Profile picture for jzinckgra

6 weeks and only one showing?

I don't know, maybe it has been 7 weeks. We put our house on the market awhile back and have had only one showing. THere were two other potential showings, but they cancelled. We hired our selling agent, who is also our buyer's agent with high hopes. She has been in the business over 20 yrs and we like her a lot, but I am starting to wonder. We seem to have to initiate everything with her. For instance, if we want to look at some houses, we find them online and she basically gets us in the door, but she is not actively calling or emailing any house listings to us. Since I may be taking a job out of state, I don't care anymore about her buying experience, but more on her ability to sell our current house. Again, there are no phone calls since we listed, except for the one showing. we have had to call her and tell her last week to lower the price 10K, which she gladly did, but I expected after a few weeks she may have called 1st to advise us to do this. We have a nice house, in a really decent area (great school district, across from state park, 5 minutes to major highways), with all this listed in the ad. I know the house has to sell itself, but I don't know if she is really doing anything behind the scenes to push the house. We have not had an open house, after she said a long time ago, that that would be the 1st thing she'd do. I am about ready to suggest it, especially if I get this new job. I know a lot has to do with the list price, which I think we are still a little high on, but I feel like we aren't getting enough/adequate representation for our house. Our contract ends with her late sept. Part of the reason may be because she isn't from the immediate area and I don't think she ever fully researched the "for sale" homes in our area, nor has given any kind of updates along the way. Any ideas on what we should do? We will lower the price again soon, but only if I get this job, otherwise I think we will take it off the market.

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July 23 2008 - US
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Profile picture for jzinckgra

one other thing: our realtor is taking 5% for a selling commission, which isn't bad, but she is only willing to split that 3/2. Anotherwords, she gets 3%, the buyer's agent gets 2%. Could that be a reason we aren't getting many showings? Would a buyer's agent be turned off by this? I thought commissions were split 50/50.

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July 23 2008

Most brokerages frown at accepting commissions that low.  However,  the listing agreement you signed should have clearly spelled out what the commission to be paid to a sub agent would be.  Additionally, instead of continuing to decrease the sales price it may be advantageous to increase the commission. For example, if the sales prices is $300,000 and the commission 5%, instead of continuing to decrease the price, raise the commission to 7%.  It only increases the commission by $6000.  Most sellers will make the mistake of continuing to drop the price and dropping the price by $10k-$20k when a percentage increase of a point or two would dramatically increase traffic.  As for the agent, it would be best to sit down and address your concerns directly with the agent.  The agreement can be terminated by either party at anytime, based on most listing agreements, so if after the meeting you determine a new agent should be retained, so be it.

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July 23 2008

Your agent got a pretty good deal if it sells. 2% would not stop me from showing your home. But...If I saw the listing broker received 3% and my side received 2% I would be pi$$ed. You never want to hire an agent that pi$$es off other agents.

 

As for her other issues, I think you know the answer. If not email her and copy her broker that you expect immediate attention to the problems. If you do not hear in 24 hours, call the broker.

 

Finally, if you really want to sell and have the equity, lower the price to sell it. People are not paying more than a home is worth and with so much to choose from they are not looking at homes that are over priced.

 

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July 23 2008
Profile picture for jzinckgra

Thanks I like the idea of upping the commission.

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July 23 2008

jzinckgra:

 

I did not suggest upping the commission. Lower the price and have your agent adjust the split to 50/50 if you can get her to do this. Commission's are negotiable and you set the terms. The agent does not have to go with them, but you set them, including the split.

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July 23 2008
Profile picture for jzinckgra

Jkonstant,

I was answering to topcat's reply about upping the commssion, but I agree with what you said about getting the 50/50 split.  I nead to double check our agreement.

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July 23 2008
Profile picture for jzinckgra

actually is there a realtor here that could see if our listing comes up as 3/2%?

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July 23 2008

I have to disagree with topcat. It is the buyer who determines whether a home is purchased or not. They do not care what the commission is. A listing agent who is perceived to be difficult or unfair will hurt the seller. Think of it this way. Your home is your business and you have hired your agent to manage your home. Do you want your manager treating the employess (buyer's agents) fairly or do you want to hire a manager who has a reputation of unfair treatment.

 

I am a realtor. I am visiting Florida next week and while there willbe viewing some homes with a realtor. I don't care if the commission is 2, 3 or 10 percent or how the split is going to be. I have X dollars and will not spend beyond that for what I feel is appropriate. Example: If I have $200K to pend I will look at homes with asking prices up to $215K maybe. Any home that would have sold to me for $200K but had an asking price of $216K will not be seen.

 

 

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July 24 2008
I would immediately get a new broker. Do what you can to get out of this listing agreement? She has already screwed you immensely. If you have only had one showing in 7 weeks, you are obviously priced way out of the market. Those first 3 weeks of your listing are so important to selling. If you had lowered your price within that time period it may have helped but you have passed up on the buyer pool at this point and are waiting on new buyer to pop up.

