Home Selling in Minneapolis>Question Details

Ruth, Home Seller in Minneapolis, MN

Our house has been on the market for 30 days with no showings.

Asked by Ruth, Minneapolis, MN Fri Jun 19, 2009

We have lowered the price but it has not helped. Our realtor responds with empathy but has offered little else. Should we seek out another realtor?

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Great answers from the other agents here (however, I take exception with large brokerages marketing properties better than small - it's 95% Agent/Broker work ethic and experience and 5% size of the company).

Has your Realtor discussed the average time on market for homes in your area (and your price point)? Are you given info on how the competition is faring? How many have Sold or changed to Pending status in the last 30 days? Are the houses in competition with your own getting showings or is everybody waiting for showings?

If you don't think you've hit the market running, then ask yourself some quick questions:

1. Is my property being properly marketed? Pictures, multimedia, internet exposure, open houses?
2. Have I done everything possible to make my property available for any or all showings?
3. Is my property clean, de-cluttered, and staged for showings?
4. Is the current price in line with the market, or did I push for a higher-than-market price to maximize my profit from the sale or cover the existing mortgage plus closing expenses?

** Question #4 is really the key. There is no way to sell a property in this market, unless you are in one of the few "recession-resistant" areas in the Twin Cities, without being in or below the price range for current Active, Pending and Sold comparable properties.

If you are confident you have priced correctly, marketed well, staged and decluttered, and are totally accessible to showings, then be patient - the is market is more tortoise than hare right now.

Good luck with your property!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 24, 2009
Hi Ruth,

Everyone below has some good answers but I would like to add some additional information.
Is your agent a full time Realtor with a larger professional company? Larger companies have more resources than a one or two person brokerage and can market much more effectively.
Does your Realtor know the neighborhood? Housing can change from block to block. If not, I would find someone that specializes in the area.
The first showing is online so the house needs to present itself best when viewing it online. If you haven't had a consultation with a professional stager and if the photos for MLS and online aren't done professionaly, I would take it off the market until you've done this. A couple hundred dollars of investment could save you literally thousands of dollars and time on the market.

Best of luck to you!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 24, 2009
Your price is simply too high.

How do you not realize this?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
Assuming that you have good photos, descriptions and room information on the MLS and that it is properly listed (rarely an issue) then you are overpriced. There is dramatic buyer activity right now at most price points (over $500k is tough) so if you are still not getting activity then it is most likely price.

There are several other things that can be done for advertising other than the MLS but the MLS is the largest single source of activity and so long as the listing is done well in the MLS then you should have had something for activity.
Web Reference: http://www.AaronSOLD.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
to answer your qwestion yes, you should get another agent! you will never get a fair price working with this guy .plus ive worked with realators in park rapids before,ive never seen such crooks.it suprises me they even have jobs ,there all incompitant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
Greetings from Florida.

Five Factors to consider in selling your house:

1. Price

2. Condition

3. Staging

4. Ease of Showing

5. Exposure to the Market

1. The price must be realistic.

With due respect, it does not matter how much you paid for the house, how much you owe on the house,how much you need out of the house, or what other houses are listed for.
The price has to be right.

CMAs and BPOs and Market Statistics are informative, but you may need to call in
a Licensed Residential Appraisal and ask them to set your List Price.

2. Condition: means everything from the smell of the house, to the conditon of the carpet, to the foundation, to the roof, to the wiring, to the plumbing.

Consider having items such as the electrical, wiring, roofing, heat and AC, etc. inspected by qualified technicians or contractors. Get written reports. Knowing that the major items are in working order can put Buyers at ease and entice them to view the house.

(With all due respect, many States have absolutely no qualifications or requirements for "Home Inspectors". In some states ANYBODY can hold themself out as a Home Inspector. Make sure you are dealing with someone competent - you want more than just a "scratch and dent" inspection. )

3. Staging:
Is the yard mowed and edged? Are the bushes trimmed? Does the front door have a fresh coat of paint? It needs to look inviting outside, before Buyers want to go inside.

And when they get inside:
What does the house SMELL like when people enter?
Is the house filled with clutter?
Are the toilet seats down?
Is there spilled oil on the garage floor and on the driveway?

Is "traffic flow" easy and convenient, or do you have to stumble over extra furniture?
Are the mantle and the shelves covered with bric-a-brac?
Is the refrigerator covered in magnets?
Are there dirty dishes in the sink?

You get the picture... we could go on and on, but maybe do an Internet Search for "Staging a House".
You can get a lot of free tips and advice.

4. Ease of Showing:
Can Real Estate Agents get in on a moment's notice?
Or do they need an appointment, do they have to call the Listing Agent,
is there a guard dog, an alarm code,
are there pets that cannot go in, or pets that cannot go out,
are you a day sleeper (no joke; I've seen them listed under "Showing Instructions" in MLS).

