Home Selling in 08863>Question Details

Malya, Home Seller in 08863

After 3 months, 20 lookers, no offers, is it time to find new selling agent? Thanks in advance.

Asked by Malya, 08863 Wed May 13, 2009


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I am amazed still to this very day that owners DON'T GET IT. Price is most usually the cure all. You have 20 lookers and no offers, something is wrong! So, you only have 2 Choices if you want to sell. You either have to FIX the problem, or ADJUST the price. Usually in getting the buyers feedback from another agent, the other agent will usually say something like: The buyer liked it (yours) but they found another home they liked better for less money, or in better condition, better neighborhood. Or the buyers didn't care for the floorplan. The house was too small, too big, too dated. It is up to your agent to get feedback on all showings and to report back to you. If there is a common thread in feedback, then maybe you can correct the problem, if not, adjust the price.
I hate to use Car sales as an example, but people buy and sell cars more often than Real Estate. But have you ever gone to a car lot because you saw a sign that said something like 2007 LEXUS Convertible only $20,000. You pull into the lot and the salesperson right away starts his sales pitch on that car, then tells you it has 150,000 miles on it AS IS, but this Lexus over here is only $30,000 with 70,000 miles and we're offering a 2 year warranty and 0% INT for 3 years. BAIT AND SWITCH or as Gregory said below a bouncer house, for you this is not good, what I am saying is that the realtors might be using your property to sell another.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
HI again Anti
The reasons buyers don't make offers well below listing prices are...........

They aren't shown the house in the first place, because the agent feels it's a waste of time to show an overpriced home (and it generally is) - the price intimidates both buyer and agent - why waste my time showing a house listed at 500,000 when I know it should be listed at 439,0000 - no agent wants to be the one to attempt to "enlighten" the seller that his list price, or his expectations, are too high. It is usually met with failure , disgruntled sellers and frustrated buyers.

The buyers have also been searching the internet, and looking at other homes - they are educated these days - they, too, know when a home is overpriced...they don't want to waste their time, either, or wind up being frustrated that their offer is rejected. Often a low offer isn't even given a counter offer by the seller, who now feels insulted.

The price is an indicator of seller's expectations and motivation.....let me repeat that - the price is the MAIN indicator of the sellers expectations and motivation. Very few sellers list their homes at 500,000 and accept an offer of 435,000 - not without an interim reduction..........the best way they can signal to the buyers that they are open to offers is to price it in the right vicinity............reductions are the way to indicate a willingness to negotiate, with reasonable expectations, and not wishful thinking and unrealistic hopes.

Once in a while a buyer has the courage to make a low offer (low by the standards of the list price )...rarely does it work. The buyer and agent would rather spend their time looking at, and making offers on homes priced right ...................that way they can be assured of a successful outcome.

There probably isn't a realtor on this site who hasn't heard a seller say, when wanting a list price that is too high.... "Well, let them (the buyers) make me an offer".......famout last words!!! The reality is - they don't make those offers..
In today's market, there may be a few bottom feeders who delight in making "low" offers........making the offer, and having it be accepted are 2 entirely different things.

Hope this answered your questions Anti!!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
There are none so blind as he who will not see.

I don't care if the "boxed up" stuff is wrapped in pretty paper with a bow on it. IT IS CLUTTER. Throw it out or rent a storage space.

If you can't afford to paint it and clean the carpets - then you can't afford to sell it. LOWER THE PRICE.

It is now being used as the "bouncer" house. Ask your new agent what that means.

Good Luck
Web Reference: http://GregoryBain.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
I'm not sure how to communicate "willingness to negotiate" other than telling the agent to bring us an offer, and we'll work with it.
The best way to communicate"willingness to negotiate" is to lower the price. Telling your agent you are negotiable does not let the buyers know that. By lowering the price to where it should be you should receive an offer close to asking.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
You are selling a house, not a car. Could you be pressured into making a $300,000, 400,000 or 500,000 purchase? When a person walks into a home they know it is either for them or not. No amount of hyping the virtues of the neighborhood (which we aren't even allowed to do, and which can backfire bigtime. "There's LOTS of kids here!!" "We can't have kids"), or the house ("It has TILT OUT WINDOWS FOR CLEANING!!" Yes, I had one owner who told everyone who came in the house).

