Are you getting discouraged?

phoggieAugust 2, 2011

We have had this house on the market for a year....4090 SF, 10 years old...very good condition....lowered from $342,000 to $299,000. I am weary...maybe from all of the heat...and no matter how much I run the sprinkler system, it just seems like everything is getting brown and drying up.

We have not had a showing in about 3 weeks....and thought we had two good had a house to sell first, but they got discouraged with it not selling and took it off of the market...the other was down to ours and another one, which was more $, less SF, needs major up-dating, but it was out in the country with 3 acres...and my realtor said they were leaning towards that one.

Sometimes, I feel we are not meant to move on in our lives..and at the ages of 80 and 70, we don't have much more time to do so.

Do any of you just get tired of trying to keep your house in "show ready" condition? Maybe we should just take it off of the market....but I am afraid if we do, we "might" miss a sale.

Am I the only one that is just plain tired of trying to sell a house? I need a boost....and relief from this terrible midwest heat!

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You are not alone. We are in the same situation. My husband is out of state working and I am left here alone to keep this farm ready for showings, which are few and far between. But when we do get a showing the realtor doesn't even give us much notice. We are thinking also of pulling ours from the market until next spring. We've thought about finding a caretaker, but it's so hard to find someone to trust. Paying rent in one State and mortgage in another is getting old too.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 4:11PM
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Oh, you poor thing! You are definitely not alone. I am also exhausted. We're having drought-like weather and my grass is also brown and dry. I am so tired of running myself ragged trying to water everything every single day. Making sure everything is in pristine condition every single day. Not only the work, but I never turn anyone away who wants to come over because you never know. So I've rearranged my schedule, left functions early... One time I made my mother-in-law, who was visiting from out of state, pack her bags and we put them in the car so I could show the house without the guest room being disrupted.

What drives me crazy about all of this is I've "sold" my house three times in the last 8 months and no one could get a mortgage--different banks, different reasons, nothing to do with the house. Now I'm on the 4th buyer and he's having trouble too. The bank doesn't like it that his job is two hours from my house and he's going to commute. So just like you, I am starting to think it's not meant to be. No matter what I do, no matter how great this place looks, no matter how many times I "sell" it, it's not going to happen.

I can only imagine how you feel about running out of time because you are 70 and 80. We're in our fifties and we feel like we're running out of time! I am just trudging on. Maybe things will loosen up now that the debt ceiling thing is out of the way.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:16AM
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Thanks for your comfort to know I am not alone. I just do not understand why the banks don't want to loan money anymore, especially if the party has good credit ratings.

LOVEINTHEHOUSE~~ I can not imagine how I would feel if I were in your shoes...that has to be heart-braking to happen so many times. When my son was selling his home, he also had it "sold"...the grandma was to give the young couple the down payment, but on the morning of the closing day, she backed out~~ How crewel could she be? Not only did I hurt for my son, but for that couple also. Keep us posted on your decision. Are you wanting to sell because you have to, or because you want to?

My DH's funds are gone (due to his son's actions), so we are living on SS checks and my small retirement...which neither can we really count on anymore, so we want to sell to give us a bit more freedom on with our finances because we will not put nearly as much in the next house as we did in this one.....but things were financially good when we married and built this house.

Hang in there all of you fellow sellers...and hope banks will start to turn loose with their lousy money!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 9:07PM
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Phoggie, I've been saying the banks are kings. They're foreclosing on people who got into trouble, and they won't lend money to people who are qualified, finding crazy reasons to say no. So they've got it all. The houses and the money.

