Help Me Sell My House.

I am now 4 months on the market with little or no interest. In my lasts thread about potential buyers not showing up for appointments, I got a wonderful suggestion to add 1% commission to the buyer’s agent. This I did and it brought a few more lookers but no solid offers.

This is what I have done.

-Painted all the walls a neutral color.
-Put much of the furniture in storage such as much of the living room furniture and the entire dining room set.
-Pressure washed the deck and the house.
Other than lowing the price, which I’d rather not do since it is already listed 30K less than its comparables, any other suggestions? I am not desperate and I don’t have a foreclosure looming but I really have had it with this huge house and its expenses and want out. I also hate having to live like everything must be buttoned up and beautiful every day for no reason.

It is already with an agent on multiple listing and I am wondering if I should just try to sell it myself and take the commission off the price. Oh, and I already buried Saint Joseph according to the directions but he seems to have better things to do.

Why not post some photographs here and see what people’s first impression is? Sometimes a stranger can be more objective.

St. Joseph died? That’s sad. :frowning:

I’ve heard that you should have the smell of freshly baked cookies in the kitchen when people come to look at the house (sort of a subconcious connection with home).

Yes, I know this is sort of a random idea, but if you’ve resorted to burying Saints, I thought I’d throw this one out there, too.

Could you ask the agent why it’s not selling?

Do you have TV programs (we do here in England) which discuss this very problem?
From memory, they say it’s easier to sell if:

  • the front garden is very tidy (the back looks manageable)
  • the house is clean and in good repair
  • there is no clutter
  • each room is clearly ‘defined’ (e.g. as a dining room / study / bedroom etc)
  • the kitchen and bathroom especially look good
  • it smells pleasant
  • the right people are coming to view (a huge house is usually either for a family or a rich person, depending on furnishings)

This last one is the biggie. If your location has good views, is convenient for shopping, has decent travel links and yet is in a quiet prosperous neighbourhood, it sells for more quicker. If not, it doesn’t. :frowning:

Do you have HGTV or TLC? They have tons of shows about this stuff these days. Professional real estate stagers would suggest that it’s better to have some furniture in the house as opposed to none. Lots of homebuyers seem to have no imagination as to where they’d put things, so if you can show them where the couch and TV go, they’re more likely to put in an offer. De-clutter and de-personalize (limited family photos and personal mementos) the accessories, but leave some sort of personality and warmth in the house - fresh flowers, candles, and other neutral accessories. Otherwise, people think it’s cold and empty.

If your realtor is not giving you guidance, you need another one.

Make sure the house is staged well. There are professional who do this, even to the point of leasing you the necessary accoutrements, and your realtor should be willing to share the cost (on condition of sale). Most home purchasers are looking for a gestalt more than a good buy. The feng shui will sell a home faster than a discount will. This includes all the things you already know: location; home atmosphere; nice smell; well-appointed etc etc.

Look at area model homes and take away from them ideas about how to stage a home. Neutral colors and minimal furniture will not sell a house, necessarily, although you are absolutely correct that you don’t want striped wallpaper. It needs to feel like a home. Most buyers look at a nicely staged home and imagine how they would do it differently, but it’s still the nice staging that makes them buy in the first place.


If you dig him up, you may find he’s transubstantiated into a small aspirin.

I dunno – I read somewhere that you don’t want to show a mostly emptied-out house. Especially a really big one, because it will look even bigger, maybe too big. If you have nice stuff, I would leave it in place, to show that this is a really nice home, not just a box to move into.

However, I’ve never sold a home. I can’t speak from actual experience.

Sorry; Avarie537 already said it while I was typing.

How recent are your comps, Foxy40? Because, from what I understand, if they weren’t, say, last week, they may not be all that useful with the market tanking the way it is. I don’t know about your town, but where I live, in Southwest Bubbleland, it’s all about price.

Good luck, we sold last year and verily, it did suck.

  1. Burn it Down.
  2. Collect Insurance
  3. Party.

Isn’t life simple. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s important too, when someone is waling through a house -they are dreaming of the life the want to have.

So people don’t like all of the furniture pointing at the TV, they want to dream of the elaborate dinenr parties they will never have.

Have you got really fancy dinner service and china tea sets? Lay them out for the visitors. I recently asked in this thread for some advice, only to get an offer having bought the paint. So I didn’t do anything and the offer seems to have fallen through. :frowning:

I agree w/ koeeoaddi. I am a former Residential Real Estate appraiser and I can tell you that the choice of comparable sales is paramount to an accurate CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) and ever more so for a full blown Appraisal.

I might suggest spending the going rate for an independent ACCURATE appraisal from a LOCAL appraiser. It should cost you anywhere from $250 to $400 depending on your area. Please be selective when choosing your appraiser, there are many out there that will sell their soul to “get” or “create” value. If it were me, I would ask for a range of value as opposed to a solid number. Be upfront and honest and tell your appraiser you need to know the current market range and the local trending for similar properties…

hope this helps…


This is not meant to slam GOOD appraisers…I still have ties to the biz and will possibly get back to it in a few years.

So far some great ideas. Keep them coming folks and thanks. I will try to link some pictures if i can figure it out.

Oh, I know all about real estate. :dubious:
Seriously, if you’re under no pressure, why not rent (lease) it out until the market improves?

Well, what I want to do is buy a townhouse and can not without the money from the first house for the downpayment. I decided to give my (ex) husband a good portion of my savings when we split and I don’t have enough to carry two houses.
The good news is that townhouses I like have come down in price so perhaps it will all be a wash in the end.

I like the cookie idea. My mother was over and said she has heard cinnamon sticks so I will try to boil those later and see how they smell. I am worried about leaving cookies in the oven because I do not stay when the house is being shown but I would be comfortable with a pot of water slowly simmering.

Do you have any friends that haven’t seen your house? How about asking them to come over for a walk through. You go sit outside, while they pretend that they are potential buyers. See if they have an insights into stuff that might be giving a bad first impression. It’s really really hard to look at your own house with enough detactment to see that a room looks unfinished, or that the kitchen looks scruffy. These are things your selling agent should be helping you with. If they aren’t, find out why.

My house goes on the market soon, and I’m dreading it.

Lower the price every few months. That can/may keep the house listing current on the lists.

Offer $3,000 towards buyer’s closing costs (this comes out of your money from the house sale, it’s not something you have to supply out of pocket.)

What is the average time on market in your neighborhood? Is this your problem, or an area problem?

11 years ago we sold our house in hours - during the open house, so we never had to clear out for lookers. I had taken some time off, so we did a serious decluttering, with new carpet and new paint - but it seems you’ve done a lot of that already. Definitely have some furniture so it has a not too bare look, but not cluttered either.

I’m not so sure of imitating model homes. The ones near us had tiny beds to make the rooms look bigger, took doors off the hinges to make the rooms look bigger, and had no curtains on a bathroom window to let in the light.

But I think the main problem might be that your house is now considered old and not worth showing to people who want first crack at a house just on the market. The one we got here was on the market for a while, and we got a good deal on it. Maybe it would pay to take it off for a while, then put it on again as new (I don’t know if that’s allowed - if not I never suggested it.) Still, the average buyer is going to wonder why no one else wasn’t interested, and in this market that might be a killer, unless you have something special for someone.