Dena, Home Seller in Austin, TX

Texas Oaks II - No One's Looking!

Asked by Dena, Austin, TX Sun Jun 15, 2008

We've had our house on the market 24 days and 4, count 'em, 4, potential buyers have come through. We've lowered the price twice, but not too much, because we think it was priced right to begin with - we are in Texas Oaks II off of Slaughter, priced originally at 189,900 for 1855 sq foot 4 br 2 1/2 bath remodeled home, at 11005 Watchful Fox Dr. My realtor says be patient. I'm trying hard but we have a contingency on a new home in Bauerle Ranch with a closing date of 8/1 and that realtor is beginning to worry a little. Our contingency is up at the end of June. We don't have too much more room to go down because we don't have lots of equity in the home. Does 187,500 sound reasonable? Is there anything we can do to generate more traffic? Is this city wide or is it just us? You guys have been very helpful so far. I'm trying to keep my chin up. It's just really frustrating. Dena

Help the community by answering this question:


If your house hasn't sold then you need to adjust the price until the market finds you. Keep your chin up but be realistic. If you are getting a good deal on the house you really want, then you may have to bite the bullet right now. The question is do you really want that house? If you sell your house for less and you are buying the house you want for less will it even out in the long run? If you can't lower the price then maybe the timing isn't right. All things happen for a reason!
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 27, 2008
Dear Dena,
I think you have gotten some mixed advice. I would not recomend trying to sell it yourself. For Sale By Owners only sell 1% of the time. A qualified motivated agent is your best bet. Your house looks great. It is staged well and looks spotless in the photos on the MLS. It seems to be priced in the right ballpark.

Your agent should be able to give you comparable properties that are currently for sale and homes that have sold in the last three months for comparison. If you go back six months that is too far in the past to be accurate for todays market. The housing market is a fluid thing, and six months ago may as well be six years. If your agent can't give you a CMA, call me and I can email it to you.

The basics follow: Average days on market for sold homes = 74 days, minimum 46 days, maximum 143 days. The average price per SF$96, the maximum price per SF$102.88, the minimum price per SF$86.00. I hope this helps you.

Try to be patient I am sure your realtor is working hard to market your home. If they are not doing open houses, tell them they can call me and I will hold it open for them. Most realtors don't want to take both sides of a transaction and I would be happy to help them out. I work a lot in south Austin. Have a great night and good luck selling your home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2008
Dear Dena,
Its been a couple of weeks since you posted your question. I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing? Have you had more showings? Are you under contract? If there is anything I can do to help you please let me know. My offer of an Open House still stands. Have a great night.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
In some areas, 4 in 24 days is excellent. You are in the price range where most previous buyers can not get a loan today... Expect a longer than average sale time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2008
Hi Dena,

For the most part you have recieved excellent advice! I do not advise you to try and sell your home yourself. What you are looking for is a quick sale not more time lingering on the market.
I do think you and your agent should go over the other homes listed in your area, every seller should be aware of their competition. You may be able to find a list of things that make your home unique. Seller bonuses tend to attract a little more activity. And of course Open Houses can produce activity as well.
Good Luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2008
Dena: Disregard the advice of attracting a buyer on your own and saving the real estate commission. First of all you have a contract and a legal responsibility to the listing agent whom you listed your home with. Secondly, what the author did not tell you is less than 2% of all homes ever sell buy owner. Can you afford to take less than a 2% chance of selling your home? If even the hardest working agents who are out actively seeking buyers to purchse your home on a daily basis, how can an individual home owner with a job and other responsibilities be tring find buyers?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2008
Hey Dena, one option you may want to consider is attracting a buyer without a realtor. This way if you're thinking of lowering your price you can safely lower your price, say 3%, without losing additional money. I'm a local mortgage company and I run which is a For Sale by Owner website.

If you put your home on the Austinhouse site (it's a free site) and your buyer isn't represented by an agent you'll only have to pay 3% to your listing agent. In your case, 3% is almost $6K. Perhaps use this 6K for upgrades or to pay your buyer's closing costs. is used by realtors and FSBOs.

Option #2) might be to keep the home and lease it out until the market rebounds or you get the price you truly want.

Fewer people qualify for mortgages now so this may be a blessing in disguise. If you're concerned if you won't qualify for the new home if you leased out Texas me.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
I see one clear mistake in your pricing, and wonder about another factor. What terms are you accepting, VA, FHA and TX Vet as well as Conv. and Cash? If not, you have restricted the potential pool of buyers. When you priced your home, you would have been better off pricing it near the top of the values indicated in the CMA and offered buyer incentives, like closing costs, a rate buy-down and a home owner's warranty. The closing costs and home owner's warranty not only expand the pool of potential buyers, but also strengthen your bargaining position.

Price reductions are necessary for properties that are so over priced that they may not appraise, but they are pedestrian cures for slow sales of homes that are reasonably priced. Bump your price a little if necessary to get your bottom line, and add the incentives--just be sure not to go over the value indicated in the CMA.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
24 days is not too long on the market these days. Even 60 is not worrisome, except for your contingency situation. Try to re-negotiate that, pay some additional money to extend the date.

I looked at you house on MLS, and your Realtor did a good job of presenting it. Still, if no one is coming to look, it’s because they don't like what they see there. Or they don't like it for the price. I agree with the earlier answer, if you don't want to wait for "the right buyer," you have to be the cheapest similar house in the neighborhood.

Lower the price frequently, and change the primary photo each time you do. Changing the price causes your home to appear anew in searches for "new or changed" listings; but if you keep the same photo viewers will think, "Oh, I've already looked at that one" before they realize it's a new price.

Your photos are good, but could stand some brightening up. There are free programs that will let you color enhance, change brightness and contrast, and crop.

And try at least one open house, with a photo ad in the Statesman. It costs about $160 including the open house banner, and should being you 4 – 10 lookers. Mention your "cool shady lawn." The 100+ temps are keeping many buyers home.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Ask your realtor to show you the stat's for your area what has sold in the past 6 months the number of days on the market and etc. Is your home pic correctly for MLS how does your home compete with other homes in the area curb appeal and etc. Offer a buyers agent bonus could get you more traffic and potential contract. Is there new construction close to where you are?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Hi Dena..Actually the traffic for showings has slowed all over the area since it got so hot. I have listings from Georgetown to Austin & have not had much action over the last 2 weeks.
Ask your agent to post the listing on Craig's List & Backpage if that has not already been done.
Have you had a office tour by the listing agents office? The more Realtors see the home the better..since once they see it they will remember the home if they have a buyer who is a good fit.
All in all being patient is good advice & try not to stress too much :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Dena: It sounds like buyers do not view your home as a CLEAR VALUE above the competitiion. You must separate yourself from the pack and be 1st in price. Unless you can add more features and benefits to your home and keep it at the same price, the only way to stimulate a sale is by lowering the price. It doesn't matter how good of a value you feel your home is...obviously buyers don't agree.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Dena: The truth is buyers do not see the CLEAR VALUE in buying your home vs the competition. I would contact your agent and consider writing a reverse sales offer to any buyer who has recently viewed your home. Include some incentives, lower that price as low as you can go. You must be a CLEAR VALUE.

Motivated sellers understand that they have to be the buyers CLEAR VALUE. Buyers determine value by comparing the features and benefits of one home to another and the price. Motivated sellers understand their home must either have MORE features and benefits for the SAME PRICE as their competition or be LOWER IN PRICE then their competition.

No matter what the market, everyday homes sell. The question is whether the seller is MOTIVATED and the CLEAR VALUE.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
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