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Helen, Both Buyer and Seller in Los Angeles relocating...

House on the market for over 1 year

Asked by Helen, Los Angeles relocating to Memphis Wed Nov 7, 2007

Hi to all. Our house has been on the market for over 1 year. The house was last appraised at 465,000 last year. It was put on the market for 457,000 and then dropped lower and lower until it was finally taken off the market. We want to put it back on as is and pay the closing cost and a 10,000 fix up fee at closing to the buyer. We want to list the house for 417,000. It has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, 1350 sq ft built in 1974. We would like to clear 150,000 so that we can relocate and buy another house. Is this a good or bad plan and what would you advise?

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16
Thanks to all for the input. We do not want to start over but we do want to move closer to our family, especially to my Mom.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 17, 2008
John, I don't know what the spirit is behind your question, but I will answer it in light of your "curiosity". We have been in our home for over 20 years. We have invested a lot in this property, hard wood floors, new roof, updates in bathroom, new carpeting in bedroom and with payments that have averaged over 1000 per month we have thus far paid into this house in principle and interest over $240,000 in those 20 years. Do we deserve $150,000? Yes, we actually deserve more. In the spirit of kindness and understanding, all we want to do is to relocate and have enough to comfortably get us another home in our retirement days. Why did we want to give 10,000 for a fix up fee? I think it would be best called a buyer perk to change and update somethings in the house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
One problem is location...lots of inventory in south LA. Do you have any reserves that you can probably invest a few thousand to polish your house.... I haven't seen your house but I could only speculate...But, I can tell you this... You have to work harder these days to sell a house. Agent and seller combined. So with that said... Your house has to shine. Meaning, eventhough it may be a fixer, you can do so much now to make it look its best. If you have a lot of clutter or furniture, put most of it in storage... keep things in your house simple and CLEAN. You don't want to have so much stuff in your house that people can't picture their own things in it... that means no personal pictures on the walls, no knick/knacks, no junk on kitchen counter tops, paint walls a neutral color, clean clean clean. Don't forget curb appeal. Keep the lawn kept and plant some flowers. Your house must be in need of some details... I think with this in mind. Your house may get some attention. Email me if you have any questions
ChristinaMortgage@Yahoo.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 20, 2007
Hi Helen,

First let me say that I know how frustrated you must be.

Second, forget about that year old appraisal. Appraisals don't tell us what your home is worth to a buyer.

You don't give us much information about the first year your home was on the market so let me ask you some questions. How did you and/or your Realtor come up with your sale price. Is it at least 5% below the last sold comp. Did you meet with your Realtor at least once/month to discuss pricing & strategy? Are you offering a full 6% commission? What type of advertising has your Realtor done? What have been the results. How many showings per month? What type of feedback have the Realtors given your agent when he/she followed up? How often have you had Open House? What has been the feedback? How about broker's tours? Do you have a lockbox on your door?

If you don't have a good answer to each of these questions, you need to interview 3 Realtors to learn what they would recommend selling your home for & how they would plan to do it. I can run comps for you if I have more information.

Now for the tough stuff: Is your home Q-Tip clean? Every day? You mention a $10,000 fix up fee. Is your home freshly painted? The carpet cleaned? All clutter removed?

The GOOD news is that even though you'll make less money on your home than you would have liked, you will be able to pay less for your replacement home than in years past! This is a big plus!

I wish you all the luck Helen.

Karen Miller
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
Helen, here is my advice, the real-estate market is not going to get better for a number of years, it is actually getting worse, there are foreclosures left and right and you have to compete with those. There are plenty of resources on the internet to support what I am saying.

If you want to live closer to your family then do everything you need to do to sell your house, or rent it out if that's an option. It sounds like you simply want to move on. At this point if you are not getting offers then your price is too high. That's just how it is. It is very hard for people to obtain financing these days the way they could in the past. if you keep your price too high your house will stay on the market and comps will keep dropping which is not good for you.

Bottom line, to move it you need to price it right and swallow your pride.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 30, 2008
Helen,

If you have only 10 years left to pay off this house, keep the house. Do you want to start all over?

By the way, this is a realtor website, and you look "ripe for the pickin" if you know what I mean.

I am not a realtor.

Any advice they give, involves you doing something, because they don't make money if you do nothing.

anyways

good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 17, 2008
Unfortunately, markets don't work that way. What you "deserve" and what it is worth has no relationship. The market has spoken and that is why your house is sitting for over a year. At a lower price, your house will clear the market. It may be at a price you may not want, but it will be how much it is worth.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 16, 2008
Why do you think you deserve to clear $150K. Just curious.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
Why do you think you deserve to clear $150K? Just curious.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
It is not a good time to sell your house. Maybe keep the house for a few more years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 14, 2008
The most common reason a house does not sell is price. I can't advise you as to the best price since I don't know th home or the area it is in. Why not talk to a local realtor who can advise you ?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 14, 2008
Helen
Your profile says that you are just looking in Los Angeles. Are you are seller? it sounds like it. Where are you selling?
I would suggest you consult with three Realtors about your situation and see what they recommend. I do not know your situation or your market.
In general I would say that homes that are sitting on the market are over-priced. The amount you paid, your desired net profit, the amount you spent remodeling...none of that matters.

I am willing to bet that homes like yours have sold during the past year. Buyers always buy the homes that they perceive as having the best value. You need someone to help you understand what value buyers see in your home. Minor painting, de-cluttering, staging, etc. can make a BIG difference coupled with effective market, accurate pricing, and a PLAN to get your home sold. In most markets, the longer it sits, the less it's worth...and everyone can see how long your property has been on the market and for what price it did NOT sell.

Don't kid yourself, time is NOT your friend when selling property.

Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Helen,
You are not alone in your predictament, that is for sure.

Unfortunately, an appraisal from a year ago, as you now have experienced, simply does not reflect the current value or that price which a buyer is willing to pay.

At this juncture, it seems you need to determine at what price you are willing to sell your current home, i.e. the very bottom line, and then have a trusted local real estate professional provide you with "now" numbers. If the bottom line can be met, then go for it. You'll probably make up the difference on the purchase anyhow. Otherwise, you should probably hold off selling until the market will bare your pricing needs or the pain of staying in your current home becomes too great.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
Yikes! Your house is not the only house on the market for over 1 year. Have you had any offers? Are there any inspection reports that pointed out items that needed to be fixed? What marketing has been done? How much traffic has the house had?

How does your house compare to others in your area? To answer your questions, it helps to think like a buyer. Why or why not is this house not selling. It sounds like you have made price reductions - but I don't know how realistic your starting price was.

Let me know the answers to the above and I will try to give some positive solutions to getting your house sold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
Hi Helen,

It's really hard to answer the question without having more information about the house. It sounds like it doesn't show well since you're offering fix up funds. Can it be staged or fixed up some to make it show better? Also, you might want to consider a buyer "buy down" program instead of paying for closing costs. In a program like that you would actually pay down the buyer's rate which might be less expensive for you to do, but the buyer would benefit by having lower monthly payments and will save a lot more money than with you just paying closing costs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
Helen, you are in LA? - I thought there weren't any homes there for under $650K.
Every market is different-- you'd should talk with an agent down there. Do you need a referral to one?--Anyone here in LA?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 7, 2007
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