Profile picture for mkmom

House on Market for 2 wks. only 1 showing !!!

This Monday, Sept. 22 '08 , our house will be on the market for 2 weeks.  We have had only one showing.  We are getting a lot of hits on Zillow & fliers are being taken but no one has called to set up an appt.  Our realtor says it is priced right and so forth.  We have no competition in our immediate neighborhood.  I am not sure what to do to get people to look.  Do open houses really work getting a buyer or does it just build the client base for the listing agent ?

  • September 21 2008 - US
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Answers (37)

Profile picture for wetdawgs

Open houses have very low success rates getting a buyer. 

 

Several things to consider:

1.  Is your house priced right?   Did you evaluate your realtor's suggested price very carefully?  Did you see what houses he/she used for the CMA?   Did you tour some of your competition?

2.  Is anything selling in your area?   September is traditionally a time when lookers are slowing down, and with the financial kerfuffles on the front pages of the newspapers, I suspect there are many scared potential buyers out there.

3.  How do the pictures and descriptions look?   There are a lot of fuzzy pictures on Zillow that give an awful impression. 

  • September 21 2008
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Profile picture for mkmom

Thank you for your response.

Yes, we evaluated her suggested price carefully.  We have done many updates to our home and have done many upgrades to the yard too.  We did look at our competition which were just roughly $5,000 less or at the same price and our house showed a lot better. 

Houses are selling in the price range our house is listed at.  But I agree things are slowing down.  The average time on the market is 120 days.  So roughly 4 mths. 

My husband has said the stuff that happened with the stock market has a lot of people scared which is true. 

The pics look good on Zillow but I wish she had taken more. 

  • September 21 2008
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat

my big question is this:

 

have you had a friend or family member wander through and give you brutally honest feedback about your house? "this room "feels" small", "this wall has too many pictures", "this room feels messy"

 

sometimes, you dont see what other people see when you look through your living room.

 

i agree that your zillow home needs upgrading. i cant find the actual listing through your profile, but these photos are blurry, and dark and aren't exactly a tour either... you have to take advantage of your marketing

 

also i see alot of decorative bowls and "dust catchers" ... i have mixed feeling about such devices.

  • September 22 2008
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A typical market analysis does not address many realities of selling no matter what the market is like in any given area. All too often agents look at what has sold in the last few months and that is it. While this might be indicative of the curret market it does not consider the future trend and just as importantly the seasonal issues. How many homes sold last fall and day on market during the fall. Finally there is the number the agent comes up with. Most sellers and many agents wrongly take a $255K number and list at say $259K or more figuring negotiation into consideration. This is wrong. It misses the magic $249.9K number and the buyers looking there.

  • September 22 2008
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Profile picture for Elsie18
Are those four pictures all your photos? If these are all the photos you're using to try to sell your house, then I regret to say, they make a poor first impression. People need to envision the layout and picture themselves in most of the rooms. The caption says living room, but all I see is front door and a corner of your couch. You only show a corner of the kitchen. Where are the bedrooms? Where's a photo of the house itself?

If these are your only pictures, may I suggest the following: Take a beautiful outside photo of your house in its setting on a sunny date. No cars out front or in driveway. Then take photos that follow the steps a buyer would take--through the front door where the living room opens up. Then go through the dining room--flowers on the table; kitchen--big bowl of fruit; then the bedrooms, then the backyard. Turn on all the lights, open all the shades/curtains/blinds to let as much natural light as possible come in. Shoot wide angle open shots with no clutter or corners of furniture in the picture. Show your home as open and inviting. Consider hiring a real estate photographer to reshoot all your pictures. I don't believe it's expensive to do that. Your four pictures, I'm sorry to say, do nothing whatsoever for your home. And, more important than doing that is being open to lowering your price aggressively before your house gets stale.
  • September 22 2008
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Profile picture for jzinckgra

relax, we only had one showing in 6 weeks.lol.

  • September 22 2008
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Profile picture for Future28
I think it's really too early to tell right now. It has only been two weeks, but I agree marketing is key. I always float to open houses with hopes of finally finding a property that suits my family. I feel they are a good idea, no pressure of agents or scheduling to see a home - just drive up and walk in! I looked at the pictures on your profile, I would get some better ones up if they are the pictures on your homes listings. From what I seen the paint looks very stark and bland, maybe add some warm neutral colors to spruce it up, that's just my two cents!!

