Home Selling in 01850>Question Details

Brian, Home Seller in Lowell, MA

I'm trying to sell my house as a FSBO, but it seem the traffic has slowed down a lot. Is the market in Lowell going cold?

Asked by Brian, Lowell, MA Thu Jul 1, 2010

My house is on he MLS listing and it was appraised so it's priced right.

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Patrick Thies’ answer
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3.Be considerate The community is made up of many types of people, with different backgrounds, knowledge and beliefs; please be considerate of others. It is not appropriate to post hostile, insulting, demeaning or belittling posts towards, or about, any individual members of the Trulia Voices community or groups of members, nor is it acceptable to indirectly insult other community members using generalizations. For example, if a community member states that he or she supports ‘x’, don’t post a response saying that “Anyone who is in favor of ‘x’ is a fool.” Debates are acceptable, however ad hominem arguments are not. Remember to be respectful at all times.

Please be civil and comment without the name calling.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
After reading all of the posts below I am trying not to blush.


What a lot of responses for posting a simple verifiable fact.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
@ Jesse

You said: "I'm not sure why trolls like this Dan guy continue to make stupid comments when they have no connection to questions asked. The "buyer bribe" is looked down upon by the uneducated few. Good thing it wasn't a conservative wacko running things or the housing market would be in even worse shape."
1) Dan is hardly a troll. He's been a valuable contributor to Trulia Voices for a long time.
2) Dan has as much connection to this question as you have.
3) Dan's comment that "new sales" have dropped 33%, and so have new mortgage requests is hardly "stupid".. it's "spot on".
4) Your "conservative wacko" comment, regarding a potential president, is inappropriate, offtopic and closer to "trolling" than anything Dan had to say, and will quickly alienate about half of your potential audience.

A little professionalism and civility go a long way on these public boards. Dan has as much right to comment here on this Massachusetts-based question, as does an Ohio, or Illinois real estate agent.

Just my opinion.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
I believe Frank gave you some good advice.

Also, like Dp2, I too was thinking about your appraisal. It is a valuation at a given point in time, and if the appraisal is two or three months old, it probably no longer reflects your home's current value.

In addition, think about this. There are several factors that affect the sale of a home. Price and exposure are the ones we often think of first. However, don't forget the importance of location, condition, accessibility, and market factors (supply and demand).

A good real estate agent can advise you about the factors under your control--price, condition, accessibility--and can help you to deal with the things you can't change--location and market factors. Please don't underestimate the value of this service.

Another thing that you may want to consider is that homes in northerly climates often show better in the warmer months when flowers are blooming and the yard will have greater curb appeal.

To your success.

Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
(386) 314-1149
Watson Realty Corp.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010

Don't let an appraisal lead you down the wrong path. An appraisal is simply an opinion of value. Unless the appraiser has a check book and is willing to buy your property it is just an opinion. Being listed in the MLS is critical but you may need a real estate professional to give you the facts (not what you want to hear).

The market place is full of over priced properties with owners who refuse to acknowledge the real market. Have 3 full time professional Realtors go through your property and give thier opinion. Chances are you will hear the truth from at least 2 of the 3. You may not like what you hear but sometimes the truth hurts. Good Luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Hello Brian- you have many answers below. All seem pretty right on.
There are different way to try to market and sell your house.
Do you have any flexibility on the buyer financing? Can you do any seller financing? That helps a lot, usually. It will help you bring calls in, even if all you can do is partial financing on your own.

Appraisals can vary a fair amount from one to another. So that doesn't mean necessarily that is priced best right now. I see that you also spoke with a few realtors about it- so that would help a bit.
What is the asking price? If you want to let me know I can try to offer a little help or advice.
Thanks and good luck,
Ken L.
PS- Yes, Lowell and almost every other town has gotten colder over the past month or so...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
Is your appraisal more than 90 day old? If so, then it's possible that your listing might now be overpriced.

While knowing the current market conditions will help give one a sense of how long it could take to sell one's property, buyers will continue to weigh your unique selling proposition against all of the others in your market. More marketing will help to increase your exposure, but all of the exposure in the world won't help you if your listing is overpriced.

You might consider offering to sell your property with owner financing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Hi I specialize in the Lowell housing market. A lot of cheaper houses are being bought by investors and turned into rental income.. I can send you plenty of information specializing in selling a FSBO house. How much money & time have you already wasted? think about it. 90% of FSBO's end up being sold by a realtor anyway
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 9, 2010
Its a function of Supply and demand. Would you like a free market evaluation to determine what your home would sell for ? Also , I can give you tips on what to do and what not do do to sell your home for the most amount of money , and we can go over all the various closing costs you will incur so you will know exactly what you'll have left in your pocket after all expenses.

It's FREE of charge and obligates you to nothing. Does that sound helpful?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 21, 2010
Yes, I would agree that the market in Lowell has slowed down summer. Not uncommon for this time of year. Another issue maybe be is the length of time the house has been on the market. If it get stale, then try something to spark the buyer's interest in the property.
Web Reference: http://www.LittAreaRe.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010

The number one problem with appraisals is they assess properties on where the market was yesterday and not where it is now. Depending on the age of the appraisal I would caution you on the accuracy in today's market. Appraisers are allowed to use comps that are to 6 months old and if your appraisal is 6 months old you could by 1 year be 10% off with your price. Please keep this in mind and best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 11, 2010

It depend on where you live,and location of home sell it faster.
I am in NJ, our market is moving slowely but stadily.
so i think you shd. do marketing properly.
take advise of Realtros in Ma.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 9, 2010
I meant "know where you are in the market" ... sorry.

