Market Conditions in 49321>Question Details

Wendy Decair, Home Seller in Comstock Park, MI

My home has been on the market for 30 days and no one has called. It has great curbside appeal.

Asked by Wendy Decair, Comstock Park, MI Wed Aug 8, 2007

Its on the web, its on the real estate channel...Are the market conditions that bad in Grand Rapids? We don't want to have an open house as some one told us that is only so the realtor can get leads on home buyers.

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Hi Wendy:
We all feel for you in your predicament - 30 days seems like an eternity. I like to advise people of other's in similar situations so that you don't feel so alone in this huge market place.... and Deborah's suggestion about checking out the competition with regard to the number of showings they've had AND whether or not they have seriously interested parties or not - is spot on.

We know you are getting tech exposure via the web and real estate channel: but are you priced comparably for your size, location, age/maintenance, and is your home updated? How do you stack up against all like properties in your area?

As for the open house - there is a mixed bag of reaction there. While it's true agents can sometimes (not too often) find a lead by holding an open house - it's not impossible to say you may get a buyer! I did - in a tough Southern California market!

If you are serious about selling your home - you need to leave no stone unturned. Don't limit your exposure because "somebody said something" that put a negative spin in your mind. Don't lose that .01% chance that you might find your buyer... besides, it will motivate you to really take a good look at your stage factor.

Open house attendees are a great resource for getting real time opinions about your home and it's show readiness. Hope you get some positive feedback, but if you don't you may be on to something even better - an answer to your own question.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2007
Multiple Pictures!!!

Last night I went back and forth deciding how to answer this. I did some research in your market (I grew up in Michigan) and compared it to markets of some of the agents responding. I was surprised at some of my findings but they didn't result in good answers. But looking through different questions, everyone seems to agree that multiple pictures are important.

When I pulled up your zip code in Realtor.com, only 4 out of 100 homes had multiple photos.
Ruth
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
All properties sell as a result of price and exposure. Every other relevant component can be factored into these categories. Location and condition are reflected in an adjusted price. Ease of showing the property (lockbox, ability to set appointment) affect it's exposure. A reduced buyer agent compensation offering may result in less exposure. Marketing increases exposure.

If you are not getting shoiwngs, you first need to find out what is happening with your competition. If other properties are getting showings and you are not, you need to identify why and address it. If other properties are not getting activity, it could be reflective of that few of buyers in the marketplace.

Ask you agent to reveiw with you which, if any, properties in the market received offers in the last 30 days, what came on new. Take a step back and be really objective about how you stack up against the competition.

Review pricing. Your current pricing needs to reflect the product (your property) as it is offered. It must be competitive. It is possible to raise value rather than decrease price. Staging, decluttering, and painting are methods of increasing value and making your price more competitive.

As it pertains to open houses, I would not rule them out. Open houses are not the core of the marketing program, and though few people buy at open houses, it does happen. Moreover, neighbors may come and tell their friends, etc. I have sold properties at an open house, although the percentage is small. When you must reach to all marketing efforts in a small market, don't dismiss anything that might bring you a buyer.

Good Luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
MVP'08
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Wendy,
Yes, sometimes an open house does benefit the listing agent, or the agent that holds it open as far as generating leads. But I personally have had 2 homes go under contract from an open house in the last year! (unfortunately, I was not the one at the open house, another agent did it for me). If you get people in your home and increase awareness is that not your optimum goal. Get it to as many people as possible. The folks that come to the open house may not be the buyers.....but they may tell someone at work or a family member about a great house they went through and refer that person to your listing. Don't rule out the open house. It can be indirect marketing!

If you have not had any showings in 30 days, I would ask your agent to bring you updated comps! You may want to investigate where you are priced compared to the rest of the market. Have you done a just listed mail out to surrounding areas to make sure everyone know there is a house for sale in their neighborhood? They may know someone wanting to move into the area!

