You know as well as I know that the information you provided is not enough to analyze why one property was sold and the other is not. I don't believe pricing one $30K higher than the other is the reason why.
I went and googled 92 Westgate Drive since you did not include a link to that property. Sadly to say, I would not say either property has the best online presentation. The 92 Westgate has only one picture on Yahoo. However, it does have hardwood floor in both living room and dining room, and I believe Central Air. Neither says about upgrades, neither tells whether one location is better than the other.
As there are no pictures nor any detailed description nor property websites; I don't think anybody can tell you why one sold and the other not.
From my experience, sometimes people rather spend a little more money for quality (for example, hardwood floor vs old carpet, which might be this case), with updated kitchen/baths, etc so they don't have to come in and do more work.
And truth be told, since I am Chinese (yes, you mentioned investors from different countries in your many posts), I know a lot of Chinese like either new, newer, or completed updated homes - mostly because of their background do not prepare them to do so. And from what you have posted so far, and sounds to me, Edison might attract buyers like that due to the job market there.
So, for all I know, 92 Westgate might even be underpriced if it's all upgraded - you can easily spend lots of money if you want to upgrade a place.
By the way, what happened to your father's friend in Beijing? Will he / she be thinking about moving / investing in the S.F. Bay Area (Marin is even better)? Great weather here!
Thank you for your post.
Let me understand you. "The highest listing price" Realtors will be invited....I know that Trulia Realtors are highly regarded, however ascribing our abilities to quote the "highest price" may not be accurate.
You could certainly look in Trulia for a few Realtors for your colleague to interview. I would caution your associate's friend to not rely completely on the market analysis and "best listing price " to select their Realtor. A Realtor has a number of key roles, including helping clients prepare their properties for market, exposing the property to the market, then negotiating the best offer and terms to get the property sold.
Generally speaking, the "highest price" is not the most realistic. In most cases you need to realize the listing price is a marketing tool. List price is not a way to guarantee you get the most for your property. List price CAN affect the number of buyers that see the property because most buyers shop in price ranges, so an overpriced property will never be seen by buyers that are not looking above a certain price point.
You want to take a look at the current market analysis on Westgate http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=1331031998& and do NOT hesitate to refer those buyers who love Westgate but may not afford yours to the lowest priced units so that they will be happily to own a home like 110 Westgate Dr http://www.trulia.com/property/1051758383-110-Westgate-Dr-Ed
After the lowest 3 sold, yours would worth more, say $25k more. And, I believe you will get more buyers come to you as many more I know looking to move up from Durham Woods Apt where many ex tenanents went buy Westgate townhouses.
You may also give Jose 732 979-9100 (cell) a call to ask him distribute 1,000 invitation flyers to Durham Woods Apt (rented out with rent hike) before your next open house. Another complex is Edison Village and Blueberry Village (also rented out till May).
You may also provide the Westgate Community Blog info http://westgatesquare.blogspot.com/ in your flyers so that dozens of prospective buyers will be able to educate themselves before coming to the open house.
You may want to set up a goal to help all the community like Susan did last year. She ended up help dozen of Westgate neighbors' unit sold before hers sold weeks later. And the 1,000 flyers out were so powerful, even after hers sold and bought a nice house to move up in New Providence, many more Westgate units continue selling.
You also want to understand, many of the Westgate buyers are first time buyers, and they have to close and move in in 4 to 5 weeks due to the fact their rental lease expiring in 60 days. That is to say, you want to go out to see the dream home you want to move up to, or you may have problem like 306 Westgate Dr, whose buyer wanted to close by last Xmas, and they did, and had no place to move to.
If you also read CFO Magazine http://www.cfo.com/ you would be realized the $600k to $900k houses in Greater Edison area will have a shortage this coming year. Why? because China and Indian currency appreciated 20%, i.e. like the US housing price 20% cheaper. I just watched the Chinese TV News http://sinovision.net/ which says the US to China currency may become 1:6 this summer. Wow! It was 1:87 not long ago.
Ok, that is to say a $870,000 house even if it is sold at $870,000 full price, to Chinese buyers, it is like $600,000 !!!! So, if after selling your $400k Westgate townhouse, you want to move up to buy $800k house, you want to realize what shall happen in next 6 months ....
I know you ranked #2 in Trulia Realtors, and you will be very appreciate my real estate research result. Not sure about other realtors.
If you click on this "Westgate Community Blog"@ http://westgatesquare.blogspot.com/ and once get in try to click on "luxury 2br 2hba townhouse", you shall see this MLS link http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=933828279&s that gives you a proof on what I said that 92 Westgate Dr not only sold under attorney review, but in fact already under contract.
Your description is generally true, but NOT at this situation when 92 Westgate is listed the highest and 110 Westgate the lowest, according to MLS link http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=58872156&s= also can be found in the above blog click on 1-31-08.
