What can a seller do to better market their home in this poor real estate market?

Asked by Tina, Phoenix, AZ Sat Mar 22, 2008

We are trying to sell our home in the Desert Ridge area (MLS # 2907127 for all you buyer's agents) and while our house is absolutely gorgeous, no one is coming to see it. What can we do besides holding open houses and advertising through our sign and our agent's website? We have even increased the commission to the buyer's agent with no interest (up to 5% at one point which would have been a $23,000 commission to the buyer's agent). We are building a home that will be completed in June and are getting anxious. Help!

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15
Jessica Klein, , New Rochelle, NY
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Hi Home Seller,
Without seeing you home and coming from a completely different market... let me tell you this. There are 2 reasons your house isn't selling: price & condition.
You say it's gorgeous and I believe you! But your idea of gorgeous and all the homebuyers out there might be very different. Look into having your home staged by a professional home stager. They will make your house stand out and be the best among all the houses competing in your price range.

As for price, talk with your agent about what has been happening - showings, offers, lack of offers or lack of showings and find out what is behind it. Are you priced within reason or out of the ball park?

Good luck.
2 votes
James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sat Mar 22, 2008
I commend you for being so assertive in contacting other agents to promote your home.

Honestly, in today's tough real estate market, if you don't have any showings that is telling you that you are priced too high. Additionally, since your property backs up to Jomax, you will have to reduce the price even further downward from other comparable homes with better lot locations.

I would love to sell your home for you, but I wouldn't be representing my client's best interests by bringing them to see your home at it's current list price unless I knew they really loved it and could buy it for 20% less than list. I feel you are at least $75K over priced. Ask your REALTOR to go over the comparable home sales in your area and actually visit the homes. Your toughest competition may be the short sale or REO, bank owned homes in your neighborhood. I know it 's probably not what you want to hear, but if no one tells you, time will go by and you may eventually end up owning 2 homes or possibly lose your earnest money on the new home if you can't close on it without the sale of your current home.

Open houses are not the key to selling your home, they primarily benefit the REALTOR holding the open house by allowing them to pick up prospective buyers. The percentage of a home selling through an open house is very very small. Depending on how well your agent's website is utilizing SEO (search engine optimization), your home may never even be seen. Ask your agent if they can track how many property views you home has had on their website. They should be able to tell you.

Without further research, I don't know what you owe on your home, but if it was my home or listing, I would continue to drop the price until the showings pickup. I would also do something with your exterior pictures in the MLS. Do whatever you can do to liven the home up. The grass looks dead and should be well manicured when trying to sell your home.

The trick of increasing the buyer's agent commission on an over priced home rarely works. You would be much better reducing the price or offer closing cost assistance with the extra commission.

There are so many ways to market your home, you need to do as many as you possibly can in today's market to help get the home sold. Remember, PRICE is the KEY. It doesn't matter where the home is, the condition of the home, someone will buy any house at the right price.

I wish you the best of luck in selling your home and hope my advice and criticism is taken well. If there is anything else I can do let me know.
Web Reference:  http://www.jameswehner.com
2 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Tina...

Have your agent do some internet marketing, vflyer, postlet, point2 site and craigslist. All of these sites except craigslist syndicate to other sites.

Typically if a property is priced within 5% of what it should sell for and based on condition, market and location it should receive an offer within the 1st 30 - 40 days. If not it would be in need of a reduction of 5 - 7 %. Be agressive or it will sit. Good luck.
1 vote
K. Johnson, , Almaden, San Jose, CA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Try lowering your asking price. I knew someone that lowered their asking price 2% below their original price and held an open house with balloons and fanfare for the new price. The next day they got three offers. In the end, they sold the home above their original asking price.
1 vote
Linda Carroll…, , Lacey, WA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Oh, I thought of more stuff!

Have a business card printed up with the picture of your house, MLS#, and some basic information. Everywhere you go, leave a card. When you leave a tip at the restaurant, leave the card. When you pay for a book or magazine, tell the clerk "by the way, my home is for sale...do you know anyone who might be moving?" Do this with co-workers, friends, relatives, people at gas stations, the golf course, the spa, the barrista at the coffee shop.

A little secret...even though your friends and neighbors know your home is for sale, most of them won't think about who is going to buy it--until you ask them! Many Real Estate agents pay hundreds of dollars to attend seminars to learn that trick. Very few of them ever apply it.

Hang a card or flyer at any and all bulletin boards in your area. Give one to your builder!

Mail flyers or postcards to homes in areas that are about 15% less in value to yours--most people move up about 15% in value when they upscale. Choose a neighborhood of about 30 homes to mail to one week, then mail a few out every week.

Another thing...I don't know your market, but make sure your home is priced right. Listings expire for 3 reasons--price, condition, and marketing. When all 3 of those factors are in line, you should get showings, and an offer should follow.

Warm wishes & good luck! Let me know how it works for you!
1 vote
Hi, , Virginia
Mon Mar 24, 2008
keep the house, it is not a good time to sell a house.
if you must sell, lower the price.
then lower it again
then lower it again
eventually it will sell.

supply and demand
economics 101

anyways

good luck


have a nice day
0 votes
Steve Belt, , Scottsdale, AZ
Mon Mar 24, 2008
Tina,

You've got a complicated situation, and it isn't just one factor. I sent you an email, since you contacted me via email, with the short list, of the most important things I would change. #1, of course, being price. I would highly encourage you to go over to Fireside, and look at what your dollar will get you for a brand new home in the neighborhood. Whenever there is new construction in the area, that will always be your #1 competition....not what's in MLS or recently sold via MLS. Look at what your dollar can get you from a builder.

