My husband was relocated in Oct and we are very anxious for our home to sell. We've had only 3 showings since Sept. How do we get people in the?

Asked by imsdac, Northglenn, CO Thu Dec 16, 2010

door? Our house is only 11 months old and is in perfect condition. We've had 2 appraisals done which was required due to it being a corporate relocation and our price is in line with the higher of the 2 appraisals. We've dropped our price 10k and upgraded our counter tops to granite and are willing to lower the price again but with the holidays approaching we decided to wait until the new year to do another price drop.

My question is how do we get more people in the door? We've only had 3 showings (2 private), 1 during an open house. We've also had 3 open houses, 2 of which had no visitors at all. Is there some added incentive we can make to attract buyers? How do I know how much to drop the price? Our agent seems too busy and preoccupied to give us any advice and we really want to reunite our family.

Help, I really need some advice!

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Brian Fendry, Agent, Nashotah, WI
Wed Apr 13, 2011
The biggest key to getting this house sold is "Pricing ahead of the Market". Remember if the area prices are going down and your price is higher than the best priced home, you may only be helping others to sell their property. When pricing your home, the price should reflect the condition. I am not proposing that you be the lowest priced property, just the lowest priced for the condition of your property. The rest is up to the listing Broker, the Brokers network of Selling agents, and the internet presence. Remember the overwhelming percentage of buyers search the internet for their next home.
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Bob Tarantino, , Wisconsin
Mon Jan 31, 2011

In tough times like this everyone tries to come up with an answer. When it comes right down to it, it's all about price. All the Realtors will do very similar marketing for you - the MLS. The key on your end is to give yourself as much price flexibility as possibly. Next to paying off your mortgage(s) the next biggest expense is real estate commissions. At Badgerland Realtors, we have a"Full Service" listing program with only a 3% commission at close. Visit our website or call for details. The savings in commissions often allows you to get your price to the right level and still come out okay.

Join us Saturday mornings from 9am-10am on WISN (AM 1130) for our LIVE radio show. You'll get a lot of helpful information and maybe even some solutions:)

Bob Tarantino
(262) 732-5802
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Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Fri Dec 17, 2010
I don't know what your market is like but there are some general rules of thumb that are pretty well known though out the real estate market. If no one is coming to your house they are ruling it out before they decide to go see it. Either the style, location or price is making them not even want to come look. If there are lots of lookers and no offers it means they get there but see something they don't like. Since you said your price was closer to the high appraisal I am going to bet it's priced to high to make buyers want to come and look. To think you bought 11 months ago and can break even that soon is not going to be easy to do.

Your agents unwillingness to work with you I would take to mean that they have given up and thinks it will not sell. I would get another agent that is more eager to work with you but you can't expect magic. Open houses in my market area are more than rare. Every market is different so you need to check to see if they are common there or not. Since she has been your agent fro 6 mo I would move to another. Don't just look at comps but also look to see what is listed in the area in the price range that you are listed for. This can show you what is available for buyers to look at and then compare to your house.

Hopefully your company provides a buy-out if the house does not sell. You might need it.
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Beverly Shwe…, Agent, Greenbrae, CA
Fri Dec 17, 2010
Hi again,
Your agent said they don't have broker open houses? I don't know what your market is like but this seems suspect to me. How else can you get agents into the home to look at it? E-flyers can be a good follow up to agents but I find that in our market broker open houses are essential, especially right after the home is listed. Please do speak with the broker and find out what the rule of thumb is in your area. Even if most don't do it, your home could stand out and at least be seen. I offer food to get people to come by and one doesn't have to spend a lot of money on the food if they don't want to.
Regarding the 10% price drop, it is a good way to make a real impact on buyers. When sellers adjust their prices just a little bit at a time, often they end up chasing their price down and end up getting less than what they would have if they had made a substatial price drop. Unfortunately we are in a market where buyers want real deals and most homes are just not selling for their "true worth".
Again, Good luck!
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imsdac, Home Owner, Northglenn, CO
Fri Dec 17, 2010
Thanks for everyone's advice. I've sent my agent an email asking her to pull more recent comps in preparation for a price reduction but I haven't heard back yet.

I'm a bit confused by the question that I was asked regarding if we are paying her? We have a listing agreement (6 months) so if that is what you are asking about then yes, we are paying her. Of course, our house needs to sell first before she gets any money back.

