No showings - been 10 days. What's that tell us?

Christy BellApril 26, 2013

We listed 10 days ago and zero showings. The house is in a rural area (2 miles south of a small town), but it's on 40 acres and I know that the market is smaller for those types of homes, however, we were also told that the market is really good in the area. Our agent said she's surprised about it, but also said nothing is happening - no under contracts, etc. on other homes. This is the first time we've sold a home in the country so maybe this is to be expected. Another thought is we are priced too high. I really didn't think we were going into this, but our agent wanted to list it $20k less and get a quick sale.

Would you do anything at this point? If not, when would you - and what?

Here is the listing. By the way, we aren't living in it anymore and got it professionally staged.

(you'll have to copy and paste into your browser).

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Are there any incurable defects attached to the property?

Making an assumption that 40 acres has a limited buying pool, and considering your agent recommended listing $20K lower, it is probably the price.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Christy Bell

No - no defects. It's actually in fantastic condition. My gut tells me it's the price when you don't even get people in the door. We were going to give it 2 weeks then lower the price.

I have to say, though, after reading some other posts I need to just relax. Let the house be up for a couple of weeks and see what happens. The only thing we would do different is lower the price, if needed. So, maybe I will just relax and listen to my husbands advice of doing what we need to do and then remember "we are not in the results business!"

This post was edited by christyinco on Fri, Apr 26, 13 at 15:22

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Have your agent talk to other agents that have similar properties listed and see what their traffic has been like. It they're equally slow, then relax. If they're getting showings (and have had any in the past 2 weeks, then you might need to look at price. Watch the pendings and solds very closely, as they'll speak to you. But don't get nervous too quickly.

With regard to "we were told the market is good," this is a very broad statement, and one that realtors are prone to spout, to encourage people to sell and buy houses. It might generally be good, but your type of property with acreage just has a smaller potential buyer pool, so it will likely have fewer showings and take longer to sell than an "average" house in town.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:28PM
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Don't drop your price just yet (maybe after the weekend). If you do drop it, 20k isn't enough. Your current price of 499 is just under a magic threshold of 500k. But, 479 isn't below the next magic threshold price of 475k. If you drop, I'd drop to 474,900, for example. Might get you a few extra lookers.

But, your real question is, has your market picked up yet? You still have snow on the ground in your pics. That is a far cry from the "selling" weather we've had which this week was in the mid-60s and all our flowers in full bloom with green trees and grass...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Christy Bell

Some good thoughts. Actually, we've had two snow storms within this past 10 days. Hopefully, that will be it and we can look to spring. True - selling weather is really end of May or start of June, I guess.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:50PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The price seems awfully steep for a manufactured home. Especially compared to stick built home in the link below which is 100K less.

Here is a link that might be useful: Direct Competitor

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Is the house a manufactured home? If so, I had no idea. I think the house actually looks really nice.

That said, I had a lot of issues with the listing. First, I detest, detest, detest websites that blast me with music (especially cheesy music) just for clicking on the link. Yes, I eventually found how to turn it off...but why should I have to? If it was me I would demand that the agent turn off the annoying music.

Second I don't understand the text of the listing at all. You have a 40 acre property. The house is a nice house, but no one is going to buy it who doesn't want a 40 acre property and it appears from the photos to be basically set up for horses. So, why on earth doesn't the listing talk about the 40 acres and the out buildings? I mean your buyer isn't going to be someone who happens to like the house and was planning to buy a normal subdivision house and decides they like your house so much they are going to be a 40 acre property. You are going to sell to someone who wants to 40 acres and who likes the house better than the like the houses on similar properties. But, the whole listing is pretty much written as if this was a house in a subdivision (yes it gives one mention of the 40 acres but that is all).

FWIW I think that when you have an old house that has been updated it can be more difficult to sell as people who want a newer home may not even see your listing as it will be screened out due to age.

On the pricing, find out what the price breaks are for your MLS. As mentioned if the next price break is at 475k then I would list just under that.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Agree with the music comment above. Another pet peeve is when I can't control the speed of the photos. I want to look at pictures at my own pace. I never use the actual tour. I use the photos.

