Home Selling in Gaithersburg>Question Details

Meg, Real Estate Pro in Gaithersburg, MD

our condo has been on the market for six months with hardly a nibble- every agent who has looked at it says

Asked by Meg, Gaithersburg, MD Fri Mar 7, 2008

it shows great, its almost 1600 sq ft! Do you think that a bonus to a buyer's agent would act as incentive to get potential buyers in the door? We just aren't getting traffic!

Help the community by answering this question:


When using credit to purchase something most buyers look at price but analyze cash flow (how much does it cost each month).

A loan of $200k @ 5.5% has the same PI payment as a $189,400 @ 6% ($1,135)

Assuming the market % rate is 6%, it would cost a seller appx $3k to purchase a permanent buy down to 5.5% for the buyer. Or the seller could reduce the price by $10,600 to yield the same monthly cash flow for the buyer.

Sounds like a win/win to me.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2008
Meg, before we get into the Condo, we need to understand what buyers are looking for in a Condo? What motivates them to purchase your condo vs. of your completion?

Reverse engineering! Now you have your home in the market, we should look backward and see what needed to be done to meet the demand?

- You went into market around October time! That is the time market goes to slow period (wintertime). MC market usually shifts from sleep mode to caffeinated mode by the end of March and peak at June to mid July!
- As my fellow agents said, Price Drives! Check your price!
- Floor plan layout also plays a big role in satisfying their need.

- Buyers would like to get more home for less money, great location, low Condo fee with great amenities, spot less, moving condition, and more.
- Also, depends to type of the condo. Majority of condo shoppers like to have Top-floor and as others demand for first floor. (What was the feedback on those buyers came through the house before?)

- When property comes into the market, you will create a pool of buyers, as soon as those buyers came through the house and left, you have to adjust your price to create another pool of buyers. At the same time, you are competing with new construction. There homes are new, with tons of upgrades and incentives. Let me ask you, when you go to supermarket to buy a pound of Apple, do you pick your apple? Do you want shinny apple with no marks, or any wormholes? Well, that’s what buyers are looking for, shinny homes!
- When I bring buyers to a house, that house better be smell good, look good, feel good, and price good!
- Depersonalize the house. Remember when your home goes into the market, become a House! Remove all personal photos, empty up kitchen counters, stage the house! Open all curtains and shads, declutter extra furnitures, thin out your closets, and improve the furniture layouts. Remember the house belongs to the market, and your goal is presentation and attract buyers attention from your personal lifestyle to their need of purchasing this house. Is all about presentation! Create the WOW factor! As buyers enter to your house, take them 6 to 8 seconds to say, this is the house! They have to see themselves, their furniture in this house!
Oh God! I can go on and on about presentation, and prepare your house for sell!

So, how to create Traffic? Improve your PRICE!
How to sell the house? Understand their buyers need, and minor alteration and modifications to meet their need.



2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
The key to selling real estate was once "location, location, location". It is now "price, price, price". There's a buyer for every home on the market - - if the price is right.
Web Reference: http://www.homefinders.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
Meg, I was reading the Rita’s answer and realized that I forget to tell you that I am also a Professional Stager! If you need advice, send me some photos and I will send you pointers!

Reza Khodadad
Real Estate Consultant, CNHS, RCC, ASP, RECS, eAgentc
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 17, 2008
Hi Meg--my house sat for several months, too. Realtors all said it showed well, but I didn't get offers. I had the house staged for $1200 and I had a signed contract for full asking price within 4 days! What a difference the staging made. Realtors know how to evaluate a house objectively, but homebuyers don't. Skip the bonus. Get a stager. It works. (BTW, I'm not a stager!)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 8, 2008

An agent bonus rarely ever works .. but I bet a new agent would.!

Sounds like the agents marketing skills fell apart after the sixth day, let alone 6 months .... no traffic means no offers, no offers means no sales.

Just because their card says agent, realtor, broker, or I sold $39 million last year but I can't close a door this year is typical for most of the consumers today .... remember, most agents have come off a 7 year stint where they showed 5 homes on Sunday and the deal closed itself by Wednesday with little or no negotiation and a 22cent fax did most of the work ....

Even in Gaithersburg it's still winter and the slowest time of the year for condo sales, but spring is just a few weeks away .... I'd be looking for 22 good ways to move that puppy.

Check the comps .. that doesn't mean looking at the sheets rolling off of your printer, that means actually "looking and touching" those comps out there - make appointments and go there and see what they have, or don't have - it's *your* competition ... and don't let your ego get in the way, it's very expensive.

Your idea of pretty wallpaper and the Vast majority of buyers might be a little different - and you want to appeal to the vast majority of buyers - this ain't about you anymore....

You may need to paint the condo, not everyone loves pink and purple flowers in the bathrooms, not everyone likes bamboo cabinets in the kitchen and not everyone falls in love with blue or dark green carpeting .... can we spell earth tones and light beiges.?

Maybe bring in a decorator just for "some idea's" ... but not any of those pyscho makeovers that you see on TV where everyone claps and smiles, then vomits on the way to their car after the show ... the guys at HGTV were laughing last week, it's just another drama show they said ..l.o.l..

Not knowing all the details, maybe a stager ... we've used this idea now for 20 some years (I should have patented it) and it flat out works ... nothing Louis Vuittonish, just basic furniture and colored sheets - and thanks for stopping by.

