Home Selling in Austin>Question Details

Lizrogers, Home Seller in Austin, TX

Will spring 2010 look any better for selling a house?

Asked by Lizrogers, Austin, TX Mon Oct 12, 2009

My house on the market for 5 months with only 5 true buyers brought thru it. Have dropped price once. Can't sell a house without buyers. Is activity expected to pick up in the spring of next year or should I drop price again to try to force something out of this $8000 incentive that is about to go away.

Help the community by answering this question:


Dear Liz,
Rockinblue is right on the money. His earlier post link has great information. I am surprised he is "just looking/other" he sounds like a great agent. If I were you I would try FSBO for 90/120 days and see what happens. This would also allow you the luxury of not showing your home over the holidays when things can be so hectic.

Also note the only buyers looking over the holidays usually "have to" move due to relocation so they may be more motivated. When spring hits, you will have more competition, but the number of buyers will jump dramatically.

I wish you the best of luck with whichever course of action you choose!

Betina Foreman-Realtor
Keller Williams
1801 S. MOPAC, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
> your CDOM will just start from where you took the house off the market.

CDOM (Cumulative Days on Mrk) resets to zero after 90 days out of the Austin MLS.

Recent Austin stats are in my link below.

2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009

There are a handful of reasons that I am seeing why your home did not sell. As a small example, you may have received more than 5 potential buyers if they would have known there is a Fountain-Spraying Pond, Park, and Jjogging Trail within a very short walking distance of your home!

It also appears you recently took out a loan against your home. Are you still planning to sell, or is this not something that is high priority right now?

I'd like to help you get your house sold so you can find your next home and begin to enjoy that feeling again!

I'll show you exactly what "Top Market Value" is for your home, and exactly how I will obtain it for you. We sell more homes in the Austin area than any other real estate Broker, and you should at least be exposed as to how and why.

This will be clearly defined in my Marketing Plan, so there is no questions as to how the selling process will play out for you. If you do not feel the Marketing Plan you receive is suitable to do the job, then simply do not give the authorization to deploy it!

It's your product that needs to get sold, you are the boss, so you get to decide who you hire. It's worth your time to take a look at how I get homes sold for Top Market Value, as it appears there simply wasn't a well-written business plan in place for your previous efforts. If there was, you should have a copy of it to review, and in it will be the answers as to why the house did not sell.

Reach out soon and let's talk about your desire to sell if it still exists, or if you have decided not to sell, we can go over the reasons why -so you can at least justify the decision a bit more.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 23, 2009
> you can negociate with them until it is a win win situation for everybody.

If only it were that easy. When a seller receives an offer for $289K on a home listed for $349K, there is no "you can negociate with them until it is a win win situation for everybody".

We're still seeing lots of lowball offers in Austin from buyers who think the national news applies here. On the other hand we still have sellers who think Austin is immune to national economic conditions. In soft markets, buyers always think the market is more of a buyer's market than it really is, and sellers always think it's not as bad as it really is.

At present, 43% of homes departing the MLS in Austin in each do so as "Not Solds" (expired or withdrawn). So, more than 4 out of 10 homes listed fail to sell. In October 2008, it was a whopping 58%, so things are improving, but except in the sub-$200K range, and especially above $400K, we still have too many sellers for the current number of buyers.

October market stats are at the link below.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 18, 2009
Dear Liz,
There is an old saying in real estate "There is no objection that the right price can't overcome". If you really need to sell now, your best bet is to drop the price a few thousand each week or two and see how many buyers walk through the door. The more people you get into the house the better your chances of getting an offer. Make sure it is spotless and perfect for showings. If you have pets get them out of the house, as they are a distraction for buyers. Ask your agent to hold an Open House to get people in to see how lovely the home is and that might help attract a buyer. Make sure they post it here and in CraigsList and ActiveRain to help get the word out. I wish you luck!

Betina Foreman Realtor
Keller Williams
1801 S. MOPAC, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
You do need to talk with your Realtor..

Look at the link below:

Over 8,000 homes on the market, and 178 sold, with over 1,000 foreclosures.

That means only the very best deals will sell, and that you are competing with foreclosed properties where they absolutely have to sell. People that cannot price their home to sell should either rent it, short sale, or stay put.

OTOH, if you want to wait... (IMHO)
1. More short sales and foreslosures coming.
2. Interest rates are estimated to increase next spring when the Treasury Dept's stimulus money runs out
3. The economy could get better...but i would not bet on it.

So more inventory, higher loans, fewer qualified buyers...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Hi Liz,
Plan for the worst. Good Luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
Your house is priced too high for the market. It matters not what price range we are discussing. Unfortunately, many sellers are finding themselves in that unlikely proportion of the market where there house will indeed be withdrawn and the only problem is price.

