Home Selling in Murray Hill>Question Details

Linda, Home Seller in 32205

I have a home listed in Jacksonville on the MLS offering a 3.5% to selling agent but have had few showings why

Asked by Linda, 32205 Thu Sep 4, 2008

could it be because the broker is a flat fee broker so agents just are overlooking it even though it has a higher commission to selling agent?

Help the community by answering this question:


Now back to Linda

Many who have posted here don't seem to realize that Linda is listed with Flat Fee Broker.

Her Flat Fee Broker is located in Boca Raton in South Fl. We're in North Fl., Jacksonville. About a 5 hr drive away. I think her Flat Fee did a great job on presentation on MLS and Realtor.com for the $299. fee she more than likely paid. Much better that what flat fee use to offer. So for the general public and a few realtors who suggested her realtor should do more. She is listing DIY. Linda's on her own.

I suspect that Linda did not get assistance pricing her home, collecting feedback, setting appointments, a professional photographer, professional signs, other advertising and per mls there is no Lock box. I would imagine that Linda must negotiate her offers without assistance.

When the market was hot Flat Fee and discout brokerage was very productive. Today many discount brokers have closed their doors or are struggling. The Flat fee brokers I know have told me that the flat fee part of their business covers their business expenses and allows their earned commissions to support the family.

For some, listing with a Flat Fee broker works. Others want or need local expertise and a better marketing plan to sell their home.

I have always supported anyone who wanted to Do It Youself. If it doesn't work they have lost a little time and a few dollars for a chance they could save hundreds or thousands. Unfortunately timing is key. Three months shoud be adequate to determine if DIY will work for you. Unfortunately, October through December is a slower selling time so Linda has missed some good selling months.
Web Reference: http://www.cathysloan.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 5, 2008

First of all I would like to say that the owners of my listings are great. I am very picky about the homes that I market. I spend way too much on the advertising to throw my $$$ away on a homeowner who won't take my advise. My listings get lots of showings. Thats the name of the game. It takes a lot of eyeballs to get a home sold.

You and many like your are way off base when you say we only want to sell our own listings. I would venture to say that every Realtor who has responded to this post sends dozens of MLS lsitings to their Buyer prospects that are listed by a varity of brokers . The buyer's pick the homes they want to see. We Realtors are glad to sell anything. Especially in todays market. Sure, if one of our listings meets the Buyer's criteria we're going to show it to them, if they are willing to look. We would not be doing our Seller's justice if we did not.

Realtors cant win. If we tell seller's the truth, that you will need to price your home, say $10.000, below the last home sold in order to sell in 60 days. Seller's dont want to hear it. By the way that is actually $20K below what the seller had in mind. The seller gets angry and acuses us of wanting to give their home away just to get a sale. Isn't selling your home for the highest price in the least amount of time the goal. If you agree to list $10K below market you want us to reduce our commission. If we get a buyer in 60 days who offers lower than the asking price seller's expect us to cut our commission even more. We cant' win.

If we list at too high a price, seller's want to know why they are not getting any showings. They will not accept that they are priced the same as 100 other homes or that they are over priced. So once again the Realtor is the bad guy.

It's amazing to me that the homeowners who had their homes listed by another Realtor or Realtors for 6 months or more with few showings are ready to listen to me and willing to do what ever I say to sell their home. Had they listened to their Realtor 6 months ago their home could have already been sold for more than they are listing for today.

Most of this has nothing to do with Linda's original post.
Web Reference: http://www.cathysloan.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 5, 2008
'their first priority is selling their own listing' - Joe Clark

With all due respect, I must disagree with this comment Joe. My priority is to find a buyer for my listings - regardless of where it comes from. The brokerage, the agent, is irrelevant. The goal is to find a buyer that is able to bring a reasonable offer with reasonable terms to my seller. My job is to attract that buyer via the various marketing efforts.

I also find that when I represent a buyer, the listing agents are 98% of the time, very welcoming and encouraging of all reasonable offers. As a listing agent, you work for free, and carry marketing expenses, until the listing is sold. No one is going to dissuade an agent from bringing a buyer that will allow them to earn their brokerage fee and assist their seller in a successful sale.

Hope all of this isn't too overwhelming Linda. Hang in there.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 5, 2008
Just remember that agent/agency priorities are somewhat fickled.
Joe your post is full of misinformation. Your house was priced too high so it didn't sell. You could offer an agent 10%, they still wouldn't be able to sell it. Then you expect the agent to reduce their fee because you can't sell your house for more than FMV? @@
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 5, 2008
In almost any market there are some truths or rules of thumb that apply. When a market shifts, they need to be modified.
1. Listings that sell within the first 30 days sell closest to asking price. In most markets 20% of listings sell within 30 days, the remaining 80% sell in above market time. In my market they sell at 100.8% of asking price, at 120 Days on Market (DOM) they are selling at 93.6% of asking price.

