Home Selling in Pottstown>Question Details

Kerri Holiman, Other/Just Looking in 19464

Trying to sell my home and getting no showings. How do I change agents?

Asked by Kerri Holiman, 19464 Sun Aug 5, 2007

I'm trying to sell my home in Pottstown and we haven't had any real interest in our house yet. We've been on the market since the last day of May and there hasn't been a single call on our home. We've had 3 open houses with 1 or 2 visitors each. I think the issue is my listing agent, but I'm not sure. If it's him, how can I get out of my 6-month contract?

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13
Kerri,

It's time to sit down with your agent and take a hard look at your listing. Ask him to pull the competing listings as well as the recently sold and pending. From a quick glance I can see you are in direct competition with homes that are on low traffic streets, are larger, have garages and/or finished basements. Evaluate the price you originally listed at and the current reduced price. Discuss why you started there and what strategy you need to use to move forward. As hard as it is to do so, put your emotions in check when making decisions. Also keep in mind, in this area July and August are typically months of less activity and this year is no exception.

Before you worry about changing agents take some time and consider why you chose to work with your current agent. Is he doing the things he told you he would? Were these things measureable? How often are you communicating and who initiates the call? Selling your home must be a team effort between you and your agent and all team members should be doing their part to reach the goal of selling your home. If it's simply a matter of being frustrated over lack of activity, give the new strategy some time. Then, if you are still unhappy, talk to your agent and his broker to come to resolution. It would not be the first time a broker has dealt with this issue.

Good luck with your sale.

Donna Saylor & Carolyn Mitchell
The Power of TWO!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2007
Kerri
You have received some great advice so far.
To summarize my perspective:
One of fthe key results of the first consultation with your Reatlor is to set realistic expecations.;;for both you, the seller, and your Realtor.
Based on the market information you discussed at the time of listing your property, what were you told about the market?
Speaking of my market (Glendale , I explain to my sellers:
The most market interest occurs during the first two or three weeks of the listing hitting the market.
This occurs because of all the marketing that I do during the first week.
So if we don't have ten showing, or two offerrs, in two to three weeks, we can plan on a price afjustment, usually about 5%.
In addition, during the first week or two when brokers come to the property, I obtain showing feedback from them and share that feedack with the sellers.
The showing feedback, coupled with website activity, and any physical showings or offers, provide the seller and Realtor with the information that they need to make adjustments.

I do not know the market in Pottstown. Here are some things you could ask your Realtor?
1. How many homes have sold (similar to mine) since mine hit the market?
2. How many new homes have come on the market since mine hit the market?
3. What is the status of the homes that were immediate comparables to mine back in May?
Did they: go into escrow? have price and/or other adjustments? Withdrawn from the market? Expired?

If you gather the above information you should know exactly where you stand. Feel free to post further information when/'if you have it.
Good luck

Keith
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Kerri,
I think you have gotten some sound advise. I hope you are finding what you are looking for! I agree that you should have a sit-down with your agent. Make sure you are on the same page. Look at what is going on in your area. Don't just pull sold and active listings, pull expired listings too. Sold listings are what buyers are willng to pay, active listings are your competition and expired listings are listings that have been rejected by the buyers for one reason or another. The most common reason is price. Take a realistic look at where your property falls. I know the market is a bit tough right now. If you want to sell you have to be aggressive. Are priced agressively?
Web Reference: http://carriecrowell.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 6, 2007
I have a house listed right now and there has not been a showing in about a year. I have repeatedly told my clients that it is 30-40K overpriced but they are not interested in lowering it. There comes a point when an agent may want to get rid of their client too. Did you price the home or the agent, and has your agent recommended lowering it? I tell all my clients the first thing that happens is an electronic evaluation by prospective buyers. They compare your home to others on the internet through their agent or on their own. If yours appears outside the correct range they will not even come see it. If you get lots of showings but no offers, your home is comparable online but when they get there, they realize there is some other issue making it less desirable than others they are seeing. I have heard an average from one of the local brokers in my area that on average a home should get an offer for every 17 showings. There are instances when an agent just isn't cutting it and it happens quite often but there is almost a 100% chance that no showings is because the price is just way too high. A couple people at an open house is no indication of real interst in a home. Some people just see the sign and balloons and take a look. They are probably interested in a home of some kind and some price but it may be far different from where you are. Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2007
Hi Kerri,

This is most common mis-conception consumers have in this industry. If a home is priced right, than there will be activity. You should ask your agent to do an updated market analyisis. I bet you would be surprised to see what the market has done since you listed. Some of your competition may have price adjusted or sold for less than their asking price. Also, Im sure there has been some new inventory that you may not be aware you are competing with. If you find that this is not the case, than there may be a problem with your agent. Have a heart to heart with them and share your concerns. If after this, they do not step it up, then I would ask them to cancel the contract so you can hire another agent that will work harder for you. Best of luck to you!

Melissa Mancini, Realtor, CBR, GRI
Web Reference: http://MelissaBMancini.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2007
Hi Kerri,
I am in Exton/West Chester.My suspicion is the home is either overpriced or there are too many on the market in that range and your home isn't the chosen one by the buyers.
Or there is another scenario.Your Realtor isn't doing her/his job.Without telling the price range it's hard to say which answer it is.
To answer your question ,if you are not happy with your Realtor's performance or even personality.You can ask out of the contract.There may be a delay of 30 days, each office has rules they play by.Some won't play at all.Some will say fine!! You're not happy ,and they have tried to resolve it 1st.They will just let you out.You have to ask, be open and honest and tell them you want the same.If someone doesn't want to work with me anymore.That makes it very difficult to move forward.Some Realtors here do Easy Exit Listings.For whatever Reason you can give notice.(of course the market was hot then too.)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 6, 2007
You must have the right price and your property must have ample exposure to a wide pool of buyers. Compromise on either and you will end up with less showings and sell for a lower price.

