Trying to keep my morale up

sandi0905May 22, 2010

We are relocating from chicago to Kansas City Kansas. We have had our house listed on the market since Oct 09. We listed at an inflated price back in Oct. just to put the house out there, but I had to remain in chicago with my kids throughout the school year. I couldn't leave until now. We know have dropped the price 100,000.00 since then, and now it is priced right. Problem is I had more traffic in at the higher price ranges, and nothing now that I have lowered the price. I am at a loss on what to do. Feedback I had at the higher prices was that I have a low spot in my basement due to heating duct work, and that I do not have granite counter tops. We are now offering to put granite in for the buyer....they just have to pick the color. I can't fix the duct work. What else can I do to attract the buyers? Lower the price again?

Here is the house:

Thanks in advance! Just want to live with my husband again...:(

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know nothing about your market so I can't comment on that at all.

The listing says the house was built in 1923-and says only the foundation is original. I assume it was a teardown and is actually new but the wording seems inconsistent.

The mention of "new flood control system" just makes me think flooding is a problem. Maybe flooding is a problem in your area and everyone knows it so mentioning the control system is a positive in your area.

The last picture of the back deck seems to feature a large apartment building nearby. That would be a turn off for me. Can the picture be taken toward your house?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would neutralize the paint and use a much lighter color throughout the house. I know that if I were looking to buy your house, the colors would not work with a majority of stuff I own particularly in the bedrooms. I would remove the wallpaper in the yellow room.

I would also redo the pictures. The picture of the front of your house is an odd angle. The second picture doesn't focus on the relevant area. The lighting is blurred in several photos.

In the picture of your kitchen it looks like you are looking straight at the neighbors house. I would de-emphasize that by possibly partially closing the blinds or adding sheer curtains. I would also remove the border and put in more neutral curtains in the kitchen and dining room and possibly add a rug to the kitchen. Take down religious items like the cross to the right of the bar.

In looking further, you have several rooms including the master bath where you can see your neighbor's house out the windows. Personally, I would put curtains or blinds to cover that, but maybe other people wouldn't have an issue with it.

The yellow bedroom needs to be decluttered. The wallpaper, stuff on the bed and next to the dresser are distracting in the picture. Also, if you need the bulletin board, keep it, but remove the other stuff that is stuck to the wall below it.

Weight equipment shouldn't be the focus of a picture.

It looks like you have a nice back patio. I don't like the angle of the picture because you're looking at a building. Depending upon what the view really is back there, I might bring in some bigger potted plants to sort of screen it to make it look more private.

Overall, your house looks neat and clean and organized.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have a lovely house, but it seems like part of the problem may be that you're one of the most expensive houses in the neighborhood.

Based on Zillow:
* A lot of the not-for-sale houses immediately around you are valued in the $250,000-$350,000 range.
* There are 121 houses for sale in your neighborhood.
* 3 of them are priced above $600,000.
* 4 of them (including you) are priced $500,000-$600,000.
* 12 of them are priced $400,000-$500,000.

Even though your home may be priced fairly given how nice it is, if Zillow is accurate and it's in a neighborhood of significantly less expensive homes, that fact alone may be stopping buyers from choosing it. I've been looking at houses in a particular town, and there are two that are currently on the market that I really like but haven't made an offer on. One of them is the highest-priced house in its neighborhood by a long shot. On the face of it, the other is in line with its neighborhood... but it doesn't have a finished basement and most of the other homes in its neighborhood do. If you factor in the cost of finishing the basement, it becomes one of the highest-priced homes in the neighborhood. In both cases, the price they're asking is something I would be willing to pay if the other homes in the neighborhood were in the same range. I'd also be willing to buy a house that's a little more expensive than most of the houses in a neighborhood... but I won't buy one that's a lot more expensive. It just seems like it would be asking for trouble during resale, assuming a lender would even go for it to begin with.

I don't know if there's a good solution for you, and I really do have a lot of sympathy for your situation. If that's what's going on, it's crummy that the houses around you are cutting down on your options.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think Sovra has a point...I'm familiar with the Norwood Park area of Chicago, and although your home is lovely and may be well priced for the size -- it is one of the more expensive homes in Norwood Park.

As for seeing other buildings out the window -- that's part and parcel of buying in's only a 50 foot wide lot!! People know that if they're buying in that area they're going to be very close to the neighbors.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 11:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was reading some projections in Fortune Magazine and it shows the Chicago Metropolitan area homes as depreciating in it's projection (2007-2014) and Kansas City home appreciating. It also shows your existing home as around the median price and the median price for a home in K.C. to be almost half of what they are in Chicago.

IOW if you have equity in this house you can afford to take a hit on it and expect finding a new home of comparable style to be cheaper and a better short term investment.

I think your home is lovely, and I think in the pictures it shows well. I don't know how much more you can modify it and still live in it. IOW it doesn't strike me as cluttered at all. And, in a metropolitan area, of course you can see buildings through the windows. City dwellers expect that.

I also don't know your market. What are the ages of the homes around you? Is your higher price based on improvements made to the original structure? Are the homes around you of a similar style? I think your primary mistake was overpricing the home when you put it on the market a year ago. I don't understand that tack. All you have accomplished by that in the end run is an old listing who looks more desperate to sell.

