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25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Posted by jjellis (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 5, 10 at 11:11

So we put our house on the market about 3 weeks ago. Since than, we've had 25 showings yet no offer. Our house does has some worn carpet but no more than any other house with a family living there (with the exception of one room where there is a small tear in the carpet) otherwise it's move-in ready. We do have neighbors that have a yard that needs to be cleaned up and I understand that will turn off some people but it couldn't possibly be turning everyone off...what gives!! We've priced well below what other homes in our area are selling for which I'm sure is why we're getting so much traffic.

The worst part is, out of the 25 showings, we've only received feedback from 4 people. Our agent told us that unfortunately the buyers agents don't always leave feedback but how am I supposed to know what to fix/improve if I don't get any feedback.

Should we replace carpet, what else could I do to sell this house before the deadlines are over for the credits. I'm worried that once the credits are all over that sales will really stall than I'll never be able to sell my house. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!!
Jamie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

25 showings in 3 weeks is certainly great activity. If there are no offers, then the price is too high for what they are seeing. If you are priced "well below" what other homes in the area are priced at, could it be that your price is equivilant to theirs but your updates are not? Pictures would definitely help. Can you post some or give the MLS number so the GW people can give you some insight?


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

When you look at your house (from a buyer's standpoint) what do YOU think? Do you know what the neighboring homes that are for sale look like?

You're right....it is really helpful for you to get feedback. Could you ask your realtor call the buyer's agent whenever the home is shown & get feedback from future showings?

Also, has your realtor advised you to make any changes, etc.?


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

it really could be anything. just guessing, but maybe your house looks great in pictures, but there is some drawback that isn't figured out until they see it? or a locational issue?

I'd guess you're not overpriced, as that wouldn't get you showings.

when you say "leave feedback," my agent if its a positive showing follows up with a phone call to find out what they thought. maybe its just where I am, but I thought that was done.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

With that many showings, I'd suspect either:

1) No one likes the house period. (Why? Condition? Updating? Paint colors and furnishings? Floor plan issues?)

2) Does not seem like a good value. (Might it look smaller than it really is -- maybe dark or underlit? Or does it appear to need expensive repairs?)

You did say there is some worn carpet. Are you offering a carpeting allowance? Even if you are, new carpet may be advisable anyway just to improve the appearance.

You also acknowledge a neighbor's messy yard. A *small* amount of mess might be tolerable, but if they are obviously *neighbors from hell*, that would scare off almost everyone. Any chance of getting their yard cleaned up?

Let me ask you a very blunt question: If there was something unattractive or unappealing about your house, would your Realtor tell you honestly? And would you listen? (Sometimes in their zeal to land a listing, agents gloss over or minimize problems.) I'd ask the Realtor again, framing your question very carefully so she can give you information you won't like without risking offending you. If you ask her to dig for more feedback and let you know in a few days what people think, she could blame any comments on buyers or other Realtors.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

If you can, post a link to the listing. IMO, you will get the feedback that you need to make whatever changes may be needed to increase your home's mass appeal....and you can then decide how to proceed from there.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Thanks everyone for your responses. I've attached the link to the listing along w/ the MLS#, let me know what you think.

As far as the other questions. The house doesn't need any major repairs, just has worn carpet. Our realtors haven't made any suggestions on getting anything fixed as they don't think anything is that bad to need fixing, and our agent has been doing this for over 20 years and is in the top 1% of agents in the country, so I assume she would know if something was that bad and would have me fix it.

As far as feedback, my agent has both called and e-mailed the buyers agents several times after each showing, yet no feedback.

Our house looks exactly in person as it does in the pictures, it's very open and light. There are no major issues that are visible. We have mostly neutral colors throughout the house. We've staged it and removed all clutter. I've cleaned it from top to bottom...than cleaned some more.

The only thing I can think of that might be causing this is the neighbors. We live in a nice neighborhood where most of my neighbors take great care of their yard, however the yard of the home that our house backs up to is a mess and I wonder if that's turning buyers off. There are also some duplexes and apartments in the area, could that be deterring people?

Well, here's the link. Take a look and let me know what you guys think.

