I have a great house that has been on the market for nearly 8 months. We have had approximately 25 showings with no offers. We get tons of positive feedback about how the house shows. The one negative comment we hear a lot is that our hill is too much. We live on old cow pasture land. We have 1 1/2 acres and our home sits on top of a hill. I can't exactly flatten the hill. How do I get them to see past the hill and get to the closing table?
WHY DID YOU BUY IT?
Price will help anyone overlook the negative to come to the closing table.
Why is the top of the hill a negative? In many areas it is a positive. Need more information.
I bought the house for many reasons;the view, the wooded area on the lot with a natural spring, the large kitchen with a pantry that is the samr size as the laundry room. We have finished the walkout basement and added a bedroom, full bath, media room and office space. I don't want to give the house away and in comparison to other houses in our neighborhood we are at the low end of the price range.
It's not uncommon to receive positive feedback but no 2nd visits or offers. Nobody wants to criticize your home. Your hill is one of those easy, impersonal excuses to use when your realtor requests feedback.
As metwo indicated, we can't help you w/o more information. If you provide your MLS number, we'll be happy to give you our honest impressions so you can (hopefully) determine why your home hasn't sold and then make changes (if necessary) to generate an offer.
Good Luck!This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
After 25 showings over 8 months with no offers, the problem is that your buyers are seeing a disconnect between the property's features/amenities and the price. Adjust the price to appeal to the buying pool and you'll sell your house (warts and all).
Whenever I read "I don't want to give the house away", the chances are good that it is overpriced.
Will you share your MLS?
There are many reasons why the house doesn't sell.
Of course, we can be suggestive, but hard to do so without photos, and MLS info.. Providing your MLS
# a good way to get help.
I personally would not buy a house with a inclined driveway in the north. I just could imagine trying
to get snow cleared, and me ending up on my boonda. LOLThis message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
MLS ID 1387054
I'm sure the experts will be along shortly to advise. You will get a lot of good information from the folks here. As for me, I am certainly not a experienced home buyer (still in the house we bought 30 years ago!) At any rate, I took a look at your photos and I am really drawn to the land and the layout of the property. I like the rolling hills and the house situated near the top of the hill. You probably get some nice breezes in that location, and the outside sitting areas are very appealing to me-----I imagine the views are delightful and relaxing. That's my impression of your lovely home and land. I'll be anxious to hear what the others have to say. Good luck!
Yes, agree, you definitely have a lovely home, Snyder. I'm not surprised you've received positive feedback.
pfr4's post actually demonstrates my first concern, however, when I looked through your photos. My question: where's the view? If a potential buyer must "imagine" the view, then either your photos are lacking or it isn't a view property. Unfortunately, because photos substitute for drive-bys, potential buyers will probably assume the latter and may not tour your home if they prefer view property or property closer to the lake.
My first impression is that your main/toughest competition may be homes closer to the lake/lakes with views and more usable outdoor space. Would you agree?
Is Taylorsville considered primarily a vacation home area? How many people commute to *****ville or other areas?
What's your realtor's opinion about the lack of offers? When was the last time your realtor updated/prepared a CMA (comparative market analysis) form for you? What sales were used for comps?
In conjunction with the CMA form, was your basement s.f. valued differently than the above-ground space?
It appears that the last sales in the area occurred last summer. Has the general area and/or *****ville suffered an economic downturn? Or do you pretty much have a summer selling season b/c it's a vacation area?
Who's the most likely purchaser of your home? A full-time year round resident/couple with a family or a family using the property as a vacation home? I would consider that question and then tailor my staging accordingly.
WRT the outdoor space, sorry to say it but I was disappointed. I can understand the feedback about the hill. For families, the bucolic rolling greens don't provide much usable space. The deck feels very small and the only other outdoor space was the porch underneath the stairway.
I wouldn't suggest a reno at this time but a large wrap-around deck from the front door around to the porch might have been terrific, although I don't know what view that'd provide. Same suggestion for the back - possibly another, ground-level deck, sport court or even a pool/spa, if you'd planned to retain the home.