When you did that, you really got both units' all detailed photos, and I would rather buy the 110 Westgate rather than 92 Westgate. And, if you believe me, I am a research went to UC Berkeley both under and grad and worked for Bell Labs and Wall St, I went see both units for my real estate research, and that's what I can tell you.
Since you said Chinese real estate customers have certain stereotype behavior, you can understand that for the same brand, large dozen size eggs, you got it at Chinese supermarket for $1.99 here whereas, Shoprite supermarket charges $2.99. For that 33% different on pricing, most Americans here pay $2.99 at Shoprite rather than $1.99 at Chinese supermarket, and now Hong Kong Supermarket here just went out of business.
This is the same as Westgate townhouses. Americans willing to pay more to buy $30k more for a townhouse NOT as shine as the other one $30k lower, and I would invite you to fly over to New Jersey to see these two units for your own eyes.
From my research, I have discovered an invisible real estate power that was able to achieve this. e.g. This link has 53 units for past 12 months in Westgate, and now all sold under AR, U or C but 5 left as you can click to see http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=58872156&s= How would you explain or answer the question "Isn't that real estate market is bad according to whining media? How come the community almost SOLD OUT?"
I myself eyewitness the bad real estate market in 1990 when my 1br condo could not sell for 3 years listing with 6 different realty agencies, and that same condo complex now SOLD OUT. It is Edison Hollow South http://raspberryct.blogspot.com/ That's why I do NOT believe those whining media and the so-called real estate statitics provided by NAR in general. Those data are misleading... I compare hundreds of communities' data in 1990's and now, and I got the first hand real time info.
So, why there are so many negative data out there? I think the reason is that all these banks and organization trying to "steal" tax money from taxpayers. e.g. they said subprime has ARM and when rate jump, it will go $500 more a month ...etc. When I move out of condo, I bought my own house with ARM, and I never had problem. When I had problem, I just rented out one bedroom for $500 a month to student, then I am fine.
When we were at Berkeley, we were really poor in some years, I posted rental ads in Berkeley netnews, and I got 2 Civil Engineering students rented our "dinning room", and got $300 rent from each student, and we were fine. So, the media whining whining is nothing more than to steal taxpayer's money.
This is like Y2K problem many years ago. Some IT industry genious trying to steal money from Corporate USA and created this myth, then all companies spent huge among of IT money to do something really a big deal. That propaganda cost US government huge among of money and effort.
So, I think one plausible explanation is that wealthy IT professionals working at Wall St living at Jersey City got hit buy $300 jump on 1br apt in Newport Jersey City, and decided to instead of paying $3000 a month rent from $2700, he decided to buy a nice 2br 2hba townhouse in Edison where many of his colleagues live and feel home. So, he told his realtor his budget is about $360k to $400k, and his realtor look at the MLS system to find only ONE listing at Westgate (funny? those listing lower didn't even get seen), so he just went see the unit and love it and buyt it.
If you are interested in this case more, I would have no problem to visit 92 Westgate Dr new owner when they close and move in and find out. I am so familiar with all these cases with reasonable yet very accurate guess is because I am a researcher and I interview thousands of buyers each year and keeping track of over 200,000 prospective buyers and millions of for sale properties.
My conclusion and research result for realtors is that "unreasonable under price listing" may not sell the unit than "fair market price lising", in the age of Internet where lots of spam and fraud out there, under price list cause suspecion.
You need to find a realtor to list at the "fair market price", "list below the market prices" may not be able to sell. However, many listing agents seem to list the unit "belowe the fair market prices" then attract lots of people trying to steal, yet the seller can not accept, so it won't sell as you can click to see http://msx.mlxchange.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=58872156&s=
You see the lowest one listing at Westgate so far is by Trulia realtor if you check, however, what can you say why she listing the unit "well below the fair market price" WON"T sell? where as the one listing at the "highest price" but "fair market price" has been SOLD???
So, people tend to think "highest listing price" is "over price" which is NOT true, at least in this case. I have found often "the highest listing price" is the "fair market price"; when the unit under listed, there often no deal...
Here is why. When you list a unit like 110 Westgate Dr at $30,000 below the fair market price (to me, market price is determined by both sellers and buyers), you do not find the right match. The true buyers may think there is something wrong with the unit. So, they may not even come to see.
Or, at least their realtors will not bring them.Why waste time to show a "under price unit" that could have all kind of problem? or hidden problem? not found till close to closing?
So, from my own belief, if the listing agent can estimate a best "fair market value", meaning the listing agent is realistic and willing to spend resource to do the marketing and find the best matched buyers.
In general, I think realtors are all good and all licensed, so that also experienced and will perform very professional market analysis. Also, each realtor has his or her own specialty area. So, the estimated listing price "reflect" mostly how much the listing agent familiar with the area, the community and the unit.
How do you think?
p.s. disagree with me? try to explain why 92 Westgate Dr, the highest sold, whereas 110 Westgate Dr the lowest one NOT sold?