Too quiet! 10 days and nothing happening!

tweetsSeptember 25, 2009

Hi, I am new to posting here although Ive been a lurker for quite a while.

We just recently (10 days ago) listed a house and now I am very worried. We had absolutely nobody interested!!! We are purchasing another house (closing in 3 weeks) and while we can afford to not sell this for a few months, I donÂt want to stretch it for too long. Our problem is several foreclosures in our subdivision which drove the prices way down. My house is one of the nicer ones, very good location on the cul-de-sac. It was upgraded and I hope it would appeal to the buyers, if they only gave it a chance and looked at it. It is priced higher than the foreclosures, but I am not willing to give it away. There was one home very close, a little smaller (3 bdrms) but with beautiful yard that sold $5000 less than we are asking, about 1 month ago. There is another one asking about the same but I feel it is in the worse location and not as nice as ours. The rest of them are all foreclosures in need of upgrades, but also in worse location (on the main street).

I am getting really upset because it feels like nothing at all is going to happen. Our realtor did not even put a sign at the corner of the cul-de-sac to indicate the location of the "House for Sale." Should we have an Open House? I know that they donÂt usually bring buyers, but I just want it to feel like the house is being looked at.

Could you please look at my listing and criticize? What would help to create some traffic?

MLS# 2946871

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I definintely know how you feel. If you didn't have another house under contract, I would say relax and don't worry since it's only been 10 days, but since you are under contract, I would feel very anxious. Not to scare you as every situation is different, but my house was on the market for about 1 1/2 years before I finally sold this past July. I bought an acre lot to build on, but haven't started yet as I'm now in an apartment. I built my house in 2005 at the height of the market so I took a big hit when I finally did sell it. My subdivision was new and there were a lot of ARM's done I'm assuming as there were multiple foreclosures. I went fixed but my neighbor next to me didn't. That house went in to foreclosure while the house on the other side recently went as a short sale. My house was at the end of the cul de sac with the biggest lot, but it didn't seem to matter. Traffic slows down at this time of year after the kids go back to school. I wouldn't worry about open houses. I had some with the first agent I was using, but it was a waste of time. I ended up dropping the price as much as I could because I was just ready to move on. I figured I would just cut my losses as the longer I stayed, the more I seemed to lose. Good luck in your situation. I hope things work out for you. If you can afford to lower your price, that seems to be what was driving traffic in my area (Cincinnati). I'm just glad it's over as it was a stressful time, and I only had one mortgage.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 8:32PM
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$69 a square foot!? I live in an area of "cheap housing" and you can't get a shack here for that. Wow!

Ask your Realtor what the average DOM are for your neighborhood and for goodness sake have her get a sign out and a flyer box too! Shesh.

Do have an Open House. It only takes one person to walk in and make that offer, and loads of people have bought at Open Houses. Even is they tell Cousin Millie they "saw this great house..." and Cousin Millie tells her SIL Joan and Joan tells her Brother Jim and... so on and so on. Traffic usually leads to a buyer.

Realtor caravans in your area?

I gotta tell ya, I'm the biggest GW rip the pictures apart and tell them what is wrong with their listing pics poster, but at $69/sq ft I can't begin to criticize... wth else could people want for their money? I will say I was surprised to not see a bathroom pic. Any reason why one was not included?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 9:06PM
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Wow, I'm speechless! I couldn't get granite counters for that price where I live. That's unbelievable. Beautiful house. I wouldn't lower your price a penny - how could you? I agree with xamas. I don't believe in open-houses, but in your case I would do anything to get it seen. Put pressure on your Realtor to market your house better.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 11:33PM
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tweets ~

I wanted to tell you how lovely your home and yard are! The style of home you have is almost exactly like mine except I have a bedroom over the garage as well. I enjoyed looking at each picture and must tell you that this is the very first time I have ever seen anyone with the same living room furniture as me. I just love my sofa and love seat. It is just about the softest material and very comfy to sit on!

I will follow your situation in earnest because we plan on putting our home (2900 sq. ft. not including the 1200' basement) up for sale either next Spring or the following year. We are ready to downsize and reduce our expenses.

We bought our home 4 1/2 years ago for $210,000 and there has been some downward spiral of housing prices in Kansas City, Missouri but nothing like some other areas of the country. We totally upgraded the kitchen, butler's pantry and laundry room and were hoping to get about $240K but you never know. I am thankful that we got a fixed rate and put 1/3 down on the house so we have some wiggle room.