I was also disappointed in what felt like a lack of connection between the indoor space and outdoors. Other than the porch off the basement and small deck, I didn't see any walls of windows or outdoor access to allow a homeowner to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The photos gave me the impression that the home was fairly closed off. If a deck or other area had been added, more access would have been necessary.
Moving indoors, the photos gave me the impression that the home was smaller and a little older than it actually is. For example, although the home's fairly new, it lacks an open concept feel. Many people would want to remove the wall between the kitchen and living room. The kitchen feels like a galley - don't know how well it works for 2 cooks or just multiple family members.
WRT staging, although the home's nicely decorated, the large scale furniture pieces and storage made it feel small. It appears that your pantry and all the closets are totally full. (You might think that buyers don't check out closets - they do.)
In addition, if I toured your home, I would try but wouldn't be able to ignore all the collections and would definitely check out the guitar collection. Your home's essentially an item of inventory now. Anytime buyers are distracted, they're not noticing all the great selling features about your home and seeing their own family in the space. It still feels like your home.
The way that we sell homes differs from the way we live in homes. For staging purposes, we use the 50% rule. So, we assume that sellers need to remove at least 50% of their items to show a home.
For example, in the photo, it appears tough to walk from the front door through the couch and settee on the way to the kitchen. It may be the angle of the photo but if a buyer has to turn sideways as soon as they enter the home to reach the kitchen, they may immediately have a first impression that the home is too small. Then, if the kitchen also feels small ...
So, I would remove at least 2-3 large items of furniture from pretty much every room, including all the hutches with collections, bookcases, etc. It any of the collection items or guitars are valuable, at least storage would safeguard them from sticky-fingered open house visitors. I would also store clothing and other items and reduce the volume in the pantry such that all the closets and storage areas are no more than 50% full.
Same thing with the wall collections. I would minimize those, too. When you have many groupings of small photos or prints, again, for whatever reason, it can give the impression that the home is too small. Fewer, large-scale wall items would be preferable, IMHO.
Anything you can do to enhance the feeling of space and make the home feel larger would be terrific. The home has a beautiful paint job but unfortunately the dark colors also make it feel smaller, IMHO. If I were going to do anything, I would prioritize placing items in storage but also consider painting out the darker colors. As an example, because of the light colors, the living room felt larger to me, even with the large-scale furniture pieces.
Vacation areas often have realtors who specialize in those areas. I noticed that your realtor is from *****ville and only had 3 current listings, including your property. Her other listings are in *****ville. Did your realtor associate in one of the local realtors? It might make a huge difference if you're not receiving showings. Is she full-time?
As metwo indicated above, the market believes your price is too high. I took a quick look at the properties that had sold last year and it did appear (with one exception) that they were closer to the lake with more usable outdoor space. If it's a vacation area, the prices may be more susceptible to economic downturns so if something has occurred during the last year - you may need to also consider current listings when setting your price.
Checking out your neighbors, it appears that some have a similar floor plan and probably the same builder but some space enhancing features, e.g. vaulted ceilings, larger kitchens and level lots that may make their properties more attractive when compared to your home. Because of those differences, it's more important, IMHO, to do whatever possible to make your home feel larger.
You have a terrific home! It's tough to know exactly why it hasn't sold. Hope you don't mind the frank commentary and that something's helpful for you. We warned you, above!
If you haven't met with your realtor in the last few months, I definitely recommend that you do so, immediately. If you haven't received a CMA form recently, I would ask her to prepare one and/or update the previous form. You can review it during your meeting.
Sounds like this is the critical summer selling season so you may want to expedite matters.
As usual, this is all JMHO. Please let us know how it goes. Best of luck to you -This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
WOW! That is a lot of incredible feedback. We did declutter but it sounds like we need to do more. Once finished I will have the agent take new pictures.
The area is an X-urb of *****ville and although there are people here for the lake, it is more of a live in community.
