Here is what is happening in North Snohomish County lately. Houses in our market today are taking up to 6 months and some longer to sell. The amount of inventory available in Snohomish County right now (newest report from Trend Graphics) is worth apx 9 months, down from 11 the month before last. The factors involved in the speed and price at which your home will sell are #1 Price. Your home must be priced at the low range based on pendings. Every time I prepare a market analysis for a Seller these days I'm seeing minimal price changes on those homes that haven't sold & more substantial changes on homes that have recently sold or are pending. The Sellers who want to sell must have prices that reflect the current market conditions for their specific property period. The price your home must be at should reflect the home's age, style, size of lot, amenities & location compared to other similar homes.
Secondly, it must be properly staged including removal and storage of some personal possessions, if necessary, fresh paint, new carpet, etc as needed to compete with the other homes on the market. In today's market, your agent must know the market. They should have been in your competition so they can tell you exactly how you stack up. Buyers simply don't have to look at our make an offer on homes that are not up to snuff on either price or condition.
Third.....great photos. The tech savvy buyer right now is looking seriously at homes that are priced right & look great on-line and are absolutely passing by those homes that either have few pictures or crappy pictures. I'm resorting to professional photos these days because I know we're in a high tech area and buyers must see the homes really well to be interested.
Those great photos must be on a variety of web sites such as Trulia, postlets, craig's list, zillow, etc. Representing sellers is hard work these days yet no stone should be left un turned.
Magazine ads are still an important marketing tool, as well.
Broker's Opens don't seem to bring me much buyer traffic these days. Not since early 90's when they came for a free lunch in our area (N Sno. County). Now the agents can see as well on line as the Buyers to preview homes.
Open Houses are getting most of their activity from signs and web sites. You can ask your agent to send out invitations to people in your neighborhood who know of someone who wants to move into the neighborhood, or your agent can stick a sign in the front yard indicating the house will be held open on Sunday. Ads in the newspaper, unless your home can be submitted to the Herald Resale Home of the Week and is chosen, do not bring a lot of Buyers in. It's all about the signs & web sites.
I can certainly understand your need to feel like your agent is working hard. If you wish to continue to work with your agent, or any agent, you should require a marketing plan, planning calendar and regular feedback. The market is constantly changing and your agent should be on top of those changes and be willing and able to share with you the data to support their position.
The good news is that we're seeing some pick up in Buyer activity. However, that "good activity" is really defined as still a strong Buyer's market.
Thank you very much and best of luck.