Real estate question – length of time on the market affecting value?

Short version: If I want to sell a piece of property (land + house) but I’m not in an immediate hurry to do so (and I’m not at a point to do the whole staging thing), would it be counterproductive to put it on the market as-is at the minimum price I need to get? The idea being that if someone will pay what I’m asking I’ll bust my butt and get out, but if I don’t get any takers it can sit there for a while. Will this be bad for it’s eventual sellability? (Yeah, not a word, don’t care :p)

Details, if you’re interested:

We moved to SC this summer, but still own the house + 13 acres in TN. Husband has a small company in TN and spends a few days a week there, so for the moment it makes sense to keep the house. Emphasis here on MOMENT. I’d rather not be paying 2 mortgages, but because the area has FiOS and we have the business servers there, and it’s a place for him to crash a couple of nights a week, AND it’s sort of a storage unit… it’s ok. (We left a lot of crap – his crap mostly – that needs to be sorted and dealt with)

My idea though is to slap a price on it that would clear the mortgage and possibly give us a bit over. If someone comes along and says Oooh! And is willing to pay it we could be out and done quickly. But if not, we’re ok sitting on it for a while. The problem is that the house is worth not much, it really needs to be torn down and a new house built on another spot, but it’s liveable so someone could live in it while they built a new one. It’s a funky but lovely property, in my estimation this place is going to need just the right owner, it’s going to be a waiting game anyway. I think the area is growing and the market improving, but I’m not 100% sure

So, what would it do to the property’s reputation if it sat on the market at an unchanging price for a while?

This is what confuses me about your OP. It sounds like you’re saying “My house is going to be on the market for a while, so should I put it on the market now or later?” If it’ll take a while to sell, seems to me you’d might as well put it on the market right now.

Only reason I can think of that you wouldn’t is if you were going to make improvements to the house to make it more marketable. I think typically in those cases you take it off the market while you’re making the improvements anyways, so that when you put it back on the market it doesn’t show up as having been on the market for months and months.

FWIW, I’m no real estate expert but I do believe buyers can strike a better deal with the seller if the house has been on the market for a while. But if you’re the seller, and you have a set price in mind that you won’t go below, then all you have to do is say no to the lowball offer.

When I was buying a house, we didn’t look at anything that had been on the market longer than 6 months. The theory was that there must be something wrong with the property that it wasn’t selling.

I’m not sure that that was a good approach, but it wasn’t uncommon.

But it sounds like you think it will take a while to sell anyway, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t just put it on the market and hope the right person comes along.

I’d go ahead and put it on the market, since you consider the house a tear-down. This is exactly the kind of property my husband and I like to buy, but buyers like us only come around every so often, and if you miss us it could take a while to find another. We love to buy houses that have been sitting on the market for a year or two, because we like to fix stuff up. For the type of buyer you’re looking for, having the property on the market for a long time isn’t a problem.

I saved easily $50K on my house because the people put it on the market, decided to do renovations, and then seriously showed it. It made it quite unpopular, which effectively lowered the price and also gave us more bargaining power.

It depends on the market. If all houses take months to sell you’d be fine having it sit for three months. If everything is selling in a week it would be different.

Perhaps the property in the OP could be marketed as a lot, not a house, which puts it in a different market and means that its condition won’t be an issue.

For no effort at all you can look up the Zillow listing on your house and set a “Make Me Move” price.

Hunh. Damn if that isn’t tempting! Well, well…off to take a peek at Zillow!

What I can tell you is that once when I challenged my tax assessment the township’s assessor challenged some of my comps by saying “that house sat on the market for a year before selling”, with the implication that the length of time it sat would further depress the price and thus make an invalid comparison.

I don’t know that they’re right (and I actually won a reduction that time around) but apparently this is prevailing wisdom in the RE community.

The “right buyer” still has to come see the place. If it’s been sitting on the market for a long time, many buyers won’t come because they will assume (with some justification, honestly) that it’s overpriced. Other agents won’t bring buyers by.