The agent ran comps before we listed and we landed on a the original price. We have since dropped a little. I had her run comp again about 2 weeks ago and she said the there were only a handful of homes that had sold in the last 6 months with a range the included $10K over and under our price. There hasn't been a downturn in the economy in the area but sales are definitely slow.
Thank you for your insight. I appreciate your candid feedback.
I just wanted to reinforce most of what Surfnow said. My impression is of a small, dark house. I image it does not look that bad in person but just incase, this is what I would do.
Remove the table behind the sofa. Maybe even rearrange the living room furniture so it appears more open. The remove most of the clothes in the closet. They appear so small. You can pack the out of season clothing and only leave the things you really wear all the time (most of us only use a portion of our clothes regularly). If you just cannot remove all of them move, most of them to one closet so at least the others appear large enough.
Be sure all drapes and blinds are open when there is a showing.
Just my opinion.
Not sure you are doing open houses, but suggest your buyer pool may be local-- family members and friends of town residents, including first time home buyers Open houses with may be a few refreshments may be a good thing. Good the lake is a draw,but the town seems rather isolated. Looked like out in the middle of nowwhere on the map
.Other than that,I think the home needs neutualized, staged and decluttered.
Just a few thoughts.This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
REL, you made me laugh. Isolated? You have lived in highly populated areas too long! It is only 30 minutes from *****ville.
Is the MLS correct MLS ID 1387054. I cannot find anything with this MLS NUMBER.
Yes, rker, that is the correct number. I had no trouble bringing it up on realtor.com
Had to change browsers in order to find it.
Anyway, are today's buyers so picky? I couldn't find anything wrong in that house, with the exception of the wall colors, and I always expect to change that when I move into a house.
I have no idea as to why it hasn't sold, and if it is not price. then I don't know what to tell you perhaps Location? I don't know the area.
As far as being in a hill I didn't find anything wrong with the entrances to the garage and I thought that could be it.
So, is it perhaps the marketing of your realtor?
Metwo - well hopefully she doesn't have to go to ***ville for gas and milk.
I like the house - easy to find on Realtor.com...if anyone would like to look.
Good point Rker..wonder what the marketing strategy is.This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
Found it; maybe folks w/children might find the 'hill' daunting for playing sports, etc., in the yard or for adding a pool?
Inside is nice, but still I would put away everything possible!!! Not cluttered, per se, but maybe distracting to a buyer.
What is tripod thing in family??? room corner? Take up busy geometric rug in baby room. Some bedding/curtains look a bit tired, could they be replaced? Way too many pictures and other decos. Kitchen counters should be cleared but for 2-3 things, they say.
Hope I didn't hurt your feelings, but I was one on the market way too long and I would have welcomed any help.
The right buyer will eventually come along, no matter what.
Hang in there
Lots of helpful suggestions for you, Snyder3.
I am mystified by your realtor's data WRT comps for 10K above and below your listing price. Looking at the map, it appears that your zip code is an appropriate parameter to use. According to 2 different services, zero properties - that's right, -0- properties in that range have sold in your zip code in the last 6 months.
One property, a short sale that appears to be in excellent condition with upgrades, sold at 235K (slightly less than 10K below), closed in 10/13 - 7 months ago. The first previous sale actually within that parameter closed in 7/13, approximately 10 months ago, according to 2 sources.
A few other properties sold between 3/13 and 5/13 but the next previous sale closed in 8/12. Reviewing the data for those properties and photos (if available), it appears they do have attributes which might be considered positive appraisal/value adjustments when compared to your property.
For discussion purposes, if we assume your realtor's correct about sales within the last 6 months, what would that tell you? That properties were selling in the range but your home was passed over? I agree that you need market activity but OTOH, wouldn't it be nice if the first market transaction was the sale of your home? Why was your home passed over, given the fact that those buyers probably toured it? Hmmm -
If you ask your realtor to prepare the CMA form and review it with you, you can actually discuss the various attributes of those specific properties, i.e. the competition. Because the sales are more than 6 months ago, I would also review current listings within the range. It would probably be a good idea for you to put on your buyer's hat and tour the properties, too. (Incidentally, this is another instance when it's often helpful to work with a local realtor.)
