How to sell a home which doesn't seem to sell?

Asked by Mountain Rain, 95014 Wed Mar 30, 2011

Hi Pros, I'm asking this for a friend who has been trying to sell his home but it has been sitting on market longer than he would like. A little details regarding the 3 P's - Product, Pitch, and Price:

Product - his home is more on the high end. He's done a lot of remodelling/rebuilding and overall the house is beautiful and luxurious. The location is one of the most popular in south bay.

Pitch - his listing agent has done a lot of marketing through private networks and internet. The agent has also diligently followed up with many prospective clients who show interest in the property. Got a few offers but nothing works out yet.

Price - my friend has a min price, below which he doesn't want to sell. So he's not a motivated seller, i.e. if he can't get the price he wants, he would rather let the house sit on the market. The listing price is a litle higher than his min price.

Any advice on how he can sell the house with the price he wants? Thanks!!

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33
Norman Aless…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi Mountain Rain,
I agree with the other agents, I am Sorry to say that the BUYERS set the market NOT the SELLERS.
I don't know how many times on a listing appt. I hear from the seller " we need to sell the home at this much to get what we need/want out of the sale". I'm looking at what you wrote, he is not a motivated seller, and he thinks he sets the market price.
This is really a bad spot for the agent, as he will be BLAMED for the home not selling, and if there is no price reduction the listing will expire with all that work done by the agent for nothing. Then an agent who specializes in expired listings will call and if he can convince the seller to list with him it will be at a GREATLY reduced price. I have seen it happen many times.
There is no advice you can give to an unrealistic and unmotivated seller, sorry but unless he gets realistic that's the way it is.
At your service,
Allyson
408-705-6578
allyson@homesbyallyson.com
2 votes
David Blockh…, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Mountain Rain,

Effectively marketing and selling a home in a higher price segment in any of our local markets is a difficult process at best. The home must be priced (and aggressively marketed) to attract qualified buyers. It must show extremely well. The marketing efforts must reach a broad enough buyer base who fall within that price segment. The agent marketing the home must be well established, reputable and have a good network of buyers (as well as other agent contacts).

Given that it appears that your friend has a unrealistic expectation of his house's worth relative to our current real estate market, he has two options: (1) get real and price (and market) the home accordingly or (2) forget about selling it. Even though the market in his price segment may be weak, I suggest he analyze why he is selling. If he thinks he might get more for it in a year or two, he might rethink that strategy (ie. the high end (in each sub market) is likely to continue to decline for awhile). He may not like its value today, but he is likely to really hate it in a year or two.
1 vote
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Mar 31, 2011
The first thing to do is to assess what the home is worth in todays market and compare it to thw current listing price. Overpriced homes are not selling no matter how nice they are inside, if you can not get soemone inside, it can not sell.

Second is the house being advertised and marketed properly, is the listing agent giving it the time and energy it deserves?

Please see my blog "no one is looking at my house" for more tips and advice.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
No. No advice.

The house is priced too high. Read Dp2's comments. You've correctly identified the major elements of making a sale--product (condition, location, appearance), pitch (marketing), and price. You say the product is good--good location, good condition.

You say the pitch is good--that the marketing and follow-up is effective.

You say the price is bad. Yup, you did. It's not just that the other elements are satisfactory. You say your friend has a minimum price and he's not a motivated seller. He's willing to let the house sit on the market until he gets it.

OK. We know it's overpriced. We know that the seller knows it. We know that the seller isn't motivated and isn't particularly interested in selling.

And even if a sucker--umm, buyer--comes along and pays the inflated price, the house may well not appraise for the amount the seller is asking.

No advice.
1 vote
Dp2, , Virginia
Wed Mar 30, 2011
A house doesn't sell for 2 reasons: 1) ugly property, or 2) ugly price/terms. You already mentioned that the property is "beautiful and luxurious", so it's the latter. The market is speaking loudly and clearly, and it's telling him that he's asking for too much. No amount of marketing advice will overcome a price that's too high.

If he were more flexible on his price or his terms, then he might be able to sell his property relatively soon.
1 vote
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Sun Feb 9, 2014
Yes, the truth is he needs to wait until the market is paying his price-or else adjust his expectations to what the market is paying today.
0 votes
Robert Lei, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Sat Mar 2, 2013
Now would be a great time to sell. Conditions have drastically swung in the sellers' favor these days.
0 votes
Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Sat Mar 2, 2013
The price goes follows the MARKET. Often the sellers have unrealistic expectation the home will sell the perceived price.

