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House not selling - looking for suggestions.
Old 05-31-2016, 02:01 PM   #1
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House not selling - looking for suggestions.

So, I've had my house on the market for 45 days with only three showings. I reduced the price 5% and got 2 more showings right away, but no real interest and no additional showings.

Background - the house is a 50 year old colonial in a neighborhood with beautiful 1+ acre lots in a desirable suburb with good schools. Of the 33 homes in the sub, six have been demolished for 5000+ sq ft McMansions. A run down 1950's ranch two doors down was just sold on a similar lot as a tear-down. They got 93% of what I am asking, but mine is a well cared for and ready to move in, larger house.

I think my problem is that a typical buyer either wants to either buy a tear down and build their dream house or is disappointed in the amount of bling my house has for the price. It is hard to find someone that would be happy with an OK house and a beautiful lot after spending that much cash. (this is the rust belt and a housing buck goes a long way).

I don't have to sell, but would like to do so before the next crash. My dilemma is whether to just keep dropping the price until it sells or wait until that rare interested party shows up.

How would you decide?
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:13 PM   #2
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It sounds to me like you don't have an urgent need to sell. I would wait, if it were me.

My sister is selling a house in VT right now, her DH got a job offer/transfer so away they go. It is a nice big place in a great neighborhood, but she's sweaty about it selling as fast as possible. I think they'll wind up leaving money on the table to get it sold soonest, but I don't blame her with the difficulty of relo overall.

It sounds like a beautiful place, and one you wouldn't mind keeping for a while until the right buyer comes along.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post

I don't have to sell, but would like to do so before the next crash. My dilemma is whether to just keep dropping the price until it sells or wait until that rare interested party shows up.

How would you decide?
First, not to keep dropping the price. Second, your realtor must give you actionable feedback from the 5 showings. If there is none, she isn't doing her job.

Are other homes in the area selling? Look closely at the comps, confirm whether the home is priced competitively, if so, then sit tight.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:17 PM   #4
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what's the average days on the market in your area? 45 days is not a long time. Is it priced right compared to com parables for sale or recently sold in the neighborhood?

And finally, did you bury a St. Joseph in the front yard?

http://www.wikihow.com/Bury-St.-Joseph
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:23 PM   #5
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I hate to say it but my house sold in MD during the crash when I got the best agent in town to move it. It was supper well kept with new everything that was worn out. I got better than the going sq ft rate in my area. If you know you have an agent that is really good, especially with working with buyer's agents, keep him/her. Otherwise I agree with MichaelB. We had been trying for three or four months to sell this house with nothing but looky-loo showings. It sold two weeks after we hired this agent.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:29 PM   #6
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First, not to keep dropping the price. Second, your realtor must give you actionable feedback from the 5 showings. If there is none, she isn't doing her job.
The feedback is generally that they can buy a nicer home for less. I think "nicer for less" means without the property. Not sure what additional actions to take - with the internet it is hard to publicize it more.

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Are other homes in the area selling? Look closely at the comps, confirm whether the home is priced competitively, if so, then sit tight.
Yes, it is a good local market, but true comps are hard to come by due to the lot. A similar home on a similar lot sold nearby for less than the tear-down on my street. The owners had gotten old there and it needed work and I suspect the heirs just wanted it liquidated.

I appreciate the advice.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:33 PM   #7
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I hate to say it but my house sold in MD during the crash when I got the best agent in town to move it. It was supper well kept with new everything that was worn out. I got better than the going sq ft rate in my area. If you know you have an agent that is really good, especially with working with buyer's agents, keep him/her. Otherwise I agree with MichaelB. We had been trying for three or four months to sell this house with nothing but looky-loo showings. It sold two weeks after we hired this agent.
Jealous. This agent is a human dynamo and is a top rated seller in my area.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:55 PM   #8
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If you're not getting the action you want, I think you need to take a hard and objective look at the pricing. Your house sounds lovely, but if I read between the lines, your sense of prospects not appreciating the added value of the premium lot sounds like it may be keeping you from adjusting the pricing to the market. Consider having your realtor hold an open house for other agents and get the "wisdom of the crowd" by having all agents leave anonymous pricing feedback. A house on the market too long can look like a problem house after a while. With all this said, if the pricing that would get the house sold is not in line with your financial plans, you have the option of delaying the sale. Best of luck. I know it can be a frustrating experience. PS: Bury the St. Joseph statue upside down for added luck.
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:28 PM   #9
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I'm curious if you did any updating before listing,you are kind of in a bind because updating might now might not be wise.

If you know where you want to relocate, keep an eye on what prices do there, if they keep rising and you are not rising, you might just bite the bullet and move on.

