50 showings, 30 days, 2 second showings, no offers!

Asked by Pink Hair Pins, Plano, TX Wed Jul 16, 2008

We have had 50 showings in our first 30 days, we have had two second showings and we have relatively good feedback coming in from all of the agents. We have had some feedback come in about things we simply can't do anything about like floorplan, kitchen size or closet space, but all in all - we have had pretty good responses back from the agents. Is this normal for the Plano market right now? Am I being unrealistic to think I should have had an offer by now? Located in zip 75025.

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33
Brian Austin, Home Buyer, Orlando, Fla
Wed Jul 16, 2008
I'm a buyer (in florida) and maybe I could add a different perspective. I've seen probably close to 30 homes in the last month and there is something undesirable about all of them. And with so many homes on the market it's very easy for buyers like me to keep looking for the 'perfect' house.

Here's my advice. You need to ask an honest friend or stranger what is undesirable about your house. This may be hard, but it's key. You have to find out what the buyers are really saying about your house after they've left and they're comparing it to the other places they just looked at.

If the problem is something you can change for a little money, examples: pink toilets, gold trim on everything, ugly wallpaper or paint, dated fixtures, I'd spend the money and fix it.

If the problem is something you can't fix, like location, house layout, bad neighbors. Then you will probably have to lower your price even more.

Also, I hate to say it but a 1.2% drop is not going to show up on anyone's radar. Would you go to a store that was having a 1.2% off sale? 10% off is a sale.

In all seriousness, think like a buyer. It may really help. Good luck selling your house!
4 votes
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Wed Jul 16, 2008
Lots of showing and no offers...you're at least 5% overpriced. No showing no offers means you're at least 10% overpriced. What does your Realtor have to say?
Web Reference:  http://www.cindihagley.com
4 votes
Gastone, Home Buyer, Plano, TX
Sat Jul 19, 2008
Well allow me as an active Plano buyer (closing in three weeks) to add my perspective to the issue.

Our realtor did a great job showing us a lot of houses (about 40) in less than three weeks. Something I noticed about Plano as a first home buyer is that there is a wide range of availability for buyers near the same location. My wife an I wanted a house with a Pool which was a must for us and had narrowed our choices down to West Plano. Despite that I was amazed to see that there were so many houses out there for all different tastes. The house that we liked the most was only 4 days on the market and that was the only negative thing to it from a buyers point of view, because I didn't expect them to lower the price too much. Despite that not only did they accept to come down 7% from the listed price but they also accepted to pay all our closing costs, which was a result of our flexibility to move in any time within the next 4 months (we were not in any rush).

Now keep in mind that the house was in a great condition. We saw houses around the same rice range 220K and I can tell you with confidence that the majority of them should have lowered there price at least 5-8%. Kitchens were outdated, walls didn't have a neutral color (i still remember a couple of them where I though the pink panther still lived in there), which would have required from us to put in more money to have it fixed as we walked in. Eventually every buyer has to put money to fix things according to his taste, but not that many to the degree that cosmetics influence his decision when he is getting ready to move in. No wonder some of them were over 40 days on the market.

Hope everything was for you pink, but if things don't improve I would suggest an interior designer to help you create an even more neutral environment in your house and then bring it back on the market, or chage your realtor. Afterall you should always think for the best of your interests, with high concern of the buyers' point of view.
3 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Jul 16, 2008
Lots of showings means that your property is being marketed well and that it's reasonably priced. People are showing up because their agents are telling them that it looks like a good value. (If it were overpriced, people wouldn't bother showing up.) And the word is getting out.

Then something bad is happening. People show up. They look around. And they unanimously decide they don't want to even make an offer. They all know they can offer slightly less, and you'd probably accept slightly less than the listing price. But they don't even bother because, even with a 5% or so price reduction, they don't want your house. So--with all due respect to Cindi--I don't think the most likely answer is price. Sure, at some price almost anything will sell. But here the problem is something different.