YOu say the burden can't all be on the price, but it is: price trumps everything: condition, location, everything. Your house was shown 20 times, I have to think that there were at least 15 agents involved in the process, they can't all lack selling skills.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
Hi Anti
Do you not think the agents are trying to sell the house?? Remember, we work for free until we make a sale, and have a closing! Agents (or at least the better agents) will do their very best to point out the positive aspects of the home.....if there are limited positive aspects, we point out the "potential" it might have - the good location - surrounding area, etc, etc. We try to "overcome any objections" the buyer might have.

The bottom line is, though, you can't force someone to love a home. This isn't selling a car that will be traded in in 3 or 4 years. But, we do need to point out things that aren't apparent about the home, or try to help the buyer get past a hot pink painted bedroom and shag capeting! And, most agents do this.

In addition, in this turbulent market, buyers are more informed - they often already know abut the comparable sales and have information about the community. Buyers want to be assured they are making the right decision in purchasing a home. Nowadays, they often keep emotions on an even keel with their business sense. They need to like or love a home, true, but they also want to feel it is a good business decision .
Now, I am not saying that there aren't innept agents - there are. I have had to accompany showings on some of my listings, and I have been amazed at what an ineffective job some agents did showing the house, but.........if the buyer likes the house, the agent will do their best to encourage the sale.

So..........You are asking if the buyer's agent might be responsible for some sales not taking place - Ultimately, I don't think so. Too many other variables are involved. Correct pricing, along with correct marketing can really make the difference. But, I will agree that it certainly helps to have a knowledgeable agent doing the showing.....who has a good working relationship with the buyer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
I just want to tell Gregory that was A GREAT RESPONSE!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
In my opinion, 20 lookers in three months means the house is in a price range where buyers are looking and expecting to find a home with the advertised description the agent is using to market the home. It may even have good curb appeal because the buyers will often tell an agent to "keep going" if they don't like the exterior condition and neigborhood. So, it must be the inside of the home - clutter and or condition.

No one knows what your "willingness to negotiate" is in real terms. Speak english - lower the price to what you are "willing to negotiate" or, clean it up and make the necessary repairs.

But, that's just my opinion. Give me the address and I'll tell you what I really think.
Web Reference: http://Ask4Greg.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
I'm a newbie and may be posting this in the wrong spot. Thank you to all the people who responded to my question. It's been extremely helpful, and I thank you for your thoughtful responses.

To answer some of the questions from agents -- my listing agent wanted to price our place $10K higher in the beginning. Given the housing market, my husband and I were the ones to ask the agent to list it more realistically, which she did. After a month, we brought it down by $10K, this time on the agent's advice.

The agent's manager says our current listing price is on track ; it's the area absorption issue and not our property (which they say shows well); that more open houses are needed. They declined to show us a marketing plan and said that we the sellers need more patience.

We're not blaming the agent for not getting us an offer, but -- given that we're willing to negotiate on price, are flexible with regard to closing costs, and otherwise not being greedy with the listing price -- it's a puzzle why there hasn't been a single written offer -- lowball or not -- on our property. That is all.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 16, 2009

I think your agent is doing a great job that you have that many lookers, and I think that there are good numbers of prospect home buyers in your area interested in townhouses like yours.

You have 20ish prospects who received the listing info/ advertisments and talked to either their or your agent about your house... and then they spent the time to come out and see it.

What I am wondering here is that if there are anything in your listing description don't quite match the property and made the lookers think differently after visiting?

Do you think there could be anything inside or outside of the property that distracts the people who may be considering moving in?

Could you have scheduled a less traffic time during the day so that your prospects can feel easy commute from the house to work etc?

Sometimes buyers may have concerns about their ability to obtain financing. Is your selling price within any loan limits that your local lenders have? Or are you able to offer any type of closing cost contributions to your buyers?

If you feel selling it for less might be a solution but are not in the position to do so, ask your lender to see if they might take a little discount.

Good luck,

Web Reference: http://www.imminest.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
It's time for a new price. Period.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
Probably not, but in order to offer an educated opinion I would like a little more information. Such as have similar homes sold during the three months your home was on the market? What's the current absorption rate in your neighborhood for homes of similar condition, size and price? If your agent has not provided this information to you, you should ask for a market update. The current economic conditions are challenging and your agent may be doing everything right without generating an offer because homes are simply selling at a much slower pace than in years past.

Buyer are choosy and their confidence is low. They need the wow factor of your house to impress them. Determine your property's wow factor and play it up. Maybe it's the view, the new kitchen or a great yard. Whatever it is make sure every buyer is aware of the features that make your property special.