Thanks!!

http://maris.rapmls.com/scripts/mgrqispi.dll?APPNAME=Gstl&PRGNAME=MLSLogin&ARGUMENT=CYgvZiNManhbae4gJZcXDChuCSOtDrx7Nr%2BVw7SgVGk%3D&KeyRid=1&Include_Search_Criteria=

Listing #: 10007409


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer - more info

One other thing, I know that some sellers have an emotional attachment to their home and have that "my house is the best no matter what people say" attitude and aren't willing to look past any issues their house might have. Let me assure you, I definitely am not one of those people. I am the first to say if something looks terrible and fix it, this is why I'm at such a loss as to why we can't sell, because I know I would recognize if something in the house was that bad.
Oh and some other facts about the house. House has fairly new siding and roof (less than 10yrs old) new furnace installed in 2008. All new appliances too.

I look forward to your advice.

Thanks!!


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

jjellis, I took a look at your listing. A few things pop out to me. The listing says the house is 8 years old. The pictures seem to indicate construction from the 80s? (white wash oak in the bathroom, what looks to be oak painted cabinets in the kitchen, wrought iron railing somewhere in there that I noticed)

Your great activity could be that people are expecting to get an 8 year old house in that price range and then being terribly disappointed when they get there. Lots of showings and no offers usually means the house looks better in the listing then when they get there.

From what I could see, you are definitely not priced lower than other homes. I'm not saying you are ridiculously overpriced, but it does appear that you are about 10k overpriced from some of the other homes available in your zip code. Your colors and decor are very nice and will appeal to alot of buyers, the kitchen and baths seem dated and I think your bathroom could use some warming up. Its a bit stark. (maybe a warmer color and some coordinating towels, candles etc)

Your realtor should try calling other agents for feedback. Email is too easy to ignore. I dont leave messages for agents, I keep calling until I get them on the phone. Its sometimes the only way to get the feedback.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

IMO, probably the main problem is that it appears that there are a LOT of homes on the market in your area...so buyers have quite a bit from which to choose.

Unfortunatly, your competition includes new construction that is around the same price, but quite a bit larger,(Tbb Fox Ridge $151,990, 4 Bed, 2.5 Bath, 2,265 Sq Ft, MLS #779366).

New construction of the same size is very tough to go up against even in a good market. Bigger makes it that much more of an issue.

That established, although your home is lovely, it has a lot of stiff competition, and therefore really needs to stand out more in order to attract an offer.

It also seems to be overpriced, compared to the other listings.

The kitchen and the bath need some warming up in terms of being inviting, as they look too austere.

The kitchen is missing its jewelry, aka knobs and/or handles. A warmer paint color, and some decorative items in a complimentary color (such as the red) would be helpful....with a change in window treaments to coordinate.
If you can, invest in a portable island or a small table for two with chairs as the kitchen seems empty without some furnishings.

Also, although I love the red, it may too overwhelming for some, as it is a PITA to paint over, so you may want to leaving one red accent wall, and consider painting over in the rest in more neutral tone.

The "music" room should be staged to actually look like a music room, or stage it as a bedroom...either way...but it needs a more finished appearance.

I would take a look at MLS #10002512 and/or MLS #10001094 to get a better idea of your competiton, and make some changes accordingly.

I would also clean up any dead leaves, straighten the mail box post, and screen the view of your messy neighbors by planting some evergreens if at all possible.

Also, plump and straighten all cushions for photos, and after all your work is done, have a competent REA give you a realistic selling price, and adjust accordingly.

Last but not least, if your REA has told you none of this, you also need a new REA.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

In response to the last comment about the age, when I look at the listing, I'm seeing Age listed as 21 (see below) not 8, so I don't think that could be a reason why I'm not getting any offers.

Beds: 3 CDOM: 25 Property Type: Residential
Sq Ft (approx): 1332 Baths: 2 Status: Active
Lot Size (approx acres): 0.230
Age: 21
Style: Split Foyer

...Now in the taxes section I do see year 8 but I don't think that refers to the age of the property.

Taxes Paid 1795
Year 8
Assoc Fee Paid None
# of Rooms 6

I do appreciate the other advice. I was worried I cleaned up the bathroom too much and made it too stark so I'll work on warming it up a bit before the next showing.

Thanks!


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

So, I'm curious. What did the four feed backs have to say?


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Wow! In our community, your asking price would get you a 350 sf. condo. It looks neat and clean, if not exactly House Beautiful.

Are there any stats showing average time to sale on your MLS system. That would tell you more than anything if it's taking too long. We just sold our home for 99% of asking price after four years on and off the market.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

The one thing that jumps out to me from the pics is that your home doesn't, overall, seem "warm." The walls seem rather bare and there is a lot of red -- it's outside of house, inside the house. So a buyer would really have to like red. The chair with the slipcover looks like you're hiding an old ugly chair and it's right by the front door where you want to make a good impression. And some of your light fixtures could be updated. Does your master bath have only one sink? I know that'd be a deal breaker for some. Perhaps you need a "wow" factor somewhere to make your house stand out since there are so many other houses around you for sale.

