The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-28-2007, 03:36 PM
The Composer The Composer is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bulldog Country
Posts: 368
Please help me sell my house!

We've had our house on the market (with the help of a realtor) for about two months. So far, we've had 3 sets of prospective buyers, but each set chose another property, for whatever reasons.

Additionally, we have an offer on another house with a contingency that our house sells before we close on the new house; this is the main reason we'd like our house to sell quickly. We are not in danger of foreclosure, etc., but we don't want someone to buy the other house out from under us since it is common for the other property to remain on the market due to our contingency.

If the other house receives another offer, we have a kickout clause so that we have time to make a decision and close, or, withdraw our contract.

With that said, these are some of the ways our house is being marketed:
  • ILS listing
  • listed in some local real estate books
  • Ad posted on Craig's List

So, what other things can I do to create publicity for my property?

What sort of methods are against real estate etiquette?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-28-2007, 04:17 PM
Zebra Zebra is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Have you watched that show 'Designed to Sell'? Check that out. They always point out little things that turn people off a property.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-28-2007, 04:17 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 29,535
I have no idea what your place looks like or any circumstances you have, but here are some basics:

Remove all clutter from the place.

Fresh coat of neutral paint, no 'weird' colors that will put someone off. That pink bedroom may have seemed fun to you, but buyers will hate it. Patch holes, fix broken molding, replace or clean outlet/switch covers.

Rent some basic furniture so people can see what it might look like. Nothing weird, no weird paintings or other art. See clutter comment.

Clean up your yard, remove dead plants, get rid of kid toys, dog poop, fill holes.

Replace outdated carpet or install hardwood floors.

Update kitchen/bathrooms.

Finish any unfinished areas (basement, garage, etc.).

It's probably too late for some of these, but generally this is what is recommended to increase your chances.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-28-2007, 04:32 PM
The Composer The Composer is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bulldog Country
Posts: 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy
I have no idea what your place looks like or any circumstances you have, but here are some basics:

Remove all clutter from the place.

Fresh coat of neutral paint, no 'weird' colors that will put someone off. That pink bedroom may have seemed fun to you, but buyers will hate it. Patch holes, fix broken molding, replace or clean outlet/switch covers.

Rent some basic furniture so people can see what it might look like. Nothing weird, no weird paintings or other art. See clutter comment.

Clean up your yard, remove dead plants, get rid of kid toys, dog poop, fill holes.

Replace outdated carpet or install hardwood floors.

Update kitchen/bathrooms.

Finish any unfinished areas (basement, garage, etc.).

It's probably too late for some of these, but generally this is what is recommended to increase your chances.
Chefguy, we've done all those things. We just need to "get the word out," so to speak. The market in our area is very slow, so any extra publicity would be great.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-28-2007, 04:34 PM
romansperson romansperson is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy
I have no idea what your place looks like or any circumstances you have, but here are some basics:

Remove all clutter from the place.

Fresh coat of neutral paint, no 'weird' colors that will put someone off. That pink bedroom may have seemed fun to you, but buyers will hate it. Patch holes, fix broken molding, replace or clean outlet/switch covers.

Rent some basic furniture so people can see what it might look like. Nothing weird, no weird paintings or other art. See clutter comment.

Clean up your yard, remove dead plants, get rid of kid toys, dog poop, fill holes.

Replace outdated carpet or install hardwood floors.

Update kitchen/bathrooms.

Finish any unfinished areas (basement, garage, etc.).

It's probably too late for some of these, but generally this is what is recommended to increase your chances.
And then when you are done you won't want to move.

I can tell you in all seriousness though that curb appeal is important. When we were house shopping, if we didn't like the looks of the house and yard from the outside, we didn't bother going inside. So "clean, neat, and in good repair" is a good phrase to think about when looking at your current home's appeal.

