The Jane Street Effect
FAILED TO SELL — the words every owner dreads and hates to hear. Yet, in today’s price-sensitive market, these words are uttered over and over again.
A little over a month ago, we took over a Jane Street condo in the West Village from the largest brokerage house in the city who failed to sell. It had languished on the market for almost six months, so giving the property a complete rebranding and facelift was our first priority. The owner agreed to pay us to completely restage the property and to give it a deep cleaning. We brought in our best photographer, floor plan renderer and copywriter, and we made the property a “new listing” with over 100 days “on market” according to StreetEasy, NYC’s No. 1 public real estate website. We got Compass’ public relations team to get a some press on the unit, and we went ahead with the relaunch. But, there was the issue of price. The property had been listed for $3.395 million. Clearly, we had to bring it to market with an improved price, so we all agreed that $3.25 million was a fair market value with a little room for negotiation. Just a bit lower than our predecessor’s asking price, but low enough to spark renewed interest — and that it did.
Over the next three weeks, we brought in over 50 buyers to the property, but alas no offers. It would seem the market had rejected the new asking price, again! But this time, the owner’s agents took action. Instead of letting the property sit there, the market forced us to adjust. The owner was convinced just a small adjustment would do for now, and if that didn’t work we’d move the price again in three more weeks. There was just no way that was healthy for the life of the listing if we wanted to sell it for top-of-the-market value. With much debate we adjusted the price down to $2.995 million and immediately got three offers: one below the asking and two just above.
We commenced with a best and final and signed a contract a week later for $3.15 million all cash. Why didn’t one of the original 50 interested buyers offer $2.95 million when we were at $3.25 million? We could have easily settled on a price of roughly $3.15 million then. This is today’s market — ultra price-sensitive — and this is what is leading to massive days on market for some listings or the dreaded failed to sell label for others.
Find your property’s sweet spot, and the market will respond genuinely. It doesn’t care how long you’ve been on the market or for what price. Once you find the right number, your property will have the Jane Street Effect!