WRT staging, it's not about catering to "picky" buyers or even finding the "right" buyer. (Incidentally, IIRC, CJO's home was beautifully staged and had a long marketing period for other reasons.) The goal of staging is to neutralize the property so much that you appeal to the largest pool of "right" buyers, possible.
How motivated are you to sell, Snyder3? Given the 1 small price reduction of 4K in 8 months, are willing to adjust your price to whatever the market values your home at currently?
Staging, IMHO, won't increase your home's sales price / market value. The goal is to unload it faster. If you consider your monthly carrying costs, a price adjustment may be very reasonable. Moreover, selling the home will allow you and your family to move on with your life.
If you price your home slightly below its revised, estimated, probable market value and then do a terrific staging job, you might generate multiple offers. Hopefully, your home would stand out when compared to all the other homes in its new, lower price range. That's the best possible scenario for you, IMHO. (Agreed, you do need market activity in that price range, BTW.)
At this point in time, your beautiful home is unfortunately considered a stale listing. Sounds like this is the prime selling season in your area so I wouldn't suggest pulling it off the market to stage. You'd need to work it around showings.
Are you inclined to stage, Snyder3? Again, best of luck with everything. You have a lovely home so staging, IMHO, would help you market it appropriately by showing off its best features and minimizing its few flaws.
P.S. If you're inclined to stage, I'd love to add a few more tips to the good ones you received, above.This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
Let us know if you have a chance to meet with your realtor and how you decide to proceed. If she's using different comps, please let me know. It's not always true but your zip code appears to be an appropriate parameter, according to the map coordinates.
If you didn't previously consider a budget for your selling expenses, I suggest you do. At this level, I believe you can get by with the staging recommendations you'd receive informally from this (free) website plus assistance from your realtor*. You'll need storage and can usually find specials/deals in your area for those units. You might incur a few additional moving expenses, too.
Assuming a reasonable level of market activity, if you stage the home and reintroduce it to the market with a marketing push, I believe things would start happening for you. JMHO, naturally.
Best of luck -
*It wouldn't be unreasonable for you to ask your realtor to provide some staging assistance, too. Her office probably already has a professional available (i.e. someone they frequently work with) to tour your home and make recommendations. I would definitely ask her to reintroduce your property to the market and step up her marketing efforts during this selling season. Prior to meeting with her, I suggest you ask her to bring a copy of her marketing plan together with the CMA form.This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
Thank you to everyone. After the first set of comments, I rented a storage unit and have been working on additional decluttering. I have been trying to figure out what I want to do about the realtor before I call her. I definitely want new pictures once the staging is complete. I am definitely open to staging ideas.
After you complete all of what you are doing, I am going to suggest to take your house off the market for a bit and then come back with a new realtor. discuss market strategies with this Realtor such as including a bonus for the sale Realtor on top of the regular realtor fees. And yes new pictures would be great. Perhaps also to see if your pricing is high for today's market
Realtor marketing plan is key...
Ask your Realtor to plan an open house with Refresments for Realtors. Plan a big spread..they come further for that! Arrange to be there to help serve. Get Realtor opinions face to face...lst hand.
We don't usually have sellers there.. but in this case...I THINK IT IS NECESSARY.
ANOTHER SUGGESTION..REALTORS LEAVE BUSINESS CARDS WHEN SHOWING... if not, not a good signal. ask your realtor to put that fact in the listing..as well ask the Realtor where the cards are,if not there. If the cards are there call the Realtors and get their opinion.
Although I understand your desire to get your thoughts together before you contact your realtor, Snyder3, I wouldn't delay much further because of the selling season.
