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6608 Chesterfield Ave., McLean
Original Listing Price: $1.63 million (July 6, 2007)
Closing Price: $1.4 million (Nov. 28, 2007)
Slash Rate: 14 percent
Square Footage: 4,151
This brand-new six-bedroom McLean house may be a “one of a kind treasure,” with coffered ceilings, red oak floors, and a separate “butler’s pantry with cooktop.” But the buyers—a family with two young children—still had major demands even after negotiating down the price, says their agent, Dana Hill of Buyer’s Edge in Bethesda. The home’s builder had planted several trees directly in the center of the backyard. Sure, the sylvan scene was pretty, says Hill, but it wasn’t conducive to backyard sports-playing. So the builder was required to replant the trees toward the side of the yard. Then, after the housing inspector evaluated the property, another concern arose. The wood floor panels didn’t seem properly conditioned. The possibility of “cupping”—when the wood warps due to excessive moisture—loomed. This time, Hill and her clients required the builder to re-stain, re-sand, and refinish the home’s first- and second-level floors, and the stairs. “We had them redo it first and then guarantee it for a year,” says Hill. Another thing she was pleased about: The seller agreed to pay the sale’s closing costs—a total value of $21,000.