The Benders, Home Seller in Gilbertsville, KY

Agent says...We are priced right, shows very well, has a good location, but the market is slow...DUH! What are agents doing to sell in this market?

Asked by The Benders, Gilbertsville, KY Wed Aug 24, 2011

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My consultation, based on the limited information provided is to review your marketing materials and availability of the house to be shown. Only if these items have been reviewed and improved if necessary should you necessarily drop the price. Price is easy and everyone says it, but I learned a long time ago that someone might pay $100,000 for an item that is demonstrates $100,000 in value, but many people would gladly pay $100,000 for an item which demonstrates $200,000 in value.
This isn't hype or fluff, its presenting your home in its best possible light with great photos & descriptions after it's been properly prepared, cleaned & staged.
Part of the problem with many homes on the market now is the sellers are trying to get $200,000 for a home which can only demonstrate $150,000 in value. No amount of sizzle selling will overcome this, and if it could the lender and appraiser would likely have a say in it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 25, 2011
There is a heck of a lot of difference between SELLING and MARKETING:

I would characterize SELIING as TALKING

Without offending you or your Agent; if your house hasn't sold, and its been a while; then it is PRICE.


Understand that the LISTING PRICE has one primary objective, to attract attention: It is not intended to be set in stone, and in many cases it is not even a good guideline toward the SELLING PRICE.

Some Sellers believe that by setting the LISTING PRICE high, they can always come down, and people will make an offer anyway: WRONG! Buyers will just bypass the property and look at houses that are within their price range. And six months from now, the Seller will slowly start lowering the PRICE, (this is called “chasing the curve”) and Buyers will be asking the question; “What’s wrong with that house?” and “Why has it been on the Market so long?”

Other Sellers set the LISTING PRICE low, to attract multiple offers. (The correct strategy.) We are asked; “Aren’t you obligated to sell at this price if someone offers it?” The answer is probably not; for that to happen, you would first have to have only one offer, and secondly, the offer would have be exactly the same, down to the smallest detail, (please discuss this with your Realtor).
Another thought; Buyer will search for potential properties by groups; for example, $400,000 to $450,000, and $250,000 to $300,000. If your house is priced at $460,000 or $310,000, the Buyers will never see it. (something else to discuss with your Agent.)

We have found that extremely often, the LISTING PRICE that is set on SHORTSALES and REO’s are not determined, nor even discussed with the Bank: The banks play their cards very close to the vest, they will not tell the Listing Agents any more than they have to; they will not give us their lower limits. So usually, the LISTING PRICE on a distressed property is a number taken out of the air.

Have your Realtor do a new CMA, (Comparative Market Analysis) to help you determine your Offering Price. If you look at enough CMA’s, you will see the trends.

Good luck and may God bless
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 25, 2011
I so totally understand your frustration, Benders.

Here's the thing. Agents want their buyers to buy the best home for their needs at the best price possible. It really isn't their fault if your home doesn't fit the bill.

Buyers typically see between six and sixty houses - sure, maybe more - point being, every one of those sellers wishes the agent would just Make Their Buyer Buy Our House.

I don't know what the market is like in Gilbertsville, but in some areas, houses just won't sell unless they are incredible deals. Not just "priced right," but screaming, you can't pass this up, kind of deals.

Every couple of weeks or so, you might ask your agent for an activity report; information on how your competition is doing. Are they reducing prices, selling, going off market, and is there new inventory competing with your home?

There are three stages of home selling. The first is in preparation - that's when you and the agent are going over the market analysis, photos are being taken, staging and cleanup is being done. The third is the lucky part of negotiating the sale and getting that buyer to closing. Lots of activity.

The second stage is the quiet part. The agent does the marketing from their office, and there's just not much interaction typically between the seller and the agent, except for periodic updates.

It's kind of like being an usher at a theater. You're busy at the beginning of the show, and at the end. But in the middle, you're basically just keeping an eye on things.

I know it's tough. It's a tough market, and these are tough times.

Stay strong,
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 25, 2011
Mr/Mrs Bender, you do bring up an interesting point (and I do understand your frustration)

You think buyer's agents "sell" a home
I, personally, have never seen myself as a "salesperson", even though most might see it differently, and my business card says "Sales Associate".

I see myself as a consultant, and a guide. I can help evaluate homes for my buyers......I can put things in perspective.......i can compare and contrast other homes we have seen together, and other homes that have sold.
I can prepare a market analysis.
I can do all of that, but I cannot makea buyer feel that "spark" that is needed to move forward an actually make an offer. I can't make a buyer see value, if it doesn't work for them, or they see it differently.

Case in point - I had been working with high end buyers for over 7 months (I am very patient!!) - they had lost out on 4 homes for various reasons. I met them at a new listng, and got very excited, because that home checked off all the "must haves" the buyers wanted. it was a great house! I had been working with those buyers for so long, I felt I knew just what would work for them...and this house was it!!
Or, so I thought!

Guess what? They rejected that house.
I tried so hard to understand why, and to list all the positive attributes of the home, but to no avail. I pracitcally threw up my hands in frustration, because I was stumped....had no idea why this house didn't wok for them.......they made a few critical remarks, but nothing substantial.........that "spark" just wasn't there.

(The good news is, after 9 months, I finally sold them a house.......a house I never thought they'd buy.. Who knew!)

