I've had a house listed in Elk Grove, IL since Feb, and am pretty sure it's listed for a fair price based on

Asked by Ronald Busse, Elk Grove Village, IL Sun Dec 2, 2007

the market. I have had some good showing but never had an offer. Its a 4 bed/2 bath stretch ranch 1900 sq/ft. with several updates. I listed at 349,000 and lowered to 345,000. My agent says that lowering the price will not help in this market. Should I switch agents, or wait out this slump in the market?

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Judi Bryan’s answer
Judi Bryan, Agent, Bloomingdale, IL
Sat Dec 8, 2007

What I think is very important for you to consider is what is your current agent doing to market / expose your home. If you've got a good line of communication with your agent, are aware of his/her marketing efforts (online and offline) and are comfortable they are doing their utmost to promote your home, switching agents will likely be of little value. The agent controls the marketing....not the market.

I just checked MLS listings for ElK Grove in the $300-350 range. There are current 33 listings in that range...1 of which has a contract on it! When the odds are roughly 97% AGAINST a contract, you need to be AGGRESSIVE to generate an offer. A "fair price" for your home may simply not be what is needed to generate an offer.

Best wishes....
1 vote
Patti Pereyra, , Chicago, IL
Sun Dec 2, 2007
Hi Ronald:

I'm going to give you my theory:

I found your listing on the MLS. Based on its history, it might be the timing of when your listing entered the market combined with the price at which it entered the market, which was, at the time, one of the highest priced homes of your type of home.

Since the right pricing is critical from the start, the timing of entering the market during the slower season as one of the top-priced homes on the market at the time may have been what gave your property a slow start.

Add the doom of accumulated market time with a slow, small price drop, and it has likely only added to its stagnant status on the market.

Unfortunately, once a property has been on the market a long time, even a price drop can be ineffective. That is why it is crucial to price it right from the start, especially in a market such as yours, where the average market time for homes like yours is a little over 4 months.

Keep in mind, this is only a theory.

If you are still receiving showings at this point, your agent must be getting it the exposure it needs. Perhaps what is needed is a fresh start on the MLS with the more competitive price.

Of course, this is something you should discuss with your agent. A new review of the market now with a price adjustment to reflect that, and a fresh status on the MLS, might do the trick.

Good luck.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Dec 18, 2007

I don't know the Chicago market but, based on the previous comments from Realtors, it appears your property might be overpriced. That's problem one.

Should you switch agents? The answer depends on whether the agent is doing a good job for you. And here, without badmouthing the agent, the signs are mixed. On the one hand, if it came on overpriced and it remains overpriced...and your agent is saying a price cut won't help...then I'd question whether the agent is really in touch with the market. On the other hand, if you've had "some good showing," then your agent may be doing a pretty good job of marketing. That is, unless the other agents are using your house as a "straw man." That is, they want to sell a property they know about (and maybe have listed themselves) for, let's say, $330,000. They take their clients to your property first, show them what they can buy for $345,000, then take their clients to the $330,000 house, which shows just as well. It's a no-brainer for the buyers.

What sort of feedback have the showing agents provided your agent? That's very important to know. One other possibility--a real tell-tale sign when a property gets lots of showings but no offers--is that your property doesn't show well. Does it need paint and new carpet? Is it outdated? Harvest gold appliances, or pink and green bathrooms? Or maybe it needs staging. Cleaning, decluttering, and reorganizing. Staging helps virtually all houses, and is a very cost-effective way to improve your property's appeal. And make sure the curb appeal is top-notch.

So, if you really want to sell it, have your agent run a new CMA. Price your property 5% under the lowest comp. Call in a good home stager and turn her/him loose. And working with your agent to fully market the property, and to follow up with anyone who shows it.

Good luck.
0 votes
Mark Reitman, , Chicago, IL
Tue Dec 18, 2007
According to the MLS, the most recent sales of your model of home have averaged $331,000, over the last few months. These, and other currently active homes, which are listed below your $345,000 asking price are going to go first.

Granted, it's impossible to be 100% accurate without seeing the relative condition of your home to theirs, but it seems if your home was priced more competitively with the competition, it stands a better chance of selling. And the fact that there are comparables that have closed shows that, when priced right, there are buyers for them.

Hope this helps...
0 votes
Cathi Weaver, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Dec 3, 2007
Hi Ronald,

The next relevant step to getting a home sold that is in great condition and that has had no offers is to drop it at least 8-10%. Properly priced homes typically receive offers coming in at 5-7% below list and settle around 3-5% below. If you are getting no offers, that is what I would suggest. Now, if you don't NEED to sell and want to "wait out this slump in the market", I would suggest taking it off the market and waiting out the slump. There are no guarantees that you'll get a better price, but if you aren't needing to be on, take it off...there's too much inventory out there. If you do need to sell, you'll take the necessary steps to make it happen.

Web Reference:  http://www.cathiweaver.com
0 votes
Francesca Pa…, , Monmouth Cty NJ
Sun Dec 2, 2007
Difficult question to answer without intimately knowing your market. If you have a great rapport with the agent and have faith that he/she is doing all that can be done to market your home, I'd consider giving the agent more time and revisit the question at a later time.
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes
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