Purchased for $8.5 million in June of 2016, the “sumptuous” Palo Alto home at 1117 Hamilton Street, which sits on a “prestigious Crescent Park” parcel and features “exquisite architectural and interior design, exotically-sourced materials, hand-crafted finishes, and elegant appointments throughout,” returned to the market listed for $8.95 million in late 2017.

Relisted for $8.95 million this past February, the asking price for the nearly 3,400-square-foot, 5-bedroom home was reduced to $7.988 million in May and then lowered to $6.988 million this past September.

And the resale of 1117 Hamilton Avenue has now closed escrow with a contract price of $6.65 million, down 21.8 percent ($1.85 million) on an apples-to-apples basis versus the second quarter of 2016.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by tipster

    Also on the same day, 47 Hamilton Ct, the house around the corner that borders this one, that was listed and had also gone pending around the same time as this one, has its listing removed and the listing info erased from all sites. It now shows as never having been listed, never having gone pending, not for sale.

    • Posted by Notcom

      The ‘Memory Hole’!! Thank you for choosing Big Brother Realty. (“gone pending”? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that expression)

    • Posted by anon2

      Interesting. I recently read an article about agents in Miami who would disappear listings as they expired so that rival agents couldn’t come in and poach their clients.

      “Otoya could make it difficult for rival brokers to find the Jills’ expired listings, simply by manipulating data on the computerized listing forms. For starters, he could place spaces in the addresses of the properties on the Multiple Listing Service, the national real-estate database.”
      […]
      “So Otoya went to work to game the computer system. He altered street addresses and changed the cities for expired listings so they wouldn’t show up on the Hot Sheet. He also changed the Zip Codes on high-end properties in Miami Beach, sending them to what some call “the ghetto”—a middle-class Miami suburb of ordinary houses that luxury brokers don’t even bother to search.

      The effect was immediate. “I was looking for a house and I couldn’t find it,” recalls Esther Percal, a veteran Miami Beach broker. The owner of a home on North Bay Road, a pricey enclave, had invited her to be his agent. But when she checked the M.L.S.—”the Bible of our profession”—she couldn’t find the price of the home.”

      I’ll wager we see a lot more data manipulation as the downturn worsens.

      • Posted by Amewsed

        Ha! Finally an interesting gimmick that Realtors out here haven’t picked up on yet beyond the days on market manipulation for 80+ year olds.

        As for the neighboring home that went off market, maybe there was only one potential buyer looking at both homes, and ultimately went for this one. Arguably the comp. set by this one is foretelling for the other unsold home, which is unacceptable to those owners.

      • Posted by tipster

        I had assumed a less nefarious purpose:

        1. the buyer of this property had an offer on the other property contingent on this one falling through, which is probably very unusual, but the other property had sat without offers for a while and it was the end of November, so they probably were planning on pulling it off the market anyway. (That explains the sale falling through but not the mysterious disappearance of the listing or the pending sale) OR

        2. Some ex president, ex vice president or other famous person actually bought this place and the secret service or other security detail bought the adjacent place and has the pull to wipe the listing clean.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          Speaking of which, while the record does appear to have been withdrawn from the MLS, we have reason to believe that the sale of 47 Hamilton Court has quietly closed escrow with a $5.825 million contract price.

          • Posted by Amewsed

            Yes, the listing agent listed it sold on 12/27/2018 at the above referenced price. A simple google search revealed that.

          • Posted by Sfres

            But tipsters convoluted conspiracy theory makes far greater copy.

  2. Posted by BobN

    Was the remodeller a patio salesman?