I am sorry about this nerve-wracking time. Did you just put a contract on your new home? This is a time when all the school kids have already been back nearly four weeks here and most families try to move in before mid-August.

Good luck and I do wish you the best outcome.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 6:21AM
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Thank you all for positive comments! Just to clarify, the realtor has a sign in the front yard with the flyers, but nothing at the beginning of the cul-de-sac. I would like to see an arrow pointing towards my house. The bathroom picture? There is nothing wrong with my bathroom, he just never took any pictures. Double sinks, tile floor, garden tub, seperate shower. All in neutral colors, with nice accessories. I will take some extra pictures and post for you to criticize later today. I think that if people walked in they would like the house, but nobody is looking! I am not sure about "realtors caravan," need to ask my realtor about it. I suspect they are not very popular here.
Do you think that posting it on a Craig List a few times a month would give me some exposure?
I will also ask my realtor to do the Open House, maybe next week. We have done so much to this house, new roof/new air conditioning/water heater/heater, newpretty dramatic "rustic maple" floors in the kitchen/hallways, granite countertops, newer appliances, tile floors in bathrooms, fresh paint inside and outside, new light fixtures... I am just not willing to give it all away. I think this house is a good deal at our asking price.
Thank you for looking and confirming my feelings are not getting in a way here. I will post some more pictures today for you to look at.
Thank you!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:26AM
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10 days is not really very long to start to worry. Find out from your realtor what the average DOM in your area is. If your realtor cannot quickly and easily answer that question, get a new realtor!

Anyhow, my point is that you shouldn't worry until you are at the average length of time to be on the market.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:42AM
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I have nothing to add but what a pretty house you have!

I am in metro Detroit -- if your area is anything like ours -- there is just very little demand right now no matter how great your house is.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:54AM
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I looked up your home on Realtor dot com. You have 32 houses in the 1/4 to 1/2 mile radius. Most of them asking slightly less $, not as nice as yours. By the end of the day what counts is the number of BR and baths, and most of them are the same. The buyers can only pay what they can afford.

Now, here the practical way to find what is going on. I'm not that familiar with Indy MLS but what is available in Cincy. Two counters available - agents and public web hits. The key is to look at dynamics. Take a snapshot of the number (s). Than change the price; the actual amount doesn't matter, could be as little as $1,000. What it does - sends automated (autoprospecting) email to all the agents and buyers who have your house in the search criteria. Than the numbers have to be recorded daily for the next week to see how many agents and buyers (again 2 counters) looked at your house every day. If number of the hits doesn't increase much - there're just no buyers (lookers). If the number jumped up but they are not asking for the showing appointments - than the price (or other conditions) would be suspected. I provide all my sellers with the weekly web hits report. Ask your agent to do the same, if available. Open houses on Sundays during football season do not produce many visitors, in my opinion.

A word about photos - you have summer (green trees) pictures; Soon it will be a good time to change outside pics to the ones having some orange color.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:51AM
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It looks very nice. The area I am in is priced about the same. I think a bathrom picture would be a good idea, maybe get rid of one of the basement pictures.

If any pictures are redone I suggest removing the ottoman and one of the chairs from the sunporch for the picture. All that furniture makes the room look too small. I would also remove the coffee table from in front of the fireplace, it doesn't add anything and blocks the fireplace in the picture. But these are very minor items.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 12:24PM
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I am getting really upset because it feels like nothing at all is going to happen. Our realtor did not even put a sign at the corner of the cul-de-sac to indicate the location of the "House for Sale."

TELL your agent you want a sign at the corner of the cul-de-sac. However, there may be county regulations that govern this.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 7:39PM
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However, there may be county regulations that govern this.

