Drive-by shoppers (aargh!)

herusMay 6, 2010

So we dropped our price $25k, from 675 to 650 AND changed the realtor commish from 3 to 3.5. We are at nearly 6 weeks from the original listing date, about 12 separate showings not counting returns. One of these seemed like it would become an offer (3 visits) but fizzled due to their inability to put in a pool due to city ordinance.

We had a showing today, couple with a baby less than 1 year old. Now this part is a bit of a vent, so I hope you will indulge me. My wife and I take about 3 hours to prep the house for showing. Part of this is the house size (5000 sf), part is our (ok, my) being a stickler for perfection... getting everything spic-n-span clean, polish, candles, the whole works. Every realtor has commented on how cleanly our house shows, as well as how beautiful the yard is, the home too, etc.

The showing today lasted exactly 8 minutes. I had told the realtor that I would be home as I had to attend a conference but would stay in my office while they toured. I met them at the door and then went to the office. Before I could look up from my screen they were ready to go! They made some noises about the baby keeping them on a tight schedule, etc. It did occur to me to wonder if they had heard of babysitters.

Now most of our showings have lasted about 25 minutes (this is the first time I was home, but we usually go up the hill where we can observe without being seen). One other one lasted about 12 minutes... what is the deal with this? I mean, who can see 5000 sf in about 10 minutes? This not counting the back yard, where some people spend 10-15 minutes alone (it has a lake).

I thought about this later and it seemed they had rejected the house even before they walked in the door. Maybe as it is below street level (which happens partly because we have lake access). I can't imagine what else. They then left to see a home in the neighborhood that is priced $20K higher, has a (mostly) unfinished basement (which translates to less than 4000 sf finished space), lesser lake view and is synthetic stucco (compared to our brick). For those in this area (GA) you will recognize stucco as the kiss of death around here; I once heard it can take 10-15% off the price compared to brick. So I don't think our price is crazy high or anything; all the realtors I talked to said it "seemed ok", particularly given that it has a lake, is fully updated, etc.

This particular showing has lowered our morale considerably. I'm sure it will recover but just wanted to vent.

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    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 3:25PM
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I hear your frustration and can sympathize. Selling a house is stressful particularly when you've done everything you can and the rest depends on the buyer.

Your house is beautiful. I love the openness. I'd like that tub in my master. The view of the lake there reminds me of my family's property in Arkansas.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 3:55PM
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We recently had a showing on our house that lasted only a few minutes (I wasn't there but someone who had been at the house before the showing had to return to pick up something and happened to see the people leaving soon after arriving). The feedback we received was that buyer didn't like the layout.

On the house we sold several years ago, we had a showing scheduled, left for it, etc. Feedback from agent was that buyer didn't like the house from the outside and chose not to go in (there was nothing wrong with the house, she just didn't like it). OK.

Several weeks later same agent sets another showing, we leave, etc. Feedback is it was the same client who had reconsidered and wanted to see the house but when arrived wouldn't go in.

Go figure.

When I was looking at houses I would almost always drive by before scheduling a showing. There were a lot of houses that I liked in the listing but when I drove by the house I didn't like. There was the house that looked great in the listing, but when I got there the neighborhood was not appealing (to say the least). Another house looked great, but I drove by the house on a weekend and realized that the seemingly quiet road it was pm wasn't at all quite on weekends as it was the main roadway to the boat dock for a major lake.

In other instances I've gone into a house and within a few feet realized that the house had some feature that meant I would have no interest in it. There would be something about the room layout or whatever and I wouldn't be interested. But I might go ahead and look through it to be polite but really I had made my mind up.

Also for houses at the top of the price range I was looking at...they would need to be perfect for me to be interested. We recently bought a house that is not perfect. It needs a lot of updating including adding a real master bath. But the price was low enough and the location great enough that I didn't care. However, if the price had been on the high end then as great as the location was I would have rejected the house since I wouldn't have wanted to have to put that much money into it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 4:07PM
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Usually people can tell in the first few minutes if it is the house for them. I know that you spent a lot of time prepping, but would you rather that they hang out for 20 more minutes even if they have no intention of buying your house?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 4:25PM
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"The feedback we received was that buyer didn't like the layout."

