Home Selling in Middleton>Question Details

Janice, Other/Just Looking in Madison, WI

I want to try something new to get an offer on our home. We have already reduced the price. I need your opinion on this idea!

Asked by Janice, Madison, WI Mon Nov 22, 2010

We are on the market now for almost 6 months in the price range of $550 - $600. We have already reduced our price by $25,000. What do you think of having our Realtor advertise in our listing the following things?
Offers before Christmas the sellers will include a free $3,800 pool table & accessories, $1,500.00 carpet/paint allowance, and an AMEX gift card for $1,000 to the Realtor that brings the buyer.

We have lowered the price as far as we can afford to and it is priced well compared to other comps. We have not had one showing in 3 weeks! We need to sell now! Please help! Any other ideas? Thanks!

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Susan Alvarez’s answer
Sorry Janice,

Have to agree with Mack and others.

You'll have to bite the bullet and yield on price. What's more, price only gets them to look. You have to do the things that people in the market for a home are looking for - excellent floors, great kitchen. The home has to be immaculate and staged well.

Price brings them to the door, staging and curb appeal sell.

BTW: I like to play billiards. Quite a few people do. Keep trying.

Best of luck to you,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 5, 2011
Hi Janice--

Since 1989 I have been selling homes in Dane County. Granted this is a new economy, but I have never seen a buyer decide to look at a house because of an incentive, or buy a house over another because of the incentive. So, I am not a proponent of incentives. Sorry. That's not the answer you were looking for. I do applaud your efforts to be creative.

In September I did a thorough review of 10 local markets in Dane County including Middleton and the homes in the townships. You can read the results on http://www.Madisonhomes.blogspot.com The State Journal picked up and reported the findings. This is what might be relevant to you:

1) People who did sell reduced their price until it was in line with other comparable sold homes in their area. Offers were received typically within 30 days of the last price change. That tells me there are buyers out there, but we don't get the looks until the price is in line with expectations, and expectations are low.

2) Ten percent of our inventory is using Range Pricing. Range Pricing, when done properly, is an effective way to reach down to the qualified buyer who has capped their search below where the bank has qualified them. It is possible that your incentive may be icing on the cake if you can get a person who is being conservative in their search to come and take a look. Read my blog post on Range Pricing and if it sounds interesting to you, have your realtor contact me for the Range Pricing Statement of Intent. This is critical to help realtors and the public best understand range pricing. There are so many misunderstandings about RP that it is important to explain clearly.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
OK, how about from a potential buyers prospective now!

I've been looking at property in the Middleton area for almost a year now and everything I see is still way over priced. In perspective, I am also trying to sell my home in another state but in a upper tier development ($450k-650k). Almost every home that I look in Middleton has lesser quality materials interior and exterior than is in mine and yet owners are still asking $75k-$100k more. I'm sorry but I'm not going to pay $100k and get less. Upper tier buyers are getting smarter and wiser. We know what it costs to put in granite, hardwood floors, custom cabinetry etc. and we know the difference between quality work and shabby work.

Real estate in the Middleton/Madison area is lagging the national scene by 6 months if not a year. Follow the comments by Keith, Donna & Jon and forget the incentives. If you are desperate to sell then your price MUST be lowered. I'm already pricing my home more than $70k less than I have into it and that is with top of the line interior, premium interior finishes that I don't hardly see in homes in Middleton.

So bite the bullet and reduce or take it off the market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 5, 2011

I would say that you are on the right track with these ideas.

However, you know the minimum price that you could accept for your home. If you are unable to reduce it any lower, I'd suggest removing it for the time being until you can get the amount that you're looking for.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 20, 2011
Two words: Owner Financing.
Web Reference: http://www.tkfunding.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 12, 2011
I have some news for you and it is not good.
Look at the link below. According to Trulia home values have dropped 9.2% in the last twelve months.
The average sold price is $305K, which tells me that you are in the UPPER TIER of home prices. As the economy continues to tank, there are fewer buyers that are qualified at your price point, and those that are buying want a good deal because it is a buyer's market.

That means if your home is worth $500,000 it has lost 4.6% in value or $23,000 in the last six months. You are doing what we call "chasing the market". You will never catch it.

"We have lowered the price as far as we can afford". Then take it off the market. You are clearly over-price. Look at the link....Trulia reports that 244 homes sold recently, so the problem is not that homes are not selling. Also, interest rates are the lowest in 70 years, so it's not financing.

I do not mean to be negative, but you need some truth. In any given market 75-80% of listings are overpriced...otherwise they would be SOLD. So if your listing STARTED overpriced six months ago, and you continue to reduce the price, but are still overpriced, everyone knows that your home is overpriced and will not show it.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Hi Janice, 6 months in many markets that is not a long time, but I understand you want need to sell ASAP...
I am going to try to answer your ideas
A pool table is more of a liability than an asset, most buyers will want it to go, with few exceptions....
1500 carpet and paint allowance just tells the agent and the potential buyers, that the home needs updating
carpet removal or new carpeting, and painting....

And any incentives to a Realtor will not make the Realtor bring a buyer he or she otherwise would not have brought.... Realtors need to look for the homes that fit the needs, requests, price range, style and updates their clients are looking for...

In your price range many homes are newer constructions with greatly upgraded baths, kitchens, all brick construction etc. if your home needs new carpeting (hardwood flooring underneath, then remove the carpeting!!!!!!!) painting in attractive colors, and potentially a wall here and there in a dramatic color scheme, like deep blue, or warm red, nice browns will pop the photos on the internet (where all buyers start looking these days) make your house look the most attractive possible on the internet to get potential buyers intrigued to want to see it in person!

