Profile picture for lakeview10550

Nearly 18 mos on the market - seeking advice

Hello all -
We have been trying to sell in Florida for 18 mos, started at $589k, now at $424k. We're going to NY to be closer to my husband's work. We have tried 3 agents, offer to pay closing costs, pay 1st year insurance, pay appraisal, open houses, realtor open houses, increased buyer's agent commission . . . we are desperate. (there were two contracts nearly a year ago, one fell through d/t financing, the other b/c people decided they didn't want to move to Fla.)

Any piece of advice would be greatly appreciated. Give it to me straight.

Here is my house: http://homes.realtor.com/search/listingdetail.aspx?zp=34654&mnp=29&mxp=28&typ=7&sid=65402f1e2a084879870dcb308bcd8dd5&lid=1092567581&lsn=3&srcnt=7#Detail

it's also on zillow, zip 34654
TIA!
  • December 14 2007 - US
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Answers (43)

Profile picture for pinksandbaby
can't really help you (I'm not an agent, it's just a tag) But your house is beautiful! GL!!!
  • December 14 2007
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Gorgeous house. I am not licensed in FL so I couldnt give you specifics. The market is awful there (and many other places). You are not alone in your quest and your time on the market. Hopefully some FL agents will pipe in and help you out. There are a few regular posters on here.
  • December 14 2007
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lakeview

I am so sorry for your frustration.

Pasco county was probably one of the hardest hit counties in this market correction.

1st with the insurance and then with the taxes.

In looking at the activity in Golden Acres, your price seems to have lagged behind agressive competitive pricing. Properties have been selling in your subdivision this year, but the buyers have consistently chosen more agressively priced properties.

Last Jan the home at 11538 Lakeview closed over $500K, that was the most comparable sale to yours in size and amenities and with no pool. At that time they were priced at 549K.

It seems that was the top of the market. All sales since have continued to spiral down in pricing.

Although there are about 3 dozen homes on the market, there are only a few for sale in your subdivision that are near comparable to yours.

In looking at your competition and in looking at the market, in order to have a shot at being agressively attractively priced you may need to lower your list price into the high, and maybe even the mid high $300's.

Hopefully the tax reform passes in Jan, and that gives our real estate market the expected strength to rebound.

If history is any indication, Pinellas will be the 1st to rebound, then Hillsborough, and then Pasco.

Best of luck
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for hautemommy
I'm not an agent in FL, either but...I would say generally that marketing times for anything outside of the city and on acreage is going to have longer marketing times. Add to that the fact that we're in a slow season AND given the housing market in general and 18 mos. doesn't seem that unreasonable. You could pull it off and re-list in the Spring when things normally pick up? The other posters are right, it's beautiful, I would think it would show very well. Good luck to you:-)
  • December 14 2007
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I've always been told, get a Super Star Real Estate Agent to sell your home. You may have one already, but if not, find the agent in your area that sells more homes than anyone else.

Stephen, Hampton, GA
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for Bette Defarm
lakeview10550,

What is your agent doing to market your property?
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for !crazy guy!
rent it out and sell it when the market picks back up. Even if you can buy a home in ny rent out there and wait things out. You'll be richer for it
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for krdesign
Have you used the services of a professional home stager? I looked at the photos of your house.....it is beautiful, but there are a few changes that could make it more marketable. The one that stands out to me as a trained home stager, is the wallpaper in the powder room. Perhaps paint and a chair rail would appeal to a wider range of buyers. If you are interested in using a stager, I know some in Florida. I am in Ohio, but would be glad to forward the contact info of my collegue in Sarasota area.
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for mephiston5
As someone in CFL that is thinking about buying post bubble, the price is too high.

Buyers don't want to risk buying into a market that has a huge potential to drop like a stone and be stuck with negative equity, especially first time buyers or those with little to no equity in their current house.

