a year of pricing dangerously / 140 Thompson loft in contract

a long time to find the right price
Unit 6C at 140 Thompson St looks like a pretty nice loft: 2,228 sq ft set up as a duplex 2 BR + 2 (“stunning”) baths, with big windows showing lots of sky, on a “most charming and convenient Soho street”, with reasonable maintenance of a buck a foot.
The good news is that it went into contract last week, off an asking price of $1.995mm. The bad news (for the sellers) is that it had been on the market since February and suffered mightily through someone’s unrealistic expectations about value.
Who to blame? Maybe the sellers, of course – as it is their responsibility and duty to select a price. But since sellers do that with the guidance and data supplied by agents, share some of the blame with Brown Harris and some with PruDE.
riding the down escalator
Check out this price history:
2/3/2006: $2,700,000. Initial Price. Exclusive with Brown Harris Stevens
4/5/2006: $2,600,000. Price Drop.
5/22/2006: $2,500,000. Price Drop. (at this price point, dropping $100k is a form of death-by-small-increments)
(Summer doldrums ensue….)
8/2/2006: $2,495,000. Initial Price. Exclusive with Prudential Douglas Elliman. (a price drop in only the technical sense)
8/22/2006: $2,224,000. Price Drop. (I wasn’t there, but this looks like an agent taking a listing at “too high” a price with a built-in agreement to reduce in a few weeks)
11/1/2006: $1,995,000. Price Drop. (but that price didn’t work either until…)
12/7/2006: $1,995,000. Contract Signed.
I have not seen the loft and certainly have no information about the conversations between sellers and Brown Harris, then sellers and PruDE. But it is clear that the unit was priced way above where it could command the best price available in the market.
Without seeing strong comps from February for similar lofts selling above $2.5mm, I would not use this as an example of the market dropping, but as an example of overly aggressive pricing.
what did they know and when did they know it?
Unit 6F was marketed by other PruDEs, using less aggressive pricing and achieving a better result: another duplex (this one 1,700 sq ft) brought to market at $1.695mm after Labor Day and in contract at Thanksgiving. See the pretty pictures and floor plan here.
In the same building, Unit 2E (1,800 sq ft) was marketed a year ago by Halstead with data that must have had some relevance to the 6C owners and agents. They started just under $1,000 per foot at $1.75mm, dropped to $1.65mm in February this year (when 6C first came to market) and went into contract in April (the closing price was $1.575mm in June – another pretty relevant number to anyone selling in the building).
maybe 6C had a lot more value than 6F and 2E
One could argue, of course, that 6C had a lot of things going for it that 2E did not (height and views, at the least) and perhaps a few things that 6F did not.
but I don’t think so
Turns out the market did not agree. Turns out that 2E and 6F started and sold below $1,000 a foot. Turns out that 6C started at $1,200/ft and sold (probably) for a similar price per foot.
Sometimes it is hard to assess the market…
© Sandy Mattingly
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