Lastly, what we can't see in the pics -- how does your house smell? Got pets?

If it makes you feel any better, our home has been on the market for two weeks and we've had two showings and no offers. Ours is a split foyer too and my realtor says a lot of people don't like split foyers.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

calliope: The 4 feedbacks we got were as follows

- Great home, might be putting on our short list. Just started looking

- Worn carpet, not interested

- Worn carpet, Neighbors yard messy.

- Concern about access to backyard from deck. Window seal broken.

The last one was bizzare because we have stairs that lead from the deck down to the yard. They came to see the house at night so maybe they didn't see it. Asked my realtor to contact the buyers realtor and elaborate on the feedback.

Deania1: No we don't have any pets. We've had carpets professionaly cleaned, repainted everything so there isn't a smell. We even had friends (who are always brutally honest with us) come over, walk through the house and tell us if they smelled something or saw something that looked terrible. They mentioned the carpet, but once again it's worn as it would be with a family living here. Seriously considering replacing it.

I'm also planning on doing some re-arranging and re-decorating to help add some warmth to the home. I was told that I should remove all personal items and have all clutter put away...guess I got a little too carried away with that and now it looks too sterile. As far as the recliner w/ the cover, I removed the cover. The recliner underneath is in great condition, it was a misguided attempt at decorating.

Thanks for the advice. We have two more showings tomorrow so wish me luck!!

Thanks!


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Your house looks adorable in the pictures, and I think it is appealingly described so as to "whet a buyer's interest". You have probably nailed the two top issues--carpeting and a yukko-looking neighboring property.

Of the two issues, there is only one under your control.

I once had a home listed that had worn, wrinkled carpet, differently colored from room to room. Husband vetoed my recommendation to replace at time of listing (wife was open to doing it). After the 65th showing, the husband informed his wife that she was probably right, and that they were going out that afternoon to order carpet. (A Sunday afternoon). Installation was complete by Friday, and of the next three showings the following week, two made offers. One of the two was the FIRST prospective buyer who had viewed the home.

It sold for full price.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Install some new 'builder's grade' carpet in a neutral color.

Many buyers cannot see past what is already there.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Can anyone do a easy link to her property?

Can you install a fence to hide the neighbors property behind you? That would be the biggest turnoff to me. I wouldn't buy a property that was next to one that was very messy.

The worn carpet I could overlook because I would rather replace it with what I wanted. However, most people have trouble seeing beyond worn carpet and it might be a good idea to replace it.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

I agree with the carpet issue. The house other than the carpet, looks in good repair. I have always been amazed at how much new flooring finishes a house up when you're renovating it. It's the icing on the cake, and to me new carpeting smells of new house. It says that the clean so apparent all over the rest of the house goes all the way through.

Nobody.........just nobody.......moves in on old or torn carpet. To me it feels like sleeping in somebody's bed when they haven't bothered to change the linens in preparation for company. It's an issue a buyer would say needs addressed before they can move in, and they don't want the hassle.

I went to your listing, and I think that's a lot of house for the money. It appears spacious and I actually like the lay-out. I've owned a bi-level in another life and liked it. I've never owned a split foyer, but I like the interest that it gives. IOW not everything on one level. To me it makes the sq footage look bigger than it is.

In my bi-level I had the same Deck/back yard access issues. It bothered me to be honest. St. Louis area can get some pretty severe winters (I'm a Missouri gal). Nobody is gonna want to get to the back yard down a flight of wooden outside steps. I wouldn't recommend doing anything about it as it isn't a cheap fix, but it could be an issue for some people.

The unfinished bath in the basement might also be.

I love the open expanse of windows in the great room/living room? To be very honest however, that is a really odd window configuration to achieve it.

And.......your home style does definately say "eighties". Things like the wrought iron bannisters, and the generic light fixtures in the bedrooms. That could pretty easily be updated by a new owner, however.

I have several rooms with red walls, too. They look wonderful to me.......but I know that they would turn off buyers and if I ever went to sell (and I don't plan to ever move, btw) they'd have to be toned down.