I am an Army brat. I understand parents not wanting to change their kids school systems mid-year....but isn't the end of the world. We survived numerous school transfers. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can get moved by summer's end.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is a clickable link to your listing.

I think that your biggest problem is probably that you overpriced your home to start with, and it is now "stale". Since I don't know your market, I can't tell if it is still overpriced, but based on sovra's input, it may be.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 11:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with everything adellabedalla said about the rooms and what is needed to make them more buyer friendly.

It's unfortunate that tho the house was built in 1923 it has none of the charm from that time period. It looks like it was a total gut and redo which made it into a cookie cutter house. Given that Chicago is famous for it's various building designs that's a huge negative.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 12:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My home was for sale for a year so I completely sympathize. We moved to a furnished rental in our new town and left the house as is. It looks like we will finally close on 6/11 for 88% of a very aggressive list price. There are 18 other homes for sale in my neighborhood and my neighbors are going to be pi$$ed when they see our sale price.

One piece of advice I can give is that we did take our home off the market for a few weeks in the winter. So, when the spring selling season started, we looked like a new listing. I think that helped us versus other stale houses in our neighborhood.

I wish you luck and patience. Perhaps a major melt down might help. :) I had one and we got a contract 10 days later.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just looked at bairdandwarner's website, doing a search for Norwood Park...if I wanted to buy a gut rehab bungalow in Norwood Park, I can find a few under $550k and some also under $499k.

You are priced too high. I don't think there's anything wrong with your paint colors and anyone looking in your area is going to know that homes are close together. Price is your problem.

We're in Oak Park, not looking to buy or sell but we spoke with our realtor last weekend. She said that the buyers out there now are in 2 groups: those looking for the cheap (under $300k) homes and those looking for very high $ homes. Unfortunately, you're in the middle.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 6:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We just sold a 4BR house in California, and your market is probably very different, but here are my suggestions.

If you're not getting any real interest, it might still be priced too high. Did your agent give you a recent (last 6 months) competitive market analysis? Have you visited all the nearby homes currently for sale with 4 or 5 bedrooms in your price range? Someone suggested Zillow, which is unlikely to be very accurate for comps.

I really recommend some re-staging and then re-doing the photos. The current photos seem small, and the rooms look dark, and with only 9 of them it's hard to get a real sense of the spaces. I agree completely with Adellabedella: neutralize the colors, remove the wallpaper borders, de-clutter, remove the cross on the wall. Consider hiring a company like Vicaso to do the photos ( -- we used them and the photos were terrific, and not very expensive. Get at least 20 photos and pick the best; take a couple of photos of the kitchen, get a fireplace shot, show the yard, etc.

I looked at your listing on Redfin ( and only then did I realize that you have a pool. It made me realize how short your property description is -- you and your agent could say a lot more about the house (with text and photos) to help buyers see the value.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 11:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with the other posters. Because of the size and angles of your rooms, I would hire a professional photographer to get the best pictures. Talk to that person about lighting and how to do the window treatments in order to show your home to it's best. I don't think the paint colors are a deal breaker, since they're not weird or anything. The only one that might be a little bright in person would be the yellow room... and yes, the border needs to go.

Then take a really hard look at price... that's the real reason houses don't sell.

We also did what deee did -- moved to the new city, lived in a corporate rental apt with rented furniture while we tried to sell our house in the old city. Not fun, but our house DID sell, with the help of a dedicated agent and a support network of neighbors who made sure it was always in tip-top shape before/after showings, and we are moving into our brand new home in the new city next week.

Good luck! I know you just want to move on... it WILL happen. :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am not from your area but do spend lot of time checking my area MLS--agree that your photos would benefit from being retaken--and your house from being decluttered/staged before then...

the fact that I can see so many lights on IN the photos makes me think subliminally that your house is dark on the inside--I don't like dark houses--so I probably would not want to come view yours---right price or not...

make sure that the lights are NOT on and the photos are lit well-enough that the rooms show well in new photos...

your staircase looks like a nice feature point--maybe show more of it in new photos...

regarding the photo of your outside deck--
it looks old and like it needs to be refinished--
powerwash it and put some stain on it--
put some bright pot plants around the deck for color

buy some new patio furniture from a discount store--nice dark wicker with colorful pillows just for the photos and then return it...

put up a sunsail to block the view of the apt complex behind your lot--even if the sun in that direction is not a problem--or
if you can afford it--get some lath screen and put it up on that corner and add some ivy or outdoor curtains

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 9:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Home sellers: Terrible experience with realtors?
Hi there, I'm getting ready to sell my house and need...
Home Buyers Please Vote: Would you rather ...
1. A $2,000 kitchen appliance allowance or any stainless...
Negative connotation of listing "As is"?
I'll try to put our situation as simply as possible: We...
Preparing to list starter home w/o dishwasher etc.: how big a problem?
When I bought it and redid the kitchen, I replaced...
Being Sued for Home Sale
We had our home built in 2003.It was our dream home.Half...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™