We actually don't have to sell. We're moving back to my home state because I lost my mother last year and now I am terribly homesick. We're down here in Virginia all alone. I know it could be worse. There are people who HAVE to sell and can't. And it's beautiful here. But I just want to go home! I'm only 51 but like you, I'm afraid I'm going to run out of time, I'm afraid I'm going to get some kind of disease like my mother had (leukemia) and I'll die down here all alone without my family. Sounds corny, I know. I know it's grief. But still...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:06PM
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LoveInTheHouse....same story, only I am about 15-20 years older than you. I want to go HOME! When we married a few years ago, DH's business was still going strong and so I moved to "his" town and we built this house....but now that the business is a bust, I want to go back to "my people and friends". We do not really have to move (if we can manage to pay these climbing taxes), but we bought a lot back home and I so desperately want to live there. It is just a nice, little (3000), town with some of the land's finest down-to-earth friendly people. My son and wife live there and my brothers/wives are within 24 like you, I want to go HOME before I die~~ A death of a loved one certainly does put things in a different light, doesn't it? Bless you and I hope your dream comes true.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 2:52PM
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Phoggie, a few things come to mind. First, have you and your husband discussed how much a move really means to you? Have you told him how desperately you want to live near your relatives? Have you taken a hard look at your finances to see what it could mean to your remaining retirement years if you sold this house at whatever it could net in a quick sale? In other words, despite what you think the house is worth, if it would only sell for $245K - or even $225K - would that make a difference in whether you could pay for food, shelter and medical care in the future? If you could manage without the additional proceeds from a higher sales price, then it becomes more a matter of how you want to prioritize and there really isn't a right or wrong answer.

IMHO, were my dh & I the same age and you and your husband, I think we'd hire a new RE agent who would do a better job, eat the loss and get on with our lives living near family and friends, even if that meant living in a small rental by family instead of a house. We've been faced with a somewhat similar choice before and we opted to take our (huge) loss and get on with our lives. We will likely face a similar situation in the not too distant future, and have already reconciled ourselves to current market conditions. I do realize that not everyone can make that choice. OTOH, sometimes people get hung up on what they paid for a property or what they think it should be worth and have trouble facing current realities.

The other issue has to do with your RE agent. Aren't you still using the same one you hired last fall? The same RE agent who only put up four poorly done photos on and whose competence was questioned last year? I took a look at that site today, and there are now two listings for your address, one of which has a "price reduced" tag and a photo of the *wrong house.* (:::headdesk:::) Hope that's corrected soon!

Finally, I looked at the other houses for sale in your area. There's a house about the same size as yours but on an acre lot for $20K less. There's another house, slightly larger than yours, for $250K. Someone who may be your agent's broker has a listing for a 4 bd/3ba house w/ almost 3100SF for $219,900. That's tough competition.

In addition, there are enhanced listings by Coldwell Banker and Century 21 agents with 22 - 25 photos. Those listings are likely to grab buyers' attention much quicker than yours. If it was my choice, I'd fire the current agent and hire someone from one of those firms who would make a concerted effort to really market my house, including posting two dozen or so professional quality photos on and to trulia, zillow, craigslist, and any other sites that might help.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Sometimes an experienced Realtor can navigate a buyer through the Shoals of Mortgage to Safe Harbor (closing). These days buyers are as skittish as banks and a good Realtor *earns* the commission.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 6:36PM
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Hi phoggie,

We're in the same boat here in Colorado. House on the market for one year. Only we've had lots of showings, 3 tomorrow. But it's always something they don't like. Kitchen's too small. Don't like the crown molding. Yard's not big enough. Landscaping's too much maintenance. You name it, they've said it. To complicate matters, to keep the house clean, we moved into a small apt. We've dropped the house half a dozen times to 85K lower than where we started. Our apt lease is about up and we're not renewing. We're moving back. So very stressful and expensive. Good luck to you all.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:07PM
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Phoggie, you know what I'm talking about. I live in a beautiful place in Virginia and I'm going back to Jersey and people are saying, "What are you crazy?!" lol But it's true. Losing a loved one really does put things in a different light. I don't blame you for wanting to go back too. The way you described it with your son and all, I can see you really love it and miss it.

What Rockmanor said makes a lot of sense. Sometimes it's a matter of prioritizing and just getting on with your life. I wish lowering the price of my house would make a difference but that doesn't seem to be my problem. I've already "sold" this place three times in eight months and no one could get a mortgage for all different reasons from different banks, nothing to do with my house. I don't think lowering my price will matter. Though of course it could widen the pool of buyers. Buyers who can't get mortgages!

I think we're all going through this. I'm glad you vented because I needed to vent too.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:01PM
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rockmanor~~You have given me some great thoughts about my RE....I will ask her about the MLS listings and why they only have 4 photos instead of all of the ones some other RE are showing. The ones she did show were not good ones either.