It also wouldn't hurt to put out word at work, church, or any social groups you belong to that your house is up for sale. If you can email, a nice photo goes a long way and it is easy for people to either delete if they aren't interested or forward to someone else who might be.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-28-2007, 04:40 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Write your own ad- concise and to the point but stressing what YOU think the selling point of your house is and what makes it different from others in its price range (price, location, etc.). Put the above into as few words as possible in big noticeable letters as the front line (BEST LOCATION IN TOWN FOR UNDER $X00,000! or GOURMET KITCHEN AND LANDSCAPED LAWN! or whatever), and give it to the realtor to replace the one running.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-28-2007, 04:49 PM
Solfy Solfy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
We were in your shoes when the sellers of our new house executed the kick out clause and we had to bridge loan and carry two mortgages. Boy howdy did it suck mightily.

Our house was on the market seven months. Our realtor was mostly useless. I pounded Craigslist and eventually fired the realtor. We found a buyer via Craigslist, but not after a significant reduction in price. (realtor had us start it way too high - I even thought so at the time but mistakenly trusted him) Open houses did nothing. No one goes to them anymore. We had a yard sale to increase drive-by traffic. Made $85 but did not sell the house.

My advice? Make your Craigslist ad stand out. I wasn't getting much response from the traditional ad, so I started getting creative. (silly?) I wrote once upon a time stories about the house and our time in it. I listed it as "The cutest house in {area}" Normally I would hesitate to use words like cute, since that's realestatese for "tiny," but using all the words the other ads did wasn't working. Also it was true - it was a small house. I admitted to being anxious and flexible, because I really was. One may question whether this is a wise admission from a negotiating standpoint, but quite frankly I was desperate and it was worth the loss in sale price to simply get the property off my hands.
Once I started posting unusual ads I got a lot more inquiries. Some were even from realtors who had overlooked it on the MLS but took notice of my unusual ad(s).

My next step, had I not found a buyer when I did, was to make up a professional looking multi-picture flyer so that I could post more than the standard four pics on Craislist. More pictures are always better in my opinion.

Good luck - you'll need it!

Oh - here is my crazy ad that got all the attention:
Quote:
Once upon a time a newlywed couple were renting a townhouse. They were happy, but they longed for a home of their own.

They found a house for sale by owner. It had been owned by a sweet little old lady who was moving to an assisted living facility. She had lived in the house for 59 happy years, raising two sons and spending much time in the garden.
But the little old lady was unable to keep up with the maintenance. Her son did a great job where he could, replacing most of the windows, putting in a few new kitchen cabinets, and updating the bathroom. Still, the house needed some love.

The newlywed couple gave the house all the love they had time and money for. They cut down many of the overgrown shrubberies that threatened to swallow the house and planted new, pretty ones. They painted the inside and replaced the threadbare carpeting. They wallpapered the dining room in a cheerful Waverly poppies print. They replaced all the light fixtures. The wife stripped and refinished the newel post and the mantle.

The next summer the couple spent the whole summer on ladders, scraping all the peeling paint off, priming, and applying two coats of PPG's best exterior house paint. New neighbors moved in next door and they were very friendly.
When the couple weren't working on the house, they were walking the quiet neighborhood, or visiting with the neighbors, or sitting out on the front porch with a cup of coffee.

The next year the couple's family came over and helped them put on a new roof. The couple built a shed in the back yard. They had a new high efficiency furnace installed, along with whole house air conditioning. They DryLocked the entire basement and stored much junk down there. It was a busy summer.

That winter they had their first baby. The baby began to take over the house. Babies have a lot of stuff. The stuff takes up space. Then, as they grow, the babies get toys. Lots and lots and lots of toys. But that was okay, because the house had three bedrooms. The couple made the front bedroom into a playroom.

The couple installed a new front door to keep out the drafts that the old one let in. They insulated the attic. They resealed the asphalt driveway.

