So if you are selling for a lower price because of a market change then expect to buy at an adjusted price as well.
Best of Luck!
Shoreline Property Specialist
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Having said that, of my last two listings, one sold to the buyers that saw it the first hour of the first day it was listed. - Ten minutes after the lockbox went on. - They were the only buyers to see the house during the two weeks it was active (It took them that long to get their offer written)
The other stayed on the market for four weeks with few showings other than open house showings. Then 3 offers came in all at once. This happened to me several times in the mid 90's buyers market. Little or no activity on the house for four or five weeks and then - boom - full price, over list price, and multiple offers in weeks four and five! If you really are at a bargain list price, sometimes you just have to wait a few weeks.
Here is one possible explanation for why that might be: Buyer wants house A that is priced at $250. He has offered 230. Seller house A won't cut price. buyer sees your house B at 235, just as nice, now buyer thinks seller A will see reason and come down to your price. It takes a few weeks for buyer to realize that seller A will not match or beat your price. Buyer then realizes your house is not merely just as nice but is actually nicer than house A, so buyer decides not to mess around with lowballing you and offers full price.
My first suggestion - slow market or not - is to ask your real estate agent for a detailed marketing plan. If they can't provide one for you, then ask to sit down and go over how they are getting word out about your home being on the market. Are they sending out flyers to all the local companies? Is it posted on craigslist? Is it on Trulia? Is it on your local MLS? Ask if you can have them make some flyers to put in a box on the sign so that people driving by have access to information - even if they can't get to you or your realtor.
Even in a slow market, creating awareness and a "buzz" about your home will help get more people in to see your home. Even if the first 10 showings aren't buyers, ask your agent to call and ask why the showing agent's clients did not want the home, maybe the showing agent's suggestions can shed light on something potential home buyers dont like (for example, we had a home on the market here and the one thing consistent with almost every showing agent was that their clients didn't want to buy the home because of the carpet - we had the homeowner's replace the carpet with pergo, and the house sold 3 days after we put it back on the market). Sometimes, it's just tweaking your home a little that can make all the difference. And as a client, your real estate agent is working for you and should be doing all they can do to sell your home!
The buyer pool is always the same. What changes is who you appeal to and at what point in their search. This is always based on price.
When your home enters the market for the first time buyers that have been looking in that price range will likely hear about it. They already have been out there and know how you shape up against competing homes. This may determine how many showings you have.
If you have been out there for a while and you adjust your price point, you will attract buyers within your new price range and the same will apply.
We had a property priced the same as four others that were nearly identical. As you can guess the differences were condition and location. Initially we all got views but no offers. After a few weeks the showings ended. When we adjusted our price, we began to get more views and finally an offer.
So you see, itâ€™s all about price.
Hope this helps!
Shoreline Property Specialist
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
You have received some excellent answers so far. I just want to expand the pricing aspect. No matter what the condition is (buyer's don't actually know before the visit, and pictures can often be deceiving) the right price point will drive traffic. In a slow market, having the average price will not result in immediate traffic. Although it may be a fair price based comps, many buyers today are aware of the high inventory levels and are looking for the steals. When traffic and sales are as slow as they are in your area, as Kathleen pointed out , then price is what will make it stand out. All the other answers have validity, and if you have verified a good marketing plan with your agent to get your property exposure, then it points to price. I always hate to tell someone they need to reduce the price, but instead one has to look at the ultimate goal and if there is any specific time constraint on selling. That will help you figure out where you need to be on price.
Your comment about Realtor.com not having a picture for a week has a lot to do with it. As the internet continues to take over with stats saying up to 80% of people starting their search online, you have to understand how the system works. A buyer working directly with an excellent local agent, will be the first to know about a new listing. A buyer working with excellent technology would likely be next to know. But most websites have lag-time. I subscribe to several and a "new" listing can take anywhere from a day to a week to show up. You might have buyers who look online and then contact an agent to see something that caught their eye. However, in a hot market, the buyers need to know the minute the home goes on the market or it might be gone.
