Home Selling in Keller>Question Details

Mh, Home Seller in Keller, TX

What is the best way to sell an empty home?

Asked by Mh, Keller, TX Sun Jun 27, 2010

The home is priced in the mid-range for the neighborhood. We have had many visitors but the negative seems to be a 4 lane residential rd. that is in back of the property. It has some traffic at rush hour but very little during the rest of the day. How do we over come this plus being empty. We have had the market on the home for nearly 8 months and no offers yet.

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Alicia Chmielewski’s answer
Likely the home is overpriced. Additionally how is the curb appeal? Interior conditions? Paint, cleanliness, etc? Have you spoke with your agent? I would see what kind of feedback potential buyers are leaving on the home. Feedback from numerous sources will certainly steer you in the right direction. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 1, 2010

It is a beauty contest and a price war out there.....price agressively and make sure your home looks the best on the market. Being empty sometimes makes it doubly as tough.

1. Make sure it gets cleaned while you are gone. Dusted, mopped, swepted, etc.
2. Make sure yard gets mowed every week, watered appropriately, weeded, etc.
3. I would consider staging with furniture. We have companies that can do this by the month for you.
4. Make sure to have it listed with a reputable agent. FSBO or the discount companies are not the
way to go in this case and in this time.
5. This is prime time....one or two more months in Keller before the market takes a dive. Keller is
very school driven.
6. Make sure you agent is not ignoring you while you are gone......are there flyers outside and inside.
What marketing are they doing? Are they out on Trulia, Realtor.com, Activerain, craiglist, etc marketing your property and networking with potential buyers and sellers? Did your current agent answer this question online?
I can tell you that many of my buyers want the very top of the line house at foreclosure prices. The buyers know the prices. I was with one of the relocating Boca buyers yesterday and we went into an ugly house in Flower Mound that was clearly overpriced. She's looked at about 30 homes now, so I thought I would give her a test.....she clearly was not interested in this home, but I asked her what sales price she considered fair for the condition. She was within 2% of my number. This was about 15% off of what the house was listed for. So the buyers know....they are saavy. Make sure your numbers are correct.
We can do everything long distance, by email, and use electronic signatures for contracts and most paperwork if you ever decide to make a change.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
The buyers are speaking clearly, and they're telling you that your listing is overpriced. You need to modify your price/terms.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 29, 2010
Appearance and Pricing are factors you can control.
Location (and proximity to negative things) cannot be controlled. However, the traffic on the 4-lane street may be a good place to have a sign to advertise your reduced price.

Appearance does include the grass and its being trimmed often enough to give an appearance it's being lived in, plus removal of newspaper, telephone books etc that accumulate when you're not there.

Pricing is part of the marketing plan for your property. Advertising in MLS is a big factor, but the price, features discussed and pictures can each help or hurt you. A listing with no room sizes and no pictures can sit unviewed for months. A price well above the competition can also cause your home to fall to the bottom of the list when a buyer makes a list to go see.

Pictures that show the house lived in with furniture, plants and decorations are important to convey to a buyer what it could look like. On the other hand clutter detracts, mess is a turn-off, and maintenance problems a deal-killer. So, make sure all furniture that creates an obstacle course is not pictured and not present for showings. Make sure things are all clean and no messiness is present anywhere (except maybe the garage). Anything broken should be fixed. Anything needing painting should be painted. Dirty or lumpy carpet can also shoot you in the foot.

At this point, you may be better off removing the listing. Doing some cosmetics and re-listing it.
Web Reference: http://www.SumnerRealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 29, 2010
Definitely make sure the home is in top shape. I actually keep a small storage unit with small pieces of furniture and accent pieces when I list empty homes. It makes a world of difference over a plain empty house. Include a small end table and a lamp. Place a picture over the fireplace with some candle holders etc. Believe me it makes a difference.

But the most important thing is your pricing. You said it was priced mid-range in the neighborhood but it backs to a road. Take a good look at the homes that do not have this drawback. I owned a home once that backed to a low traffic residential road and believe me it was a drawback when selling. Most people would rather have a neighbor's home up against them than a road of any kind.

Because of this you need to make sure the home is priced accordingly. Walk through the other homes. Look at the neighborhood MLS statistics and see how many homes sell. By using that information you can see where you need to be priced more accurately. Ideally you need to be priced in the top 20% of homes because those are the ones that sell in a given month.

Good luck. Take some time and truly look at the competition and throw in some small pieces of furniture and price accordingly. Staging and condition help but in the end you need to be priced right. or the home will just sit on the market.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010
Hey there Mh....

The real estate market can be simply explained this way....

Supply - Demand - and The Capacity To Pay

Unfortunately there is an oversupply and due to the tightening of the mortgage markets, people's capacity to pay is limiting the demand. So what is a person to do?

The 2 basic fundamentals to sell would be Cash....or Terms. Drop the price to be in line with the lowest of the comparable properties in the area. This may not be your "cup of tea". Option #2......If you are having a difficult time finding fully qualified buyers who can CASH you out...then you may want to offer the property with better TERMS.

When I speak to people who have a vacant home and I ask them what their "Plan B" is if they can't sell? I then ask them...."Does that mean your going to have to RENT it?" If the answer to that is Yes...then I tell them that they may want to explore selling their property as a Lease Purchase (aka Rent-to-Own). It could open up your house to many more buyers.

