Home Selling in Sacramento>Question Details

Molly, Home Seller in Sacramento, CA

No showings in 3 weeks and I am very concerned...

Asked by Molly, Sacramento, CA Thu Feb 19, 2009

I put my house up for sale 3 weeks ago and have not had a single showing. I have a full-service realtor who listed my property on MLS , a handful of other websites, and in a neighborhood newspaper. There are a number of decent photos of my property. No professional staging, but I definitely decluttered and everything looks very neat.
I am not doing a short sale, but I know that there are bank-owned properties and short sales in my immediate vicinity. I can't compete with that type of pricing. But based on comparisons with sales of non-REO/short sales, I thought I was priced right. Now I am second-guessing myself on that...
Is it unusual not to have a showing in several weeks even in a slow market? This is my first time as a seller, and I would appreciate any insights and suggestions for how to proceed.
Thank you in advance for the advice.

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9
Hello Erin P.!
Thanks for your input! Great points. i am definitely reconsidering my strategy to stand out from the rest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 20, 2009
Dear Molly: In today's market, those who "need" to sell their home price the home to be the "next sale." They are not priced to sell. If your home is not priced to be the next sale, it will take a very long time to sell and may not sell at all. The fact that you haven't had any showings in the first three weeks means that your home is one of two things: Priced too high or the condition is not as good as the other homes that are selling in your neighborhood.

Banks "need" to sell their homes. They are not supposed to be in the home ownership business. Keep in mind that there are a lot of homes on the market. The number of homes on the market in your neighborhood will affect the ability of your home to "stand out." So, you could have your agent run another market analysis looking at the items that will drive your price. If your home is not in as good condition as the ones that are selling, you have two choices. Fix yours up and match the prices of the comparable homes sold, or reduce your price under those sold to be the "next" sale. It all depends upon your motivation to sell.
Web Reference: http://SoldByErin.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 20, 2009
Hi Erin!
Thanks for your input. Good point about the appraisal contingency. My realtor mentioned one experience where his sellers had to lower their sales price quite a bit because the property didn't appraise at sales price. In this market, I certainly can't imagine a buyer being willing to put down more cash!
I did read about short sales. and I'm quite sure I wouldn't qualify (e.g., no hardship, sufficient assets, etc.).
It does boil down to needing to sell versus wanting to sell!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Just to add to what everyone else mentioned - keep in mind, bank owned and short sales are now the rule (rather than the exception) in today's market. Even if you were able to find a buyer willing to pay more for your house, it is highly unlikely that the property will appraise at your higher price. The bank owned and short sale listings are the new yardstick for appraisal, and there are only so many adjustments an appraiser can make to justify a higher value.

The appraisal is an unbiased estimate of value by a state licensed Appraiser, and is the report what the buyer's lender uses to measure the value of the house for lending purposes. There is an "appraisal contingency" in the California Residential Purchase Agreement, and unless you have an all cash buyer, the house generally must appraise at or above the purchase price. If the house does not appraise at or above the purchase price, then the buyer can (a) pull the plug on the transaction, (b) ask you to reduce your sales contract price to match the value of the appraisal, or (c) depending on their loan-to-value ratio, add more cash to the downpayment to satisfy their lender's requirement. If you were a buyer, which option would you push for?

I agree with the others...if you do not have to sell, right now is not the right time to test the market. If you do have to sell, you will want to seriously consider lowering your price to be competive with the other short sale and bank owned listings in your area...or you may consider doing a short sale.

Good luck to you.
Web Reference: http://www.SacREBlog.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Erin Stumpf…, Real Estate Pro in Sacramento, CA
MVP'08
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Hi Elizabeth!
I appreciate that you are very direct with your advice. You are right -- I don't think I can meet all of the criteria necessary to be successful in this market. I will certainly reconsider my goal to sell at this time since I don't "need" to.

Hello Bill!
Thank you for chiming in, and for the good wishes. My price drop should happen pretty soon, and hopefully that will bring activity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Molly,

This is not an act to cover for or make excuses for another agent. But it takes time to set the wheels in motion. Three weeks is normal time frame for putting everything in place so to expect anything before this is unfair.

It's the next three weeks that you should pay attention to. If inactivity is the theme you should evaluate your situation. The rule of thumb is no showings......lower the price, showings and no offers.....lower the price.

Short sales and foreclosures are creating the "new market" and cannot be ignored. To do so will only serve to extend your hardship and prolong the inevitable.....dropping the price.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Hello Paula, Elizabeth, and Sue!

Thank you to all three of you for responding!!

Paula -- I am in the Greenhaven/Pocket area. No opens yet, but a couple of broker tours. Sadly, I don't think single person came by during the tour days. Good point about needing to the THE best price as opposed to being in the general price range.

Elizabeth -- I read a TON of your house-selling articles on about.com and found them very helpful! Thanks so much for writing them, and for the great info on your blog! I believe I learned from your articles that the first several weeks are so important, which is why I've been on pins and needles these past weeks. I am priced below $300,000 and am considering a price drop. But I am skeptical about whether that will even make a difference, because it still doesn't put me in the range of the REOs/short-sale folks. I am fully prepared to lose money on this sale, but there is a limit to how much I can afford to lose. So, unfortunately I can't match those prices.

Sue -- Yes, I am learning very quickly that it's all about price! I thought that buyers cared about whether properites are bank-owned or not, but I guess this isn't necessarily the case.

I will hang in there longer, but realistically I may just need to stay put. Thank you again, ladies! I appreciate your time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Elizabeth gave a very good synopsis of the market. Paula gave you the best ways for exposure to both buyers directly and to realtors who may present your home to their buyers.

If you have lots of showings and no offers, I would say it's staging, and pricing at the condition of your home. But when you have no showings, it's Pricing and the demand in that price range.

The answer is always price. There is no distinction in the market between bank owned, or seller owned properties. Short sales may have less attention because there is still inconsistencies on which ones are legitimately approved by their lenders, but ....even the worst kept homes will sell for the right price.

So if you're over $400,000 you may have to be lower than competition to attract the smaller pool of buyers in your market. It may seem like that's a lazy answer but it really isn't. It's the basic supply and demand dilemma.
Web Reference: http://www.suearcher.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Hi Molly!
Not knowing where you are located, I am a little in the dark, but I will suggest a couple of things. First, yes...it is unusual to not have any showings in 3 weeks. Has the house been held open or has it been on a broker tour? These are two actions that would help. You may not be in an area where brokers will show up for a broker tour, but certainly you would have results with an open. In this market, and with the number of REO's you say you have in your area, you must be the best house at the best price. You can't be IN the price range, you have to be THE best price. I wish you the very best!
Web Reference: http://www.PaulaSwayne.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
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