Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Set yourself apart from the competition!

4523 LAURELGROVE, Studio City, CA 91604
(MLS # F1715573)

While most listings will reduce after a 100 days or so on the market, some people want to set themselves apart from the pack. I'm not talking about incentives. Nope. I'm talking about thinking outside the box. If everybody else is reducing, why, you should be different! Increase!

Price Reduced: 07/10/07 -- $995k to $950k
Price Reduced: 08/14/07 -- $950k to $899k
Price Increased: 08/25/07 -- $899k to $920k

Does this ever work?


Robyn said...

Hello, I discovered your blog through LA Times and I've really enjoyed following your Valley adventures in house-buying (I'm in Long Beach so it's fun to see the differences and similarities in the housing market - they are both equally agonizing, although down here prices are at least a little cheaper). I'm probably taking your amusing post here too literally, but I thought you might be interested in knowing that this actually happened with our condo that we're currently listing. Our realtor thought she'd found a potential buyer (although I could have told her it wasn't happening once she told me his financials) who wanted to roll closing costs into the purchase price. So she briefly increased the price on our MLS listing by $10k so that if he made an offer, the bank would see the condo listed at the price needed to get the closing costs rolled in. I thought it was a little silly, but we let her give it a shot. It's back down at the normal price now. Anyway, you probably actually already knew about that trick, as you've been doing this research for a while, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents. Anyway, thanks for keeping up the blog, it's a lot of fun to read. I look forward to seeing what house you eventually settle on.

Ace said...

Talk about an unmotivated seller. It looks like it is a rental property owned by a single man who only has a very little mortgage on it.

My guess is that the last tenant pissed him off so he decided to sell. Now he has a new tenant and will only sell if the price is right.

Anonymous #01 said...

This home was purchased in 2004 for $709K. Two loans were issued, a $138K fixed and a $500K variable. This home shouldn't be worth more than $350K though.

Anyhow, what's great is the real winner in this home is someone named Uri Ekstein. He (or she) bought the home on 1/7/2004 and flipped it on 9/2/2004 for $709K. Isn't that amazing? That's a quarter million dollars profit in 8 months. The price of this property went up by nearly 50% in less than a year.

However, this was to be expected since everyone here in the valley had their incomes go up by 50% during the same period. Duh.

This home will go for $350K by 2010.

Kate said...

Anon #01:

How much do you love Property Shark? That site rocks. Also, they should pay me for the constant advertising I am doing for them.

Anyhoo, Uri Ekstein certainly got the last laugh.

I hope you are wrong about 2010. If I have to stay in my rented condo another two years I am gonna lose it. Lord. Maybe I already have.

kate said...


If this house goes off market soon, I'd have to say you are right on the money about a scam. In OC, I've seen the "mark-up and close" scam quite a bit but not so much here (yet).


Hmmm. It certainly could be a seller who got cold feet. But if it moves at this new higher price, I'd have to say there's something more nefarious afoot.

Evil landlord said...

There's a house in Malibu that I've been watching for ages now and the price went down, down, down in 10,000 increments. After 100 days the seller took out the carpets, spiffed up the floors and raised the price to 10,000 ABOVE the original ask. The darn thing is in escrow now. we'll see how that goes.

Kate said...

Dear Evil:

It will be interesting to see how that goes. Keep the stats and let me know. It'll be likewise interesting to see if the Realtor at issue repeats the pattern.

ghenghy said...

I've got another one for you from my local market:

June 14, 2006, 12:48 pm
Status Not Listed Active

August 30, 2006, 11:07 am
Price $950,000 $1,100,000

February 23, 2007, 10:01 am
Price $1,100,000 $1,200,000

June 15, 2007, 12:01 am
Status Active Expired

This was relisted under a different MLS at 1.2M the same day it expired. They lowered it to 1.1M yesterday. I'd love to know the thought process here. So much stupidity over one house.

Kate said...


Did you Property Shark it? See if it ever changed hands?

I've actually got an amusing one in Valley Village that I happen to know is a whacky seller. I'll try to post it tomorrow.

Anonymous #01 said...

In the Valley, the decline can take years and years. For example, I own a small townhome in Woodland Hills. In 1980 when it was brand new, it was sold for $150,000. I purchased it in 1996 for $74K. That's not a typo. But my point is after 15 years it was half the price.

Frankly, I'm not interested in selling it but me and my better half want to start cranking out babies and we need a real house. Woodland Hills is totally out of control and everyone tells me to sell it and use the equity to buy something that is $500K+. However, I'm not interested in paying property tax on something that expensive for the rest of my life.

There will be a time when affordability will return and I'm not sure when. However, I think I'm looking at moving out of the Valley where I grew up and moving out to Camarillo. Better schools and a lower air conditioning bill are the main reasons.

As my friend told me, the Valley has the three hells: hotter than hell, colder than hell and more windy than hell.

ghenghy said...

Unfortunately, Property Shark doesn't cover my area yet so I have no idea what the story is beyond the fact that this has been on the market for over a year now and has a very odd price history.