Maybe the market is different in VA, but I wouldn't list a house for under 6 months. If I am going to do all I can to sell it and spend time and money on marketing the property, I want to sell it, not give it to the next agent that comes in after a short term contract who drops the price and sells it. That is what will happen here. Octavia will get another agent, they will list it at a lower price and depending on the condition will probably sell. Give your agent a chance to sell it. Times are tough out there.
Unless you are a bank owned property that is under priced for the market you aren't going to see multiple offers. If you the seller gets an offer you should negotiate until you agree on price. It might not be what you wanted in the beginning, but some times you have to face reality and take the offer. You might not see another offer for a long time. A good sellers agent would negotiate until you agreed on a price.
Also if they are using the bank owned properties as comps your house really has to look much better then those. Especially price per square foot. Buyers are not stupid, they want the best value for their money.
Maybe Octavia can give us an idea of what his house is like.
I agree with most of the advice given so far. But I would like to add a comment on behalf of your agent. If prices in your area have dropped dramatically - and they do in some areas due to other foreclosures within your neighborhood - then a price decrease may very well be needed to get your home sold. Your agent does not have control over the market. I have seen this happen to agent friends of mine this past year. They list a home after doing a excellent research in arriving at the selling price. Then as time goes on you have 1,2 or maybe 3 or more homes that go up for sale or are sold that are foreclosures or short sales (selling for a much lower price).
Like it or not your home is in a beauty contest right now. And it is your agent's job to point out the things he/she think may help get it sold. And sometimes it takes drastic measures to do that.
So often, I see sellers get frustrated with their agent's request to lower the price, then they change agents and companies only to end up selling at the lower price suggested by the first agent.
Did your agent do a market analysis for you in the beginning? Did your agent give you an explanation as to why he/she believes you need this price reduction? How does your home compare to the others currently on the market. Have there been any new listings within a mile of your home and have you viewed them?
I agree with Don, $30,000 is not a drastic price cut in a home selling in the $600,000 range. If your home is in the $200,000 range, I would want a detailed explanation. How long has your home been on the market and have you had any price reductions yet?
2) have you kept the home clean and decluttered for showings
3) have you followed the feedback from showings to make those improvements
lastly sit down with your agent and discuss this or go to her BIC and ask for another agent in the office, or if no agreement can be reached terminate contract.
When you had your meetings with this particular agent, did you not at that time see comparable properties, at least on paper, those that recently sold similar to yous, and those on the market competing with yours??????
Then you must have discussed pricing, what was the agents price range suggestion, and how did you agree to
the price at that time?
Furthermore, when the agent saw your home for the first or second time, did the agent not make any suggestions as far as staging your home, or just moving around or removing some furniture, curb appeal,
have some landscaping suggestions etc. etc. When I meet with my sellers I have a long list of potential items they need to take care of (or at least think about taking care of, right then or later on) that way the Sellers already know, that either they decide to do some of the items, like painting some areas with modern inviting colors that are currently in fashion, move around some furniture etc. etc. or not, but then it is the Sellers decision.
Often though the home is put on the market with a few changes or no changes and as the activity at the home is watched carefully THEN CHANGES AND IMPROVEMENTS ARE QUICKLY MADE AND ONE OF THOSE CHANGES IS USUALLY A PRICE REDUCTION (for which I usually put up a time frame..... if we are
not getting enough interest within the first 4 weeks as an example we will look at the market again and competing homes if any new ones popped up and make a decision then)
If there are showings and remarks or comments come back to the listing agent, that should give you the seller some indication what you could improve on....
If you have a good and trusting relationship Sellers usually trust their Agent..... after all we are not miracle workers and we cannot create buyers (I wish we could!!! How wonderful that would be) All we really can do is educate the Sellers well about pricing their home very competitively (in other words at a price that will be interesting to potential buyers and since we are in a buyers market in most if not all parts of the country, it is
what the few ready and willing Buyers are ready and willing to pay, basically, also since there are more homes on the market than buyers, they can "cherry pick", the best home for the least money, usually!
I often take my sellers to see some of the competing homes, so that they know what they are up against
with their home, so that they get a good feeling how they compare for potential buyers with other homes in the area.
You said that you have sold and bought homes before.... so I am just wondering if you went through all the
steps of discussions, comparable homes, and plans of improvements/staging, and potentially necessary price reductions before you signed the listing agreement or not....
Sit with your agent first and discuss details, look at competing homes with him/her look again at the
homes that have recently sold, and discuss with your Realtor, what kind of marketing he or she is doing and
what the responses are. Today many buyers do their initial searches either on their own on the various internet sites, without actually going into homes until they find those they really like (so those are virtual showings, and may be your Realtor has some information about those from some of the websites, I usually share those with my sellers.)