Unfortunately, too, people tend to be reluctant to criticize properties. They try to be polite. They'll mostly identify things they like, and be vague about things they don't. That applies to both buyers and, oddly, agents.

Consider hiring a home stager. I'm guessing your home probably doesn't show well. The people are showing up, so it's not even the neighborhood that's the turn-off. (The clue there is if lots of agents call to say they're bringing clients over, and then many don't show up. In that case, many of them have driven to your home and the client's said, "No, I don't even want to go in." Then you get the call from the agent saying they're running a bit behind and won't be able to get there today.)

And some of the things you mention as items "we simply can't do anything about" are things you actually can address through staging. Closet space? No, you can't make closets bigger. But you can sure make them look bigger. Clear everything out of them. Kitchen size? You can make it look bigger. Get rid of moveable islands, or carts with microwaves. Clear off the countertops. Increase the lighting. And much more.

A stager can help you with all those things.

Also, are there odors that might be turning potential buyers off?

Again, people are showing up. They want to buy, and at pretty much the price you're asking. They're coming in the door. Then, to a person, they're deciding that they really, really are not interested in even making an offer. You've got to figure out what's happening.

Hope that helps.
3 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Hi, there.

A few more thoughts. (And thanks for keep us all updated.)

Your agent is probably as frustrated and perplexed as you are. You've had a large number of showings, yet no offers. Based on your additional comments, I--well, not retract, but--modify my previous comments. I still think there may be something you're not picking up on, or that your agent isn't, that's turning people off. But from your very good, detailed descriptions, it sounds like it's very subtle...not the obvious bad odors or bad neighborhood.

My guess would be (and certainly ask your agent) that while he thinks your house is properly priced, he also knows that "anything will sell at some price." And that's his strategy. And it's understandable, though frustrating. Give him credit, you're still averaging nearly two showings a day.

Here's a strategy that is worth trying. You now know 60 or more people who are looking for a house in your geographic area in your price range with the basics (number of bedrooms, number of baths) matching what you're offering. Those are very hot prospects. OK, some may have bought something else. And some may have decided not to buy. Still, it's a great list.

Market to that list. Really market. Send each one a personalized letter, hand-written, every week. To save yourself some effort, Google "yellow letter." Essentially, you hand-write the letter once, leaving the person's name and some other information blank. You Xerox the letter, then fill in the person's name and the other information by hand. Done properly, the whole thing looks handwritten. Don't use the yellow legal pad that "yellow letter" proponents recommend. Use nice stationery.

Make each letter pleasant and chatty. Let them know that you appreciate their viewing your house, and that it's still available. Put something in each letter positive about the house, and something positive about the neighborhood or community. It's the same strategy that rockinblu recommended about good vibes. If you have some photos of the house or neighborhood looking especially nice or interesting--Christmas carolers outside, or flowers in bloom, have enough copies made so that you enclose one in each letter. (That's similar to the "lumpy mail" technique, another marketing device you can Google.)

Make each letter interesting, positive, and upbeat. Enclose something with each letter. Maybe even a favorite recipe. Mention any improvements to the house, like the painting. If something appears in the local paper about your community, make copies and enclose that. (That's called tear sheet marketing.) Make sure your contact information, as well as that of your agent's, is on everything you send out. Maybe every other letter, say something like, "Maybe you know someone who'd like to live here? If so, please let them know about my home." Use a "live" postage stamp, not a meter. Handwrite the address and the return address.

Every week.

Without fail.

Give that a try. It's not expensive. And it's pin-point targeting.
2 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
There's something wrong in the house. Price must be very attractive to get that many showings. Did you use a stager? I'd call one immediately. I'd normally expect one offer for every 10 showings. You need someone to be brutally honest with you as to why the house is not selling and your agent is probably too nice to do it. The stagers will normally do it....the harder part is following what they tell you to do. It might hurt but it will help you sell the house.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlynn.com
2 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Jul 16, 2008
Pink,

Thank your agent over, and over, and over................Selling is all about visibility. If you have had this much activity without serious action something else is going on.

