Home Selling in Seattle>Question Details

Kate, Home Seller in Seattle, WA

House on the market has had no showings in 6 weeks.

Asked by Kate, Seattle, WA Thu Aug 13, 2009

My daughter's home has been on the market for almost 8 weeks. She had several showings in the first two weeks, but none since then. The house is priced well, in a nice area, and immaculate. Is this just a symptom of the current market or is there something else she should be doing?

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Kate,
I'm going to assume you are not your daughter's listing agent. I recently went to an open house where the agent was the owner's mom and the pricing was all wrong. And while you say it is priced well, does that price take into consideration any comps that might be 'short-sales' or REOs? Sometimes, agents overlook those properties because of the dissimilar circumstances but like it or not they're all in the same soup. I also have a listing that has been on the market for 100 days. We have reached a price point where the sellers believe that going lower is just not an option (though they can afford it). Their home was surrounded by distressed properties and homes of owners that were under financial stress. It appears such property has moved along and that the 'normal' listings are now getting attention after much neglect and significant discounting. Only time will tell what the right solution is. They are also open to renting the property and/or doing a lease with option to buy. But as a general rule of thumb, if they're not even coming through the door and the listing is stale (days on market above 60 days) then it's time to revisit pricing.
Good luck,
Steve
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
I haven't re-read all the answers, but one thing occurred to me yesterday. Perhaps it's a showing restrictions problem. I'm thinking appointment only or even no keybox. Something that would keep an agent from being able to just call 10 minutes in advance.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 16, 2009
Hi Kate,
Eight weeks is not that long on the market right now if the property is above $700K. Those under $700K seem to be selling well in the Queen Anne area. It's probably because of two things:
1. First-time Buyers tend to look at lower priced homes because that's more in their price range. A lot of what's selling now is lower priced homes in the $300's, $400's, $500's and $600's for first time buyers wanting to take advantage of the $8000 credit the government is giving to stimulate this housing market.
2. The jumbo loan rate kicks in at $567,500 and lenders and buyers are watching that closely and trying to stay below it.
3. Lower priced homes are getting bought by investors for rental properties.
Have your daughter's agent look at the comps again just to be sure her pricing is right. Comparative properties are those in the area that have sold in the last six months and usually in a 6-12 block area with similar features. I often look at everything in the area then take out townhouses, condos and short sales to see just single-family residences and the difference in the numbers. I also look at active properties but real comps come from sold properties. Period.
You say the house is immaculate but you might want a neutral person to come through and give pointers on decor or furnishings. Stager and or interior designers can do this. If you need one I can recommend one.
Make sure the listing is getting full exposure on the many websites and the listing has good, clear pictures and informative text.
Buyers are more savvy than ever and want upgrades and open floor plans. You want the home to show well and look modern, well-lit and spacious. Take down any personal items, flowery wall paper or bedding and knick knacks. And clean carpets! Pet smells are the worst turnoff for buyers.
Finally, Kate, I have seen a slow down in the last couple weeks in open house attendance. Maybe it's just buyer exhaustion! I think it will fire back up when buyers realize they need to close properties by November 30th to take advantage of the 1st-time homebuyers credit.
Good Luck to you and your daughter, Kate!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 15, 2009
Hang in there - it is slow out there in certain price ranges - especially higher ones depending on the neighborhood. If she is in the $300k and under it should fly almost in any location right now.

Patience unfortunately is the biggest advice - no matter what we do, waiting still needs to happen in some price ranges.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 14, 2009
I agree price is likely the issue.

I don't agree that the list price necessarily controls. I had a $2,000,000 listing that had more showings than lower priced listings.

It may also be marketing. How many pictures are on the listing? Does the listing appear on Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com?

But more than likely, it's price.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
Kate,

It may be time for a very frank conversation with the realtor about why there have been no showings during the past 6 weeks. If there is activity in the local market this is a pretty good indication there is something amiss.

The obvious points of concern may be:

1. price

2. location

3. curb appeal

Your agent should be able to provide you with a good appreciation for what the issue(s) is and what you should do to overcome it.

Good luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
The answer is be patient. Properties that are priced well are competing with homes that are priced very well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 4, 2010
Six weeks is a long time. This means that buyers who see it on the web are not bugging their agents to show it to them, so perhaps there's something in the photos or the comments that isn't targeting the likely buyer for the house.
Do the comments truly represent the home properly? Sometimes, sellers are resistant to having their agents tell it the way it is. I say, if the house is small, tell people - they may be looking for a small house! It's immaculate, but has it been recently remodeled and updated, or is there some potential for future upgrades there? (See, I targeted people looking for a house that wasn't perfect, that they could put their own stamp on with that one. Clever, no?)
Does it have a large, level lot? That's great gardening space. Small lot, that's one that's low maintenance. Does it get good natural light? Then say so!
Is it photogenic? Could it help to bring in a stager, a decorator, somebody to make it look better in photos? Are the photos any good? (By which we mean, did we use a professional photographer?)
Finally. Has the agent talked to the other agents who have competing listings? How's their traffic? When it's bad, we commiserate together; but if someone's getting two showings a week and your daughter isn't . . .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 1, 2009
Kate,