2. In order to sell a listing you need showings. We expect 10-12 showings or one offer during the first two weeks on the market. If we don't see that activity, we lower the price (usually around 5%).

3. When your home is on the market your Realtor should keep you informed of market activity. Selling a home is more like chess than like poker. Since your home hit the market, how many homes:
-came on the market
- lowered their price
- went into escrow
- sold
The average buyer looks at 10-12 homes before writing an offer. In a slower market it could be twice that.
The bottom line is that you need to know your competition and make sure that your home is priced and marketed correctly. In a market with a lot of inventory ( a market where there are more homes than buyers) the proper preparation (clean, paint, declutter, depersonalize, staging, professional pictures) AND proper pricing are critical to get that activity.

Remember, it is not how much you paid, how much you owe, or how much you need to net.

You should know that the most significant thing you lack in using an MLS Entry Only broker is the most important thing you need...market knowledge. To prove my point, I monitor the RESULTS achieved by MLS Entry Only and Discount Brokers versus Full Service Brokers.
Listings taken by MLS Entry Only and Discount Brokers FAIL to sell 150% more often
Listings SOLD by MLS Entry Only and Discount Brokers sell on average for 2% LESS when selling within 30 days
Listing time for MLS Entry Only Broker and Discount Brokers on average take an extra three to four weeks to sell.

So if you have time to kill, money to burn, and do not really need to sell, then stay the course. If you need to sell, and re-read my email, interview three top Realtors (I can refer you to one), then if you NEED to change course, you'll be ready to shift.

The main reason brokers are not showing your home is that they are busy showing other homes that offer more value. Plain and simple.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 4, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA

I agree with Bill Eckler 3% co-broke commission is adequate. I do not believe that other agents are ignoring your listing because you elected to use a flat fee broker.

First priority is pricing. If you are overpriced or not competively priced to compete with other homes in the area your showings will contine to decline.

Presentation and marketing. There are 20,000+ homes on the market in Jacksonville. Most buyer's start their search on the internet. Check how your home is presented on the internet and where. At the very least your home should have "good" multiple photos and a written description on Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com and Homes.com. You want to generate a demand for your home. You want potential buyers to ask their agents to show them your home.

If you flat fee broker cannot or will not help you in pricing your home and cannot offer you internet placement on some of these very important marketing sites find one who can.
Web Reference: http://www.cathysloan.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 4, 2008

For starters, decrease you commission to 3% and subtract the amount saved from your asking price. The fact that you are paying the selling agent 3.5% has no impact on the number of people considering purchasing homes priced in your range. It only provides a reward to the selling agent.

If you have had only a few showings with no serious degree of interest the very first consideration should be your asking price. It's important to take a close look at the market in your area and price your home appropriately.

good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 4, 2008
Linda, I have watched you anguish over this home for some time now. You should know that your home will sell in this market or any other market if it is PRICED RIGHT! The 3.5% comp. offering is nice, but any agent worth working with is not concerned over 3.5 or 3.0. Where is your home being marketted? Have you asked your agent all of these questions? Are you satisfied with the answers? Ask your agent to give you a written plan with dates and times and hold them to it. If you are not happy with your agent get another one. Good luck! Jack Vance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008

My daughter moved into that house when she was 20 years old and lived there for 3 years with roommate and never had any problems. They sometime did not lock there cars or house for that matter and never had anything happen. The neighbors on this street are great and they look out for each other which I think is great. I know on the other side of post the neighborhood is different maybe that is where they having the crime. Where did those statistics come from I am not sure if they are even accurate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2008
I saw this house listed on craigslist, and I loved it! The fact that it's all brick and has an open front porch were a major plus. But, it's when I looked up the crime statistics that turned me away. I have two young children & have lived on the westside my whole life. All I could say is WOW! There were 20!!!! homes robbed in 6 months within a .5 mile radius of your home.

Assault / Battery 13
Burglary / Other 4
Burglary / Residential 20
Burglary / Vehicle 6
Murder 0
Robbery 5
Sex Offenses
Lewd/Lascivious/Exposure 0
Sexual Battery 0
Theft 16
Theft / Vehicle 3
Vandalism 9

Not even Springfield is that bad!!! That could be a MAJOR factor as to why people aren't interested.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 25, 2008
Hi Linda,

I understand your concern. It is definitely a buyers market and it takes a little more than a flat fee broker to get the job done.

