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House isn't selling, will not be able to afford house much longer.

 Hello,

We currently own a home in Fairfield, Vermont and our having some troubles getting people to put in offers. Last October, I got recruited for a job in Arkansas, they hired a relocation company to help us with the moving process. A week after I accepted the position, they found a realtor for us and the house was put on the market. We were told that they would pay for our rent in Arkansas until our house sold in Vermont. Our house was listed for $180,000. This price was the suggested listing price by two realtors. We did not have a lot of offers right away since no one buys houses in the winter in Vermont. Around December, I think, we lowered the price to $175,000. We had a lot of showing in spring and summer, with one offer. The offer fell through a month before closing. Our house is listed VERY competitively, which is why we are not sure why its not selling. Houses around us are selling for the same or more than what ours is listed at. We get so-so feedback. The major complaints we get is that there is no garage/basement and that it is "too far" out.
Now here comes our problem, the relocation company is no longer paying our rent, so we are paying our mortgage and our rent. We are getting VERY frustrated at this point. We are trying everything to sell it. We are trying to rent it out to make by until we sell it but people are hesitant to rent due to it being on the market while they live there.
We are getting to the point if nothing changes, we will have to do a short sale. We are not behind on payments, and we are not upside down. We owe 159,000 on the house and want to sell it for 170,000 so we will have enough to pay the realtors commission of 6%. I know if we could sell it for what we owe, but since being in another state we need to have a realtor.

Does ANYONE have any advice for us? Are there any alternatives to a short sale??

our house is 74 mitchell road, east fairfield, VT

Thanks!
  • September 29 2013 - Fairfield
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Answers (6)

Talk to your current lender holding the mortgage on your property and see if you qualify for a short sale due to a hardship.

You can check with a Vermont area Realtor for an updated CMA if your not already listed.  If your listed your agent should be able to assist you with proper pricing,etc.

You may also want to talk to your relocation company aout them purchasing and then reselling your home. 
  • September 30 2013
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Dear Meghan,
IF you can rent it for the time being, go ahead and do a 6 month lease so that you will have some breathing room. At least the rent will help pay part of your expenses.
Believe it or not, the reason a house doesn't sell is not as straight forward as some may think. If you are positive the price is right, then there is some other reason that the property is not attractive to buyers. I have noticed that it's not so easy to get a straight answer on what the problem is.
  What you need is the truth about the property and then you will be able to correct what that is and sell.
My suggestion is that you contact a home stager.  Many home stagers have interior design experience. I'm hoping one in your area will give you some good ideas on what you can do.
I had a similar situation with a friend in Oklahoma. Her house was on the market over year. One of the things we did was take if of the market over the winter, and used that time to tidy it up. We removed most of the furniture and painted. We cleaned up the yard and removed clutter. We added flowers and put it back on the market in the Spring.
It sold right away after the changes we made and I hope it does the same for you!
  • September 30 2013
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Price needs to be lowered asap.  Also pay attention to the details.  freshly painted front door, interior, etc.  Buyers will find excuses not to purchase if it doesn't show well.  Ask your Realtor to send pictures of any homes listed in your neighborhood.  You need to see what your competition looks like. 
In this area, buyers are picky.  They want updates and not have to do much after move in unless priced much lower. 
  • September 30 2013
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Short sales are not designed to accommodate moving to another location.  You must qualify with the mortgage holder to be approved for a short sale.

The mortgage holder is only interested in how much the home is worth in relationship to how much you owe. If you could readily sell your home for 159K then they may not approve the short sale. You would have to pay the real estate commission and any other normal closing costs.

These are the life events a bank will consider should  you apply for a short sale:
Examples of hardship are:
  1. Unemployment
  2. Divorce
  3. Medical emergency / sudden illness
  4. Bankruptcy
  5. Death
Some one suggested a wrap - I would hope they were referring to lease to own because wraps are generally not permitted by your mortgage holder.

A long term lease or lease to own may be the only alternative since you have already moved.
  • September 30 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
A house that has been on the market for a year with the last price reduction in December and hasn't sold is not priced right.   If it is priced right, it will sell.  While it would have been a good idea to do that last spring, one can't have do overs for pricing so now is the time.  

Unfortunately you may need to bring some money to closing.   Houses don't sell at a price because of the money needed by the seller but because it is at market value.

I'd also look at the photo presentation.   The first few photos are of the outside.  It looks rather boring.   Is there not a way to have a nice friendly entrance?    the interior pictures are dark, and the rooms have way too much furniture.   I look at the couch with the TV and suspect I'd be spilling my beer walking through the room.  The bedroom has a huge bed and I'm confident I'd be bruising my shins frequently.  That's not the impression one wants to give for a home.    Good buyers can look beyond the furniture, but your house has been on the market almost a year and the current strategy isnt' working.

  • September 29 2013
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Hi there , I'm in California where the rules are probably different.
We have a saying that "every house will sell if its priced right".
I understand your margins are very tight,however, every month is costing you dearly.
Here are three options:
(1) Offer a seller wrap around finance or "subject to" ( Consult with a pro on this or email for more information). Basically, you collect a large down payment from someone who cant get a mortgage at this time, but will qualify within 2-3 years.
(2) Drop your home price as low as possible even if you have to cover the commissions from a savings or other.
(3) Rent it out for an indefinite period of time and sit on it until you have enough value to clear all costs.

Hope this helps some..

Jory Blake
Realtor in Riverside ,CA.
  • September 29 2013
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