Then they had another baby. And the cozy house started to get a little too cozy. And the carpet in the dining room began to look like crap, so the couple pulled it up and put in laminate flooring. And while they were at it, they replaced the vinyl flooring in the kitchen with taupe porcelain tiles, stripped and refinished the period cabinets and wooden steps that lead down into the kitchen, put up white wainscotting, replaced the bifold door, added a stained glass style light and painted the kitchen granny smith apple green.

The family was happy, but a little cramped. A big old house that needed even more love than theirs came on the market and off they went to rescue another down-on-its-luck house. Once again they are up to their elbows in paint. And they are looking eagerly for someone to come along and love the 3br cape cod as much as they did, as did the little old lady before them.
(this was in response to one viewer who looked at the place and said, "Looks like someone was trying to play flip this house." Flip? Flip! We lived there seven years! If that was a flip, we're terrible at it! So I got mad and wrote a story.)

Last edited by Solfy; 11-28-2007 at 04:53 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-28-2007, 04:50 PM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
I recently bought a home, and I didn't pay much attention to where a home was advertised (our realtor did all the "finding houses for us to look at" stuff anyway). Advertising gimmicks to make a house look more attractive would have either not affected us or turned us off. If you look too desperate to sell, the buyers might start wondering what's wrong with the house that they can't see (and a lot of buyers who wonder this walk away a long time before an inspector could tell them they don't have anything to worry about), or might make you a lower offer if they do make one.

One thing that the seller of one house we visited did that I thought was good- they left copies of the required disclosure form in the house when we went to see it. The form had stuff about how recently various maintenance had been done, which is very useful to know. The fact that they used the official form made me feel more confident that they weren't trying to hide something than a brochure of their own with similar information would have (and was probably easier for them).

An ad on a web site that gives you the chance to post lots of pics of your house would be good. Even better would be a print-out of some of those pictures, possibly stapled to the disclosure info. Prospective buyers visit lots of houses in very little time, and they all seem to run together after a while. Some room on those pages of pictures to take notes would be nice, too.

People are going to walk on your floors and carpeting when they're looking at your house- deal with it. Even if you ask people to take off their shoes when they come into your house, don't ask prospective buyers to do that (we looked at one house where the sellers literally provided little plastic shoe covers- it was really weird).

Get someone who doesn't spend a lot of time in your house and who has a good sense of smell to go through and check for any lingering odors, and try to deal with any they find. You're used to the smells in your house, but prospective buyers aren't. Odors are a huge turn-off for a prospective buyer. I don't recommend leaving room fresheners around or spraying a spray to mask odors, either- some people might be allergic to something in those, or might not like the scent you pick.

And don't forget the obvious- a nice handout for visitors to your house, cleanliness, and a lack of weirdness isn't going to make up for stuff like:

Is your asking price in line with current asking prices for comparable homes in comparable locations that have actually sold? I know, you love your house, you paid $X for it and put $Y worth of improvements into it- prospective buyers don't care, especially not in a buyer's market like most real estate markets in the US are now.

Do you have any rooms that scream 1970s or 1980s or whenever because of outdated carpeting, wallpaper, or something like that? It's hard for a prospective buyer to look past something like that, even a buyer who knows that a situation like that can be remedied fairly easily. You don't need to tear out all your carpet and put in hardwood floors, or re-do your whole kitchen in the latest fashion, but some paint or new carpet might help a lot if you've got a room that is a real time capsule. If you have any rooms that are very obviously children's rooms (cartoon theme wallpaper or bedspreads or the like), you might want to do something about those as well.

Don't have any art or books visible that anyone might find offensive or take issue with. I would avoid anything having anything to do with sex, race, religion, or politics, except for maybe one small, tasteful Christmas tree or menorah at this time of year. If you do have a Christmas tree, do a conventional, traditional theme this year- nothing exotic or cutesy. Lose the lawn ornaments or decorative outdoor flags, if you have any. I would go so far as to remove any political, religious, or otherwise potentially controversial bumper stickers on your cars, if there's any chance prospective buyers will see them (and there probably is).