Dirtboy~~With so many homes on the market, the buyers know they can be very picky about having "everything"...I know what you mean.....we get the "wanting an open concept" wanted more garden thought the DR was too small...and so on...but not one has said the price was too high......and if it is, for heavens sake make an offer!!...we are open to lowering the price if they would only ask.

We are in a military town...and the military just can not afford anything over $150,000 and we certainly can not lower to their price points. This town is on the brink of bankruptcy....thanks to our former city fathers...former mayor is in prison and the rest should be~

No, we can not manage without getting a good price from this house to use in our retirement.....thanks to DH's son who embezzled DH's entire savings and investments. I didn't come into this marriage with much money myself. I had been widowed 25 years and put 3 children through college, being only a secretary, there wasn't much left to save for myself....but I don't begrudge spending a penny on my kids education, etc.

LoveInTheHouse is correct, the banks won't loan money to the ones who are interesting in buying our house. Do you know the addresses of the houses you compared to ours...and where did you find that info? Are you a realtor or just a very informed person?

I just want to go "home"....DH is very much in favor of leaving this town....there is nothing here but industry, shopping (we have a Walmart for our shopping for a town of 26,000)...nothing to bring people to town....just living on the military, who could be here today and gone tomorrow. When they thought the military was coming back, builders came out of the woodwork...built cheaply built homes...they didn't sell....growing up in weeds, builders long gone and bankrupt, so not paying the taxes or the infrastructure that falls on the taxpayers.

Right now, my dream of going back "home" seems to be fading with each and every day......time is not on our side.

Thanks for all of your support...I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 2:26PM
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Dear Phoggie, I am praying for you. I not so long ago was on your end of the stick but now I'm on the opposite end and having just as much trouble. It took me over a year to sell my home in TN, went thru 3 realtors & ended up selling it myself. Lowered price from $189,000 to $129,000 before it FINALLY sold and even then I had to pay their closing cost. I felt as though I just gave my home away but I didn't have much choice because I lost my job and it was either that or lose everything. I moved to MI and have been house hunting since Nov 2010 but can't find any seller willing to give an inch to me. I was willing to pay full price & all closing cost on one home when the seller backed out and removed his home from the market. I bid on a home yesterday but backed out after finding major water damage and mold issues in basement and get this there were 5 other offers on the table for this home. Realtors say there are not many homes in my price range so they go fast & bidding wars are almost always the case. Banks are so greedy they are now witholding foreclosed homes for over a year before they put them on the market hoping for this to happen. I would love to have a small new home built but I can't find a bank/mtg co. who will let me put down any less than 20% which I can't afford. If I have to look at one more moldy stinky house I will croak. I gave so much when I sold my home that I feel cheated, sure wish someone would help me out the way I helped my buyers. All my stuff is still in pods in TN. I am in limbo and waiting to live. I AM EXHAUSTED! What happened to the American dream of home ownership. Is anyone honest, I feel sad. I pray everyday that God will put me where I am supposed to be. I will pray for you too! *HUG*

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 8:07AM
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Here's a slightly different perspective:

DH retired and we sold our house in 3 weeks. Priced it to sell, and sell it did. It was also a classic house which few disliked. Now, we are living in a furnished rental with EVERYTHING in storage. It's a very expensive, uncomfortable life, and the whole reason for selling was to cut expenses (and enjoy being outside of regular commuting routes). We see all the flaws with the lower priced houses that we look at, and we are absolutely stuck! We can't convince ourselves to buy anything because we know how hard it could be to resell these flawed houses. You would think it would be easy to make a cash purchase, but when you're moving down in cost and can't blind yourself to what that next buyer is going to see, it's tough. Really tough.

I hope it doesn't get cold too soon, because all our clothes are buried inside a storage unit.

I do hope you have a sale soon.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 5:24PM
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My DH and I are so grateful to you for the information you gave us about our house as listed on I left a message for our realtor to call us, but so far, no response.

Not only is our house listed TWICE....the picture of the front of the house on the second listing is NOT our house!
When I looked at the listing before, I used their web-site and "assumed" she listed it in the MLS the same way.

