First Price Reduction Slash or Nibble?

BelfastBoundJuly 20, 2014

Outside of Boston, on market 4 weeks, 2 showings, MLS Listed. Priced 50K less than 1 comp on market with less sf and land. FSBO would like to move in October. Other comps went under after 1 year on market and price reductions of 50-100K. I am listed at their selling prices. Should we slash to our bare bones price now or do a little (15K) now and (15K) in September. Thanks to all who take the time to reply on this ? and offer any other advice or support. Here is my website:

Here is a link that might be useful: When and how much to reduce price

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe because all of our home sales have been tied to out of state moves (and we were always located in a suburban setting as opposed to a rural one), I'd have been panicky if we'd have only have had two showings in four weeks.

Your only real comps are recent sales. I'll be honest and just say most home owners overestimate the value of their home because of what is know as "endowment effect".

As to know whether to reduce price in small increments or to slash your price depends on your market, how well you know it, and how well you can objectively asses the value of your home. An exercise I do is, instead of looking at comps and pointing out how much better my home is, I will argue to my husband (or friend or whomever) as to why their home is better than mine. It helps to shift one's perspective to see a broader overview of your market.

IMHO, there is no set in stone advice. Even if you have a Realtor, to get the maximum market value for your property, you have to know your own market. And it's easier now than ever to figure that our with all the information a seller can glean online.

My other advice is to "under promise and over deliver". We never used any effusive adjectives in our ads. Psychologically speaking, many potential buyers use that kind of hyperbole upon which to base their objections, which translates to a lower offer. For example, we described our home factually in our FSBO ad as opposed to resorting to self flattery. We had confidence that once we got people into our home that they would find it to exceed their expectations that they themselves created in their opinion when they saw our home facts and our photos. People tune out when they hear bragging, even in an ad they know is designed to spur sales,

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One negative I see is that you share a property line with 5 other lots. I agree about keeping the information on your website factual.

Used to live in MA and would go to the south shore to see friends in Hingham and Norwell!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

2 questions:

Are you listed on the local MLS? (Because your link is to your own website... Oh, wait, I see you say you are. But, how do they find your listing?)

Why don't I see a price immediately? (I finally found it, but after A LOT of words and after scrolling).

IMO, 15k isn't enough of a drop. But, 50 might be too much. I'd do 25 drop. But, I am not an expert. The answer to the first question is tantamount--are you MLS listed? (How do people find your "listing"/this webpage?)

This post was edited by kirkhall on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 23:55

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Outside looks good. Inside, the horrible kitchen layout with dated oak cabinets will need a complete redo. Wallpaper? Take that down ASAP! No crown in most rooms of what is a traditional style home where you would expect it? I'd work on that. Acreage is more of a burden than a blessing to busy commuters. It will take the right person who wants all of the work.

With your need for a quick sale, the bigger drop would be better at generating traffic.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 7:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your outside is absolutely stunning. However, i wonder if you could streamline the information:
Bullets with the most important info first
Fewer pictures, or maybe, if you can do it, add links to more pictures of specific rooms. It's a bit confusing
the kitchen layout is a bit strange with the range smack next to the window. Where's your fridge?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 8:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would take out the verbiage about top 10% on Zillow. It makes it sound like lots of people are looking, but no one wants it. I would change the "Live the Dream" section to talking about the size of the yard and proximity to the train, etc., just the facts. Not the flowery language about longing for these items. Maybe fewer pics of the outside. I would cut $15,000 and see what happens, good luck! That yard is stunning!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm Boston MetroWest. Yet a different market. I just searched the MLS. I'm not sure why you say there is only 1 comp. I see 13 houses in your town priced between $700-800k. 4 of them are ocean front/ocean view. Plus you are competing with a brand new subdivision - 5 are listed at $779k.

When I look at solds, there have only been 7 houses sold in the price bracket so far this year.

With this competition, and with this much inventory, I would say drastic price cut. If I had a budget of $800k, why would I pick your house as opposed to the house with the ocean view? Why would I choose your house, and have to repaint and redecorate when I can get brand new construction and choose my finishes?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Pixie - New construction is half acre (less privacy) off a noisy highway - not ideal for young kids and pets or even teenage drivers. I don't consider ocean front my comp - my comps are in my age group, in a neighborhood and +/- 20% of 3500 sf.

Kirkhall - We are in MLS. The only way to know about my website is to come to an open house or grab a brochure from my front lawn or out by the highway or by googling our address.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your home and garden are lovely, but there were a few things I wanted to mention.