Last edited by Anne Neville; 11-28-2007 at 04:52 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-28-2007, 05:15 PM
JSexton JSexton is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Snowy Oregon
Posts: 4,147
Asking price, asking price, asking price.

You can deisgn to sell all you want, but it really comes down to asking price. If it's not selling, you're asking too much. Period.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-28-2007, 05:31 PM
tremorviolet tremorviolet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solfy
Our house was on the market seven months. Our realtor was mostly useless. I pounded Craigslist and eventually fired the realtor. We found a buyer via Craigslist, but not after a significant reduction in price. (bolding mine) (realtor had us start it way too high - I even thought so at the time but mistakenly trusted him) Open houses did nothing. No one goes to them anymore. We had a yard sale to increase drive-by traffic. Made $85 but did not sell the house.
It's price, price, price. If you're serious about selling your house, you don't want to chase the market down, lowering your price in bits and drabs. The housing market is tanking nationally and what you thought your house was worth last year may no loner apply. You need to get your realtor to give you recent comps (with in the last four months) and price below that.

The lending market has changed drastically and it's become much, much difficult for buyers to get loans without stellar credit and a down payment. So there are lot fewer buyers out there with more homes than ever to choose from, including recent foreclosures and short sales. Price is critical and needs to be a realistic market value, not just what you "need" to get.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-28-2007, 06:05 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southern Pennsylvania
Posts: 21,600
Bury a Saint

OK, I got nuttin.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-28-2007, 10:27 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
You might want to consider making your own website for the house and listing its address on the flier. It doesn't have to be fancy- in fact if you just want to put pics you can do that free of charge and in a matter of seconds on Picasa Web (Google's free photo sharing page) or PhotoBucket or whatever (or hell, make it a myspace page .)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-29-2007, 10:54 AM
The Composer The Composer is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bulldog Country
Posts: 368
Thanks for all the replies, everyone. Sampiro, I'll look into the Picasa web album. That sounds like an easy enough thing to do, and I can post the link on a flyer and on the Craig's List ad.

Wish us luck!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-29-2007, 01:28 PM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: slightly north of center
Posts: 4,267
Have you looked over the web listing your agent made? I've been looking at house listings, and I'm amazed at how bad some of the listings are.

Really, your foundation size is 1sq foot?
10 pictures allowed. 2 of bathrooms, one of the laundry room. one of the front of the house and the photographer's thumb. one of the corner of the kitchen and one of a recliner chair in the corner of some room.
Read the description as if you were househunting. If it makes you go "Meh" it makes me go "Meh"
Make sure the lead photo is appealing. It's the one that will show up on the lists of houses. I've currently got hundreds of houses to choose from. If your picture isn't interesting, I probably won't bother looking.


Also, talk to your agent and see if you can see the information on who has been visiting your online listing, and comments made by the people who did stop by.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-29-2007, 02:01 PM
Trunk Trunk is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Lower the price.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-29-2007, 02:32 PM
Nuke Nuke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunk
Lower the price.
Having recently sold my house, I can tell you that this is the only way to go nowadays. Improvements mean nothing; the bottom line is price. 2 months on the market is nothing; it took 3 to sell mine and I was aggressive with lowering the price to sell it for a relocation. Hopefully, you can make up what you lose in the sale of your old house on your new house.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-29-2007, 02:51 PM
Throatwarbler Mangrove Throatwarbler Mangrove is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Presumably, the OP is in this game to make money, not lose it, so telling him to lower the price isn't very constructive.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:08 PM
The Composer The Composer is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bulldog Country
Posts: 368
We will lower the price if it comes to that, but right now, our listing price is average for the market for comparable homes. Our agent is comfortable with our price, and she'd be the first person to tell us otherwise. She's very direct.

