Trying (tried?) to sell in Chesapeake, VA.

Asked by Jen Johnson, Portland, TX Sun Sep 30, 2007

Put our 4bed/3bath house in the market in Chesapeake VA back in March for approx. $380k (to give room for negotiation. 6 months later price was down to approx $340k with still almost no interest. Good house in a cul de sac in best school district in the area--was the problem most likely the market downturn, or (as we suspected) our agent, who seemed less than involved? When we took the house off the market briefly to redo the kitchen, we were contacted that day by 6 realtors looking to sell the house for us, which makes it sound as though selling was doable--if we had someone else.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Lynne Munden…, , Chesapeake, VA
Thu Jul 22, 2010
Pricing varries a great deal in each neighborhood. People love beautiful kithcens and a clean house. I do not think pricing for room is a good strategy in this market. You are competing with homes that are not priced with room but priced to sell. Home staging is effective. I have staged every home this year using my training received through IASP.
1 vote
Frank Bigans…, Agent, Newport News, VA
Sun Jan 20, 2008
You partially answered your own question when you said you took it off the market to remodel the kitchen. Ninety percent of my clients are buyers, and they’re just not buying houses that need any work or updating. Buyers can be picky in a market where there are so many products of the shelf, and houses must be in showroom condition and competitively priced.

If you are serious about moving, begin by packing up a lot of your knick-knacks, photos, etc., and remove most of your photos from the walls. Store the items in boxes in the garage or attic., and even placing the boxes in a corner of a room is okay. Trust me, buyers will overlook those boxes, but the visual will do two things for you: it will show prospective buyers that you are serious about moving, and it will create a sense of urgency to the buyer. You’re going to have to pack anyway, so why not begin now? Depersonalize your home so the buyer can imagine themselves living there.

Some Realtors will also take a listing at the price the home seller wants. But that's a very bad idea because the first few days your house is on the market are the most important. Overpriced homes miss the best opportunity, and often miss many prospects who could qualify to purchase your home. New home construction prices can also drive down sales prices of older homes, so pricing is tantamount from day one!

I hope this helps you and any other home owner looking to sell in today's buyer's market. And if you have any other questions, please contact me through my website.

Frank Biganski, Realtor, ABR

1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Sep 2, 2014
This question posted Sept 2007.

As we all know, Bank of America (Moody's payoff) took the entire USA and much of the global economy down the toilet the following years. Padding the price to give room for negotiation in front of the economic cliff that followed was hardly the problem for this home seller.

In 2014, the strategy described results is a list price 30% above the price for which it will sell. Absolute silence from the normal real estate market is the predictable outcome.

It appears in Chesapeake VA Realtors are in hot pursuit of expireds, withdrawns, and FSBOs.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes
Yvonne Hagam…, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Tue Sep 2, 2014
Selling is always obtainable, however pricing and marketing are a huge factor. Overpricing a home is something agents do when they are not sure about the price or want to see if it is possible or are not knowledgable about the area. With the tools that are available such as CMA's and TMO's and the proper marketing your home will sell.
0 votes
Jen Johnson, Home Seller, Portland, TX
Thu May 15, 2008
Thanks to everyone for the advice and assistance. We took the house off the market for the winter and are now in the process of selling to our tenant.
0 votes
Phil Young, , 23323
Thu May 15, 2008
You might want check out this site for more info.
0 votes
Chris Faircl…, , Virginia Beach, VA
Sat Apr 19, 2008
In this market sellers either "chase the market" by "leaving room for negotiation" or they "drive the market". I recommend this quite often to my prospective seller clients. Look at your competition through the eyes of a buyer. If you were buying which home offers the most value? As a consumer, most say the best price with the most amenities. Does your home qualify?

When a home comes off the market (expired/ withdrawn) many agent who were riding the wave of our crazy seller's market were left out in the cold. The phone stopped ringing and if they wanted to continue in this business they had to go after opportunities. I'm surprised you only got six calls from realtors.

Your choice of agents is critical to your bottom line, unfortunately you've realized this too late. Your agent should be in communication with you weekly, they should be keeping you informed of new sales, listings, pendings, etc., informing you of trends and feedback, so as to "drive the market". The good news is that it's spring and the buyers are out, so get that house staged and priced to sell ASAP. You can sell this home!
0 votes
Jill Vega, Home Buyer, Chesapeake, VA
Thu Apr 10, 2008
Your home sounds like it is in a great location, the market did slow down but is a great time to put it back on the market with more than 200 new listings coming about daily now your best chance to sell is now.
From Local Agent a good website from your agent is also very helpful......
0 votes
Spivey76, , Chesapeake, VA
Fri Dec 28, 2007
You can look at CMAs all you want. The bottom line is a house is worth what someone is willing to buy it for. Some houses are selling here, but most are not because the prices are over-inflated for what you get.
0 votes
Charles Farl…, Home Buyer, Chantilly, VA
Mon Dec 17, 2007
Your Realtor probably knew that your place was overpriced. New reality, people in Hampton Roads have a median household income of $60K or something weak, and there is a metric TON of houses on the high end for sale. Everyone pretended they were rich on the teaser rate loan. I don't get the idea of redoing the kitchen to make it sell, why not just lower the price? After this market blows up distressed homeowners are going to be hocking their stainless steel appliances and granite counters for pennies on the dollar to try to save their alligators ... plus every home buyer has their own tastes.
0 votes
Angie Nishni…, Agent, Richmond, VA
Mon Dec 10, 2007
I'm curious, did you counter the offer for $315? In this market some buyers offer low to see what the seller with counter back with.

