Home Selling in Charlotte>Question Details

Helpmesell11, Home Seller in Charlotte, NC

We've had our house on the market since July '10, had 30 showings, no offers, and are $20k below tax value. Any advice?

Asked by Helpmesell11, Charlotte, NC Thu May 19, 2011

The feedback is always positive- "love the house, love the floors, love the paint, just not for this client". Good neighborhood, nice treed lot, excellently maintained. Since we dropped the price another $10k last week, we've only had 2 showings. What else can we do?

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Most sellers would envy you for having 30 showings! Your agent is obviously working hard and getting you good exposure. Question is: is it the right exposure targeting the right buyers? If buyer's agents are including your home in their showing list so many times, then your asking price can't be too high by very much or else they or the buyers would just steer clear in the first place. There has to be something else going on! Have your agent make some phonecalls and get the real feedback from showing agents in a personal conversation. They just won't write the "ugly truth". You absolutely need to find out why their clients chose another home. Often the expectations and the reality don't match e.g. the home's marketing might be making promises the home can't live up to when visited in person or certain obstacles are just not mentioned and the buyer has to find out when visiting the property (e.g. photo of kitchen not online because agent thinks it's outdated and buyer has to visit house only to find out they hate the kitchen). It's always better to be pleasantly surprised! You can also ask your agent to take you on a tour of homes that are your immediate competition, so you can figure out what would make you stand out from the crowd. How many homes have been sold in the past 6months in your neighborhood? Try to see them too, maybe that will give you a feel why they were chosen over yours. If all this research work is just too much for you or you're out of money for any improvements, then of course we all know that a low enough asking price can cure almost any defect...but you don't strike me as someone who just gives up. Best of luck, Nana
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Okay it is time to ask what is going on here, what is wrong, 30 showings and no bits, time to change the rod, the hook, and the bait. Remove the home from the market for a week or two. Interview new Realtors, Get new CMA's on the home. Look the home over, is there too much in the house, is the house appealing inside and out, is there a neighbor that is saying things to potential buyers. Does the home need some staging, is the home being covered well on the internet? The pricing is wrong by the way stay away from 9s anymore, you want to hit 250,000 or 225,000 so they come up better in searches. The market is changing, how we look for things has change, Ask You Realtor to do a Broker open house next time, and instead of offering to lower your price, simply leave it alone and instead say there is a Seller's agent bonus of $5000 for the next 30 days and see how many agents steer buyers your way. Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Share more info on your house for a more precise answer. Listing number, address? We can Zillow it. Trulia.com? If not, why not? SOmetimes itis marketing effort. Not agents are willing to market it to the maximum. In your area, go to Alexa.com and put in the various broker names. See how the brands stack up on internet traffice. How long buyers linger on their sites. Itis all about feet thru the door. 30 is not a big number in 10 months, but is in 3 weeks. And of course, you have lack buyers in your area due to location or region. Isolated? Employment? Only half the country is republican (maybe) and you live in a red state.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Positive feedback is nice, but if no offers are coming in, it would seem that buyers are not perceiving VALUE..and the bottomline almost always is price. Might be time for a market analysis!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Buyers need a compelling reason to buy a property. There is quite a bit of housing inventory in Charlotte metro. What would make a buyer select your house above all others? What incentives can you offer other than price? How compelling is your price? How do you stack up to your competition? What houses did the buyers choose instead of yours?

You have to get to the meat of the problem of no sale. Who usually buys houses in your neighborhood? Can you change your floor plan to make it more appealing? Are you willing to visit open houses in your area to see what other agents and buyers are doing? Has your agent done a recent market analysis?

Wishing you success,
Robin
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Market value and Tax value are 2 different things.
Have your Realtor update the CMA and see what the real value is.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
If you have a Realtor, it might be time to find someone else. If not, then why not consult with one to see if they could do a better job marketing and selling your home as well as discovering why the home is "not just for this client." Kelley provided some alternatives to you that you may want to discuss with her.

Good luck!

Tom
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Not knowing your address, it is hard to say. My gut reaction is that it is priced too high. Now, you may say that the house is worth at least what you have it listed for....but unfortunately the buyers don't agree. It is a tough market right now as you are in direct competition with foreclosures & short sales.

