Return to the Buying and Selling Homes Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--long

Posted by lokipup (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 13, 12 at 15:25

What should I expect from a realtor? I have bought 2 times and sold once with the same realtor. She was the Mary Poppins of the realtor world. So maybe my expectations are too high. Didn't use her with this house (she helped us buy it 9 years ago) because she has moved an hour away & we felt we'd be better off with someone in our area. Would love to call her now, but too embarrassed. And there is the distance thing. So please offer advise.

Background: Last March we put our house on market with a realtor that was highly recommended. Told him that we'd sell for $275. He listed for $290 with the understanding that price would lower $10,000 every 30 days (at least for the 1st three months). Lots of showings, no offers, no price decrease, no feedback (although we know from appointment desk that 5 or 6 were 2nd showings), no contact with realtor. At the beginning of month 5 called to see when contract was up. Realtor had someone call that day and he was showing the house the next day. We know that is true because we saw them sitting in the driveway writing the # down & we spied (I know, a little crazy). Nothing else from realtor until beginning of month 6. We called & asked for feedback. Were told the couple liked our house best but they were running the #'s to see how much it would cost to finish basement & decided to buy the other one that was finished. Our realtor didn't even call us and ask to offer a deduction for finishing (keep in mind, we were willing to sell for less 5 months earlier). But, by the way, he had a full priced owner finance offer & did we want to see it. We passed, but not sure we would have known if we hadn't called. Also, listing expired & he didn't notice. We had to call 2 weeks later and ask him to remove sign.

House was off marked during September, but re-listed with another highly recommended realtor in October. One realtor we interviewed brought 2 comps that sold for 270,000, & told us he could sell in 2 weeks-30 days max if we'd list for $250,000. We liked him a lot, but one of his business associates (didn't know about the connection until interview)participates in what I consider to be unethical business activities. Someone on this forum recommends getting a realtor that shares your values, so we went with the other realtor. She had same comps. Said if it was summer she'd recommend $270, but since Oct was when listing would begin she wanted to list for $260. Said she thought this would sell in 30 days, because if it didn't go by November it would sit until Spring. Three weeks into listing (2 open houses & 3 or 4 showings) we were pleased with realtor, but she started pressuring us to finish our basement. It has heat/air, a full bath, 2 walls have drywall, walkout, 5 windows, and 10ft ceilings. If someone wanted to finish it it would be relatively easy, but we are not going to. She has really put pressure on me. Realtor says that the two comps she showed us had finished basements & sold for $269,900 and $269,300. When I told her that if we finished our basement we would have 1,000 ft2 more than theirs. She said "exactly, then you can sell yours for what they got." Does that make sense??? The other "comp" she uses is a 1700 ft2 main with 1600 ft2 finished basement that sold for $260 (our asking price). That house sold while ours was on market for $290. Oh, our house 2500 or 2700 ft2 depending on whether you're looking at tax data or sales data. I don't view her comps in the same way she does. Do you? BTW, she hasn't asked us to lower price, just finish basement.

We had one showing Monday, Jan 9, and another Wednesday Jan 11. No feedback.

Price question: I am open to lowering the price because it hasn't sold, but would you do it now, or wait a month or 2 since holiday time is not a busy time?

Realtor question/concern: She seemed a little too invested in us finishing basement. In October told me that someone was going to make an offer contingent to us finishing the basement. When I told her we weren't going to, the offer never came through. Are realtors allowed to tell things like that (in our state it is allowed for them to represent buyer & seller). Also, with 2 showings when I asked if they were the 2nd showings from open house she replied "the realtor has shown the house before". What does that mean? At Christmas she called & told us she was switching companies. We signed the paperwork because she is trying to sell the house & that is all that counts. I left her a message Monday that the brochures in the house still have her old company & work #. She left a message Tuesday that she wanted to meet with my husband & me & go over some new comps because things have changed. No mention of the showing. I don't think she even knows that someone was there either day. Is this normal?

I am truly sorry this is so long, I just thought detailed info would get me better/more informed answers.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

If you would have taken 275 originally, why did you allow the original realtor to list at 290? If all of the other comps have a finished basement, then they are not true comps. Perhaps there are no sales that involve homes without finished basements close to your price range. Are you prepared to hear that? The reason she would prefer you to finish the basement is so that you will be able to sell for a higher price. It sounds as though your actual comps are much lower than you want to hear---or list at.

Time to be real here. Do you need to sell, or do you just want to sell? Would you be willing to list below 250? If not, would you be willing to do anything to get the value of your home up, like finish the basement? You've got some hard decisions ahead and it doesn't sound like you have the right realtor to partner with to give you the market truths.