Back in the days of 04 -05 you could put a sign in the front yard place the home on the MLS and it was sold in a matter of weeks if not days (sellers market). Then the homes would sell themselves.

Today with all of the homes on the market you home really need to stand out from the others. They key piece of the puzzle that many sellers and even real estate professionals miss is the main piece of the puzzle that helps you put it all together.... MARKETING. Many business when starting out, don't just put an add in the yellow pages and now the online directories and become an overnight success. It takes strategic planning, marking and branding to sell their products. The same holds true for trying to sell a home when there are many other homes that may be as similar to yours near by. You need to highlight the benefits of your house and why it will make a great home for someone. The only way to get people into your house to see it is through proper marketing.

I have set the web reference below to take you to a blog on my website on selling your home for sale by owner. If you follow the steps you will have a better chance to sell your home that the guy next door who just places a sign in the yard and puts it on the MLS.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 8, 2008
Hi Linda,

I just looked at your MLS listing and the overall history of that house. I see where you bought it in '04 when the market here was red red hot!. Now the market is Ice Cold!.

If the house were priced right it would be sold! Flat-Rate Broker or not.

Here's the bad news.

The house is significantly over priced!

From when you bought the house until Oct '05 the value rose approximately 17%. Then the decline began.

You might want to consider turning the unit into a rental - income producing property.

Today I was talking to another agent and we agreed we won't see prices like we did 4 years ago for 10 to 20 years.

Good Luck

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 7, 2008
Hello Linda,

You have gotten a lot of input from agents and others, some I agree with but I just want to hit on a few more things for you to consider. I'm familiar with your neighborhood, Murray Hill can be very desirable. The fact that you are fairly close to Roosevelt is a bit of a drawback but you should emphasis in your advertisements (and MLS) that you are walking distance to the shops in Murray Hill and parks. There are great parks in the area which is a plus. Secondly, your pictures on MLS don't do the house justice. The house has some charm but I am not getting that out of the pictures. Try different pictures that make the house "pop". I would remove the drapery in the dining area (it makes the house look dated). I would stage the kitchen to give it more flair and try to bring some curb appeal to the front (maybe something as simple as painting the shutters). Remember, first impressions are everything, so make the MLS work for you.

Good luck selling~

Nancy Bateh
Exit Southern Heritage Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 11, 2008
Sorry, if I offended the agents in this blog but my comments are truthful. It may not be the same for your particular agency but the very large agencies have policies that are neither probuyer or proseller. FYI I did not overprice my home. The three realtors I dealt with all gave me a market analysis pricing my house exactly the same which was an amount greater than what I priced it in my DIY effort.
I wish Linda the very best in her effort but until it becomes a sellers market again you can't count on the REALESTATE industry to look out for your interest no matter what you offer them. This is a very sluggish market and she should market the home on her own. Make price comparisons with the new home market based on square footage and location and make a price correction as needed. Sure use the NEFMLS AS ONE OF MANY TOOLS there are agencies that allow buyers to access the MLS. Put out flyers at work, in Grocery stores and motels advertise in the Jacksonville paper (they have a new advertising policy for homeowners - one fee till it sells). DO NOT SIT BACK AND WAIT ON A AGENT TO BRING YOU A BUYER. Last of all be prepared to wait and lose money if need be, I did the waiting but decided not to lose more money.
Joe Clark
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 7, 2008

I have saved the web site of your Flat Fee broker in my Favorites. Your Flat Fee offers much more than most we come across in our MLS.. As I stated earlier some may want to try Flat Fee before going with a Full Service Realtor it doesnt hurt to know of a good service.

I usually review the sales price of my listings every 45 days. Sales of comparable homes and new listings in the area may require an adjustment in price to stay competitive. If your service offers, you may want to get a new CMA for your home. Remember, a CMA is only a range and recommended guideline and cannot be relied upon entirely if the agent has not seen the home, neighborhood and area.

Honestly other factors that may be reducing your showings can be the difficulty for Buyers to get a mortgage pre-approval. Many of the Buyer's I meet in the under $200K range are having difficulty getting a pre-approval.