Two snowstorms alone could explain the lack of showings at this time of the year.

The comp linked above is 8 acres compared to 40 acres. That could be the reason for the large price difference.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 7:49PM
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I don't think it's a manufactured home. But it is lacking in architectural interest and curb appeal. It's "face" is the first thing you see, and it's not very appealing. I think a more inviting color, like a sunny light yellow, might help to give it more appeal as well as additional landscaping.

And yes, compared to other residential properties in the area, it does seem to be over priced. It's large enough for an actual horse ranch though, and someone who that appeals to is your purchaser and whom you should target. If you are a member of any saddle clubs or subscribe to any trade newspapers about horses or breeding, you should make sure to be featured in any of their publications. Also, target people in the nearby urban locations that may want to have a weekend farm and commute back to the city, if that's possible.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 7:37AM
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What's your agent doing to market the house? Has s/he invited the other agents, advertised the property on Craig's List or any publications for potential buyers, or is it just sitting in the MLS?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Not knowing the area where you specifically are and comps would be difficult for anyone to say if the home is priced right or not. 500K might be very high for certain regions or very low. If that home was within 1/2 hour from Toronto for example you would be looking at 1.75 million dollars on 1 acre, 40 acres your looking at 3 million. I am rural about 2.5 hours from T.O. that house would be under 400K here with 40 acres. Location, location, location.

In my experience 10 days on the market for a rural property is nada. And rural properties here tend to sit for a long time before they move. You are looking at a very small pool of potential buyers. It looks to be what we consider a hobby farm, who are your buyers? A young family who always wanted the country life? Someone will need to commute to and from the farm to earn enough to pay for it.

Certainly not empty nesters, we all want to downsize not sit on a tractor all day cutting lawns and bushhogging. For some individuals that I know personally that always wanted the pastural life that lifestyle wears off fast, really fast.

10 days is nothing, be patient and keep us informed.

I should also say the interior is very nice, the exterior doesn't say 500K for me.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 5:42AM
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Edit isn't working for me but I should add, I concur your agent is missing the ball in not marketing as a horse ranch, hobby farm. They should be targeting that buyer because as I was trying to say you are targeting a small specific market.

I would not dismiss a property because of music or the speed of the slide show, now that's being very picky.

" Oh honey lets not buy that house because I don't like the music on the website," come on man!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 6:02AM
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I agree with the comments saying the property should be marketed as a whole entity. As a horse owner I have had to search for properties 3 times, and each time I looked for property listed as hobby farms, small acreage, never under just a residential listing. I wanted to know things like if the well was good, did it ever run dry, was there electric and hydrants in the barn, how many stalls, run in sheds, perimeter fenced and if so what with (wire, electric, panels, post and rail??) I also looked in horse publications, local farm magazines, on bulletin boards at my local tack shop and feed stores, I talked to all the horse people I could find in the area I was searching. the house looks great, but to market to horse people emphasize things like tack and feed rooms, wash rack, riding arena (looks nice!) local trails within riding distance. pictures, pictures, pictures
it looks like a really desirable property, and if you can get it out in front of people who are searching for homesteads in the country, a horse setup, or sustainable living, I think you will see plenty of interest. Try small ads in horse magazines, mother earth news, homesteading magazine....
best wishes, keep us posted!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Christy Bell

Wow - great feedback. It is not manufactured home - to answer that question. Also, I know about the exterior of the home being less than optimal. We actually just had it painted last year and debated residing versus painting. The fact is, without major work, the front of the house is tough to get around. We weren't willing to put that kind of money into it knowing we were leaving.

To everyone's point about this property being a horse property - you are absolutely right. We purchased the house 6 years ago looking for a nice piece of property that we could have some horses on and some acreage. We bought the property for the land - not the house (nothing had been updated and the folks were in their 80s after living there over 25 years). We TOOK the house because we wanted the land.

The price is such since we live in Colorado and land is expensive here. It's also been really hard to find comparibles in the area since we look at 3 different small towns and there hasn't been a lot on the market lately. We also saw a huge dip in the market the last several years. So, the 500K is really about the land, not so much the house. I will talk to our agent about describing more on the land side and what's there to offer instead of the house.