That's probably it. If the layout of the public rooms (kitchen, dining, living) aren't exactly what I want, the rest simply doesn't matter... I've become a bit more flexible now, but those three rooms are still KEY -- and If I don't like them, why waste my time? (Yeah, if the owners were there, I might ooooh and ahh just to be nice. But with a small baby? Nope --

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 4:29PM
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I looked at around 50 houses before we found this one and only spent more than 10 minutes in a quarter of them. No point in wasting anyone's time if it wasn't what I was looking for. Some of them were quite lovely, but just not for me. Also, if I'd had to line up a babysitter for every "possibility", I would have missed seeing a lot of houses. Including this one, which I had totally overlooked because there were no pictures in the listing, but fell in love with the second I walked in the front door.

While I feel for the amount of effort you put into this showing, I don't think eight minutes makes the buyers any less valid than the 10 others who spent three times as long poking around and didn't put in an offer.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 5:08PM
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As a buyer's agent I usually schedule 3-4 showings per hour for the tour, that includes driving. I actually prefer for the sellers remain in the house and just walk out when we arrive in stead of having to be out for 1.5-2 hours.

Also noticed that watching your visual tour generates multiple pop ups that are getting blocked by most of the browsers. Not sure why this is not sold yet. The price seems good for the size and location.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 6:11PM
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I can certainly understand the OP's frustration after spending so much prep time, but the couple did nothing wrong or inappropriate by spending only a brief time or by not hiring a babysitter. The house wasn't right for them for whatever reason and spending more time would have been a waste of everyone's time. One's home is so very personal--and rightly so--which is one reason a lot of agents don't want the seller around when a prospective buyer comes over to look.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:05PM
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herus ~

Even by my Midwest prices in Kansas City your home is just lovely. I have a suggestion and a question. The suggestion is that you have two pictures (of the 16) that show your backyard. The lawn looks straw-colored because we all just came out of winter. Could you retake those since I am sure the grass is much darker green.

The question I have is about your kitchen. From the one picture it makes your space look very small. I think that is because it is taken straight looking at it. If the kitchen is larger than it appears perhaps taking more of a side profile would show what you have. Right now it doesn't look like it has much cupboard or counter space. Retaking that one picture might be a help. I consider the kitchen one of the main things that just has to work for me. Your pricing is at $650K so I bet that most folks expect a pretty great kitchen with appliances and space for that.

Let me know what you think of my two ideas.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:23PM
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I'm with everyone else here -- it's for them or it's not. No sense wasting time. Since I just went through all of this with a 3 year old and a 10 month old (at the time), and since it was a househunting trip while relocating, I couldn't hire a babysitter. Plus, the mom could've been breastfeeding or the child going through separation anxiety, so babysitters aren't always feasible. Believe me, if I could've, I would've! It's much easier to only have to get myself out of the car to see a house (or 5 or 10!) instead of two kids in car seats.

To make it easier on myself, I didn't schedule the realtor to show me anything until I had narrowed down my "looks good on the MLS" list some. We spent the first two days of our trip driving by houses on our list, looking at things like neighborhood, school/grocery/church proximity, curb appeal, etc. We were able to quickly whittle the list to 8 houses. We looked at those 8 in a 3 hour period. Some I walked in and new immediately it wasn't for me, but I still looked at the entire house just because I'm a curious sort of person. If I really liked it, I spent more time. It was a pretty simple formula.

I think that lots of sellers feel like they've been "burned" like you do -- that's the only excuse I can up with for the absolutely filthy houses we toured (they were picked up, but just grimy!). Maybe they figured it wasn't worth their time to clean anything up since people may not like it. Four months later, many of those houses are still on the market and we're building a house because we couldn't find what we needed/wanted.

