After three weeks on the market...
OK 3.5 weeks... we have had 6 showings, two of which were to the same buyer so that really means 5. I spoke with each of the agents that brought the buyers through (we are listed with a flat-fee agent, which worked for us last time so we figured let's do it again).
All the agents said the buyers liked the home very much. One picked on certain things, which can be changed but at expense (eg height of granite countertop) and some which cannot (size of master closet - too small). But all reported very favorable reactions to the cleanliness, the lack of clutter, the special features of the house, the yard and landscaping, the view, etc. When pressed one or two said *maybe* the price is a little on the high side but not by much. At least 3 of the buyers went on to buy a new home with fewer features and/or lesser location. This is hard to compete against, as our home is 17 years old (but immaculate and fully updated).
While we are not in a HUGE hurry we would like to close by around mid-July, else the reason for selling more or less goes away and we might as well stay put. We are not financially distressed, in fact there is no mortgage, and we are thankfully still employed.
At our current asking price and without paying any commission, we will come close to breaking even but not quite. So we know we will lose money (bought in early 2007) but the question is how much. We are very much aware of the market and know lots of people are losing their shirts, but our small area has not suffered much and we have upgraded the home considerably.
We know we have covered all the bases regarding the house itself. Really, the house shows beautifully, everything is in good condition and of quality, and the house itself needs nothing. I don't just say this myself but it is the opinion of a realtor friend (who is too close a friend to do business with, and we mutually agree on this) as well as the 3 or 4 realtors who we interviewed prior to going with the flat-fee. And the ones who showed it.
So... if the argument goes (and I'm not saying it does) that after 5 showings there should be an offer and if there isn't then it must be the price, we are considering one or both of two strategies.
One, reduce the price by around 4%, or $25K. The other, offer the buyer's agent a bonus, either .5% or $5000 (the latter is a larger figure). The buyer's agent at the moment is slated to receive 3%, very much standard in this market.
The problem in reducing the price is this leaves us almost no room for negotiation IF we aim to get a certain figure. Of course, we could just accept less, but we aren't mentally there yet. With the realtor spiff, we're thinking it could nudge some out there to focus on our home. I realize this can be a hot topic, with discussion of ethics etc (a realtor should show the house regardless of commission, but we all know that realtors don't show FSBOs where there is no agent commission, so why wouldn't it work on the other end of the monetary spectrum?)
So, what would you do? As a third strategy we could just... wait.