I did ask her about an agent's open house and she said that they don't do that, instead, they do it "electronically". She sends out an e-brochure to a contact list of agents in the area. I don't know if that is just as good or what, but that's what she told me.

Regarding the comment about the granite and appliances, the granite, we realize we will not recoup in cost. However, in our area and price range, it's definitely what buyers are expecting. The appliances we bought because we needed them. Keep in mind the house is only 11 months old (we had it built) and it didn't come with appliances. Also keep in mind that we didn't intend to sell it so soon after moving in. The job transfer did not come at an optimal time, I know. The company is not intending us to lose thousands because they transferred us. We just want to get people in the door.
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Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Fri Dec 17, 2010
You definitely have agent issues if your agent seems to busy and preoccupied to give you advice so I would proceed exactly how you stated: ask her to pull recent comps and if not satisfied I would approach her broker. Inbetween those 2 steps I would also express your concerns about her not giving you the attention you deserve.
However, although 25k under what you purchased it for in 2/10 seems excessive, you need to look at the market trends in your area to see if maybe, as depressing as that may be, its in the ballpark. There are areas that have been subjected to drops like that in the last year's time. I obviously have no idea about your market though. It should be easy enough for you to find out.
I hate to say it but upgrading with granite and applicances may make your home more marketable, but it is unlikely that you will recoup your costs.

The article that doogie linked to (and I know a lot of agents are not going to be happy with me) is probably accurate in that there is no valid claim that hiring an agent gets you a higher price for your house. However, it does put your house in the public's eye a lot more (most homes are sold through the mls) and it saves you a lot of work. Kind of like hiring a general contractor for renovation vs doing it yourself. Many people are capable of fsbo but you have to be educated on the process. You would also still need to hire a flat fee agent to list on the mls and pay the buyer's agent a competitive commission.

Be proactive with your agent and gain the knowledge you need in order to proceed and your house will get sold. Unfortunately, it may not be sold for the price you were hoping for.

Tough times for sellers these days.
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doogie, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Fri Dec 17, 2010
Are you paying this agent? If so, call this agent's broker. If you are paying them, they need to work for you. Read this article. It's pretty telling.…
Get as educated as your agent, if not more so you feel good about the price. To know how to price, you compare past sales of similar homes, homes still on market, and appraisal. Also, go to some open houses in your neighborhood. Has their been a broker's tour to your house? This is like an open house only for real estate agents where they go check out houses that may fit their buyers. Good luck to you!
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imsdac, Home Owner, Northglenn, CO
Thu Dec 16, 2010
A 10% price drop? That seems pretty excessive. That would price it 25k under what we paid for it in February 2010 and that doesn't include the 10k in appliances and 5k of granite counter tops that we've put in. We're not expecting to make any money here, but we can't pay 25k just to walk away.

I will speak to my agent and ask her to pull more recent comps. When I question her about the lack of activity, all she says is that nothing is selling right now. I'm not 100% sure that is true, but the comps should show that. If I don't get a response from her then I will go to the broker's office and go from there.

Thanks for the advice.
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Beverly Shwe…, Agent, Greenbrae, CA
Thu Dec 16, 2010
Jeri is absolutely correct with what she answered. If you feel as though your agent is not taking the time for you, you need to do something about it and do it soon.
I believe the best way to stimulate activity and get people in the home would be to drop the price 10%. You might want to think about doing all of this right after the New Year. Good luck.
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Jeri Creson, Agent, Studio City, CA
Thu Dec 16, 2010
Scary that your agent seems too busy and preoccupied. Let's start there. Have a chat with your agent and express your concerns. If that doesn't work, approach the agent's broker. Your listing technically belongs to the brokerage, not the agent, and the broker can make the call to either get you another agent, step in personally, or release you from the listing contract. Next, it's all about price right now. you need to take a hard look at what IS selling, not necessarily what an appraiser says it's worth. Have your agent pull comparable homes to yours that have gone into escrow within a very short time of being listed. That's where the bulk of activity is. Think "what price range is drawing the offers". You can be a little above the "opportunity" price, but too far above it, towards the ceiling of your appraisal range is going to leave you lonely, wondering where all the shoppers are.

Interest rates are rising, naturally triggering an increased urgency for some shoppers. I suggest making your moves now, not later to adjust price while the buyers are in the market looking for good homes to close on before rates get higher. Later, your price drop may be much more significant.
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