Our home has been on the market for 2 1/2 months. We also have had several showings, but no offers. Our

Asked by Chris, Arlington, TN Tue Apr 15, 2008

house is 3500 sqft, 4bdrm, 3 bath, 3 car garage on a greenbelt, listed at 289K, which is much cheaper than the other homes on our street, I don't know what to do, lower price or just hang in there. All the feedback is really positive, just no offers.

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Dena Parker…, , Tennessee
Tue Apr 15, 2008
Hi Chris. Today's market is a little tricky as are today's buyers. Unfortunately, being priced under others in your neighborhood is not as important as being priced around what others have "Sold" for in the last few months. You'll need to have your realtor do an in depth analysis of comparable sales. It is often that if you're getting plenty of showings and no offers that they feel your home is overpriced. so certainly after 2.5 months...it's definitely time for a price change. But make an informed change. Know your numbers so you are priced correctly. If you can go 10% below the market, you should see your activity go up considerably and will likely see offers.
Now the other biggest factor that can affect offers is the condition. It sounds like you're getting positive feedback, and that is good because they like it enough online or by driving by to come see it....but that is not enough today. Today's buyer will likely have good things to say about many of the homes they see, but they will forget them so easily. The ones they don't forget are those that are COMPLETELY differentiated from the others. As it has been mentioned, go look at the other homes for sale in your neighborhood. Are the houses all mostly the same? If so, you have to do something extreme to make yours STAND out.

The first thing that you can not go too crazy on is cleaning. Clean like you've NEVER cleaned before. Make it so you see out your windows without a single hindrance to the clear view outside. Clean, clean, clean. Consider renting one of those rugdoctors at your local hardware store and clean your carpets. You won't believe what a difference those little things can make. And once you get your once in a lifetime cleaning done...keep it that clean.

Second, organize. If you're like most of us, we tend to acquire a lot of stuff when we own a home. Make sure your closets are only 1/2 filled at MOST...especially any walk in closets. Make those walk in closets appear to be very roomy and spacious, so start packing up anything you won't need until you unpack at your new place and start getting some of your stuff out of the home early. Consider getting baskets or something to organize in the closets or where you might have stuff laying around (office, etc.). It really does make a difference. Organizing goes for your main living spaces also. If you have lots of knick knacks...pack those up too. You want people to notice what a great house you have instead of your collections, etc. Take the family photos down. Depersonalize as much as you possibly can.

If you have large furniture, you might want to consider consolidating. Nothing makes a room feel smaller than furniture. The right amount or sizes actually helps, but oversized furniture or wall to wall pieces (too much) very much makes it look smaller. So that may be another item for storage! When in doubt, the bare essentials are best...the simpler the better. Arrangement of furniture is even more important. Each room should have a focal point and the room should be arranged around that (family room should have furniture arranged around the fireplace so the fireplace is highlighted as a feature (don't hide the features!!); the bedroom should focus around the bed, etc.)

Staging is very important as I've already touched on, but if you have dark colors on the walls, it's best to neutralize it. Don't go so neutral that is still the builder grade colors that they installed because those colors often feel a little cold or uninviting. If you need some color suggestions, just let me know. Don't be afraid of color though. Each rooms should have balance with 60% one color, 30% another and 10% a third. Don't be afraid to punch a room with bright colors if you're going with a neutral palate. Let's say you have walls in the brown tones and neutral furniture...pop red in with pillows or a few accessories or in the drapes.

You still may have to go the extra mile if your home still isn't too differntiated and put a little money into it adding features that your neighbors do not have. Kitchen and bathrooms sell homes, so if there are any small renovation projects you can do to enhance the house, go for it. Certainly, if there are any noticeable flaws or problems with the house, FIX THEM. Buyers notice everything..cracks in trim, in walls, nail pops, imperfections in floors. They notice everyrthing and when they see one thing...they wonder how much is wrong that they can't see. Go through your house with a magnifying glass and fix everything so your home looks brand new. That might just mean touch up painting on the walls (especially the trim) or on the doors.

Lastly, have the best curb appeal in your entire neighborhood. Make sure your yard is greener than all the others and perfectly manicured. Trim back trees or shrubs that take away from the view of the house. Fix anything that might need repairs. Put a fresh coat of paint on doors or shutters if need be. Seal the driveway. Good luck
1 vote
Jo Shaner, Agent, Memphis, TN
Fri May 2, 2008
Hi Chris,

It use to be 3 things that would sell your house, price, location, and condition. It's moved up a notch......add marketing. Since 84% of all buyers start their process on line, you had better be in multiple websites- I have over 23 with tons of fingers in other's sites. You should have at least 10 photos also (only 2 of exterior -front and back). If you have an neighbor amenities like a pool or tennis court, those should be showcased as well. The more photos the better.