My advice, take it off the market immediately. Higher a new agent redesign your marketing, get some staging done if needed, at least consult an interior designer to help you setup the home. Do a significant price drop and invite the buyer pool back into your home with an immediate open house that first weekend back on the market.

The commission thing is a mute point. In my area you can't see what the full commission is until closing, but if I saw a house listed as a 2% commission I would definitely call the agent and ask why its listed that way. It would make me think the sellers were in some financial difficulty and tempt me to bring a low ball offer because possibly the seller really needs to sell. In fact send me your agents number, I'll call her up and ask her why the 2% commission, and we can see what she says. She might be saying that its because you guys can't afford the full commission and you know where I would go with that.
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July 24 2008
Profile picture for jzinckgra

well i spoke with our agent today and she told me the commission is split 2.5/2.5, so no worries there. I did tell her that I think we should plan an open house in the next week or so and she said no problem. my wife and I realize we started our listing higher then the comp, but at that time, we were not in the position of having to move. we were just looking in the same area to see if we might be able to get into a bigger house. but, now I may have an out of state job opp, that should it come through, we'll need to sell in a hurry or face paying two mortgages.  our house is priced at $274, 500, with others in the same area listed between ~$255-280. Some of those houses are ~200-400 sqft larger and some have garages, which ours does not.  

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July 24 2008
Profile picture for sunnyview
Smells fishy to me. I would pull the listing from her immediately if possible and find someone else. It is moving towards the end of summer and you want an offer before Sept 1 to make sure you will be out and closed before Thanksgiving. Most commissions that I have seen are split 50/50 so if I were an agent I would show my clients another house. Also, she promised you an open house and you haven't gotten one after 7 weeks. Do she even do any newspaper ads or well designed flyers for you? Your agent should be working for you so she needs to pull her own weight. If she isn't, break it off.
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July 24 2008
Profile picture for Mikal1

I can't believe Topcat is serious.  But jkonstant spelled it out pretty well.

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July 24 2008
Just remember traffic is the most important thing. So if you aren't getting the traffic then you need to lower the price or do something about your agent. Open House is only going to do so much if other changes aren't made. It takes an average of 21 showings in my area of the country to sell a house. So only 3 in 7 weeks means that its going to take you 49 more weeks to get to that average.
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July 24 2008
Profile picture for jzinckgra

sunnyview, read my post above yours. she is splitting 50/50. She did mention that it would be in the paper this wknd. and the not having the open house when 1st listed was our fault, as we told her we would wait awhile since at the time, we weren't in a big hurry. in retrospect, we should have taken her up on doing the open house. live and learn i guess.

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July 24 2008
Profile picture for Mikal1

Jzinckgra,

 

Sounds like the time is now for a significant price cut.  I say that based on what you wrote regarding comps and your potential need to sell quickly.  Sorry, don't shoot the messenger!  And best of luck, hopefully you will find a buyer soon.

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July 24 2008
Profile picture for luckyme8890

jzinckgra,  whatever you do, don't buy another house until you close escrow on this one. 

 

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July 24 2008

Every home has certain unique qualities/features such as granite countertops, deck for entertaining, backyard has some privacy with a fence, and so on that can be emphasized in the online listing and in other online venues such as Zillow.com, trulia.com, a blog, featured property listings, etc. In many parts of Virginia, the homes for sale greatly exceed the homes actually going under contract and then being sold by such huge margins. As a result, buyers have thousands (maybe more) of homes to choose from in Virginia. Buyers can be as particular as they want. Having a large supply of homes for sale and not as much demand from home buyers as number of homes for sale means that home prices are dropping in many areas and in different price ranges. Add to this equation the new lender requirements for homebuyers. Lender insititutions and their loan underwriters are requesting extremely high levels of documentation for income levels from paystubs and other sources. Lenders are exercising extreme caution with lending money as a result of the mortgage default rates and various other factors. Then top it all off with HUD considering getting rid of Downpayment Assistance Programs (DAP's) that currrently allow money from the seller to be paid towards buyers closing costs. This will be a huge problem especially for firsttime homebuyers if these DAP's are stopped. It will mean buying a first home will be more difficult than ever. Selling a home in the type of home market we are seeing in Virginia is very complex. Selling strategies are crucial to getting homes seen by agents and by buyers where many buyers and agents search for homes and that is online through a computer, pda, or other internet capable device. At least 7 out of 10 homebuyers search online for a home. This number will continue to increase. I wish you the best with your home. P.S. I am only licensed in Virginia so I am looking at your situation from this unique perspective.

 

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July 25 2008

Overpriced.

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July 28 2008
Profile picture for plohmier

We are also selling and let me tell you...our agent is probably pretty sick of us but we constantly tell her to have open houses (almost every week) and if she can't do it herself we politely ask her if another agent could do the open house for her and it usually works.  We have also taken things into our own hands and have listed our house on multiple websites but of course we have her down as the contact person. We have lowered the price, staged the house and will soon paint the livingroom and kitchen to give it more color (we had the agent pick the colors!).  If we dont sell in the next couple of months after doing all of this we're throwing in the towel!