So, in a slow market it is NOT unusual not to have any showings in the 1st week. However, at some point your exposure should hit as a new listing and to not have any showings then, is cause for grave concern.
I essentially had no showings but good open house turnout. When I asked around, I heard that other newly listed homes had NO people attend their open houses but they had showings their first week. The buyers don't have to rush to see the homes anymore. And when there are only about 5 to 10 people looking (as in in my area and my price range) and many are on vacation, no showings might happen. But if none of those 5 to 10 people get around to looking at your home eventually, then there is something wrong. You have to find out how many showings your competition has had.
If your acitvity is less than the competition, evaluate both price and exposure. If you are getting strong market exposure, than the answer is price.
If the competition is not getting any more activity, you can't make the market be something it is not. In a very slow market, a property perceived as a great value will still get attention. If the market is really just that slow, your price has to go even lower to stimulate that response.
Discuss what is going on with other properties in detail w/ your agent.
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group, Inc.
I decided to do a little research on your area, and went to this website http://www.melissadata.com/lookups/index.htm to get your market history. Slow is an understatement; you are in a really tough market right now. There has been a definite decline in the number of homes sold recently and July is particularly low. (I donâ€™t know how often they update the numbers, but we are half way through the month already and they are only registering 12 homes sold.)
This changes things because it appears that they are not buying in general, not just overlooking yours. What has the weather been doing? If it has been rainy or really hot, that can cause people to not look at all. Also, did your agent get photos on the MLS any earlier than Realtor.com? No pictures can cause agents to not include a property on their list because buyers like photos and agents donâ€™t like surprises. It is entirely possible that one or both of these factors have hindered your potential for showings and not your price.
I do think you should insist that your agent hold a broker/agent open house or get you on a realtor caravan list to get some agents out there, soon, to see how great your place is. Just make sure your colors are neutral, the house is clean top to bottom and free from all clutter and personal pictures, store most of your furniture to make the rooms look even bigger, and talk up the below comps per square footage price. This is important stuff for any market, but in your case with your current market conditions it is critical. Real estate is still â€œsalesâ€, and in sales itâ€™s all about the numbers. We already know to expect your number of lookers to be on the low side and thatâ€™s why you need to do everything in your power to maximize your potential for a sale when those folks do start coming, and they will.
Chantel, please donâ€™t panic and call your agent tomorrow to reduce the price; I think we are all responding in a personal way. For example, if one of my listings had no showings at all the first week, I would be on my way out there to sit down with my seller, BUT my market has been holding its own and that would be genuine cause for alarm.
As far as when to reduce - for you - after looking at your marketâ€™s history, I would say that if you are not in a financial bind or time constrained, hang in there with your price and be patient. Unfortunately, your market appears to be tanking right now, but the good news is that up is the only way to go from here! You could very well get your asking price in a month or two. If you have to sell quickly, you may have to take a hit with the price to get it sold and in that case, you might still give it a day or two, but sooner would be better than later.
Best of luck to you! ~ Kathleen
I would have some concerns about no showings in the first week or two, even in a "buyers' market". You should confirm that the listing was entered (and entered correctly) in the MLS. Your agent should have provided you a copy of the listing to review and approve. If not, ask for a copy and review it VERY closely. Especially look to be sure the street address, county or city, zip code, neighborhood/subdivision and price are correct. Don't overlook number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, etc. These are criteria agents use for searches for most clients. If something was entered incorrectly, agents may not even be SEEING your listing.
Are you on a street with reasonable traffic? If you don't have a lawn sign - install one (if allowed).
Your agent should have had a plan for maximizing exposure to other agents and clients as soon as you hit the market. We have flyers that we email to EVERY agent in our MLS, "Just Listed" postcards, target mailings and ads that all go out at the same time when the house is listed. We want to hit everyone we can at one time for the best initial exposure.
