Market Conditions in 48301>Question Details

Sherry, Other/Just Looking in Birmingham, MI

I have a home I am considering putting on the market, although I dont want to give it away, so not in any

Asked by Sherry, Birmingham, MI Sat May 17, 2008


My question is: It is a modern/contmporary ranch. Is this a harder style to sell?

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Sherry, I would agree with Nicole and she would be a good choice to interview about your homes value. Floorplans are a big reason homes are not selling in this market. Homeowners in the late 90's and early 00's had few choices and those were selling within days. Now, the average home takes more than a year, depending upon price range.

The good thing is that most agents in southeastern Michigan were forced to learn new and innovative marketing techniques. When interviewing agents, please make sure you verify their marketing plans and do not select anyone willing to simply market your home at your price. They should prove to you your home can be sold within a range with little negotiating room in the price. I also suggest the agents physically show you your current competition before you set your selling price.

I do not recommend selling your home right now unless you fall into one of these three categories.

1. You plan on purchasing a more expensive home, at least 25 percent more than twice your homes current SEV.

2. You are moving to an area where home values are increasing. (there are a few areas)

3. You are in danger of loosing your home to foreclosure or through a divorce.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Hi Sherry!

You have some great answers. There is a buyer for every home, it just may take some time to find the right one. You have the right idea though, patience! In this market, if the home is priced right and shows well, it will sell. Staging is a good starting point and something to consider to help your home look better than your competition. I know a great, local stager if you need a referral. Bloomfield Hills is a beautiful area and I wish you the best of luck.

Nicole Sleeva
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
I don't think the style is a drawback. It depends more on the layout. If you have a functional layout/floorplan, then you will get more money. If it needs fewer improvements, you will get more money. Big factors:
Construction costs in your area
Land values
Layout of your home - does it flow well, or is it an odd layout
Put EVERYTHING in storage except a few pieces in each rooom - make it look like they could move in next week

Here are Trulia's numbers for your area…
As you can see, things were pretty calm until late '05. Then the graphs get jiggy.

When it's time to sell, there are certain items to keep in mind
Paint everything (not necessarily white)
Replace all light hardware and outlet covers
Remove or replace blinds - let in the light - be bright
Bathrooms need to be fresh scrubbed
Fans are excellent
Have someone visit that has never seen your home. Ask them for the brutal truth.

Good luck Sherry.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008

Short answer, ranch homes sell well when they are priced right and marketed by a competent sales professional. Unless you have a compelling reason to move you should wait at least 2-3 years until the market recovery begins.

There is a buyer for every home. The question is whether you need to move badly enough to make sure you find that buyer. Ranch-style homes, whether contemporary or not, appeal to a wide group of people. My main concern would be your motivation for selling. Sherry this isn't a market for casual selling. Unless you have a strong need to move, a job relocation or family issue for example, I wouldn't even consider selling. Property values in north Oakland County have dropped over 20% - and they haven't stopped going down. It's a wonderful opportunity for first-time buyers or people who want to move up but it's very, very difficult for sellers. Nearly all the closed sales in our area involve some kind of distress on the part of the seller - they're either foreclosures, short sales or the seller is bringing money to closing to "buy their way out" of the home. Clearly these sellers didn't want to "give their homes away" either, but in the end they had no choice.

Now that I've gotten that negative stuff out of the way let's look at the positive. If you listed to the media you think that homes aren't selling. On the contrary, homes are selling at nearly the same rate they were in 2003. Homes are still selling and buyers are still buying - just at reduced prices. In fact we've seen an increase in activity this spring over all, our office sales are up and even my web traffic is up. So, while it still will take us 5-7 years to fully recover from this slow market, there are still positive signs.

If you'd like more information please feel free to contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 24, 2008

I quickly ran homes sold during the past 180 days for 48301 that were 1 to 1.5 stories and your approximate sqft. All were 4-5 bedrooms. I also ran all 2 bedroom homes in your zipcode, there were zero.

In Oakland County records, there were four sales in 2007 indicating 2 bedrooms. These sold for between 1.19 and 1.62 times their 2007 SEV. I would take that into consideration for the current market.

There were two 2 bedroom homes indicating "easily returned to 3 bedoom" in the description. An estimate might be in order for your home for a bedroom on the ground floor.

