Why isn't my house selling?? What to do now?

marciab10June 10, 2011

We built our dream home starting in 2007, unfortuneatly we waited a few months too long to put the house we were living in up for sale. We put our house up for sale in Jan 2008, had it listed until Dec, dropping the price from 779,000 to 669000, then decided to rent it out.(Until 2008 similar homes were selling for high 7's all day long) We've had 2 renters since Jan 2009 and that worked out well. When our current renters left in April I thought I would try to sell again.

The home is in a very nice pool and tennis court community in the far western burbs of Chicago. Because we had custom built that home as well, its a little above average in amenties compared to some of the other homes. They all have nice kitchens and granite, etc. The minimum sq was 3600 our house is 4300 with finished basement. We have extra trim and radiant heat in garage and basement and lots of other extras.. anyway

When we originally rented, we thought the housing market might come back in a few years. Ha! So this time I listed at 624,900, and now are at 599,000. Their are currently 14 homes for sale in the subdivision, 7 under contract. We are the lowest priced home currently available and when you compare price psf we are 15% lower than any other house and 25% lower on the upper end.

The house is currently vacant. And even though my last tenants showed the home, their decorating and furniture didn't do much to help.(those are the pix on MLS) I thought the key this time would be $$$.

I have also put it up for rent again.. both other times I rented very quickly to quality people.. the rent inventory for this kind of home compared to the last two times I've rented is very low.. but nothing happening there either.

WHAT to do now?????

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If you have horrible pictures on the MLS, that is the most obvious "Why isn't my house selling?" answer. If you let you tenants decorate the place and then didn't update before selling, that is #2.

#3 isn't fixable. It sounds like you over-improved for your neighborhood. It doesn't pay to be the biggest or have the most extras. PSF is only a good measure if the homes are comparable in size. Are you counting your basement in those calculations?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:02AM
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Maybe it's just me, but I'd be a little squeamish about buying an expensive house with a rental history or that is currently for rent. I guess I'd be wondering if the past renters didn't care for it properly or if the owners could be uncaring landlords (I know this isn't the case with you!). I think I'd be quicker to consider looking at a simply vacant house rather than one that's up for rent. If you can financially not rent it and then control the quality of the showings yourself (rather than depend on your renter), maybe that would help.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 11:25AM
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if the current renters just left in April - you have not had much time to show this home vacant.

You need to get all new photos in MLS with the home vacant. If your price is good for the subdivision, then get a sign rider that has the price and also get a rider that says 2400 sq ft,

You do have flyers out front near the sign, right? If not, get some.

Then it is just a matter of waiting until it sells. it sounds like things are moving in your subdivision. Sounds like your new price is very aggresive. But things down't happen overnight when you reduce your price.

You "lost" those prior lookers that passed on your home because it was overpriced or because it was badly shown due to renters. Now you need to wait until new lookers see the place in its new condition/price.

Can your realtor contact other lookers and tell about the price reduction, especially if they might have shown interests if the price was better? problem is, many of those already bought other homes.

why are you going to rent again? Can you give a few more months to sell. this is a great time of year to sell in Chgo and also half the homes in subdivision are under contract, so this area has lots of action.

Get those new pics done TODAY. what is your agent doing to get the new price out there other than MLS? Don't start contcting folks about new price until those pix are updated.

post a link here for review.

if you MUST rent, there are companies that find renters with nice furniture and you get month to month renters that allow it to be shown while they live there. the rent is lower, but it is a win-win if you want the home to show well and sell. showcase homes might have been one company. I am sure chgo has many of these. look in yellow pages under property mgt or similar.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 11:26AM
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I agree with billl. It's still most likely to be your price. Your "improvements and upgrades" aren't "investments." You aren't going to be able to get your money back on over improvements. It actually makes your home more difficult to sell. Mostly because homeowners think they should be able to charge much more for their home. Yes, you can get a slight bit more on updated and nicely appointed home, but not nearly as much as sellers think. It won't cure an incurable defect like being the largest and nicest home in the neighborhood. That's a liability, not an asset.