Don't be embarrassed about calling a realtor that you have used in the past. It's business for her, and for you. That's the message you need to internalize. When is the current realtor's contract due to expire? Could you cancel now? I'd give your preferred realtor a call and ask her to run the comps for you---but be prepared to not be happy about what you hear. Then, follow her recommendations in order to get the home sold. Or else pull it off and forget selling.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

live wire oak Thanks, I am prepared for the feedback. Let realtor list for what he wanted because my previous experience was that the realtor knew much more than me. (She came over, asked if I wanted to sell fast or for the highest amt, then she named a listing price & sold it for $4000 less in a few weeks.) Also the other houses that sold started the summer priced like ours. They lowered their prices over the summer, but we couldn't get in touch with our realtor to make that happen. I wrote so much, but I did leave out details. The houses with finished basements (tiled floors dropped ceilings & drywall) had 1700 main/1600 finished basement(apparently no garage on that one), 1900 up/1000 down and 2000 up/1000 down. We have 2500 (or 2700-can't figure out why selling #'s are different than tax records-lets go with 2500)main, with est 1600 ft2 basement (only semi-finished)& 2 car garage/workshop. If we finished our basement we would have a minimum of 4000 ft2 total. That's 800 to 1000 more than the others. If we finished ours, shouldn't it bring more than theirs, instead of the same? I have always been told that basement ft2 is not the same $ as main level. Is this true? I have looked at MLS listings in the price range $255 to $265 & they all seem very similar to ours, but none (on market now) have basements. I guess what I find frustrating is that the realtor brought us the comps. We asked her what list price should be (had it not been for the unethical associate of the other realtor we'd have listed for 250 with him) & she's the one who priced it as is. Then 3 weeks later she's pressuring for a renovation (not a price reduction). We also figured that if the other realtor thought he could sell at 250 for asking price, anyone that would pay that would make an offer at 260. At the time of listing both realtors showed average selling price in our area at $100 ft2 with no basement.

What's really bothering me is that she apparently is unaware that anyone has even viewed the house this week. Before Thanksgiving she's call & tell us if it was a 2nd showing & give feedback (always good). But this week it showed Mon & Tues morning another showing was scheduled for Wed & when she called Tues she didn't seem to know about either showing. And if I changed companies, I would definitely change the flyers to have my correct contact info. That is why I asked if she had gone bad.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Sounds like you need a new Realtor, and I would also recommend not telling your agent what you are willing to sell the house for, particularly since you said they can represent the seller and the buyer in your state.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

"They lowered their prices over the summer, but we couldn't get in touch with our realtor to make that happen."

Incredible.

I don't see how a person that potentially is going to be paid tens of thousands of dollars by you is unreachable.

More incredible is why you would allow this to continue.

It sounds like most of your problems are rooted in your inability to communicate with various agents.

If your agent isn't returning your calls, ask to speak with the Broker and ask him/her to correct that issue.... ASAP.


 o
when would you lower the price

LWO Thanks for the encouragement to call the old realtor. I may do that when the listing expires in March. I don't mean to sound so down on the realtor we're using, I'm just overly sensitive in the feedback area. To be fair, she has been working hard to sell. I get stressed when someone tries to pressure me to do something (finish basement), but that's just a personality thing & doesn't matter at all if she can sell the house. We really want to sell, but don't have to. As far as improving the house-right before listing last year we repainted most of the walls, repainted trim, and had the hardwood refinished. In the 3 years before that we put on a new roof, installed new Trane high effeciency dual fuel Heat & Air unit, tiled the kitchen, installed new pantry,island & pot filler faucet, & put in granite countertops, and did a lot of landscaping. The basement floor was stained & the walls are painted. I know none of this adds monetary value, but the house is in excellent condition. The only thing else that could be done is finish the basement & we are just not up for that. I asked if realtor was allowed to pass on that we said we weren't going to do that, because if we had actually had an offer in writing we might have offered to give an allowance.

When would you lower the price? We dropped it so much in Oct hoping for a quick sale, but now that price is old. Wanted to take it off from Nov to Feb, but around here 6 month contracts are standard. Do we lower now, wait until mid-Feb (for the March high-season)?