What we really need is marketing and advertisement on top of what we've already done. I'm looking for out of the ordinary ways to promote my property.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:16 PM
Trunk Trunk is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throatwarbler Mangrove
Presumably, the OP is in this game to make money, not lose it, so telling him to lower the price isn't very constructive.
Presumably, the OP is trying to move to a new house and needs to sell his.

Furthermore, if the OP pays a mortgage for the next three months, and then realizes he has to lower the price, the advice "lower the price" is constructive, and financially sound.

Being in this "game" to "make money" is part of what created this whole mess in the first place.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:33 PM
Nuke Nuke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throatwarbler Mangrove
Presumably, the OP is in this game to make money, not lose it, so telling him to lower the price isn't very constructive.
You don't always make money when selling a house. I'm a prime example of that. I needed to get out a house relatively quickly and priced the house accordingly. You always have the option of waiting for the right buyer to come around, but that day may be a long time coming. Had I stuck with my initial price, I probably would not have been able to sell the house and might still have it now.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:42 PM
Throatwarbler Mangrove Throatwarbler Mangrove is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Look, do you think he started the thread just for someone to tell him to lower the price? Obviously, the Op is trying to do this with the least possible cost to himself, so "lower the price" isn't very helpful, is it? It's pretty clear that your answers are not within the spirit of the question, there's no need to revel in the schadenfreude at the expense of a fellow doper.

Last edited by Throatwarbler Mangrove; 11-29-2007 at 03:45 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-29-2007, 03:54 PM
Contrary Contrary is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
And to continue the pile on, and as I've posted in other "help me sell my house" threads, sometimes it's not about MAKING money, it's about NOT LOSING money.

So in my case that means we don't sell at a loss and I stay in KC while my husband is in Boston. I'd rather pay three months' worth of mortgage at KC rates than three months of mortgage in Boston having lost our shirts on the sale of the house in KC.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-29-2007, 04:02 PM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khadaji
Bury a Saint

OK, I got nuttin.
Ha! My parents are trying to sell their house down in Tucson and just did that after their neighbor's house sold after they buried one themselves.

I read an article (in Consumer Report's, maybe?) that went through the key words in selling a house. The houses that didn't sell as well had phrases like "cozy kitchen" or "great neighborhood". Those phrases didn't sell the house as well as exact descriptions like "built-in mahogany cabinets" and the like.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-29-2007, 04:14 PM
Solfy Solfy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Composer
We will lower the price if it comes to that, but right now, our listing price is average for the market for comparable homes. Our agent is comfortable with our price, and she'd be the first person to tell us otherwise. She's very direct.

What we really need is marketing and advertisement on top of what we've already done. I'm looking for out of the ordinary ways to promote my property.
When I posted, I assumed that you had the house priced appropriately for the market. We did, too, after lowering it from the realtor's initial inflated number. You know what? It still took four more months to sell.
There is a glut of houses in many markets right now, and I agree with you that even if your house is priced appropriately, anything to make it stand out (in a good way) helps.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-29-2007, 04:32 PM
ethelbert ethelbert is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Make sure its on Zillow with a good picture and information.
However, I suspect that most people looking in your neighborhood for a house know about your house. People don't generally buy a house because they stumbled across an ad somewhere. They decide on a neighborhood first, then look in that neigborhood.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11-29-2007, 05:35 PM
Nuke Nuke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throatwarbler Mangrove
Look, do you think he started the thread just for someone to tell him to lower the price? Obviously, the Op is trying to do this with the least possible cost to himself, so "lower the price" isn't very helpful, is it? It's pretty clear that your answers are not within the spirit of the question, there's no need to revel in the schadenfreude at the expense of a fellow doper.
What????? Where did I ever say I was reveling? It sucks to try to sell a house today.

