A home recently sold in West Vancouver’s British Properties for 40% over the asking price. The home was priced at $1,499,000 and sold for $2,110,000. The sale generated several newspaper headlines and was a feature story on the local evening news. The media, of course, only focused on the number of offers and the high final sales price, without really uncovering the true reason for the fervent activity. A number of clients called or e-mailed me asking about the details of the sale. How could one property generate so much interest and ultimately sell so far above the expected price?
The simple answer is that the selling agent intentionally under priced the property in the hopes of generating multiple offers. A quick MLS search clearly indicates that a well maintained, 50 year old home on a bright, sunny 20,000 plus square foot lot in the British Properties (which this home was) does not sell for under $1.5 million. Comparable properties were selling in the $1.8 – $2 million range. This agent deliberately priced the property just under $1.5 million to generate as much exposure as possible. Within hours of the listing the news was traveling through the West Vancouver Real Estate community and buyers were huddling with their Agents to determine their buying strategy. Buyers were given an opportunity to view the home at the Sunday Open House and then email their offers to the Agent the next evening. Buyers knew they had one shot so most wrote their absolute best price and hoped for the best. By the time the dust settled the winner paid just over $2.1 million. Did the buyer over pay ? Probably.
The property had a lot of the characteristics that British Properties buyers are looking for which is why the sellers were so successful. It was a large, gently sloping, south facing lot with few trees. The house could be completely torn down, significantly renovated or rented out. It was also walking distance to good public and private schools. The house was perfect for this sales strategy and I’m sure even the Agent was surprised with how well things turned out.