fplc, spa bath, dual closets. Caretaker-nanny-ext. Family wing.

Maybe a glistening new description is just what’s needed to finally unload this beast.

Also, in case anyone was wondering, apparently home staging isn’t enough to move a property that’s simply overpriced. The Olympia property that was featured in an article on home staging a month ago is still active on the MLS. So much for that open house bringing “similar results.”

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    I posted this in the weekend thread, but it’s relevent to this topic too. There’s a house on my route to work that has been for sale for at least a month. They had an open house this weekend and put up a “Just Listed!” placcard on the sign. After the open house was over, the placcard stayed. So how is this “just listed”? Either they had it on the market for a month without ever listing it, or they did the switch you talked about in the post. I guess it could always just be the realtor lying, but that never happens.

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Take a look at my market history & forecast report for Bakersfield, Modesto and Los Angeles at The Seattle report will published in a few days, along with a new city every day.

  3. 3
    Grivetti says:

    Ha! Well, no wonder it isn’t selling, it looks like the new location for the Woodenville REI?

    Heck, if they’re going to go ahead and stage it they might as well throw in a climbing wall to boot!

  4. 4
    darth_s says:

    Some anecdote:

    I just learned over the weekend a coworker of my spouse working for Boeing that seems to fit quite well with the typical profile of a housing speculator in Seattle as well as the rest of the nation:
    – Young, 20 something
    – Just out of college for a few years – never experienced a housing bust before, or any asset bust before
    – Own 3 properties: one is sitting empty, one is rented out, one is primary residence
    – Serious cash flow negative on the rented property
    – Increasing debt burden on all 3 properties – is looking at selling the rented property
    – Is looking for a company job outside of this state – When being asked about the properties here – The answer is “Who care?” – Does it mean cut an run and leave the lender holding the bag?

    Make your own conclusion.

  5. 5
    Anonymous says:

    What can I do if I know a listing who appears as new on the market, but I know the MLS# it had before? They even used a trick: posted a fake address for two days and then changed it to the real address. The fake address was from a unit with a different sq. ft. and floorplan. Can I complain somewhere about it?

  6. 6
    Slinky says:

    Wait a minute, it’s 4 bedroom, 4.5 baths?

    In other words, there is one potty per occupant (including the dog)?

    Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!! The last time that was common was prior to the depression, when indoor plumbing was the new “it” thing and having lots of water closets was considered a status symbol.

  7. 7
    jcricket73 says:

    You know, I’m as concerned about housing as you are, but anecdotes are funny. Every time I see a home in my neighborhood listed (north capitol hill) it’s snatched up within a week or two, with the exception of homes over $1 million.

    And some of these homes have been pretty crappy (requiring gutting and rebuilding, or even tearing down).
    It would make me nervous to buy a $750-1m home right now that required another $250k worth of work, but there are clearly still a bunch of buyers out there.

    I keep waiting for the “other shoe” to drop, but have a feeling it won’t feel as “obvious” as the dot com crash did.

  8. 8

    […] May 2006: $1,625,000 (Asking) August 2006: $1,495,000 (Asking) October 2006: $1,275,000 (Asking) November 2006: $1,275,000 (Asking – New Brokerage) January 2007: $1,275,000 (Relisted) February 2007: […]

  9. 9

    […] 2006-11: New brokerage, still asking $1,275,000 […]

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