Another alternative would be a not for refinance appraisal. This would be between 300 and 400 dollars and would give you a closer estimate. Or, the two agents from your area would be good choices and might be able to give you some better suggestions after a first hand view.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
A house with only 2 bedrooms (regardless of square footage) can be a problem. A lot of people now want a home office. Or they tele-commute. (Or a lot want an exercise room.) So, a large chunk of buyers in many areas need one bedroom just for their office or exercise room. So, that leaves only one bedroom as a bedroom. That may be OK if it's a single person, or a couple with no kids. But if there's a couple with a child, and they want a home office or exercise room, they're going to want at least 3 bedrooms. And even if it's just a couple, many look ahead to the time when they may have children. So, as nice as your home may be, yes, 2 bedrooms is a drawback.

Is there any other room in your house that could function as a bedroom? Or...function as a home office/exercise room? Now, if it's legally only a 2 bedroom, that's the way it'd have to be listed on the MLS, which would still be a drawback. But the agent's comments could note that there are also rooms for a home office and exercise room. And if you put your property on the market, it definitely should be staged to demonstrate that there's space for a home office, perhaps an exercise room, plus two bedrooms, both of which could be used as bedrooms.

Be careful of Zillow--or any of the other similar sites. (I personally like RealEstateABC.) I've posted a couple of responses, taking a typical house in a neighborhood, then looking at the Zestimate and the "comps" as defined by Zillow. Frankly, Zillow used to be better. Now, what's coming up isn't comparable at all. Based on what I've seen lately, you really have to have a CMA.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Thanks for all the great input everyone.

And thank you Gary!

My house has a GREAT layout. It is VERY open and has
very large formal dining, formal living, and family room and kit.

Its 3000 sq ft but only 2 I doomed to wait???
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
I would wait until 2010 or 2011 and let the market sort itself out. We should see prices start going up again at this point.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
Sherry, How are you? This home is not harder to sell. It must be priced right. Please let me know if you would like a comparative market analysis. I am in San Diego CA . I can pull comps form all over the country. Please call Jenny Talasazan at 619-894-9339 or you can email
My phone is 619-894-9339

If you can maybe rent it out and hold off before you buy may be a good idea too.

You can also to get an idea of your homes value.
Best of Luck to you!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008

Contemporary homes may be somewhat more difficult to sell in your area, but there are always buyers who are interested in contemporary homes. The appropriate asking price can be determined based on comparable sales in the area. If you are considering purchasing a higher priced home than the one you are thinking of selling, this would be a good time to do so. Although your house may sell for less than it might have a few years ago, the home you purchase now will also be priced less than it would have been in the peak market. You stand to gain by "buying up" at this time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Don't sell now.

Realtors sometimes get criticized here on Trulia for being so upbeat about the market and now being the perfect time to act. Now, admittedly, I know nothing about Bloomfield Hills, nor do I know anything specifically about your financial situation. However....

It sounds as if you aren't motivated at all to sell. And that's fine. You say you're "considering" putting your house on the market. You "don't want to give it away." And you're "not in any hurry." That's good. Many homeowners are in your position. Then your best decision probably is not to sell. Selling can be a difficult, traumatic event, even with a great Realtor and willing buyers. But in today's weak economy, why put yourself through that if you really don't have to? You didn't say that you had to relocate...or that you can't afford your current home...or that you found another property you love and absolutely must have. All of these make the sales process a bit less painful, and give you something to look forward to. I just don't see it in your question.

As for your very specific question about a contemporary ranch being difficult to sell, it depends largely on the neighborhood and what potential buyers are expecting. Near where I live, inbetween several subdivisions of colonials, is a group of hyper-modern 1970s homes. I think they stick out like a sore thumb, and I expect that, overall, they are a more difficult sell. On the other hand, for someone looking for a 1970s modern, it's fine.

What matters nearly as much (curb appeal does count for a lot, and some moderns do look kind of strange) is the interior layout. If it's good, logical, well laid-out, that's fine. But if it's distinctly unusual with awkward layouts, then that's going to be a major issue. A good Realtor familiar with your specific area should be able to clarify the issues.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Frank is basically correct. Although you might just want to find a local realtor to give you a market analysis. There is also a designation for realtor's that help to market and stage homes CHMS (certified home marketing specialist) . There is a market for every style of home. Your marketing plan needs to focus in and target those people that will buy your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 18, 2008
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