I appreciate that it is frustrating trying to sell in a stale market! Work with your agent when possible. It will be more profitable for both of you.
Web Reference: http://carriecrowell.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2007
If you have not even gotten any calls, I suspect you are not priced right. As far as holding an open house, I would suggest you speak to your agent about it. Yes, it's true that agents sometimes get buyer leads, but why do you care if your agent picks up another buyer. Open houses are a great way to get valuable feedback. Have you considered staging your property? Staging may set your home apart from the rest of the crowd. Staging does not mean that your home does not present well. Preparing a home for sale means that you take personal items out, declutter, clean (I mean clean), and make the home interesting to buyers. Too much decorating with personal property items (collections, family photos, etc.) makes it hard for buyers to see the house.
I would suggest that you ask your agent for a marketing plan if you did not receive one already. Heavy emphasis should be placed on Internet marketing as the great majority of buyers search the Internet for their next home these days. However, all the Internet marketing and innovative marketing tools will not help if your home is not priced right. I like Dana's suggestion of looking at your competition. I always invite my sellers to take a tour of other properties on the market in the price range that they think they are in. There's nothing like seeing first hand what all the buyers will see when they look in your price range.
Web Reference: http://www.go2kw.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
MVP'08
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Hi Wendy, you say your house is on the web, who put it there, you or a Realtor? If it's with a Realtor, then I suppose it's on your MLS. If you do have a Realtor, I would suggest to them that they have multiple broker open houses, as we have to sell our listings to the broker community in addition to the public. Suggest that your broker offer some kind of contest to agents to generate interest and activity. For your own part, I would suggest you visit other comparable homes and see how you stand up as far as price and competition is concerned. Our MLS gives us the ability to print out, by ZIP code, every home that is listed and has sold in a particular time period. It is very sobering to see that there are 70 houses for sale in one zip code, and in the last quarter 6 sold. With that kind of absorption rate, it would take a long time to sell all the inventory, and that is assuming no new homes come on. In my area, if you have a 3 bedroom ranch, for example, you are competing with many many other houses.

If you have a Realtor, and are getting no showings, I would surmise that the house is overpriced, and even the agents think so, because even they aren't suggesting it to clients.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2007
The Real Estate Channel, if that is the only web exposure, is not enough. I may have navigated to the wrong site, but I didn't find it very buyer accessible. Forgive me if it is just because I am not familiar with the site.

You really need a more mainstream internet exposure to be presented to a more broad audience first and foremost. If you do have this video of your property, it can also be added to Realtor.com (provided you are listed on there) as a new beta enhancement. And is very simple to do.

Price, Location and Photos are the biggest factors. If you do have great curb appeal, get different angular shots of the yard at the best time of day to enhance color and avoid the dead straight on shot if possible and make sure you #1 photo and top 8 pics are your best photos and of different features.

We usually sell a majority of our listings from Open Houses. We do generate quite a few leads, but our first concern, as many agents, is to sell the property.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2007
Steve Ostrom, Real Estate Pro in Roseville, CA
MVP'08
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Wendy...
It is true not all Realtors are the same, but before assuming that your Realtor is not getting the job done, it would be sage advice for me to urge you to speak to your Realtor and communicate your concerns and expectations. Typically if you have not had even one showing in 30 days I would say for sure price might be an indicator. Right now due to market conditions being similar all over the U.S......normal and not the fireworks of a few years back it is key to make sure marketing is in place when listing for sale, and that the price is competitive. Without true market condition pricing your home will not be competing in the same venue for the qualified buyers, and they probably do not even know it exists as it is not in their range. I would reasses the pricing.. ask your Realtor to show you a list of current comparables that have sold, or pending in your area for the last month...then ask for the list of homes that are for sale and are in your area currently....these are your competition. It is crucial that you be the best deal right now in the mix of all these homes that are your competition. Not always in terms of price but sometimes in location, size, ammenities, etc. Open Houses draw activity and neighborhood interest...who knows maybe someone on your street that is invited to an Open House might actually know someone etc. etc. it does happen, not only that it evokes interest, and sometimes agents send their clients out to look at Open Houses..(not me) but I talk to countless people that say their agent sent them to see my open house because it might fit their needs. Market conditions are poor nearly everywhere due to the high supply and lower demand, Grand Rapids is not an exception. Work with your Realtor to forge a solution and if that doesn't work and that Realtor is not perfoming up to par......get one that will. But do not allow your precious marketing time to be wasted. Call your agent today and get the communication going...Good Luck, it can be a frustrating thing when you are the seller and your home is not getting the activity you hoped for. My best wishes:)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2007
Wendy, There is more to selling a home than you might imagine. Most agents simply, place a sign, take some pics, hange a lockbox, MLS it and play a game called MLS lottery--waiting for someone to call.