Second, let's look at your location. Arlington is a fabulous community already incorporated into it's own city, so no annexation worries. The lots are larger (in the majority of subdivision) and appeal greatly to those who do not want the feeling of a neighbor living right on top of you. Depending on which neighborhood you live in, in Arlington - you may be in competition with new home construction. So, this will bring us to condition. The condition must ROCK - the house must sparkle. Cluster must be removed and anything that personalizes the house must be gone. Paint neutral, personal photos packed and if you have wallpaper -strip it (studies show 75% of buyers are turned off by wallpaper). Window treatments ,fences and appliances will sell your house now against new home construction.

If you condition is superb (get an outside opinion non biased) then you must look at price. Remember, there is a price for every location and every condition. If your home in located on a main drag, or on an incline - deduct for it. If it is located in a cove, give yourself a plus. Remember, every soul that has been through your home has probably bought somewhere else. The number of showings is great - that shows interest in the area.

If you need further help, please do ot hesitate in letting my team know. We are here to help.
Web Reference:  http://lipseyshaner.com
0 votes
Jennifer Ces…, , 08225
Sat Apr 26, 2008
In order to get the highest price in the shortest time, you need to know how to market your home. The better you market your home, the more offers you will get. And the more offers you get, the more choices you have to get the price and terms you want.

The most important factor of marketing your home is pricing it right. Your price should be adjusted to reflect the market, and the property's worth. The key is to get many people checking out your property at a fair price instead of having no buyers because your price is set too high.

Another important factor is the condition of your home. Make sure that your home looks ready to be sold. Do your best to look through the eyes of a buyer. Fix any defects (peeling or faded paint, cracks, stains, etc.) Condition alone can sometimes prompt fast buying decisions. Not only should you fix any defects, but consider upgrading your home by making major repairs and cosmetic improvements before selling. A nice looking home triggers the emotional response that can lead to a financial response.

Learn how to negotiate the best terms for all parties involved. Terms are another factor which may be adjusted to attract buyers. If you insist on getting your asking price, think of what you can offer to the buyers, for example, improvements you've made, or even offering seller financing at a lower than market interest rate on a portion of the sale price. Convince them why they should be paying the price you have set.

