So yesterday…I’m at the gym.
On Friday my cardio kickboxing instructor informed the class that it was National Squat Day. He said it 3 times. You know…for emphasis. After that, things became a blur as I (being the die-hard, never give up kind of girl that I am) spent one full hour doing squat kicks, squat planks, just for fun squats and squats that don’t even have a name. Gene, the instructor, is a sadist. I was crippled. As I hobbled out of the room, I met my husband who informed me in a hushed voice to check out the guy on my right in the midst of his work out. Low and behold, it was Scottie Pippen, the 6’8″ Chicago Bulls basketball player who won 6 NBA titles and member of the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team” and 1996 Olympic basketball team winning two gold medals in the process.
Later, while nursing my squat tortured body, I wondered, what was Scottie Pippen doing at my gym? Turns out he lives in Fort Lauderdale. What’s more, Scottie Pippen’s home is on the market and has been for a while. How long? Nearly nine years. Scottie Pippen originally listed his 10,000 sq ft home with 6 bedrooms, a spa, waterslide, playground, putting green and basketball court for almost $15,000,000. So why in the world hasn’t it sold? Lots of opinions on that one.
Basketball stars are human too.
“It doesn’t take a genius to see that this home is overpriced,” said Michael Citron, a Broward County agent who has sold in the Harbor Beach area, where Pippen’s home is located. “If you can’t sell your home in eight years, you’re just not able to see the values around you.”
One agent says the home’s Mediterranean facade needs updating. Another thinks the home is too customized to Pippen’s preferences. Most well-to-do buyers wouldn’t be interested in the basketball court, for instance.
Some real estate observers say that Pippen must not be a serious seller or that he overpriced the home on purpose, figuring a buyer would pay more to live in a place owned by a sports celebrity.
But Liz Caldwell, an agent for EWM Realty in Broward, said today’s sophisticated homebuyers aren’t likely to be star-struck. She seriously doubts name recognition in this case will win out over the all-important price.
After reading these quotes from a 2015 Sun Sentinel article, I felt for Scottie Pippen almost as much as I felt for my sore glutes. Though the agents and “observers” quoted above may lack tact, they are probably not wrong. As we’ve mentioned countless times, high end property tends to take a long time to sell because the available buyer pool is just not that deep. Add amenities like a full sized basketball court and fully equipped gym and the pool gets more shallow all the time. Add an overly ambitious seller and the pool is as shallow as a puddle on a sunny day. So that begs the question:
Just what the heck is Scottie Pippen doing?
One of the biggest challenges sellers face is the lack of ability to see their property objectively. Scottie Pippen had this home built, no doubt exactly the way he wanted it. Most people think that whatever they do or have is better, and therefore worth more than the competition. It’s human nature. One of the most difficult aspects of a real estate agent’s job is tactfully letting a seller know what their home is actually worth without insulting them in the process.
Here’s another possibility: Scottie Pippen doesn’t need to sell, doesn’t care if his home sells, but wants to let the home-buying public know that if someone comes up with the right dollar figure, he will consider selling. The danger here is that buyers and agents don’t take the seller or his agent seriously. The seller then needs to show his level of motivation and seriousness (when he’s finally ready to actually sell) by reducing the property even more drastically than if he had priced it accurately from the start.
Listen to your agent when he or she tells you what your property is worth. Alternatively, hire an appraiser. For a few hundred bucks, an appraiser will give you an objective statement of value, with no dog in the fight. In other words, since your appraiser isn’t trying to get the listing, there is no danger that they will tell you what they think you want to hear. When we do a listing proposal at Best Life, we use recent comparable sales and active competitive listings combined with our years of experience to determine the best list price. We work very hard to get it right. Leaving no money on the table, we get the most for a property in the shortest period of time by pricing it right from the start.
Oh, and by the way? Gene the cardio kickboxing sadist lied. National Squat Day is actually February 11th. Maybe Scottie Pippen’s home will have sold by then.