I think there are a lot of people that would want to buy a house like yours, but there is just too much risk right now at your current asking price.
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for DianeGA
I strongly agree with dkrdkr above. You need a professional stager. I am a former Realtor and now I stage homes and am a designer with a remodeling firm here in Wisconsin. I help the home look better than the others they see and it has helped sell them faster. Your photos don't say "come and see me". The colors are bland. The exterior needs help too. I know sand is everywhere down there but something in your landscape has to invite people up the sidewalk or the drive. The front is too plain and looks unattended. See MLS ID#7306778 and compare. Not the SF or the pool, but look at the landscaping and the colors. Very inviting.
The stager might also suggest some pieces of art or decor for a fee - you just return when the house sells. It seemed to me some of your artwork was too small for the walls - and against white walls too. Warm it up, loose the wallpaper and add some "umphf" - some "WOW" factor to get more people in the door!! I think it is just getting passed up with the photos online.
Good luck! Diane, GA Green Advantage certified
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for ZVending
I'd pare down the description on MLS, if it's too wordy, people won't read it. I got bored after the third sentence.
  • December 14 2007
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Your house is beautiful, one of the ways you can provide real value to a buyer is to buy down their mortgage. maybe a mortgage professional can explain it better but at $425,000 negotiated to $400,000 the buyer saves $25,000 which translates into very little when you break down the monthly payment. Instead offer that $25,000 as a sellers concession to buy down the interest rate. Imagine the benefit of having a 30 year fixed at 4.75-5.25 rather than 6.0-6.50% . It does two things, 1. it keeps the values in the neighborhood up which helps everyone and it helps the buyer lower monthly payments. I have had great success eith it here in NY.
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for lakeview10550
First, I appreciate all your messages and suggestions (even those that are extremely hard to hear)

Our current marketing plan is all internet, the agent feels all buyers go that route. Our previous agent used many magazines and newspaper ads to no avail. I would be open to any suggestions for other marketing.

Quite frankly, we paid $290k for this house in 2002 and have put $100k into it (remodeled literally everything, new siding, new a/c, new well, new septic, new doors, etc.). The thought of spending (and not recouping) thousands of dollars for landscaping and staging is not palatable. I know the landscaping is an issue. Anyone who lives in Fla. knows Florida gardening is futile most of the year. Off the top of my head I would guess sod and landscaping would be at least $20k for 1.35 acres. Don't you think? I am certain we could not recoup this. Not to mention wasting thousands of gallons of water trying to keep plants and grass alive in a perpetual drought.

Diane - your paint color advise is contrary to other advise I have received (Actually the only white room in my house is the kitchen.) Most rooms are "bamboo stalk" which has received compliments from agents and buyers. Nothing looks worse than a room painted a deep or dark color from crown to baseboard, these colors are best reserved for rooms with paneling, builtins or some kind of woodwork on (at least) half the walls.

ZVending, I agree about the description - any suggestions how to sell my realtor on this idea?

Regarding crazy guy's comment - is this house a good candidate for rent? I have seen others formerly for sale in my neighborhood put up "for rent" signs, but I cannot tell if they have rented.

So are we in agreement that the price is too high? Mid-to-high $300ks is more appropriate? It is unbelievable to me that a five year investment in this house is going to yield us nothing and probably cost us.
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I think that you may be overpriced based on your 1 and 5 year chart along with your recent comps, . I am sorry to say that because you really have a beautiful house. The market is tough right now and it will be a while before it gets significantly better. Reevaluate your motivations for selling. Decide how much lower you can make your price and go with that instead of smaller gradual price reductions. Make sure your realtor is good and decide if you can afford to rent the house out if it doesn't sell. I also think that an interest rate incentive may be a worth a try in combination with a lower price. Things will work out in the end because you did not buy at the peak of the market.
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for lakeview10550
Let me ask this - is there a quick way to estimate cost for staging? How does that work when we are living in the house (with a toddler)?

Are there hard and fast statistics that verify staging helps a home sell faster and/or for a higher price? Can anyone refer me to these?

Is there such a thing as landscape staging?

Can anyone comment on the difference between spending $20k on landscaping and staging vs. dropping the price $20k?????
  • December 14 2007
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If your market is anything like mine (and it sounds like it is), drop the price. I do not subscribe to the staged homes sell faster group. I have seen beautifully staged homes sit on the market as long as vacant homes. From the pics, your house looks lovely.
  • December 14 2007
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Lakeview.

Buyers are out there and they are and have been buying.

In Pasco County there were a little over 2000 sales since September 1, 2007
and this month alone there are already over 500 pending sales.

Buyers have more inventory from which to choose, they are taking their time to see everything in their parameters and to find the best deal.

Pasco County was the hardest hit county in the Greater Tampa Bay area as far as deflation of prices. Part of the problem was the sub prime market, but the larger issues were insurance and tax. Fortunately there has been recent relief in the insurance issues and then the Jan vote should help the tax issue a little.

None the less, buyers are and have been out there buying.

In looking at list price vs sales price, the difference is not that great.

That means that the houses that are going under contract are pricing to reflect the current market.

The houses not going under contract, but just sitting on the market seem to be across the board priced too high.

Another thing happening recently is that on those homes with recent contracts, the lenders on the new financing are requiring the appraisers to use comps sold only in the previous 3 months, no older.