Good luck!
  • September 22 2008
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Profile picture for Mark75NYC

"financial kerfuffles"

 

Understatement of the year :-)

 

I agree with the comments about the photos - they are really poor.  You need at least one good shot of the front of your house so I can see what it looks like; one of the backyard; one of each room (try to stand in the corner or take the shot from outside the room, so that you capture the entire room).

 

Oh, and consider lowering your asking price.  In this market, the comps you are using are outdated already.

  • September 22 2008
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Profile picture for sunnyview
elsie made some really good suggestions. I agree totally.

You really need new photos if those 4 are of your house for sale. They do not make me want to call to make an appointment to see your house. As for open houses, they don't cost you anything and the realtor should at least give it a try. There are many buyers in the market who are sick of the pressure from realtors to "buy now" and who routinely tour open houses to see if one of them would work for them. Your house may not sell at the open house, but newspaper ad exposure and a no pressure opportunity to see it may bring a buyer after the open house as they compare your house to others that they see on the market.

Photos and aggressive price are a must. This is the time to do both before the holidays roll around. Give it all you've got now to try to get an escrow closed before November 1.
  • September 22 2008
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Profile picture for mkmom

Thank you for the advice.  Those photos were taken by my realtor and I believe my husband could take much better.  I will have him do that so I can post those ASAP. 

 

To remark on some comments about the paint.  Well, the photos does not do it justice. It is neutral colors except for the dining room , which is bold.  The other comment about the dust collectors.  We have decluttered like crazy and there is a very, very minimum of things in this house.    The kitchen counters are completely cleared off. 

 

I have read everyone's advice adn I will keep the faith.

  • September 22 2008
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Profile picture for mkmom

I just added 16 pics and redid some ones our realtor took.  I know my kids bedrooms look messy but they will look a lot better very soon.  Also my realtor is going to update the pics on the MLS.  I hope this gets more people into the house.  It just might be the key :-)

  • September 22 2008
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Profile picture for Elsie18
Dear Mkmom.

I just looked at your new photos. With all due respect, you don't "get it" yet. The photo of two garage doors and a camper are not only blurry, but don't showcase the house itself! Lose the camper in your photos, please. There are only a couple new photos that are on the right track--the dining room, one kitchen photo, one of the bathroom shots--not the one with all the toiletries on the sink!!! You didn't declutter there or in the kids' bedrooms in your photos.

What you need are about eight photos, one of the front of the house from the nicest angles, the living room taken from outside the front door (someone advised to stand outside a room to get the widest angle--excellent advice), the dining room (that one's fine) another wide angle of the kitchen; and each of the bedrooms totally decluttered. The photographer zoomed in on some kind of quilt draped sloppily in the master bedroom. Straighten out all the rooms, then stand outside each one and shoot the pictures. It's not the number of pictures--eight pics are fine, but they must all be excellent of the front and back of the house and wide views the main rooms. Go visit some good real estate web sites--I used to live in Westchester, NY, and one great real estate site to check for decent house photos is houlihanlawrence.com. Hire a real estate photographer after you tidy the rooms. I'm sorry to sound so negative, but you did ask why you haven't had showings. Your pricing may be out of date, and your photos are totally uninviting.
  • September 23 2008
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Profile picture for Elsie18
Me again. I just went and took another look at your pics. In the back yard, put up the umbrella and the table and chairs, so people can envision themselves sitting out back in the lovely yard. Your other outdoor garden shot is good, but I still don't have a sense of the whole backyard yet. Move the cluttery outdoor things out of the way, except for the umbrella, chair, and table all set up, and reshoot. Two of the living room shots are good--the overhead and the couch one. After you totally straighten out the bedrooms--no shots of the speakers, please--open the shades, turn on the lights, and reshoot those pics when the light is pouring in the windows.
  • September 23 2008
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Profile picture for Deanne_OR

In addition to the other comments (clutter, etc), mow the lawn and brighten up the pots on the deck (fresh plants, not the almost dead looking plants) before you re-take the exterior pictures, too.

