Help! 17 showings in 20 days but no offer :(

jlc49May 11, 2013

Hello all,
I am so stressed out right now, could use some advice. This is a link to our listing.

We've had 17 showings in 20 days, but no second showings and no offers! We seem to be competitively priced. 1/2 acre treed lakefront on fishing lake (3 acre lake). Very few homes on lake come up for sale. We thought the beautiful lot would help facilitate a quick sale but evidently it has not! Downside to home: 2 bedrooms are small (our kids have them). One is decent-sized downstairs, and the master is fine. Kansas City area, good schools, family friendly neighborhood. As for comps, a larger 5 bdrm recently sold for $180 but on a very small lot. 2 forclosures in the subdivision unfortunately JUST sold for 100K (obviously they were not in pristine shape but they will hurt comps I'm told). 4 bdrm homes here with bigger bedrooms on "regular" lots are listing for around $170. Is it time for a $10k price drop? My realtor thinks the market is speaking to us with no offers, and that we should drop now. We are also adding new frieze carpet in 2 days! To add pressure to this, we do need to sell asap for a number of reasons. We don't have the luxary of much time. Thank you in advance for your opinions--they are appreciated!

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I think you know what you need to do...
17 showings with no offers is speaking loudly to you.
Once you lower the price, make sure your agent contacts every single buyer that looked at your home and inform them that you have a new price. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 7:39PM
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The link doesn't take me to your listing. It looks like your account with the local MLS???

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 9:34PM
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While you have a lovely home it isn't showing well. All the furniture is up against the walls. Perhaps post with some of your pictures in the home decorating forum and ask for some help with re-staging it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 10:33PM
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RE: If you go to the site listed above, click on "your home" in the list of homes and then click on MLS, you'll find the OPs house.

Those 17 showings are telling you what you need to do.

When you open the link, click on MLS.

Here is a link that might be useful: OPs house

This post was edited by rrah on Sun, May 12, 13 at 7:55

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 7:53AM
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It's a split entry. That's at least 20-30K off what a regular two storey home comp would sell for. Pricing it low is the only way you have of curing that incurable defect. And you're dealing with foreclosures, that yes, are also your comps. People obviously would like to like it in person so you are getting showings. It's just split entries are hard sells. Advertising it as a 4 bedroom is also a bit deceptive since that 4th bedroom is in the basement, below ground level, where it doesn't count. You are a three bedroom home, not a 4. And with 2 baths, it would appear that there wasn't a bath down there to serve that space, right? Price deduction, again. Below grade footage doesn't count like above grade footage. It's also desirable to have a bath on every level of a home.

The first pic of the home, your "showcase shot", showcases the garage. The house looks like an afterthought. That's a marketing issue though, not a "selling" one. And there are too many pictures overall. Most don't tell the right story. They focus on furniture rather than the space. And there are none of the bathrooms. If there are none of the bathrooms, most people will assume that there is something you're hiding.

Lower the price 20K. Halve the picture number. Take a better head shot, and include the bathrooms. You should sell within a week.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:30AM
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About the pictures--maybe a few less of the outside and more of the inside, to include the bathrooms?

I'd remove the one of the kids fishing--frankly, the angle they are posed at, it looks as if they are going to plunge head first into the water at any second--this will deter many parents who would worry about their kids drowning. Showcase the water, but not the steep angle of the ground leading to it.

Your dining room looks small, but I think that is the way the chairs are clustered around the table. Is there a leaf for the table that you can put in? Then keep the 4 chairs around it and the whole room will look more spacious. Remove the area rug if the enlarged table won't fit on it.

The downstairs family room and bedroom look confusing. You have a room labeled as a bedroom, but it's an office. Then you have a bed in the family room. Buyers want to see clearly defined spaces. Having a bed in the family room is either confusing your buyers or making them think the house is really too small for a family of 4.

Put the bed in the bedroom. You can make it a shared home office/guest room, but get the bed out of the family room, even if you have to put it in storage.

Rearrange the furniture in the family room to make the room seem more welcoming. Put the futon couch below the windows and move the TV to the opposite wall. Or put the TV in the center of the short wall and move the couch out to the center of the room facing it, if traffic patterns allow.

