Our house was on the market for over a year and no offers. What should we do?

Asked by frustrated seller, Virginia Mon May 18, 2009

We have had our house on the market for over a year and we have had no offers. The realtors asked us to lower the price of the house several times. We have lowered the house over $18000. In doing so, we still had no offers and hardly anyone looking at the house. There reason was that we did not have a garage. We have had to renew the contract 3 times within the year. The only time we felt the house was being shown was when the contract was due. We feel very discouraged about the sell of our house. How should be go about trying to sell the house now? I am concerned about getting another realtor and going around in loops. We just want to sell our house and not feel like we are not important to the realtor. GIVE US ADVISE PLEASE.

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757WeBuyHous…, Home Buyer, Newport News, VA
Sat Jul 28, 2012
In many areas foreclosures have depressed the prices quite a bit. While you may not be able to cut your price to the level of some of those bank owned homes, you can still do your research as to what comparable homes are selling for, and undercut their prices. You may not get as much action as the foreclosures, but you will at least get more action than other sellers who aren’t as flexible on price. Try not to get emotionally stuck on a certain price.

Make sure the home has curb appeal, even if you can’t compete on price with foreclosures, you can do your best to make sure that the your house at least looks better on the outside than the foreclosure down the block.

Fix problem areas around the house, like change carpeting. Anything that can cause instant dislike for your house should be fixed, as long as it isn’t too expensive.

Consider staging the house.

Don’t rely on the listing that your agent has put online to sell your house. Use other online venues to help sell your house. Put an ad on craigslist, use sites postlets.com like trulia.com. Promote the house through social media like Facebook Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter

Real estate investors are an effective means of selling property quickly. You can sell them your home without having to pay real estate commissions.
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Candy Dennis, Agent, Norfolk, VA
Tue May 19, 2009
Dear Frustrated, I hear you and can understand and appreciate your frustration. The answers that have been posted are good answers. It sounds as if the original list price may have been set to high. When you listed your property, did your agent review with you a competative market analysis? This would have shown what comparable homes in your area were listed for and how long they were on the market, what homes were under contract and how long they were on the market prior to going under contract, and most importantly, the final sales price and how many days the home was on the market before it closed. If reviewed, it should have given you a range of probable sales price. Also, if your home has been on the market over a year your value has probably declined. The most important decision a seller has to make when listing their home is the offering sales price. In this market it is imperative for the seller to offer their home at a fair asking price based on the homes condition and location. As for the home not having a garage, the buyers should have know the home does not have a garage before they looked at it. That information is part of the multiple listing printout which lists the details of your homes amentities. If your home is still listed it would be wise to have a sit-down, frank discussion with your agent. Find out what they are doing to market your property; who they call, where they advertise, retrace the steps over the past year to see what was done. The main thing is to NOT repeat what hasn't worked thus far. I love the phrase "doing the same thing and expecting different results is kin to insanity". That goes with anything we do in life. As for getting another REALTOR, that is your call. If you decide on a change, I would suggest interviewing several different companies. Call those companies offices and ask to speak to the manager. They can give you the names of their successful, strong listing agents and their contact numbers. Call the agents and have them come to your home. Interview each agent to find out their marketing plan, their references, their company information. Be very upfront about what your needs and expectations are. Don't forget, you're the employer and they are your employee. If I can be of assistance please don't hesitate to contact me. Best of luck to you in your endeavors.
Candy Dennis, Sales Manager Long and Foster Real Estate, candy.dennis@longandfoster.com 623-2500
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Lisa Burrow, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Tue May 19, 2009
Many of the agents here gave some really good advice and answers. Please don't feel alone as well, many other sellers have gone through the same thing the past year or so.

I'm not sure if you're current contract has expired or not but don't want to interfere with your current relationship you have with your realtor. But the key to moving a property is as some listed below..

I have what I call a Recipe for a sale -

1) Location - the pricing of your home must reflect its location.
2) condition - the upkeep and good condition of your property is crucial to obtain the highest value for your home in an given market at any given time.
3) Price: price must be in direct relationship with the other 6 ingredients, and is the most important of all.
4) Terms - the more terms available on your property the more potential buyers you reach.
5) The market - interest rates, competition, and the economy all make up and influence the state of the market when you sell your home. Right now, you have favorable rates and incentives that's being provided (the question is, are they being presented to potential buyers to get more lookers)
6) Staging - Homes that are prepared for sale sell quicker and/or for more money! Staging will immediately give you a marketing edge in any market.
7) Hiring both the right realtor and a strong company brand..