What has been the feed back form the buyers and agents that have been thru the property? This feed back my help your agent determine if the property is price well or if there are other factors that are affecting showings .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
Hi Kate, Sorry to hear of your distress, but 8 weeks is not long in your market and if it is a nice home in the upper price range.
I am a marketing expert; so here is a suggestion for you: offer a special pricing. For one week only drop the price 10%, it will drive up the interest, but only if there is a high level of marketing one week before-hand. You may risk getting someone who can move that fast, (give a deposit within 1 week) and take advantage of that low price, but the majority of individuals will not move that fast. Have your agent broadcast on at least 10 websites, hang signs, advertise in newspapers and local newsletters in your community about the INCREDIBLE DEAL for ONE WEEK ONLY. This is a combination of dropping the price and marketing.
The 2nd big problem may be that your listing agent is not following up on each and every person who has looked at your dauther's home. Send out emails and make phone calls as many times as needed to discuss why that person decided not to buy your daughter's home. That will help you a lot.
3rd: What about staging? Is the home being lived in currently? If not, have the realtor rent furnishings to make the home look warm, cozy, friendly, not just bare walls and open space.
Be patient.
Mary B
http://www.PlentifulRealEstate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 31, 2009
Kate,

It's hard to say withought knowing what home you are referring to but there is one truism in real estate:

Everything will sell, the question is for what price.

Here are some other suggestions:

Offer 3% SOC or higher (the comission the buyer's agent gets)
advdvertize the home on multiple web sites
Open House with post cards to the neighbors
Improve the photos online
Drop the price 5%
change the marketing comments
Call all the agents who have viewed the home and get suggestions from them

Good Luck,

Rob
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 25, 2009
In order to attract showings, the house needs to be adequately prepared, priced right and marketed effectively. Without seeing photos of the house, it is difficult to say if there is something more that could be done regarding the appearance (prepartion) of the house and its appeal to potential buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Kate
In most markets a properly prepared, marketed, and priced home will receive 10-12 showings or one offer in the first two weeks. If that level of activity is not seen, then a price reduction is in order. In your area the market is still declining, so you would be better served to price the property slightly UNDER market in order to attract buyers and offers.

It is commonly known that homes with longer listing times sell at a lower price compared to list price ratio.
In my MLS homes that well in 30 days sell at 101.3% of asking, at 120 days at 96.3% of asking.

An over-priced home will not sell or attract. offers. According to Trullia (see link) there is a lot of inventory.
A balanced market is considered 6 months of inventory. 1200 homes on the market, selling 200 per month/
The link shows almost 3,800 homes on the market with 347 recent sale...that is almost a year's supply.

Only the BEST values are going to sell. If you cannot sell and need to move, either rent it out (ask about the pros and cons of renting) or conduct a short sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 14, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
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It is typical for a home to get showings the first week - even if it is overpriced. The buyers for your daughter's home were out there looking before she listed it. If it had been priced right, it would have sold to the first buyers with agents because those buyers are typically the ready, willing, able ones.

Once a home is actively on the market, the pace of showings tels us whether or not we are priced right. I have some great tips for sellers on my website: http://www.mcknightrealty.com. Tell your daughter to vist with her agent about improving her competitive position.

Getting a home sold is 20% marketing and 80% price.

Warmly,
Karen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
What is price of home? If luxury home you have few showings . Have listing agent disclose # of days on market of homes in that area. School is starting many families are focused on those activities.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
Sounds like the price may need to be re-evaluated. There have been a few distress sales in the neighborhood for comparable homes. What a shame that this should affect the price. Thank you all so much for your input. I'll be sure to pass the information on to my daughter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
Your daughter's home must be priced the best for like properties in her area. Take a look at closed but also pending sales since she listed. How does she compare? The activity in the beginnnig leads me to believe that the price is too high.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
I agree with the first answer. I'd take another look at the data paying particular attention to solds and pendings. To not be getting any showings could mean that the price is high enough compared to other homes in the area (if there is plenty of inventory) that it isn't getting picked to show because there are other homes better priced. Also, higher end homes just aren't moving as quickly because there are fewer buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
Echoing off of what James said, you may also want to consider some "out-of-the-box" marketing. Traditionally, agents and Brokers have been relying on open houses, newspaper ads and neighborhood direct mailings to get the buyers informed about the home. Of course todays buyers are spending their time looking for homes on the web so exploring that aspect of your marketing dollar may be wise. Also, social media advertising on facebook and LinkedIn is quite popular as is designing and promoting individual websites specific to your home.
I would also want to be certain my home is "Showcased" with beautiful (new furniture) staged throughout the home! A few pieces here and there just won't do...you have to be sure the buyers walk into each room and see themselves living in that house. Often times the sellers furniture may not be suitable to really show off the home and thusly hard for the buyer to see past.
The cost of selling your home must be taken into account when you are marketing your home. Make sure you are getting what you pay for with your representation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
What's the general feedback from the people that did see it in the first 2 weeks?

Not knowing anything about the house and assuming it is in a nice area and is as you describe.. it's probably the price. You may think it's priced well, but buyers actually out there shopping may disagree. Ask the listing agent for all the recent sales and pending sales in the area to compare and a list of all the houses for sale. See how your price stacks up against everything else. If you really are priced well compared to your competition and compared to what is pending and what has sold, ..then it's patience. Depending on the price point of your house it could be just the symptom of the market. If it's super expensive, the pool of buyers for it is much smaller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 13, 2009
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