Good luck to you! Don't give up -- keep cleaning up, sprucing up, and keeping things tidy. An offer will come. :)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:35PM
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Well, Murphy's Law says the first time you say to heck with it, and don't make the beds and the cat gacks up on the sofa it'll be the time when the really serious buyers come to visit.

They may have even been talked into viewing your home by an agent who knew it didn't meet their criteria but thought they'd change their minds when they saw it. I had an agent who did that to me repeatedly. I didn't change my mind, I changed my agent.

It may have been a job transfer and they may not have been local and had no choice but to bring the baby with them, since they wouldn't know where to find childcare.

You just don't know, and you just can't speculate or take it personally. You evidently love your home. It shows. Somebody else will too and it'll happen. The eight minute visit doesn't sound like recreational house viewing. Now that is even more peevish. Some people do that too, you know.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:57PM
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As someone that has been relocated frequently I can tell you that we'd look at a lot of homes in a weekend. Unfortunately, if we would walk into a home and see something that wouldn't work for our family, we would quite often spend only a few minutes. No need to waste anyone's time on a home that wasn't suitable. I've also been on your end when selling a home. Spent lots of time to keep the home looking show ready only to have some people spend a few minutes in the home. That just comes with the territory. It's not going to go away, you can't force people to spend more time in a home then they're going to spend!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:12AM
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Here's a clickable link to your home. It is gorgeous, but I do agree with the poster above that the kitchen picture is lacking and does make the kitchen look small. Have you ever heard the saying that "kitchens sell homes"? You need a picture showing more than the breakfast bar.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 8:56AM
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Thanks to all who responded. I appreciate it, and understand the main theme in the replies, that sometimes that's what happens, as it is the buyer's prerogative. I'll deal with it. For the record, the couple was local, which makes it more puzzling why they have to hit 20 (or whatever) homes in one day with baby in tow. But they have their reasons, which I will never know.

Also thanks for the comments on the pics. There are more kitchen pics in the virtual tour. I agree that one isn't the best, but frankly, even though the kitchen in real life impresses everyone who sees it, it doesn't photograph so well, or at least present itself completely in one photo. There are several subtle things (built-in swing-outs, cabinet wings (I don't know the real word for it, but it's like a cabinet within a cabinet, for efficiency of retrieval of small items), sliders, etc) that can't easily be shown in pics. Also the quality of the cabinets. The neighbors tell me the previous owners spent about $60K on the remod, some 6 years ago. Same neighbors saw it the other day and said it looks brand new.

The virtual tour guy comes in and takes pics of what he does normally. He can be guided to some extent but generally sticks with an agenda. But I will contact the company and see what I can get done.

Agree about the lawn also. Actually that has been on my list for a few days now.

Not sure about the multiple popups... they don't happen on my PC but I've got a bunch of software installed that probably deals with that.

Speaking of software, sorry for the crude link. I know better, but forget. As I have a tool called 'Linkification' installed (converts all those to real links, quite handy) I tend to forget to use the boxes at the bottom of the post. Thanks for the correction.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:29AM
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Your home is beautiful. When I viewed your photos with those buyers -- parents of a young child -- in mind, it struck me that your lovely back yard next to the water would have screamed "HAZARD" to me when my kids were little. Currently, as a parent of teens, I wouldn't want my upstairs and downstairs so open to each other. Those factors are clear in photos, though, so I wouldn't have wasted anyone's time asking for a tour. After reading that they were local, I'll bet they were either nosy nellies or ready to put their own home on the market.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 11:36AM
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idrive65, yes I forgot to mention that I have talked to a couple of realtors who said they wanted to show the house when the mom informed them the water would be an issue, so they didn't request a showing. (these are two realtors who showed the home to other shoppers and I was chatting with them after that fact, after they informed me how much they personally liked the home and would bring buyers if possible. This was while comm was still 3% btw).

