Home Buying in Sonoma>Question Details

Mary, Both Buyer and Seller in Sonoma County, CA

Thank you all for your great answers. We are moving to Portland OR. due to job. We love living in dowtown Sonoma, my birthplace, and would not move,

Asked by Mary, Sonoma County, CA Mon Nov 9, 2009

but we need a job. The repairs have all been done inside and out, new paint-inside and out. Staged well. Please understand, I like my realtor, he says he gets feedback from lookers/buyers agents...they all say "beautiful house", or "kitchen too small" (unable to do anything about that). Or "We don't know if we want to live on the east or west of town." The home is de-personalized, uncluttered. We welcome any suggstions. We must have had 10-12 showings. My husband and I NEED to move to Portland, the employer has been great-but they need him there-NOW. Thank you all so very much for taking the time and effort in answering. The price is 539K, 3/2. Built in1951. If anyone needs more info - let me know. Thank you.

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Sandra Ormerod’s answer
Mary,
I've been in your home and it shows very well. You are in a tough price category and just outside the reach of many first time home buyers. You also have a fair amount of competition not far from you. Many of these sellers also need a quick sale and they have priced their homes in $400,000's. Ask your agent to show you what's currently on the market in this price cateogry so you can get a comparison and also move more quickly towards a sale.

Sandra
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 10, 2009
Hi Mary,

I looked up your house and your agent has done a good job with the property description and posted lots of good photos. Just as you say, your house looks great and photographs well. It looks like you have the original kitchen countertops, which is the only negative I saw in the listing. I agree with the other agents that it comes down to price. There are a few other homes around your price point and they are your direct competition. Perhaps you can ask your agent to take you on a tour of some comparable homes and see if you think you're overpriced. And I would try to see some that are in contract, not just ones active on the market because they may be over-priced as well and may sit on the market a long time as a result.

Since you need to sell quickly, you are probably going to have to drop your price. I know it's a tough spot to be in and not fun to lower the price, but you have to think about your big picture plan and focus on that. Buyers are going to set the price you can actually get, so you're going to have to come to the price they are willing to pay. And when you don't have the luxury of time to wait for the right buyer to come along, you have to be low enough to attract buyers who are willing to overlook a few things (like the kitchen). And the sooner you do that, the sooner you can be on your way. :) Best of luck to you with your move and I'm sure it will all work out. Keep a positive attitude and here's my quote for the day just for you. "Worry often gives a little thing a big shadow." Just get your price in line and the rest will take care of itself. Good luck and have a great day!
Web Reference: http://www.AgentDoyle.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
Hi Mary:
There's a saying in the real estate biz: "Price overcomes all objections." I think you need to price your home lower in keeping with market conditions and buyer expectations.

A great way to think about it is the market will afford you a good opportunity on the buying end...once you make your move. You'll be selling for less....but you'll be paying less when you buy your replacement home.

I say do what it takes to sell it now....reduce the price so that you might event attract multiple offers....and get on with your lives in Oregon. Your agent can tell you what the price needs to be to make a sale.

K.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
It's your price point. Not saying you're asking too much (no idea), but it's a tough sell for the category.

The market is dominated by first-time buyers, few of whom will qualify for that size mortgage, and to a lesser degree investors - and it'll be tough to rent a 60-year old 3b/2 for enough to be profitable on a half-million plus purchase. Thus a $540K home doesn't really appeal to the majority of the current buyer pool.

Your demographic is move-up buyers -- but that market is dead. Far too many existing homeowners in the area are upside down in their mortgages whereas you need the exact opposite, a would-be buyer who has a ton of equity in their house already. Perhaps given the location some cash-laden retiree couple may be interested as well.

Bottom line: you need a buyer with either a ton of cash and a healthy income (say, $200K to put down and $100K annual salary) or no real debts and a substantial income ($160K-$180K/year). Not many of those around, especially in Sonoma which isn't exactly a hub of high-income jobs, hence it'll take time or lower prices.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
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