Home Selling in Waldorf>Question Details

Stephen, Home Seller in Waldorf, MD

6 months-no offers, are homes selling in Waldorf, MD ?

Asked by Stephen, Waldorf, MD Sat Mar 15, 2008

We have had our house on the market for the past 6 months with a realtor. He seems to know what he's doing, but we have not had a single written offer. We are wondering if other people have had similar experiences and what did they do to get it sold? Change Realtors?

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Answers

18
There is a buyer for every home that has the price set right (from the buyer's perspective). Buyers are afraid to purchase homes that have not already made a price correction. We do not want to be stuck with a home that cannot increase in value. Make the price correction to your home and the buyers will come.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Stephen
I like Esther and Karen's aswers, however I would like to ad a vew things.
Six months on the market is a concern to me. and I think there is a problem however I'll bet it is not your Realtor. Unvrealistic seller expecations are probably the underlying problem.

I think I can prove it.
How many homes, like yours, are on the market right now?
How many homes, like yours, have sold during the last six months.
How many sold last month?

Buyers normally look at 12-15 homes before they buy. That means that if other homes are selling, and yours is not, then buyers do not see the value that your home brings. They vote by buying..

The Realtor exposes the property to the market, then the market reacts. You should know that everyone now knows that your home has not sold for six months. If you were shopping for a home, and you saw a home on the market for six months, what would you do?

So I suggest that you have your Realtor do an updated CMA
Declutter your home.
Rearrange the furniture
Take new pictures
Mail an open house invitation to 200 homes in the area.
Have an open house with food next week
Look at the homes with which you are competing, figure out how to make yours more attractive.
Lower the price
Increase the commission
Paint the front of the house
Make sure that it's CLEAN
INclude some extras, like appliances, patio furniture, home warranty.
Collect feedback from Realtors that have showed your property. You should get showing feedback and having a meeting with your Realtor weekly on showing feedback. If you don't have ten showings or two weeks, lower the price.

Homes that sell in the first 30 days sell the closest to asking price. So once your re-launch your listing, if you do not have shownig activity or offers, reduce the price asap.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
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I think Bmore has nailed it ! This market is so over priced you've got to be careful not to pay too much now . This market is going to take YEARS to come back. Buying a house now only to have the value continue to slide downward would be crazy I exchange emails with several people who have decided to wait and not rush in to a house purchase because of the uncertainty of this market.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Here's a guage for you on how to determine the appropriate price of your home......and probably a price that's more apt to bring a contract to the table. If you bought your home more than 5 years ago, look at what you paid for it, and appreciate that value at 5-6% annually. If it was less than 5 years ago, look at the price that the previous owner paid and appreciate that price by 5-6% each year.

Your real estate pro that gave you the explanation on the media driving this frenzy, he's niave. Buyers just aren't going to overpay for a home. The bang is gone from real estate. Sure it's an investment, but the idea of buying a home to live in should drive the decision, not the return you're going to get in 2-3 years. People are coming down from the investment driven decision making high they were on 4-5 years ago and thinking more practical.

Hope this helps.......take it from me. My wife and I have been looking in that area for 6 months now. It's crazy what people want or think their home is worth.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 14, 2008
Price your home so it's one of the three best deals in your price range. EZ PEEZEE
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008
It's a simple answer. Take your house off the market since you don't really want to sell it or lower your price and act like you want to sell it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
Usually 3 items impact the sale of a home. Location, Price and Presentation. You and your REALTOR need to take a good look at them in comparison to your competition. You only have control over 2 of them, since you can't move your house. The market is slow, but if you are best in show and show value in your pricing, you can get offers. Sometimes the truth hurts, but you will have to take a hard look at way your home looks. Paint is always subjective to the eye of the beholder. That accent wall might not look good to a potential buyer. Too much furniture, too personalized etc.. Smells and stains. All this things add up to turn off buyers.

Things you cannot change will need to reflect in pricing. Good Luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
If your interested I'm a buyer that was disgusted by the market and decided to leave.

Three main points drove me away from buying a house at least for the next six months.

1. Sellers maintain the belief that their house is not falling in value quarter over quarter. Your asking a buyer to pay current market value for a house that will depreciate just after they bought it. I'm not interested in taking off your hands a depreciating asset unless its discounted so that some of the future depreciation is taken from your pockets.