Sellers need to realize they need to interview at least THREE Realtors when listing a house. LOOK at their CMA, and pay specific attention to the solds. ASK questions like "how many open houses are you going to do", "What ads do you run", "what else are you going to do to sell my home".
You are paying a commission to them, make them earn it !

If you need to, get them to put it in writing what they will do. If they don't do, call them on it. If they still don't do it, call their broker.

It's a different market , and it takes agressive pricing and marketing to get a home sold.

Keep in mind, that even if you have a very aggressive agent marketing your home, it may still take some time. However, most sellers aren't as irritated if the agent makes a strong effort to sell their home.

I wish you the best of luck with your home.
Remember, when you put your home on the market.... Interview at least THREE agents with well known companies.

Angie Nishnick
Your native local Hampton Roads Expert

William E Wood& Associates
Great Bridge Office
0 votes
J Paul Picco…, , Virginia Beach, VA
Tue Oct 2, 2007
I found your listing on the MLS. To be honest I had never heard of your listing agent's brokerage before. That doesn't mean they aren't good by any stretch, but I do wonder what their marketing approach was. I have a customer who lives around the corner from your home. They never received any sort of "Just Listed" post cards or anything nor could I find anything that indicated your home was for sale online outside of the MLS. I believe it was a combination of the market being what it is and the marketing approach of your agent. I hope you found a good tenant to hold you over and wish you the best if you decide to list your home again.

P.S. Don't you enjoy the agents that sound out automatic letters and postcards to withdrawn and expired listings? You have to love that personal touch...!
0 votes
Emily Erekuff, Home Owner, Menifee, CA
Mon Oct 1, 2007
Hi Jen,

The link below shows 4-bed, 3-bath homes currently listed on Trulia in Chesapeake. Perhaps you can find some comparable listings that will provide some insight into your current situation. If you click on the 'Recently Sold Homes' tab under the map you can also view the prices that such homes have sold for in the past few months.

I hope this helps you.

Best Wishes,

Emily Gibson
Customer Service Representative
0 votes
Alice Sheldon, , 23518
Sun Sep 30, 2007
I am sorry I hit the wrong key there are only 11 pending in that area and 5 have sold in the last few months
0 votes
Alice Sheldon, , 23518
Sun Sep 30, 2007
Although some areas of Hampton roads are slow, yours is in one of the more sought after areas. Right now there are 42 homes for sale in area 32 (south chesapeake) in the 300-400 price range with a minimum 4 b/r 3 bath. But on the positive side there are 52 pending sales which is good. Great Bridge and Hickory schools are desirable. Marketing would be the key. is your home being advertised in print and on most online search sites. do you have mulitple pictures and virtual tours. Most people searching for a home how search online. How does your home present itself. Many factors could be involved. Interview several realtors and see how they would market your home.
0 votes
Becky Jones, Agent, Monterey, CA
Sun Sep 30, 2007
It's easy to blame the Realtor when a house didn't sell. Honestly look at what was done in an effort to sell your home. Was the property marketed with online advertising, print, relationship marketing, open houses? In our area, some of these activities work better than others. The truth is, there are few buyers out there seriously looking - they are nervous and rightfully so given all the negative press. Don't be so quick to blame your Realtor - it might have been good to sit down with s/he and discuss your expectations ahead of time. That being said, there are a lot of lazy agents out there who got in when the going was good and don't want to work as hard as they have to these days. I don't know your particular details but I do believe when a property is on the market for a long period of time - it is typically a price issue. You can change the house to increase it's value or your change the price.
0 votes
Jen Johnson, Home Seller, Portland, TX
Sun Sep 30, 2007
To clarify, we're not actually looking for a new agent right now. We opted to put the house back on the rental market and have a renter moving in shortly. But the renter is taking a short-term lease, so it's possible the house will be back on the market in the middle of next year, if the market looks to support it. Our question is should we have gotten more interest at that price in that market (I can count the people who looked on 2 hands, and we got 1 offer for $315k), or was our agent being overly optimistic about the house's ability to sell itself? Or was the market really that bad in that area this year?
0 votes
Perry Hender…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Sep 30, 2007
That's my old stomping grounds. Call Pete Decker of Prudential and he'll take care of you.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more