  3. Posted by jollirog3rs

    The stock market rout and subsequent impact on RSU income hasn’t even been factored in yet…

  4. Posted by anon

    That Miami article is quite the story and I’ve read a few others about it now. Listings on MLS are easily manipulated on almost every criteria. “The Jills” eliminated more than 20,000 days on the market for their listings making those houses more desirable than they were. They sold houses where the buyer was unaware that literal years were eliminated off the reported time on the market; of course, that would influence bidding price. This isn’t simply taking a property off the market and re-listing, but making prior listings disappear completely and be unsearchable. Industry experts say the Jills were never charged because MLS manipulation is so widespread. And the NAR doesn’t want to bring any attention to how easy it is to do and how widespread it is.

    It is an absolutely incredible industry! A home/condo is the single largest purchase/financial decision most people will ever make and it is done with the least amount of data in a “self-regulated” industry with no downside to manipulation of data and lying (have experienced that first hand here). Yes there are excellent and ethical brokers but so many stories on the other side of things. Hard to see that changing anytime soon with the NAR’s massive lobbying efforts and court cases.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Between my family and I, we had a total of 3 brokers we worked for 40+ years, for both purchases and sales, also commercial leasing. I will probably continue to work with the same one and do not have problems if he is representing the buyer as well as the seller. I don’t tell him everything, just what I want the other side to hear. The laws are clear in the sheer amount of mandatory disclosures in a real estate transaction. I do follow my broker’s advice about proper pricing because I dislike wasting people’s and my time in generating tons of offers while I have a secret number stashed in my head.

      Absent an established relationship with a particular broker, it is best to go by word of mouth, be upfront about your style, research online to see if the broker/agent has been sued before and ask further about that. If he/she has been sued before, ask about their errors and omissions liability policy and see if it is up to date. I would probably not sign the agency agreement’s mandatory arbitration clause. If something goes awry, I like to file in court and the broker can tender the claim to their insurer. Obviously, if everything is above board, then no worries.

      Arbitration agreements can be broken in court but the threshold is pretty high since there needs to be fraud or a pattern of misdeeds in that arbitration is misused rather than used for the purpose of expeditiously and fairly resolve a dispute.

      Policy changes to rectify industry abuses may take a while but in the meantime, real estate transactions happen daily and buyers should do more leg work as a preventative measure.

  5. Posted by civ-e

    what is a typical profile / circumstance of someone who’d spend 8 million on a property only to try to sell it one year later, and then is willing to take a 2 million dollar loss to get rid of it?

    • Posted by Plugger

      Company-sponsored relocation where the company handles the sale of the former home and gives the executive a relocation bonus.

      Tough to say who eats the loss, could be insured against or listed as ‘recruiting expenses’.

  6. Posted by djt

    The interior looks like that of a cheap tract home in Tracy.

    • Posted by Metroliner

      Which tract builder is putting in exposed timber rafters and pot fillers over the Viking range in their homes??

    • Posted by Notcom

      Yes, I agree (with the latter, not the former): this looks like a very nice house; maybe it’s framed w/ warped wood 18″ on center, and maybe the roof will only last 6 mos beyond the sale, but regardless, it doesn’t LOOK that way…let’s save our pejoratives for the many examples of over-priced schlock we see on here.

      • Posted by Brian M

        A very nice house for sure. And a lovely neighborhood. Still…$8 M for what is really a pre-war subdivision? The house is not THAT nice.

        Shows you how insane the market is in P.A.

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          “$8 M for what is really a pre-war subdivision? “

          Just my opinion but I find Palo Alto’s older neighborhoods to be the most desirable. They’re also the neighborhoods closer to Caltrain and the walkable retail areas.

  7. Posted by Bob Chapman

    What is really crazy isn’t the drop but what this fetched 2 years ago — $2,500 a foot! Even with the drop this is still more than $1,950 a foot…..and it’s right next to its neighbors…. I don’t think you can use this to say market has dropped 20% overall unless all purchases 2 years ago were equally as crazy / insane pricing which I have a hard time believing.

    Here in SF we had a glut of homes for sale in our hood — but while they did sit for 2 months, all but one sold and all within 10% of asking….personally was hoping to see more downside but activity in my hood indicates just a slow down, not downturn

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