And trying to sell a house that’s crammed with stuff is likely to harm its value, in my view. Most buyers are not visionaries and cannot look past clutter and dilapidation.

I don’t mean to be too blunt here, but my advice would be to figure out if you want to try to sell it as a home or as a tear-down. If the former, then when you can, clear it out and do some minimal prettying-up, and put it on the market then. If the latter, then consider talking to an agent about shopping the property to home-builders. I’m assuming it’s not in an area where a developer might want the 16 acres in order to put up a new subdivision?

I should have been clear that the house is mostly empty except for the basics in the couple of rooms my husband uses. The stuff is his in the garage and the shed, and it’s getting (slowly) cleared and sorted.

And no, I couldn’t sell it as a subdivision. It is however in an area that has a high doublewide quotient, so a (serious) fixer-upper on a nice chunk of land might actually have some attraction. It’s also a growing area and is a nice secluded piece within a reasonable commute to the city center. I could also see someone buying it for the land and building something fancy tucked way back there.

I just really really REALLY want to be done with it, but it’s not my decision alone, unfortunately.

Thanks all, it does help to think through my fingers, as it were.

Days on the Market or DOM is definitely looked at with care by many. The “public” MLS system for my state differs from the private one that Realtors see in exactly two ways.

They have the showing information, which has the selling broker’s name, directions on how to get in if it’s a lockbox and that sort of stuff. This makes sense that they don’t want the general public looking at it.

The only other thing that’s not shown is the DOM. Everything else is public. This was definitely not an accident.

Also, I think it’s 90 days that something needs to be taken off the MLS system for it to be able to be relisted having DOM set to zero. Again, this is not an accident, since people definitely tweak the system.

There’s a perception that anything that’s been on the market a long time must have something wrong with it and the sellers will probably be desperate. Most brokers would never recommend a full price offer for something that’s been on the market 180 days.

You can update descriptions in MLS, and it’s not uncommon to see a note saying “Don’t be afraid of the high # of days on the mkt. The first buyers had their financing fall through! Great House!”

Usually it’s best to strike while the iron is hot and get the property sold quick. All that said, it sounds like you’ve got a unique situation. Your best option could very well be to keep in on the market for a long time waiting for that perfect buyer who is rare for what you are selling.

Good luck.

I am a Realtor, and I always look at the days on market, and discuss it with my client. Our MLS also shows CDOM - combined days on market, so if it’s listed with a different agent before and didn’t sell, it will show as being listed for 43 days DOM and 243 days CDOM.

When we see one that’s been on the market for more then 90 days (this changes based on the area, so check with an agent down there) we assume one of two things - either they’re desperate and they’ll make a deal, or they’re delusional about the house’s value and it’s badly priced.

Really, the best thing to do would be to call a local Realtor and ask them. If they start a sales shake down, just hang up and call someone else. There are way too many Realtors out there to tolerate that kind of shit.

ETA: a good agent will also be able to talk with you about Highest and Best Use - whether you’d have better options selling as a lot for development, etc.

I’m not in the industry, but we’ve moved/bought/sold several times. When I see a listing with a long time on market, my base assumption is that it’s either over priced or has some hidden gotcha to it.

Does your property have drive-by visibility? If so, slap a “for sale by owner” sign on it, add a Make Me Move price on Zillow, and reference Zillow on your sign.

Very low cost to you, you start to generate local knowledge that it’s up for sale, and you can have an RE agent list it at any time, without having the days on market hanging over you.

Note that Zillow ALSO has DOM - they call it “Days On Zillow” - see if “Make Me Move” triggers it BEFORE listing.

And - if you are at all handy: get the stuff out of the place and rent a paint sprayer - ceiling first, get a masking gun (big box stores carry them), mask the doors and windows and have one hold a shield along the ceiling while shooting the walls. DO NOT MESS with the <$100 “sprayers” - they are crap - real (airless) sprayers use a piston to pump paint - those toys use a vibrating diaphragm. It works exactly as well as it sounds like it would.

3-4 days MAX if you’re a klutz and you will be surprised what a fresh coat and a freshly cleaned carpet can do for a wreck