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

jboling thanks for the support. I feel like I'm being secretive or sneaky, but I've never understood how a realtor could represent both fairly. And I'm pretty sure she's representing the couple that are trying to sell their house & i think the other couple that she said were going to make an offer & then didn't.

saltidawg for background on last summer's listing look for my post "listing expired realtor hasn't noticed". Don't know what happened with him, but the person who recommended him said he was having personal issues & had lost 3 other listings that she had referred. He was the broker & contract had a heavy penalty to break. The current agent responds to all calls. Just frustrated that she brought the comps, we listed at her recommended price & then she almost immediately began pressuring us to finish basement. It may be that my expectations are too high because the angel of a realtor that i used for 2 buys & 1 sell was just too good. Or that last summer's realtor was so bad that I am suspicious minded


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

When would you lower the price? We dropped it so much in Oct hoping for a quick sale, but now that price is old. Wanted to take it off from Nov to Feb, but around here 6 month contracts are standard. Do we lower now, wait until mid-Feb (for the March high-season)?

FWIW, we faced the same issue when our listing expired shortly before Christmas in 2010. We were sure we needed to lower the price for a quick sale (like you we had followed our agent's recommendation for listing price and, in retrospect, it was too high). We felt that the market starts heating up in March so decided to wait until then to relist and lower our price. We relisted around the end of February and had 3 showings immediately and sold to one of them.

That said you might look at your competition for similar houses and see how you compare them and how your pricing compares. We are currently looking to buy and there are not nearly as many houses on the market now as their will be in a few months. I'm sure we would have more choices then. But, we would prefer to buy sooner rather than later so we keep trying to find something that is listed now rather than having to wait. A well priced house now would get our attention now whereas a few months from now it would be competing against more houses.


 o
Yea! The realtor has not gone bad

Thanks Kats Meow. That is a new perspective. We may go ahead and lower price now. Didn't think about less competition. From what I see from other MLS listings, our house is priced low if you like it, but not low enough for someone who doesn't like it to buy just because it's a good deal.

The realtor called & said she was e-mailing feedback & that she was getting new brochures printed. I am so relieved. I was afraid the company switch was going to mean no feedback. Realtor didn't mention price, just said things should start getting busier soon. The feedback was good. One likes our house but has to sell 1st & one likes our house but is leaning toward a new build. Why do people look if they have to sell 1st? Or is that just a line. When I was looking I didn't know realtors gave feedback & I used to say things like, "That is the ugliest kitchen I've ever seen." Hope that didn't get passed on.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

When I was looking I didn't know realtors gave feedback & I used to say things like, "That is the ugliest kitchen I've ever seen." Hope that didn't get passed on.

As a seller I wanted things like that to be passed on .... in a tactful way, of course. I got way more benefit from negative feedback than positive. After all, if they really feel positive about the house they write an offer. Negative feedback was helpful when I heard the same thing from multiple people. For example, in the house we were selling we had a formal dining room and a breakfast bar but no dedicated breakfast room. Several people didn't like that. It was helpful for me to know that. I couldn't do anything about it, of course, except lower the price (which we did).

That said, we looked at houses today as a buyer and I have no idea what the agent passed on as feedback. She didn't really ask us what we thought of the houses and we didn't make many comments while there. One house we looked at is nice in many ways and has some real positives.

But the negatives are things that could be fixed. The house is badly painted inside -- the paint is very shiny and bright white in most of the house with one room lime green and a couple of others blue. Personally when I was getting ready to sell my house I repainted since I think buyers have a hard time with unattractive or unique colors.

Also the homeowners are really into blue and there is a lot of blue in the house. Most of it is OK but the master shower is tiled in bright blue and the floor tile and tub surround are also gray/blue and bright blue. I really think it is hurting the house since I think most people won't like it and won't want to spend the expense to replace it. DH is negative on the house simply because he doesn't want to have to redo the master bath.

Anyway, I don't know what the agent passed on but it might be helpful to the sellers to know for example that we weren't fond of the blue bathroom (particularly if others said the same thing). They might not want to spend the money to redo it but a price reduction that would make it more palatable to a buyer who might be considering the cost it would take to redo it might help.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Kats Meow I have been considering the possibility that my house is just ugly. We repainted the interesting (hound dog ugly)shade of green that my husband chose for the master bedroom & the blue (matched my wedgewood & blue willow china) on the lower part of dining wall before placing house on market. Maybe it is just too neutral. I've checked real estate assessment data today and our house is listed for lower than anything in our subdivision has sold for in the last 7 years. Our town got a major retail/housing development then & it's been a relative boom town ever since. Even the 2 corner lots at the subdivision entrance (smaller lots and right smack on the major highway) sold for $265 and $275 in the last 2 years.

House is showing for the 3rd time this week. Would you lower price now or give it a couple of weeks. It had a 30,000 drop in Oct.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Maybe post a link to the mls listing? I can't comment on whether or not you should lower the price, but could give feedback on the listing itself.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

"We had one showing Monday, Jan 9, and another Wednesday Jan 11. No feedback."