There are so many, many houses for sale today - the house MUST be easy to see on short notice.

Real estate agents and buyers will skip over houses that are too much of a hassle to see.

Make it as easy as possible to show.

(Real Estate Agents want to see these words in the showing instructions for an occupied house:
"Call First, if No Answer, use MLS Lockbox and Show It".)

5. Exposure to the Market:
Is it buried in MLS?
Is the listing "Shop Worn" and "Getting Stale"?

Where is your Real Estate Broker promoting this property?

Is it listed on major real estate websites?

Does it have multiple photos on the website listings?
Does the property have Video on the website listings?

Do Buyers have a Text Number that will bring up price and photos of the house?

Newspaper Classifieds and Home Magazines are history. Flyer Boxes and Tube go empty.

Your Real Estate Agent needs to do serious Internet Marketing to get EXPOSURE to the Buying Public
(is your house listed here on Trulia?)

Finally, and this is not number 6, it just is what it is:

These are tough economic times. Real tough.

Yes, we are positive thinking salespeople,
And no, we don't participate in the recession, let's think "sold", and all of that.

But let's temper that positive optimism with the reality of these economic times,
and realize that we have to be as patient as our mortgages will permit.

Best wishes to you, and I hope you get it Sold soon.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 23, 2009
Let's look at the current market in our metro area. Some very important considerations have, of course, been identified, but these realities may help you remain patient. Right now we have enough homes for sale, that, if no more were listed, and these homes were matched to people currently looking to buy, it would take nearly 11 months for all the houses to be sold. Price is always important and buyers are especially price aware right now. Many homes sound like bargains and people go to see them, only to become discouraged due to the conditions and problems with these homes. Instead of this helping people see realistically that they should work with their agents to find the best price for the amenities they want, and for the loan to value ratio they need, the just go home feeling beat up by a market that is extremely difficult for buyer and seller to understand. If anyone reading this wants more of this date specifically applied to their own situation, feel free to contact me. No obligation, but maybe some enlightment and a spotlight to help focus some solutions. Liz, 612=986=4105
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
I know you are frustrated. Jane touched on sonmething you might need to explore more. It is easy to say it is overpriced. Of course anything will sell if you cut the price low enough.What year was your home built? How long have you lived there? Have you been there long enough to accumulate a lot of personal things? Do you like to display dozens of family photos, shelves full of collectibles? It may be time to de-clutter and de-personalize. Even though the buyers have not been in your home, maybe the photos turn them off. Is the paint too dark? Is the wallpaper too much to your taste? Do you have a friend whose home you really admire? Ask him/her for an honest opinion of your decorating taste.
When you say your realtor "emphathizes"-is that all he/she does? No reecnt sales figures including "days on the market' for your neighborhood? Who priced the home? Did you over-ride your realtor's recommendations? I wish you the best of luck and suggest a heart-to-heart with your realtor before you replace him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
These are very helpful tips. I would stress to focus on pricing. Examine with your agent the current competition, any pending sales and any recent solds. Your agent can call other listing agents and ask about their activity. This will shed a little light on the situation and hopefully will help you make further pricing decisions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
All good advice. You can also ask your agent what the internet hits have been like. He/she can get a report from Trulia for hits on the Trulia site or on their broker's website. Although not actual showings, virtual showings and more importantly click-throughs or people finding it on line and actually clicking through the pictures and details are an important indicator that should lead to actual showings for some.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
Great answe Aaron and may I add the following:

How is traffic being driven to the property? Have there been open houses? Sellers are going to see the strongest activity in the first three weeks and if there are no showings during this time, price may certainly may a major factor.

Was there a broker open? If there was, what did the agents say about the property? Feedback from other agents is extremely important - this is the business we are in full-time and we know the market and sugar-coating anything will not help sellers nor does it help us. We want to sell the properties ASAP - is not fun having a stale listing!!! Talk to your agent and review the marketing plan and tweak if necessary... Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
Aaron answered the question well below. I would expand on it by asking what are properties in your neighborhood selling for right now--and then I would take it even further and determine what percentage of their original list price they are receiving in the end, what the average price per square foot is...etc.. If you are not in line with the other homes around you, buyers may be overlooking you.

I would ask for a daily competition report from your current agent. It's a service that we provide, and one I think is imperative for home-sellers to have in today's marketplace.

I hope things pick up for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
The 3 most important words in real estate are location, location, location. After that condition. And a noteworthy phrase in real estate is "Price cures condition and location." Do look over your MLS listing carefully. If you were a buyer, would you be drawn in by the magazine quality photos? If not, perhaps, some staging or better quality photos are in order. Sales of homes under $300,000 are doing quite well right now. As stated previously, it is a slower market over $500,000 and patience is a necessary virtue.

Best wishes!
Web Reference: http://www.QRHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 19, 2009
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