I would question what the appraisal report says. It is more like I like to know the median appraisal value.

I may caution you when the house is on the market for ~1 month + the buyers/realtors will assume there is something wrong with the home and march on.
0 votes
Jeannie Apo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Fri Dec 28, 2012
I'm curious also. Did the home sell? This zip is one of the hottest zips in the country, so I'm suspecting it did. If not, something is drastically wrong. I give my sellers excellent advice and a very successful marketing plan. If the home didn't sell, please have him contact me.
0 votes
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Fri Dec 28, 2012
I'm curious, was your friend able to sell the home? If not, I have a checklist that can help him figure out what to try next to succeed. Just Call 408-252-8900.
0 votes
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Mon Oct 15, 2012
How far off are the offers from his price? In my experience, if it's within ~1-2% it can often be worked out in terms or other adjustments.

You can re-stage the home and take all new photos to see if a different "look" has more appeal.

If his home is truly a luxury home, he may want to talk with someone like me about Extreme Auctions that are specific only for luxury homes.
0 votes
Felix Hung, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Sun Jul 15, 2012
Mountain Rain,

Your friend will either have to make the home even more appealing to buyers (add more value) or face the reality that in the current market, buyers are not willing to pay what he or she wants for it. Buyers set the price so if it's not what the seller wants - you can change what the buyers are getting or wait for the market to match their expectations.

Felix
0 votes
Jeannie Apo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Sun Jul 15, 2012
I would bet the home sold now because the market has become one of the hottest markets I have seen in 29 years of selling real estate. If it hasn't, something is drastically wrong! Sitting on the market is a huge mistake because it becomes a white elephant, and buyers worry that others didn't want it so something must be wrong with it.. Has it sold?
408-529-8321
http://www.siliconvalleyhomes4sale.com
0 votes
Robert Lei, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Sun Jul 15, 2012
Hi Mountain Rain,
Conditions are MUCH better these days for sellers now than back in March 2011 when you originally asked these questions. Has the home sold now? It should have.
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Fri Jun 29, 2012
Hi Mountain Rain

I am sure the home has no sold since your question in March 2011.

The prices have risen tremendously.

http://www.trulia.com/blog/perry_mistry/2012/06/city_of_cupe…

Perry
Web Reference:  http://www.ruthandperry.com/
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Chances are it's the price. It's old but true. Review all the recent sales in the neighborhood, and sell at the same price per square foot...If the seller isn't willing to sell at market price, they don't want to sell.
0 votes
Erica Glessi…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Is it sold?

I recommend a big party and open house extravaganza with a time sensitive market event. Advertise like crazy on the real estate websites. The seller may want to put more ads up to get more exposure.

Plus work on being in the place of "the buyer sets the market value" and letting the house go and getting clear about being someplace else.

The market is so hot right now, and homes are selling in this area for $200K over asking.

Recognize the list price is not the sold price and allow 15 to 20 to offer on the house! Drop the price with a big stunted price drop and see what happens with the offers. Stop focusing on "I Must Get X" and focus on "I am going to allow the very best, highest price, cleanest offer to come in."

The seller's mindset has a lot to do with the home sold experience.

I've compiled a new book called "Sell Your House Fast for the Right Price," and agents nationwide share how to clear, clean, prepare and market with innovations. It will be out in a few weeks!

Erica Glessing Nelson
DRE 01425475
Editor & co-Publisher "Sell Your House Fast for the Right Price"
http://www.EricaNelsonEstates.com
408-416-7090
0 votes
Elena Talis, Broker, Palo Alto, CA
Sat May 26, 2012
You said it yourself - your friend is not a motivated seller. Take the house off the market and stop wasting everyone's time. Either your friend should change his expectations and accept the market price or wait long enough for the market to ketch up with him. In my experience, the first option is the only practical one.
0 votes
Stu Carson, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sat May 26, 2012
I now call it the 4P's... the reasons a home doesn't sell can be if ANY one of the legs of the stool is "broken". PRICE-PRODUCT-PROMOTION and POSITIONING I have many clients in my "fan club" that will tell you how I sold a property for them when at least one if not two prior Realtors could not. It takes a combination of art & science, most Realtors honestly have one or the other, or frankly neither. I am amazed... no sickened, by how little research 80% of Sellers do into the back ground and track record of the agent they hire to sell the most valuable asset in their life. Honestly my back ground in marketing until 2001 was from outside the Real Estate industry where the standards were extremely high. Since then we have every week, every day been dedicated to improving the level of excellence in the practice of Real Estate. 10+yrs later we are 1 in 1,000. Don't take my word for it. Visit our web site, read the testimonials, check out my resume,... The point isn't hire me. The point is hire as you describe it "a pro". By the way, "A Pro" will tell the Seller, if we do EVERYthing reasonable on PRODUCT-POSITIONING-PROMOTION this is the price we can expect. If that price isn't what the Seller wants.... DON'T SELL! There is one exception to that rule and that is a home that has something that makes it's value hard to determine because to THE right buyer they'd pay over market value... for example a home with a 1 in a million view, or a home with an over the top architecture that some Buyer could fall absolutely in love with... in general with those kind of wild card factors, the higher the price range of the home, the less likely the Buyer is to get hung up over $50k or even $100k+ when they find THE right home for them, THE one they fall in love with.