Do you mind me asking...are you a realtor or just a very informed individual....and what state do you reside?

Again, we are so glad you caught this terrible mistake....we may have wasted a year with this realtor, but I don't think she'll have it much longer!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 5:28PM
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Phoggie, nope, I'm not a realtor nor do I play one on TV. ; ) Dh & I have bought and sold a dozen homes and I certainly sympathize with the difficulties you're enduring. We took a huge hit on the sale of our previous home several years ago, but it couldn't be helped as we had to move due to a major medical crisis. If we had to sell today, we'd take at least a 25% loss despite having negotiated a purchase price that was 30% less than the builder's original price. That's just how bad the market is in many places.

Yes, I was flabbergasted when I saw that your RE agent had two listings for your address on (from my earlier post) "...there are now two listings for your address, one of which has a "price reduced" tag and a photo of the *wrong house.* "

I'm glad you won't be dealing with this agent much longer, because I am certain you can find someone who will do a much better job for you. It won't surprise me if the agents you interview suggest reducing your listing price, given the competition.

If you're ready to sell, then ask the RE agents to be brutally honest about how to best present your home and what it may take to get the deal done. You may find, for example, that a small price reduction plus offering to pay the buyer's closing costs (assuming that's legal in your area) might attract more interest than a larger price reduction with no buyer's assist. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 6:44PM
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Well good news for us here in Colorado. 11 months without one offer. Drop price 80K, but took a few weeks after that to get not one but two offers on the same day. Holding our breath now for the closing. Good luck to you all! Paul

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 10:35AM
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Hey all I just went through this extremely difficult process selling my home then buying my new home in this market. I searched the internet for the most helpful information and found a few sites that appeared to help me the most. Instead of posting, if anyone is interested in the information feel free to shoot me an Email.
Good Luck to all!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 11:06PM
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Oh, Phoggie, my heart goes out to you, as do my prayers. You've gotten lots of good advice here, & indeed, Rockmanor really shared a wealth of information & insight.

On the emotional level, (& home buying, ownership, & selling IS so emotional) I concur with her assessment to cut losses & move toward the good things & people in your life. I understand that you need a certain amount of $ for retirement, but staying where you are, which you hate, is costing you a lot in many ways too.

It is a brutal market out there in most parts of the country. In addition, many people have changed, imo, due to this economic turn down. Some buyers are looking not only for a good deal, but for a steal.

My sister just sold a beautiful house last month...ummm, or shall we say more accurately, "gave away" a beautiful house, in a very sought-after, pristine, gated community!

But, her cancer has returned, she begins intensive treatment for it soon, & she has purchased a house on the water that she's renovating (which is located behind our other sister.)

She has lots to look forward to, but she certainly gave the buyers, who demanded more, more, more, the deal of the century. What was in it for her was to be able to move out & move on. Until her house is ready in October, she'll be living in a small apartment.

Everyone has to weigh all the factors & decide what is right for them. Just wanted to chime in with some more food for thought, as well as offer my sympathy & good wishes. Whatever path you take, I wish you peace & happiness.

LoveintheHouse, I wish you the best too, darling! It's always been a lot of work & stress to have a house on the market, imo, but it is exponentially so these days. Hang in there.

Best wishes to all who are currently facing the challenge of trying to sell a house!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 8:17AM
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Thanks,stinky-gardener, for the good wishes, but I certainly am hoping that your sister can concer that dreaded cancer. When I see someone like her and what she faces, my problems are minor. Blessings to her.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:59AM
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TTina, my husband was just saying that--"There's no American dream anymore. You can't even buy a house. All the jobs are overseas..."