This is certainly true in my area. Signs placed in the public right of way are subject to fines.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 7:54PM
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You waited only 1 month before your new closing to put your old home on the market? Man, you are optimistic. What was the rationalization for this?
Like previously said, find out the DOM, and add 15% to this # (mls data is not correct for DOM)(a better snapshot is for agent to figure out the absorption rate...the amount of time it will take to sell all of the inventory that is competing w/ your property.)Price your home and market the home according to this inventory.
And just because there are posters here that think $69/sq. ft. is a good deal, still have an open mind on pricing. As the one poster said, you are the highest price comp w/in a 1/2 mile. Even though your home may be "worth it", in this market, it is not good to be the highest priced home.
Igorz's suggestion is fine, although most agents will be ill equipped to do such an analysis. 10 days is not long enough to determine much. However, the first few weeks will be the time that you get the most showings... Another reason that you want the price to be just right during this time, not later when the showings drop off.
So, find out, in detail, what is going on in your well defined market area, then price it to sell, expose the home, (Yes, your agent should automatically be using Craigslist), and be patient.
Your home is very attractive, and good luck to you.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 6:40AM
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We will do an Open House this coming Sunday and realtors caravan following Tuesday. I still have to check with my realtor about the sign, not sure if this is allowed. It really feels like nobody is looking at all, houses in immediate area did not have any showing in the last couple of weeks. Good idea about keeping counts of hits. I will discuss it with him today.
And re: why we waited so long? We werent really looking to move, unless some good opportunity came up. I wanted to list the house in the summer, just in case, but my husband would not hear of it. He did not want to "move twice." He did not want to rent and no matter what I said he would not budge. I am afraid we are going to pay for it now. The house we will be buying has a lot of work that needs to be done, so it wont hurt to stay in our current house a little longer while we are working on the other one, but we would like to use the $$$ from this house for the renovations.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 8:13AM
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Some of the pictures are not good for listings. They show negatives. You never want to show a negative in a listing photo.

By photo number:

8. Tiny high windows are very disproportionate to the room. The column looks like an afterthought. The cabinet looks like someone converted a fireplace, emphasizing the no fireplace part. The furdown for the duct shouts low headroom.

9. Extremely poor composition. Looks cluttered and unlovable.

10. Unattractive view, poorly composed, with stuff laying about. The lawn appears to be in poor shape.

11. Poorly composed view showing other houses. Again, the lawn doesn't look good.

I don't know why in the world your agent would include these photos in the listing. He should know better. All it takes is a single off-putting photo to turn off a potential buyer. You can't afford to include any of them.

From the looks of the other photos, he should be able to include other nice looking areas, instead of these.

Note, you shouldn't take offense at these comments. They are aimed at the photos, not your home. As an example, your lawn may in fact be just fine. It just doesn't appear fine in the photos, and appearances are everything in listing photos.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 11:23AM
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8 and 9 are basement pictures. I think the realtor wanted to show the size of the basement... It is a little cluttered, but it is a basement after all... I could remove some of the "stuff" from there, but it is multi-purpuse area, with playroom, TV area and exercise area. We have a pinp-pong table there too, could fold it up and store it, but my agent told me it was not necessary.
The outdoor pictures, I think, are again intended to show the size of the backyard. Do you think they are a turn off? I see now what you mean by "poor shape of the lawn." The pictures were taken after a dry spell here, I think the lawn looks better now, maybe they should be re-taken... Or should I not include them at all? If they are a turn off, I would rather take them out, but I always thought my backyard was a positive, not a negative of my house.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 1:05PM
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Do not include any pictures that have any negative connotation, period. Substitute other pictures or leave them out. Don't rationalize why the pictures look the way they are. Get rid of them.

I'll add this: Buyers expect pictures. If there aren't any, they will be suspicious. They expect the following:

Front of house.

Living room area.

Dining area.


At least one bathroom.

At least one bedroom, which should be the master.

If any of these are left out, it will raise questions in the buyers' mind as to why they weren't included.

You can add more, but they should all meet the same high standard, and none should be off-putting. Off-putting means containing any undersirable element.

Needless to say, all areas should be neat, tidy, and well lit, and the pictures should be well composed.

Sorry to say, but your agent sounds like he just doesn't get it.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 1:40PM
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I would add that pic of the fron was taken taken early in the morning and shadows cover most of the surface. They must be taken with the sun rays hitting directly

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 7:55PM
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I haven't read all the replies, but did read your post.

First off, your house is absolutely GORGEOUS and looks like it's been kept up well, so I can't see anything being an issue there. I didn't look at all the pics, but from what I saw, it's nice. I don't think that 3 weeks is all that long, really.

I have been on the other side, been searching for a home for almost a year now - was hard since I live a few states away. I wasn't looking for a foreclosure but it seemed so many homes on the market where foreclosures or short sales. I can't say that a single one was in good condition. We actually had a an offer accepted on a short sale but after inspections, retracted the offer, and thank goodness we did (see below)

Just last week we found a home that we put in an offer on and it was accepted. Prior to that, there was NOTHING at all I'd consider going to see in my price range, I mean, months went buy!

Today the inspections are being done and then the appraisal, if all goes well. Suppose to close Oct. 28th.

