Home Selling in Reading>Question Details

Rachael Anne, Home Seller in Reading, PA

I've had my home listed for 2 months, w/little response. Is it the sluggish market, or my realtor who seems apathetic.?

Asked by Rachael Anne, Reading, PA Fri Nov 4, 2011

Have reduced price once, but after looking at the competition am not sure how low I feel is necessary. Am wondering about taking it off the market over the winter then starting over...does anyone buy in the winter?

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I'm trying to buy in the winter!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012
Buying in the winter can be a blessing in disguise and not so great in other aspects. Depends on your "motivating factor" That could be any number of things, and only you know those. The Realtor can only help you through this decision making process, not make those decisions for you.

Flag Sat Dec 8, 2012
Great advice so far Rachael. I would only add that I have sold more houses between now and the first of the year every year since I have been an agent for reasons already explained below.

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
Hi Rachael,

Your question is very timely. Just this morning I posted a blog on my Trulia page outlining 11 reasons why the winter may be the ideal time to list a home for sell! Please check it out. In short, home sells most certainly occur during the winter season and the potential home buyers tend to be more motivated and eager to take advantage for new-year tax advantages of home ownership. Also, there tends to be less home inventory during the winter, which may translate into a more attractive purchase offer (supply vs. demand.) Remember that peoples lives don't stop because the seasons change; relocations, new jobs, births, divorces, marriages, deaths, promotions etc all occur and the demand for property follows along. Please see all 11 reasons that winter may be an ideal time to sell on my blog or drop me a request for an email directly to you. Best of luck!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
Rachael Anne,

This is something you should definitely be discussing with your realtor. I do advise clients to remove their listing from the market mid-November through mid-January - sometimes a little longer. Often, realtors will try to change the status to "T/O" or "Temporarily off the market." This is ok if you're looking to remove it for a short period of time; however, withdrawing the listing completely allows the listing to show up as new when it is relisted.

As for the response you're getting, we (real estate professionals) don't set the market value of your home - the market does. So, if you've seen little activity, it's possible (probable?) that your home is still over-priced. What you would like to get from the home - or what you paid for the home - have no bearing on the value of the home. Pricing a property correctly will generate traffic - and offers. If you're not getting traffic, you're priced too high in most instances. If you're not getting offers - you may be priced too high, or there may be some issues with the home and the way it is showing (lighting, staging, cosmetics, etc,).

I hope this helps!
Web Reference: http://www.movingberks.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
First, you need to have your Realtor do another CMA to see if the market has changed in the last few months. Next, do you think your home was priced well to begin with? Or did you list it for a little higher, just to test the waters?

From the showings you have had, what has been the feedback? Depending on feedback, there are things you can do, and things you can't do. For example, if people object to location, floorplan or size or home, there really isn't anything you can do. But do people say the house doesn't "show well"? Then you may need to declutter, clean, or do minor updates. Do people object to price?

For the stuff you can't do anything about -- i.e. if you back to a busy street -- then you adjust for it by reducing your price.

I tell my sellers who are thinking of selling now is 1) there is less competition as other sellers are taking their homes off the market; and 2) the buyers who are out there ARE serious buyers! Think about it. Who wants to go trudging around in cold and snow, and with holidays coming just around the corner -- would you really want to go look at houses? The people who are looking now, need to buy now.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
We'd all be kidding ourselves if we didn't admit that the market is sluggish to say the least! Have your realtor show you stats that show how long it took other homes in your area to sell to acclamate yourself. Compare the condition of yours to what's for sale around yours.
ANY house can sell in ANY market if the price is right!
Good luck and take all the good advice provided below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
When you say your realtor is apathetic, have you had a conversation with him/her about what they are doing to market your home? Are they good at keeping in touch with you, or no communication?

If you are afraid the fault lies with the agent and not your pricing or the home itself, perhaps you should have a discussion with the agent's broker. The broker is ultimately in charge.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
Rachael Anne:

First of all, let me say that I totally sympathize with how you must be feeling - it's frustrating to not see SOME kind of response! There are things you can do if you're wondering about the house - having a Staging consultant come through the house (an initial consultation would be low-cost and could give you some ideas as to whether there are things that can be "tweaked" in the house to improve buyer interest); having an independent appraisal done - if you get an appraisal done and then list the house just UNDER the appraisal price, while touting the fact that the house JUST appraised for such-and-such an amount, buyers feel reassured that they're not paying too much in an uncertain market and already know that the house is priced right - very attractive marketing ploy. Also, getting an independent appraisal might help you get an unbiased opinion of your price - I know that sometimes sellers feel realtors are telling them to price their home too low; an appraisal might help with that.

