Home Selling in 20147>Question Details

Renita, Both Buyer and Seller in Ashburn, VA

Our condo has been on the market since March '08 with many (over 20) people coming through, 4 this week. I

Asked by Renita, Ashburn, VA Fri Aug 8, 2008

haven't heard from my realtor in over 6 weeks, she doesn't respond to emails. Occassionally I have had to stay here during a showing, (baby sleeping) and we get great feedback and they always say the price is spot on. My realtor hasn't had any open houses, saying that it doesn't work. This is our first time selling and I know the market is not good but I feel like our realtor has given up. We still feel hopeful with all the showings....Our contract is up next month. We have no desire to stay with her, but are unsure what to do next. Any advice?

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16
Renita, beware of Ms. Bell's response. She's been spamming the Trulia site with links to "whistleblower" site. According to the domain registry information, she is affiliated with them (the registrant address is the same as her office address). Just thought you ought to know.
Web Reference: http://YourNovaHome.net
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Two points:

First: Have a talk with your Realtor. There's no excuse for not being responsive to a client. Open houses aren't very effective; they're often done primarily to please the client (and to get a list of potential buyers for other properties). Still, they're worth a try, and many agents do them, as I said, to please the client. However, your agent should be following up with the people you've had coming through (or their agents).

Second: Your condo is overpriced by $25,000. That's why it's not selling. Have your agent run a CMA. I just did. You'll find that there's one other active in your community, on Old Gallivan, for $252,500. It's a foreclosure and has been on the market for 74 days.

A 2/2 condo on Portsmouth sold in May for about $241,000 ($244,000 minus seller concessions). That was a short sale. And a 2/2 on MacGlashan sold for a net of $280,000 in February ($286,400 minus seller concessions). That wasn't a short sale or foreclosure...but that was in February and prices have declined substantially since then. Meanwhile, a property on Nightwatch was on the market for quite a while and didn't sell at $275,000.

The online photos look OK. Nothing spectacular; they could be better, but they're OK.

But the main problem is the price.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
I think it's time for a heart to heart with your agent. Sit down face to face. Be honest and request the same in return. Lots of showings and not offer - something is amiss. It may be price or there may be a specific reason it's being rejected that staging techniques might address. It's critical that your agent follow up on the showings and get to the bottom of the problem.

For more tips on how to sell your home visit my site. I don't work in your area but some of these ideas might point you in the right direction. Best of luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Gosh! What a tough place to be in with your realtor! First , I will start by saying I've been in the business for 15 years, and I mainly sell condos in Destin, Fl since it is a resort destination. With only 1 month remaining on your listing contract, I would still set up an appt. with the agent to re-evaluate your property. If she never calls back- call her broker- get them involved. Your goal is the same --to sell your condo. As an agent, I see a major problem with you as the seller being in the condo while a showing is taking place. A true buyer needs to sit on your couch, imagine their furniture placement, and imagine them living in your condo etc.. They feel too uncomfortable while you are there. The buyer is not going to tell you the owner any negative feedback. I would set up certain time frame that the condo could be shown during the day so it does not interfere with your babies naps. (ex. showings 8am-11am and 2pm- 5pm) Make it fit your schedule. It could be in the mls printout sheet for all agents to abide by. The broker can also help by helping you select another realtor to fit your personality and needs. Good Luck!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 12, 2009
Renita,
Sorry to hear about your situation. It will be hard to compete with foreclosure prices. It will probably be years for this to market to clear up. Enjoy the condo, you're probably going to be there a while. On the other hand if it's not listed for sale, it will never sell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 12, 2008
Well we pulled it off the market today, a bit torn as we had a realtor viewing it 15 min before our realtor showed up with the paperwork....we have had a lot of traffic but this realtor left us with such a bad vibe. But we have had a lot of traffic lately. Should we just hold off till next year? Or put it back on with a new realtor?????
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 12, 2008
Not that a friend of a coworker isn't a good realtor but you can't use that alone as the basis for choosing your realtor. I think that you will have a better opportunity to sell your condo at a higher price in the late winter, early spring. The only problem is you will also pay more for the home you move to if you are staying in or around Loudoun County. Keep that in mind. Now might still be the best time to sell and move up to a larger place. You just have to work the numbers with your lender. Hopefully you didn't choose a lender like your chose your realtor. Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.loudounstats.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 11, 2008
Well we heard back and she wasn't friendly. Claiming that shes been begging for an offer but can't get realtor feedback...is that common that when you see a place you don't give feedback, or is she not telling me the truth? We decided to pull it off the market. She acted relieved, couldn't of cared at all. Then today I get someone, no call just walking in to see the place....and said not to be discouraged because they don't even go to look at foreclosures or short sales. Either way we can't go down that low in price, we have lowered it and offered 12 month condo fee....and there is one down the road that is 20k less not selling.....I guess its all been a lesson learned. Not to hire a realtor based on my hubbys coworkers opinion, find a local one and interview many......BUT we still want a bigger place! :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 10, 2008
Renita - Set your expectations with this agent - or any other - up front. Tell them what kind of communication you want. I send my sellers a weekly report, at the least. I never let 2 weeks go by without talking with them (well, some prefer email - but communication nonetheless). As for how you compete with foreclosures and short sales... Price. When the price is right the property will sell, oftne with multiple offers. However, your agent needs to be showing you this with comps updated on a regular basis. For my sellers, I put us both on an "auto alert" system so we both are emailed when there is a change in the neighborhood - easy to do through the MLS; and then, for less direct comps we do an updated CMA not less than monthly. Staying on top of the market is critical.