But in your case, it isn't price alone. Although, you can use price to address everything that's wrong, that's the most expensive way, and there are still some relatively inexpensive things that you can do, to have your home show better.
0 votes
Ulises Romo, , Phoenix, AZ
Sun Mar 23, 2008
Tina,

I think Mr. Bailey hit many points, as did the other who answered your question. However, without knowing your situation, I can tell you that what I have read from the answers here is what I would also recommend. LOWER your list price. If you cannot afford to do that, then expect to sit on the market longer.

It may not be what you want to hear, but it is the truth. If you cannot compete with Short Sale, and Lender Owned property prices, you will be sitting on the market until they sell. I know most homeowners cannot afford to price their home that low. However, if you do not lower you list price by at least 5% you will probably be waiting for your current home to sell well beyond your new homes completion.

In addition, the backyard pictures should be updated. If you grass is green, have your agent take a new picture and replace the old one. Remember that a higher end home, and higher end home buyers expect more for their money. Staging your home, and having a Video tour, and some other avenues might help as well.

Another agent here said that people are trying to find a steal of a deal. And I agree. That is why we all recommend a price reduction. After you lower your price talk with your realtor and find out what he has done to market the home and see what other avenues you can take to market you home to higher end home buyers.
0 votes
Pricetellsall, , CA/NY
Sun Mar 23, 2008
There is only one thing you can do if no one is even coming to look at it. Lower your price.
0 votes
Benjamin Bai…, Agent, Anthem, AZ
Sun Mar 23, 2008
Hi Tina,

Unfortunately, most people don't care how nice any of us think our own homes are, or how much money we spent making it look that nice, or how much money you owe on the home. Sellers often operate under the misconception that they ought to get out of a home something comparable to what they put into a home, and, especially right now, that is certainly not the case. People are buying what they can afford right now - period - and if that means going down the street to buy one that you think is in less favorable condition than yours, then that's what happens. The bottom line is that, if no one is walking through your home, then it doesn't matter how good it looks on the inside, how much you've spent on staging, or how much commission you are offering to the buyer's agent, if no one can afford your home, then no one is going to make an offer. Talk to your agent about pricing. Right now, you should be looking more closely at active listings than sold listings. Determine if you are able to take some cash to the closing so that you can get your priced competitively and sold quickly. Hope that helps.

Ben Bailey
Windermere West Valley
http://www.ArizonaPremiereLiving.com
480/220-8022
0 votes
Patricia Sit…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Sun Mar 23, 2008
This is a tough market, but homes that are priced just below the market price ( 2 or 3%) are selling. Desert Ridge is a great area, I live here and Iam a Realtor in the area.I have had buyers write offers...but many of the Seller's are still stuck in 2005 prices... you really have to look at what has sold and price your home correctly (Look at ONLY what has sold, not what is listed on the market)...Remember we are working to get our buyer's a great deal, so 5% or 10% doesn't mean a thing if our buyer's are paying over market.
0 votes
Mr.P, , Arizona
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Tour all the homes in your neighborhood, pretend that you are the buyer.
I am impressed that you emailed potential buyers agents.

Good Luck
0 votes
Jerry Murphy, Agent, Anthem, AZ
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Hi Tina,

One site my business partner and I have gotten a lot of calls off of is Craigslist. But if the home is not priced right, it won't matter how much marketing you do. In the Phoenix and Scottsdale real estate market your competition is all of the bank owned properties and short sales. Buyers are out there looking for bargains today. No let me take that back, they're looking for steals. It's unfortunate, but you can't fight the market.

If you'd like to see how we market our homes visit our website at:

http://www.ArizonaPremiereLiving.com
0 votes
Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Sat Mar 22, 2008
Tina, Without knowing your agents marketing plan it is hard to say. While I know your area has been in a slump it is still an area people are moving to. I would contact the local chamber and ask for the list of people and their locations moving to your area. Most chamber of commerces track that kind of data. Then of course target that area for print media. I personally use over twenty websites to market my listings. The internet is where 80% of most people now begin there search for a home. Our company Coldwell Banker is premier in presence on the internet. Talk to your agent and ask them where, when, and how they are marketing your home.

Larry Story
Coldwell Banker Triad
0 votes
Linda Carroll…, , Lacey, WA
Sat Mar 22, 2008
You can do so much!

Send a link to your listing to everyone in your email address book, and ask them if they know anyone who might be moving to your area.

Take a flyer or postcard with your listing info on it, and knock on your neighbor's doors. Ask them if they would like to choose their new neighbor! Do they have a friend or relative that they would like to see move in? If you don't want to knock on your neighbor's doors yourself, ask your agent to do it.

I once sold a house before I listed it, by knocking on the house next door! It turned out that their best friends wanted to move into their neighborhood. It was one of the smoothest, quickest, transactions I had ever had--and it was in a small town where homes usually sit on the market.

Good Luck!
0 votes
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