I am helping many many homeowners in the same situation as you are in. They have elected to rent their home out and wait for the market values to rise again to sell without a loss. I'm not sure who you have your home listed with, and would not try to steer you away from them....but if they do not handle Property Management, we do. We have full time Property Managers, we do extensive background checks before approving tenants, we have inhouse maintenance, online rent payments, direct deposit into owners accounts monthly, reporting, inspections.....the whole thing. We can offer as little or as many services as you like. Kelley Ireland, Village Real Estate Group 704-517-2811
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
You have missed the market , I am afraid/
Take off the market for the Summer , refresh it , paint , new counters or bath, landscaping.
In Sept , offer an incentive, 1/2 year taxes paid ( buyer gets an incentive, you get a tax deduction!)

GoodLuck.
Web Reference: http://www.anneshearman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 25, 2011
LOL .... lower the price!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 25, 2011
Wow, 30 showings. That is plenty of tire kickers. For starters the tax value is a mass assessment of a zip code. Many areas have up to 25% out of whack values and in Maine only down by law every ten years so not reflective of the market. Marketing is just as important as the realistic pricing. How is your agent, broker marketing the place? All local buyers or is there far reaching outside exposure with real video, blogs, enhanced realtor.com and other sites? How is the media exposure for your property? Google your agent and study other brokers in your market. There lies the reason for delay in a sale. If there are a glut of just like your homes on the market, supply and demand kick in. How many like your place, how are they being marketed and by who? That may show you a change in marketing, pricing to reflect development in the market like over supply and employment lay offs, etc. Combination of things usually at place in the market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 25, 2011
You mention "tax value" - but how is it priced compared to other recently sold comps in the area? Tax value doesn't always match up with current market value. As others have mentioned, price generally is an issue. Also being on the market so long with the same listing can just make it stagnate a bit. Listings always get the most push right when they're listed. Check with your agent (and/or check for yourself) and make sure it's listed everywhere it possibly could be on the web. Is it on Craigslist? Other real estate websites? Other little tricks might include having your agent switch the photos around so the main photo is different than it has been, and might generate a little more interest. (make sure you have good photos on the listing in general too!). And go over the sold comps with your agent.

Good luck,
Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
I agree with Pat & Steve out of Ohio. The problem is we are all in a "Beauty Contest with a Price War". We are selling below tax value in Colorado. That does not have anything to do with the Market Value. 30 Showing without a offer really means the market price has not been met.

The only reason to blame the Agent is - not getting the price to where it needs to be. You may be at the break even point. If you don't have to sell - DON'T.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
My first impression is your agent is not doing great follow up on all those showings. You need someone who persausive, that has superior sales skills. Your 30 showings with no offers leads me to believe your agent needs to be replaced.

David Cooper..Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. Freee list email davidcooper@lasvegaswinner.org or call for FREE daily list. +1-7024997037 .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Hi Helpmesell11,

I hate to say it, but the answers you are getting are correct and the price is not where it needs to be for buyers to see the value. In today's market, the value must be apparent to the buyers. Of course this is assuming you are doing everything else correctly, such as making it easily available for showings, keeping it well maintained (sounds like you are) and your agent is marketing it aggressively, especially online.

Best of luck,
-Tracy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Hi Helpmesell,

Can you post the link to your listing so otheres may look at it , ie. pictures description and such.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Have you considered a lease/ purchase? In the greater Charlotte area there are people who are loking to buy, but need 2-3 years to rebuild their credit scores. An owner finance option with a 2 or 3 year balloon will get you out from under your payment and allow you to get to your next "New-to-You" home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Have your Realtor do another CMA as the market is changing on a daily basis. Also maybe you should take a look at the decor of the property, sometimes decluttering is very helpful!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Price, condition & location are your targets. You cannot change your location. You can control the condition. If your home is in great condition, then your price is the problem. You need to lower your price. Unfortunately, your property tax value is not important. The market price is whatever a buyer will pay to purchase your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Good morning hellmesell11!
This is a tough market for everyone and competition is huge, even though your property is in tip-top shape. The market and the closed sales of comps are the ones that determine what price you shoyuld sell it for. As soon as i release a property to the market, at least 5 showings occur withing the first week, and it is extremely unusual not to have an executed contract within the first two weeks. The fact that you are not getting any requests even to see or show your property is a huge indicator to me that something is wrong with the listing price. Ask your realtor a copy of all the most recent closed sales in your same area and subdivision of comparables homes, so you can make sure if the price is right. Countless factors influence the price to be lower or higher, for example, is the property on a busy street or not? What are the characteristics of the neighbourhood? Does the property have any violations? etc,. Another idea is that you can visit the websites of comparable homes that are for sale in your area and see exactly what you are competing against, price wise, property wise, location wise, etc.
There is a lot of informaiton to have in mind at the moment of listing a property, and there is a time frame also which you should take advantage of. Contact your local Realtor so you can sit down and discuss together what is the best way to go.