If you're interested, you can sign up for an automated CMA tool called Market Snapshot - it's on the front page of my web site. Let me know how else I can help. I am right here in Leesburg.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 10, 2008
Hi again:

Wasn't difficult determining which property was yours. I searched the MRIS for condos in 20147 that had gone on the market during a 6 week period (last week in February to first week in April). That narrowed the properties down to a handful. Then I checked the tax records until I found the one you owned. I figured I might as well share the comps with you, rather than having you think that the problem was with, say, the appearance or condition of your property.

It's difficult to compete with foreclosures and short sales. You do have a few advantages, though. One is that short sales are very time-consuming and uncertain. If someone is in a position to buy now--not wait 3-4 months or longer and not even be certain that they'll be able to purchase then--your type of property becomes far more desirable. And while REOs aren't as difficult, they're sold in "as is" condition, which scares some people off. And I've heard lots of stories of banks approving a contract on an REO, then giving the buyer an incredibly short timeframe to close the transaction.

So it can be an uphill battle competing with REOs and short sales. One thing you might consider is having your agent keep an eye on the active listings in your community. If the short sales and REOs go away (the short sale could be purchased or foreclosed upon; the REO could be purchased), then you might immediately place your property back on the market. Or if another non-shortsale/non-REO comes on the market, put yours on at a lower price. There may be multiple windows of opportunity like that, even while the real estate market generally is soft.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 10, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Renita,

I bought a house back in 1992 during a sellers market and due to a breakup, I decided to sell the house in 1995. It took 2 years to sell my home and 1998 was a buyers market. Ouch! Anyway, I chose the same realtor that I bought the house with to sell it. She was horrible. She would not show up for open houses. Her presentation was so shoddy. The final straw was finding an open bottle of wine sitting out in the living room and no one had even come by that day. I got rid of her immediately. Sadly, she was solely concerned with commissions. Get someone else that is more energetic and yes, the price is something you have to reevaluate. I ended up selling my house for what I paid for and I lost thousands of dollars in my own renovations. Unfortunately, the market is somewhat stagnant. Come election time maybe we'll see an influx of people coming and going to the region who need housing for at least the next 4 years. Good luck, Dan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 9, 2008
thanks for all the responses. Don T how did you figure out which was my condo?? I hear what everyone is saying, but how do you compete with foreclosures/short sale prices? We had one person interested but didn't want to insult us with the low offer ($260 plus wanted 6% back) which would of made us $14k....yes at least we'd be in the positvie but really not enough to move up (we were hoping to buy a SFH in Gainesville). I guess even with all the traffic coming through and no real offers, we are going to have to stay put and double up when we have another baby and have guests stay in hotels. Really frustrating.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
I agree with Tony. If the home was priced right, you would have at least had an offer. The other thing you might be missing is that agents WILL NOT tell the owner what they truly think of the home...they don't want to hurt your feelings. However if your agent were to call for feedback, they'd get what the buyer and their agent really thought about the property. Your biggest problem here is the lack of communication with your agent. If you need help, please let me know.
Web Reference: http://www.GottaHavePav.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
While I don't agree with Tony that open houses don't work, he's correct in telling you that you that you would have had an offer by now if the price was right. What have other condos in your neighborhood sold for? Are you priced competitively? By the way, if you're getting great feedback from people who see the home while you're there, understand that they might just be being polite. Your agent should be following up with each agent who shows your home and getting their honest feedback - both positive and negative. After all, you might not know that the orange shag carpeting or the kitchen wallpaper is turning off potential buyers. :-)

Going forward, make appointments with three agents who have sold condos similar to yours. Don't necessarily go with the agent who gives you the highest list price - ask about their marketing plan. Will they make sure your property is exposed to the largest number of buyers? Will they use lots of pictures? Will your property be advertised on multiple web sites (including Realtor.com)? Once your property is priced correctly, the key to getting the best offer is exposure to the largest number of buyers - and those buyers are mostly looking on the internet. You need to make sure they see your home!
Web Reference: http://www.GlendaCherry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Renita, I am not familiar with the market Ashburn but it sounds like your Realtor does not know what to do or they are out of the business. There are really 2 reasons a home does not sell. One; no one knows the home is for sale (lack of marketing) or Two; it is over priced.
From the way it sounds with all the showings you are having, the home is marketed. It may not be marketed to the right people but they did market it.
Then that leaves price, the Realtor that you have now should have done a Comparative Market Analysis to determine the sale price for your condo and you should be priced at or below what other similar condos sold for in the last 3 months. If that was not done your price could be way off.
As for what to do, I would ask friends or coworkers who have recently sold for the name of the Realtor they used. Make sure you interview at least 3 looking for one that you feel comfortable with and has a solid plan for getting your home sold.
If you have any more questions about picking the “right” Realtor or would like to be pointed in the direction of who to talk to in your area please feel free to ask.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
As a realtor in Ashburn that has sold over 200 properties in the last 4 years, I can honestly tell you that your price is not spot on. If it was you would have had an offer by now. You have had enough showings and enough exposure that a buyer would have made on offer if your price was correct.

Your agent was correct in saying that an open house would not work but is not correct in ignoring your phone calls and emails. She should be strong enough to tell you your pricing is not correct but instead she ignores you in hopes that an offer comes in. Telling a client their home is worth less than they think it is worth is one of the hardest discussions to have with a client. Most of the time it is met with such resistance that instead of having the conversation, a lot of agents just avoid it.

My advice is to get an honest opinion of your value from an experienced and straight talking agent.
Web Reference: http://www.loudounstats.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
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