$16M Asking Price; $11.5M Appraisal

Asked by Ben Thompson, Bridgehampton, NY Sun Oct 7, 2007

I asked this question earlier in the day, but want to add some details based on the responses received. The house has been on the market since June. We had early offers of $12-13M, but turned them down, thinking the house was worth more. With estate taxes due in mid-January, we recently had it formally appraised. The figure came in at $11.5M. We need to sell the house in order to pay the estate taxes, but can manage to get through the next year or so paying the $30,000 a month we will owe the IRS in interest due to not paying the taxes on time. My sister, who works for a reputable firm, is the realtor.

Should be lower the asking price now, and if so, what do people think the asking price should be? I would like to have the house sold within the next seven months, maximum.

Thanks to everybody who has responded.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Mon Oct 8, 2007
Yes, Sylvia, Ben's sister Sally works for Sotheby's. She and her firm specialize in the Hamptons and luxury properties.

I have a little discomfort that so much of the sellers motivation, with such precise information, has been disclosed publicly. If I were Sally, I would wince to realize that the buyers agents and the potential buyers themselves can access the the mind of the executor on the internet.
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Sun Oct 7, 2007
HI Ben:

So, this the interesting fact, that your sister is the realtor. I understand that she works for a reputable firm but does her firm specialize in the Hamptons as well as luxury properties? If so, what's the consensus among the Realtors in her office?

One of the ways we deal with difficult to price properties in our office (or propeties where the seller wants one price and the agent think it should be a different price - normally lower than what the seller wants) is to invite agents experienced in like property over to do an estimate on a property. They will each provide an independent estimate with the reasons why they come up with the estimate. We sometimes invite agents from other brokerage to come and help estimate. Note that this is where the Realtor network comes in handy as a lot of the agents are very busy; but they will come when they know the Realtor.

Since you are able to sustain for another year, maybe you can ask your sister to try this method. With the input from several agents, you might be able to better justify the listing price, whatever it might be.

1 vote
Ralph Windsc…, Agent, Hauppauge, NY
Thu Nov 25, 2010
Quite some time ago, you posted an inquiry on Trulia seeking real estate advice. If you are still considering purchasing or selling real estate or have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me. Please accept my best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Ralph Windschuh
Associate Broker
Certified Buyer Representative
Senior Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Princeton Properties
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Mon Oct 8, 2007
I suspected it was the home listed with Sotheby's. They're a big player in the Hamptons. There are also quite a few other homes listed in that price range in the same area.
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Sun Oct 7, 2007
Didn't your sister do comps? Email me the address and I'll do comps, I can access the public record in Bridgehampton.
0 votes
Fontella Pap…, Agent, Parker, CO
Sun Oct 7, 2007
Hey Ben, Who appraised your home? Was it an appraiser from the county to assess the taxes or was it a regular appraiser? Just curious, sometimes the county assess the value lower than normal.

I agree with the Brokers below, if you need to get out then just price it at or below market value.. Ask your Broker to check with the ones that made an offer earlier to see if there's a chance to revive the deal.

Have your Broker offer a selling bonus to the Brokers to generate some excitment around your estate.

Offer the buyers a trip to Europe and if you have multiple showings from the same buyer YOU make them an offer!! Good luck!!
0 votes
Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Sun Oct 7, 2007
Hi Ben. Thanks for coming back to give more details. I agree with those who suggested that your agent/sister should contact the previous buyers' agents. It looks like you have a unique property and there's a good chance that those buyers who made offers on your property have not found anything else yet. The fact that these buyers were not willing to offer more should give you a hint on what the real value is. If those other buyers are no longer interested, drop the price down to the appraised value or perhaps even slightly below. Don't wait for a miracle to happen as every day you don't have the property priced right costs you money. Would you rather give it to the buyer or the IRS? I doubt that those who are in favor of keeping the price where it is now are willing to pay the taxes out of their shares of the estate. If you keep the price where it is now, you'll just watch the estate getting smaller because of the taxes. Who came up with the $16M anyway?
Web Reference:  http://www.go2kw.com
0 votes
Susan Kelly, Agent, Auburn, CA
Sun Oct 7, 2007
Bottom line...list your home or sell it. If you want to sell it, price it at market value or just below. Buyers usually pay to have a home appraised in the escrow process. If your home doesn't appraise at the selling price, you will most likely be back in negotiation with the buyer's agent asking for a lower price for his/her buyer anyway. In addition, you are missing buyers that are not searching over the market value. They may never see your home.
0 votes
Jan Wood, , Gallatin, TN
Sun Oct 7, 2007
Do you know what the answer to "What's the difference between a hog and a pig"? The answer is "A hog gets slaughtered". Don't be greedy. With that said, you might want to approach the people who made the initial offer. They may still want to buy. If the property appraises at $11.5M, then price it at $11.3. You need to take control and I think you know what to do. I am assuming you have confidence that your sister has the experience to sell an Estate.
0 votes
Voices Member, , Orlando
Sun Oct 7, 2007
Any intelligent homebuyer is going to want an appraisal to make sure they're not overpaying. At this price range, you're always going to be dealing with an intelligent buyer. Or so I would expect.

If the home is going to be financed, the bank will also require an appraisal and will not fund on a home that is being purchased above the appraised value.

This is also an adjusting market in most parts of the country, and homebuyers are educated and know this. They're not going to be likely to overpay, knowing they'll be upside down in 6 months.

My advice is don't be greedy! Price it at, or even slightly below appraised value. It was likely worth $13 M in June, and now you see how it has dropped. If you have to hold it another 3 or 4 months, you're going to be looking at an even lower value at that point...plus you'll be losing $30,000 every month it doesn't sell.

Price it at or below appraisal and get it sold today! Values are not going up in most places!
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Selling in Bridgehampton Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more