Stu

Owner-Broker
Kaizen Real Estate Group of Keller Williams
408-209-0849
Stu@StuCarson.com
JustMyProperties.com
0 votes
Andy, , California
Tue Apr 12, 2011
Let me talk from reality rather than so-called professional aspect.

Price - The seller may have chance to find a buyer with lack of market knowledge and info. This buyer maybe either really like it because his/her spouse’s opinion and his/her rich pocket or really trust his/her agent’s advice and this agent just wants to make money.

Pitch - The listing agent maybe either gets mad because long DOM (date of market) can damage his/her performance or get happy because based on what you said, the agent keeps doing the marketing jobs so that can give the agent more chance to grab more buyers. Today’s market is generally a buyer’s market. A listing could become a flag for the listing agents to get more buyers. If the price is right and house is sold in a right time, then the “flag” is gone. Do not think listing agents want to sell the listings asap is the only common story in the market.

Product – Without see the upgrades and the house, nobody can tell your friends if that is helpful for the deal. What he love may not be what everybody loves but may be cost to revise them.

By the way, did the listing agent do OH(open house)? That could be a important indicator to show the listing agent’s thoughts of this listing.
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sun Apr 10, 2011
Hi Mountain Rain

It will be great to know what the price point and square footage of the home is.
Right now homes in Cupertino in the top schools are selling with Multiple offers over list
By $50k and $70k.

So clearly, if you have had offers and it's going no where and the home shows well
As you mentioned then the market just does not perceive the value associated with
Your friends Ask price.

Adjust the price accordingly or pull it off the market and realist after 31 days to start
As a new listing. Better yet may want to wait till after school break to list.

Good luck.
Perry
0 votes
Dan V., Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Fri Apr 1, 2011
Your friend has three levers:

(a) Lower price to increase demand for the same product
(b) Improve marketing to improve reach to target customers
(c) Change the product to make it more appealing to target customers

The issue here is that your friend needs to do some research to figure out why his property isn't selling. Why did the prospective buyers walk away? What comps are selling? What do the sold comps have that your friend's property doesn't have? What can your friend do to make the product more appealing? Are there any things that turn-off potential buyers?
0 votes
Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
If the listing price is higher than his minimum price then his price may be too high. He really should look at neighborhood sold comparables that his listing agent can provide to him. That is most likely in the range of the offers he has received but he has refused those offers. Maybe he'll have better luck as the weather warms, however, if he's not motivated to sell, he probably won't.
0 votes
Fp12319, , Long Beach, CA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
1. drop the price
or
2. rent it out in the mean time
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Mar 31, 2011
GREAT QUESTION:

If the home is over priced never sell
If the home is consider luxury home will sit on the market much longer especially if price over $500K difficult for lenders OR buyers qualify for these types of loans

You can have the most perfect home on market for years,
Ugly home horrible floor plan with bidding wars