Good luck selling your home and have a great day!
Raquel Coronel P.A. - Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
I know how frustrating it is to sell your home in this market. There truly is no magic secret about selling a home. If your home is in good condition, priced properly and has the maximum exposure to all potential buyers…it will sell. The best priced home in the world won’t sell without proper exposure, and the best exposed home in the world won’t sell without an appropriate listing price.

You may have to continue dropping the price if you want to sell. Have you toured your competition? If not, this would be the first thing I would do. Has any other homes in your neighborhood sold since your home has been on the market? Did the buyers that toured your home buy one of them? I would have your agent try and find out.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
At least buyers are showing up. I showed a house 60+ times and finally sold it to a buyer that came back after seeing it a year earlier. Just a sign of the tough economic times. hang in there
Web Reference: http://www.capecod-re.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Tax value doesn't necessarily mean market value. Have your realtor pull the stats on your competition. Look at the homes you are competing with in your area. How are you priced compared to them? What do they have that you do not? Find out which homes in your area have sold, at what price, and with what attributes. How is your curb appeal? Can you drive by and the house say, I'm comfortable and inviting? It may be a slump in your area that you just have to wait out. Have there been major layoffs in your area? Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2011
Hi, This may be a sign of the times in your market. It sounds like you are doing everything properly. You may just have to be patient, don't drop the price too often because it will tell buyers you are desparate. I would also have your agent find out from the past showing why if they loved the home they didn't make an offer. That is the feedback you really need because it will help you understand what's stopping people.



Chris
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
I haven't seen your house but you might ask your Realtor if they know of a Professional Stager in your area. Stagers are trained to see issues and items that can have an affect on how your house is perceived. A Staging Consultation lasts anywhere between 1 1/2 - 3 hours and is very affordable (typically between $125-300).
Just a quick tip, take digital pics of your house... stand in the doorway of each room, then upload them to your computer. Now view them through the eyes of the camera.

Check that all rooms flow well. Does it show the house at its best? Are there rooms that need to be defined for the buyer?
If you want a stager in your area go to http://www.activerain.com.
Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
There is something your agent is not doing on following up with the showings. A good salesmen would have gotten some kind of offer at some price, even a low price, so you could counter. Look for a real estate agent that can actally knows how to sell, vs. a great marketing agent. You need good selling skills to survive in this tough enviornment
\
David Cooper Las Vegas Real Estate Investor in Bank Owned Foreclosures. For FReee List email:
davidcooper@aol.com or Call +1-7024997037
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
I have a question for you? How prepared are you to move? Does you home reflect that it is REALLY on the market? When staging a home, more than just rearranging the furniture is required. Your whole home should be staged. This includes every storage area of the house. Maybe your 30 sq. ft. closet is too jam packed to appeal to someone. It's crowded condition could make people believe think it's not enough space. Every closet and cabinet and storage area should be clear of clutter. If you're moving, box things, put them in storage or get rid of things. The less that is in all of these areas will make the storage spaces appear larger. You have to pack anyway. Start your process a room at a time preparing for your move by minimizing all you can. A staged kitchen cabinet, linen closet or master closet makes as much of an impact as the professionally staged room. Every storage area in the house WILL be examined by a potential buyer, so minimize the clutter!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
Time to get with the neighbors and have them help you a bit. This is the best open house there is, get several of you neighbors to have a garage or yard sale on the same day, it helps split ad and poster cost and you can make a few dollars selling your stuff as well. Advertise that there is a Block Sale, Party, and OPEN HOUSE the weekend of xx/xx/2011. Work with your neighbors to be sure to mention to all that show up in their yard to visit your open house, It give potential buyers a better look at the neighborhood and the neighbors and it is a fun way to market your home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2011
Thumbs Up for Gerard here. His is great advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 21, 2011
offer a used car with the deal to any buyer who offers 97% of list...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
Hello,

I am an investor in Charlotte, NC and depending on your situation I may be able to help you get out of your home in the next 30 days!! I buy based on one or more conditions such as: price, terms or the deal. If you would like to discuss your other options outside of using a realtor please email or call me anytime: macstarventures@gmail.com, (704)808-9012. My name is John McGowan and I look forward to speaking with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
It may be time to get a professional appraisal on your property.
As others have suggested it is generally price or condition.
In some parts of the country, sellers will have professional home inspections completed for the buyers' review.
An old adage is typically appropriate in real estate: "Price can cure almost anything."