Stinky-gardener, thanks for the best wishes.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:44PM
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Let your husband know that the American dream is alive and well. I just closed 3 deals for a client couple of mine. They are 22 years old, recently married. They are not well off. They both work for a large grocery store franchise. They have bought 3 properties over the last two months as investment properties. They are now realizing $600/month of income from these properties. They have worked their butts off with sweat equity to get to where they can afford to do this, and have thoughtfully kept a watch on thier credit score. Again, I have NEVER had a lender refuse to lend someone money that is a good applicant. To say that banks are not lending to good applicants is just plain false.
People are buying homes every day. Banks are lending to people every day. The next time your husband thinks that the American Dream is gone, just look around the World and compare. There is no comparison.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 8:07AM
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I would appreciate your thoughts....our house has been on the market for over a year. Do you think it would be wise to pull it off this fall and then relist next spring or leave it on over the winter.... with a different realtor and another price reduction. We started at $342,000 and are now down to $299,900. I am so in limbo as to what to do. THANKS!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:46PM
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This train of thought has always puzzled me... You want to desperately sell, but you are considering taking it off of the market?
Maybe if the economic forecast for the Spring was really bright, but for now, there is not one economic index that suggests that this scene is going to be any better in 6 months. In fact, it could get a lot worse. Just hang in there and have your agent send you everything that is comperable to your home which has sold over the last 6 months. Take a good look at these homes and try to figure out what the missing link is that caused these buyers to look at your home, but yet make an offer on something else. After all, most of these buyers probably looked at your home too, before writing a contract on something else. Your agent and you need to be proactive to determine why those buyers said "No Thanks" to your home.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 3:01PM
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This past March, my daughter called me and told me she emotionally needed to move and leave her job and to help her with the sale of her condo.
I got on a plane, cleaned, painted, scraped, repainted, had new carpets put down, bought accessories, staged her 1200 sq ft condo.
Got a realtor, asked him what the lowest selling price was for the condos in that area within the last 3 months, and she priced it 15,000 UNDER the lowest price.
She had no competition.
She closed on the condo in 30 days.
She started her new life and is relieved and happy now.
SHe thought I was nuts, fixing, cleaning, painting, buying houseplants to stage, lighting, pics, I swear I painted every room.
I took 9 beautiful pics of the condo and emailed them to realtor.
The realtor was not the best realtor, but it sold, she had alot of people see it, and I was there to keep the place pristine and spotless for every showing.
So, ask yourself this, How bad do you want to move?
When the price is right, it will sell.
It not only has to beat the competition in price, but it has to SHINE!
Good Luck to you.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 12:16AM
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Phoggie, thanks for sending your blessings along to my sister! Sweet of you.

Phoggie, would you be open to some staging suggestions? I agree with Butterfly about spic & span. I'm sure you're a very good housekeeper, but don't under-estimate the power of paint too! Fresh. Clean. Tidy.
Those are the things I read stagers promote the most.

De-clutter...if you have extra belongings you are not using, donate, give them away or toss them. Your house will seem bigger! I know this may be hard, but I would even suggest removing a few pieces of furniture from the house. Take away something from each room & put it in storage or at a friend's house while you are on the market.

You are aiming for a house that feels open & airy! Buyers want to be able to imagine THEIR stuff in your space. You probably have wonderful things you've collected over the years, but now is not the time to display them all. The decor you love & live with, which is no doubt very nice, is not necessarily the best for "staging purposes."

Do you have carpet? Have it cleaned or even consider replacing it. They say that old carpet is one of the biggest turn-offs to potential buyers.

Curb you have any trees or shrubs blocking windows or the entry? Prune them up! Put a big pot of pretty flowers at your front door & again, sweep & keep the entry tidy & clutter-free. Consider painting your front door with shiny paint in a pretty color!

Hope you don't mind me presenting these ideas. As you said, having a house on the market is a LOT of work! Hang in there!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 8:29AM
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Thanks for all of the advice....
ncrealestateguy~ I guess if the house is not on the market, it will not will probably leave it on, but will be getting a different realtor.

Unfortunately, there are no houses sold in our price range...this house is just too big 4090SF, and I guess we put in too much "quality" materials.

We have about 1500 houses for sale in a town of 25,000, so they can be very picky....lots of new homes to compete against...but they have such tiny bedrooms and only 2 car garages, but guess that doesn't matter to the buyers. Our house could certainly not be built for anywhere near what we are asking for it.

I have staged as much as I can....took out the buffet to make the dining room "seem" larger....did away from DH's good old comfortable recliner (which he hated to part with), had 3 garage sales and took a lot to Goodwill, so it is certainly not cluttered anymore. Took down all family pictures, etc. and stored them. The realtors tell me NOT to paint any rooms because they are tastefully decorated. Of all of the realtors I have asked, not ONE of them had any ideas of what to do to make it more appealing.