Matter of right buyer right time who will love the home

I have a home been on off the market for 3 years, gorgeous, well marketed priced right, staged and etc. no one can determine why it can't sell, YES in the right area of town
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
I guess all this post shows is that real estate prices vary widely by area. There are no homes for sale for $500k in Cupertino. In another thread on this site, there is a buyer willing to pay $500k cash plus $1.2 million loan (pre-qualified) for a fixer-upper in Cupertino.
Flag Sun Jul 1, 2012
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hi, Could it be the home is the nicest on the block? Or maybe the seller invested so much into the home and is trying to recoup his investment in a market that just won't back it? These two things can be a major stumbling blobk, hopefully the seller is somewhat open minded. Letting the listing "just sit" on the market can be a detriment as well, it could become a stigmatized listing. The It sounds like the marketing is there which is just as important as proper pricing.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
914.406.9023
Web Reference:  http://raveis.com/chrispagli
0 votes
Nina Daruwal…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Mountain Rain,
What a nice name to choose.....
All of us know, no matter what it is, it WILL Sell, only "If The Price Is Right!" I Live and work in Cupertino, just went through a similar experience.....had a home on the Market 6 months last year, TOO high a Price, Yes, this one was Beautifully done too....but Sellers wanted to Buy/Upgrade to another Home and wanted too much for it! It didnt Sell!! for the amount they asked for.......Listing Expired! Yes I worked very hard to Market/Advertise it....and did Lots of Open Homes, had many many Buyers come through, but the Price just wan NOT right!
Six Months Later, they Listed it again, Just Earlier this month, at the Price I had earlier Recommended for, at the TIME....Spring I had recommended....and it went Sale Pending in 17 Days!
Yes, even with a few Negatives( and every home has those too)......and Lots Of Positives in the Home.....EVERY Home Will Sell, If the Price is Right! Ask your Friend to work with his/her Realtor, and Assess the Home at the Realistic CURRENT Market Value, Price It Right, and have it Sell. Sellers need to work with Current times, or then just NOT go on the market.....the home is taking a hit, and its not worth the Time and Energy the poor Realtor is expending into this transaction.........when its not Selling.
If you need a Realistic Evaluation, and help to Sell it, get in touch with me.
Wishing you/ your frind the Best!
Regards,
Nina Daruwalla
Web Reference:  http://www.ninadaruwalla.com
0 votes
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Mountain Rain;
.
In 2004 and 2005 it was all about what the owner wants.
Different times.....different rules; and the buyer is in charge.
Have your agent get recent feedback from the buyers who have seen the property and proceed with their recommendations.
Web Reference:  http://www.321property.com
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
Mountain,
Thanks for looking out for your friend, but if the house is getting showings and has had offers, the problem isn't the marketing it's the seller. As Laura indicated, a house is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. It's been my experience that seller’s often regret letting the first offer get away, it's often the best.
In the current market place when many areas are still declining, chances are they may not see too many more. If he wants to sell he should reconsider what his plan is for the next few years and either price to get it gone or consider staying or renting it out.
0 votes
Kamal Randha…, Agent, El Sobrante, CA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
First of all, there a lot of homes that are not selling right now due to one reason or another. Its just the market.
Second, everybody is looking for a deal, even if the home is on the high-end, people still want a good deal and will not pay for anything over market value
0 votes
Oggi Kashi, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Mar 31, 2011
"been sitting on market longer than he would like" - how many days has it been on exactly?

"Got a few offers but nothing works out yet" - How many offers? Why did they not work out? Was it the price, terms, inspections, other issues?

I need more info to provide a useful response.

Oggi Kashi
Paragon Real Estate Group
CA DRE 01844627
Web Reference:  http://www.oggikashi.com/
0 votes
Jeannie Apo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Mar 30, 2011
Unfortunately, some homes just don't sell at the price the seller wishes for, even though the agent may have finesed and marketed the home to the hilt. Also, unfortunately, some homes have been improved for more than the buyers see the neighborhood is worth or in a way which isn't the typical type of look. Sometimes, waiting awhile can actually bring in the right buyer. In Silicon Valley, we are all so used to houses selling relatively fast, but sometimes, we short change the price in order for that to happen, so sometimes it's best to wait awhile. Having said that, the old term"the writing is on the wall" usually applies: buyers are very sophisticated nowadays, and buyers determine the price, so if nothing has happened for too long of a time, then reduction in price is what will get it sold. I have seen all kinds of markets in 30 years:Price is usually the bottom line factor in getting it sold if the agent is good and has worked hard to get it sold.
0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Wed Mar 30, 2011
I have a house that I have marketed all over this nation here and back. I am a top producing agent with a big company and great connections. I have even brought my seller a few offers.
Bottom line is your house is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. The more your house sits on the market, the more stale it becomes and the more buyers want to offer LESS on it.
Buyers are not motivated right now and those that are want a deal. If you truly want to sell you need to get ahead of the market instead of chase it. If you are just holding out for a certain price and don't really need to sell don't. Hold on to it. Now is not a good time to sell, if you don't have to, keep it.
0 votes
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