No feedback? What does your contract say? If this happened to me, I'd put flyers out front that had MY phone number on it so buyers could contact YOU directly with any comments they might have.

"Realtor question/concern: She seemed a little too invested in us finishing basement. In October told me that someone was going to make an offer contingent to us finishing the basement."

Call her bluff and find out what the buyers name is. If she won't tell you, fire her. Its your house and you have a right to know who any and all potential purchasers are. I have a feeling that she has a buyer but wants YOU to lower your price to include finishing the basement. I wouldn't do it.

"In the 3 years before that we put on a new roof, installed new Trane high effeciency dual fuel Heat & Air unit, tiled the kitchen, installed new pantry, island & pot filler faucet, & put in granite countertops, and did a lot of landscaping. The basement floor was stained & the walls are painted. Our town got a major retail/housing development then & it's been a relative boom town ever since. Even the 2 corner lots at the subdivision entrance (smaller lots and right smack on the major highway) sold for $265 and $275 in the last 2 years."

The house sounds great and the basement sounds acceptable. If somebody wants to finish it, let them pour the extra money into it. Since the neighborhood is appreciating, I'd wait until spring and list it for $290 again. Make sure the landscaping is in order. Flowers, etc.

Don't sign a contract with an agent for any longer than 3 months so you don't have to put up with more unacceptable behavior. Put contingencies about feedback, timeliness of response, etc so your both on the 'same page'.

If your bottom offer really is $270, than negotiate hard and only agree to that lower price as a concession for the basement. Don't tell any future (new) agents ANY details about your personal life, why your selling or what your bottom price will be. They WILL use this against you. Don't speak to the buyer in person. When I was a buyer, I always asked this so I could test how desperate the sellers were. The sellers agents ALWAYS sang like canaries. Guess whose interests they were looking out for. ;(

We got our house for a good deal because the seller had bought another property and was having a difficult time making the payments on both properties. It wasn't wise of him to share this with us, but I had kept up a stream of compliments about what a great job he'd done to the house, etc and asked about his family etc, so he confided this tidbit to me.....Loose lips sink ships!


A link that might be useful:

www.articlesnatch.com/Article/How-To-Avoid-Unethical-Behaviors-And-Dirty-Tricks-Of-Realtors/6542#ixzz1jYnj3Vx5


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

ottawayvalleygardener Sorry it took so long to post this. Life has been happening. I can't post the link but if you go to realtracs.com, it is mls # 1308611. I took a 2nd look at the pics & a couple of them look like we're trying to sell the furniture instead of the house. I'm going to ask for some new pictures this week, so any suggestions will be appreciated. We had a great rug in the den that got cleaned & put in storage when hardwood was refinished. That may warm things up.

dreamgarden You have no idea how much better you have made me feel. I've been 3 nights with no sleep, taking care of sick kids, & worrying about the house. I laughed out loud when you said raise the price in March! That's what my husband says. We won't really do it though. Last summer we couldn't imagine selling for less than $270, but in Oct we lowered price to $260 gambling on a fast sell. Didn't work. Didn't expect any action from Nov to Feb., but now we're wondering if we should lower price a little. We absolutely will not sell below $250. Can't believe we're even considering the possibility. I agree with you that our agent has a buyer who wants finished basement & views us as the weak link. She knows that we have already bought & are renovating another house. To do as much damage control as possible, I told her that we are thinking about keeping both & moving my parents into one as they are not in the best health. I also told her that we would not come off on price any more than we already have (hope she's not reading this or she'll know we are considering coming down a little more). Honestly, we'd have never lowered it this much if I wasn't so tired of the "clean up after kids" mad rush every time it shows. I appreciate your insights. Also, what would you think of her sending a link to a foreclosure house in another subdivision as a comp? There aren't any for sale in our subdivision except ours. It's MLS No. 1331072 if you have time to look. I don't know what the Freddie Mac 1st look program is, but if they are refusing to show to investors until after 1/28, they must know it's a low price. Is this something to consider as a comp & should it affect the value of our home?

She did come through with feedback on the 1st 2 showings after I had posted here.


 o
clarification

the foreclosure MLS is 1331072 and ours is 1308611. Realtracs.com is one site that they are both listed.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Also, what would you think of her sending a link to a foreclosure house in another subdivision as a comp? There aren't any for sale in our subdivision except ours. It's MLS No. 1331072 if you have time to look. I don't know what the Freddie Mac 1st look program is, but if they are refusing to show to investors until after 1/28, they must know it's a low price. Is this something to consider as a comp & should it affect the value of our home?