Get a professional appraisal to better understand and market your property.
In some states appraisers are licensed. If you are in a licensed state, then make sure the license number is noted on the report and prior to signing a contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
It's been my experience that when you have showings, but no offers, it's either price or condition.

Don't be afraid to get a 2nd opinion. Your agent may be wonderful, and you love to work them, but a 2nd opinion is just that.

Offer to purchase a Broker's Price Opinion. THIS way, the Broker's Valuation is not inclined to to slant towards "being nice" to get you to list with them. It is an unbiased, here's your numbers ma'am, type of report.

I do them in my area, mostly for banks and 3rd parties, but occasionally local investors hire me to do it. That way, they receive the report, and I'm not constantly at them for a listing. They pay my fee for the report, maybe we have a cup of coffee, and off I go. If they ever need me, they have my number and an unbiased valuation.

This is cheaper than an appraisal, and does not replace a Buyer's Appraisal required by their lender.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
helpmesell11,
I would suggest that instead of offering to plant trees just do it. These small things that you do have control over will only help to sell your house.
As far as the tax value etc. that looks as though it has been covered in other agent's answers. I would also recommend a CMA (as another agent had suggested) just to double check that your listing price is correct. Along with all the other great suggestions that should help you be on your way to a sale.
I wish you the best of luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
I would look to another realty company with a different agent. Maybe a fresh new approach plus a relisting might stir up some new buyers


David Cooper! Las Vegas Real Foreclosure Investor and Buyer's Agent Bank Owned REO with Huge Cash Flow. For a FREE daily list email: davidcooper@lasvegaswinner.org or Call +1-7024997037
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
"The house is priced perfectly for the neighborhood- a house just down the street sold for our asking price- but it was in bad shape, and was so ugly!"

Although you might have priced your property in the same price range as others have sold in your area, you still might not have factored its condition or other elements into your price.

"our Realtor has asked for the 'ugly truth' about our house- and the response has literally been things that we cannot change, such as the size of the master closet (it is already 30 square feet, so that seems odd to me in this price range-$160k), the arrangement of the kitchen (can't move an island around!), and the backyard isn't private (which it actually is, but we offered to plant trees or do whatever they wanted)."

All of those 30 buyers clearly have told you that you've priced your property too high. Keep in mind that the house down the street, that you thought was uglier and in poorer condition, actually SOLD for the price that you'd like to sell--and yours still hasn't received ANY offers. Ask your agent to search the MLS to see whether or not any of those 30 buyers, who passed through your property, actually bought a property or has a pending offer. Then have him/her check whether any of the ones, who did buy or has a pending offer, bought or made an offer on a property in your neighborhood.

Have your agent to search the MLS for every property that has sold in your neighborhood within the past 90 days, and to search for all of the pending listings in your neighborhood. Then have him/her glean the size of the master closet, the configuration/layout of the kitchen, and the layout of the backyard from those results. Next, check and see how those results compare with the feedback that you've already received. If the results and the feedback concur, then you'll need to offset some of the "things that [you can't] change" by discounting your price for each negatively perceived (per the buyer feedback) attribute.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 20, 2011
The flood of foreclosures in past years has ramped up your competition in the form of wild stories by buyers who (by sheer luck) snagged great property for hard-to-believe prices.
Too many buyers are dragging their feet on fair market prices in hopes of falling into one of those 'bragging rights' deals.
Don't be too discouraged...Your beautiful home will draw the attention it deserves, though the selling process has become an uphill climb as of late.

Upgrade your listing's pictures and offer coffee & cookies for the next open house.
While fewer people can qualify for a mortgage lately, you can open that percentage up a bit wider by considering creative financing options, such as holding a note for a portion of (or even the whole) down payment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
This is the market that you are selling in .... it is price, location and condition. You can control 2 of the 3
Remove all personal items, hire a stager, watch HGTV and get the condition to be best it can be. You may have to add S/S in the kitchen to sell! Be 5% below youe competition in your pricing. Get it on the internet.
Run an auction. PHOTOS ! Make sure that they are professional .