Overall.......it's a nice house and I think worth the money on what looks like a decent sized lot. (underlandscaped)

I'd replace carpet and tone down the large expanses of red.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

The house look cute and clean. I would have the agent remove some of the pictures. Just because the MLS allows a certain number of pictures doesn't mean it is necessary to post that many on a listing. Listing pictures should show something about the house that makes buyers want to see it. A picture of guitars does not fit that criteria. Also, you should have your agent change the the order of the pictures. Realtor.com will only show the first 4 or 5 pictures of a listing and those should show the house at its best. In the current listing on Realtor.com there are two similar shots of the front of the house, one of the front door and one of the living room. Many people start their search on Realtor.com, and the pictures there should be more representative of the house. I would also get rid of the picture of the purple bed in the corner. Actually, none of the pictures of that room show anything other than a standard bedroom. The pictures of the desk and guitar cases can go too. The back yard shot looks pretty bleak and barren, though it does show a pretty large yard. Remember those pictures are advertising - they need to all show a positive aspect of the home.

Direct link below

Here is a link that might be useful: jjellis house on MLS


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

I like the house as well. It seems very clean and the bedrooms look very nice. New appliances area huge plus.

It's funny though how the little things can set a buyer off and make them either worry that the house has not been maintained and/or otherwise turn them off. Make sure that even what seem like small defects are taken care of, including problems that they might not consciously pick up but which will register as off-putting - such as

1. Is that a chip in the first bathroom mirror (along the bottom)?

2. The bathroom mirrors feel stark and cheap looking - an inexpensive and DIY frame/molding around them could do wonders. And the cabinets should be painted white - the white wash looks very dated.

3. Create seating/conversation areas that seem cozy and where buyers can envision themselves having friends/family gather. The way you have it set up now it seems everything is aimed towards a TV which seems cold and not how buyers want to picture themselves (even if they watch lots of TV).

4. The TV in the dining area needs to come down. It's not attractive and many buyers can't see themselves having the TV on while they eat and would (unreasonably) not want a house in which the family seemed to have very different living styles/habits.

5. Proportion and symmetry are important to the eye/subconscious as is centering objects in the space. Otherwise the space seems disjointed. The clock is out of proportion to the space it is in (too large) and I'd remove it. It was also not centered. The art on the wall where the other couch is is also not centered to anything and it is too small for the space. I'd consider taking down the draperies and rod - they are not appropriate for that enormous window.

6. The red sofas are squashed against each other and the wall, making it feel uncomfortable. Move them slightly more apart (giving that side table space to breathe!) and slightly away from the wall.

7. Many have mentioned the issue of warmth - have you considered adding greenery in the house? This could make a tremendous difference and add different heights as well.

8. Remove if at all possible the wrought iron - very dated and plays into people's preconceptions about split foyer homes.

9. Kitchen could also use some greenery and a nice rug would warm the space up. If there were red tones in the rug, it would tie in to the other rooms better.

10. The microwave needs to be removed from the dining area. People like to imagine themselves entertaining there, not having a fast food meal (even if that's what they do!).

11. The carpet in dining area is very industrial looking - can you find a throw rug with similar tones to one you put in the kitchen and put it there? It doesn't really (from a photo at least) say "pottery barn decor" and could be disappointing people.

12. Note that the shelf in the dining area is also out of proportion to the area (too small) and knick knacks are a distraction. I'd remove. At the very least, paint black.

13. To warm up dining area for showing, I'd keep it simply but nicely set with lovely placemats/ pretty glasses/cheerful dishes/cloth napkins. In addition, the dining set needs to be centered better in the space. It should probably be in the center of that large open "window" area.

14. The hutch is a bit too stark but would work better in that space if you followed the advice of others and left only one wall red.

15. In children's bedroom - again furniture tightly packed. Can bureau be moved to where the bookshelf is rather than having it crammed on the wall with the bed? Can the laundry bin be put in the closet? In the room with the "Madeline" on the wall, consider removing that photo from the listing- it really doesn't sell your house. Also, anything hanging on the wall should be nearer at eye level, not far above.

16.Take "soft soap" dispensers out and go to TJ Maxx or Marshalls and buy prettier looking dispensers.

17. Why the guitar pictures? It's a common error but make sure you are taking photos of rooms that are selling points, not your objects.

18. The office (bedroom?) is pretty industrial looking. Can some of that be moved elsewhere while you are selling? At the very least, remove the photo from the listing and move the large black executive chair during showings.

19. Of course it is winter but the photo of the back of the house should perhaps not be listed because it, too, looks stark. Really need some plantings and warmth with some greenery - perhaps a badminton net? - to add a sense of family/fun and to help people imagine the possibilities. Do you have a barbecue you could put out?

Hope this helps!