Your agent has done a great job bringing people to the home.
2 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Jul 16, 2008
Dear Pink
The market is giving you feedback. From April to June 24 listings sold, so we know listings are selling.
I know that it is frustrating, however you need to be aware that the rule of thumb is 10-12 showings should produce one offer. So this many showings is a clear indication that the buyers are buying other homes...not yours.

You should also know that the most activity occurs in the first 2-3 weeks of market time and listings that sell in the first 30 days sell closest to asking price. The longer a home sits on the market, the greater the gap. in most market due to variety of factors, homes need to be priced slightly below market get activity. Most sellers and some Realtors do not realize that the list price is a marketing tool that is used to attrract buyers.

There is a listing that just sold, listed at $510,000 , sold for $550K. Smart Realtor. Under-priced it, got multiple offers, it sold quickly at able market. If they started at $560K, they probably would have got less than $550K.
2 votes
Trunda Rogers, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
I agree that the likely cuprit is the price. 50 showings and no offer is a definite indication that your home is priced above the expectations of your prospective buyers.
2 votes
Carol Pease,…, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
That is a lot of showings. The rule of thumb is that if you have 10 showings you should have an offer if price and condition are correct. You are wasting valuable marketing time. You should have had 5 offers by now so price is the most obvious culprit. Talk to your realtor. There are buyers out there and you are running the risk of not finding one!

Carol Pease
carol@CarolPease.com
2 votes
Linda Carroll…, , Lacey, WA
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Hello Pink!

I'm quoting from an earlier post you made:

"If we still get no bites, we'll do another drop. He feels the buyers are simply getting more closet and more kitchen somewhere else. "

Getting more closet and more kitchen. Are there new construction homes that are competing with yours?

What are your goals? When do you want to move? Before the election?

I would suggest a price reduction. Price is always the great equalizer.

If Buyers are shopping a price range, they are seeing all the houses in that range. If other homes compare better to yours, in the same price range, then your home is actually helping to sell those other homes, by making them look bettter when compared to yours.

Why worry about wiggle room? Know your bottom line and don't go below it-- don't wiggle.

Get your home priced right where the right Buyers will see it.

Does your agent do an office tour or Broker's open? Get the written feedback from those events. Agents will be more brutally honest when it's only agents they're talking to!

By the way, your agent is doing a great job of marketing to get that many showings.

I hope this helps! Linda
1 vote
Carol Pease,…, Agent, Austin, TX
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Hi Pink!

I'm going to give you my 2 cents again here! I disagree with Don's advice. Do not contact any of the people who have previously viewed your property. There are studies that state that every sentence you (as seller) state to a prospective buyer will cost you $1,000 per sentence. Don't do it!!! Your agent has done a great job of marketing. You've had more than 50 showings. What is the problem? I don't know but you can't open the newspaper or turn on the TV without hearing and seeing how terrible the economy is in general and how awful the real estate market is in particular. What can you do? Nothing! Relax, let your agent do his job and be patient.
1 vote
T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Most appraisers are not using foreclosures as comparables. As a seller, it's a good thing to take them into consideration when you price the house since they will be competing with yours.

It sounds like you need another professional opinion to how you are priced. Feel free to contact any of us Dallas agents and I am sure that we will be happy to give you our 2 cents.

Naima
1 vote
T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
Open houses don't work well for selling a house in Plano or around it. It is a lead generation tool for agents to get buyers. Serious buyers are working with a Realtor who checks the MLS for them.

You also just don't know who is coming into the house through the open house. Are those people qualified? You mentioned that the house is vacant, I hope you left the utlities on and the AC on at a comfortable level. You don't want people to just zip through because it's too hot.

If there are some things that need to be done such as expanding the master bedroom closet, get a quote available so the buyers can have an idea of how much they are looking to spend to get it done if they like all other things about the house enough...

Naima
1 vote
T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
I am sorry to say but 50 showings in Plano is A LOT. It seems your agent is doing the right marketing since you are getting the foot traffic through. You need a candid unbias opinion as to how it's priced and how it shows, not someone that doesn't want to offend you by telling you negative things about your house. Is it staged? Any pet or tobacco smells? Do you back to a busy street? Could be priced too high, is the buyer's agent commission at least at 3%?...