All of our comments here are SOP, IMHO, Snyder3. After each showing, your realtor should have been collecting the business cards, contacting the other realtors and relaying that feedback to you, as REL suggested, above. A marketing plan and CMA are also basic, typical requests, IMHO. Your realtor shouldn't have any problem providing this information.
When I suggested, above, that you put on your "buyer's hat", I meant that you need to think like a buyer and examine your competition. We often suggest that sellers tour solds/comps (local realtors often help with this) but you probably can't b/c the comps appear to be about a year old.
If you haven't already, it would be a good idea to ask your realtor to tour the competition with you. It might also help you to visit open houses on your own and talk to the other realtors and/or sellers. If I were you, I'd try to chat with them and determine the level of showings and overall market activity. Most don't mind sharing, in my experience.
If/when you visit the competition, try to compare them critically to your home and think like a buyer. It's difficult to do but you need to look at your home as a piece of inventory.
WRT your staging, I'll try to go room by room later but overall, I suggest you pack up all the collections. It appears that pretty much every room needs 2-3 pieces of heavy furniture removed from it, IMHO. For staging purposes, we try to create what I call "walking around room". Unfortunately, the large furniture pieces take up too much volume within the rooms.
And, anything you can do to lighten things up would be helpful. I don't know how you feel about painting but it's one option. WRT the bedrooms, it'd help, IMHO, if you covered each duvet with an inexpensive white or cream duvet cover. (They can also be made, BTW, by sewing 2 sheets together.) Besides your bed pillows/shams, you can then just use 1 colorful pillow to accessorize.
WRT to accessories, yes, you'll need a few but when you pack up the collections, I would only hold back a few colorful accessories, non-collectible items, e.g. basic pottery. Anything that's unusual or valuable s/b stored, IMHO.
For example, you mentioned your most likely buyer is a family, IIRC. So, you can stage that last bedroom as an older child's or teenager room. In staging, we try to give rooms only one purpose so I would remove the office from that room. (I suggest you only use the basement office while you're home's on the market.)
After the desk and guitars are removed, you can center the bed in the room, dress it as suggested above and accessorize it with say, only one, inexpensive guitar (if you have an inexpensive one) angled on the wall. So, that, IMHO, would make the room feel much larger.
Someone mentioned above that your draperies possibly needed attention. I didn't focus on them but if they're not fresh and new, you might consider going to basic, filmy white, inexpensive (say, IKEA) curtains to lighten things up. Alternatively, to show off any views and let the light in, if you don't need the privacy, I'd think about removing the window treatments, patching the walls, if necessary.
So, anyway, those are a few thoughts on lightening and brightening and creating more volume and walking around space in a room.
I believe you'll find as you pack things up and stage, your family will begin to let go of the home and be ready to move on. If you combine your staging efforts with a marketing push and price adjustment (if appropriate), you'll come off as a motivated seller and the market may react differently to your home, IMHO.
More, later. Good luck!This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
Holy cow, you guys are awesome!
Keep us in the loop here. Oh, and may I please ask, why are you selling? For whatever reason, it always helps me to know this.
Also, the only thing I can think to add to the above excellent staging advice is to remove all those throw rugs everywhere and I mean everywhere.
ANOTHER SUGGESTION..REALTORS LEAVE BUSINESS CARDS WHEN SHOWING... if not, not a good signal. ask your realtor to put that fact in the listing..as well ask the Realtor where the cards are,if not there. If the cards are there call the Realtors and get their opinion.[/QUOTE]
Yes, this is very important!!! A 'couple houses ago (LOL)' we had scheduled showings, only to go back to the house and finding candles still lit and all the lights on and NO SIGN of anyone having been there, let alone a realtor card! With realtors we've had since, they blow out a candle, turn off lights and leave a card. HOWEVER, IT'S PROBABLY NOT A GOOD IDEA TO LEAVE A BURNING CANDLE but I was younger/dumber then
Fortunately, CJO, many local boards now use coded entry systems. So, if the worst occurs, a dated entry/exit log is available. Glad everything was o.k. for you -
Thinking about staging room-by-room, Snyder3. One thing about furniture placement: it's largely trial and error. Also, your photos may distort the depth perception, etc. So, you can give these suggestions as try and move things around until you find the best placement. As I mentioned above, you want to create a sense of space for the potential homeowners to move their own things right in.