We've had no broker open houses and we've just done the online listings, flyers in the house, etc.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:53AM
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at least in my case, it was really tough to find properties that had things set up for horses, I settled on the house (all needing major fixes) to get the land and what I needed for the horses. Promote the heck out of the facilities you have that appeal to horse owners, it is easier to fix up a house than to find the right setup for your horses. If you haven't put ads on all the local horse forums( individual breed forums, training, riding and showing forums and also general forums) and maybe even some of the national ones, post links and explain what you have. there may be somebody out there getting ready to move in your direction. you never know who is looking, make yourself easy to find.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:23AM
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If the price is about the land, you need those arena pics as your second and third pictures, not the 15th and 20th (or whatever).

And, you probably should find a realtor who specializes in farm sales.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:26AM
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I think you could show fewer pictures of empty rooms/spaces, and show more pictures of the attractive spots, like the land and the view.

When I was house hunting, I usually skipped listings that showed many empty rooms. I imagine I am not the only person who does that.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:44AM
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There are websites specifically aimed at horse owners/sellers, etc. Is your house listed on those sites? Several are free. When I worked as an agent I had a small horse property listed. I received lots of inquiries from one site that was free. I'm sorry I don't recall the site name--maybe It was free. Your agent should be looking for free sites like that to reach that specific target. Also perhaps sites for hobby farms, etc.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I agree with all those who think you need to focus on selling the land for it's value and not the house!

We were looking for a home on 1+ acres, and those 40+ acre deals came up, but we didn't want 40 acres, so we learned how to refine our searches. Our agent gave us access to the MLS online so we could alert him to anything that interested us.

I sincerely hope that you sell your property once it is marketed to the right audience, but I think it may take time because of it's remoteness, condition, and size. It does take time to find specific buyers. The farm idea is good too, because we wanted land for a vineyard, and we looked at a lot of horse ranches because of the flat land. By marketing to all kinds of buyers, you will catch one! Buyers change their minds. Sometimes they see something they didn't realize they wanted. This happened to us. We saw an amazing house with incredible views overlooking agricultural areas, and instead of flat land, we took a beautiful house high on a hillside, and our vines will do just fine on that hill! Buyers can be very flexible.

Good luck to you!


    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:53PM
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Do a search in this forum for Love In The House's posts. She sold a horse property last year, and I think she listed some of her marketing, web sites used, etc. Or she might still have her website up so you can see how she (successfully) marketed her property.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 2:09PM
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I just get a kick when people come on here and say something like " Is the property being advertised in other media, or is it jus sitting in the MLS?"

Sure you want to expose a listing in as many appropriate areas as possible, but, by far, the MLS is the most powerful tool when it comes to exposing one's property to ready, willing and able buyers.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:19AM
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If a buyer is looking for a property in a specific area MLS or redfin is great, but not if a buyer is looking for a specific property and open to the area.
Also, you said it yourself: You want to get as much exposure as possible, so, quite frankly, I don't get your point.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:33AM
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ncreguy no denying the truth of that but if the listing is in the wrong category or shown to the wrong audience (via pictures presenting only the residence when the place is a horse property, mini farm, has acreage with views,huge beautiful trees or lovely creek that aren't shown for example) it isn't helping the seller either! doesn't matter how many pictures of the house there are, if the supporting pictures don't tell the rest of the story, or if there are no supporting pictures, even the MLS can't do what it is supposed to.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:35AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I think another major difficulty in your situation is the drought. Even if the drought is not as bad in your area of Colorado, feed prices continue to jump, making it more difficult for people with horses. My guess would be it will just likely take a while. It is a very specific type of property and the people who want that type are most likely having a difficult time. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Are you being dumped on with todays storm?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:54PM
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I second the idea of emphasizing that it's a horse property (does it have a clean, sturdy barn and good fencing?). The house really is secondary for many of these purchasers. After we toured the small farm we eventually bought, I remembered everything about the barn but wasn't sure if the house had a dishwasher. Good horse properties are hard to find.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:39AM
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