How quickly to lower price?

alisonnJune 18, 2014

I'm a practical person. I'm the person who thinks the house should be priced LESS than what the realtor tells me. That being said, since April, we have dropped the price twice and still no offers. Traffic has been great since the last reduction ten days ago, but still--no offers. Several realtors besides my own have said the house was priced right, but I feel that if there are no offers, it is not.

How long should I wait between price drops, do you think? I don't want to appear desperate, but I'd like to sell the house.

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Did you get any feedback from the people who toured the house?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:44PM
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"Yard too small"
"House too small"
"Small bedrooms"
"No formal dining room"

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:56PM
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What's your competition? Look at every house priced within 20% of yours - What do they offer that you don't? To me that's the best way to figure out if your price is right. Everything priced less should have fewer amenities. Everything priced higher should be offering more.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:16PM
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With that feedback, it would seem to me that people are telling you very clearly that you are overpriced, no matter what the comps or realtors are telling you.

Just add "... for the asking price" to the end of each comment. They are saying that for the price, they expect to get bigger bedrooms, etc.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:15AM
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What area are you in, and what's the traffic been like? (Actual numbers.)

I live in an area where even in the best of markets, there just aren't THAT many people looking at houses. 2-3 showings in a week is good. (24 hours notice is also standard.) And each showing is, of course, an independent event. You could be priced perfectly or even low, but the house might just not be right for the few people who have come through, either because they have unusual needs, or unrealistic expectations. In my area, most conventional wisdom is pretty meaningless because the housing stock is all over the place in terms of type, age, and condition, and the buying pool is small and varied. It's very different from, say, a suburb with many buyers in a particular demographic, and many similar properties.

If you're in a rural market or area which is slow, I wouldn't be so quick to assume you are overpriced. 2 months on market with good (for your area) traffic could be just fine. Or, you could be overpriced. But "lots of traffic" (for the area) and no offers doesn't ALWAYS mean overpriced. It may mean that you just have to be patient. It's true there is a price at which you can list your house, and have it sell quickly, because it is clearly under-priced and too good to pass up. But it's not always the only price you'll get.

(My advice could be way off base in your situation, but I just wanted to throw this out there in case it is relevant or someone in an area like mine has similar questions.)

Oh and, FWIW, we are also very practical, did our own analysis based on public records, and had to talk realtors down from higher prices. But at this point I think price reductions are a very market-specific thing. And it also depends on just how quickly you want/need to sell.

This post was edited by lizzie_nh on Thu, Jun 19, 14 at 20:14

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 8:10PM
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You've dropped the price TWICE since April? How much each time?

If you're really serious about selling, don't drop $5,000 here and $5,000 there. Do a real price reduction and then stand back.

You don't say what $$ level we're talking about here - so consider a percentage. A 10% reduction is, I think, a serious reduction in price. A 2% reduction isn't.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 7:05PM
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Is your home "show ready"? Serious question, I had a small house and the realtor staged it with her own staging pieces and it looked twice as big literally. Things I would never have thought of looked fantastic. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:37PM
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If you are in an area that is in demand, and your asking price is close to what comparable houses are (per square foot), then you just need to wait and also be realistic - but also keep in mind, if you are in a neighborhood of new 4,000 sqft homes on 1 acre lots and you have a 35 year old 1100 sqft 2+1 on a tiny lot - it's going to be difficult.

I agree with staging - or at least reducing clutter - and painting and cleaning. Get rid of photos, knick knacks, overstuffed furniture, hideous wallpaper, toys, shoes, anything old or worn, packed closets - go online and look at model homes photos - if yours doesn't look that new and clean then you have work to do.

It's also a big difference WHERE you are. If you're selling in San Francisco - you aren't going to have to do much of anything, it will automatically sell. If you're selling in Detroit, you're going to have issues.

This post was edited by karyn on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 5:22

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 5:21AM
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We got our first offer - they low-balled and gave us their market research to justifly their offer. Here's a good lesson--I've been going to any open houses in the area that are comparable and that paid off in this situation, because the sold houses they used for comparisons, I had been in personally and could say first hand why that house wasn't as good as ours. We countered $10,000 below asking and they came up $17,000, so we got $17,000 lower than asking (cash offer) and I'm pretty happy with that. My husband was a little disappointed, so I took him past a colonial in our neighborhood that is bigger than our house (which is a ranch) with a bigger property that sold last year for just $2,000 more than what we settled on. That made him feel better.

Thanks for all your advice--it is much appreciated!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 9:11AM
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