My Associate in Dallas/Ft. Worth has a company called Leasing To Buy. You may want to contact him to see if your house would be a good fit for his Lease Purchase program. I believe that he currently has 3 properties in Keller, TX and he (John) may be able to provide you with some solutions. I realize that Texas has different ways they handle Lease Purchase deals, so John would be able to explain the Texas regulations better than I.

Here is the link to contact him:

Best wishes!

Lease-to-Own Professional
Independent Consultant
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010

Are you working with a Realtor? Your comments state that the only negative seems to be the 4 lane residential behind the home. Are these the comments that the Realtor is providing you via the showing service you are using, and if not how do you know that this is the only negative? Is everyone that is visiting the home visiting at Rush hour? My questions are aimed at trying to figure out where the real problem is. No home should be on the market for 8 months if it is priced correctly (and priced ahead of the market), and is in good, showing condition (inside and out). So my thoughts are is that there is something else going on. How much exposure is your home getting? Is your Realtor (if you are using one) exposing it nationwide and on all the major sites? 9 out of 10 homebuyers start their search online, so if you aren't exposed to at least 15 sites (I'm on over 30, plus nationwide and international) then you need more exposure. Talk to your agent and get some honest communication going. Have her or him perform a new CMA providing you with the current value of your home and explain if your neighborhood values are declining. If they are declining, price ahead of that decline and get your property sold. I suspect you have a few things going on here that is causing the problem. (Jessica also gives some great tips about staging.) Hope this helps. Good luck!!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010

There is nothing you can do about what it backs up to...other than landscape nicely, or add a fountain to drown out the noise from the street. Being vacant I would encourage you to stage it a bit...have a nice entry with pictures, door mat, maybe a small table and add some accents in your kitchen, and master bath...it goes a long way. Whether you are FSBO or with an agent, you may not have the web exposure you need. If you would like to discuss in further detail feel free to call me, 817-458-8060 or email, jessica@jj-realty.com. Take care and best of luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
1st question: Do you have a listing agent? If so they can provide you DOM for area

2nd question: If you don't have a Realtor for listing ALWAYS FSBO will be passed by Buyers Agent we don't know anything about the property. Always list with an agent.

3rd: Homes back up to a busy street PASSED on many factors involved can have slow cycle to sell the home HOWEVER community I reside in there is no problem... FYI : drive UP and HP homes on Preston sell with no problems.

Matter of reviewing all particulars to house. You can stage a home very inexpensively I use to own investment properties amazing what a few items can do for sell of a home

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Hi Mh,

Lot's of great ideas below. I just had my "stager" come in and bring some nice furniture and nik naks. We staged the house and had a contract in 2 weekends. A staged house looks so nice that it's hard for a potential "serious" buyer to walk away.

Talk to your Realtor about staging your home.

Best of Luck! -Pat
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010

1. New carpet

2. Fresh paint

3. Deep clean

Investing a little time and money can make a big difference in appeal and activity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 28, 2010
The kicker is this: How many homes, like yours, with traffic problems. have sold in the last 8 months.

Any home will sell at the right price. Having your home "on the market for 8 months" is a sure sign of a problem with value. In a market with lots of inventory (six months of inventory is considered normal...so if 14 homes sold last month, that would mean 84 homes in inventory...and you have 10 times that, almost 1400.

That means for ANY home to sell, it has to be in the top 5% of values to sell. That means it must outvalue 95% of the homes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
If you home backs a major 4 lane road bottom line is you need to be at the bottom of the neighborhood price range. All the staging in the world is not going to deter a buyer from hearing that road or saying this is too overpriced for backing that road. Even an appraiser is going to make a negative adjustment on the appraisal for backing the road.
Good luck
Kent Gagon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Well, the best way to sell an empty home is to fill it up, nicely - in other words, have it professionally "staged."

As far as the price goes, you must have paid less for the home, given that it backs up to the road, than your neighbors who don't back up to the road did. So you certainly need to adjust your price accordingly.

But the worst part is that there just aren't enough buyers, and it's easy to be on the market a long time without an offer, unless you are super-competitive on price.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
Hi Mh

Clearly there are a few issues outlined by you:

The fact that it backs to the road and that it is empty as wells mid range priced for eight months.

That is a long time, one needs to get a new comparable and cut the price to where it will realistically sell.
While staging is great, it won't help the fact that you will not appraise when an offer comes in. No smart buyer wants to fall in love, do inspections , appraisal and then realize he can't get it.

If it sitting empty it means you are loosing money on it, as either you UVA not rented it as it is for sale, and there is a carrying cost of making payments, taxes, and other up keep.

God luck.

Web Reference: http://www.ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
There could be different reasons, It is hard to say without knowing the address or previewing the home however Send me your address and I will check the area for you if you are not working currenlty with an agent. If you are currently listing with a Realtor then you should talk with your realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
The first thing you need is to have your listing agent complete a broker price opinion. you need to find out what teh value of your home is in todays market. it seems you already know the value of similar homes in yoru area, they key where you have low to no activity is the price. you are going to be one of teh best priced homes. The next thing is your agent advertising and marketing yoru property. is your home getting the exposure it deserves? the nest thing is walk back into your home as if you were a buyer, is teh lawn neat and trimmed. Is your home clean, free of dust and cobwebs, are the floors shiny and clean, carpets cleaned, walls painted and free of picture holes and scratches. You want to make it appealing as you can.

good luck with your sale and i hope this can help
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 27, 2010
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