Naima
214-289-8555
naima@sumner-realty.com
Web Reference:  http://www.sumnerrealty.com
1 vote
Vicky Chrisn…, , 20176
Wed Jul 16, 2008
so the feedback is that FOR THE PRICE they kitchen is too small, it doesn't have enough closet space or it's not their preferred floorplan. the market - everywhere - is VALUE sensitive, not price sensitive.... meaning, they won't pay that much for it because they can get more for the same money. Lower your price and then you'll be compared with different homes - ones that may have less closet space and smaller kitchens, then you'll be in the running. It's all relative.
1 vote
Amy Arey, Agent, Allen, TX
Tue Jul 15, 2014
Three things influence the sale of a property:
1) Location 2) Price, 3) Aesthetic quality. Price can always overcome the other two (even a "bad" floorplan). You may want to have a friend walk into your home from the perspective of a new buyer. Sometimes the simple change of furniture arrangement can make the entire floorplan "feel" different or more open. If you're not getting showings...it could be a marketing issue...but you're getting a LOT of showings, and they are not liking something about the floorplan. A small tweak here and there may help it look "new" again.

Here's a blog-post I wrote on this very subject:

http://amyareyrealtor.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/12-inexpensiv…

Hope you find it helpful!

-Amy S. Arey, Realtor
Halo Group Realty, LLC
214.901.1341-Cell
http://www.aarey.haloagent.com
AmyAreyRealtor@Gmail.com
0 votes
Dustin Piers…, Agent, Frisco, TX
Sun Jul 13, 2014
Pink Hair Pins,
The fact that you had so many showings in the first month followed up by second showings seem to suggest that your price is attracting the buyers.

However, I'm guessing by your comments that your house wasn't built in the age of "open concept" and massive walk-ins that is so attractive to buyers right now. I know this may be stretching things, but have you considered having a contractor look at your house to determine if a small change like opening a wall, or removing one will open the space a bit more? Without seeing your listing, its hard to know for sure.

I hear the same comments on really nice, clean 1980s bungalows, and it breaks my heart that some buyers cannot see the charm in them.

R/
Dustin
0 votes
Whoops, I need to check the dates on these more carefully...talk about necro-posting!
Flag Sun Jul 13, 2014
Karen Otto,…, , Plano, TX
Wed Jan 20, 2010
Found this post very informative and interesting!

As a professional home stager the simple changes you made in the paint & the hard choice of reducing your price is something I see a lot of in terms of getting an offer on a home that appeared to be a high interest home on the list of potential buyers. There was just something they were not connecting to.

Getting an objective opinion on how the house really shows before it's listed is crucial.

While I make no claims to be a Realtor and understand their key role in marketing and pricing the house competitively, home stagers are essentially the "eyes of the buyer" who can help sellers identify areas to address.

Staging a home can be uncomfortable for some, as the home becomes a product to market and may not feel like your home while selling, however, statistics show a faster and better sales price is generally the outcome with a home that shows well and is priced right to begin with.

I'm happy you finally got it sold and are hopefully enjoying your new home!
0 votes
., , Lewisville, TX
Mon Apr 27, 2009
Your home appears to be getting great exposure. That is a lot of showings for the numbers of days on the market. The 3 determining factors are: Price, Condition and Location. If you have 50 showings, you probably should have had 3 offers by now. You might need to adjust the price to the market before your days on the market get high, now that you have been on for 30 days. Additionally, you can hire a professional stager to come and help you stage your home to show it's features the best. Good luck!
0 votes
Ron Pritchett, Agent, Frisco, TX
Sun Aug 17, 2008
Hello Pink, I live in the 75025 zip code and have had great success in marketing in the area as well. 50 showing is a lot not to have gotten an offer yet, if you are not working with a Real Estate Professional let me offer my assistance. Check out one of my web sites http://www.HomeSearchPlano.com or PlanoHomesInfo.com. I would love to send you some of my marketing information if you will forward you email address.
Web Reference:  http://www.RonPritchett.com
0 votes
Carol Pease,…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sat Aug 2, 2008
Pink!!!