Good luck to you.
Web Reference: http://www.cathysloan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 6, 2008

I did get professional signs from the broker, flyers, and have a lock box on the house the lock box I got myself to make it easier for showing. As for pricing I did get comparative market analysis from different realtors and the flat fee broker before deciding on asking price. I was going to use a realtor to sell but decided to try the flat fee broker instead.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 6, 2008
I live in Florida, your listing is competing with 500 plus listing in your zip code. There has been back to back storms.. There isnt a high season presently, wont be until end of October to Janaury possibly, have to wait for the cold weather up north.. Alot of short sales offers and foreclosures to compete too... But you have to have a realtor who can be creaitve with local hospital employees, creative financing for first time buyers, such as military, new comers to Florida.. Look for the most agressives SALES not Listing realtor in the MLS for the Last Year and that is the person you should be listed with.. Most sellers ae offering on the bulletin boards a bonus to agent to get our attention too. I would have alot of open houses the lookers are driving around by them selves too. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 5, 2008
Actually your offering 3.5% to a buyers agent not selling agent. Correct? If you have an agent he/she is the sellers agent.
Very recently my house was on the market. Stayed on the market for a full year. I tried selling both ways. First, I advertised it By Owner with a coop fee of 3.5% then 4.0%. 90 days and no lookers. I did get a lot of email from agents wanting me to list with them and I think 5 scammers wanting to buy my house for some gentleman in Scotland; but otherwise I got no traffic. I then went with 90 day contracts each with three different agent/agencies; again offering coop fees to buyers agents. Got one looker in 9 months. All the while the value of my home was dropping by the 10's of thousands. My last agent wanted me to lower my price but was not willing to do the same. The house was impecably arranged and each agent said it showed like a model home. So I took the house off the market and decided to sit on it. There are many others like me that have taken their home off the market rather than suffer the indignation of selling the home at a price less than they purchased it. But thats the way it goes.
Just remember that agent/agency priorities are somewhat fickled. No matter what they tell you, their first priority is selling their own listing; for them that puts more money in the pocket of agent/agency and pays the bills. During these hard times it is the only thing that makes sense for them. Second; if you can't sell your own listing; sell another NEFMLS agencies listing (its all the same club). Finally, only as a last resort if the agent/agency can't sell your their own listing or another agencies listing and if they feel inclined, show outside homes where the seller offers the highest coop fee. With the market flooded with homes as it is here don't count on them getting around to your offering.
Remember also that you cannot advertise in the local sellers real estate magazines. They are reserved for agents exclusively.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 5, 2008
Hi Linda,

There are some great answers here. I did look at the listing and there may be some things that you can do to improve the presentation. I might talk to your agent about revisiting some of the photos. It's great to have a lot, but some of them don't inspire a buyer. I talk about the importance of photos on my site.

I also might consider the large empty spaces you currently have in your home. Have you considered staging. I would reduce the commission to 3% and talk about some things you can do to give your home that emotion appeal that inspires a buyer to right an offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 5, 2008
Hi Linda,

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

There are several reasons why a home may not sell. Price, Location, Condition of the Property or any combination thereof. Different brokers offer different services. What type of research did you or your broker do before listing the home. Where does your home fit into the current competition in this very difficult climate? If you don't know you need to ask. What type of marketing has been done. In todays climate placing the home on the local MLS is NOT ENOUGH!

Call me and I would love to help.

Matt Zimmerman
Broker Associate
Prudential Network Realty
(904) 514-2466

Check out my blog!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 4, 2008
Here is the listing link on realtor.com I would appreciate any and all input. http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1099250353 I agree I could lower the price and just go with 3%
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 4, 2008
Have you discussed the promotion and marketing plan with the listing broker?

Is the listing broker following that plan?

Katherine has made some very good points in her post.

Is your home a short sale? Buyers might be shying away from short sale properties.

Did the listing broker use both multiple pictures of your home in the listing and a virtual tour?

Keep in mind in today's real estate market, people might be seeing your property online and determining it is not the one for them. Since the greater use of the Internet, showings have been substantially reduced, because of the greater use of photos as a means of reducing properties they wish to see.
Web Reference: http://www.adeltarealty.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 4, 2008
I agree with Katherine. The most important thing is price. The 3.5% offering is great, but remember the buyer makes the decision to buy not the Realtor. I would suggest taking the extra .5% and offer it to the seller in the form of fix up money or upgrade money and offer the coop Realtor 3%. Thanks, Jack Vance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 4, 2008
Hi there,

Sorry that you aren't getting any showings.

My best guess without know more is that possibly the price is not in line with the market in your neighborhood.

Your realtor can show you all the homes for sale in your neighborhood. Look to see that your house is the most attractively priced.

For instance, if there are 14 homes in your neighborhood for sale and your house is selling for the highest price per square foot, then probably buyers won't want to see it.

Also, there are a lot of other things besides comparables that your realtor can do for you regarding exposure on the MLS and the web. Find out what those things are.

3.5% comp to realtors is a great lead in for you. Be sure your realtor has helped you position your house to be the most attractive and BEST buy in the area.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 4, 2008
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