There are some agents who are at the top of their game who use great tools like vFlyers, ecampaigns,Youtube Video, Obeo Tours, Craig's list, Googlebase, Wellcomemat,oodle,edgeio, and 70+ search engines such as Realtor.com,MSN, Yahoo, etc...And that's not all there are blogs too, like the one we at team366, located in Ann Arbor, MI are using...An that's not all there's more....
Web Reference: http://blog.team366.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2007
If the home is not in the mls, get it in there, even if you use a limited services broker at a reduced cost. If it is in the mls, then no showings in 30 days is bad. I don't think I've had no showings in the first 30 days on any property in 17 years. Can't just be market conditions. Must be price or not in the mls.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2007
I answered this question on August 8th. Since then I've sold two of my own listings at open houses. I've rarely gotten a good lead who ended up buying another house from an open. I know others have, but I haven't. I prefer to work with sellers, though, so it could be just me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2007
The market is some what slow in the Grand Rapids area. I have had great success this year. Condition, price and location are the 3 keys to consider. If one is out of sync, they are all out of sync. Talk with your Realtor about re-evaluating the price and ask for ideas to make the home more appealing. FYI - I have had any where from 10-25 people come through my Opens houses. Open houses are a great tools frro gaining feedback on your property. Others may see what you as an owner do not.
Web Reference: http://www.2905bonnell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2007
Wendy, Not to interfere with any contractual relationship between you and a real estate professional. Many ideas were suggested by professionals. Grand Rapids is not my market area and I am willing to assist you or your real estate professional without obligation or fee. If you are still dissatisfied, please contact me for some Internet ideas.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 27, 2007
I think you have received good advice from everyone. Pricing is key specially in this market and you have to give buyers a deal sometimes. Ask your realtor to give you a new list of your competition. Maybe even preview a couple of them to compare. However, I have sold many homes from Open Houses and other agents have sold my listings from Open Houses. Yes, I have heard that said before and while you may get leads from them, you may actually find a buyer. Honestly, whenever I held an Open House on my listings it was with the hope and intention of selling it.
Web Reference: http://c21jerseyshore.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2007
I'll reiderate your other answers... how is your home currently priced in comparison with the competition? Also, have you learned what the average # of days on the market is on your neighborhood? Ask your agent for this valuable, settling information. If you still have questions, and are confused - ask your agent to schedule an evening of showings to see your competition. This should be very enlightening and might even give you an idea if you need to spruce anything up.
Web Reference: http://www.DanaSellsGR.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2007
There are several question I would ask. How is the home priced compared to other homes. If you are getting no traffic through the home, it may be a great indicator of an overpriced home, regardless of curb appeal. What is your competition? How many other homes are on the market? What are average days on Market? Absorption rate? As far as open houses, yes we do get leads from them, but it is also a great way to get traffic through your home. The more people get a chance to view the home the better. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2007
If you have your home listed with an agent, it's in the MLS and other houses are selling in the area, and the buyers agent commission is good, then it's priced too high. Price is the one variable that will counter all others. In my opinion, if you lower it they will come.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2007
Wendy. This is indeed unfortunately. Is your home listed with a Realtor? If you are not listed, that would be the first step. If you are then you need to check exposure and price. Are other homes selling in your neighborhood? How is your price compared to the CMA your realtor did for you? Are you priced high, low or competitive? What does your realtor say about no showings? Can they test the appointment system for you to show that it is working? Open houses are a mixed bag....I have sold houses during open houses, obtained listings, and obtained buyers for other properties. If nothing else is working I would suggest after 30 days you pull out all stops and figure out what will work. Listen to your Realtor and try what they suggest.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2007
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
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