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