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July 29 2008
Profile picture for craigttc

 I agreee with those that say its not the comission but the value of the home. Price it slightly below market or you might find yourself continuing to face a falling market with even greater loss potential. Make it is the best deal possible and they will come to at least check it out.  If you can't go low you may be throwing the towel sooner then later.

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July 29 2008

Hello Everyone,

 

What kind of marketing is in place? Internet, TV, paper...All media should be utilized. Networking? All agents in a given area communicate. Is your agent reaching out to her agents? OPen Houses? Yes they do work, especially if listed on line (major sites), the newspaper, the entire neighborhood a few days before. I have had over 40 people at my opens in the last three weeks, at different homes. Weekly followups? I good agent follows up with their sellers on a weekely basis, even if there is nothing to report. Nothing to report? Then you must reevaluate the particulars. If it isn't location, the house, the school system, the marketing then check your price. 3 showings in 7 weeks, means that house should have been repositioned weeks ago. The most interest is generated within the first three weeks.

 

Hope this helps.

Have a great day!

 

Carmen

 

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July 29 2008
Profile picture for LaurieT

If your agent isn't doing all that she should be, is it possible she is not a full time agent? or is  trying to do two jobs and keep it quiet?  I know a person who is taking listings... takes the listing, makes up a flier, puts up the sign, and puts it in the MLS.  This person is working full time in a city about 45 minutes away.  The customers are certainly not getting any benefit, but as long as the cell phone gets answered nobody knows she is not even in town!  If one of her listings burnt down she wouldn't know.  The commission thing always gets blamed on other agents - theory being if the commission is too low no one will show your house -

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July 29 2008

Don't believe the hype. I've been a college professor and realtor for over a decade, and many years when I put much effort into it all, I and my group are at/near tops in sales at my company.

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July 29 2008
Profile picture for whitetower67

In this market, if you are serious about selling you need to get the price down, lower than all other comps. 

 

And when you move, you should seriously consider renting in your new location -- possibly for several years.

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July 29 2008
Profile picture for jzinckgra

Quick update. To those that say we are not serious aot sellng- well I have to agree with you to a point. The job I thought I had out of state has been put on hold until at least early sept., so even if I don't get it and we have to move quickly, we are having sencond thoughts about moving to a new home within our current area. The plan back in early spring was to sell and try and get into a bigger, more roomy house.  INterest rates were a lot lower then and the market in general seemed to be a little bit better. Flash forward to today and rates are up and we are on the fence about needing vs. wanting to sell our house.

As a follow up to our realtor, I don't beleive she did any comps for us in the area, as she is from another town 30 minutes away. This is not an excuse, but one reason I feel as though we should have went with a local agent. We had to tell her what we thouht was a good starting point on price. Of the one showing we had, she never got back any feedback from the guy about his likes/dislikes. Alll she said was "the showing went well". Obviously not that well IMO. We put our house on craiglist the other night and I haven't even told our agent. In fact, I don't think she knows what craiglist list or zillow for that matter. This all makes it sound like we have the worst agent possible, but she is very friendly in person/on the phone and has been very accomadating getting us into houses that we have looked at. If/when the time comes where we have to move asap, I will get on her case in a bad way, perhaps dumping her for another agent.  My guy tells me we will be living in our current house till next spring, when we'll start all over again.

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July 30 2008
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[content removed by moderator for being self-promotional]

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July 30 2008
Profile picture for whitetower67

We put our house on craiglist the other night and I haven't even told our agent.

 

You probably should check your seller's contract you signed with your agent -- it is likely that the agent will be able to demand a commission if you sell your house, even if you do so independently such as through Craig's list.

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July 30 2008
Profile picture for jzinckgra

Yes, I would assume that any craiglist showing leading to a sell would still require we pay comission.

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July 30 2008
Profile picture for jzinckgra

One other thing about our realtor: she insists on being present at any showing. Obviously if it is one of her clients interested in our house I can understand her having to be there, but what about other buyer's agents? They show up to our house with their clients and our realtor is there as well? She never said if she would physically be in the house at the same time, but I would hope she would sit in her car or stay outside. Her reasoning for being present is so the house gets locked up, cats don't escape, etc. I don't know if that would effect how many showings we've had, but if this were disclosed in the house listing, do you think some buyer's agents would steer clear?

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July 30 2008
Profile picture for LaurieT

You should review your listing agreement - if you sell your house by owner without  having cancelled the agreement you probably owe her a commission, also there may be a cancelation fee.  How about contacting the broker to that office and explain you are not getting the service you expect.  The broker is her boss, and the listing belongs to the office.  The broker can assign your listing to another agent, who may work out better, and you would not be responsible for any fees.  How long before the listing expires? 

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July 30 2008
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