The curb appeal is great...keep the lawn mowed and bushes and trees trimed. The house is brick & vinyl, and all of the trim and shutters have good paint.

I don't know of anything else that I can do to make it more inviting. No one has ever said the price is too high...wish they would just make an offer, so we could counter.

There is only one house in our price range for sale in town (and we have lowered $20,000 more then they needs up-dating badly) and it has been on the market about 2 I don't have anything really to compare ours to. As the agents told us, "There really isn't a house in town to compare yours to".

So, I guess in the mean time, we just wait for that "right buyer", if one is out there.....or lower it down to a price that we really can not afford to take because we will have to buy another one or build.

Our ages are against us.....either we make the move before long, or we stay until we are ready for a nursing home... But oh, I hate this town! I have a dear friend who came in almost daily and we went for our her husband has ALZ and she is a constant care-giver for things could be worse, but I feel so alone in a place I dislike with a passion!

Thanks for letting me vent again!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:34PM
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It was good to read your posts and know I'm not alone. We have been trying to sell our Florida condo for 5 months, and have had 3 contracts fall through. Trying to keep everything clean all day every day is getting so old, and we need so very much to move on. When we moved here 12 years ago we only planned to stay for 3-5 years, but the economy tanked and we are now stuck, it seems. Yesterday after 6 days of showings in a row (yes, I know I should count my blessings, but these are tire-kickers) I had a meltdown. There was a time when a condo in this building would have been snapped up almost before the listing hit the books!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:19PM
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Phoggie, I'm going to give this a go one more time and will apologize in advance if my comments seem harsh. I hate that you're so stressed about your house not selling, but it doesn't seem that you've taken any action recently to make it happen.

Two weeks ago, it was pointed out to you that your agent (with whom you've been dissatisfied almost from the start, over a year ago) had screwed up by attaching your address to another house's photo. Even though she corrected that, her listing is, to be blunt, pathetic. Of the 4 photos she shows there, 3 are of the back deck. Not one shows the interior of your house. How soon do you plan to list your house with a better agent?

As for how your house appears, I looked at the virtual tour on your agent's own site. Were those photos taken after you "staged" your house? If so, then I'm sorry to say that I disagree that you've done all you can. I had to go back and double check the age of your house because I thought my memory was faulty. IMHO, it appears much older than 10 yrs. In those photos I saw lots of fake flowers and plants, quite a few personal pictures, some religious art, wallpaper borders, and plaid wallpaper. One bedroom is deep mauve while another is baby blue. These days, most buyers seem to want a move-in ready house with neutral decor that they can later customize to suit themselves. Many will not even consider a house in which they'll have to strip wallpaper or wallpaper borders. Those are all things you can do something about.

I also saw the toilet in the laundry room. If there's not a door to separate it & its sink, that would be a deal killer for some buyers. I would not include a photo in your listing, but wait to let buyers see it after they've fallen in love with the rest of your house.

The current photos seem to be more about your furniture and decor than about the rooms' size and layout. I hope that if you do decide to de-personalize, remove wallpaper and borders, and paint any rooms that aren't already a neutral beige/cream/warm taupe, that your new agent will take better pictures to show off your house's features.

As for price, I commented previously: "There's a house about the same size as yours but on an acre lot for $20K less. There's another house, slightly larger than yours, for $250K. Someone who may be your agent's broker has a listing for a 4 bd/3ba house w/ almost 3100SF for $219,900. That's tough competition." Maybe you don't consider those houses to be direct competition for yours, but I think buyers will.

These days, the listing history of homes is readily available to buyers so taking it off the market and later relisting won't have the same impact that it might have a decade ago. However, I think it could be helpful for you to take your house off the market for a week or two in order to paint and neutralize its interior. Then, your new agent could present it as being freshly painted and move-in ready.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:49PM
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Phoggie - I am 72, my husband died 2 1/2 yrs ago and I needed to sell our home this year (we had already purchased another place to live just as he was diagnosed with cancer and that is where I now live). I calculated what the house was costing me to sit empty ever month; mortgage, escrow, utilities, yard guy to keep in mowed, HOA fees, etc. I was prepared to drop the listing price by that amount of money every month until it sold.

