Home Real Estate Greenwich’s Hidden Real Estate Market: Unveiling the Secrets

Greenwich’s Hidden Real Estate Market: Unveiling the Secrets

by Kianna Warburton

Private sales and sales only listed on other MLS platforms make up 13.4% of the total property sales in Greenwich, Connecticut. Out of the 58 secretive sales, 12 were actually public listings but were not displayed on the Greenwich MLS. This is because the listing agents were not members of the Greenwich MLS and chose to exclusively list their properties on the statewide Smart MLS.

The Smart MLS is a platform that includes listings from every town and city in Connecticut, including Greenwich. Currently, there are 70 Greenwich listings on the Smart MLS, with the majority of these listings coming from agents who are also members of the Greenwich MLS.

Dual-listing on both the Greenwich MLS and the Smart MLS has its pros and cons. While it may expand a property’s exposure to more websites, it can also complicate matters. Additionally, most Smart MLS agents are not members of the Greenwich MLS unless they regularly handle Greenwich properties or have multiple listings in the area.

Out of the 11 Greenwich listings solely on the Smart MLS, 9 of them were below the median price of $2.5 million. These listings often involve familial or close connections between the listing agent and the property owner, or they may be short sales and foreclosures handled by national banks that have a limited understanding of Connecticut’s county system.

One listing was only found on the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR) MLS, likely due to the property’s location along the Connecticut/New York state line, with part of the house’s side yard being in Rye Brook, NY.

The remaining 46 properties were not reported on any MLS platform and could only be found by meticulously examining every deed at the Greenwich Town Clerk’s office or consulting select websites that categorize sales by MLS vs. private sales.

Among these off-market sales, the most popular neighborhoods were Old Greenwich, Central Greenwich, and Cos Cob. In Old Greenwich alone, there were 8 private sales and 54 reported sales, with some of the reported sales tagged as “Reporting Purposes Only” because they were voluntarily disclosed by agents and did not distort the market.

Cos Cob had a significant number of private, unreported sales compared to reported sales, indicating that 15% of the sales in that neighborhood remain undisclosed unless you know where to look.

The decision to list a property privately or publicly often depends on economics. Commissions on GMLS listings are typically 5%, with the amount divided between the listing broker, the buyer’s broker, the brokerage firm, and the agent(s). This commission deduction has a significant impact on sellers’ financial situations, especially for properties under $1 million.

In summary, private sales contribute to the Greenwich real estate market, albeit on a smaller scale. Understanding where to find these off-market sales is essential for gaining a comprehensive understanding of the market. The segment of the market with the highest percentage of off-market sales is properties under $1 million, driven by seller resistance to full commissions and high demand.

While private sellers may miss out on multiple offers and potentially higher prices, the allure of privacy and avoidance of public marketing hassles outweighs these factors for some sellers. In a market characterized by low inventory and strong demand, mastering the art of marketing and generating multiple offers is crucial for success.

Mark Pruner, a Realtor with Compass, can be contacted at 203-817-2871 or mark.pruner@compass.com for further information.

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