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

After looking more closely at the pictures I agree with what anatevka has said. Definitely get the microwave and TV out of the dining room.
The art in the living room just looks like it was randomly hung on the walls - it has no relationship to the furniture and is way too high up. Don't worry about filling the space between the furniture and the ceiling. Art should form a grouping with the furniture below it, and in general the center of a painting/artwork should be at eye level.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

I also agree with anatevka and terriks. However,the seller DID get 25 showings in just two weeks with the current pictures.

While there are many things that can be done to make the home more inviting, it seems with so many showings based on its current appearance, the problem most likley is that it is not priced competitively.
Remember, new construction that is almost twice the size in SF, with 4 bedrooms not 3, is priced at only a few grand more.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

I agree with logic that price is also likely a problem (pretty much always is in these situations) & should be reconsidered.

I also don't think the photos are as much of a problem as the price and the staging/perception of the home. Despite the importance of price, however, those who came in the door already knew about the price, the bedrooms and SF so it's likely it's more than just price, especially since no offers at all were received. The staging fixes in my post and those of others could cost as little as $150-$500 which might seem like a good investment if you have a lot of competition. OTOH, in my market the # of houses in town is so tight that it's just not necessary for sellers to go to any great lengths.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

In your other thread:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/realestate/msg0220592429411.html?13

you focused much more on the awful yard of the people behind you. It is possible that that is a lot of the issue.

I did look at the pictures and largely agree with comments.

I also agree about replacing carpet. I've replaced carpet in every house I've sold and it has been well worth it.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Can you plant poplars or something to screen that yard from view?


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Jamie, if the house is price below market reflecting the current condition of the property, then it SHOULD sell. I would suggest making the necessary repairs and staging your home to maximize the assets, minimize the flaws, and define the living space. Good luck and hopefully the next time you give an update your home will be under contract!

Here is a link that might be useful: Maui Real Estate


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Mauiguy, advertising one's business is not permitted in this forum.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Selling a home with worn carpet makes as much sense as going to a job interview with worn out clothing with a hole in it and wondering why you didn't get hired, even though you keep getting called for interviews at various companies.

In today's real estate market (and job market), the product that you are selling needs to be top notch as much as possible, because the volume and quality of competition is so high that the even a seemingly small flaw or two can cause a home (or job applicant) to be rejected.

A few years ago, more folks would ignore worn carpet. This isn't the case today unless the home is priced below comps by several times more than the price of carpet replacement. Even with this sort of price reduction for the worn carpet , you still will have many buyers that aren't interested in buying the property due to the worn carpet.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

sweet tea,
perfectly said.
And in general, people do not like to buy other people's dirt. It's just gross.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

I am going through the exact same thing, only I do get buyers surveys back and they all have said the same thing. Our house is beautiful, fairly priced, but they can't live next door to an orange house with purple trim. Yes, my neighbors are tree hugging hippies with a backyard full of "decorations" such as roof vents and old milk jugs and piles of bricks, old flower pots and weeds, weeds, weeds. I am at a loss too.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Oh Lynn, unfortunately I have no serious advice...can you advertise your home in hippie newspapers to attract buyers who might find the neighbors groovy? ;-).

I'm assuming the neigborhood has no covenants? What does your realtor say?


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

I would not buy a house next to messy neighbors. I think you're either going to have to lower your price further, or invest in some tall evergreens that will block them.


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

Now, see *I* wouldn't buy a house in a sterile, taupe-beige-ecru, homogenous neighborhood with "covenants" and "open floor plans". I would rather live in a box on the street - seriously. Those cookie cutter places make me throw up in my mouth a little. But, I also live in a college town with more than our share of, well, character. (One of the older areas of the city has victorians that look like fallout from a Crayola plant explosion.) My neighbors might hate my gargoyles, but I don't really care for the bowling ball garden or the bathtub grotto down the street, so we're even. They are, however, the nicest people you'll ever meet and when we have a blizzard, we all get together and help each other dig out. And we have great cookouts come summertime.

Are your neighbors nice people?

I went to an open house this weekend (just for fun, as we were walking by), and the seller had placed little signs throughout the house pointing out things and/or giving extra information e.g., "look - original hardware!", "don't forget to check out the linen closet behind the door". I thought that was really creative, as most people just lack the ability to see past the most basic things.

Perhaps a little note in the house or the listing details mentioning the "eclectic character" of the neighborhood and how sad you are to leave such a great community of people or something.

Or, just invest in a nice, big ol' fence. ;)


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RE: 25 showings in less than 1month...yet no offer

This thread is over a year old!


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