Let me tell you how I look at this as someone currently looking to buy but who also sold a house at a loss within the last year.

First -- other houses for sale are not comps. Comps are based upon what is sold. Yes, of course, you don't want to be priced for more than the other similar homes that are listed. On the other hand, you could be priced similar to other listed homes and then you are are at or below comps and be wrong.

I just looked at a house a few days ago that was similarly priced to other houses in the subdivision for sale. It was also priced similarly to all the many expired and terminated listing. What it was not similarly priced to was the few sold listings within the last year. If you looked at sold listings the house was overpriced by a good $40,000.

I'm sure the people who have current listings all thing they are priced at comps since they are priced similar to one another. But -- to the buyer -- they are all over priced as none of them are close to what houses are actually selling for in the subdivision.

The foreclosure one is tricky. I have run across a couple of houses that are foreclosures. The terms to buy foreclosures are usually pretty onerous for the buyer and you don't get the same type of contractual provisions and protections that you get with a regular sale. To me, the negatives of a foreclosure mean that the house has to be way, way underpriced compared to "normal" houses before I want to take the risk of a foreclosure (hence I sure don't understand the foreclosure that just came on the market priced $25k above what is being offered for by the homeowner a few weeks ago....). Now, not everyone is as risk averse as I am and they may just see the price of the foreclosure is less and compare it to your house and think your house is high. To me as a buyer -- I do look at the foreclosure and I do compare its price to that of non-foreclosures but price isn't everything so the foreclosure isn't usually as attractive overall.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

lokipup, very nice house! Can you open some of the drapes (master bedroom and dining room)? It would make the rooms seem less closed-in. Maybe remove some of the fussier curtains(3rd bedroom)? I love your kitchen! However, I like strong colours, but others may not. And I want your furniture!! That alone should sell your house :-) If your yard is attractive, maybe add a couple of yard pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: link to listing


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Comps in our subdivision are scarce. Everything that has gone on the market has sold, but that is only 5 houses in the last 4 years. All sold higher than our list price. We do plan to take your advice (Kats) & lower price a little now instead of waiting until march. One thing that I think is wierd is that 2 houses went FSBO. Both were listed with agents for 6 months, then owners put FSBO signs in yard & sold in less than 30 days. One lowered the price, but one sold for the same amount that the RE Agent was asking. That buyer/new neighbor kept bragging to us about what a great deal he got since he was a great negotiator & didn't pay realtor fees. We didn't have the heart to tell him. It seems as if people think FSBO automatically means a good deal. BTW, I would never FSBO. With my luck a serial killer would ask for a showing.


 o
thanks for the link

Ottawavalleygardener Thanks. Your comments remind me of how much we stop looking at the familiar. I used to have gold, red and green beaded tiebacks in the master, but took them down when my kids started chewing on them. Hadn't even thought about that, but I'll be looking for them (hopefully not in storage unit). Are the red & white curtains the ones you're talking about? Hadn't mentioned it to realtor & don't know if anyone would care, but they are blackout curtains that I made so baby would sleep past 5am. He's not a baby anymore, but they work great. Thanks for the kitchen & furniture compliment. All of the furniture was inherited so it means a lot to me. The planted area in the front contains things to attract butterflies & hummingbirds, so it's really pretty in the summer but not so much now.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

lokipup,

I fully realize that zillow's "appraisal" of your home's worth is not an absolute.

That said it assigns a value for your home that seems below your lowest believed value.

any thoughts?


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

saltidawg not really. Haven't checked zillow.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Realtor.com has 43 properties in your vicinity with at least 4/3 and 2700 square feet under 250K. Most are newer than yours and cheaper than yours. And that's not even looking at brand new homes. It's time for a new market assessment. It looks like you are significantly over priced. Not a little. A lot.


185K, 5/3 2680 square feet, 1995 construction,
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/712-Creek-Landing-Cir_Mount-Juliet_TN_37122_M74432-30945?cmid=1011839&source=web

185K, 4/3 2666 square feet, 1992 construction,
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/7729-Saundersville-Rd_Mount-Juliet_TN_37122_M82476-14480?cmid=1011839&source=web

189K 4/3 2963 square feet, 2003 construction,
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2248-Monthemer-Cv_Mount-Juliet_TN_37122_M72098-72531?cmid=1011839&source=web

Here is a link that might be useful: Realtor.com for Mt Juliet


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Interesting Zillow values the above three homes as $194.5K, $217.5K, and $199.3K respectively.