There are several things you can do to increase the chance of obtaining an offer on your property. First, keep the lines of communication open with your agent. Be cooperative and do your part to make sure interested buyers are welcome. Think of every showing as a job interview. Prepare for it as if the sale depends upon it.
Make sure your property stands out from the crowd. It must be the best: best of show, best value, best terms and the best choice for the propective buyer.

Express your concerns to your agent. Ask what you can do to increase your home's appeal to prospective buyers. It takes teamwork to get the job done, and working together toward a common goal is the best way to achieve a closed sale.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
Quite the contrary.....you should be thanking your agent for generating the volume of traffic resulting in potential buyers seeing your home.

20 lookers and no serious buyers is a dead give away that there is an issue with the home. Generally this is an indication of the need for a price reduction.

Ask your agent to update the CMA and base your new price on the results of this information.

Best wishes
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
If you've had that much traffic in three months, your listing agent is doing their job in promoting the property effectively. The fact that no one has made an offer yet could indicate that your price is too high. Perhaps you can ask your listing agent to review with you the competing properties that have recently gone under contract. A good listing agent will know the inventory, both sold and currently available, and should be able to frankly discuss how your home ranks against those properties.

Has your listing agent prepared you for the fact that you may have to drop your price? Have you yet? Ninty days is a prime time to reevaluate your price point and take action. You also want to beware of "chasing the market down," which can cost you thousands in the end; more so than if you just priced the home competitively to start. I would recommend you asking your listing agent if you could possibly be "chasing down the market" and listen carefully to what their response is.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
Hi Malya!

I know you are frustrated. Most sellers are these days.

The large number of showings you have had is excellent. I have one questions, though - what has the feedback been from the buyers who were brought through???
That feedback is invaluable. Do they think the price is too high? Is there something about the house that isn't working for the buyers? Use the feedback - the market is talking to you, so you need to listen and discuss it with your agent.

As far as whether you should find a new agent - no, you shouldn't. Our job as listing agents is to set the stage for showings.....market the house so that buyers are brought through. It looks as though your agent has done that, and you are getting the results of that marketing. As agents, we can't force buyers to make offers.........we can suggest what the seller needs to do to help the process along - that's why I suggested discussing the feedback with your agent.

If there is nothing about your home that buyers might be objecting to.........lower the price. Assuming everythig else about your home is in good shape, if all of those showings haven't generated an offer - you haven't hit the right price point yet.

One other thing - I don't know where you are, but in my area, townhomes are harder hit than single family homes. There are so many of them saturating the market now. You need patience and the strength to get the price where it needs to be.

By the way, you might want to check out a few of my blogs, not only on what to do to help get your home sold, but what NOT to do, too!

Good luck to you......hang in there, and keep an open mind to your agent's suggestions!
Prudential New jersey Properties
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009

Based on the stats you've provided, in today's market, its sounds as if your agent is doing a good job marketing your property and I would certainly not recommend a switch at this time, but rather a price reduction especially if other comparable properties are listed at a lesser price and have gone under contract.

Be aware that agents who might solicit your business (albieit online or in person) while in under contract to sell with another agency are in violation of real estate commission guidelines and frantkly, in my view, are only looking at for their best interests (i.e., gaining your business), not yours.

Hang in there, and understand that this is a tough market wherein price changes are the norm.

Love and Peace,
Francesca, Realtor, ePro
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
The market is telling you that it is PAST DUE TIME to adjust your price.

How many homes, like yours, have sold in the last three months?

According to Trullia, 53 homes have recently sold, so why not yours?

In the last 12 months the average price per square foot dropped 29%. That is about 2.5% PER MONTH, which is how much you have lost by not selling.