Congratulations!!! Finally success! Sometimes we never know why these things take so long. Your house was probably a bridesmaid for a lot longer than you were aware. Here is hoping the rest of your transaction is uneventful and smooth! I have my fingers crossed for you.

Carol Pease, ABR, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Sat Aug 2, 2008
Within 1 week of changing the paint and then a price drop, we have accepted an offer! Not sure what was the bigger piece of the pie that brought the offer to the table, but we are happy! Thank you again for all your help and suggestions.
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Wed Jul 30, 2008
Thank yoiu again everyone for your advice. We are doing the price drop today. It is significant, but still within our range of acceptable. We have our second home already built and are living in it. Well, partially built. Long story. So, we are in no rush to sell, other than just getting our liquidity out and paying ourselves. The house still appears to be lived in, groceries, clothes, things being moved around, all nice furniture, etc. Thank goodness we are not there, with all these showings and my three kids, that would have been a total nightmare. My agent did confirm this is the most showings in this time frame he has ever seen in his career. The house is open, we are not competing with new construction in our direct area, maybe 10-15 minutes north, but that is HUGE around here. Drive time that is... so cross your fingers and maybe we will see some new action with the combo paint / price reduction. It is amazing to me how many folks have been coming in. Perhaps, as mentioned, agents are using my home to boost the sale of that just 'bigger' home at the same price. Now, we are in a different league. In my zip, we will be the lowest at that range with a three car garage and at that square footage! It would be nice to get the monkey off my back so I can start building the rest of my new house and be well RESTED as my first kiddo starts kindergarten. I am so addicted to the CSS comments it is crazy. We did talk about an open house, then that fizzled. I will bring it up again to my agent. Thank you all again for your ideas and help. By the way, the idea of writing all the folks who have seen the house, I did like this idea - but I do suffer from foot in mouth episodes every once in a while. So, I pester my agent to follow up with specific things I am seeing commented on. He has been doing this pretty well and definitely earning his commission. Poor guy, I hope we get there soon.
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Tue Jul 29, 2008
I am about to become one of the most unhappy clients no my agent's list. We have now had 8 more showings since the agent requested we repain the downstairs. DONE. We have had two people say they really love the house, one just wants it for 24K less than our price. The other is still pending thoughts... so, now my agent - less than one week after telling me a price reduction is not the way to go, but rather PAINT... is saying we need to drop another $7500.00 to be in the running. This is just less than 2 weeks after telling me he absolutely did not want to do any drastic price drops because he felt we were where we needed to be. I have a new CMA, which includes two huge foreclosure nightmares and ofcourse that is dropping the average down, but most agents are quick to point that out both to buyers and sellers. Understandably, the appraiser is going to use those numbers, but dropping my price down is now looking like we would be selling at UNDER our county appraisal, which seems ridiculous to me here in Collin County. We own multiple properties here in Collin County and it has NEVER been my experience that the annual appraisals go over market for any of our pieces. Perhaps things have changed. Please someone put my mind at ease. I am just sick to my stomach today and my agent, nor his assistant can seem to make me feel any better. In case anyone is wondering NO we are not using a discount broker and I do feel like we made a good choice in our selection of agent, but lately his advice seems to change with the rise and fall of the sun. Not sure what is going on here.
0 votes
Tommy Burris, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Baton Rouge, LA
Fri Jul 25, 2008
There are a lot of homes that you are competing with in Plano. Your realtor needs to get creative.... maybe offer a 2/1 buydown on the interest rate for the new homeowners... this is great for people moving to the area with a trailing spouse as it lowers the payment a bit for the first 2 years.
Good luck
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Wed Jul 23, 2008
Okay, latest request is to repaint the entire downstairs. We are not painted pink panther pink... but we do have colors throughout the house. Huge expense to repaint every room in the downstairs to a neutral beige... are buyers REALLY not able to see past paint? Especially when the colors are OBVIOUSLY visible on the MLS listing? Are agents NOT pointing their clients to preview online these days? We have had two comments out of 60 showings about the color... is it worth the investment to change to neutral beige from current colors?
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Thu Jul 17, 2008
The feedback on the house is that it is a beautiful house, lovely house, shows well, very nice. Small kitchen, small master, small master closet. So.. I do think that could be part of the problem. We have had several people who LOVE it and simply want more closet or a second full size bath downstairs in addition to the master bath. The house is very open, not the traditional floorplan. That could possibly be getting in the way. Perhaps this week will prove more successful, if not, we really can only do so much. The house is staged, the furniture is very nice and classic. No wallpaper, no unsightly things. We had a lot of friends look at it that thought we did too much to get it ready. Cleaned too much, over did it with replacing carpet in master and refinishing the hardwood floors. It looks practically brand new. Great yard, established trees, although I am finding out some folks don't want any trees for religious reasons. Unfortunately, I am not cutting down trees. Shade is priceless for many of us here in Texas. New sod in the backyard welcomes children or adults... we'll see.
0 votes
Melissa Hail…, Agent, Plano, TX
Thu Jul 17, 2008
I'm sure you have talked with your agent about this, as they will be able to guide you through the process. Please know that in todays current market, most homes don't sell within the first 30 days. However, you must have it priced right to get that much activity....and that's a good sign. If you are getting feedback that says "paint this room" or "too dirty", then of course you need to correct the issue; but if the feedback is all items you cannot change then you don't really have alot of options.