Unless your house is something truly spectacular, your competition (other houses nearby) likely offer an attractive option to buyers - with a less expensive price of admission. Five months is too long and it's time to face the fact - the market has beat you.

Take the suggestions or comments that were made while your house was listed and seriously address them so that when and if you decide to list your home again you will be more competitive. Right now selling a house requires a little bit of luck. But luck always favors the prepared. Get to work!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 18, 2009
Nationwide research shows that there are five main reasons real estate doesn't sell:
1 -Price
2 -Condition
3 -Location
4 -Listing Agent
5 -Marketing Plan

I really do not understand why if you had buyers you did not sell, you can negociate with them until it is a win win situation for everybody. No matter what season it is always a good time to sell, Many people are moving to Austin these days so there are a lot of buyers, the houses are more affordable here than in other States, anyway if the price is right you will sell now and you do not have to wait for the summer. If you need any help, just let me know.
Victoria Pando, 512-696-3015 - vickypando@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 18, 2009
It normally tales 12 to 18 showings, on average, to sell a properly priced home. At the rate of one showing a month, you're overpriced for the current level of demand.

If you are not prepared/willing to drop the price, even by small amounts every couple of weeks, then I agree with Betina. Give the listing a 90+ day rest so the days on market will reset to zero.

Will Spring demand be higher? I think the case could be made that it ought to be. But I also think we've borrowed too many future buyers via the $8K tax credit. As the new deadline approaches April 30, 2010, you'll want your home to be on the market from at least early March so that if we have a similar surge as we saw in Sept/Oct, you're home is in the mix.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 12, 2009
Dear Liz,
Be thankful your house is in Austin and not some part of the country that is hurting worse than we are. Prices have plummeted in FL & CA.

Texas is consistantly in the top 5-10 places to move. Austin has over 1000 people a week moving in to Austin. The Chamber of Commerce anticipates a housing shortage in Austin in 2011-2012, so that should keep prices steady or maybe even go up, who knows.

My advice is pull it off the MLS (Multiple Listing Service for 3-4 months and re-list this spring. This way it will appear as a fresh listing this spring, not a home that has been languishing on the market for a year. Please let me know if I can help you further. Good luck!


Betina Foreman
Keller Williams Real Estate
1801 S. MOPAC, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 11, 2009
We have 2.7 million foreclosures now. 7 million more are coming from 2010 -2013. We have 10.2% unemployment. 15.6 million ( or so) people are unemployed. Unemployment is expected to increase. FHA is having problems. It is the biggest lender now. Fannie May is having so many problems it is going to rent the houses back to people who did not pay their mortgage and lost the house <confusing isn't it?> The federal reserve is going to stop buying mortgages within a few months. That should increase mortgage rates.

http://bx.businessweek.com/foreclosure-crisis/housing-crash-… <-- see the foreclosure problem to come.

The buyers $8k bribe has been extended. It will go until 4-29-10 for contract signing. 6-29-10 for completion.
It now includes $6.5k for homeowners of 5 years or more. The bad part for sellers is that only exists during the down sales months. Do what you feel you must. But I expect prices to drop even more. Look at what I said above. Look up 2.5 or 2.7 (and 7) million foreclosures and you will see what I mean.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 7, 2009
You didn't mention your price range of your house. Lower end homes are selling well, and will continue to sell. Higher end homes are not selling as well, but many of the "recession recovery" reports have Austin picking up for Spring next year, so that's really good news.

Donna Harris
Web Reference: http://www.donnahomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 7, 2009
Wow, tough to keep motivated as a seller after this long. Not having a complete picture of your specific situation, I'll speculate a bit. I agree with the other posts, talk to your REALTOR or if you have lost faith in your REALTOR consider your options. Houses sell for 3 basic reasons. 1) Location: You picked that one when you bought this home. 2) Condition: Is your home in pristine condition? Better than the competition? In todays market this is a tie breaker not what gets you more money than your competition. 3) Price: I always analyze, for my clients, the specifics of their neighborhood and provied 3 critical price points. a) Price we need to set in order to get traffic into their home. (As you correctly pointed out 5 buyers in 5 months won't cut it). b) Price I beleive we can actually get for the home. c) Price you might see on a contract so we can discuss the "low ball" market we are in. You can't get mad at low ball offers you have to engage them with a goal of making a deal happen that everyone can live with.

It appears that the $8K tax credit is going to be extended and even expanded to buyers who have owned one home for more than 5 years and buy another home after selling. The bill on the table is providing $6500. to the later with some restrictions. We will know soon the final details.