My home had a 2-yr old roof, was mostly brick with the gables and soffits vinyl, had "wood" laminate and brick paver floors, granite and butcherblock countertops, completely re-painted on the interior, large undermount sink, the largest yard in the subdivision.

Once it was listed I had a contract within 2 weeks (Houston, TX). My home was not nearly as large or expensive as yours but by doing all the work to make it fresh and new looking on the inside (and I did most of the updating/work inside) it sold quickly.

Today I looked on the tax listing website and noticed that even though my house was listed for less than the 2-story homes on my block, my house sold for as much as those homes were listed for, and, in fact, sold for several thousand dollars more than the tax guy has it listed for.

Yes, buyers in most areas can 'pick and choose' and if one really wants/needs to sell, then you need to make your home the most attractive one in the area, both in what it looks like and the price.

If your realtor isn't marketing your house with great pictures then you either need to change realtors or insist they take new pictures.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Don't let your discouragement paralyze you from making the needed changes to sell. Have several prospective new realtors in to offer suggestions and offer a market value assessment. In the long run, price is the determinant about any buyer buying, just as location is the primary determinant of price. Fresh paint, decluttering and depersonalizing will go a long way towards increasing the universal appeal of any home.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:10PM
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rockmanor~~ When I had my interviews with EVERY realtor in this town to decide on one, I ask each of them what can I do to make this house more appealing and marketable...i.e. paint the bedrooms, remove the wallpaper, put away all family photos, etc. EVERY one of them said, "Don't do anything!" We did tell the realtor that if the colors were not to a buyer's taste, we will be glad to paint the colors of their choice before we move.

As far as "fake flowers" on the listing....those are not fake, they are rose in the vase...real glads on the table, arrangements from a floral shop in entry and etc. and the plants (except for the ones on the top of the cabinets) are real.

The only "family pictures" that we have up are ones in the book shelves in the LR...and the realtors all said to leave them to make the house look "lived in"....and as far as the picture of Jesus....if anyone is offended be that, they don't need to buy my house! Sorry if you think that I am blunt, but He has been taken out of so many things, but not out of my house.

I have looked at the listings here in this town and know just about every house in town that is for sale...gone to the open houses every time there are any....and I can not find the ones you are referring will you please advise me as to their addresses and I will go check them out for myself personally.

DH said that our listing with this agent is over the end of Aug., and we will be doing something differently then.

I don't mind you being honest....but I don't think you realize the market in this military town, because they can not afford a house over $150,000...and we certainly are not going to sell this for that. Our tax rate is the highest in the state and our debt is also the largest per person in the state...and nothing but a Walmart and Goodwill to show for it....due to the mishandling of public funds by our city fathers...and the former mayor is in prison for doing so, but we still are stuck with the debts they created.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 11:43AM
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new-beginning~~ I am so sorry for your is so sad that he didn't live to enjoy your present home.
I was widowed for 26 years before I married my present DH, so I can relate to you losing a beloved spouse.
Bless you!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:30PM
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Phoggie, I don't see the listings for $279K and $250K today that I posted about back on the 5th (& I had no reason to bookmark them), so either their prices were reduced or they're under contract. The one for $219K is still on I won't post links because I'm cautious about privacy, but you could post your own listing if you wish for someone else to give you feedback.

Have you run a search on I suggest that you search first for just your town and then include nearby areas within 10 miles. It may be an eye opener.

There's a new construction house for the same price as yours on a 2 acre lot that's less than 10 miles away. I'd bet that some buyers would be willing to make the drive for a new home on more land with lower taxes.

In your town there's a slightly younger house with approx. the same SF and lot size for $245K, reduced from $280K. That agent wrote an intro highlighting stainless steel appliances and Corian counters in the "Property Details" before the facts list. Your agent skipped the opportunity to promote positive features of your home. It's good that you plan to hire a new agent, it's just a shame that the current one has had the listing for over a year.