Lastly, get the buzz out about your home. List your house with a hot agent that ensures your house is listed on the MLS and on the Internet. On your own, get the word out. It should be visible to passerby’s that your house if for sale, whether it be signs, local advertisements or you telling friends, family, and acquaintances.
Best of luck to you!!
0 votes
Don Debaer &…, , Memphis, TN
Sat Apr 26, 2008
Hello Chris
i viewed your home on the MLS and it is quite lovely. In this buyer's market, it is much harder to sell when there are so many choices and the buyer's have control of the situation. On our current listings in Bartlett and Arlington areas, among other things, we suggest that our sellers go ahead and get the home inspection taken care of and all repairs. This can be advertised in the MLS and booklet literature left inside your home for showings. It is one of several advantages to help get a buyer to consider your home.
Also, on our listings, we have each listing appearing on at least 8 and up to 12 different web locations. It's no secret that over 80% of buyers go looking on the internet for homes first, and the more exposure you can receive on the net, the better off you are.
I hope these suggestions help. My wife and I have had successes using these strategies and more with our listings.
Best of Luck
Don & Connie
0 votes
Lisa Blakeley, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Fri Apr 25, 2008
I know how frustrating that can be but here's a solution I share with our agents when they are confronted with the same issue with their sellers. Take off your "seller" glasses and go outside and look at your drive up...is it appealing, does it look fresh, is there a smattering of color to spark the new season? Then walk inside and just look at the decor, is there too much stuff, is it cluttered, too personal, not enough furniture, etc. You need to think like a buyer and see if you feel the home shows at it's greatest potential. It's not always the price, sometimes people can't see the house for the "things" inside or due to too much "personalization" and therefore they can envision their belongings in your home. I'm not saying this is your case, but many times feedback is often generic or positive because the real estate agent doesn't want to hurt your feelings. Selling your home is a business transaction, stay focused on the business aspect and not the personal and see if you can find anything that might need to be tweaked. Often color helps and often too much color hurts...critique your home as if it weren't yours...what might you do different? I sold real estate in Dallas until 2003 when I moved to Florida, many times your story was repeated and I always shared the answer I gave you. See if it doesn't make a difference. Good Luck!!
0 votes
Todd, Home Seller, 37122
Fri Apr 25, 2008
Same situation here in Nashville. On the market for 2 months with lots of lookers with positive feedback but no offers. Take some comfort in that your not alone, it's the current state of the market. Good luck.
0 votes
Joyce Medlin, Agent, Bartlett, TN
Sat Apr 19, 2008
$82/SF sounds like you have it reasonably-priced, but in this soft market, we're seeing even nice homes (partial stacked stone exterior, quartz countertops, bronze fixtures, etc) go for $70-75 SF. April is Open House month, meaning there's a lot of people who waited until winter was over to put their home on the market. In Lakeland, for example, we did some comps for a client and showed them 48 similar homes on the market in the immediate area. Some homes are sellihg and other aren't.....why? Some might look nicer inside, but often price is the motivating factor. It's hard to tell what's going on with your home but I can tell you there are a large number of homes, in your price range, in MLS. The key to success is an aggressive real estate agent. For example, we are a buyer's rep firm, meaning we have more buyer contacts than listings. That's why our sales have been up for months. It only takes one buyer...good luck!
0 votes
Craig Harding, , Ooltewah, TN
Tue Apr 15, 2008
One often overlooked statistic that can give you some real help in determining when to take another look at your price is the Absorption Rate. This the number of homes that are sold in your market and price range in a month. For example. Let say there where 25 homes sold in the last 3 months that where comparable to yours.
This would mean there is an absorption rate of just over 8 homes per month. So the next question to ask is what is the available pool of homes for sale that need to absorb (get sold)? Well say it is 80 which is a ten months supply if there where not a single home listed in that price range from today forward (which is not reality). Well if you want to sell in 2.5 months you should be priced in the bottom 10-15% of the homes like yours in order to account for additional homes coming on the market etc. Now lets say the absorption rate was 1.5 homes per month. Well then if there where still 80 homes on the market you would need to realize it is extra important to be the one that is the best price by far and in the best condition and be ready to wait a while!
Web Reference:  http://www.craigharding.com
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Apr 15, 2008
I would go the first post, sounds like you are selling on your own. A few facts that might help youl.
1. We all know that buyer start their search on the Internet. but did you know that about 90% of the time, the buyer first sees the home they buy with a Realtor? That's important because if your listing is not being shown, that means that 90% of the Realtors do not believe it is worth showing. If there are no offers, same answer.
2. Homes that sell in the first 30 days or market time sell closest to asking price, so a home that sits on the market for 120, our our MLS, sells for about 93.6% of asking...that's after a price reduction or two.
So it makes no sense to overprice a listing.
3. The problem most sellers have without a Realtor is like driving down a foggy road. You maybe can see the road, but you miss all the other detail. When a home is priced, a good Realtor uses comparable sales, pendings, and actives to see where to price the home. But the market is not static, it is active.That means that what was the right price last week may not be this week if a home with better value comes on the market. So you need someone who has their pulse on the market to tell you what is going on, then how to respond to market changes.

So that means the homes with the best values sell first, leaving the rest to sit, sit, and sit...losing value. Most people selling without professional representation have two things in common: one, if they do sell, they will for about 16% less than if represented by a Realtor (NAR study). However, 85% list with a Realtor eventually. What they do not know is that in most cases time is money, and for you, you are in spring selling season. If you "miss the boat' and don't get your home sold before the season is over (in about four weeks), your mistake may cost you thousands, because most of the buyers are buying NOW.
0 votes
Michelle Dos…, , Germantown, TN
Tue Apr 15, 2008
Hello Chris,
Yes, Hang in there! I'm sure you will soon see if you have not already seen an increase in showings. Spring is here, and relocation companies are getting ready for the June & July relos. From the description of your home and mention of the greenbelt, I'm assuming you are also competing with new construction and builders' bonuses. This is the time we Realtors must be creative in our advertising and presentation of our listings. Best of Luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.DoscherTeam.com
0 votes
Guru Toor, , Cupertino, CA
Tue Apr 15, 2008
Are you selling the house yourself (FSBO) or are you working with a realtor? You need to do a few things. Go over the comps in your neighbourhood, maybe for the second or third time again. Check out the inventory in terms of months supply, Average days on market, evaluate your competition, Visits the homes listed in your area, specially the ones that sold / Pending. You obviously are motivated, be pragmatic and evaluate your pricing again, stage your home, have open houses and evaluate the feed back from the open houses, if possible see how could you help a potential buyer. There are thngs you can consider and do to help sell your house. Try and seek the professional advice of Realtor.
0 votes
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