Keep your eye on the competition (what other homes are those same buyers looking at) and make any adjustments as needed. Otherwise, just be patient....homes are taking a bit longer to sell these days.

Good luck out there!

Melissa Hailey
Coldwell Banker Jane Henry Realtors
214-418-0180
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
Well, my agent feels pretty strong about our position. He thinks we have a lot of people looking who are also selling their homes and are simply keeping an eye out on the current inventory. We are going to offer a $3000 bonus for the buyers agent for 10 days to all of the people who have seen the home already. If we still get no bites, we'll do another drop. He feels the buyers are simply getting more closet and more kitchen somewhere else. We also have a three car garage, which around here is rare. The house is staged great and yes we are paying full commission and we have the air running. He said please don't get nervous, we are only 30 days in, election year, and that his figures on showings / offers in the past 12 months are not reflective of 10 showing or even 15 to one offer. Around here, we have just so much inventory. There is presently a 6 month inventory in my zip code. So, we'll give it a shot for 10 days. I just hate to be carrying the house through the new year. I would much rather get the monkey off my back and breath easy as my first baby heads of to kindergarten!!!! Thanks for all the great comments.
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
Any thoughts on holding an open house in combination with a price reduction to have someone on site to hear the feedback live?
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
We have no pet odors or anything obvious. We moved out and left all the nice furniture, so the house is fully staged, we have clothes and groceries (well staged) All clutter is out, fresh flowers changed out regularly, new hardwood floors, it really does show well. With the exception of the small master closet, and smaller kitchen. We have done the steps as mentioned below by Don Tepper, it really looks great. We know that some Asian families don't like it because the front and back door are pretty well aligned, but we knew that going into it. Also, bathroom in the center of the house is bad for feng shui. We love the traffic, and really it does appear that most people really don't say anything awful. I am going to call my agent right now and see how many other houses he has had 50 showings and no offers on. That is really starting to upset me.
0 votes
Pink Hair Pi…, Home Seller, Plano, TX
Wed Jul 16, 2008
We dropped the price this past weekend $3,000.00, which was 1.2%. Agent seems to think we are very close to where we will ultimately sell, we have a little wiggle room to negotiate down a bit since that seems to be the game around here. We were told that the buyers must be able to negotiate it down or they simply won't take it. So, we have a little room there.
0 votes
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