Having said all that.... we are still in a difficult market, homes are on the market much much longer than ever before and Realtors have listings for longer periods of time with more time, effort, money and work involved than ever before....
May be you should not "remodel" your home, but may be staging it, and a few new paint colors here and there
might help.... See if you can discuss with your Realtor to use some of the money to make some important improvements (hard for me to tell because I do not know your home of course) and just start with a minor price reduction .... all depends what the competing homes look like and where they are priced.....
Take a deep breath, relax and discuss all potential choices.... In reality YOU and your agent have the same goal, Sell your home at the most reasonable price the market can bear and put your home into the most attractive showing condition.
Your Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert
I agree wholeheartedly on the six month contract. I too spend a lot of time and money and effort in listing a property and I will not take an initial listing for less than six months - especially in this time where we have 11 months of inventory on the current market.
The first person to talk to is your agent. You need to communicate your concerns to her . Discuss what has been done, and what needs to be done by both you and your agent to get your house sold. If you can not agree on this go to the managing broker of her company and explain your position. They can help come up with a solution, which may include working with your agent or working with another agent within the firm. When you sign a listing agreement you are siging with the firm, not just the salesagent to get your home sold. The broker wants to help you work this out! The last resort would be to withdraw the listing, but hopefully your concerns can be resolved without having to do this.
If your house doesn't show well, that'll make it more difficult to sell. And if it's overpriced, it won't sell. Now, having said that, the agents you interviewed prior to agreeing to work with the one you did should have given you a good idea of pricing and should have made some recommendations regarding fix-ups. Did they or didn't they do that?
As far as dropping the price by $30,000, that might or might not have been a major pricing error at the beginning. A $30,000 price drop on a $600,000 property is within the realm of reason--that's 5%. On the other hand, if you started off priced at $200,000 and the agent's suggesting a $30,000 price drop, then something was wrong with the initial price (or with the price you'd end up after the drop).
And a 6 month contract?? That's ideal for agents, but not for sellers. Remember: Everything's negotiable. Before I became a Realtor, I sold 4 houses. I never, ever agreed to a 6-month listing. That's way too long. I agreed to a 3-month listing, and promised to relist if it wasn't sold--and I felt the agent was doing a good job--at the end of those 3 months.
Even then, if your agent agrees, the listing agreement can be terminated prior to the end of the 6 months. (And, little secret here, your agreement is really with the agent's broker, not the agent. If there's another agent in the same office who you think could do a better job, speak to the broker. It shouldn't be too difficult getting the listing reassigned.)
Hope that helps.
Sorry to hear you are having such a horrible time with your agent. Sadly it sounds like you have hired the wrong person. I wouldn't say all agents are as you described. I wouldn't say it is VERY difficult to find a realtor that truly works for the seller, I do it all the time and I'm sure you could find one in your area. The goal of a Realtor is to get the house sold, not keep it on the market. We get paid if something sells. There are also sellers out there that think they know more then the agents. This market is constantly changing, an agent has to think out of the box these days to market a property, which can be costly. It's not like a few years ago when all you had to do was put the sign in the ground and buyers were flocking to put in offers. Also, if you don't do your part to make the house stand out from all the rest, you are not helping. Your house has to have the wow factor when a buyer walks in. It doesn't mean spending 30 thousand, it means remove all the clutter, have great curb appeal and clean and paint. Full time agents are professionals in their careers, and we take it serious. We spent a tremendous amount of money keeping current with the ever changing time as well as continous education. We also expect the seller to do their part.
I think you should take the time to have a conversation with your agent to work things out so you are on the same page, if you can't then call the Broker, tell him your concerns and ask to work with another agent. Calling people names and degrading them is not the way to solve the problem. Your main goal should be to sell your home.
If your agent was complicit in overpricing your home, then that was a tactical error on both of your parts. You need to make adjustments quickly - and if the feedback suggests that some improvements and/or staging stand in your way, then within reason you should consider doing it.
And if after reflecting on this, you still feel that your agent is not serving you well, then sit down with the agent and if necessary draw in her broker/manager so that you can get back on track and get the job done.
Good luck to you!
Unwavering Commitment to Service
She probably took the listing with high hopes and then reality hit her once she started getting feedback from other agents and buyers.
If she is "terrible" fire her. But if you turn around a hire a "wonderful" agent that just made you realize you must lower your price and remodel your place... I would give that opportunity to her first.
Just a thought....