Post your link to your MLS listing here and you'll get lots of opinions from unbiased strangers that can help you zero in on your issues. And don't take anything personally. This is a business transaction and you're selling a house not your home.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 11:39AM
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Thank you so far for all your comments..

I didn't say they were 'horrible' pictures.. of course I just thought it looked nicer when we lived there And I stated I felt my home was a little above average because we custom built it for ourselves. There were also alot of spec homes. I don't feel we are over improved. Homes(not including a few forclosures have sold between 550,000-750,000(in my section) there is a newer section were a 1.6 home just went under contract.
I am interested what others think of the pictures.. Should I have new ones taken? Only 2 rooms are painted blue, 1BR and the DR is only 1/2 blue.. lower has all wood. The rest of the house is pretty neutral with neutral carpet.

RE: rental. Since they are 2 seperate listings, I doubt people looking to buy would even know its up for rent, or that it had been rented. We still live in the area, and like I said the two rental people we had came out of even more expensive homes and took just as good care if not better! than us..

live_wire_oak.. I DO understand, especially at this point! I am selling a house and not my home.. we have moved on.. right now I just want it sold. Thank you all..

Here is a link that might be useful: house link

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 12:21PM
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I think you are telling us where you house stands in comparison to other LISTINGS. What have houses SOLD for recently?

Have you considered a least-to-buy arrangement, or can you help finance a buyer?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 12:26PM
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FWIW with the exception of the master bedroom I did not get a sense of the rooms from your photos.
I saw a photo of a dining room table, a photo of a sofa, a photo of a kitchen table, a photo of a kitchen island, a photo of a bathtub, a photo of a pool table, etc.
Back up to the doorways or furthest corners, zoom out, and try to capture some sense of space- make it look like 4300 sq.ft.
IMO it does not.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Found a great article on taking photographs- see link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beautiful Home photos

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 1:04PM
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homes are listed for 589-1.6 with both the 589 and 1.6 being under contract. Homes are selling for between 550-750, except for the few foreclosures.short sales that went for 450-500. there are no current foreclosures or short sales on the market.

We do have the home listed that we will consider lease option or contract sale.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 1:24PM
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I'm chiming in as someone who has been in the Chicago market lately. We were not looking in your area, because my husband must be walkable to train to commute to the city. However, we were in this price bracket. We sold a lovely home in the DC market in the mid 600's. We assumed we would be in a similar market in Chicago. Unfortunately, the tax burden changed that. For a similar house here in Fairfax County, VA, my taxes are $6000 a year--most people think that is very high. I see your taxes are $15000 a year. Ouch. That limits the amount of mortgage that a new owner can afford to pay. The home we purchased in Illinois is assessed at $810,000, but we just got the appraisal report--$480,000. Since we can barely afford the mortgage and taxes on this home as it is, we are planning to appeal. My point is that you might want to appeal the taxes in an attempt to bring the total cost to a new owner down.

Also, the internet is full of information about your house, possibly including old listing for rent. Don't assume that no one knows you have rented the house. It sounds creepy, but I was able to find out all kinds of things (e.g., financial and marital troubles) about people who had their houses for sale. Those things can be used against you in a negotiation.

Finally, when I searched on your address, I noted that several homes near you had closed at considerably lower prices: within 1 mile, they range from 301,000 to 547,000. Price may still be a major factor.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 1:30PM
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teched.. I'm like you.. I check everything out online! I know what can be found, but I guess I thought most people don't bother.. I know on zillow it has our previous aksing prices from 2 years ago..
I'm not overly concerned what people might think about it being previously rented, because it really in perfect condition..

re: taxes! I am a master at appealing, and winning! A few years ago the house was assessed for 786, when houses were going for that. Now its assessed for 650, and I will appeal again because it will not be selling for over 600. In the western burbs we all have high taxes. My daughter has a less than 200K home and her taxes are 4K.

No 'real' sale in our neighborhood has been under 500. There are a few other older neighborhoods close by that have lower priced homes, but they are much smaller and don't have the private pool and tennis courts.

cearbhail, thanks for the link on photos, I just might go an try myself.. if the sun ever will shine!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 1:54PM
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I know zestimates aren't always accurate, but with the amount of activity in your neighborhood, I would expect it to be close. They have your house at $520k. There are TONS of 4 bedroom homes within 1 mile or 2 of you on the market for less than $400k. I would think you are going to have to get some "wow!" pictures up if you want to get any traffic at your current listing price.

