Our house has been on the market for over 200 days. What next?!?

Asked by Clanweb, New York, NY Sun Nov 21, 2010

Our house has been on the market for over 200 days. We've already dropped the price $30,000 and can't afford to drop any more without losing money. We've only had 2 viewings in total. We don't want to swap agents because we really like the one we have.What else can we do?! We keep finding houses that we want to buy, but they go under contract and we just see them slip away.

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Gerard Dunn, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Tue Nov 23, 2010
Clanweb -

There are many sellers losing money in this market. Realistically - unless you have been in your home for a long time - equity from appreciation is hard to find.

You need to consider TAKING THE LOSS on your current property - and buying a replacement at a bargain price.

If you have only had 2 showings, you are certainly well above market value. If you are not willing to take a loss and move on - why torture yourself? Your agents only fault is not telling you this long ago.

It is a GREAT market to purchase. Yes, this may mean taking a loss on your current home. If you are not prepared to do so - hunker down for a better market.

Good Luck!

Gerry Dunn
Associate Broker
Serving Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia
1 vote
Emily Murphy, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Tue Nov 23, 2010
I would recommend sitting down with you agent and going over comps in your area. Discuss the current market activity and come up with a new marketing strategy. It might just boil down to price however.
In that case, consider how much it is worth to you to stay vs. move.
1 vote
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Mon Nov 22, 2010
we are in most if not all parts of the country in a Buyers market, i.e. we have more properties on the market than there are ready and willing and qualified buyers looking for properties and the ones that are, believe me they are the ones that can "Cherry Pick" the best home, at the best price, most updated, best location best everything in their view.... Therefore many homes are now on the market for a much longer time than every before. Your current agent, can assist you a little in understanding the market, by how many homes in your similar price range (some bigger, smaller, better updated on larger lots, newer than yours etc.) are currently on the market and competing with yours, and how many have actually sold during the last few months, that will give you an idea how long it may take for your home to sell if it were at the most competitive price, updated, location etc.

Your agent can also take you to see a few of the competing homes, so that you can see for yourself what buyers see.... It requires in this market a well prepared, well staged, updated home that is priced competitively to sell quickly, otherwise patience until the right buyer falls in love with YOUR home!

Forget about the next home at this moment, as there will always be others, and there will be many to select from, that is why yours is not looked at often (although on the internet you probably have a lot of virtual showings, people look at your home's photos description, price, taxes, location and so go to the next....)
But you need to consider those "showings" in this internet world we are living in!

Please meet with your Agent, discuss your concerns, and see what you can come up with together, your Agent may suggest some changes, some staging, some painting, take new photos thereafter - listen carefully and hopefully a new plan can be established. Always remember your Agent has worked on your behalf for a long time already and truly deserves to be the one selling your home, if and when that day comes around. Right? And furthermore, your Agent is as interested in selling your home as YOU are, you are both in this TOGETHER.... so communicate, discuss, share thoughts and concerns... all that will be for the better and make you feel more confident and well informed about the market and what else you can do...

Good Luck!
Edith Your Chicago Connection and YourRealtor4Life!
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients...
Web Reference:  http://tinyurl.com/MeetEdith
1 vote
Benny Smith, Agent, Pittsburgh, PA
Mon Nov 22, 2010
What you expect to net or loose has no effect on the price your home will sell at. Think of it this way. Look at what the home would sell for not stay on the market for. Then look at what the result would be from that sale. If you cannot afford to sale then pull it from the market. Ask yourself this question. Do you care if the person selling you your next home makes a good profet or not? Your buyer may answer the same way.
1 vote
Erica Ramus,…, Agent, Pottsville, PA
Mon Nov 22, 2010
If you don't want to drop the price and don't want to switch agents, I'm not sure what you can do. Those are the 2 biggest things that could possible help you now. The market is telling you the house is priced too high. Or it's telling you that your agent is not marketing the home good enough. You may like your agent personally, but have you asked her what else she could be doing? What else is in her arsenal to try to get this sold?

Not all firms/agents do the same marketing! Some have more at their disposal and will/won't do things that others do. Not all agents are equal in their skills, talent, or marketing techniques.
0 votes
Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Sun Nov 21, 2010
Liking your agent is great, but you really need to know if your agent is doing everything possible. Your choice of agent is a business decision, not a friendship decision. You should sit down with your agent and find out if he/she understands what is wrong here. If your agent can't provide a satisfactory answer, you probably should talk to other agents after your agreement with your current agent expires. Then you should decide if you want to stay with your current agent or go with a new one.