Starting with your living room - unfortunately, the couch is just too big for the space, IMHO. I would remove the couch, the armoire and the ottoman(probably) from the space. Next, I would move the console against the wall (in place of the armoire) and stage a large flat screen above. Saw an extra one somewhere in your home (concerned about its size, however), BTW.
It's important, IMHO, that the flat screen be large scale. If you don't have one or can't borrow one, you might think about either using a faux flat screen or placing the large print on that wall and turning this into a sitting room (see below). If the armoire contains a large, old-style, non flat screen TV, I'd store it and go with either a large flat screen or faux. You need the height in the room and scale, IMHO.
If I understand the floor plan, this is the only living space on the main floor, besides the dining room. You expect your purchaser to be a family so I'd stage this as a family space - not a formal living room.
Then, to create a grouping, I would pull the settee/love seat forward, towards the TV. In an L shape, I would move the chair plus 1 add'l similar-size chair into the console's old spot. BTW, sometimes an extra dining room chair works for this purpose.
The tripod s/b removed from the room. The console can hold the components plus a few other neatly staged items, i.e. not much. I would remove all the misc small prints from the walls but move the large print from the back to the right wall, right as you walk into the kitchen. (On second thought, you might need this large space for another spot in the home. That wall can be left open.)
WRT the other wall, can't see it in the photo. You might think about the ottoman along that wall for extra seating but only if buyers can easily walk around the room. I'd seriously consider leaving it open. If you have a large-scale mirror, that's the place for it - to bounce light around the room and hopefully enlarge the space.
This space is important b/c it's probably the first room buyers will enter. BTW, I'd purchase (or borrow) a few inexpensive, "staging" mirrors, if you don't have any. You might also need a few large scale, inexpensive prints, too. When staging, the small scale items, unfortunately, make spaces feel both small and cluttered, IMHO.
I would remove the misc pillows on your settee but angle a neutral throw on it, anchored by only 1 of the settee's (same color) pillows. Hopefully, the throw would minimize the taste specific nature of both the color and style of the settee. If you know anyone who has an extra (neutral) love seat, BTW, that's probably the optimal size of furn piece for that location.
WRT your kitchen, I can't see the misc items but they need to go, IMHO. I'd relocate everything but the coffee pot angled in that back corner plus the colorful tea pot. You might try a large, colorful pottery item, e.g. a cookie jar to the left of the sink.
Then, I would stage a large bouquet of white flowers on the island, to liven up the space. Another option that's easier to maintain: a large, colorful, pottery bowl on the island, full of limes.
Moving into the eat-in area, I would remove the armoire that's shoved into the corner. Can't see the other wall but anything over there should probably be removed. (Do you have a photo of it?) The priority for this space, IMHO, is a nice, clear path to the deck.
If you need one armoire in the dining room, this is the one I'd use b/c of it's clear glass. Naturally, however, any collections s/b packed up and stored. And, it would require some appropriate staging.
WRT the pantry (and any closets), your goal, IMHO, should be to have it about 50% full. If you have extra food items, e.g. Costco packs, the excess can be donated. Small appliances that are used infrequently s/b stored, IMHO.
So, I hope some of these specific tips are helpful. If you're still around and interested, I'll return later and go thru more rooms.
As usual, it's JMHO.
Hope everything's moving along, Snyder3.This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
How's everything going? I hope at least some of the staging tips were helpful.
Did you meet with your realtor? Receive an updated CMA and marketing plan? What's your strategy for the sale, going forward?
I can continue room-by-room with some additional staging but would love to hear that you're still around and most of all, interested.
As always, best of luck to you -
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