Now is the time to be doing some interviewing for your new agent in the area ... you need their background, their community ties, sale volume (their sales volume, not their units sales volume) and get 8 or 9 referrals from each one and have them show you what they've sold ... then call all of the referrals.

Quite tripping over the dollars to get to those dimes .... spend a little money on the inside and lower the price on the outside, it's a condo - not the Eiffel Tower.

Sincerely, the very best of luck.!

: ^ )
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
Peggy, I agree with you! Before selling Real Estate was all about Location, Location, and Location! Today is all about Price! Price is what drives today!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
In my opinion any more Agent Bonus's don't really help that much. Most buyers (National Association of Realtor says over 80 % of all homebuyers are searching on the internet for homes. they have ruled out half of what is out there either because there are no pictures or bad pictures. I agree with the staging comments especially if the condo is vacant. And make sure that your Realtor has tons of pictures on the internet. If that doesn't get it sold quickly then you have to look at the price. Have you Realtor do a new CMA for you. The prices have dropped in the last 6 months. Also as an incentive offer to pay 6 months of Condo fee's. Try to think outside the box.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008
Our realtor is Sue Conner, her phone number is 240-338-2874. If you would like to schedule a showing, please call her.

Thank you

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
If it looks great and the location is not a negative and the market is strong, then your price is the issue! It always comes down to price! If you are using a Realtor to market your home, ask for an updated Market Analysis. Mny things have changed in 6 months! Is you realtor truly marketing your home? Internet presence (several sites are the norm, flyers, open houses, realtor tours, mailouts, etc are all great tools when used together....If you are not using a Realtor, I think it's time you did. You need someone to market your home in as many ways possible! Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 11, 2008
Tracy, yes that is also another option, however you have to adjust the price, to your house show-up with the RADAR! Otherwise, the house is invisible.

How is the Market in Phoenix?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
I'm not a real estate agent, but a potential home buyer instead. Why not offer to pay closing costs, or just lower the price of the property overall. I think that would bring more potential buyers, rather than brokers, which is what you're really looking for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
Price is what sells homes in this market. It sounds like it shows well , so I would look at the price. As everyone here seems to feel the bonus to the agent is not the answer. You want the buyer to see the value. Have a discussion with your agent about what has sold and price your home to sell. Realistically, everyone that has come thru has rejected your home at your price. Good Luck to you. Kim
Web Reference: http://www.kimandrenie.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
Hi Meg,

I think you are better off reducing the price of your property. A buyer's agent's commission is set forth in a contract with the buyer so most buyer's agent's won't look at it anyway unless your property meets their client's criteria - you may attract an extra real estate agent or two but the buyer is the one who is going to buy your property based on its location, value, and features.

Price sells property - if your property is a deal, the buyers will come through - if it is enough of a deal, you may even get several buyers bidding against each other and that can drive up your price. Talk with your real estate agent and find out where you would need to price your property so it would be a great deal - if you can't afford to sell it at that price, you may just have to wait until the right buyer comes along.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your sale.
Web Reference: http://www.toonpawley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
If you are questioning offering a "bonus" to the buying agent, keep in mind that there's more than one way to skin a cat. If it's in your budget consider offering the bonus, perhaps evenly to both agents (buying and selling), you can offer a bonus to the buyer an a purchasing incentive or contribution, but i'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the one monetary factor in almost all homes for sale nowadays is definitely the price. Either price the property to SELL or price the property to keep living there. The choice is simple.
Best of luck to you.
Jose Gomez - Miami Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
I do not work in your area, but 6 mos is about the average time on the market in my area. As far as offering a Bonus, I am not an advocate of them as a way to market the property. When I show my buyer client's listings I don't even look at the commission or bonus until I am ready to write the offer. My goal as a buyer's agent is to locate the best property at the best price for my client. Instead of giving incentives, you should ask your agent to do an updated market analysis for homes sold in the last 3 months only. What is currently on the market are just "homes not sold" and you don't want to be one of them. Price is what motivates buyers. If the home shows beautifully, is in a good location and you aren't getting any traffic - then that is the buyer's telling you that they don't perceive your home to be a good value compared to others. If you really need to sell, consider the big picture, more than likely the home you are purchasing will probably be discounted as well. If your unit isn't already listed with a REALTOR and you would like a referral, let me know and GOOD LUCK!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
I am not a huge fan of a 'bonus'. Price and marketing should be looked at first.
The right price will drive not only traffic; but a sale.

As far as a 'bonus'. Agents have to disclose to their buyer any bonuses they are receiving on a property. With the current state of Buyers - I can see many Buyers worries their agent is 'steering' them to the property. (Which may in fact be the case. Why else offer a bonus?)

Instead I would offer a higher agent co-op in the commission. Typically; this "extra" commission does not have to be disclosed. Agents often feel better that they don't have to have the "uncomfortable" conversation of "I get a bonus on this property" to a client.

Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
You'll get some agents who will show your condo because of the bonus. However, knowing nothing about your condo, location or its price... I can say with some certainty that after six months on the market it is probably overpriced if it has not sold. You should have a frank discussion with your agent, ask to see updated compararble sales and determine what the market says your home is worth. If you want to sell it, you should reduce the list price to reflect its actual worth. That can be tough in a slow market - especially if the number is less than you want to accept (or, worse, less than you paid or have invested). Good luck!

Ted Stewart, CRS, e-PRO
Yerman Witman Gaines & Garceau Realty
Baltimore, MD
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008
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