BTW - lots of people use zillow to check out houses and it immediately shows your price drops, previous listings and the fact that you are trying to rent it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 2:43PM
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IMHO your house looks dated in the pic. Maybe it's the furniture, maybe it's the pics but either way in that price range I'd expect more than what I'm seeing.In that price range I wanted to be dazzled when I saw it. I'm not. It looks like a cookie cutter house. There's not a thing in there that says this is something special. The pic of the house from the back is AWFUL! Looks like the yard is unkept.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 2:52PM
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I agree. Hire a professional photographer or have your realtor engage one (which they should have done already). Consult a stager.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 2:56PM
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You've got some photos with a partial chair in the foreground. Stuff like that should be pulled out of the picture. The furniture is a bit blah, and drags down the feel of the place. Though empty home photos aren't all that appealing either. Stand on a ladder for the backyard photo and capture green, not brown grass.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:24PM
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Is the house really 4200sq ft, or is that number including the basement? I'm asking since the pictures doesn't seem to show that it is a large house.

How many showings do you have?

I also think the pictures look dark inside. I know most people want well lit rooms so that might throw things off.

The kitchen looks nice, but there looks to be either wallpaper or some stenciling above the window. If at all possible I would remove/paint over that as it might be a turn-off as in style for others.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:34PM
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you should count the foreclosures/short sales that sold as comps too. most appraisers count them now. didn't used to use them, but they are a real part of comps these days(unfortunate for sellers). You can't just ignore them anymore.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:42PM
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beachlily z9a

The OP also said that the home was built in 2007, but the MSL ad shows it being built in 2000.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:53PM
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The home they're living in now was built in 2007, the house they're selling is older.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 4:10PM
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what is sq ft of the home, excluding finished bsmt?

I thought you typically state non-bsmt sq footage and exclude the basement even when finished. the finished basement usually appraises much less per sq foot.

So really, if you exlude the bsmt in sq footage, your home is really more in line with all the others in same subdivision.

IMO, all that dark goldish red interior wood looks very dated. Not sure if your comps have the same wood. The color seems like something prior to 2000s. Maybe it is a regional thing. Otherwise, you might have chosen a wood color that was dated at the time you built. And because you have so much wood, you can't hide from it. So that could be your "white elephant"(defect) that is hindering the sale. I think this wood is why other posters are saying it is either dark or outdated. that wood just doesn't look like something in a home built in 2000, IMO.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 5:07PM
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If this house is 4000 square feet, the pics certainly disguised it as a 2000 square foot home!

The "beauty pic" shot of the front looks like a large garage with a small house attached. That is the most important pic of your home and needs to focus more on the home than the garage.

The back pic of the home looks like a foreclosure. It looks completely unmaintained. This pic needs to show a green well maintained lawn with some way of enjoying it. A swing, a table and chairs, a bench with some potted flowers. You are selling the idea of luxurious relaxation.

The kitchen pic does look a bit dated. There's hardly any color except wood and black. What color there is, comes from dated window treatments and a dated stencil. It needs some personality on the cheap. Bright red accessories would go with the black and wood. Linens and maybe a cheap red toaster from Target. If you really want to bring it current, consider painting your island an antique red.

Th3e shot of the brakfast area isn't too bad, but it isn't interesting either. It doesn't show the space to any advantage, and once again, there isn't any personality.

The living room pic at least shows the room as spacious, but again, it's lifeless, and will look even more so with the furniture gone. If all of the furniture is your tenants, then you need to at least stage this with a sofa and chair and paint.

The DR looks much warmer, but that table feels too casual for the space. If the room is empty, it's even more important to have some type of warmth through a window treatment. The one that's there does a good job now, so you might want to go in that direction. The DR fixture is dated and hung too high.

The pic of the office shouldn't be included if none of that furniture is staying. It also shouldn't be taken towards the bright light source. The bright light should illuminate the room, not make it feel darker by introducing shadows. Take the pics later in the day when the outside light is low and use accessory lighting for all of your pics. A couple of floor lamps can be portable light sources for each room.