I also took a look at some stats ... June actually looked at least as busy as May ... out of 205 homes that were on the market last month (182 in May), 50 homes went under agreement, of which 14 have already closed (only 38 houses went under agreement in May) ... apparently 47 new homes came on the market in June (61 homes came on the market in May). The bulk of the inventory seems to be bewteen $150K-$300K ... the bulk of the activity seems to be between $100K-$200K . Days on market for the current inventory is only 114 whereas it was at 152 in May.

If your home is the one I think it is ... then, you've priced yourself in competition with homes with over 2500 sf of living space .... and you're listing living space that includes the basement, which disclosing it as such, which would mean you'll be bringing buyers by that have different expectations ... these are the market placements that you need to consider. You will most likely not get what you paid for it in 2004 ...

Again ... best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
"It was appraised, so it's priced right" ... this is a faulty assumption. The market is fluid ... how old was the appraisal? How long have you been on the market? How many offers have you had?

If you've had a lot of initial traffic and only one or two offers, then you need to re-assess your market placement. What new properties sold? What new properties have come on the market? These all change the landscape for your property.

No where you are in the market and where you are in the market cycle, there is always a surge of activity in the first two weeks of going on the market. There is a lot more to selling a house than simply putting it on MLS. You need to go out there and find potential buyers.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
Brian, instead of taking your property off the market, you might consider offering to sell it with seller financing. Doing this will give you much more flexibility and control. It will enable you to market your property to a larger pool of buyers, and that will help increase the demand for your property. You'll also be able to sell it for a higher price, and you won't have to worry so much about an appraisal, since you'd be the one approving the loan. Stated another way, you become the bank (and key decision maker).

You can decide how much you'd like for a down-payment. For example, if you're buying another home, then you could require your buyer to put down the amount that you'd need to put down for your purchase.

If you're so inclined to do this, then you can work with an agent/broker or investor in your area who specializes in these kinds of transactions. Although I typically don't invest in your area, please feel free to contact me if you can't find one. Either I can help you put the deal together, or I can reach out to some of my contacts in MA to connect you with them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
List it with a REALTOR.Color ads in the paper cost hundreds. One month worth of ads could easily go over a grand. There is some of your brokers commission right there. You ask is the market slowed? Yes but houses are still being bought and sold everyday. Did you have an open house? How about a Broker's open? How many signs do you have directing people to your house? Have you had any offers? Price overcomes everything. Forget list price, you need to check SALES price. Have you had any offers? How much lower were they than your bottom line? If you want more money- wait a couple of years.Is it staged properly? How is the decor?
These are questions you need to answer for yourself. Rates are very low I still have buyers looking. Drop your price to reflect the missing tax credit.
Hope that helps. Good luck Brian. (You could always bury the statue of st joseph in your yard.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 3, 2010
Thanks, everyone for your answers and ideas. But all I asked is the housing market going cold in Lowell, Ma? Do you think I should take it off the market after 80 days?

1#. Is the housing market in Lowell, Ma going cold?
2# I had my house appraised in order to market my house at the right price.
3# I had 3 realtors audit my to verify market price.
4# It has a great marketing setup: MLS, Craiglist, Owner, Oodle Vfliers, and door to door fliers.
5# Buyer agent are allowed at 2% commission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Sorry, Alan. But I do have a right (last I checked in the US) to speak my mind to someone like that guy.
Yes, you sure do... (i didn't say otherwise... and that hackneyed old "this is a free country" argument doesn't fly either).

... you just hurt your own argument when you call people names. Keep it civil and professional... and you can still make your point without having to resort to calling anybody "braindead".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Remember, its not so much what you say. Its the way you say it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Sorry, Alan. But I do have a right (last I checked in the US) to speak my mind to someone like that guy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Dan a most respected Trulia contributor,
Well, let's not get carried away, there Joan. ;-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Like others, including Dan a most respected Trulia contributor, have stated, the market HAS slowed down in many parts of the country.
I also know nothing about your particular market but keep an eye on what is happening to other properties in your area and specifically, the recent solds comparables, to see if your pricing is in line with what buyers are willing to pay.
Also, the mls IS responsible for the vast majority of your exposure so make sure you have awesome pictures that make your house absolutely irresistable.
I have also heard FSBO's sometimes having success with sites such as Craigs list but I can't say I have any personal experience with it.
Assuming the market has slowed down, inventory is high and buyers are few, you have to look at this as a competition and price your house better than anybody else and make it shine more than anybody else's. The usual stuff: neaten up the yard (even if you have to spend a few bucks landscaping because first impressions are almost everything), declutter the house, try to neutralize any particularly colorful rooms, and keep it clean.
Also, make your house as easily accessible as possible. Don't limit (within reason) the hours it can be shown.
Make sure you offer a competitive commisson to buyer's agents and let it be known that you will cooperate with buyer's agents.
And of course, read Rockinblu's blog.
The best of luck to you. I know its tough for a lot of sellers right now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
FSBO Success said: Thanks for reinforcing my view of the braindead real estate agents that are out there.
My original statement applies to you, as well.

A little professionalism and civility go a long way on these public boards. Name-calling just succeeds in diluting your own argument.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Not everyone is on MLS. You should consider listing your home for a short period of time, just to get the advertising that a larger broker has to offer. If it still doesn't sell go back to selling it yourself. Consult with a few agents with different CMA's and remember price overcomes everything.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 2, 2010
nationwide sales dropped by 33% in May. Mortgage requests also dropped a lot even though rates are at historic lows. The buyers bribe worked. Now it seems few want to buy who have not already.

Your market, I have no idea but I doubt it is increasing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
Hi Brian,

The summer months have arrived and people are starting to go away on vacations. It is normal for things to slow down during the summer and it usually picks up again in the Fall. How are you marketing and advertising your home? If you are interested, contact me through my profile and I would be glad to send you some information on our 12 step marketing plan.

I wish you the best of luck with your sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 1, 2010
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