The Austin market is tightening. We began 2009 with over 13,000 single family homes for sale and ended October with 8,716 homes for sale. All real estate is local and when I say local I mean right down to a specific subdivision and even down to specific streets within a subdivision in some cases.

Best of luck!
If you decide to make a change, I'd be glad to discuss the specific details of your situation with you.

Bill Austin ~ Keller Williams Realty ~ 512-709-6343 ~ baustin.realtor@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 5, 2009
Liz, Have you and your agent discussed this issue? Are you cooperating with the advice from your agent? Often, people hesitate and price too high, thinking they will get a higher price. All that does is cost more. Your agent should provide stats to show you exactly what is happening in your market. You want to price aggressively. What is the condition of your home? In this market, with high supply, houses become commodities. Therefore, price and condition are the keys. The house must be priced right and staged to enable a buyer to experience an emotional reaction-which means removing the "personal" touches. Since you have only had 5 showings, my bet is that price needs to be addressed.

You asked if 2010 looks better. The answer is no. Our recession may have ended, but there "fallout" is still occuring and recovery is going to be down the line. As an example, the ARM loans that were sold at ridiculously low rates are about to reset, in 2010-2012. That is going to bring a whole new batch of distressed properties, and that means that prices will be affected for a long time.

YOu mentioned the first time buyer incentive, which makes me think that your home is in a lower price point. Most first time buyers are in the $150-250K range. That is actually a pretty good market. Some neighborhoods can actually be considered a seller's market. If that is the range you are in, then it should sell if priced right and in good condition. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
Unfortunately no one really knows what spring will bring other than allergies! However, historically the market starts to move a little more in the spring, but both buyers and sellers tend to increase so although you may have more buyers, you may also have more competition.

No matter what the season, you must address location, condition, and price. Although our market has slowed, good homes priced right are selling fairly quickly. Assuming your location is good , you should have the best price or the best home ... or the best home with the best price in your area. If you are in a subdivision where you are competeing with new home builders, your price must be very aggressive to capture the buyer. Your agent can help with market analysis for your specific area of town.

Best of luck to you!

Donna Goode
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
Hi Liz,

I have to agree with Jay. It's time to sit down and have a good heart to heart with your listing agent. There are a multitude of reasons why your home is not selling. One of the biggest is how it compares to other homes on the market in your area. Is it priced higher than other homes for sale? It may have more features, but if those features don't equate to higher VALE in the minds of the potential buyers, they really won't bring a higher price.

Accessibility is also huge. If the house is at all difficult to show, you won't get buyers to look at it. If an agent has a choice between a house that is listed as call first, go or vacant vs. one that has to have any special arrangements made, we will most likely show the easy one and skip the other -- all other things being equal. There are a lot of homes on the market and we need to make the most of our buyers' time.

As an agent who works with a lot of buyers, I have to say that price and accessibility are the 2 key factors in getting your house shown. Next factor is how it looks on line. The photos need to be attractive and appealing to my buyers. If you are targeting first time buyers it is important that the house and decor not appear dated at all. Keep or make things clean, neat and minimal. Most first time buyers won't have a lot of cash to make changes and as new buyers they often have a hard time seeing past the cosmetics of a property.

While the Austin market has not been as negatively impacted as other areas, buyers are still cautious and looking for the best deal out there. That doesn't have to mean the cheapest, only the best value. Homes under $200K have been selling well in Austin, but only if they are the best VALUE out there.

I thnk it's also time for you to evaluate your motivation to sell. Do you need to sell soon? Do you have a new home waiting for you? Or is it something that you thought you would try last May and now you're not so sure? 5 months is a long time to maintain a home is show ready condition! If you truely want to sell now, have that heart to heart with your agent. They should be able to help you put together a strategy to get it sold now -- assuming the property doesn't have some fatal flaw.

Good luck!

Web Reference: http://CARARealtyGroup.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009

The best answer would be to sit down with your agent and go over this. The reason why you home is not selling could be more than just economic issues. It could be the price, it could be staging of the home, and it could also be location. I would suggest that you site down with your agent and go over the comps, tour the competing homes in you are in your market to better understand your competition.

I can understand if you may be frustrated, and I can tell you that Austin has fair better than most places, but the media hype is causing more and more people to site on the sidelines. Most of my buyer clients are renting for now or sitting and waiting. The fact is some people are nervous right and until we have some consistent information economically coming to us, I think we will see things acting sluggish. The last word I heard mid 2010 from Texas A&M Real Estate Center.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009

There is some indicators that the Spring will be the start of a Sellers Market. The logic behind this, new home builders will not have an abundance of lots available to build new homes, therefore, there may be shortage of homes, providing people keep moving into this area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
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