No offer, lower the price. Showings and no offers, lower the price. Low offers lower the price.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
If your selling agent can tell you why, then no, it is time to listen to the selling agent. (which is really the listing agent - you haven't found the selling agent yet). For example, if your agent says you are over priced or need staging or something, and you are not willing to do it, then your agent is not the problem. If your agent says 'Gee, I don't know" then your agent could be the problem. Saleability factors - people, product, price, promotion. A typical MLS at th with automatic feeds to the major sites and a sign handle 80% of the promotion. So, I assume you have that. The product is your house - the location, how it shows, it's curb appeal, how good it smells, how accessible it is, etc. The people are you and the agent - at this point, no one has joined the party. And, then there is the price - which can overcome the most stubborn of problems - located on a major highway, have an agent that doesn't put it in the MLS, only willing to show the property Monday between 10 and noon - if your price is low enough buyers will deal with any and all of this.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
sometimes a small adjustment in price will trigger buyer activity. The four main components to selling a home are: Price, Condition, Location, and Marketing. Think of it as four legs supporting a chair. When one is removed the chair does not function as it should. Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 16, 2011

Re look at the market in your area, you might just have to reduce the listing price to be a little more competitive you are getting some traffic in your house, Have you thought about staging it? A fresh coat of paint and some nice window treatments, and lighting is very important! Also get rid of any clutterness and make sure the agent is marketing in multiple sites?

Best of luck!

Exit Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 16, 2011
Malya - you asked this over a year ago - if you are still out there reading this - .did it sell?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 10, 2010
Not necessarily. Maybe it's just not what they are wanting to buy or maybe it is overpriced. In my region of the country, a listing is typically on the market for at least 6 to 8 months before it sells. Sometimes before then, but sometimes it is after that. Voice your concerns to your selling agent and find out what all they are doing to market your home. We love to have feedback from clients so we can learn your style. Just hang in there, though. It may take some time, but you have done the most important step in getting your house sold...listing it with a Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 10, 2010
Homes in my area (Long Beach Island) average 172 days on the market.

I know it is a different area, but it can help to know what is happening in other areas of NJ!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 5, 2010
Good answers to both Malya's initial question and Anti's follow up question - this is the classic pricing question - and to your point Anti, many sellers complicate an underlying pricing issue with the mistaken reasoning that if a buyer has an interest they will make an offer irregardless of asking price.

As stressed, just not so. Overpriced properties are overlooked by buyers - and their agents - who have the data and knowledge to understand pricing dynamics better than ever. Overpricing gives "time" the opportunity to take its toll on value and as days on the market builds, value declines. Make no mistake about it, the passage of time is not kind to sellers.

Price it right from the start, explode on the market with aggressive marketing that draw feedback and listen. If you've missed the mark pricing-wise, adjust quickly. The greatest excitement for a home is in the initial 45-60 days of its listing. That is when you will fetch the best price. After that point, you are playing catch up.

Jeanne Feenick.
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 5, 2010
The fact that you got 20 lookers is a good sign. It shows that the price is reasonable for the area. But you should find out what the feedback was from the lookers and the agent. Has your agent given you feedback?Does the house show nice ? Does it need work ? Have other homes sold in the neighborhood in the same period? Answers to these questions will help you decide whether to renew the contract or not.
If you get showings and no offers a small price adjustment may be needed.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 23, 2010
Buyers today want to move into a house with out having to do any work and they want the lowest price possible. Ask your agent to be honest about the feedback. Clean, paint, de-clutter and lower the price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
Hi Malya,
Just following-up on this trail. Any updates you can share?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 21, 2009
Thanks for all the great answers !!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 23, 2009
The follow up question is from anti, not malya...........If the buyer likes the house and price is the major issue, why don't they just offer the price that they feel is market value? Why wait till the seller reduces the price?

Beacuse they don't. That's it. Some people just don't. If you look at selling prices they are usually VERY CLOSE to the last asking price. Price it right and there will be SERIOUS offers. People are all different. They have different personalities, different ways of thinking, different ways of reacting to a situation. Because you personally would JUST MAKE AN OFFER if price was the issue, others wouldn't. And they can't be coerced into doing it. It just isn't in their nature.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
In this market there are many instances where the owner's preception of the market price and the buyers perception are very far apart. For example if a house is listed for sale at $325k and comps show that the current market price is $300k, the buyer's agent will make his/her client aware of that fact. Since this is a "buyers market" there are many instances in the Fords, Woodbridge and Edison marketplace where the buyer insists on making an offer well below the market price such as $250k with no intention of making serious counteroffers. Their rationale is "it is a buyers market" and they try to catch a bargain. If the offer is presented, more times than not, there will never be a "meeting of the minds" during the negotiation and the house languishes on the market. From the buyer's perspective, they will move on to their next target with the mindset that "nothing ventured nothing gained".

So in this example we have two pricing issues which are a reality in for many Middlesex Co listings: an owner has listed his home for sale over market and the buyers are making "lowball" offers. Even when a home is listed at the market price, we are still dealing with the buyer's mindset that they will not offer anything close to market price.