So - no, I don;t sell a house..........I present it... lay it all out, the good and the bad, the positives and negatives...but ultimately, the buyer makes that big decision on their own.

As I said in my first post here, and as Alan also commented on...the key is what has been going on in your area.
Have any homes sold recently??? If so, then, for some reason, buyers chose other homes over yours......Huddle with your agent and try to find out why.

If no other homes have sold recently, then the buyers may just not be out there at this time...

In any event - best wishes and good luck in the future!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 25, 2011
Sometimes, especially in a market like we're experiencing now, 'price' is not the issue. There just may not be a buyer for your specific home out there at the moment, regardless of price. And you find yourself sitting, sitting, sitting... you begin to second-guess everything (including price).

There is an easy way to check. Look at sales of comparable homes in your area and price-point. If in the last 30-60 days, no other comparable homes have sold... then it's probably not an issue of price. But if 7 other comparables HAVE sold, then that's telling you people have made a "choice" to purchase one of the other homes, instead of yours. That's a good indicator that you should take a good hard look at your price.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 25, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Well, I don't know what Alan or Dan are doing to market their listings..........., but I have a magic wand I can lend you !

Coupled with the wand, I suggest you revisit that "priced right" number with your agent.
If NO OTHER homes in your area have sold in the time period you have been listed, then maybe it really is a slow time, and you have to hang in there.

If other homes HAVE sold........and yours hasn't, then, when all is said and one............price is the great motivator and equalizer.

If your listing is plastered all over the internet with great photos and all the bells and whistles........there is some activity in your area, and you're still sitting.......then reduce the house 4% every few weeks until you hit the number that brings in an offer.

I have listed homes I thought were priced great...but the only opinion that really matters is the BUYER'S opinion!

Good luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 24, 2011
When was the last time you bought a home because the agent told you to? While we are in Real Estate "Sales", we can't persuade against someone’s interest. Such a major purchase of real estate takes so long, has so many influencing factors & voices, even if I had a magic "pitch" on a given house, the buyer would come to their senses before it ever got inspected or financed.
You say your are priced right, compared to what? How long have you been on the market, how many showings have you had, how many open houses has your agent done, how many competitors have you visited?
Now, before we go straight to price, how well is the home marketed? Are the pictures clear, bright and interesting? Are the descriptions warm & inviting? Are you listed on multiple websites including Trulia & Craigslist?
If everything is done welll as described, you've had a dozen or more showings without an offer and your have seen other similar sized & generally priced homes go off the market, then drop your price. How much depends on the competition and your motivation.
One last thing, are you leaving for showings and making the home readily available or do agents have to fight to get time in the home alone with their buyers? Seller's, often with good intentions, create their own barriers to selling. Best of luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 24, 2011
All we can do is to make sure that your property gets maximum exposure, with good photos, quality description and is priced attractively to bring in potential viewers/buyers.

We can't force buyers to buy any more than we can force sellers to sell.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 24, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
It has been my belief, and appreantly the wrong belief, that real estate agents are consultants. All I'm hearing is "drop the price". I thought a real estate agent guides buyers in making a purchase, in other words, not just show homes. Given a home is marketed, staged, priced right, easy to show and being shown...when does the "selling" come into play? It seems the burden of selling is being placed on the home owner. Do this...Do that...Drop the price, Drop the price...Drop the price! Agents should get in there and sell. Buyers need direction and focus, in other words consultation. What are agents doing to assist buyers in making good investments? Maybe I'm way off base, but I truly thought real estate agents "sold" houses. I thank you for your answers and do sincerely appreciate your time and expertise. If you would like to see the listing of our second home ( MLS# 59130 Kentucky), which we no longer use as a vacation home, due to the fact that we have moved to the area full time and purchased another home. Again thank you for your is surely being taken to heart!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 25, 2011
Interesting..............I am selling a house in Calvert City, KY and I have the same thoughts as you! We had to sign a year contract with our agent and she has not shown our house to one person! We live on a street with not a lot of through traffic, is that not their job is to promote traffic by having an open house or something? All she can do is ask us to lower our price! We have had it on the market for nine months!
Flag Wed Jul 17, 2013
Interesting..............I am selling a house in Calvert City, KY and I have the same thoughts as you! We had to sign a year contract with our agent and she has not shown our house to one person! We live on a street with not a lot of through traffic, is that not their job is to promote traffic by having an open house or something? All she can do is ask us to lower our price! We have had it on the market for nine months!
Flag Wed Jul 17, 2013
I actually tried looking up your MLS listing, but to do so, you need to specify the city it's located in.

I would also suggest you re-think how you approach the market for selling your home. The higher the agent estimates the value of your home; the more listings he/she will acquire. Remember; they make a percentage for the listing. If an agent states your house is only worth 150,000 and you "think" it should be much higher, then you will call another agent in. If that agent states 200,000; guess who you will go with. If buyers feel your house is only worth 150-160, eventually, you will end up lowering the "price' until a buyer feels or likes it well enough to pay for it. How many potential "buyers" have you missed if your price was "pumped up" by said agent just to get your listing. I wouldn't be as concerned about what other people have their houses listed for - but would be about what people have recently sold their home for in your area, especially if it is similar to yours
Flag Tue Jul 16, 2013
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