Today price is everything. If the price is right, the house will sell. If it's too high it won't. You won't even get any offers. This is my only point. I had a hell of a time unloading my house and I'm just sharing that experience. You can obviously do all the staging ideas that the home shows talk about, but the bottom line today is price. If you think this is not helpful, that's your opinion.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 11-29-2007, 10:04 PM
The Composer The Composer is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bulldog Country
Posts: 368
<Tweet!>

Time out!

Everyone's advice has been very helpful. No need to fight amongst yourselves.

Time in!

<Tweet!>

Real Estate sucks. I know this.

But not as much as wallpaper. I hate wallpaper.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-30-2007, 07:44 AM
Trunk Trunk is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throatwarbler Mangrove
It's pretty clear that your answers are not within the spirit of the question,
It is?

Quote:
there's no need to revel in the schadenfreude at the expense of a fellow doper.
Uh, yeah, whatever.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11-30-2007, 11:55 AM
Throatwarbler Mangrove Throatwarbler Mangrove is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Here is a thread that may be useful. You'll note that I was once a smartass too, but then I realized that it was tacky and pointless, and got over it.

Last edited by Throatwarbler Mangrove; 11-30-2007 at 11:55 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:01 PM
Trunk Trunk is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
First, I have schadenfreude, and now I'm a smartass.

That's a lot of projecting for a pretty simple statement.

Why don't you re-read what Nuke wrote in response my first post for an example of an appropriate response.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 11-30-2007, 06:48 PM
JSexton JSexton is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Snowy Oregon
Posts: 4,147
The OP's title is "Please help me sell my house!" The OP's priority, as stated, is to sell quickly. I've worked in title and escrow for years, primarily doing home valuation studies and modeling market performance.

I am in no way reveling in schadenfreude. I am relating years of experience, and that is: of all the factors you can control, asking price is the number one. Also numbers 2 through 5.

I sympathize, but taking an extra six months of double mortgage payments over lowering the price 5K? Which is cheaper?
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 12-01-2007, 01:46 PM
Contrary Contrary is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSexton
taking an extra six months of double mortgage payments over lowering the price 5K? Which is cheaper?
I'm not the OP but my house is on the market.

We are getting a lot of showings which is somewhat encouraging but we have the twin issues of the current sub-prime loan situation and the fact that our neighborhood is more of a specialty market for our city. We live in an historic neighborhood that is a pretty urban and not all that far from some dicier areas. Our neighborhood is safe but perception is everything, so to people considering moving from the suburbs, our location can be a deterrent. As far as price, we are in line for our area etc, and thankfully have one of the less expensive homes in the area.

We won't pay two mortgages, so the house must sell before I can move to Boston. We also won't lose the money we put down on the house, that is a financial nightmare I'm not willing to go through.

Agreed, this is a horrible time for us to sell and if we weren't relocating to Boston, we wouldn't even try. Not only is the market awful, we really love our house and just wish we could take it with us. Of course in Boston, the house would be worth a TON

Very clearly this is a choice we're making to continue with the house on the market and leave the price where it is for now. At some point, my husband and I will need to discuss how we want to handle having a two city marriage; I don't see us ever being willing to lose our down payment.

It does seem as though people think all sellers are looking to make money. I know we sure aren't; we want to walk away with our down payment and no money paid out by us. Obviously that's not true for all sellers but it's sure true for us.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:03 PM
sinjin sinjin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Please don't forget that you have to bury the saint upside down. This is very important.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 12-01-2007, 09:41 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
I'll chime in and agree with those who say price is everything. My wife and I bought our first house about a year ago after looking for almost six months. The deciding factor was that we found a "nice house for a great price" after looking at dozens of "nice houses at steep prices" and a few "great houses at out-of-our-budget prices". The asking price was 15% less than the average asking price in the neighborhood and we ended up getting it for 20% less than the average asking price.