0 votes
David Jaffe, Agent, Arlington Heights, IL
Sun Nov 21, 2010
Price and showability are the 2-key components of getting homes sold in this difficult market. Does your Listing Agent believe your home is price below market value to bring in potential buyers? Does your home have the updates that buyers are looking for? I would ask your listing agent to provide you with a comprehensive 30-day marketing plan to enhance the visibility of your home on the market. Below are just a few examples of what he/she can do.
1. Broker Tours and Open Houses
2. Have you offer a $5000 Buyer Bonus toward closing costs if under contract by a certain date.
3. Stage your home to make it look its best.
4. Make improvements to your home, which will make it sell faster (paint and new carpet), new light fixtures, etc.
5. Create custom e-mail flyers sent to thousands of Real Estate Professionals that work in your area.
6. Download your listing information to major websites (with great pictures) to Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc

The market generally slows down between the Holidays and picks up after the first of the year.

Hang in there, it will sell...

Best of luck,

David Jaffe-SRES,CDPE
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun Nov 21, 2010
If you only had 2 showings in over 200 days, it's time to review pricing strategies--review comps with your agent--recently sold similar properties in the immediate area--and if needed, do adjust your price accordingly in order to be competitive--keep in mind that a home is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, not what the seller needs or potential buyer can afford to spend, market conditions do matter; also review marketing strategies with your agent, does the activity maximize your exposure, if not adjust accordingly--if you can't sell at a lower price, consider staying, possibly add an extension if applicable.
0 votes
Chris & Step…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Sun Nov 21, 2010
Only 2 showings in 200 days means:

1) it is priced too high
2) it is not being marketed properly (ex no signage, no online presence...)
3) it is difficult to get confirmed for showings (ex no lock box, denied appointments...)
4) there is a stigma deterring buyers from making an appointment (ex on a highway, obsolete layout...)

I have seen people willing to over pay or pay at the top of the market because a home is quite honestly drop dead gorgeous. Is your home jaw dropping? If not, would the cost of making it amazing be recovered in the sale? If not then you may want to wait to sell your home if you need money from the proceeds to purchase the new home. There is no magic bullet or secret solution.

It sounds like you are torturing yourself by looking at what you want but can not have right now. Your dream home will appear when you are in a financial position that you can sell your current home at market value without it being a strain on your finances. Let those homes "slip away" and have faith that your home will sell. Perhaps now is not the best time for you.

Discuss your concerns with your Realtor and come up with a plan B and C and D if need be. Create a list of things you can do to add greater value to your home. Re-evaluate in March and see if you can hit the Spring Market with a greater more market friendly product.

Much luck to you.
0 votes
Doc & Ellen…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Sun Nov 21, 2010
There are more Sellers right now than Buyers, and today's Buyers are picky. In order for ANY house to sell @ a reasonable price:

1. It must be Sparkling clean! (Windows, too.)
2. Everything that is obvious has already been repaired.
3. Move-in ready. All a Buyer has to do is write the check and start moving.
4. Professionally staged. The Builders model down the road is staged, and that is your primary competition.
5. PRICED RIGHT @ MARKET! If you aren't in the top 25% in condition and the bottom 25% in price, forgetaboutit.

You might enjoy my recent blog article: http://www.trulia.com/blog/ellen_doc_stephens_realtors/2010/…

If your home meets all the criteria above, and IF your agent has advertised it with as many stunning, well-lit pictures as are allowed by your local MLS, included a Virtual Tour, written a compelling description that actually talks about how it will FEEL to live there, pushed it out to every available real estate website, canvassed the neighbors within the same neighborhood to see if they know of someone who wants to move into their neighborhood, then you ought to be getting showings. If not, your price is still too high, or your agent isn't presenting it effectively. Your agent has to sell the other agents in the area first on the idea that your home is one they want to show to their Buyers.

If you were a Buyer, which house for sale in your neighborhood would you pick? If yours is over-priced, no amount of slick marketing and prospecting will do any good. You'll just be telling more people that your home is over-priced.

Good luck.

Doc Stephens, REALTOR®
Web Reference:  http://TellEllen.com
0 votes
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