 

Good luck!

  • September 23 2008
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Really good advice from everybody. I definitely agree. I know it may be painful to hear, but what everybody here really wants is you to come back on the board with great photos and a happy post from you a few weeks from now that says "We have a great offer! Wish us luck."

Some folks in your real world life won't tell you the truth including your realtor or friends because they don't want to overstep, hurt your feelings or they simply can't see the difference enough themselves. People here really want to help and the suggestions are good so I hope you at least consider them.
  • September 23 2008
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Profile picture for melmer

While quality photos will help get people in the door, ultimately it is all related to price.  Many of the properties that are selling, are priced "below" market value.  Keep in mind, that your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  People percieve the value based on the features and benefits that your home offers compared to some of the others in the area.  In most areas, the prices of the recent sold properties are actually above what the competition is priced at.  Even if there are no immediate comparables in your neighborhood, take a look at what a buyer could buy within a radius for that price, and see if you were a buyer, if you would still buy your home.  If not, then consider lowering the price.  And a good price reduction is probably 10% minium.  Any less than that, and you risk chasing the market, which can be very costly.  And open houses only sell about 1% of all homes on the market, so I don't recommend them. 

  • September 23 2008
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Typically, if you have had no showings in two weeks, there are three reasons for that, one is it is overpriced for today's market, two, it is not in a great location, or three, it is not in good condition.  If you are in a good location, and the house is in spic  and span shape, meaning clean and smelling fresh then it must be overpriced.  The biggest mistake sellers make is over pricing their home right at the beginning when you have the most activity.  Good Luck and I hope it sells.

 

Margie

  • September 23 2008
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Profile picture for andyman68

I made the mistake of pricing our home too high in the beginning.  I got an appraiser and then dropped the price 10%.  I won't drop it any more at this point since I look at what else is out there and we are still the best deal for a house in the country considering age of home, condition, and acreage.  We are also getting a decent number of showings considering we aren't in town.  We've been on the market since June 2. 

 

# showings

June - 3

July - 4

Aug - 4

Sept - 5 so far

 

My realtor told me last night she has houses listed that are gettting zero showings.  There is a house down the road about a mile from us.  It is larger, less acreage, and a 8 years older.  That realtor was shocked when she found out how many showings we are getting.  They just dropped their price and are still overpriced in my opinion.

 

Look at your price.  An appraissal might offer another objective opinion. My realtor and the appraissor I hired differed by 25K and I thought we were being realistic.

  • September 23 2008
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Ask your agent what she is doing to get looky leus - looky leus could be potential buyers.  Also, I find holding open houses brings other agents as well as a possible buyer without an agent.  Did your agent do a comparative market analysis to let you know what houses were selling for in your area.  Ask her where she is advertising and/or marketing your home. 

 

Good luck

 

 

  • September 23 2008
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I am a realtor and my house has been on the market for almost a month.  I have had one showing.  It isn't' because my realtor isn't doing all she can.  I know, since I am the realtor.  It is the market.  I actually raised the price $4000 and have received more activity but still no offers.  I completely sympathize with my sellers but there is nothing else to do but wait until the economy offers the people some staiblity.  Buyers need to see some economic stability indicators coming out of Washington before they make their next move.  Also, the lending institutions are becoming much more stringent when it comes to credit qualifications which is eliminating many buyers from today's market. 

  • September 23 2008
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You might want to take a good look at your house before you lower the price.  I get so frustrated when the first thing anyone talks about is lowering the price.  Maybe you need more curb appeal or you have cracks that need to be fixed or you have so many knick knacks that prospective buyers can's see the bones of the house itself.  Some homes only need a little "lipstick" and they will sell.  So please be sure that you have someone that is honest do a walk through of your home.  They can write down things they see and you can then look over the list and I'll bet that you find things on the list that you never noticed.  Lowering the price, if it is already in the value range, should be the last thing you do.

  • September 23 2008
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I am a Realtor and these pictures do your house no justice.  The shot of the kitchen barely shows it at all.  The angles of the shots don't show the sizes of the rooms.  Buyers are looking to see the whols room as much as possible to see how the size is.  Perhaps you can label the rooms with the sizes of each?  Good luck.

