You've had some excellent responses from several real estate professionals from outside of our area. I don't disagree with any of the input you've had so far. I'll give you a little more local perspective because I have lived and worked (selling real estate full-time) in Seminole County for eighteen years.
I do feel your pain. The marketing in MLS looks great. The photos are well done, the Virtual Tour is nice, the home looks beautiful, the neighborhood and schools are terrific, and it appears you are now priced right (although the $324,900 in the beginning was not a great place to start). From the Realtor perspective, your MLS listing (which is 90%+ likely to be where your buyer is found) looks very professional and complete. And the 3.5% commission is competitive to attract buyer's agents. It's common sense that with 26,000 homes for sale that the agents would show the ones that meet their buyer's needs and also pay them well. If I was "job hunting" in any other industry, I'd certainly compare compensation as one important factor so you are on track there.
The "caravan" comments unfortunately don't have much value. If the house is decent, you'll geneally hear nice house, priced right, great listing, etc. Although they will beat you up a little if a house needs repair or smells bad or isn't being maintained overall, you probably won't get anything of value from caravaning Realtors that your agent should not have already told you. Some companies do caravans to "expose" your home and to make it look like we're doing something, but the reality is that if an agent has a buyer for your area and the features and price of your home and the commission offered is reasonable, they will show your home. Most agents would show an "in-house" listing if it meets their buyer's needs, without a caravan. I haven't been with a company that did caravan since the early 1990's (before multiple photos, virtual Tours, mapping software, aeriel photos, etc.). These days with all of the technology available, in my mind a caravan is a way to get agents to come to work and possibly a way for a newer agent to get some general market knowledge (and for the listing agent to show they are "doing some marketing" of the home.
You don't seem to have marketing problems but you are competing in the toughest seller's market I've seen, at least since the early 1990's. With 26,000 homes for sale and about 1,000 sales per month in September and October, there's over a TWO YEAR supply of homes on the market at the current absorption rate. Aside from lowering the price, raising the commission and offering additional buyer incentives (interest rate buy-down so more buyers can qualify for your home), time and patience (perservence?) will be what it takes to get your home sold.
The days on market (DOM) that you hear about includes only the homes which have SOLD! There are 400% more homes that expire or are withdrawn from the market than sales recently for each month. In other words, in the Orange/Seminole County market, for the 1,000 lucky sellers who were successful last month there were over 4,000 who were unable to sell! Those 4,000 people aren't counted in the DOM's so that 113 days on market average is the most misleading figure we publish as Realtors. We have many homes listed for a year or two years that don't sell so the 365 or 730 days on market aren't counted at all! Look at Absorption Rate instead of Days on Market to see what you're facing and to make the best decisions.
Hope this helps. If I have a buyer for your pretty home, I'll be happy to show it and work with your agent! Your agent looks top notch so I applaud your choice and suggest you work closely with them to achieve a successful sale. If we all work toghether (buyers, sellers, agents), we will make it through this market just fine. Best of luck to you and Happy Thanksgiving!
Marty Hunt, RealtorÂ®, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-PRO
Realty Executives Orlando
Office: (407) 869-7779 Cell: (407) 619-2640
Web Site: http://www.martyhunt.com
Sounds like you're off to a great start! Please tell us how long it has been on the market, what is the average "days on market (DOM)" for your area, and how many comparable homes are for sale in your area, and how many comparables have sold in the past 6 months? These facts are very relevant to your question... Simply post an answer to your own question with these answers... Thanks!
In order to sell your house it ultimately comes down to price and time. How quickly do you want to sell? The sooner you want to sell; the lower the price must be. The higher the price you want; the longer you will have to wait to sell. Price and time are inversely related
Thank you for your question. Your query is a common one, so do not feel that you are unique.
The truth is that any home will sell for the right price. Buyers are looking for value.
I would suggest you talk with your Realtor regarding these key points:
1. How many homes like yours have sold during the time yours has been on the market?
2. If any homes have sold, look at their MLS listing information. Why did they sell, and your did not?
3. Which way is your market headed? Your Realtor should be providing you with an updated CMA at least every other week. Is more competition coming onto the market? Do you go look at the new listings? Does your Realtor?
4. Statistics show that homes that sell in the first month net the seller the most. In a flat or declining market it is critical to be realistic. If you have not had showings, the price is too high. If you've had showings, what is the feedback from the agents?
5. Market value is what a willing and able buyer will pay. I hurt your expectations, but get away from 15% under market. The only way of truly knowing the market price is to use sold properties. However, that data is always at least six weeks to two months old, so if the market is trending down, you are "chasing the market". You cannot win chasing the market.
There are many steps that you as the seller can take to make your home have more value. The simplest thing is to offer to buy down the interest rate for the buyer. That immediately, based on monthly mortgage payments, makes your home cheaper. Discuss with your Realtor.
The market is difficult in Florida. Unless you are close to a retirement community like The Villages it is difficult. Have you had an open house? What about local advertising? Is there a virtual tour? How does it look on Realtor.com? Are there multiple pictures? How does the write up the realtor did read? Does it make you want to see the house? Is there a yard sign? Are there directional signs leading to your home? Are you listed with a well know company? Are you on the company web site? Are you offering a full commission (6% to 7%)? This allows the realtor to co-broke at 3% to 3.5% and will get the attention of other realtors to show your home.
You need to have an edge above and beyond all the other homes. Take a look at the questions I asked and see if you fall short anywhere.
Hope this helps.
Linda J Sears
Ah, thanks for fleshing out the details... Of course, your anxious! Do try to relax as best you can. It sounds like you are in the hands of an experienced REALTOR since he/she has made fairly rapid price adjustments--trust your REALTOR--that's what you hired him/her for! It would've been best to price your home aggressively in the beginning (the new listing "honeymoon period"); but now it sounds like you are where you need to be to get this home sold. Sit tight at $289K for a week or two. Monitor the situation with your REALTOR. If you've still had no showings after that time, you may wish to consider alternatives... Are you able to rent the home? Could you family stay for a year or two (until the market turns upward in your area) while you commute? etc...
I wish you the best of luck during this difficult transition! And do keep checking back--another real estate pro may chime in with a great suggestion! Stay tuned!
A month without showings does not bode well... Your DOM facts are a bit scary, too. What is the average DOM? Also, Marlene is right about price and the "buyers market." How many homes currently listed are you in direct competition with? Is your home the best value of the comps in your area? A well-priced home WILL sell in any market...