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:07PM
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Sometimes people walk in and immediately sense that the home is more formal than what they would care to live in, or too casual, or it's too modern, or too traditional, or they hate the carpet color, wall paper, faux finish.... etc. who knows?

I've sold several homes of this size and had showings that took 2 hours or more and others that were in and out in minutes. However, as another poster mentioned, they could just be guaging the market to see how their home stacks up, or be the nosey couple from the other side of the lake.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 3:16AM
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However, as another poster mentioned, they could just be guaging the market to see how their home stacks up, or be the nosey couple from the other side of the lake.

Actually, if either of these were the case, they would probably spend more time in the house than someone who realizes that it's just not for them from the get go.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 9:19AM
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Terriks makes a good point. In any case, it sounds like the couple did nothing inappropriate by leaving once they quickly realized the house just wasn't for them for whatever reason. There may be nothing wrong with the house at all, just not right for them.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 12:28PM
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I feel for you. We just closed on our house Mar. 1 and had it listed for 4 months. We did the same thing, spent every weekend cleaning, shining every piece of metal, washing windows each time it rained. I was so impressed with how my house looked (never looked that good before) I couldn't understand why people weren't fighting over it.

A few times we would hide at our neighbors house to watch. A few times I got stuck in the house and couldn't leave. I would make me ill to see people leave in a few minutes. I couldn't understand why they didn't fall in love immediately with my house. It was as perfect as we could make it.

We had so many showings, I lost count. We were exhausted cleaning all the time. We were tired of 'not living in the house' fixing and cleaning constantly. It was so emotional, still is. We loved our house and always will. We loved the beauty of our property. We miss our house and always feel like 'going home.'

Someone will walk in and feel like you do. Someone will fall in love with your house immediately. Your house shows the care you have for it. It comes across.

Hang in there,

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 12:06AM
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Herus - When I was house hunting last, I spent less than 5 minutes in most of the houses ... either it "feels right" or it doesn't.
The rejects were for poor kitchen layouts, claustrophobic feeling, poor traffic flow, etc. Things that can't be fixed without structural mods.

When you run into a show-stopper, it's best to stop right there and go on to the next house.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 2:11PM
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After finally selling a house that was on the market for 1.5 years, I can sympathize. I must have prepared the house for over 400 showings!

The absolute worst was a Real Estate Agent who make a showing appointment from 430-530p on the Friday before the 4th of July holiday weekend. I needed to be at home during that time to get ready for a trip. As it turned out, he made appointments at 30 different homes during that time. He and his client had been through our home, and the 30 others before. However, they couldn't remember which ones they liked, and the agent was apparently too lazy to keep notes.

So, his strategy was to make showing appointments at ALL 30 homes from 430-530 that day, drive by them, and upon seeing the home, if they recalled that they liked it, they would go in for a showing.

All I could think of was what an absolute jerk that real estate agent and his client were, to inconvenience 30 households at that time prior to a holiday weekend. It really made me wish there was an online review site for real estate agents, as I wanted to write a complaint about him for everybody to see!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 2:34PM
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It often takes a very short time to spot the things that make a house unsuitable.

I have driven up to houses and never gotten out of the car.

A quick look around the neighborhood on the way in and then a single look at the actual house from the outside and it is not worth even walking up to the door.

If you purchase properties enough times it is not hard to spot many of the problems quickly.

Even after going in it can be a brief look to find problems.

If I spend more than about 10 minutes it generally means I am actually interested.

If I get out binoculars to check the roof and look inside the attic and check the HVAC equipment, water heater, and electrical panel I am really interested.

My last investment property got two visits, the second on over an hour.