That table under the windows with only two legs--is it bolted or screwed into the wall? I don't have a lot of experience with such tables, but the ones I've encountered are attached to the wall somehow. As a buyer, this wouldn't prevent me from buying the house if everything else about it met my needs, but I also wouldn't be happy about having to deal with holes in the wall and matching paint colors right away. I'd remove the table and patch and repaint the wall.

You can move the home office to the end of the family room and create an office/homework area.

Then take the little desk with the graceful legs that's against the far wall and move it to the living room. Pull the chair out of the corner beside the fireplace and move it to the opposite side of the fireplace, angled to face the couch. Now you've created a conversation area, and people can envision entertaining their friends there. Put the little desk in the corner where the chair used to be, and stage it with a lamp and a few books, to indicate that quiet activities for the grown-ups in the family can happen here, while the loud TV and kids' activities can happen in the family room.

Open up at least one leaf on the kitchen table and move it out from the wall. Right now, the way it is closed up and shoved against the wall makes it look as if the room really doesn't have space for a table that anyone can eat at.

I think your house has nice bones, but the pictures aren't doing it justice. If the captions weren't underneath the photos, I wouldn't be able to tell the family room from the living room, or even that it wasn't just a large bedroom.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:50AM
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In the slideshow, you don't see the inside of the house until you get to photo #9.

I agree with editing down the photos. Picture # 22 shows 3 pieces of furniture and a door to somewhere. I would remove photos 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 15, 22, and either 19 or 20. I would remove 12 and 13 and replace with a better living room shot. And add at least one bathroom photo.

If the dining room is small, you could remove the corner cupboard.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:32AM
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I am confused by some things in the listing. You say it has 4 bedrooms, but picture only 3. There is a bed in a family room so that is presumably not the 4th bedroom. So where is the 4th bedroom? All bedrooms should be pictured.

I agree with the comments about the pictures of kids on the bank. It accentuates the slope which isn't positive. I would remove those pictures.

I would have more pics of the inside sooner. Agree that you could take out some of the bad pics and have a picture of the bathrooms. I always wonder why there is no bathroom picture.

Is there a utility room? If so, I like to see a picture of it.

All that said - It sounds like price is an issue.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 1:00PM
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Drop the price 10-15k and you very likely can get on of those lookers to become a buyer.

We had same situation, 11 showings and two second showings with no offer in 25 days.

We dropped price and just got offer that is being negotiated as we speak.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 6:35PM
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I rarely show pics of bedrooms except the master... they all look the same. 4 walls and a window or two, a floor and a ceiling... whooopeee. If there are unusual features in a bedroom, then I will capture that.
All the comments above are correct and useful, but they are not the reason why those 17 buyers said no thanks.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 8:03PM
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ncr - Maybe it is my suspicious nature, but I always figure if something isn't pictured there is a reason and the reason may be that there is something wrong with the room.

Also, with kids and wanting to have a desk in kids rooms, layout can be critical. Some rooms don't allow for there to be room for a bed and have room for, say, a bookcase and a desk and a chair. In those situations, I don't want to go and look at the house if I know it won't work for us.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:04PM
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ncreal- That is horrible way to market a house IMO

As said above, the MLS images online can leave buyers like me with many questions about why something like bedrooms are not shown. The pictures help guide what kind of trim, interior doors, and flow of the house.

The only reason for not showing something in a house with an online listing is because there is something wrong with it or the perception thereof. Or, perhaps just a lazy agent. Sorry, but that's exactly what I think when I see agents post a scant number of images.

Maybe you're too use to selling in the cookie cutter subdivsions......

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 3:56AM
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I am allowed 16 pictures. I don't want to waste 4 of them on 4 walls and a floor, unless there is some unique feature in the room.
Showing a picture of a bedroom does not suggest how a floorplan flows.
Marie Nut, I mainly buy and sell on Lake Norman where every house is unique from the other. Not only the interiors, but especially the exteriors.
The OP needs to sell fast for some important reason. Fidgeting with pictures and furniture is not the correct advice for these sellers.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Drop the price. Price always sells.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:22AM
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If you are in a hurry, then dropping the price is the sure way to make a quick sale happen.

