My house has been on the market for about 2.5 months. We received an offer & it went under contract within

Asked by Merri, Winston Salem, NC Wed Jul 16, 2008

the first 3 weeks. The buyers backed out a week & a 1/2 later b/c they wanted to be closer to work. We have shown it prob 65-75 times (this includes prob 40 people that came to 4 open houses). We live on a lake, have completely remodeled (hardwoods, tile, gutted & remodeled kitchen & all bathrooms, etc.), and live in the most desirable school district. Compared to comparable waterfront homes in our area, our price seems reasonable, especially with all of the remodeling. I should add that we have 4 bedrooms, but 2 are in the basement (which has also been completely redone & is very nice) & 3 bathrooms that are pretty small (especially the master bathroom). This is a 1960's ranch house, so no walk-in closets, but we have made it as nice as possible. A realtor who showed it also does staging & said that we did a very nice job with that. We know that the bedroom layout & small baths may be an issue for some people. But surely someone should've made an offer by now! Any help - please!?

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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Jul 16, 2008
What would you say if I told you since your home hit the market, 620 homes had sold in your area.
See the link below.
You can dissect the stats, bottom line is that buyers are buying and the market speaks most loudly through activity.

10-12 showings produce an offer in most markets. You had an offer, so the buyer backed out.

Stop with the details. What you owe, what you need to net, how much you invested, do not matter to a buyer. The bad news is the everyone knows that your property is overpriced, so now it is going to take a lot of extra work to get it sold...

Repaint the trim in front, put flower in the front yard, declutter the house, re-arrange the furniture, re-take the photos, have a BIG open house after a 5% price reduction. Check the need to be UNDER market to get OFFERS. Showings are needed to produce OFFERS. It may be that you are going to sell at a loss.

Then opt to rent it out, talk with a CPA, but don't kid yourself. My wife and I went through this, it was painful at first, 18 years later we made a lot of money on the rental. But do not waste time, energy, and money trying to sell an over-priced listing in a buyer's market.
1 vote
Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Wed Jul 16, 2008
I know it is hard with that many showings and you guys managing it. It does speak that you are obviously in a sought after area with that many showings and just in the MLS via a discount service. The pictures are nice though you might want to either not use the wide angle lense on close up shots like the one of the fireplace. It is obvious the picture was stretched. The view of the water is great and a wonderful selling point. Let me ask a couple of questions. Did you pull permits and is the basement up to code? Are you rated for that many bedrooms and bathrooms?
One of the drawbacks of using a limited service brokerage is the limited service. Carolina Premium does not push your listing up to the internet. Although it sounds as if you are getting the showings. One other thing you don't have a broker to go after the agents and prospective buyers and try to get showing comments. Maybe there is a common thread. Without seeing the home myself I can not say. I will say this I use a professional photographer on my listings and believe me he is great. I also write a specific tailored marketing plan for each listing. Let's face it no two homes are alike. So why should you try to sell a wonderful house on the lake like yours just like the spec home in a subdivision that was clear cut of all trees and that you can reach out the window and touch the home next to you.
Below is a flyer I created for one of our corporate relocation homes that I have. Notice the photographer's shots. We like to shot at only one particular time of day for lighting reasons and then we play up the best features of the home. Every aspect of my marketing plans are like this; it is attention to detail and focus on the goal; To Sell Your Home!

Hope this helps,
1 vote
Florette Mel…, Agent, Lexington, NC
Tue Dec 7, 2010
Where can we see your listing?? The home being on the market for 2.5 months is nothing for our area...I think the average is waaaay over a year. Yes the numbers may less than that but it does not take in to consideranion being listed with another agent or agents and maybe even for sale by owner before that!! The home sounds very nice but the value appraisers are giving for the lower level no longer is even 50% of the main level. Consider a price reduction be below your market competition, not with it! Your square footage on a main and a lower level is not competition with one that is on two stores or one level. You may need a new market analysis to stay current with the most recent sales which are probably lower than when you first listed your home. If the basement bedrooms do have closets and do have windows they can be counted as bedrooms, otherwise they can not. the basement square footages are being counted now at about $20-$25 a square foot....
0 votes
Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Thu Jul 17, 2008
I know it must be hard selling it as a for sale by owner with that many showings. The pictures could be better I use a professional photographer for my listings and your wide angle shot of the fireplace is obvious that it is stretched. I will say this though a good shot of that water view should be enough.