In order to position your property to sell in this market agressive pricing is crucial.

If you price your home AT Value using comparable sold properties no older than 2.5-3 months old, the prospective buyers seeing your competition priced at value+ (+ room to negotiate) will perceive your home as a good deal. Chances are you will be one of the 1st chosen when the buyer makes offer.

Of course the buyer will come in with a lower offer. That is to be expected. But that is what negotiation is all about. If you are priced at value, and the buyer has been seeing homes priced at value +, the buyer will be more ready able to "justify" (in their mind) your counter back at value.

Best of luck
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for ZVending
Easy, I have complete control over my MLS listing. I call up my agent and say change this. You are in control. They do what you say or you find someone who will. It is a very nice listing, it's just too wordy.
  • December 14 2007
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Magazines and newspapers benefit the agent more then selling your home as it brings him or her more listings. Your MLS listing will expose it to sevaral online portals through your agents online IDX agreement (if you agent subscribes) ie. realtor.com, yahoo real estate etc... Price condition and location sell your home and your your price should be refelctive of the other 2. Difference between $20k in upgrades vs $20k in concession is that the buyer can see and feel the upgrades. If it feels like home to them they knwo they want to buy it iun the first 20 seconds and somehow they can justify your higher price vs other less cared for listings they may have toured. Take good photos maybe even hire a professional photographer if your agent lacks the expertise. Have them show you samples if they photograph themselves. Ultimatly price must be reflective of value gained and the high cost of insurane or other factors will affect your properties perceived value. good luck.
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Yes, you can stage landscaping, but I wouldn't spend very much. Beyond basic maintenance, maybe a few pretty flowers by the front door or walkway and some in a colorful pot on the back patio. Your house looks very nice now. I think it is the market more than you.

As far as toddlers go, I boxed excess toys in batches marked them Toys 1 and 2 and put them away in the garage. The inside toys all had a quick put away place like lined baskets on a bookshelf or under a bench so they were conveinent, but very fast to put away. After a few weeks on the market, I rotated inside toys with one garage box of toys. My toddler thought it was great having "new" toys and it kept me sane not having to chase quite as many toys around when I only had 10 minutes before a showing.
  • December 14 2007
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Have you tried posting on Craigslist? The site is www.Craigslist.org. It's free-- just another avenue to get it out there. Good luck.

Juliann
RE/MAX
Myrtle Beach, SC
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for dlm922579
You have a total of $390K invested. Get well ahead of the market and drop the selling price to $389K and you will get an offer.
  • December 14 2007
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Profile picture for krdesign

Lakeview, I can forward statistics to you on staged vs unstaged homes.  My email is krdesign@roadrunner.com.

  • January 04 2008
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hire a real pro in your area that knows actual real estate value, has the entire real estate infrastructure in place to sell real estate, and is available to service your listing. you find a realtor with those attributes, more than likely you found the realtor that has the ability to close the sale of your property at the highest return on your investment. can't find one? call me, i'll find him/her for you.

  • January 05 2008
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Profile picture for BayWind

Simple common sense: it doesn't matter if it is a toy, widget, car, anything.
If you haven't sold in 18 months it is the price.

 

If you don't want to sell for what it will sell for, then you really don't want to sell it. So instead enjoy the house, enjoy life, and be glad you have a really nice house you can afford. Nice weather too.

  • January 05 2008
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Until you are the best deal in the area, you will continue to own the property. I don't man your immediate subdivision, I mean a couple of miles.

 

I am realtor and no buyer has ever jumped in my car said only show me the higher priced ones, I am not interested in the same house for less.

  • January 05 2008
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I think staging is a waste of money in this market (and in general).  Save the money you would have spent on staging and use it to reduce your price instead.

  • January 05 2008
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Profile picture for krdesign

Why not spend a little on staging if it will get you your selling price or more?  It costs less to stage than reduce price.  I agree, the market is bad now, but that means a house has to show as the best to even get lookers!  Staging is a positive move...reducing price is a negative move.

  • January 06 2008
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krdesign,

 

<<Why not spend a little on staging if it will get you your selling price or more? It costs less to stage than reduce price. I agree, the market is bad now, but that means a house has to show as the best to even get lookers! Staging is a positive move...reducing price is a negative move.
>>

 

Staging only works on HGTV. Its a waste of time and money. Every buyer can spot "staging".

  • January 06 2008
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Lakeview, since this thread was started in Dec, I'm interested in finding out what's going on with you now!

  • January 06 2008
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