You don't need any more pics of your kitchen. Only 1 or two of a kitchen is needed. I'd lose the one showing the fridge. It also shows the dated light fixture above the island that needs to be changed out.

The room with the fireplace needs the fake greenery taken down. If there are any other fake flowers or greenery in the house, put them in that fireplace and burn them! You can bring in a few fresh flowers for the kitchen or DR, but no fake stuff. The room also shows as sterile and has no warmth, even with the amount of wood it has. A warmer color on the wall would help a bunch, especially if the wood cabinets are part of the tenant's furniture. Bare rooms look even colder.

All in all, the pics are doing your home a pretty big disfavor. You need to do some preliminary shots yourself so you can decide what it really looks like with no furniture and what needs to be worked on before the professional pics. Fewer, but better pics is your goal.
Each pic should be well lit and show the room, rather than the stuff in the room. A little bit of updating and painting, and the home will show as "move in ready" which seems to be the the goal of most home buyers these days.

Then, all you'll have to do is to have a look at the comps sold and reevaluate your price.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 5:16PM
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Thank you all once again.. especially live wire oak for your detailed thoughts! AFter reading and re reading I totally agree with most everything.
I am going either tonight or tomorrow AM go and try some of my own pictures and post-

RE: the size of the house, it is 4297sf NOT including about 1500 finished sf in the basement. so total of 5800 finished space. The first floor, has LR, DR, Office, Kitchen, SunRoom and Laundry room. Upstairs 4 large bedrooms.

The kitchen cabinets are cherry. The have a slight red tint, but looks more red in pictures.

We do have 2 showings scheduled for this weekend. One tonight and one on Sunday.

re: price, we are the lowest priced home listed in our neighborhood, and have more square footage and upgrades than other homes priced 50K more, granted they aren't selling either~ within a mile there are homes that go for 250 and homes that go for 1.5m++, I am only comparing to the homes in my subdivision.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 6:06PM
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Just looking at the adjacent neighborhood on the MLS, your asking price is 100K above the lowest asking price for your exact neighborhood--and one of them also has 4 bedrooms and the other has 5. And there is a 5/5 for 10K less. Anyone shopping in your location will start there first. You are the third highest priced home in the neighborhood, behind someone who must be from outer space listing theirs at 150K more than yours, and one listed at 75K above yours. Most average around 75K less than you. You say that you have a lot more upgrades than your neighbors, but 75-100K more for those upgrades isn't a realistic expectation, unfortunately. 10-25K max would be a more realistic number to justify for the upgrade difference.

And we all know that asking price doesn't equal sales price. Your real estate agent needs to take a fresh look at your market, or you may need a fresh real estate agent. And you may have to give up any idea of breaking even or turning a profit on the house. LOTS of people are having to bring a check to closing these days. It's usually easier and smarter to do that than to hang on with the carrying costs and trying to wait it out while the home ages and deteriorates under rental occupancy. Taking your lumps now instead of later usually ends up saving you more money. It certainly saves you the ongoing stress!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:44PM
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sorry about my wood comments. cherry seems like it would be a plus. it appears like oldish orange/red oak in the photos...at least on my computer.

I agree about the outside first photo. 3 car garage is a great feature, but there are nice parts of the front of the home that are hidden in the photo.

the 2 outside photos might come out better in overcast light...possibly after a rain. The sunny photos cast shadows. It is amazing how nice a photo looks on an overcast day or overcast day after a rain. You just have to compare the photo against a sunny photo to see what I mean.
glad to hear your sq footage is not including the basement. I think you are going to sell this time ...just have to present your nice, large home in the best possible way it could be shown in the MLS...to get those buyers want to come visit your house in person. you want them to fall in love and want to see the rest. then hook em inside with the deal of extras and more sq footage. It sounds to be a value for the subdivision and that is what buyers want.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:46PM
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The outside shots are terrible. I can live with the inside shots, but I would not even look at the house because of the outside landscaping, or lack of. It looks abandoned and neglected. Take those pictues out of your listing. It will stop people in their tracks.