About the house though when you renovated the basement did you pull permits. If not then that square footage will not by counted. An appraiser will disallow it.

Of course having been on the market for 2.5 months you are over your honeymoon of being a new listing and popping up as such on everyone's search. I would ask where else you have advertised your home. I know Carolina put you in the MLS but, what other websites have you put yourself on and what do those ad's look like.

Don't get me wrong it is a very nice home in a beautiful setting, but I am assuming you want us to play devil's advocate. When was the last time you had a CMA? Where did you get your original price from?
If you would like some help just drop one of us a line and I am sure any of us would be glad to help.

Hope this helps,
0 votes
Christina D.…, , 27520
Thu Jul 17, 2008
The market- at least here, is slower than we like. The small bathrooms and lack of closet space is less desirable, if comparable properties have those ammenities that your home lacks. Staging is a big thing, but it sounds like you have that covered. You have to really make the good things of your home appealing, making buyers look past your lack of closets and tiny bathrooms. Offer incentives, or check to see how much a handyman would charge to put sum studs and drywall up to create more closet space... and ask your realtor to look at the comps to see how this would set you up against the competetion. Don't give up hope. Make sure you are priced well- and take great pics! Maybe think of some incentives with your realtor that may draw up more attention! 2.5 months isn't bad compared to the time a lot of listings in my market are seeing right now!!
0 votes
Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Wed Jul 16, 2008
I think you have answered your own question. 2 bedrooms are in the basement.
The bathrooms are small, especially the master bath. No walk-in closets.
Yes, you have made it as nice as possible.
And you love your home and have many memories of how it was and how you have improved it.

65-75 showings and no offers. = your home maybe looks okay from the outside and buyers are disappointed once inside. or.
it is being shown as a comparable to show the buyer how much more they can get for that price. Same/same.

Ask your realtor to hold a Broker's Price Opinion as soon as possible.
Have every agent you can get there to fill out an opinion of price and
what needs to be changed to present the home to it's best advantage.
Buy some pizza or bake some cookies to entice them - ask your agent how to get as many there as possible.

You won't be there; the input will be basically anonymous.
Brace yourself; prepare to let the opinions roll over you like water; do not become personally offended; they will try to help you.
Do what they recommend.
Whatever it is.
Then hire a professional stager.
Taking a loss on this one, if necessary is okay. You can do better next time by enlisting the advice of a professional before purchasing, remodeling, or decorating the next home.

Lowering the price may be only part of the answer but some would say "Price fixes everything"

I am so sorry that everyone doesn't love your home as much as you do and I just know that you are really nice people and I wish the magic angel would send you the buyer who would just fall in love with your home and make a full price/ no contingency offer and want to close in 2 weeks
but in the event that doesn't happen, I hope that you can use what I've said to your advantage rather than taking offense.

Best wishes to you and your whole family.
0 votes
Katherine Fo…, , Foster, MO
Wed Jul 16, 2008
The first thing I would want to know is what feedback are you getting from the showings? That is critical for you to know, is it the price, or why are you getting all the lookers and no buyer. Also, remember that sales is a numbers game..........worry when you don't have any lookers......
0 votes
Matt Davies, , Orlando, FL
Wed Jul 16, 2008
If your house has been shown that many times without another offer you are overpriced. In my area the market continues to depreciate at a level of about 1-2% per month. Your house will be worth less next month than it is this month due to the amount of properties on the market and the absorption rate that it will take to sell all of these homes. You need to have your realtor do another review of the market for you and this time price your house 5% less than what the last comparable home has sold for. That will allow you to sell your home for the maximum amount of money and you can move on with your plans for another house. Good Luck.
0 votes
Rachel, , Winston Salem, NC
Wed Jul 16, 2008
2.5mths is not bad in this market! How does your agent feel about it?? Are they suggesting any price drops or improvements? The market has picked up in the past few weeks.. from now until mid august is the best time to grab buyers.. before the kids head back to school.. basement bedrooms are tough.. even when they are nice.. most folks feel that basement square footage is valued at half of main or upper level square just make sure your priced accordingly..
0 votes
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