All are listed at less than what Zillow estimates their value to be.

On lokipup's home Zillow values it at $241.7K. That is some $17,200 UNDER the asking price of $258,900.

(I did no checking to see if the three are really comps - and in fact I guess they are not because they have not sold. BUT, they say something about Zillow being close, but consistently higher then the asking prices - except for lokipup's home.)


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

FWIW, at least in my area, Zillow has been wildly inaccurate. I still remember one time I had a house I was thinking of selling and was astonished at the value it gave. I looked to see what it was using as comparable houses and it was comparing my house to houses as far as 15 miles away that were in a low income part of town. It ignored the recent sales in my own gated subdivision, some of which were only a couple of blocks away! We ended up selling that house for way more than the Zillow estimate.

Later on a different house, it was still seriously inaccurate.

We are currently looking to buy houses and I just looked up 4 houses that I personally visited within the last week and have seen real comps on. On one house, Zillow is valuing it less than half the asking price. The house actually sold a year ago for more than twice the Zillow estimate (and the market has been flat here since then). The Zillow estimate is laughably wrong.

On 3 houses the Zillow estimate is too high by about 5% to 7%.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Bless you Kats Meow. I feel like I am under attack for following the advise of a realtor. So, just to clarify, we interviewed 3 realtors, they brought comps, and each recommended very similar list prices. As far as zillow goes, the zestimates for sold houses in our subdivision are below actual sale price by $1,900; $16,400; $5,000; and $31,000. Also, the zestimate for the house we bought to renovate is $16,000 more than we paid. Obviously, if the house hasn't sold the price should be dropped. My question was now, or wait until March. Kats Meow gave us a new perspective on that and we will follow her advice. Thanks to everyone who has offered constructive guidance.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

To your question regarding if you should drop the price now or later...
You can answer that by asking your self if you want to sell now or later.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

I feel your pain with realtor problems! Our listing expired right before Christmas and we will probably relist with a different agent in February. I'm hoping people getting tax returns will help speed up the market, but I honestly don't know.

I am head-over-heels in love with a house that has a completely unfinished basement, and we thought that would be a deal breaker for us. It is so nice and if the basement were finished it would be out of our price range. Hopefully someone will look at your house that way too.

Your house is very pretty. I love your kitchen so much, but I agree with an earlier post about the bold color. I would highly recommend painting it a neutral color. I don't know that a color would stop someone from wanting your house, but it might make them hesitate or not fall in love with the kitchen. When we are ready to buy I really don't want to paint because I feel like I've painted every wall, piece of trim, and porch at our current house prepping it to sell. I also had to paint over dark blue in my sons' rooms and that was such a pain. I would paint, don't get me wrong, but I REALLY don't want to!

I would also possibly swap out the table cloth for something neutral and possibly the light fixture. Sorry to be critical - I cringe to think what people would say about my house if I posted pics, but honestly I think the rest of your house looks fantastic. Good luck in your sale. I am finding the whole selling process stressful and all consuming - no matter how hard I try to keep things in perspective and not get stressed. Hang in there!

I'm glad you posted this because a lot of the advice you received was very helpful to me and probably many others.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Can you explain why the last home that LWO listed above, the Montmether Cv one, is 60K cheaper than yours? Yes, you have a bit more acreage, but acreage doesn't really make that big of a difference. There are others listed with equal acreage and more room and newer that are less than your home. That particular home located in the exact same school districts, has more square footage, and is a lot newer. If you cannot explain simply and with very few words why your home is worth 60K more, then there is your BIG problem. Anyone looking for a home in your zipcode will never get to yours because there are homes with more that cost less. If you are going to compete with that, then you have to be able to explain why yours costs more. So, explain.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

I can't offer any insights regarding price, but thought I'd throw in a couple of comments about staging. First, are the pictures current? When I look at pictures that show a house in a former season, it always makes me think the house has been on the market for too long, so what made the other buyers all pass up on it?

Second, is there a reason the diningroom table is not centered under the chandelier? If the space is too small for the table, you might want to reposition something.

The house is lovely. However, each room seems to be painted a different color and the colors don't work together. This might make the house and the rooms seem much smaller than it really is. At a minimum, I'd repaint the rooms that run into each other, if any; and I'd repaint the kitchen to a softer shade. Right now, the kitchen walls' darker color makes the cabinets appear very prominent, and stops the vision, making the room feel closed in. A lighter, neutral color would let the eye keep moving.

Lastly, is the deck as red as it appears in the picture? If so, is there anyway to tone it down?