2. Finding a lender that isn't gun shy is very difficult. Since homes are depreciating they find that making a loan on these homes are very risky and they require that you bring an additional 5% to closing in a "declining market". When asked it was revealed that pretty much all of MD was labled "declining market". I personally have a excellent credit rating with low debt to income ratio and cannot get a loan near the national average without brining 10% to closing. Fed rates go down but 30 year mortgage rates remain high due to inflation and other factors. It may seem like I'm whining on this point to those who have lived through periods of much higher interest rates but there is a large difference between 6.5% and 5.5%. Which leads to my third point.

3. Mortgage insurance rates are climbing higher and higher and seem to be only tied to the amount of money you lend not the worthiness of the lendee. Annual percentage rates remain high due to the costly fact that because alot of bad loans were made insurance cost have continued to rise to compensate. Like auto insurance, a lot of accidents in your area and automobile insurance rates rise. Lenders who buy this insurance increase the APR of their loans pushing the cost onto the buyer.

Simple fact Sellers, Lenders and Insurance companies need take a time-out. There are likely a few buyers out there like myself as someone else suggested that would return to the market after things settle down. Right now market forces are not favoring me so I will wait, save my money, and hopefully I will be able to nab that 10% down payment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 29, 2008
Thanks for all your answers. Our house finally went under contract after we lowered the price 50K. However, now the appraisal came in 40K below the contract. We are going to dispute the appraisal. We can't believe we are in this position after trying to sell for 8 months and finally getting a contract. We can't lower the price anymore, what do we do? Any Ideas?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
BEST ANSWER
keep the house
not a good time to sell a house

anyways

good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008
I am in Ohio and the market is fairly slow here too. I've read the other comments, and apparently there are some homes selling in your area. If your home is priced right (which a Realtor can determine for you), you may want to spend a small amount of money and hire a professional home stager. Ask for a consultation. A professional home stager is trained to be the "buyer's eyes." They will be able to give you an evaluation of the "appeal" of your home. It is highly recommended that you do this before reducing your price as a price reduction is not always the best solution. If you have your home "staged" by a pro then your Realtor would be able to "hype" the listing as "something new." I hope this helps. Good luck with the sale of your home. You can find a professional home stager in your area at http://www.homestagingresource.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008
Yes, homes are selling in Waldorf! In the last 30 days, 56 homes have gone to closing - the only negative to that figure is that there are still 709 homes on the market that have not received a contract or gone to closing yet! I have been a Realtor for over 35 years, and have been through several cycles like this one, but never one that is strictly controlled by the media! There are literally hundreds of buyers out there, waiting for the 'bottom of the market' to buy - I heard it explained this way, the media tells us what is average in the US, if you wanted to know the temp in Waldorf, would you listen to the average temp in the US? As soon as the media stops all this negative reporting, the buyers will be out in force, and the prices will start going back up! Interest rates are great - I was selling real estate when the rate was at 18%, and we still sold houses!
Bill Wootan - Leader of Team One at Century 21 H T Brown Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.SoMdTeamOne.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
Unfortunately, some houses are lingering for many months. How is the house priced? Are you priced aggressively? How does it show? Is it hard to show, restricted times etc? What has your agent said as to what he/she thinks is the problem?What is your agent doing for marketing? If the agent has marketed the home and it is priced right then you are just waiting on a buyer, then switching agents is not the answer. I have been the second agent many times and I usually start with an updated market analysis & I listen to what the feedback has been from previous showings to determine what we need to do. Usually it starts with price. I would have a talk with your agent to find out what you can come up with together and see if laying out a new plan will work. Good Luck to you.
Kim Mills
Web Reference: http://www.kimandrenie.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
Stephen,
All over Maryland, the numbers show that time on the market is much longer than usual, inventory is at all-time highs, and sales are down between 25% and 50%. PG county is one of the slowest markets.
The good news is, some houses are still selling in 30 to 60 days. Those are the houses that are in the best condition and priced below the rest. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes, if you were looking in a market where there are 10 to 15 listings for every buyer, you would have the luxury of choice. You would choose the home in the best condition, at the best price.
Here are two recent examples: 1. A seller of ours took out about $15,000 of his equity and replaced all of the flooring, painted the entire inside, stained the outside, painted and repaired trim, did landscaping...All which needed to be done. His house sold in 41 days, in the winter, in the slowest time of the year, in one of the slowest markets in many years.
2. We gave similar advise to the owner of a $600,000 estate home. It was 20 years old and badly needed updates. They didn't want to do it. Its still on the market over a year later, for $100,000 less, as they have chased the market down with several price reductions. If they had spent $25,000 to do the neccessary updates, they would have sold and netted more than they will today. (If they even sell.)