If you are right priced, but have little exposure, you will miss potential buyers.

If you have extensive exposure, but are priced too high, buyers will pass you over in favor of properties that offer a better value. You cannot sell an overpriced property regardless of how much you advertised it. Extensive advertsiing of an overpriced property will only servce to validate the "good deal" that a competing property represents.

Exposure includes extensive web presence, good realtor networking, and cooperative broker marketing, and making your property easy to show with flexibility in appointment setting, use of lockbox, etc.

Evaluate both your pricing strategy and the extent of your exposure. Keith outlined the important steps in analyzing your current pricing strategy against the marketplace, so I won't repeat that here. He was comprehensive and very accurate, so thumbs up to Keith!

If your agent is not providing you exposure, address that and seek a solution. If pricing is your biggest hinderance, address that first.

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
Hello Kerri,

I am familiar with the Lower Pottsgrove Area. I am in agreement with Keth's and Melissa's suggestions. The market has changed drastically in your area over the past 1.5 years. You have alot of competition from newer and existing homes. A few factors to consider when pricing a property in your neck of the woods.

1. Location, Location, Location! If you are on a major transporation roadway the pricing is critical.
2. There is well over 5 months of inventory in Lower Pottsgrove
3. Your home does not have a basement. This needs to be factored in the pricing.

Speak with your current Realtor about the situation and be a partner in the home sale process.

I hope this information helps.
Web Reference: http://www.buynlist-pa.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2007
There are three criteria to meet to sell a home: location, condition and price. Have you tried to re-arrange your furniture to promote the size of the rooms, may be it needs to be painted. Where is it situated in comparison to the other properties. Is it an upcoming area? Have your priced your property too high? Your real estate agent should advise as to these items. If not, give me a call and I would be more than happy to meet and work with you.
Web Reference: http://suzekelly.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2007
Your listing agent should be able to communicate with you about the reasons for the lack of traffic, and you should be a partner with him/her in their plan to market your home.

From what I see, Open Houses are not really the optimal way to attract a buyer to your home. While some Realtors like them because they can bring in potnetial clients, I do not know many who think they are productive. Most agents I deal with regularly also feel that newspaper listings (or really any "ink and paper" ads) are more about branding the Agency, and not so much about generating traffic.

To be sure, both help, but Real Estate has changed (as have all businesses) with the development of the insternet as a tool for consumers. Many, many people check out houses online first (I did). What kind of online presentation does your home make? Does it look similar, better, worse than others that are comparable? Where is your listing available to be viewed by prospective buyers?

Finally, the advice about price is good advice. Good homes at market prices are still selling, but many people have a fixed price in their head based on information from 2-4 years ao when the market was booming, and perhaps their ideal price is not reflective of the market now.

But, in the end - have a frank discussion with your agent and let hime/her kow of your dissapointment and discuss their marketing strategy and where to go from here. If you do not agree on the future path, or if there is no plan, then maybe it is time to part company.
Web Reference: http://www.SherlockHI.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2007
Kerri,
There have been many good answers here. I am from the Pottstown area and know that there is a large pool of homes on the market here at this time. Without knowing your pricing or other details it is alittle tough to give you a more definative answer, of course. Competitive pricing is extremely important in our area at this time as well as receiving as much exposure for your home as possible. You mention that you've had 3 open houses...holding an open house and WORKING an open house are two very different things. I definitely feel it's time for a "sit down" with your agent and find out where your home is being marketed, check on some recently solds and expireds pricing and consider some "newer ideas" for a spiced up Open house...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2007
Without more information it is impossible to make a "blanket statement" about your circumstances. I do know that many sellers quickly become "uncomfortable" with their listing agents soon after the contract is signed (there is a very short "honeymoon") and I also know that the problem is NOT always with the agent. Changing agents is not always a good or the right answer and it sends a signal to prospective buyers so think carefully before you do anything that may hurt your selling efforts.

In your case, did your agent prepare you for this situation or was it completely unexpected? Who determined your asking price and what was the discussion about it? Is your agent doing anything specifically that seems to be different from they told you in writing that they would do (forget what you expected, what did they formally commit to doing?)?

I recommend that you review your entire contract to see if they have done as they promised and to see if you have any leverage, think about your meetings and discussions with your agent to remember anything relevant to your present circumstances and then request a formal meeting to see what they have to say. Let them know that you are not satisifed and discuss where you go from here.

Remember that they will have an opinion and that this can become very adversarial so keep in mind that you both want to sell your house. Try to come up with a "win-win" situation and take an active role in the process. The market is still evolving and we are heading into the last quarter of the year: if you want to sell this year the clock is ticking!

Best wishes!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2007
Kerri,

Market conditions have certainly changed. However, before traveling down the path to terminate your contract, you'll need to ask yourself a few questions. First, has the agent performed their duties as described in the contract and according to their marketing plan? Second, have they contacted on a frequent basis to discuss the results of the marketing and, more importantly, to make suggestions about making your home more marketable? Third, have you sat down with the agent to discuss the market conditions in Pottstown and reevaluate the pricing of your property? If the agent has not abandoned you in performing their duties and are performing their duties as stated in their contract and marketing plan, then terminating a listing contract may be premature and impossible to defend. I would suggest meeting with your agent to air your grievances and see if a solution can't be met, whether that be revamping the marketing plan or severing ties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2007
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