The holiday season can actually be a positive time to list your house, because of lack of competition - however, you want to make sure all your ducks are in a row, your house shows like a New Construction Model home, and it's priced dead on! Despite the sluggish market here in Berks County, I've sold several listings already this year within the first week of listing them - at full price offers - precisely because they were perfectly positioned. Think of it as a Beauty Competition as well as a Price War - and market the house as such.

(If you'd like the name of a good stager, let me know and I can send you a couple of excellent local names.....)
Web Reference: http://valeriemackey.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
Pricing your property correctly is crucial. You want to sell your property in a timely manner at the highest price possible. Current market conditions determine the value.
Pricing too high or too low can cost you time and money. Realistic pricing will achieve a maximum sale price in a reasonable amount of time.
Ask your Real Estate Agent to prepare new Comparative Market Analysis for you.This analysis will give you an idea how much is actually your house worth.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
The house has to be priced aggressively to get showing and offers. If there are no showings then there will not be a sale. Also check how many home went under contract in your area in the past few weeks, that gives an indication of the market condition.
If the house is priced aggressively then do not take it off the market in Winter. If pricing is not right then it does not make any difference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
Sit down with your agent and have a conversation about your listing! Your agent should be able to run a new market analysis to see if any of the homes in your neighborhood have sold in the last 60 days since your house was listed and what they sold for. Also they can find out if any houses sold were private sales or foreclosures. Right now in this market, foreclosures usually sell first, because they are vacant, ready to move in, and the banks will take low cash offers. Let your Realtor know whether you are anxious to sell, or happy to take your time. I usually advise my clients to leave the house on the market if they are anxious to sell, as sometimes just because there is less inventory during the winter, there might be people transferring that just may need a place then. Best, Terry Bell, Realtor, Santa Rosa, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
As suggested below, your agent like most agents know the market is slow with listings being extended six plus months out. I see the winter months as an advantage to sale homes on the open market. Most sellers will remove their homes from the open market in fall/winter---less inventory, more opportunity for my seller clients. Buyer activity is less but still out there. I've sold two houses this way as they were on the market spring/summer months and closed in winter. My seller clients were shocked and wonderfully surprised.

I would suggest keeping it on the market unless for personal reasons you can't keep it listed. Not doing what everyone else is doing creates great opportunity. Good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
You seem to be willing to cast blame on an 'apathetic' agent without providing any real information. What you are experiencing may be EXACTLY what your agent predicted. If you overpriced, if you added the agents fee to the top of the price, if you wanted to 'try this price for a while" the predictable result is absolute SILENCE. But, lets not assume pricing is the issue. Let us assume you are priced at market value. +/- 6%

How can we know what is causing your home to languish on the market? Let get a few answers first regarding the real estate market in your market area.

1. How many homes comparable physically to your home are for sale?
2. At what price point have these homes sold each month for the last three months?
3. How many homes at the same price point of yours has sold each month for the last three months?
4, What makes these homes different than yours?
5, Is your home priced in the top 15% of the value bracket?
6. How many homes physically like yours and at your price point has sold each of the last three months?
7, How many (total) showings has your home had?
If questions 1-5 did not reveal the problem then 6 & 7 will validate your agents marketing.

With the numerical responses are available, a judgement can be made.
When a seller is preoccupied with what they paid for their home, or what they have invested in their home or 'What they feel they need to get out of their home' instead of recognizing the only thing relevant is what a willing buyer will pay...in essence the market value. When an agent knows a home can not be sold that is over priced, spending more money, energy and emotions will only drive the agent crazy and broke..and your home will still be for sale.

If you know you can't empty the ocean with a spoon and don't try, Is that apathy?

Does anyone buy in the winter? Yes, everyone needing to move will buy when they need to move. Have your agent share the historic sales numbers for the winter months for your area. Selling during the holidays, in any location is very inconvenient.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
Its difficult to say. I was always be a combination of everything. Usually without knowing more its impossible to give just one answer. But numerically the market is much worse in berks county than is was last year. Some agents are not full time. That can hurt you. Some agents so absolutely nothing to market that can hurt you. Some agent have uneffective ads that can hurt you.
Web Reference: http://www.PeteGustis.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
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