Finally - the price is of utmost importance. If you priced your house too high - you may have few - or no showings. If too high, you're just helping your neighbors sell their homes!
I wish you luck!
The sale of a home is a process. A couple of key points:
1. When you Realtor reviewed the CMA, and you selected the listing price, did you notice what the average days on market (DOM) were for SOLD comparable listings?
2. Did the CMA tell you how many homes comparable to yours were on the market? Those listings are your competition
3. Did you notice the average DOM for SOLD listings? The DOM for SOLDs should be shorter than ACTIVE listings?
4. When you timed the sale of your home, did you know that, aside from Christmas, this is customarily the slowest time of the year because folks are on vacation?
5. Where are you moving when you sell? Are you up sizing or down sizing?
I have some additional suggestions when I know that.
Hope this is helpful.
Based on the comps that you stated, I would hold off on reducing your price. I wouldn't be too alarmed that you haven't had any showings within the first week. You have to remember that on top of it being a "slow" market, this is traditionally the 2nd slowest time of the year for real estate sales (behind the Holiday Season). There are a lot of people - including agents - that take some time off this time of year. I would continue to be in constant contact with your Realtor to make sure he/she is doing everything they can to market your property. One avenue that I have not seen mentioned in previous answers is marketing it on http://www.craigslist.com. I have had very good experience marketing some of my own listings on that website. You may want to give it a try. Best of Luck!
DO REALTORS DO A "REALTOR TOUR" IN YOUR MARKET ? ASK YOUR REALTOR. IF THEY HAVE NOT ALREADY TOLD YOU........WE DO REALTOR TOURS IN THE 1 - 2 ND WEEK OF THE LISTING. NORMALLY THE TOURING REALTORS WILL COMPLETE A WORK SHEET FOR EACH HOME, GIVING THEIR OPNION REGARDING PRICE, CONDITION ETC AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THE SELLER TO BETTER MARKET THE HOME. YOU COULD GET OPINIONS FROM THE REALTORS ATTENDING AS TO WHAT THEY FELT THE 'SHOWING" SITUATION IS IN YOUR MARKET. GOOD LUCK.
On-Line Marketing should include:
Google Base Ad
Local Newspaper website Ad
Personal Website with your address as the web address
As many high quality photos as possible
And every classified Ad website you can find (google it)
http://www.vflyer.com & http://www.visualtour.com can help you with most of this for a small free or even free in some cases. If you donâ€™t have an agent I suggest contacting the one who has the best website. I know several agents in your area that do everything I have said here. Or call around to the different offices and meet with as many agents as you can and work with the best on out there. If you are doing all of this and still no one is stopping by then you many need to look at the price. Start by previewing the homes in your area and seeing what they have to offer buyers. Feel free to contact me any time. I would love to help you sale this home. Have a nice day.
Unfortunately, it is unusual to not have any showings, even if it just lookie-lous. You should have a flurry of activity during the first few weeks on the market; that is when you have the best momentum. After that initial phase, you are yesterdayâ€™s news and that holds true whether you had 100 showings or 0.
Chantel, it has been my experience that only 3 things cause a home to sell: price, condition, and availability. You have indicated that there is nothing wrong with the condition of the house, so the next question is: Have there been any calls on the property at all? By this I mean, have buyers inquired, but the timing was not convenient for you or your agent. If the house has been available for viewing and there are just no calls, Iâ€™m afraid you may have to adjust your price. Itâ€™s a harsh reality in a down market that a price that was reasonable even a few months ago may be too high now. You have to remember that you are trying to sell this house in â€œtodayâ€™sâ€ market and yesterdayâ€™s pricing may not cut it now.
Sit down with your agent and have an open, honest, get-to-the-heart-of-it discussion now before your newness to the market is gone.
Wishing you a successful sale! ~ Kathleen
Don't stress too much, keep in constant contact with your agent. You have one, yes? Then that's my last if... If you are trying to sell on your own, then that is probably more usual than not.