If your agent is not telling you these hard facts, then maybe you need to change agents. If you do, make sure you find an agent who understands the market we are in, and then make sure you take their advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
Houses are selling in Waldorf. In Feb 2008, zips 2001, 2002, 2003, there were 17, 33, and 29 contracts ratified respectively. It is true however; that new listings exceeded the number of new contracts in Feb, so the inventory of homes in the Waldorf is increasing. Based on the Feb sale rate there is 9 months of houses available.

Your focus however, is to get your house in the “sold” category. In a typical market, getting to “sold” is a function of pricing (right for today’s market not yesterdays), staging (inside the house) & curb appeal (outside attractiveness). In this strong buyers market with the general economic doldrums, setting the price below the market price may be the most viable strategy. This assumes there are no staging or curb appeal issues.

Houses in the 1st time homebuyer range are selling briskly. The $500K+ range appear to be stalled. If your house is in the $500K+ range and the three basics have been covered, the new FHA maximum 30 year fixed market rate up to $729,750 in Charles County will attract more buyers to the marketplace once buyers learn about it. Local mortgage companies are now marketing the new loan limits.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
Houses are selling in Waldorf. In Feb 2008, zips 2001, 2002, 2003, there were 17, 33, and 29 contracts ratified, respectively. It is true however; that new listings exceeded the number of new contracts in Feb, so the inventory of homes in the Waldorf is increasing. Based on the Feb sale rate, there is 9 months of houses available.

Your focus however, is how to get your house in the “sold” category. In a typical market, getting to “sold” is a function of pricing (right for today’s market not yesterdays), staging (inside the house) & curb appeal (outside attractiveness). In this strong buyers market and the general economic doldrums, setting the price below the market price may be the most viable strategy. This assumes there are no staging or curb appeal issues.

Houses in the 1st time homebuyer range are selling briskly. The $500K+ range appear to be stalled. If your house is in the $500K+ range and the three basics have been covered, the new FHA maximum 30 year fixed market rate up to $729,750 in Charles County will attract more buyers to the marketplace once buyers learn about it. Local mortgage companies are now marketing the new loan limits.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
All over Maryland, inventory is at high numbers. Sales are down 25% in some counties, 50% in others. The average time on the market is 150 days and more in some markets.

The good news is that in most places, there are still homes selling within 30 days. Those are the houses that are in the best condition, and priced below the competition. Put yourself in the buyers shoes, if you were buying in a market where there are 10 to 15 listings for every buyer, you would have the luxury of choice. You would choose the house in the best condition, at the best price.

Here are 2 recent examples: 1. the seller took out $15,000 of his equity, replaced all the floors, painted the whole house inside, stained the outside, painted trim, landscaping...All things that really needed to be done. He priced his home right below the average of his competition. The house sold in 41 days, in the winter, the slowest time of the year. It sounds radical but it works.
2. We gave the sellers of a $625,000 estate house the same advice, they didn't want to do it. They are still on the market more than a year later, at $100,000 less. They could have put $25,000 work into the house, and still made out better than they are today. (And their house would have sold, which is the goal.) Now they are chasing the market down.

If your agent is not telling you these truths, even though its hard news to give to a seller, then maybe you should think about another agent. But if you change agents, make sure they understand the market, and then make sure you take their advise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
from a mortgage bankers point of view...... their is a purchaser for your home out there right now, just drop the price and see. If you need the asking price to pay off a mortgage put your seat belts on and get ready for a long ride.... i think we are at least 1 year away from the bottom......
Web Reference: http://www.openmortgage.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 15, 2008
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