If you have time to take a breath first, then find out not just what comparable homes are listing for, but what they have sold for, and incorporate that information into your decision.

What feedback has your agent received on the 17 showings?

There's a lot of feedback in this thread, but the thing they're omitting is how these attributes compare to the ones that are selling in your neighborhood. If everything's a split level, then you don't have an incurable defect. And to be honest, I'm not sure that the photos are what's deterring people, because you've certainly had plenty of traffic through your house. They're seeing something on their visit that they don't like, or that makes it not worth your asking price, in their minds. So you correct that by either fixing the problem or lowering the price. Keep in mind that sometimes people's reasons for not buying are not "problems" per se. For example, someone may not want a lot on the lake because they're afraid their kid will fall in and drown. So you don't fill in the lake or drop the price to reel in the lake-hater. You wait for a lake lover to come along.

I'd focus on getting the feedback from the showings you've had, and go from there.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Remove the wedding photos above the bed. But seriously: Declutter and depersonalize as much as possible.
I'd also have your realtor get feedback from the agents whose potential buyers looked at the house. Then you'll know what to address.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Doing a quick search of the homes in your area, your price seems to be competitive with other homes that offer the same thing. The problem, there are ALOT OF HOMES for sale that offer the same thing for the same price. If you want to sell quicker, be the best deal out there, not just one of the same. Lower your price.

I agree with NCR, I do not post pictures of bedrooms either. Most look more like you are taking a picture of the bed and you dont get a feel for the floor plan or bedroom. Also, if everyone has seen everything there is to see in the pictures, whats the point of coming to look at the house. The object is to entice people to come look, not have them rule it out because they have already seen it all.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 8:10AM
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I'm sorry, but how many sq. ft are in this home? I searched the initial info and could not find it. Also, there is no listing of sq. ft. for the first floor. The info may be below, but I don't have the patience to play hide'n seek. If I'm irritated and impatient by this lack of basic information, what will the buying public feel?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 1:45PM
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Also, if everyone has seen everything there is to see in the pictures, whats the point of coming to look at the house. The object is to entice people to come look, not have them rule it out because they have already seen it all.

No. The object is to sell the house, not to get people to come look. Both as a buyer and a seller I appreciate it when people look at photos and realize the house doesn't meet their needs and then don't come. As a buyer I know what I need. Listings which obscure stuff by not showing all relevant info are ones that I usually pass over. I used to go and look and almost invariably found that rooms not pictured had something wrong with them or were hiding that the seller was being cute with the listing. The listing that said it had 4 bedrooms and had a garage apartment which would mean 5 total bedrooms (most don't include garage apartments in the number of bedrooms in the house in the listings here) but when we got there were a total of 4 bedrooms. Or the house I actually looked at that said it had a dining room, a living room and a study. That is 3 rooms (2 of which we wanted to use as DH and my study). I got there and there were 2 rooms - they were double counting the dining room and the study. What I learned from that was if a room isn't in the pictures where you can count each room in the listings then the room may not exist.

Or the house that had all these listing photos (all the bedrooms) but had no picture of the living room. I never went and look at it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 2:26PM
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I don't think the photos are the issue, since people are coming to look! Have you got any feedback from the relator? Usually the issue is price.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 12:50AM
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Hello again and thanks for all the suggestions--I appreciate them. GOOD NEWS! We reduced the price by 10k, added frieze carpet on the main floor and received a full asking price-plus offer this week. We're very pleased. Thanks again

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Good news and Good Luck! Thanks for letting us know!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:10AM
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    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Congratulations, jlc49

Also, if everyone has seen everything there is to see in the pictures, whats the point of coming to look at the house. The object is to entice people to come look, not have them rule it out because they have already seen it all.

I am so glad you, a Realtor, wrote that, linda117 because I couldn't agree more. I think people do themselves such a disservice posting a million pictures online which allows potential buyers to dismiss the house without ever viewing the house in person. The more bodies through the house, the more chance of a sale in my opinion, so don't show it all online - leave a bit of mystery.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 12:57PM
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