The rooms appear small. Something is wrong with the way the picture were taken. I can't understand why your rooms look so small. You should insist on new photos.

I don't think the house is over-priced. I just think it needs some dressing up and new photos.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:00PM
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Our agent paid for a professional photographer. She came with a light source and a wide angle lens and took multiple shots of each room. She also took multiples of the same shot and superimposed/blended them to make one soft photo. For about $500, it was true art. Some of the rooms look much bigger in her photos than they really appear in person. Anyway, my agent uses her regularly and it is part of my agent's cost of doing business.

Having looked in Chicagoland lately, I must say I saw very few brochures as nice as what I have seem over the years in DC. I wonder if agents there just don't feel that it is important to use pictures to market? The pictures my DH took during the inspection are nicer than the ones that appeared on the internet for the house we are buying. In fact, the MLS listing had no pictures of the bedrooms or bathrooms (all new) at all.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:23PM
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I have taken more pictures. I do not plan to use these.. I am no photographer, but if everyone thinks they might be better taken over, even though the house is now empty, I will ask my realtor to hire a professional photographer. I think she just took the pictures, but my last realtor did so as well.

In taking the pictures, I know I HAVE to have all the trees & shrubs trimmed ASAP.. Will have that done Monday..
I think I should also paint the kitchen, if not a different color at least to cover the hand painted flowers over the windows. There isn't alot of that.. but I that is dated.

I at first didn't like the blue color they painted the dining room, but without their plain furniture, it really looks better! One of the bedrooms is still a bright blue, but it would be great for a boys room..

re: adjacent neighborhoods. My more upscale subdivision is between to more moderately priced subdivisions, one about 7 years older, the other newer, but mostly vacant. Those two areas are priced much lower because the homes do not back up to 'open space' as most of the homes in my neighborhood do.. look at my sunroom picture, no house 10 feet behind my property. Those other 2 have homes 30 feet behind them.. For 100k less you can watch what your neighbor is having for dinner.! And they do not have access to our private pool, tennis courts and community center.

The pricing for the homes not under contract in Tanglewood Hills Subdivision is.. mine @ 599,000 4274 sf
608 Lusted 599,900 3884 sf
2336 Bird 629,000 3663 sf
2393 Bird 659,000 3589 sf
2342 Bird 669,900 3950 sf
2556 Bird 675,000 5174 sf( house has 3rd floor room)
741 Lusted 787,500 4242 sf - (they paid 940,000)
Then I have a whole other realtor situation.. The first time we put our house up we did EVERYTHING she told us too, and then some.. replaced carpet, just because she didn't like the color, painted over murals, moved furniture, bought what she told us to buy.. price where she said would sell, had the house on the market 8months with tons of showings and nothing. I had interviewed 3 realtors, and hired the one that had the most listings in our neighborhood. I think that was a mistake. She had too many listings, including corporate transfers, which went for lower. She advised us to start at 779, another realtor said we should start low 700's. I know hindsight is 20/20, but I am pretty sure if we had started lower, when homes were still selling we would have sold.. I did not hire that realtor again.
Now I hired an experienced realtor in our town. She has been active for 20 some years, and I liked what she first told me(similar to the last time with the listing price) she advised me not to put any more money into the house, people just want the best price.
I guess since I also have it up for rent, she probably doesn't want to put alot into the marketing because the commision for that is only $1500. Far cry from a sale. My thought is she pay for the professionl pictures, and if it ends up just renting, I pay or we split the cost.

sorry so long.. thanks again for all the suggestions.. most taken well!

Here is a link that might be useful: new pictures

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:32PM
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The new pics are much better and will be improved with a professional. Get rid of the drapes in the family room and any drapes that are swags...if there are side panels you could keep them. I liked the shot of the beautiful window in the dining room before and I like the blue.

Get rid of the murals in the bathroom and kitchen (and I used to do murals professionally). Bathrooms need fluffy new white towels rolled up and some spa like accessories. You might want to add a few touches...an entry table with a plant and lamp, etc.

