The Mast-Head: Higher Price, Fewer Queries

“No way. Tell them to call you when the price drops below $1 million.”

This was my texted response to a friend’s inquiry about an eroding piece of waterfront on the bay with an asking price of more than three times as much. “There’s a reason that it’s been on the market for 10 years,” I wrote.

My friend was among the rare property hunters to actually inquire. In my experience most people do far more research when thinking about buying a dishwasher or four tires than real estate. Over the years, I have been queried only a handful of times by prospective buyers, and never, to my mind, has someone phoned this office with a request to look at our files or talk to a reporter with a question about one parcel or another. They might, however, take a look at online maps predicting future sea level rise. But in fact “room for a pool and tennis” are about the only words potential buyers take in from their real estate salesperson once that I-gotta-have-it feeling takes hold.

There seems to be a law of nature that the more expensive a purchase the less most people think about it. Certainly, speaking for myself, I tend to compare the chicken thighs at the Amagansett I.G.A. for price, fussing over a 40-cent difference far longer than I would a $32 free-range entree with Balsam Farms Yukon gold potatoes, roasted garlic, and rosemary at Nick and Toni’s.  

As far as waterfront real estate goes, caveat emptor might be better replaced by “interrogare emptor,” that is, buyer inquire.