Best regards,
Gil Lopez
Prudential New Jersey Properties
3 Amboy Av
Metuchen, NJ 08840
908-510-0639 Cell
732-494-7677 x417 Office
Web Reference: http://GilLopezRealtor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
The follow up question is from anti, not malya...........If the buyer likes the house and price is the major issue, why don't they just offer the price that they feel is market value? Why wait till the seller reduces the price?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 21, 2009
I have a follow up question to the original question. If a house isn't selling, everyone below listed all the things that could contribute to this, but no one mentioned one thing thats been on my mind. The salesman skills of the showing agent. Is it not part of the agents job to try to "sell" the house based on the positives of the house/area and why the house could be a positive for the buyer. I do not mean to misrepresent the house, I just mean using sales skills. I have sold houses in the past and the very first thing my prior realtor says is lower the price and continued to keep saying this. I sold it at a lower price and 6 months later it was resold at a higher price. I have my house up for sale now , all positive reviews ( I fixed the negatives that I could) now isn't it time for the agent to do their sales job? If the house doesn't sell I know the first answer will be to lower the price even though the square footage of similiar houses is in the ballpark with mine. The burden can't always be on the price, the agent that shows the house has to carry some weight of the house not selling. Honestly, I am not trying to be demeaning because I couldn't sell a house without the technical skills and experience of a good agent but this question has been on my mind and I would really appreciate all your opinions. Maybe you'll make me see it in a different light. Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 20, 2009
Sound like your realtor is doing their job if you have had this much traffic. Take a look at the 6 reasons why a home doesn't sell.
Price, Terms, Condition, Location, Marketing and Seller Motivation. Are you motivated to sell?, You cannot change your location, but if your home is not in a desireable location the only thing you can do is adjust the price. Condition - Good, Fair, Poor, is your home dated?? take a look at your condition compared to those selling (your competition). Who set the price? The realtor makes recommendations on price but the owner is the one who sets the price. Who is in control of the condition of the home? Who set the terms for the sale? The only thing your realtor is in control of is marketing. Getting the property in front of the buying public. Its time to sit down with your realtor and get an updated marketing report.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
It seems like your townhouse is priced in a range where you are getting a lot of buyer traffic. In an effort to encourage offers and express your motivation to sell, you might ask your agent to include an offer of closing cost assistance - either a dollar amount or a percentage. It would have to comply with the MLS guidelines where your house is listed. In my area, seller concessions can be included in the property description area. Many buyers are requesting concessions anyway, but to offer it up front might make you house more attractive than your competition and shows your willingness to cooperate.

If the paint colors seem to be a real issue in the feedback you've received, $100 in paint and supplies might be a worth while investment. Buyers love to see themselves moving into a new home and not having to do any work.

Good luck and don't give up on your agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
Unfortunately feedback only goes so far. It doesn't tell us why people didn't even want to view the home. It's probably overpriced, but not by much. If it were you wouldn't have even had 20 offers. What is it that you think a different agent would do to sell it?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 18, 2009
Hi again Malya

I am going to go back to my original response to your question....what has the FEEDBACK been???
Has your agent obtained and shared feedback? It is vital to know what the buyers who were shown your home thought. You certainly have had enough showings to get a sense of what they thought. That information is vital. Hopefully, your agent has been following up with the buyers' agents. Have those buyers bought anything else, or are they still looking? Are there many other units for sale, competing with yours, in your complex?

If you haven't heard of any specific objections voiced by the buyers, and nothing else is selling in your complex, then at least you will have a fuller picture of what the market is doing in your area. When all else fails - reduce the price....there's nothing like a substantial (and yes, possibly painful) reduction to bring in an offer, especially in this market.

Best wishes....
Prudential NJ Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
it can't be the agent, there has to be something about your house people aren't interested in. is there some type of response that is noted on file about your house? the space could be too small, the layout could be all wrong, the neighborhood might not be what the buyers are looking, the answer could be endless. You will have to determine if your agent is marketing your house properly. I would say they are doing a pretty decent job bringing in lookers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
hang in there and keep the faith?? Sweetheart, did you actually read anything she wrote.

She has 20 views in 3 month, the same 3 months that saw wallstreet fall apart, chrystler file bankruptcy, GM
on the verge, the feds dumping trillions

and we blame the realtor??