Good luck. The house looks so much better empty. The office, kitchen and family room looked soo dumpy before and now it looks inviting.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 11:15PM
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I think the new pictures look much better! The old pictures seemed poorly shot and the furniture made the house look dated. Painting the kitchen might help, but not sure it's worth the effort. Staging the house with some furniture (renting it?) would help, but I assume that is expensive. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 7:00AM
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Just horrible pictures... the first ones. The agent should feel ashamed. And no Virtual Tour... The back yard photo looks like it belongs to the one of the many foreclosed properties on the market.
I am not a big fan on staging, but this home may be a perfect candidate.
If you really need to sell in the next 3 months, then lower the price by substantial amounts every 3 weeks. OR, just cut the price to that amount right up front. You will get an offer. Better sell now folks, 'cause it aint getting any better, anytime soon.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 8:10AM
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Until you can get professional pics have the realtor - replace with yours instead. I would remove the swags before and retake those. It can take some time to get professional ones done.

Also since it is empty make sure everything is clean, including washing the windows inside and out.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 8:33AM
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I just reviewed my listing's current photos and asked my realtor to swap out pictures 2,3,5,9 and 10(some of the worse) with my new ones and requested if we don't get an offer this weekend, we get a professional photographer out next week after I get the shrubs trimmed.
We've had showings on Wednesday, Friday and one is scheduled for Sunday. xxxx(fingers crossed!)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Your pics make it look like a new house! I can't believe it's the same place. Your realtor should be ashamed. You should print out this thread and make her read it. I love the blue dining room now, and I am not a fan of blue.

As for timing with professional shots, in our case, the photographer came in on Monday, spent about 2 hours here, and the pics were done by Wed morning. My house went on the market on Thursday with a 4-color glossy brochure listing every upgrade our house had that the neighbors didn't.

Next, think about a career in real estate photography! You are way more talented than your agent. Best of luck. Your home looks lovely.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 10:06AM
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The new pictures are much better. The original pictures made me feel kind of, "Well, I guess I'll take a look at it, but there's nothing that stands out."

The new pictures are a lot more, "Well, there's certainly potential there. Nice floors, large rooms, like the outlets in the floor in the family room, great windows. Definitely worth a look."

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 10:09AM
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The new pics are much better! I'd still make an effort to get rid of the stenciling.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 11:24AM
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I think if you reduced your price and parked the Ferrari in the garage with a big sign saying it conveys........you would get a buyer really fast! Sweet car.

I know what you are saying about your house costs less per sq. ft. than other houses. To someone looking for a huge house, yours would be a bargain. Your problem may be that a lot of people think the house is way too large. A lot of people will not purchase it if they feel they don't really need that much space. A lot of people also may be thinking about how hard it would be to sell when they were ready to downsize.

The new pics look really nice. I didn't think the old pics were that terrible to begin with. I had always thought showing a room with furniture was always better than an empty room - but in your case, the lack of furniture really shows off how nice the actual house is.

Good luck

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 12:06PM
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Photos are 'better', but you're right to get a pro in. I don't see any bath photos. I'd drop the rear view; a letdown to see that only the house's facade is brick.

Take a look at the photos on Zillow for what I see as your best comp: 2557 Kane, 4800 sq ft, sold in April for $615K. I see BIG rooms and a BIG master bath; a paneled library w/semi-coffered ceiling. You should get some offers at just under $600K, but the photos are important.

Zillow is difficult. They throw in everything within a radius, when neighborhoods command different prices. Listings on our street cite 'Coveted X Road'. It's heavily wooded with minimum 1 acre lots, and some historic houses on 10 acres. Nearby is a 1990 subdivision with quarter-acre lots and large, but not noteworthy homes. Apples and Oranges.

Your RE taxes are amazing! How come? New subdivisions of multi-BR homes feeding into schools bursting at the seams? Our taxes (Lake Co.) are a little over one percent of current (depressed) market price. Is there also an HMO assessment?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 2:46PM
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My new pics are already up on realtor.com! Thanks again SO much for everyones help!! She didn't exactly swap the way I wanted, but its a start. They will only be temporary until we get professional ones.

chisue.. yes our taxes in Kane County are auful.. abt 2.5% of FMV.. and I'm lucky enough to own two homes and a building! I'm not sure why they are so high.. there certainly aren't huge new subdivisions in Batavia.. we lived there for 20+ years and it grew pretty slowly.. but like I mentioned before I am a pro at fighting them.. have been since our first home we built in batavia was assessed for 60K over what we paid for it.. First appealed to the township, then county, then state, and won!