I can tell you when I search for a home, I REALLY search things out. I look at foreclosures that are coming up for sale, the area demographics, property records, taxes, deeds, etc. I know, it's overkill, but I feel the more info, the better. This house is in a better neighborhood, best schools in the country (no kids at home, but I guess it's important) bigger piece of land and definitely a lot better condition - but it cost me more. People know if a house is worth what is being asked. Though this house is more than I wanted to spend, I know that it's worth more, not only the house, but the area its in. I am not worried about the 2 foreclosures in the subdiv. I'm not looking to buy and sell anytime soon - and things are going to turn around.

Like I said, the house we are purchasing is a LOT more money than the short sale we were going to buy. I figured the SS had about $40K worth of work that needed to be done before we could move in. Our offer of $106k was accepted. This house is not a ss, just a normal re sale, and it's costing me $43K more than the other house and I have to do updating on the whole house, though you could say it was in move-in condition - just have to pull up flooring and paint prior to anything else, people smoke, but the house appears to be in great condition (inspectors will let me know what I can't see) I won't take it if it needs a new roof, has termites or major a/c problems. Won't put out more money than I am already, so that's what I'm waiting to hear today.

Anyhow, this house was only on the market 3 weeks, and there was no sign out there until the day we went back to show my Mom, so 3 weeks, no sign. I found it by searching the MLS listings. I've searched every site I could think of for homes. If your realtor doesn't have it on Craigslist, have her put it on there, or you put a link to the listing - I looked on there a lot too. Post a copy of the MLS on any community boards you may have, grocery stores, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't panic. Wait until the open house, see what people say. See if you can have a sign and if so, make sure you tell your LA you WANT a sign(s)

I am paying more per sq foot of home than you are asking and yours is a lot more updated than mine. I don't know about the market, but I'd hold the price if you know it's reasonable, again, just my 2 cents.

Do you know what the house would appraise for? Maybe you want to invest in an appraisal to show the value? They could do a drive-by appraisal or internal. Or, you could have a home inspection done (most people will have them done anyhow) know what's needed, fix what may be an issue, or if no issues, use that as a selling point. Then, if someone wants a re-inspection, it would probably be a lot cheaper, and they'd know the house was in good standing.

Again, just my 2 cents, I know nothing about RE. I really think you'll sell it. I'm a firm believer if it's meant to be it's meant to be. A house I fell in love with when I first started looking got an offer on it before I could - was totally bummed, loved that house - didn't think I'd find something else - it took me almost a year to find this one - and the house we didn't get, the ss, thank goodness we didn't - after we retracted the offer, a pipe burst and flooded the finished basement and had the water streaming out of the garage!

And BTW, I've been posting all over the forums for ideas on updating/renovating, so you could probably view just about every room in this house and see what I'm talking about. Trust me, your house is a LOT prettier than this one is, by a long shot!

There's a reason for everything!! It will happen!!!!

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:18AM
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How are you doing? Have you had any activity yet? Please keep us posted.

I liked what 'igorz' had to say and I seriously would consider a different agent. When you first list your house the agent should not only be realistic but ENTHUSIASTIC!!!
When Dh and I sold our house last year we had numerous open houses and if I didn't hear from our agent in a few days I either called her or sent her an email to ask what was happening or not. We kept in constant contact and tried to put a 'strategy' in place that we all agreed on. If you want more signage tell the agent right away!! Your house is beautiful by the way, and should sell soon but as you said, people need to be aware that it is there!!!

Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 11:04PM
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We accepted an offer and are waiting for an inspection (tomorrow)!!! When we listed in mid September, it was very slow at the beginning, picked up a little mid-November, we had several showings at the end of December (when I thought it would be "dead" for sure), but it really picked up in the second week of January. We had a showing (or two) almost every day for two weeks. All the feedback was very positive, only one of the potential buyers "hated the house, hated the floors, hated the granite countertops, hated the floorplan." We still don't know what to make out of this, after many very positive feedbacks, this one did not sound possible... But now we have an offer, after negotiations we settled at $215... Buyers are planning to pay cash but won't have it until possibly beginning of March, so they want to rent for a month before we close. We reluctanly agreed. Of course there will be a substantial deposit in case of "change of mind." So, now we have to move before Feb 12, and I am packing like crazy. I don't foresee any major issues to come up at the inspection, we kept up the house and don't know of anything needing attention, but I guess you never know... We closed on our new house on November 16th, so we only had 2 houses for about 3 months total. Not bad, I would say, in the current market.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 12:40PM
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Congratulations! I hope all goes well and you're all done in a short while.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Congratulations, tweets. Did you get all the work done on your new house?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 11:54PM
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