According to our agent, the house had only been on the market a few weeks. Similar houses that are trying to be sold at the average price are still on the market a year later.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 12-02-2007, 01:30 PM
Campion Campion is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
The only thing I can think of-- other than price -- is increasing exposure. Best way to do that is to create incentives for the buyers' agents to sell the house. I don't know what deal your agent will cut with them (split the commission in half?) but it's worth checking. For example, if you're paying your agent 5%, and your agent was going to split that 50-50 with the buyers' agent, maybe change the allocation -- 2% to your agent, 3% to the buyers' agent. Or throw in an extra percentage yourself. If buyers' agents know they'll get a bit more out of the purchase of your house, they may try to show it to more people. (Don't know if this is legal where you are, but it was a common thing out here in California for a while.)

Couple it with a realtors' open house (not for buyers, just for agents) to "reshow" your house to them and it may generate more traffic. Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 12-02-2007, 01:53 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 17,542
First of all, work with your agent. He will pay for all advertising, and he probably knows more about the business than you do. That's why he charges a commission. There's nothing wrong with making him earn it.

Only two things keep a property from selling:
  1. Price, and
  2. Exposure.
No, the condition of the roof or the location of the lot won't keep it from selling, because no matter how good or bad each is, there is a price point that reflects it and is acceptable to both buyer and seller.

If the price is low, maybe the exposure is insufficient, and conversely.

For exposure: the ideal would be for everyone, everywhere to know about it. Since that is impossible, the most likely markets need to be targeted. This usually means demographics -- if it is in a vacation area, advertise in vacation-type publications. Open houses increase exposure, too.

For price: reduce the price gradually, in steps. Allow sufficient time for the market to absorb the change but not so much to waste time waiting. Obviously that isn't easy, and this is where a professional comes in.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 12-02-2007, 01:56 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 17,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinjin
Please don't forget that you have to bury the saint upside down. This is very important.
No, no, no. It must face East and you have to roast a chicken under the full moon while chanting Ya Got Trouble and dancing the Can-Can in a green shirt wearing a catcher's mask.

Sheesh. Doesn't anyone know how to do it right?
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 12-02-2007, 09:16 PM
InLucemEdita InLucemEdita is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
If you go ahead with making a flyer, I would suggest distributing it to EVERYONE in your neighborhood. You never know who might be looking for a place for their Mom to move to in order to be closer to the grandkids, or whose sister just got divorced and wants her kids to go to the same school. The people who already live in your neighborhood are the people who you already KNOW want to live in your neighborhood.

Tell everyone you know that you are selling your house.
You never know who is in the market, or who knows someone who is.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 12-03-2007, 09:27 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 17,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by InLucemEdita
If you go ahead with making a flyer, I would suggest distributing it to EVERYONE in your neighborhood.
Just a word of caution here. While I know of nothing to prevent you (the homeowner) from advertising on your own independently of the agent, I would advise not to do it without the agent's knowledge.

Details of your listing contract may vary, but even if you found a buyer, your agent would be entitled to the full commission anyway.

And putting the agent's name, logo and phone on an ad without his permission might have some sticky legal consequences if something went wrong. And NOT putting it on an ad might also be problematical. Just don't go there.

Your agent is working for you and wants to sell the property as much as you do. Work with him or find another.

Full disclosure: IAARealtor.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 12-03-2007, 09:45 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Dutch in the Netherlands
Posts: 8,074
Do you have a sign in your front yard yet?

This is probably not applicable in your case, but maybe worth a try anyway. When my fiance's house was put up for sale six months ago (this was in the Netherlands) a lot of houses in the street with the same floorplan were on sale as well. I nicked the flyers from those listings, laminated them and showed them to visitors while they were looking around. My fiance's house was pretty neglected, and the pictures showed what the house could look like with a little TLC.

I second the idea of making a website of your own, and linking to it every chance you get. It saves potential buyers a lot of time if they can scan your house on-line. Besides you can photoshop the pictures the same way you would a resume; show the house to its best advantage without actually lying.

Have you tried websites like E-bay?

Last edited by Maastricht; 12-03-2007 at 09:46 AM..
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.