Price, double check the market and competing homes again with your Realtor.... Have him or her show you a few homes in your similar price range, adjust your price, use staging, new photos and good luck!
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago Connection
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
Hi Janice,

I generally do not have much luck with allowances.....for negotiations yes but to bring buyers to the door no. Since January only 23 homes that feed into Middleton HS between $500,000 and $600,000 have sold. Of those 23 homes 13 were sold below their assessed value. The square footage never went below 3000 and most of the homes had finished basements. Most had granite and updated kitchens were located in Blackhawk, Middleton Hills and estate like applications with a wonderful professional lot.s All these extra features have become a must have to sell your home in the upper markets. Generally speaking when a home is not moving it is because of three things. #1 Over priced. #2. Needs Updating and or #3 Location.

I would forget the add-in extras and just reduce your price........have your realtor revisit the actives you are competing with and look at your holding costs monthly. Get creative - can your purchase party on the other side of this transaction help you out? - look at cost saving options at every angle. Yes, we all want to get a certain price when we sell but if you have to get the house sold then drop the price.

Best of Luck,

The Birschbach Team
Web Reference: http://jdbirschbach.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010

You got very good advise from everyone here. The one I'd like to talk about is the price. With the assumption that you are in a declining market, you are saying that your home is priced well compared to others. This is the part I want you to verify. In a declining market pricing a head of the market is kety if you want to sell quickly. In other words If recent sales data show that a home like yours sold at 550,000 than it'll be wise to price your house bellow 550,000.
Pricing ahead of the market will create interest that will bring more showing and may produce multiple offers.
Good luck to you and Happy Thankgiving.
Web Reference: http://wp.me/prCwl-dY
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
One more thought: Your first showing is not in person these days. Spend the money on carpet and paint. Sell the pool table for the cash to use on upgrading the house. Consult with a stager, your realtor will know effective stagers.
To get your buyer in to visit, we have to look good on-line.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
No showings? Still priced too high. Pool tables can sometimes be a liability to a buyer and not an asset. You would be better served to lower the price and not give away trinkets.

If you cannot afford to lower the price further - why not consider staying in the home? Make some upgrades or changes to make the home more attractive to you and your family.

You can put the home back on the market when we see some improvement and appreciation in prices.
Good Luck!

Gerry Dunn
Associate Broker
Serving Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
In a market like this it's all about beauty and price. Your home must be in the best possible condition, show well, and priced right for your local market. If you are looking for a quick sale, then price is what you will need to focus on. The incentives really mean little to nothing in this sort of market.

A comprehensive internet presence is also key.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 23, 2010
So, you're offering $6300 in concessions. Janice, I wish I could give you hope, but you're going to have to reach out to the market to sell quick, and that might mean bringing that price in under $500K.

The alternative is, if you can re-arrange your finances, sit back and wait, and hope the market catches up to you.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
I guess I should have said that we own the pool table and don't plan on taking it with us anyway. Also, the carpets don't need to be replaced, but some updates on painting might be needed. I thought it would be better to give the buyer the option to choose paint colors. Our Realtor thinks we are priced very well now that we reduced the price. We have the home staged and feedback says it shows very well. There is one bedroom that is painted green and the rest of the home is neutral colors. I guess we should just go ahead and paint? Any suggestions on creating a sense of urgency to get the buyers to at least want to look? Winters here will be hard to sell a home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
You might consider offering to sell your property with creative financing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010

The three most important sales factors to consider for any property are:

1. Price- homes need to be priced in step with the local market....if there is doubt, consider having an appraisal done.

2. Appeal- let the home put its best foot forward by "making it shine" both inside and out. Curb appeal will make a difference.......

3. Visibility- the more people that know about the opportunity it represents, the better your chance of finding a buyer. A successful marketing plan is far more evolved than the local MLS and a yard sign. A major internet presence may be helpful.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
I understand that you want to sell badly but this is a little over the top and can sometimes make you sound really desperate, that's my opinion. I think you need to take a look at why your home isn't selling first and then make the adjustments.

Usually homes don't sell as quickly as others because of price, location and or condition. All of these things have to be in sync with one another before they make sense to a buyer. If your home is overpriced for your neighborhood then make the adjustment, if your home isn't in the best condition for the price you're asking then change the price to fit the condition or vice versa.

So before you start giving away everything under the sun and looking somewhat desperate take time to see the overall picture first.
Web Reference: http://wwww.RhondaHolt.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
You state that your house is priced well compared to other comps. Well, a COMPELLING price MIGHT make an offer happen sooner. Compelling! Buyers are looking for bargains and bargains are your competition... most of the time. Sometimes, in this market, a house sells for no apparent reason and a great deal goes begging for an offer. I think agent bonuses help more that free pool tables, newly installed carpet will work better than a carpet credit. Creating urgency with "offer before Christmas" is a good thought! Also, in this market "no showings in 3 weeks" doesn't mean you won't have 3 showings next week. This market is tough to figure out!
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
Too complicated. Most people don't want pool tables. Put the $ into carpet and paint -- make the home shine so it moves ahead of the others in the buyer's mind.
Web Reference: http://www.katespeerely.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
I like the ideas - all geared to create urgency. The one that I would finetune is the incentive to the agent - believe me I like to be paid, but bottom line, I recommend that all additional incentives be geared towards the buyers. I'm assuming that you are not skimping on commission - ie, paying what is customary. Anything short may have a negative impact, but if you are offering out what is customary in your market, good enough.

In the end, it is getting the price right that will do the trick, but you've got some ideas here. I think I would team them up with a price adjustment even if modest if at all possible.

I have another idea for you if you have interested buyers, discuss with your agent the idea of a reverse offer. I've never done this myself but the idea really intrigues me - particularly if you have an interested buyer that you are trying to get off the dime, surprise them with an offer in reverse.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
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