My own house was a single 30 minute look around before it was officially 'on the market' and an offer with only an appraisal contingency that night.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 3:57PM
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I belive one knows if its worthwhile looking further within the first minute if its a house that suits ones taste. If it isn't why waste my time , or urs and just hang out for awhile.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:32PM
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This situation also shows the emotional disconnect between buyers and sellers. To the seller, it is their HOME, a home that one hopes is full of wonderful memories. To the buyer, it is just 1 of many different HOUSES they will see. For a host of reasons, potential buyers can rule out a particular house in just a few minutes. Lingering around isn't really doing anybody any good.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 11:27PM
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herus - I think everyone has been there, but you need to distance yourself a bit. You are selling a building. This isn't about your loves, dreams, and memories. This is a business transaction. If you take everything personally, you will drive yourself nuts and potentially cost yourself money.

I would HIGHLY suggest you get out of there for EVERY showing. Nothing good will come of you being in the house for showings. It will just frustrate you and turn off potential buyers. If you have notice, either reschedule any conference calls or find another place to take them. With cell phones and wi-fi, pretty much anyplace on earth can be your "office."

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 10:06AM
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hmm, I get the point (how could I not? :-) )

Thanks for all responses. We have updated the photos with a better photo showing the kitchen's size. Due to the layout it is pretty much impossible to get a shot that shows it in its full glory in one shot but on the virtual tour there are other angles. Also updated for greenery.

We have had maybe 4-5 showings since my last post. At least 3 of these were good enough that I felt they were shortlisted. Yesterday we held an open house and 3 parties came: one was a repeat from a previous OH (he called ahead) and the other was a repeat from a Friday showing (also called ahead, so just one real walkin). I got great vibes from each of the returners but also feel that there is something holding each of them back. I know the immediate reaction would be "price is too high"... but would they come back if that was the case?

Also re price, there are now 3 homes listed in this subdivision, including mine. Here is the rundown:
1. $620K, 4000 sf, 3 sides brick, fully finished basement. NOT on lake. Still has one acre, woods, etc. Listed last week, no photos up yet. Basement adds about 50% more sf.
2. Me, $650K, 3900 sf, 3 sides brick, fully finished basement, on best lake lot in subdivision (really - I verified this by going on the lake). Basement includes very nice home theater, which my friend the realtor (he has no skin in this) thinks adds perhaps $30K to the value of the home). Basement adds about 50% more sf.
3. $670K, 3900 sf, on lake but lesser view, NOT fully finished basement (though partial -- only one room and a bath). The kicker? SYNTHETIC STUCCO which KILLS the value. The repeats from our Friday/Sunday showing went there (we were walking the neighborhood). They spent 30 minutes at our home, 10 minutes there. Basement adds about 50% more sf but only 10-15% if counting only the finished areas.

Now our home is relatively simply furnished. We don't believe in 'going heavy' in decor, furniture etc. As you can see from the photos, it's not shabby, just not elaborate. Can this make a difference? I was thinking, to the superficial buyer, maybe, but at this price range surely they've been able to figure this stuff out, that they are not buying furnishings? (unless the house is being sold that way, which none of these are).

Listing below, be sure to click on the virtual tour.

Here is a link that might be useful: Herus listing

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Comparing your house price to other houses that aren't selling doesn't help you much. All it says is that nobody has bought those houses at those prices either.

And seriously.... you are hanging out at the open house? Get out of there and let your realtor handle it. That is what you are paying for. I know you think you are helping, but you are just driving yourself crazy. Your house looks great. You are getting traffic and second looks, so your pricing is in the right ballpark. That is what you want. Now you have to just be patient let the process play out.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:12AM
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Your home shows beautifully, but I have to agree with Bill not be there for Open Houses!!! The very few times I looked at a home with an owner at home I felt uncomfortable, like I was imposing on them. I didn't feel like I was free to wander about and truly take in the house, I felt rushed. You want your buyers to feel comfortable. You want them to be able to envision themselves living there, not thinking about your life there!!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:27AM
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That kitchen picture is much better. Since as they say, "kitchens sell houses" it wouldn't hurt to have 2 kitchen pictures. You have 2 pictures of the living room - I would eliminate one of those and add another kitchen pic.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 12:01PM
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Ok, I do understand about not being around when buyers are. However, this is a flat-fee-type listing. Due to the lower cost built into this, they charge $75/hour for hosting an open house. So, so far anyway, we are doing it ourselves and pretty much doing it every Sunday. I don't think there are too many realtors, even full service, who will host OHs every Sunday, unless they have nothing else to do in which case I wouldn't want someone like that working for me anyway.

