Home Selling in Euclid>Question Details

AJ, Home Seller in Euclid, OH

Should we change realtors? Does it even matter? No showings since listed 90 days ago...

Asked by AJ, Euclid, OH Wed May 5, 2010

We have had our house listed for sale with an agent for almost 90 days. We have had several open houses with little to no traffic at each.( 3 people, none serious or even pre-approved) We have not had a single scheduled showing. It's a great house, tons of updates, well maintained and has good curb appeal. We have dropped our price several times. It seems to me that we should have had at least a few showings by this time, and we're not sure what else to do to get people in here to see it. I understand that this is a tough market for sellers, and our particular area has a lot of foreclosures and not so great schools, however, there are many other houses in our area that are in our same price range and are contingent or pending. Any advice? Should we change agents?

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John Wirsing’s answer
Hi AJ,
Selling a home in this market is a very challenging situation.,
The success of selling a home is tied to 3 basic factors.
1) Condition of the home. This is something you can control. Have you & your agent done a survey of what needs to be done to sell your home. Are there problems that can be adrressed. Just one tip-Buyers have a tendency to overinflate what the cost of a repair will be. Therefore, having the repair made to sell the property will very often result in a higher net number than if you let the Buyer make the repairs & adjust the price accordingly.
2) Price of the home. Are you priced competitive to the priceof the RECENTLY SOLD homes in your neighborhood. Buyers don't care what you paid for the hoem. Don't care what you have invested in home. Want to know are you priced competitely in today's market. Have you & your agent updated market conditions in the past 30 days?
3) Marketing of your home. Do you feel that the Listing agent has made the right steps. Do you have a presnce on the web.
Only you can answer these questions.
Sincerely yours,
John Wirsing
RE/MAX Premiere Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 21, 2010
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
Advise: Have your agent run a CMA on your property. That'll determine its approximate value, based on recent comparable sales. Then drop your price to the lower end of the CMA.

You're correct: You should have had some activity. And more than "at least a few showings" in 90 days. Different Realtors have different rules-of-thumb regarding showings. But if you're not getting at least 4-5 showings a week, you're priced too high.

You say "there are many other houses in our area that are in our same price range and are contingent or pending." I kind of doubt that. Again, a CMA will help determine what's going on.

Is there a problem with the marketing? Maybe. But 80% of the marketing is getting it on the MLS at the right price. Open houses usually don't do much good, but your agent has even done that. Perhaps your agent can have a "broker's open" to which other agents are invited. Suggest to your agent that he/she run a little contest--maybe a $25 gift certificate or gas card--for the agent who guesses closest to what your home will actually sell for. That'll give you and your agent a good feel for what other agents really think your home should be priced at.

If you'd said you'd been getting a lot of traffic but no offers, then my response would have been different. (Price probably OK, but something else is turning the people off.) But no showings--none--in 90 days is a very, very clear indication that your home is priced way too high.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Hi AJ,

The first thing you should do is address your concerns with your agent. You hired this person for a reason, so sit down and have a serious conversation with your agent and see if you can move forward together with a game plan that makes sense. If you and your agent are not on the same page, then it is certainly fair to express that you want to find another agent who may be a better fit.

On a different note, open houses typically don't sell houses, so you need to have realistic expectations of what open houses will and won't do. They typically bring tire kickers as serious buyers are most likely already working with an agent. Good luck selling your home.

Dan Schuman
Web Reference: http://www.schumanteam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 7, 2010
Hello again AJ,

Yes a week and a half is enough time for an agent to make the changes that you requested.
Call the agent & tell him/her that you expect the changes to be made by the end of the day. If they are not completed by the following morning, call the agents broker. The broker will probably not let you out of your contract but may assign you a new agent that may better serve your needs.

Unfortunately I do not feel that the pictures will be enough to sell your home. Please have your agent pull just the comparable sold listings in your area and look at their prices & the incentives that were given to the buyers (such as closing costs). The homes that are pending are not good comps because until they close 1.) they can 'fall out' and become available again 2.) the price they listed for may not be the same as what they will actually sell for 3.) the price they listed for could include major concessions to the buyer & actually net the seller much less than indicated by the list price.
You say that you do not wish to make a profit beyond what you actually require to simply sell the house and purchase another and if the comparable homes suggest a price that you can achieve those goal that will be great! but then you mention that most homes in your area are under $100k & yours is above & you can't compete. Maybe you shouldn't (compete); there are possibly other options for you to consider: ask your lender if you could purchase a new home & rent your current home...
Unless you have a very unusual, exceptional or unique home it is very unlikely that a buyer looking for a home will pay more just because the seller needs more money for their own purchase, why should (the buyer) when they have other similar homes to choose from & in your price range you are attracting primarily first time home buyers where their funds are very limited & they are contingent on an appraisal (so even if they offer your price it sounds as though the appraisal will scuttle your deal).

