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Even the richest are not immune to a slowing property market

We want to sell our home today and we engage a real estate negotiator (REN). He advised us the current market price based on some recent transactions. Here’s a place for us to check recent transactions;  After the advertisement is up for a few days, our REN tells us a potential buyer called and wanted the selling price to be reduced by 30 percent. What will be our reaction? Maybe this: “Are you crazy?” I think this will be the reaction. In fact, this will be the reaction even if that someone asked for just a 10 percent lower price. Well, this is the buyers’ market as they say. (I disagree yeah, especially for really in-demand areas. Read this: Location Supply Scarcity.  A close friend just called the other day and told me that the price of my condo in Penang is now down by 30 percent. I said ‘that’s great news. Please recommend the REN who said so to contact me so that I can see if I should buy another unit.” Well, the agent has not called yet….
Anyway, this is not just for the Penang or KL property market. This happened to this famous billionaire investor in Laguna Beach, U.S. His name is Warren Buffett. The full article in here: Billionaire Warren Buffet chops price on his Laguna Beach home to $7.9 million  Last year, he wanted to sell his ocean-view house for US$11 million (RM45 million). It was not sold and now, the home is in the market for US$7.9 million. (RM32.32 million).  That’s a 28 percent drop from the original asking price.  The home is a 3,588 square-foot home and is a 6-bedroom house in Laguna Beach. He has owned the home since 1971 when he paid S$150,000 for it. (Yes, $150,000!!)  The home is only a block from the ocean and most rooms have views of the surf and rocks. There is a large family viewing deck which is separated from the main house. He uses the home only as a vacation home. This was not the only home Buffett has in the neighbourhood. He sold a house adjacent to this one for $4.3 million in 2005. That was a home for guests to stay. By the way, Buffett’s net worth is estimated to be around $86 billion (RM352 billion) by Forbes. The full article in here: Billionaire Warren Buffet chops price on his Laguna Beach home to $7.9 million  The image in featured image is also from the same website.
Coming back to the decision to sell a home we own. It’s far more important to understand the reason to sell. If it’s because there’s a potential good buy in the market, then selling our home faster is much more important than waiting for the next 9 months for a buyer. Else, we lose that opportunity to buy an undervalued property just because we think we are not getting a good price for our property. Of course, if we are ONLY thinking of putting it on the market to gauge the price, we could also do that but Ido pity that REN handling our case. Remember yeah, if your property has been ADVERTISED last year and it was NOT SOLD until this year, anyone searching for the same property may see the price. It’s not such a good idea because now the buyer will be even more motivated to negotiate for a lower price. Happy selling and buying. Market’s good I think.
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written on 26 Aug 2018
Next suggested article:  Fully occupied condos will be more expensive

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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  1. Actually, this is a great illustration of how poor property investment has been in the US relative to the stock market. US$150k to US$7.9m is only about an increase of a factor of 53 and probably less than 10 after inflation (the 70s and 80s having had very high inflation in the US). Berkshire Hathaway stock, the Warren Buffett company, had a stock price of around $50 in 1971 and is now about US$300k, so it has increased 6000 times in the same interval, about a 100 times better than the property. (I think Buffett mentioned this once regarding the fact that he maximized the mortgage, not because he couldn’t pay in cash, but because he had much better things to invest in.)

    The overall US stock market has also beaten the property investment with far greater liquidity, lower transaction costs and diversification with a return of about 110 times since 1971.

    Property has been a pretty poor investment in the US except for certain stretches.

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