Elizabeth Sa…, Home Seller in 07028

What is the worst that can happen if we lower our asking price after 1 week?

Asked by Elizabeth Sackheim, 07028 Tue Dec 18, 2007

We've had 8 potential buyers come through and have been told our house shows really well. We are very motivated to sell. We are FSBO

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Dec 18, 2007
What's the worst that can happen? It still doesn't sell.

Question: How did you arrive at the price you're asking? Make absolutely sure it's competitive. None of this: "Well, we think it's worth $400,000, so we'll price it at $440,000." Don't think. Know what the comps are. Then price at or below, not above, the comps.

On the other hand, don't cut your price just to cut it (even though it's probably the right move). One week on the market is very brief, even in a decent market. In today's market, when well-priced properties can sit 80 days, 100 days, or more, it's too soon to panic. Just determine the right price.

Next, follow up with the potential buyers. Call them a week or two after they visit. Tell them the house is still available (no point in trying to twist the truth), and ask them what their situation is. Keep up a dialog with them.

Get a good home stager to come over and give you a report. It may cost a couple of hundred dollars...or maybe less...but you need an independent set of eyes to judge whether hour house shows well. Most buyers will be polite, even if they're looking at a dump. You need someone to search out the flaws.

Finally, depending on your level of motivation, you may want to consider using a Realtor. Yes, there's a commission, but commissions are negotiable. And Realtors bring a lot of knowledge and expertise to the table. Consider: The average person may buy and sell 5-6 residences in their lifetime. The good Realtor may assist in the purchase or sale of 5-6 properties in a month or two. Hmmmm.....

But don't panic. Analyze the situation. Follow through.

Good luck.
2 votes
Ruthless, , 60558
Wed May 21, 2008
Your response seems to be blatant promotion of your profession. You are not even in the seller's area. You didn't even answer the question. And this was an old question. Was there a purpose for you posting to this question?
1 vote
Ruthless, , 60558
Wed Dec 19, 2007
It won't sell at all because you scared everyone away. I did that as a FSBO testing the market using a flat rate MLS listing service. I had the Realtor open house and everyone commented "good luck". No one actually said it was overpriced, but I panicked and dramatically dropped my price from the higher range of the CMA suggestions to the lowest CMA suggestion. What happened with me, was that in the MLS you can be categorized as a "new listing" OR as a "price reduction". Because I reduced the price, I lost my new listing status.

Hindsight is 20/20 but I still don't know 6 months later if those "good luck" comments were a polite way of saying I was over priced OR that NOTHING is selling in THAT price range or if they were sincere comments that EVERYONE NEEDS LUCK in order to sell a house these days. What I DO KNOW is I made THREE mistakes:
1) pricing too high initially
2) lowering the price too soon
3) testing the waters as a FSBO for 2 weeks before turning it over to my chosen Realtor (there is a ton more involved with this one and you would have to sift through my 600 posts to piece together even part of the whole story.)

You are working with hindsight as well. You can't change what happened last week even though you think you made a mistake. You want to correct that mistake but there is no way to change a first impression. Unfortunately, you have to "suck it up" , "pay the penalty", "live with it" or whatever other cliche would be appropriate.

IF you are NOT in the MLS, take it off the market and start over and get a REALTOR for credibility. If you are in the MLS - wait at least 30 days before dropping your price. Either way, contact the 8 potential buyers and ask the old car salesman line, "What will it take to get you into this house today?"

You might find out that all 8 say, "Someone has to buy my house first." Will a price reduction do you any good then? NO. A couple of people might say, "Nothing, I'm really not interested." A few might say, "A price reduction." Or maybe, "If you pay all the closing costs" or "a trip to Hawaii" or a credit to build a deck, add a half bath or whatever objection they had with your home or incentive another seller was offering.

"Good luck" and I mean that in the very sincere way that EVERYONE needs luck to sell a home these days.
Web Reference:  http://www.Oak-Park-IL.com
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Dec 19, 2007
Changing your price so quickly could set up an expectation that you're desperate, and will be reducing your price regularly down the line. So if one of those potential buyers was considering purchasing your home, it might cause them to wait a little, to see if you'll drop again.
1 vote
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Wed Dec 19, 2007
If you've had 8 lookers and no offers, you could certainly consider a reduction. As previously stated, you must know what the market value of your home is before you do so. The biggest downfall with reducing after only one week is that buyers will think you are desperate and may lowball you. Be sure you know your market value and price your home accordingly.
Don't be discouraged. Eight days is not a long time on the market. You should find out what the average days on market is for your area so you will know how long it takes to sell a home in your neighborhood.
Find out what your competition is and price your home lower than the lowest priced comparable home and you will sell quickly for the best price.
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
1 vote
Kevin Kinney, Agent, Upper Montclair, NJ
Tue Dec 18, 2007
Don hit it on the head. First thing to do is make sure you are priced right. Often a real estate pro can help you arrive at the correct price for the current market. Even if you try to go it alone, most realtors will assist with this very important first step with the hopes that you might consider them if you do decide to hire an agent.

The first question that came to my mind is...were any of the 8 buyers qualified or motivated to buy your (or any) home or are they "just looking". It's kind of hard to answer this question unless you spend a lot of time with the individual buyers, but you'd be surprised at how many people are out there just looking for the deal of a lifetime and are really not motivated by any particular housing need. They waste a lot of their time just looking at homes so they certainly don't care about wasting your time in the process.

Also, where and how are you advertising your home? Is your home advertised where the motivated buyers will see it?

There are lots of reasons homes don't sell. It might be a good idea to consult a real estate professional to get answers specific to your home.
1 vote
Catherine "C…, Agent, Metuchen, NJ
Tue Feb 10, 2009
Hi Elizabeth,

As Ian mentioned, financing can be a good incentive and help you to find that "one buyer".
I just added a short post about owner financing this morning on my Tulia Blog:


As the Trulia community mentioned already, the FSBO route is not an easy one in this particular market. Strategies such as owner financing or other creative financing can help you.

Cathy C.
0 votes
Ian A. Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Wed Dec 19, 2007
If you want to create more demand without lowering the price or looking desperate. You could instead offer buyer incentives. For example 5k towards closing costs, or team up with a lender to offer some good financing on the property(e.g 100% financing to those who qualify). That can help attract interest without looking like you are dropping the price. I've found those ideas helpful when marketing both my client's properties and my own. Hope that helps.
0 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Wed Dec 19, 2007
Hi Elizabeth,

If you do decide to list with a Realtor, your old listing will be withdrawn and you will get a new listing with a new listing number. Most people will not notice that you were on the market for a week, so I don't think it's a big deal at all.

Besides that, your price is not out of line anyway. 8 showings in the first week smack dab in the middle of the holiday season is a fantastic result. I would just hold to your present course for a few more weeks. After the New Year, more buyers should start to creep into the marketplace.

Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes
Will, Agent, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Tue Dec 18, 2007
Elizabeth, The worst thing about lowering the price on your home after a week would be losing lots of money! Now maybe it is priced above what it should be but you should be able to determine that fairly easy, ask a real estate agent to help you find the correct price and maybe they will also offer you with other advise on selling your home. ( Marc might be able to save a lot of money and time)
Good Luck
0 votes
Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Tue Dec 18, 2007
Hi Elizabeth,

If you would like a market analysis and some selling/staging suggestions, contact me through my website. I realize that you do not want to list your home with a Realtor and do not want a sales pitch. I've appraised many homes in your area an am very familiar with values there.

Meanwhile 8 days is a very short time, so don't get too upset. 8 showings is not bad for the first week in a holiday market. Not bad at all.

Web Reference:  http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes
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