It's prime selling season in our area and between days on the market and summer moving right along, you might not get much action at all at your current pricing. Which will leave you still undecided for next year..
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:31 PM   #10
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A house on the market too long can look like a problem house after a while.
Along with the other good advice offered by Mr canslim, I know that "newly listed" houses get a disproportionate amount of the action--buyers excited about maybe getting a good deal, or great property that won't last long, etc. And, if they mke an offer it may be closer to full price, since others my also be interested in this new listing (unlikely to be another simultaneous offer on a house listed for months). So, I'd guess that there's some advantage to taking your property off the market and listing it as a "new listing" after whatever the reset period is. Sure, the agents will recognize it, but a lot of buyers now surf the MLS without much agent assistance, so it'll at least get some additional consideration from them.
Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:32 PM   #11
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The feedback is generally that they can buy a nicer home for less
It sounds like you're getting few showings and the ones that are looking are telling you it's over priced. You can fold your arms and convince yourself that the right buyer will come along carrying satchels of cash, and who knows maybe one will, or lower the price until it sells.
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:57 PM   #12
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Along with the other good advice offered by Mr canslim, I know that "newly listed" houses get a disproportionate amount of the action--buyers excited about maybe getting a good deal, or great property that won't last long, etc. And, if they make an offer it may be closer to full price, since others my also be interested in this new listing (unlikely to be another simultaneous offer on a house listed for months). So, I'd guess that there's some advantage to taking your property off the market and listing it as a "new listing" after whatever the reset period is. Sure, the agents will recognize it, but a lot of buyers now surf the MLS without much agent assistance, so it'll at least get some additional consideration from them.
Good luck!
I agree. Not sure what my options are to take it off the market. I signed a 6 month listing with my agent, probably a mistake in retrospect. Did not anticipate it not selling fairly quick.
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:01 PM   #13
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It sounds like you're getting few showings and the ones that are looking are telling you it's over priced. You can fold your arms and convince yourself that the right buyer will come along carrying satchels of cash, and who knows maybe one will, or lower the price until it sells.
Have not gotten overpriced comments since I dropped it 5%, but maybe the two last showees were just being nice. The lack of further showing would indicate it is still overpriced - or the potential buyer is a rare bird. I'd think that if one was interested they'd come back with an offer at the price they felt was fair - but then I'm not in the biz.
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:07 PM   #14
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The feedback is generally that they can buy a nicer home for less.
Then I'd suggest lowering the price by an additional 5%-10%, if your realtor agrees. In my location you should be averaging a lot more showings than you have been getting.

Also, when talking this over with your realtor, you could discuss what else you can do. Up the curb appeal? Put excess things in storage? Maybe he/she has some ideas. Sometimes it is just a lousy market, and sometimes it's not. Maybe it would help to check out the "competition", or at least their online photos, and see what they are and are not doing.
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:07 PM   #15
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Is it normal to drop the price after 45 days on the market? Did you price the house or did the realtor price the house? When you say there's not much bling, do you mean it's a 50 year old house without any updates?
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:28 PM   #16
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Is it normal to drop the price after 45 days on the market? Did you price the house or did the realtor price the house? When you say there's not much bling, do you mean it's a 50 year old house without any updates?
I don't know what is normal - that is why I'm asking here. I priced the house $10K under the listing realtor's recommendation, initially. I interviewed three realtors before I listed it and their pricing recommendations were all about what I listed it at.

The house has an updated kitchen with granite, but for this same amount on a small lot you can get the two story entryway and the big master bath with a jetted tub and a more modern styling. That is what I meant by bling.
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:35 PM   #17
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Then I'd suggest lowering the price by an additional 5%-10%, if your realtor agrees. In my location you should be averaging a lot more showings than you have been getting. ..........
If I lower it another 5%, it will be selling for about the same price as the tear-down down the block that closed in April. That seems inherently wrong to me. The tear-down was on the market for 5 months before it sold.
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:37 PM   #18
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Surprised no one has suggested the well proven method for a fast sale. Bury a figure of St. Anthony upside down in the front of the house.

When It Takes a Miracle To Sell Your House - WSJ

Sheesh.
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:40 PM   #19
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My dilemma is whether to just keep dropping the price until it sells or wait until that rare interested party shows up.

How would you decide?
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If I lower it another 5%, it will be selling for about the same price as the tear-down down the block that closed in April. That seems inherently wrong to me. The tear-down was on the market for 5 months before it sold.
How much were you thinking of dropping the price? 1%? That is an option, although honestly I wonder if that would be anywhere near enough to draw in several showings/day, for example, from your present situation of very few showings.
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:47 PM   #20
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How much were you thinking of dropping the price? 1%? That is an option, although honestly I wonder if that would be anywhere near enough to draw in several showings/day, for example, from your present situation of very few showings.
Yea, I agree. Part of me says that dropping it another 5% might be the ticket and part of me says I'd be leaving money on the table, as this type of property takes a while to sell for full value.

That's why I'm picking the brains of you fine folks.
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