At first I didn't think the price was listed, but finally found it. I think you need to make that easier to find, as previously suggested

More pictures of the garden than the house signals a problem to me. For a home that size, you have very few photos - unless I'm missing them, and if i am, that's a different problem.

Use a tripod when shooting. The photo of your front door isn't even level - it's slanted to the left.

I've never seen the phrase "proudly offered" and have to admit I cringed when I saw it. It may be a regional thing, but it was a turn off for me.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A few suggestions to improve the website: get rid of the automatically changing photos. It's distracting and adds nothing.

The gallery photos are too small. When one clicks on it for a larger photo one has to go "back" to open up the rest of the photos. Make the photos larger or offer a click thru option. There are also not enough photos of the things I care to see--the living room, the bedrooms, the kitchen, and too many photos of the yard. I'm not buying the yard. I'm buying the house.

Some of the information included is too specific. "2 or 4 steps" to the laundry room? I don't care. The blueberry bushes--don't care. Tell me there are gardens. That is enough.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's the thing. You need to look at EVERYTHING on the MLS in your price range. Even stuff in the neighboring towns. Since that is what potential buyers are seeing when they pull up the MLS. You may not consider ocean front or ocean view a comp. But since your house is in the same price range, it is something buyers are seeing when they pull up the MLS. Same with the new construction. It comes up on the MLS. And then the buyer thinks, "gosh I could get an ocean view. Maybe I'm willing to live in a slightly smaller house so I can sit in my backyard with a cappuccino and enjoy the view." Or they think, "wow, I could get new construction, pick out all my own finishes, and never have to worry about anything breaking. And it's right off the highway, so fabulous commute!"

Just because you don't consider it a comp, that doesn't mean potential buyers don't consider it worthy of consideration. Your homes features are not on everyone's MUST HAVE list. Not everyone cares about the big yard. Lots of people don't care about being on a noisy street.

Who is your target buyer? I'm guessing young family, moving further out from the city? If that's your buyer, then anything over 10k sf is a large lot. 4 bed, 2.5 baths is desired, granite/ss kitchen, separate playroom. Anything over isn't necessarily something they are willing to pay a premium for.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the home is beautiful. I think average days on the market is just a little longer when you move out of the first time buyer bracket. You may not be over priced at all. I think your kitchen is not what's holding it back - it looks fine- not by GW standards, perhaps, but in these parts it's not uncommon to have a 25 year old kitchen in a well maintained, desirable home. I think it's a beautiful home - inside and out and photographs are great. The land is a big plus in land locked Boston area, a retreat with gardens and elbow room is just the ticket after a packed-like-sardines ride home on the train. I honestly don't see any problem with the listing and think that you just need more time.

This post was edited by kris_ma on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 15:49

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everyone. Will take care of some of the points made but the pictures are on google and I don't have control over how they present.

Had a couple come back for second look. I hope Kris (in_MA?) is right.

So back to the OP - Any feedback on % to reduce based on time in the market or the psychological impact on buyers to a huge price reduction or multiple medium (15K) ones? TY

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, as a prospective buyer, I would think that if I followed the house, multiple smaller price reductions would want me to wait for the "next" one.
On the other hand, ONE less dramatic reduction may be enough to generate more interest, assuming that the market is doing well and you're already priced competitively.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yup, in MA, Metro-west. A second showing is a good sign. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:17PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Questions for buying a home with a septic system
I just came across an interesting article about issues...
What would you do? Stay or Remodel?
We just bought a new house. It's somewhat of a starter...
Do buyers prefer table & chairs or island in kitchen?
We are getting our house in order before listing it...
Off market for 6 days, why? ncrealestateguy?
Hello, long time lurker, first time poster. I hope...
Home Buyers Please Vote: Would you rather ...
1. A $2,000 kitchen appliance allowance or any stainless...
Sponsored Products
Diamond Glow Chandelier
Artisan Crafted Home
Holtkoetter | G-B50 Glass
$168.00 | YLighting
15765AZT Textured Architectural Bronze Kichler LED Mini Deck Light
Carmen 4-piece Comforter Set
Fairmont Designs 30" Lifestyle Collection Shaker Vanity - Dark Cherry
Modern Bathroom
Spring Green Coffee Mugs - Set of 2
$39.99 | Dot & Bo
Cinnamon Small Gourd Accent Table Lamp
$39.99 | Lamps Plus
Rowenta Master Garment Steamer
$149.00 | FRONTGATE
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™