Drink more koolaid!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009

Kudos to you for appreciating the advice of Trulia participants and the value of Trulia. (oh, and ignore Daniel, you always get one or two of those). As I said earlier, just hang in there and keep the faith.

But, keep on thing in mind . . . most realtors don't like to present "lowballs" and will often discourage buyers from presenting such offers for fear that it might "insult the seller" (a theory, often true, taught by many large RE firms). I've had many sellers who resist the price change on the premise that they have yet to receive an offer, but frankly, it just doesn't work that way (can't openly explain why). Once, they agree to the price change, I often find that an offer is received. In your case, it may be prudent to wait a little longer for that price change, but only your Realtor in conjunction with the current feedback can justify that decision.

As an aside (and I realize this is trivial when compared to a home sale), I had an OMG moment this weekend while having a garage sale. I stood firm on my prices on certain big tickets items on Saturday that were new and unused - many inquirieies, no sales . . . I thought, brand new - r u kidding me - I'd pay that in a flash. On Sunday, I had less lookers, but the same amount of interest. I was more flexible, reduced my prices and whaaaalaaa, everything sold! I thought gee, this is no different than selling Real Estate and must be Sales 101 . . . . much lnterest, no sales, reduce and it will happen.

Love and Peace,
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRe.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
Agents -- thank you again for your answers. I will continue to work with my listing agent and keep in mind the market conditions and the fact that pricing is an ongoing activity. We picked the agent after meeting with several because we liked her and her approach.

Clutter is not an issue. We live in the property, but things are boxed up. The only possible issue is paint color, which is a personal taste matter. We can't afford to paint neutral tones now, but are willing to credit the buyer for painting.

I'm not sure how to communicate "willingness to negotiate" other than telling the agent to bring us an offer, and we'll work with it.

Daniel -- no need for the obnoxious and useless post. Don't judge strangers who are just trying to gather information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
Hi Malya - Thanks for coming back and giving us more info. I'm not from your area so I can't comment on local market conditions. I do think you need to discuss this with your agent. Specifically, what are the average days on market (DOM) for current listings in your area? What are the average DOM for listings that have SOLD in your area? What are the properties that have sold in your area since you have listed? what price and DOM?
Although I agree that price is usally the issue, you can price a property right and still have it linger. Sometimes the market just goes dead. Three months is pretty brief in this tough market. When there is a lot of property available, buyers take a LOT longer to buy and look at more properties. And then sometimes they decide to "wait till next year."
In our local market, we are coming off a particularly slow winter. However, things are picking up again. So there were some properties on the market that genuinely were priced right but a real paucity of buyers. I have a listing that was priced right but the Sellers really want to move it fast. In this market, there is only one way to do that: underprice it. I didn't recommend a price cut in the dead of winter - it would not have produced results.
So, besides looking at showings, have your agent show you sales statistics and see where you are relative to the market. You are on the right track here and asking the right questions.
And where there is a lot of inventory, a web marketing plan, rather than print, is really important. But you are getting showings so clearly something is working here. So bring this up for further discussion.
Best of luck and please keep us posted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
The problem is not the sellers agent, the problem is you!

Have you not read anything that has occured in the real estate market?? Everything is slow, banks raised requirements to get financing, thousands of bank owned home directly competing against yours and you blame the agent..

I hope your agent fires you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
Are you not a hateful person. I ran across this while reading. You seem to be such a smart a$$, I hate it when people bully others, that have said or done nothing. People do not want to give their homes away in this market and get nothing. Where do you fit in? A reject realtor!!
Flag Thu Sep 27, 2012
Hi there Malya, pricing is an ongoing exercise - you do your best to get it right at the start, but based on feedback and activity, you make adjustments as you go. The surest indicator that your price is right is an offer. Short of that, you need to adjust. You've drawn lookers which means that your price is within an acceptable range but the absence of an offer means the price needs to be more compelling to turn lookers into buyers. I've noticed a decided pick up in activity in the last four weeks - Spring market coming to a close and rates remain terrific. If you are in a first time buyer price band, which you may very well be as a townhome, you also have the incentive of the tax credit working in your favor. But without question, the price MUST be right to sell.

Have a heart to heart with your agent - reinforce your realism and desire to get your home sold. She/he should welcome your attitude - it is, in fact, the mindset that is required for success in today's market. YOu will do better, not worse, it you get on with it now - as summer rolls in, fewer buyers will be present in the market and prices will deteriorate.

Good luck to you!

Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 17, 2009
Malya: We can't really tell. The agent has certainly advised you or you chose without the agent's advice an attractive price. The OLD rule of thumb was 12 showing and an offer. In this economy I'm not sure that this still works. The other half of the rule was 12 showing and no offer equals a fix. Either fix the house to be more attractive or fix the price to be the same or BOTH.

Now, however, there are more looky-lookers who really cannot qualify for a mortgage. (Honest, they are a bit tighter on this than they used to be.)

In some areas we have seen the number of listing decline but so has the number of buyers.

Why I say that we can tell about your agent is because we don't know what you have discussed with him/her. The agent should be coaching you as to where the market is: Price of actual sales (It does little good to match the guy across the street if both of you are 15% over the actual sales.) Also, what's the ratio of sales to inventory? If one or two sell a month and 20 are available, what's the month's coverage? If it's large number, remember the bright penny theory. Only the brightest pennies will be chosen and the rest will remain in inventory.

If you want to sell very badly, you'll have to beat ALL the competition, just like running a race, only one first place is given, the rest are all also-rans.

Bill Holt
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 14, 2009
If you have had 20 showings and no offers your problem is not the agent - it's the price. It is probably about 5% over-priced.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
It is always a knee jer reaction to blame the realtor-all the "cards" seem to be in our hands right? But bottom line is this. If you have had 20 lookers in THIS economy in only 90 days, I have to believe that the price is right.

There are just TOO MANY houses in inventory right now to have THAT many pepole in that short a time. If your home was priced incorrectly, NONE of the buyers out in THIS market would bother.
I would have to say that perhaps there is something else going on.
How clean is your home? Does it have a "NEUTRAL"decor? Are there dogs barking at pepole during showings? Does it smell like wet cat? Do you give unnessecary information to prospective buyers?IE; Say things like I will only accept x" Do you hawk over them while they look? Is there a garbage dump of a home next door?I use these examples to illustrate just a few of the infinite reasons your home might be getting turned down.I would suggest pretending your a buyer looking in your pricepoint in your town, and check out the competition-ask what do they have that you don't? You can hire a person to come and "stage" your house which may make it more appealing to potential buyers. Declutter-nobody is interested in seeing personal family photos of you guys or looking at your doll collection. Buyers are not capeable of making decisions on square footage and useable living space while the chit chat with you.They need open space lots of light and a competent realtor that knows the home, the buyers needs and how to merge the 2 together. Think about it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
I would talk with your realtor. Ask them what they are doing to sell the home. What is the marketing plan? Should you lower the price? etc. I actually would think about a different realtor, if they are not working to get the property sold. Have they recommended reducing the price of your home?

The one thing that is clear....is that there is no clear answer with the information provided. Start by talking with your current agent.

Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker)

California Cool 4 Sale
Prudential California Realty
Direct Phone: 760-757-3468
Fax: 760-946-7894
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
TODAY 20 lookers, which means potential buyer, for 3 months is GREAT!
These 20 "lookers" have seen other properties as well, and they didn't choose yours, it means other properties in the similar price is better than yours. Sorry, but this is a reality. Market price is the price that quilified buyer is willing to pay. Buyers dictate the price not the sellers. I would say the time to find another selling agent, if nobody came to see your property.
Yelena Tsuladze
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
It's not time to find a new agent. It's time to lower the price. Three months is not a lot of time in this market. Buyers are taking their time to make decisions because they know the price is going to get better. Tell me, in the three months how many times have you lowered the price? Buyers today are looking for bargins. If you show a willingness to give you are likely to get more prospects through your home. With 20 views what was your feedback? Your agent should have followed -up with the showing agents and requested some comments. If they are things you can change like showing condition you should consider doing so. If its price, lower it. What has your competition done? If homes similar to yours have gone under contract you need to know why. If no home has gone under contract then it could be the market. Remember, its always a matter of price. Even the worst home in the worst neighborhood in the worst condition will sell if its priced right. Good luck to you.

Camille Miller
Just Jersey Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
Hi Malya,

Is your home priced correctly? I would think that 20 showings is pretty good considering the times and I owuld also hope that you are priced correctly. Has your agent discussed the comps with ou in detail?

I would hope that your agent is working to get your home sold. What has the agent done / not done to bring on the thought that someone else can do better? Call or email to discuss further.

John Sacktig
Broker / Manager
Orange Key Realty
Office: 732-863-6969

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
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