TAKE OFF THE MARKET NOW . Unless you are in a water/summer community. Let it rest. Use the time to refresh , Hit the market full force in Sept using all the above techniques. If not sold by Dec 1 . Remove again until Jan 6th.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Hi Helpmesell11,

Have your Realtor do a current Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to see what the price should be based on the most recent homes Sold (not listed for sale) within 1 mile of your home (1/2 a mile is better if you have Sold comparables in that radius) in the last 3 months. I don't know how many times you've lowered the price since listing in July 2010, but it may be time to lower it to market value (if the CMA shows it's priced too high for the market). Remember, the market value is based on what has Sold, not on what homes are listed for (because they may not sell for the amount they're listed for).

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
http://www.RealtyBySR.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
I think it is time to ask your realtor to provide you with a list of all recent closed sales in the area, active homes for sale, and pending sales. This list will give you an idea of what sales price the buyers are willing to pay for your area.. Tax value does not mean current market value. Also, if all the feed back is postitve try asking them then what is stoping you from placing an offer today.

If you have the property listed with an agent ask them to cancel the listing and then reopen it under a new lisitng id. This will make the property appear as if it was a new lisitng and not a reduction.
Web Reference: http://www.sleonrealtor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Bake cookies and have an open house
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Sounds like all the feedback you are getting is love this and love that. I suggest you have your realtor get negative feedback from the buyers agent. Armed with this feedback, if you can make any changes to the house within a reasonable budget.

Regardless of what all the real estate scientists out there say, there is market price and market value. Market price is the value of your home when the real estate agent or appraiser presses equal on his calculator. Market value is what a buyer would be willing to pay for your home under current market conditions.

Under perfect showing conditions such as home owner being NON present during showings, easy access to the property for showings, clean and de cluttered house if the home has gotten 30 showings without an offer, then it's time to lower the price. Buyers in this market already assume they can bargain down the price. If no offer is received it's time for a price change.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
get a 3rd opinion, hire a stager then have a realtor open house, consider changing the listing to motivated seller to jump start a negoation
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Thank you for sharing your experience. In today's market the only way to appeal to buyers is socially. My advice if it is not in a great location. Make the location great with Green home improvements.

The invisible hand is already moving us toward a Green cyber society. Hybrid cars sell for a premium. Municipalities are banning plastic bags, making groceries more expensive. Now, Green homes are selling when traditional ones are not.

David Chiles
Meridian Capital
800 729-5111 Ext 420
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
I know how frustrating that must be for you. You have gotten valuable advice already. Once you get the price right, based on advice given--REALLY get serious about staging properly & make sure your property looks & smells it's sparkling BEST!! Then get busy with open houses, including Broker open houses.
Maybe you should consider going ahead and making back yard private. No buyer will object to that, but just the offer to do it isn't often enough. Buyers often need the visual, not the promise.

Best of Luck to you!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Hire a conservative bank appraiser for market value and bring in a stager.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Have your agent withdraw the house off the market and then put it back on the market as a new fresh listing. It will appear new and your should have more buyers wanting to see it. We can tell if the home is old by the MLS number. This may help you. Also have your agent put "Will look at all offers". You don't have to take low offers but this should help them at least place an offer.

Good luck!

Judy Valicenti PA
Campbell & Rosemurgy RE
Palm Bay, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
How many foreclosures are in your neighborhood? I learned a long time ago that there is a certain element of investor who thinks a really bad house that needs lots of work is a better "buy" than a really nice house. Could be one of those foreclosure guru graduates who has to get into the game.
Ask your agent how their office is on other listings. Could be the wrong agent and the wrong office.

David Cooper! Las Vegas Real Foreclosure Investor and Buyer's Agent Bank Owned REO with Huge Cash Flow. For a FREE daily list email: davidcooper@lasvegaswinner.org or Call +1-7024997037
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Sounds like you have a great house. Are you set on sellling the house? Have you considering renting ? This may allow you to move forward with any plans you have and try selling the house again at a later time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
Ask your agent to give you a list of homes for sale in your neighborhood. See if you have priced it competitively.See which homes went under contract recently and read the description to see why the buyer chose that house rather than your house.
You got only two showings recently because other buyers may have already seen it .Maybe your agent should call all the agents who showed the house and tell them about the price change.
You might want to plant some evergreens in the back for privacy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 19, 2011
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