Best of luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 6, 2010
Typically if you are not getting any activity the problem is the price. In this market the listing times are getting longer also, therfore I think both need to be looked at. I would have your agent re-evaluate the immediate and city wide market conditions in your area in the recent past looking at prices and market time. Also ask if they are marketing your home on the internet, they should be able to tell you the "hits" your listing is getting on the various websites. Then evaluate the results and formulate a new marketing plan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 6, 2010
Hi AJ,

I am very sorry to hear your frustrations. I am an active agent in your market selling homes and with several homes listed for sale in Euclid. This market is extremely difficult right now. There are 529 active single family homes, 100 additional homes are currently pending, and in the last 6 mos 220 have sold. Of the Active homes: average list price is $86,000 with a current market time of 136 days, Pending: average list price is $65,000 with a market time of 126 days and Sold homes: Average SALE price is $54,000 with a market time of 90 days. Your market has a high number of foreclosures and REOS. Many home sales are distressed caused investors to be purchasing and buyers to buy very slow. Some homes are selling above $100,000 - Currently Active are 153 homes with an average price of $128,000 market time is 128 days, Pending - 16 homes average list price of $120,000 market time 178 days, and Sold in last 6 months - 27 average price $134,000 with a market time of 136 days.

Selling your home is possible, challenging but possible. Every avenue of your marketing and pricing needs to be reviewed. Proper placement in your market is the key to your success. Please let me know if you want to speak in more detail. I am happy to help if able - Jennifer Allen Prudential Select Properties 440-796-4833 jallen1105@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 6, 2010
I realize that proper pricing is #1 when it comes to selling a house. Our original list price was what our agent suggested, and we have since dropped the price twice. We are about as low as we can, as we need to have some money for a down payment on a new house and need to pay our agents commission, etc. We are not looking to "make a profit," beyond what we actually require to simply sell the house and purchase another. The majority of the homes that are selling in Euclid are well below 100K, we just can't compete with that. We are not priced that high above 100K oursleves, but have had no luck. When I search for pending or contingent properties in our price range, in Euclid, I see that there are many, so why not ours? Our listing is on all the mjaor websites. It is still showing winter pics, and we asked our agent to change them to current ones early last week, but they still have not been changed. Is it just me or isn't a week and a half enough time to expect something like that to be done?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
If the marketing is maximizing your exposure, the property shows well, is neat, clean, and clutter free it may not be your agent's fault for the lack of traffic--a price reduction may be in order--keep in mind that a home is worth what someone is willing to pay for it; it doesn’t matter what the seller needs or potential buyers can afford to spend. Market conditions do matter--review data regarding recently sold similar properties in the immediate area--what does that data suggest as to a fair listing price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
It could be the marketing you are getting, but generally, if you are getting absolutely no activity it means you are overpriced to a point everyone knows and will not even look. When you get your price down to where you are getting showings but no offers you'll know you are close on price. Marketing is huge as well though. Make sure you are getting a lot of exposure on the internet. That is where over 80% of all buyers start looking before they even call an agent. Are there enough photos for buyers to see on-line?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
It is most discouraging when your house just sits and you get no feedback from your listing agent. Good agents call weekly to find out how things are going. Usually when you have a property that is not getting any response, you usually have to lower the price. If the price was set up correctly you would getting showings
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
A mentor once taught me the following: "Buyers speak with their feet and wallets." And there are 2 reasons for why a property doesn't sell: 1) ugly property, or 2) ugly price/terms. Are you listening attentively to what the buyers are telling you?

I'm originally from Cleveland, and I continue to invest throughout Greater Cleveland. So I know the Euclid market pretty well. Although the school system isn't the best, it's certainly far from the worst and better than average. Homes that are priced right are definitely moving. Depending upon the part of Euclid that you're in, you might also be in the pathway of progress for some of the Cleveland Clinic acquisitions. Property values in many parts of GC have been increasing ever since at least November 2008; there was even a couple articles on this in the Plain Dealer and the Crain's Report. Plus, I've checked out several deals in Euclid, so I know properties are moving there. In fact, depending upon your price/terms, I might also be interested in working with you on this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
Hello AJ,

Don has several great suggestions.

I really like broker open houses. I find that if I do them and serve a nice lunch that it really draws agents out! I also make sure to have plenty of comment cards & lots of directional signs(those that you see on the street) leading to the home (because I have had buyers see them & come as well).

You say that you haven't had any showings.

Have you pretended to be a buyer & gone to the major home sites to see how your home appears on the internet? Besides proper pricing and placing the home on the MLS, I believe that the internet is an invaluable tool. Depending on the source of the statistic, up to 90%!!! of buyers search online to find a home and if your home doesn't show well there you are missing out. So go online & pretend that you are a buyer that would be interested in your type of home in your general area (i.e. if you go to Trulia or Realtor.com to search for homes, do not put in your address but instead put in a price range that would include your home, type in your zip code or city for the area, if you have 4 bedrooms tell the search engine that you want 4+ bedrooms, etc.) and see what comes up.

How does your home 'rank' in the list of homes/how does it look compared to the others? Do you only have a few photos or over 20? Are the photos nice or ..? Are the features listed? etc.

If it looks as though your agent has done the marketing and it sounds as if it is properly staged that goes back to what Don said re: Price, because that is all that is left.

I think that you and your agent need to review the most recent sales in your area (the comps he gave you 90days ago are no longer valid in the current market/ appraisers are only going back 90days in their valuations).

Best of luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
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