  • September 23 2008
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Unfortunately, the house I see that are moving are those that are priced under market at the moment.  People are still waiting for things to go down. 

  • September 24 2008
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The right price & great pics definatly get the buyers interest. Curb appeal will draw them in, from there it's all in making them see through your stuff and envisioning themselves living there. Alot of great ideas on here. It'd be great to hear an update. Another idea might be to have the house professionally cleaned & staged then take the pics under the ideal situation. What is your agent getting for feedback not only from buyers but from agents in their office & other offices? The dollars are in the details. In a perfect world all these things would be done and ready to go prior to launch but they can be done anytime to have your home suddenly blossom & make a great impression. Perhaps sit down with your agent and ask, "What can we do to really make this home stand out from the competition?", take a few days and really make the place a showcase home and relaunch your home to the market.

  • September 25 2008
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You might consider either hiring a Home Stager, or a Realtor Stager that does consultations (less expensive if you can do yourselves what he/she suggests). You need to do EVERYTHING you can to set your home above (the oh so many) other homes in your price range. There are alot of good ideas and advice here for you.

  • September 25 2008
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Profile picture for reba_haas

I've got several recommendations but for some reason the Zillow site keeps giving me an error message. I'll try another comment.

  • September 25 2008
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Profile picture for reba_haas

Here are a few suggestions for you. People decide to see your house in person if the photos of the house look good. So make sure the photos are great. Since 80% of most homebuyers today start by looking online, you should follow their lead and make sure how you look online is as good as you look in person. My team uses a professional photographer and we stage every house just for this purpose. We also use not only the MLS to advertise the home, but you can do all kinds of online advertising. Your agent should hopefully know those that tend to be used a lot in your area. In Seattle/Bellevue we expect buyers on not only agent/brokerage websites, but also Realtor.com, Zillow, Craigslist, and many more. That is why use syndicate sites to help push our listings out to about 30-50 websites outside of the MLS data feed. Other things you should look at is what kind of financing is being advertised to help sell your home. Did you exclude FHA or VA? Did you know that with the reduction in exotic type loans, that FHA is now about 25% of the lending marketplace today?

  • September 25 2008
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Profile picture for reba_haas

Open houses have been used frequently by agents to market themselves, but if 1% of homes are found through an open house then it might be worth pursuing. Getting traffic into your home is the idea and I can tell you that I found one of my own homes via an open house. I never would have seen it in it's secluded location otherwise. In 5+ years in the industry I have had 2 clients purchase a home we went to during an open house. Sometimes it is the open house, but in one of those cases the agent just happened to be doing an open on the day that I was touring about 10 homes with this client. Selling a home is partly about timing - being available at the right moment that a buyer happens to be looking for a home like yours. Price will be part of it and you should look like a good value. If you are $5k or at the same as other houses, then perhaps you should have gone $5k lower than your current price to be seen as the "value" property? What is going on in the financing market for your area? My condo clients know that we've had more issues recently in getting condo sales financed because I went out and spoke to 4 lenders I regularly do business with and learned that they have info from the banks that say our area is in a "level 3 declining market" and that there are high restrictions on some condo sales. Owner occupied thresholds are being held firm (51% or more) and we're advertising which ones are FHA/VA approved. Some banks may need spot approval for other loan programs. Find out if banks are having a tough time with appraisals and closing loans on other local homes and consider your price strategy based on it. A little food for thought...

  • September 25 2008
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Profile picture for wetdawgs

I agree with everyone else about the photos.  The presentation needs a lot of work.

 

We sold a few months ago, and in addition to using recent sold comps we went and toured my competition with my agent.  We had approximately $50 k more upgrades than our closest competition, but we priced a few thousand lower.   We got an offer within 2 weeks, the competition is still on the market about a year later.    While we lost money of the "could have" category, we aren't suffering from the angst of carrying a house when we live 1000 miles away.     It was painful to sign up for that price, but in retrospect, it was the right thing to do.

 

  • September 25 2008
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Profile picture for mkmom

Thank you all for your advice.  I would like to close this thread at this time.  I am taking a break from zillow.  Thank you

  • September 26 2008
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