Should you decide at some point to considering hiring a new agent/realtor, feel free to give me a call. I'm both a realtor and a Nationally Accredited Home Stager and proud to be a full time RE/MAX Agent.

I just closed last month on two properties in Newport News at a $179K sales price and a $175K sales price. Price and terms were key to moving both of those properties. After pricing appropriate, staging, and marketing heavily..both sold quickly.

Good luck in the sell of your home, feel to contact me should you need assistance in the future.

Lisa Burrow
Realtor and Home Stager
RE/MAX Allegiance
0 votes
Rosalind Boy…, Both Buyer And Seller, Chesapeake, VA
Mon May 18, 2009
Dear frustrated seller,

We see this way too much, you probably were over priced when the first serious buyers were through the door. I have represented many "expired" listings successfully based on the following:

#1 the price, price it right and it will sell
#2 staging, in this market it must show well. put away the nick knacks and appeal to a broad audience
#3 marketing, most buyers are looking online before they ever go in a house. When choosing an agent make sure they are giving you online exposure, but also use traditional marketing methods like open houses.

Good luck with your home sale, if you come to the point the you want to interview new agents I would appreciate the opportunity.

Rosalind Boyle
0 votes
Pete Spadaro, Agent, Williamsburg, VA
Mon May 18, 2009
Selling a house in today's market comes down to:
1. Price
2. Condition
3. Marketing
I can help you figure out the right price. I can also help with suggestions on condition to get the house looking its best. And finally in this competitive market you need AGGRESSIVE marketing. Check out this real video tour of a listing in Newport News that recently went under contract: http://tinyurl.com/d78qym
It's not just the tools available to us, but how we use them. Let me know if you'd like to hear more about my marketing plan!

Pete Spadaro
RE/MAX Success
Web Reference:  http://tinyurl.com/d78qym
0 votes
Deandrea Dee…, Agent, Manassas, VA
Mon May 18, 2009
1. First question were you selling by owner or was it listed. 2. If listed what was your agents marketing plan, obviously not effective enough? 3. What is your homes Condition, Price, Location,Competition, Incentives !!!! Is your house in prestine condition? Can you eat off the floors, are your rooms decluttered did you speak with an agent that has experience staging homes? Was your home priced above or below the most recent sales in your neighborhood? Is your home in a price range that buyers are ready, able, and willing to buy or able to obtain financing for? Remember loan guidelines have changed this effects who is eligible to purchase. Where is your home located and is it a good, bad, or indifferent location? How many other homes in your subdivision are for sale? It only takes 1 to keep your home from selling! Did you offer buyers incentive? Closing cost credit, flat screen, throw in the hot tub, or cat? Call me if you are ready to get your home SOLD?.
Web Reference:  http://DJonesSellsHomes.com
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James Downing, Agent, Dunedin, FL
Mon May 18, 2009
You have 2 problems. The first is: You are probably a bit over-priced.
The second: Your home is "Stale". It has been on the market too long - so now you will get less than what you SHOULD get for a sales price - if your home was just listed.

If you don't HAVE to sell right away- take it off the market for 6 months and try again with a new agent. If you must sell soon - interview new agent. Ask them for current comparable sales and list for what they advise.
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Alan K, , Westminster, MD
Mon May 18, 2009
This is probably not the answer you want to hear, but at some price, it will sell.
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Larry Riggs, Agent, Frederick, MD
Mon May 18, 2009
I'm sure you are frustrated. This is a tough market. If you've been getting very little action you're probably still priced a bit over market. There are different ideas about what makes a house sell but the bottom line is, if no one is looking or making offers then the market is telling you that they don't see the value. Selecting a different Realtor will probably not make much difference if your past realtor was marketing the home. No amount of advertising will cause the value to increase. I would suggest you meet with your agent and go over what they have done to sell the house. If you are satisfied they are doing their part then the ball is in your court. I know that's probably not what you want to hear but again, if buyers don't see the value they won't come to look. You might even ask your agent to take you to see some of your competition to see for yourself what you're up against.
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