Clearly, you see no need to make any changes to your house and that's your perogative. It doesn't surprise me that some RE agents who were trying to get your listing would say that you don't need to do anything. I've had that experience, too, and have seen it on countless HGTV shows as well. I wonder if those agents who wait until a listing is stale before they suggest neutralizing and depersonalizing the "product" realize how poorly that reflects on them.

If you have no intention of reducing your price, then it may be just as well to leave your home the way you like it. I hope, sincerely, that I'm wrong, but I think you'll be living in it for quite a while. Perhaps your husband will take legal action to recover his stolen funds, if that's feasible, so that you can afford to stay where you are and be comfortable. It sounds as if your options are limited, and that's a shame. If you can handle the high taxes there, perhaps you'd be content to stay put until the market recovers in a few years and meanwhile use some of your own savings for trips back to your hometown for extended visits. You might also consider selling that lot you purchased, for whatever it will bring, and use those funds for more trips. Then if things improve in 3 - 5 years, you could relist your house.

Again, I hope I'm wrong and some buyer will soon fall in love with your house just the way it is and will make a full price offer with no contingencies. If a sale doesn't happen, I hope that you can find a way to be happy where you are until your circumstances change and you can make the move you desire.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:46PM
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If all any buyer in your town can afford is a 150K house, and you are priced at double that, then I'm afraid that you will never sell your home. I'm sorry, I understand you are in a tough spot, and everyone sympathizes with that. But, you have to be realistic here.

Buyers don't care about what you "need" from your home. They only care if they are getting a good deal. Look at this from their viewpoint. Why should they pay 299K for your house? It's out of their budget range, even if it does offer more square footage and other amenities than the smaller homes. If it were maybe 199K, you might find someone willing to stretch a bit to purchase it, but not at 299K. If you were new to town, would you even look at a home at that price when there are so many more to choose from? Be honest with yourself.

It's a dead and dying town, where real estate values will probably only continue downward. It comes down to cutting your monthly losses and getting on with your desired life elsewhere or giving up and staying in place. How much carrying costs do you have? 3-4K a month? It's been for sale for a year. That year has cost you 48K, and another year will cost you another 48K. Do you think that you would have had more lookers initially when your listing was fresh if you reduced the price that 48K rather than spending it over a year's time?

You are going to have to do some hard math here if you really want to move. It doesn't matter how much you think your home is "worth" if no one will buy it from you for that. All that matters is how much it's costing you to have that false pride that you aren't' "giving" it away.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 2:04PM
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Being the most expensive and nicest home in the area is a lousy place to be. You have no comps to pull you up, only comps to pull you down.
You really need to have a sit down with your agent and look at what has sold in the past 6 months, w/in 10 miles of you, and figure out why those buyers looked at your home and then decided to buy something else... it is not rocket science. If you refuse to do this simple excercise, then you are not proactively trying to sell your home.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 3:14PM
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GreenDesigns~~ Thankfully our house was paid in full from the day we built other than taxes, etc., it is not costing us anything to stay here....

ncrealestate~~ "Being is most expensive and nicest home in the area is a lousy place to be." are so right!
...and I will ask for comps in the last 6 months.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:35PM
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actually it is costing you taxes, utilities, upkeep, insurance. Add all the numbers up ...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 11:13PM
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Greendesigns said, "Buyers don't care about what you "need" from your home. They only care if they are getting a good deal." Amen! Sad...but truer now, during this particular buyer's market, than ever before, imo.

You are in a hugely advantageous position though, Phoggie, being that your house is paid in full. That's huge! It makes everything different than it would be if you still owed the bank money. You walk away with whatever you sell the house for! There aren't that many people out there who can say that, so remember what a strong advantage that is.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:42PM
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Can anyone post a link to Phoggie's house?

I feel for you, Phoggie, what a tough situation to be in. At least it is paid for. I'm glad you are getting a new realtor. When you get a new one I suggest getting professional pictures taken, they look so much better on the internet. I don't think they are that expensive.

I do think I would have the mauve and baby blue bedrooms painted a medium beige or taupe and remove all wallpaper and borders. Your home has dark molding doesn't it? Do you think painting it white would brighten up the house?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 3:46PM
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