Sale price reported

77 Maple Avenue, $5,000,000. Brother Gideon had the buyers (Gid's had a very busy year, fortunately for those of us who intend to rely on him to fund our retirement). He tells me that his people live quite close to here, and this was exactly where and what they wanted.

The sellers paid $5.4 for it in 2014 but they overpriced it this time, at $5.750 million, and I make that pronouncement not as some sort of pricing guru, but merely observing that it didn't sell for 409 days, and only when they dropped it down to $5.2 did a buyer appear.

In fact, at least two buyers appeared, but one of them just couldn't pull the trigger, lost it, and their agent is now sending around emails looking for a similar house in the same neighborhood. That's a not-uncommon phenomenon: an overpriced house sits forever on the market, finally lowers its price to probably lower than it could have fetched originally, and buyers come around. But because it's sat for so long, potential buyers can have a hard time believing that there is anyone else interested, so they dawdle, and lose.

I've always suggested to my buyer-clients that the time to make a low offer is just before the owner of a stale listing drops his price. If the timing's right (and that's pretty much a matter of luck) the owner may just be tired enough of the process to give up. If not, well,  it costs nothing to lob a bid at a house Wait for that price drop, though, and you may find you have competition.