The outside yard and landscaping is wonderful! And I love your furniture.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

I don't think you need to paint, but I would use a red tablecloth for DR, the green does kind of clash with the red paint. You definitely need better photos. Unless the view is ugly, open all the curtains -- more light and folks can see what is out the window then. (as in FR & DR shots) I want to see where the windows are and whether there are closets, not your (lovely ) furniture.
I wonder if you move the sofas in FR closer together it would look more intimate?
Why are acres listed as 0?
Just some suggestions.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Staging and adding color to curb appeal would go a long way. It looks like you got the decluttering thing down, but maybe a little too much--some rooms are a little too spartan and thus not very welcoming. My first impression after looking at the photos was:

-The kitchen was updated, but the color and style clash with the table and there are no stools at the island. These things tell me that I will need to repaint either the kitchen or the rest of the house right off the bat to make them flow better. The table (while it would be going with you & not staying) gives the wrong feel to the otherwise modern kitchen & the green tablecloth has to go. The absence of stools at the island make me wonder if there is not enough room for the stools and the table in that space. The chandelier & light fixture don't look like they were updated (the pots hanging from the ceiling draw your eye upward so you definitely notice the lights)--check out the big box stores for some affordable, easy to install updates. Love the window treatments and that wonderfully large window!

-Living & Dining rooms both feel very spartan and cold in the photos. Pulling the curtains back will help bring in more natural light and make it feel more welcoming & open. Is the dining room table centered in the room or pushed off center toward the window? It seems cramped at the window end which to me says the room is small and family dinners will be elbow to elbow. As mentioned above, too many different paint colors--the yellow doesn't do much for me & the white or pale blue in the living room is very cold. Framed prints on the walls and an area rug would go a long way to warming the rooms up.

-Bedrooms need warming up too--more framed prints & an area rug needed. Slide the bed in the master over so its more centered in the room. The way it is now, it appears cramped. It looks like there is a tray ceiling in there too--an off center bed is negatively accentuated in this situation. The green curtains need to go and be replaced with neutral colored ones and again, pull them back to let in natural light to give an open welcoming feel.

-Masterbath needs some warm welcoming touches too. Framed prints, some candles, strategically drape a folded towel along the edge of the tub, add a pretty container of bath salts to the tub corner, add a pretty window treatment to the window above the tub vs. the plastic mini-blinds. Warm, fuzzy, yet tasteful bath rugs will help too. The walls need some color. Make it feel like a spa environment-somewhere potential buyers would like to retreat to after a long day at work. Don't forget a handtowel on the towel ring!

-Love the family room--maybe an area rug...that's it.

-J&J bath--looks good. Add a framed print or two, a window treatment, fuzzy warm yet tasteful bath rug & hang the hand towel up. Choosing a nice neutral color of towel throughout all the baths would help too. Something in a fluffy white or beige to give that spa like feel would be good.

-Laundry looks great--open the curtains.

-Nursery looks great--maybe a framed print or two.

-Exterior: Deck needs new coat of paint. The front looks a little tired. Adding some spots of color will help the curb appeal--a tall fat planter with colorful flowers on both corners of the porch, some colorful flowers planted in the beds, maybe a couple tall plants under the porch lights. another planter or two with plants and flowers on the back deck would help make it seem more welcoming too.

It seems like you were working on updating the house and managed to get to the kitchen, family room, laundry, nursery & J&J bath. The rest appears to have not been updated since the house was built. While I love antiques, the furniture in the unupdated rooms with this scenario does not help. The obvious brass fixtures in the master bath scream 1980s and most if not all potential buyers are wondering how hard will it be to update them. You definitely have 3 vastly different styles going on in the house which can cause a major disconnect with potential buyers.

If you were to repaint the kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, master bath & living room to more neutral colors (similar to family room & J&J bath) + update brass fixtures + add warming touches as outlined above to rooms for staging + exterior color and I think you could probably relist for the $290K in the spring and walk away with around $260-$250K.

My BIL is a real estate agent and when we sold our house with him he even said not to tell him the absolute lowest price we were willing to take for the house. I can confidently say that repainted & staged well (including replacing a couple light fixtures, new comforter for DS's room, new bathroom stuff, quick exterior spruceup by adding color) when we sold our house. We listed the house $10K higher than the exact house down the street that sold a couple weeks earlier for a higher than average price for our neighborhood. We had an offer in 2 days and ended up with a bidding war between two potential buyers that ended on day 5 on the market. Trust me, potential buyers need to be able to see themselves living in your home and driving up to your home everyday--your staging makes all the difference. Good luck to you!