Now we don't follow people around, etc. I give them a five-second intro to the home (bedrooms upstairs, rec room down, etc) then let them go around on their own and catch up with them when they are ready to leave or have questions.

When realtors show the home (except for open house) we are always out. The 8 minute showing was the one time I had to be here, as noted above. I will look into going to a wi-fi area next time.

At the moment there seem to be 3 buyers who have shortlisted the house. As two of these were very recent visits I don't expect anything to happen TODAY, and I just spoke with the agent of the third, who said the hubby is out of town on business but the house is still on their list. Could be just excuses, whatever.

The other homes listed are really the only 'comps' I have. I used quotes because I know true comps are sold ones, but the other sales that have happened here are either too different or too long ago. Except for a foreclosure in VERY poor condition, even those have been fairly good and support my price.

For what it's worth, which I know may not be much: we are in one of four zip codes in the Atlanta area where the paper reports that average prices went up since last year (albeit in the 3-4% range) while dozens of other zips went down, some drastically.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 12:45PM
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I feel your pain. My house is on the market and I'm also looking for another house. I don't like when the owners are anywhere near the house. I don't want to have to think about what they're thinking. I don't want to feel obligated to look at the house or to like the house and I don't want to hurt their feelings. Likewise, when I have a showing I am no where in sight. I do not want to contribute to their judgment of the house.

Now that I have seen quite a bit of what is on the market and have a better idea of what I want, I don't waste my time or the realtor's time by staying long in a house if there are things that are important to us that we see that won't work.

For what it works, your house is what we're looking for .... but in Illinois .. and so far we just can't find it.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:16PM
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For what it's worth, I very much like how you've furnished your house. It's not overly crowded but it's not barren either.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:28PM
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As a buyer, nothing gets me out of the house faster than having the seller hanging around -- I find it deeply uncomfortable at a very basic level to go through another person's house when I know they're there. I can't imagine I'm the only one.

Look, buyers really need to be comfortable in the house if they're going to consider it. They need to be able to do a real hard assessment of the place, think about what they'd do to it, point out things they don't like and do all of that comfortably. Remember, these folks are considering a huge investment.

You might want to just ante up and pay the listing company to show the place.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 12:31PM
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Your drive-by shoppers may be like the posters here who ask why the Realtor drags them to houses that don't meet their needs. You'll never know the real reason, of course, so don't waste too much precious energy thinking about it.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 10:08PM
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I have had the listing text updated as well. Let me know how it reads. It is at the character limit so I cannot add anything without deleting something else of the same size.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to listing

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 6:16PM
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I would take out the part about playing games on the lawn and the Newsweek thing at the end. I hate when people tell me how I should be using a space -- it limits my creativity! I might want to rip up the lawn and put tennis courts in... who knows! As for the school thing -- most people who would be looking at your house already are familiar with the schools and what district they want to be in if it's important to them. That would free up some room for you to add anything else that you think is relevant (for example, I didn't understand if you were saying that the roof and water heater were new and had those warranties remaining...)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 9:13PM
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some people hate to read--
having so much in your description itself is a turn off to them and some of your information is repetitive...

I agree that you have a lovely vista of the lake--but you mention it in almost every paragraph...that is just overkill to me...

