Tina, Home Seller in Baltimore, MD

House for sale in Mt. Washington ... need advice

Asked by Tina, Baltimore, MD Tue May 20, 2008

I've had my house for sale in Mt. Washington for about three months and I'm barely getting any showings. I'm wondering if I have it priced correctly and it seems I'm not getting much help from my realtor. My address is 2015 Kelly Ave (it's 2.5 years old, 5 bedroom, 3 bath) and it's priced at $459K. My realtor is sending me comps from Baltimore County in Owings Mills and Lutherville of similar style houses selling for $389K but how can that be a fair comparison when it's not even close to the same area? Further, he's having open houses every weekend but not even advertising them, citing that if he just puts an open house sign up on that particular day, then people will just come. Personally, I don't know many people who just drive around randomly looking for open houses. I'm wondering whether it's even the best use of his time. I hired him because he advertised himself as an expert in that area, but now I'm not so sure. Can someone please give me some advice?

Help the community by answering this question:


I would never " badmouth" another realtor, but it truly does not sound like you are getting much help from your realtor. Maybe it is time for you to sit with him and have a heart to heart talk. If you are still not satisfied, give me a call and I will show you how much you could be getting from the right realtor.
My contact information is 410-925-1299. So text or call me!
Ruth Maier, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2012
Dear Seller: I am a returning "seeker" for a home to purchase and have just about given up in this so called " buyer's market". Yes ! the inventory is here, but SO ARE THE INFLATED PRICING. This whole byuying/selling is based on what the #1 realtor said:PRICING. Of course, location and averages of comparables sold are equally important in setting a pruice.I am a very critical seeker who refused to Overpay" when the inventory was slim ( and the loans..oh well we know that story; look at the foreclosures) . NOw, although the inventory is betterm I hold t to he same principle-even more so in the presence of our shaky economy.THE PRICES for decent is STILL INFLATED.. with everything else going up, up, and more up-I plan to search the market until I can search no more before I sign on the dotted line(s). Things that might help you: (1) Search this very sight to see what comparables in your own community sold for and when . (2) Consider giving some buyer incentives, that is, something to make YOUR deal stand out amoung the averages ; you'll be blessed with a solid and good contract. I've sold several homes of my own in the past [before the market went so bad in Maryland]. I was a blessing to my buyers and I was blessed later, buy my small generosities. Try It ! It'll make you feel good to know you did something "special " for your buyer.
Oh by the way, explore other brokers. One who will address your concerns and offer you sound advice. Don't be afraid to entertain talk about price reduction My family had the same problem with a family member's home that had been on the market for almost a year. Within two weeks with our new broker, we had many hits. ! The home sold within 21 days. I must admit, reduced (reasonably) pricing was the answer and changing to an agent who saw the situation and frankly discussed options, while employing his great advertising tools . God bless!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
First of all Tina, this is a tough market - no question about it - no ones an expert right now. In your realtors defense, I've been selling homes in Baltimore full time for 17-years and right now it is difficult. But the others who have answered you are correct it all about price, nothing else - price!! And of course Marketing, you must reach the market of buyers who qualify to buy your house and let them to know it's there. You need sold comps over the last 3-months from Mt Washinton to establish a price and then price it 12% below that. If your realtor is marketing the internet heavily then he/she is on the right track, 85% of buyers start on the interent anymore. And 90% of buyers already have a realtor representing them - so open houses are pretty much worthless in this day & age - except for agents to pickup new clients. If your agent is encouraging you to reduce the price - you should listen. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2008
The answer is the Price. In real estate - when a property doesn't sell it is always the price. That doesn't mean it has to be the lowest but it does mean it has to the very best house on the market for the price. That is the house that sells, then the next best house for the price, and so on. If it doesn't sell either improve the property or the price. BUT FIRST IT HAS TO GET NOTICED. Marketing Exposure can break through the clutter of inventory to ensure that your property gets on the buyers' short list of properties to see FIRST. The agent should be willing to invest cash to advertise the property, produce polished color brochures, serve lunch to attract brokers, stage the property, and create enhanced web prescence everywhere. BUT ultimately it's about the price. You should probably re-price, and re-launch with a robust marketing plan. If the agent you have recommended a lower price then maybe you should get that agent to do this BUT if the agent recommended the current price and then didn't invest in getting it sold you should probably give someone a chance who is willing to "share the pain".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
Hi Tina,

I just took a look at your listing. From what I can tell by searching newer homes in your area, your home seems to be priced reasonably. As the others have said, the other areas are not comparable areas to yours. I noticed that your agent is not based out of the area, so maybe this is part of the problem. As for the open house, he should be advertising them on open house websites as well as in the Sunday Sunpapers. I am not sure if this helps. Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
As an agent in the immediate area, obviously Lutherville and Owings Mills are not even close to being comparables for your home. First, they are located in the county and not the city.
I am familiar with your house and would say that perhaps it is not priced correctly. Since your home is new construction, it may be harder to get a good comparable in that area but you do have a lot of things going for you as for the location since you are right near the village, whole foods, etc.

You do have to decide whether your agent is working up to your expectations but you also have a signed agreement with him to list your home.

Did he have a brokers open with other agents in the area? As Keith had mentioned, it is this network that also needs to be tapped. As an agent we sometimes can rely on other agents sending us thier new listings, price reductions, etc to send to our own clients. This way also, if we see something come through we can automically forward it to our own clients.

I don't know if this helps you at all but hopefully you will be able to sell it if it is at the right price.
And that in this market is the main key!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
The truth is that the buyer that sees the home they purchase sees it with a Realtor 90% of the time. So the real target is other Realtors. If you are not receiving showings by Realtors it means that they are showing other homes that they perceive to offer more value.

You can verify this by asking your Realtor to to print out all of the homes, similar to yours, that have sold in the time yours has been on the market.

The other key rule of thumb is that homes that sell during the first 30 days of market time sell closest to asking price. The longer a home sits on the market the greater the gap. For example, in my market, homes that sell in 30 days are selling for 98.6% of asking. At 120 days they sell for 93.5% of asking, that's after a price reduction.

Remember that buyers shop in price ranges, and you need to slightly under-price in most markets to get showings. Another rule of thumb is 10-12 showings should yield one offer. So no showings, you need to lower the price (assuming competent marketing, etc.).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
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