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

I don't have any comments on price, but I do agree with some of the comments on staging. It's great that you've decluttered, but I think you need to add more to make the house feel warm and cozy. I never know if my comments are offensive when I make them. I make them because it is stuff I would want people to tell me if I were trying to sell. I hope you aren't offended.

If this were my house, I would repaint many of the rooms. I love red as a room color, but I don't think it works in your kitchen. It looks harsh because of all of the white. I would repaint a darker shade of tan/beige/taupe/brown.... maybe a cappachino. I would bring in red through accents. I'd add a potted plant or a bowl of fruit too.

You need better photos. The photo of your house is slanted. I think you mentioned that many of the rooms look like you are selling the furniture.

I agree about repainting the white living room with the white curtains and opening the curtains. You have pretty crown molding in there. I think it needs to be seen. Since you would be repainting, I'd go with a light to medium shade in the tan/beige/taupe family. You need something to show off the wood floors.

I love the yellow in the dining room, but then my house is painted a similar shade of yellow. If you were to repaint, I'd go with a medium shade of taupe. I think you need a centerpiece on the table and a picture on the wall. This would be another good room to bring in red accents.

I love your beds in your bedrooms. It looks odd to see under them. I think the picture should be taken from another angle. This is being picky, but for the pictures, the bedding needs to be on straighter. The comforter is not hanging straight. I think you need wall color, a comfy looking rug and pictures on the walls. You might experiment with moving the bed and other furniture around to give it more presence in the room. I also think the curtains should be replaced. In my experience, the curtains stay with the house. I'd just get some inexpensive, simple white sheers from Target. They would let light in while covering the windows.

The bathroom needs color. Since the fixtures and floor are light, I go with a darker medium to not fully dark shade of taupe or brown. I'd pick a color card for the house that had a range of shades of taupes and use different shades around the house.

It looks like the fireplace in your family area has shades of grey. I like your wallcolor, but if you were to repaint the other rooms, it might clash. I'd probably add some pillows and other accents around the room to make it more comfy and inviting. You may not be a plant person. I think a few medium to larger size plants in nice pots would be inviting.

I think you may be able to pull off the green tablecloth if you change the wall color in the kitchen/dining area. I would update the light fixture. I would add a nice centerpiece to complement the room. The dining view is a direct shot to your deck. I'd stage that corner of the deck with some comfortable looking furniture.

The children's room needs to be more inviting. I think the wall needs a picture. The furniture needs to be moved to invite people in. I would probably get out a couple of stuffed animals and other toys to make it look more child friendly.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

Thanks for all the staging tips. I'm not insulted at all. In fact, a lot of things that seem to be negatives are things that were changed at the recommendation of the 1st realtor. I have been so sick that I couldn't have left the house for a showing, so forgive be for the lack of feedback on my part. I did call the realtor and we have an appointment Friday to make new pictures. She actually volunteered to roll up her sleeves and help stage. Are the paint colors really that bad? The master bedroom, master bath, dining room, kitchen and J&J bath were all repainted at the recommendation of the 1st realtor. The kitchen was red (the only room my husband will let me have red) but realtor liked it so we had painters put a fresh coat on. I laughed about the brass screaming mid-80's. That's what we think too, and the house wasn't built until mid 90's. Go figure. We have tried to replace as much as possible, but it's just everywhere. It's even on the shower door in the master bath. Gotta go, but I'll be checking back for more suggestions & hopefully shopping tomorrow. BTW, the dining room & one of the bedrooms are painted Benjamin Moore Concord Ivory, if anybody's familiar with that. I think it looks a lot brighter in the pics than in real life. The dining room table does fit. Don't know why it's off center. And the bar stools had been commandeered by little people to climb to the top closet shelf when the pic was made. Thanks everybody!


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

I guess the color I am calling "yellow" is the ivory. I like the color and think it looks good. My realtor wanted me to repaint my yellow. I left it. Taupe may appeal to a wider range of people, but I'm not a big fan of it. It is lifeless unless you find just the right shade.

IMO, the red really should go. I don't think it shows your kitchen to its best advantage. The red is too contrasting against the white.

The white rooms look lifeless to me. I'd repaint. Staging might help too. They walls need something to add a bit of warmth.


 o
RE: has another realtor 'gone bad' and would you lower price--lon

The last picture of the front of your house should be your first picture.It makes your house look very inviting.

Why is there a desk chair next to the fireplace? I agree about opening the drapes. With them closed it makes you think the view is bad. I also don't care for the red kitchen but maybe it looks better in person. But change the tablecloth to a neutral color.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Buying and Selling Homes Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here