School info is always helpful because transfers might want to know that info
you might mention what type of insulation you added, how large the water heaters are and if they are gas or electric, mention that architectural roof lowers ins premiums (at least in my area)

regarding what your friend said about the value of your media room--if you counted that 30K into the price of your house, you probably need to readjust
most people who can afford to spend that much money would probably want to make their own choices--not use yours--and media equipment has a short shelf life--in that something new/cutting edge/highly rated is old-hat in 6 mo...

frankly I would like shot of master closet (if it is large and has storage)...and more shots of your kitchen...and other storage areas like maybe in garage...people love storage...

you have multiple shots of seating area that frankly most people would not use daily unless they had a very large family and/or hosted lots of big parties...but people use their kitchen every day so add more of kitchen...put in shots of other bathrooms as well...

take a shot of what you would see SITTING in the breakfast room -- better close view of the outside area
show that the kitchen is not as closed in as the picture makes it appear

the master bath shot with both mirrors is not that great--take it from an angle or show the master shower closeup--you have two of sink area

I might consider moving the bed in master bedroom so that it is on wall facing the windows/view--
it looks very crowded on the wall it is on--makes the room which I guess if fairly large feel cramped...

take a shot from behind the couch in your family room looking through the French doors over the patio deck to the lake...that looks like a wonderful view...that is definitely a selling point to highlight

you might consider showing the parking area for 8 cars that you mention as well as your dock--
show the lovely patio area under cover down by the lake--only a portion of it shows in the large shot looking back at the house--
frankly that outside stair case is pretty intimidating since it is so high--a family with young children or older members might consider it too challenging--I would omit it from your set and let them see AFTER they get to the house

you do have photos that aren't really that attractive because they were taken in winter and foliage was dead--
update ALL photos or omit the ones that are from past season...your front door photo could use some colorful plants in pots by front steps as well--and take it from little closer in...

I like your colors and you have it well staged--it is a lovely home --I don't want my comments to come across as too critical--they are my opinion--that's all

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:20PM
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ok--checked the featured tour--thought it would be video but was longer slideshow
some of those kitchen photos would serve you well on the main web page
likewise a shot of the dock/chairs now that it is spring/summer...
some of the photos are not doing you any real good--like the one with the ironing board set up in the room--is that extra bedroom or laundry???

always open shower curtains is what my realtor said--people buy tile and want to see it...not curtain that goes with the seller...
I did not find the pantry closet that much of a selling feature--if you do have high-end cabinetry--like pantry doors that open out and fold up--show them or cabinets with shelves that roll out vs just standard doors/shelves

you may have TOO many photos on that featured tour--did you consider that...
too much info can hurt as often as it helps...

I would emphasize the privacy aspect of such a large lot
add sesory details that describe sound, smell, touch, taste, sight as much as you can to your description of your home/property...thorough the seasons

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:44PM
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The description is long, but the text is easy to read because there are paragraph divides.

The house shows so well in the website that changes to the text or photos are not going to increase the chances of selling this house. The right buyer just hasn't come along yet.

You have the house listed with an agent, but the description lists a number to call the owner. I'm surprised that your agent doesn't want the calls coming to her.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:37AM
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Thank you all for the input, please keep it coming. I am in the process of making some changes to the listing based on your feedback.

BTW we worked an offer last week that was acceptable in terms of price and other things, but fell apart due to buyers not being able to build a swimming pool due to proximity to the lake.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:54AM
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Thanks for all responses. We have updated the photos with a better photo showing the kitchen's size. Due to the layout it is pretty much impossible to get a shot that shows it in its full glory in one shot but on the virtual tour there are other angles. Also updated for greenery.

i wonder if you stood on a very tall ladder, on the far side of the living room . . .

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 4:30PM
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Sometimes it takes "awhile" for a realtor to get a sense of what the client is looking for. They talk, the realtor runs a search, lets go look at these, they get there and the clients are thinking "what?" Because they haven't communicated enough or it just takes going through houses together before the realtor can actually figure out what the client likes vs. what they are saying. If people aren't familiar with the specific area or driven by first...people are going to walk in and go, nope. He** I can do that just in the driveway:)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 9:18AM
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