We do also have HOA fees to cover the common ground and amenites(pool, tennis court & club house) they are 350 a qtr.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 4:25PM
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I like the new pix better too. And sorry I know you already posted them on your listing but these stood out to me: Take out the rug in the sunroom - it cuts into the pattern of the cool tile/wood floor and makes me realize that I can't put a regular sized rug by that door w/out interfering with the look of the floor.

And in the room with the fireplace, the vent/outlet covers stand out to me. I'd consider replacing (or painting) with ones that are a close match to the carpet. They might look nicer IRL, but in the pictures they kind of stand out and become a distraction - especially the 2 small ones.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 5:06PM
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What a difference! House has beautiful details...good schools - you should get an offer. I wouldn't lower the price yet. Wait to see what happens in the next few weeks.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 1:17AM
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It's confusing on Realtor.com because some of the pictures now show empty rooms and some show furnished rooms. For the price of your house you need some better pictures taken.

And please don't have weeds in the foreground in the back of the house picture. Mow them down or clip them off so they aren't in the picture.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 4:01PM
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the old interior photos look like a different homes compared to the new photos. huge improvement.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 5:26PM
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"And please don't have weeds in the foreground in the back of the house picture. Mow them down or clip them off so they aren't in the picture."

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 6:00PM
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cearbhaill- Thank you for the wondefully photoshopped picture! Now I just need my shrubs trimmed!!

For the record.. Its not weeds in the back.. the whole subdivision is built around areas of Native Prairie Grasses and Wildflowers.. looking out the other way it looks a little better.. but never quite what I thought it would be.. but its not weeds.

Hope to have real photos taken this week, will post when done.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 11:06PM
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cearbhaill- Thank you for the wondefully photoshopped picture! Now I just need my shrubs trimmed!!

For the record.. Its not weeds in the back.. the whole subdivision is built around areas of Native Prairie Grasses and Wildflowers.. looking out the other way it looks a little better.. but never quite what I thought it would be.. but its not weeds.

Hope to have real photos taken this week, will post when done.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 8:18AM
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I actually like seeing pictures with and without furniture, sometimes it helps to get a feel of how the space can be used but only if they are good pictures and show well. If you have any from when you lived there I would use them and new ones of it empty. I remember when we had a 2 car garage slab poured and thought no way could a car fit on this tiny concrete. Empty pictures can be deceiving.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 11:15AM
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Good job on having native plants and grasses. I wish more people would. Turf grass is so awful - both aesthetically and for the environment.

Good luck on your sale, looks like the new photos are winners!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:19PM
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Just wanted to post a happy ending update.

Shortly after this thread ended, and my new pic were up, we did lower the asking price for sale and rent. Within a week we had 5 more showings for purchase(no offers) but a very qualified renter applied to rent. Unlike my previous tennants who had a very good job, low credit score, BUT always paid their rent on time.. this couple has an excellent income, good credit score and excellent references. They had always owned a home, but were transferred 18 months ago, were planning on it being temporary, so rented.
The home they have been renting in Michigan is now up for sale, and I looked at the pictures and they have lovely furnishings, that will fit perfect in my home. I'm very confident it will make the next time I list my home much easier. I have stipulated in our contract a longer 'right to show' clause.. previously 60 days, now 90 days. They stated they might be interested in purchasing at a later date, but are unsure about a future transfer at this point.
I would have rather sold the home, but at least we have rental income again- the same amount as I had previoulsy been receiving. And we roll the dice and hope there isn't any further decline in the housing market in the next year or two..
I do always learn by my mistakes! Next time I will insist on better pictures from the start.. besides that.. my realtor really did an excellent job for me, in keeping me well informed of any and all feedback and following up with people frequently. I know those things should just be expected.. but not so much so with my last realtor.. I would definately use her again..just not have her take the pictures!.. and she was very ok with that.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 9:01AM
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Thank you for posting an update. It sounds like you have found good renters and I hope all goes really well!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 3:39PM
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