lesjoel, Home Seller in Marriottsville, MD

How would you market a 6 bedroom rancher with a great room but no living room, dining room or family room on the first floor .?

Asked by lesjoel, Marriottsville, MD Tue Jun 5, 2012

Have had 25 different viewings and no offers so lowered price point twice to exactly what an independent appraiser appraised it at. has been on market 60 days but only a few at this new price....

Help the community by answering this question:


Not to beat you any bloodier;
but you finally got the price where it should be;
but the tendancy now, is for buyers to wonder "what's wrong with the house?"

You are now fighting an uphill battle

Why did you finally use an Appriaser; why didn't you let your Realtor do a CMA initially?
Or, are you not using a Realtor?

As Dr. Phil would say; "how's it working for you?"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
There is so much misinformation out there in regards to CMAs versus appraisals. Since I do both, I will explain. CMAs - Competitive Market Analysis and an Appraiser's Comparable Sales Analysis look at the same data in the MLS. Both jobs look at homes currently on the market and study homes that have sold. The main difference between the two is that CMAs are "fuzzy math". I was a Realtor for 8 years before I became a certified appraiser 13 years ago. Realtors look at a range of sale and list prices and come up with a "ballpark" market value. Appraisers are able to look at the data and interpret values certain amenities a home may have such as square footage, upgrades, bathrooms, bedrooms, location, etc. An example may be looking at sales data and determining that a fireplace is worth $6,000 to a typical buyer. Appraisers don't make up the data. It's all obtained by Realtors' listings on the MLS.

Realtors are sales persons. That's their job and they are on commission. Some are better than others. Realtors do have a point saying houses are only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for, BUT most buyers are not paying cash and want the banks to loan them the money. They are taking the risk. Their only insurance is an appraisal. Also, I have seen many homebuyers walk away from loans or want to renegotiate the sales price once they are "enlightened" with the appraisal. Who wants to pay more if they don't have to? If they still want to pay more, they were not educated by the Realtor. Maybe it was their agents flawed CMA? In my appraisal practice I estimate 80% of the sales and list prices are correctly priced. The 20% that are not, I find that the Realtor needs more schooling and is inexperienced. Usually its the wrong comparables they chose for your house. Appraisers aren't the bad guys. We rely on the Realtors' data in the MLS. If the data is incorrect, the appraisal will be skewed.

My suggestion is to raise the buyer broker co-op to 3.5 to 4%. Anything lower than 3% is an insult. If your listing agent finds the buyer -great! Realtors will be highly motivated to find a buyer for your home. In this bad market, Realtors should earn more commission. It's not like the real estate boom a few years ago when selling was very easy and most commission was reduced to 2.5%. Its a lot of hard work/ expense and you get what you pay for. - there, I stood up for Realtors!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
That was an EXCELLENT approach in identifying the top selling/closing agents in your Maryland area.
These folks will have some very practical advise for you.

Now, let's be clear, an appraisal does not establish the value of your home...only a willing and able buyer does. Most appraisals in Florida become an obstacle here in Florida that compel the buyer to come up with more cash. IF there are few sales in the community, the appraisal is certain to become problematic. Why would a buyer pay more? Because the buyer can see the value even if the stats don't work.

What a CMA does provide is a keyhole look at how your home can be marketed, where an appraisal can not.

No one can give you any meaningful advise with out more information. Basic data such as date of construction,square feet, community dynamics and list price are just the beginning.

Of greater importance is what is selling (not what is for sale but what has actually sold) in your competing area at that price point, then that matches as close as possible to your home and how many match both.......and where.

From this data an appropriate strategy can be developed to get your home sold.
How would I market it? Sorry, that's what I get PAID for.

I am extremely curious about the 25 different viewings that did occur. Summarize for us please, who looked at the home. Were they qualified to buy the home?Did they actually know what they would be looking at before they walked in the front door? Open Houses are of that nature. Folks walk in without any clue what is behind the front door or what it will cost. Those are not viewings but an entertainment opportunity.

There are so very many options available, but too often everyone wants to pull the price trigger simply because they do not have adequate data or understand what to expect from the market. Now, don't get me wrong, lower the price sufficiently and anything will sell. You don't need to be a pro to do that.

Best of success in selling your unique home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
Hello LesJoel,

Instead of marketing what it does not have, focus on its positive features i.e. great room and 6 bedrooms. how many pictures are on MRIS? Post 30 so you know that those clients that come to see it know what the home has and does not already.

This home sounds like it will be for a particular type of clientele. focus on them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
You were smart to get an appraisal rather than a CMA. Don't let Realtors tell you different. Since your house does not have a typical floor plan, a CMA would be flawed. Any Reatlor with any competence would know that and suggest you to get an appraisal. Why? CMAs only rely on a comparable sales approach, while appraisers use that along with a cost approach.and income approach. Not so much an income approach in your case. You should have listed your property at the appraised value. Most homes in your zip code sell within 90 to 180 days if priced correctly. If you are not getting many showings with the new price, then maybe you should fire your agent. It could be marketing OR if it is not listed, get it listed with an agent ASAP. Also, your property's value may have gone down since the appraisal. There is a high chance that your market is in decline. Check your appraisal to see if the appraiser stated the market is in decline. If it is, you can see how much your home drops in value per month. Use this simple math to price the home correctly. The worst thing you can do is to "chase" the market.

I am a Reatlor and a Certified Appraiser. If you would like me to review your appraisal, and help you understand the report, I don't mind. You can call my office at 410-750-7014.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
Hi Les,

The key to marketing any home is to have it properly prepared (preferrably staged), photographed with 35mm digital, and blasted on the Internet so that is exposed to the widest variety of potential home buyers. Someone will love it. I wouldn't rely on an independent appraiser as the true market value is what someone will pay for the house. So if no one is biting on another 30 days or 10 showings it's time to lower again until you find your price point.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
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