I have had my house on the market for 3 years. It was appraised at $599,900 and the current asking price is $349,900. I've had 3 major RE Agencies w/local RE Agents. They post the listing and their solution to sell my house seems to be to list it and hope for a buyer...no real marketing that I can see. I'm very discouraged. My home is really great, take a look at www.wvmls.com number 649748. My current listing is up next month and I don't know where to go or what to do. How do I get an agent who is really going to market this property.
Well, first off,I don't know your market area so will not comment on price except to say that for what you have you are moving in the right direction. As far as price what are the current comps within the last 6-12 months for house on about same acreage and same sf? When was the $599 appraisal done- in the early 20000's? Kitchen is unappealing to me because of tile countertops- so hard to keep clean. I've been in log homes before but those never had as much exposed wood logs as this one. The MBR layout is off beat to me as well. Way too much wood in my option. Is the wood stove the only source of heat in the home?? I'm sure you'll get more help but that my opinion.
Lainie, First, welcome to the Real Estate Boards!
I know how frustrating this whole process has been but you are going to get a lot of help here IF you are willing to hear it. You will need to have a tough skin because you aren't going to like a lot of it but please, remember, we are trying to help you get your place sold!
First of all, I went to look at your home just like any other potential buyer might do - on the Internet - and found it listed on over eight pages when I simply googled your address - so far, so good. Then the problems arise - I only mention them because you need to be aware of what potential buyers are seeing when they check out your listing on-line and decide whether or not to go view it in person.
It was last sold on April 12, 2002 for $237,900 (just short of when the "boom" artificially inflated high prices), it was assessed at $196,490 for the year 2011, your listing at $499,500 (way too high) was removed on Jan 2, 2012, re-listed for $399,900 on March 2nd and then price reduced on July 7th to $349,900.
Assuming it is 2892 sf and 3/2.5 with a possible 4th (where that one would be unknown as the photographs don't show it), it is a great size for a family BUT need to consider schools in that case. Sadly, they aren't ranked very well - ES/MS are 6; the high school only a 5.
The Public Facts state that it is a 3 bedroom with 1.5 baths (not 2.5) and has 1500 sf finished with 1392 unfinished sf instead of the 2892 finished feet according to your listing. So, immediately, my first question would be - which is accurate? And were permits issued for renovations? Buyers, think that way...
I do want to say that I am familiar with the Willamette Valley - it is a beautiful area of Oregon and a "log-style" house is very fitting there, especially, with an acreage such as you have - very desirable over-all. BUT the photo presentation on your current listing leaves a lot to be desired: poor composition of individual photographs, poor lighting and a total lack of cohesiveness re the over-all house and property.
You deserve more from your agent than what has been delivered so far although the truth is that any agent you hire now has their hands tied from your earlier action of pricing too high, length of time on market and riding the market down as you have done.
BUT, you can recover, start again with a better strategy including a better photographic presentation. I'll post back later with particulars.
It is just so...brown, even the one bathroom that has some painted walls they're brown. The other thing I see is that as neat as the house is inside, the outside need some sprucing up and then have the pictures retaken when the sun is out. I've been there, I know the sun does come out. With the barn, garage and shed there should be places to put the ladder and all that stuff stacked along the front of the house. Pick up all the dead wood that has fallen in the yard and maybe get rid of the tent/garage. Let's see some pictures of the barn, garage and shed. And maybe think about putting some kind of walk or flagstones to approach the house on rather than just the mud.
Just came back to post ideas re the photographs and saw Chuck had posted - I agree with everything he said. So, here are my comments re your current photographs - remember, the photographic presentation is crucial given the fact that most buyers shop on-line these days:
#1. Front of the house. Great deck, windows and supposedly a two-car garage - what is shown instead on the right half of the picture is junk leaning up against the house, a window with plywood (or is that a shot into the room?) and rain-swept concrete - makes one wonder how soon it will start crumbling plus part of the garage with a door open showing an old refrigerator or some other appliance?
Solution: Clear everything away from the front of the house, can you paint that exposed concrete? - I know it is necessary for the foundation but does it have to be ugly? - have the photographer move to the left and take a great shot of the front of the house including the garage, walk-way (do you have one?), front door and lawn, windows and deck - skip the right hand side of the house!
#2 Not the most enticing photograph of the house - so it shouldn't get 2nd place in the line-up. You want people to really want to go there themselves - you know you have a great house - is this the 2nd best area of it? Seems like whoever was doing these photographs isn't very knowledgeble re photography - all of his shots are long and narrow.
[Okay, I am about to give up because I don't want you to feel bad, Lainie, but it seems like everything I have to say is just no, no, and no. Bottom line - this is a terrible presentation of what I think is a really great house... ]
#3 - okay
#4 Kitchen - get rid of the dish-drainer - you have a dishwasher, right? And the other clutter.
#5 You only have so many photographs and none of the other bedrooms - can't afford this one as pretty as those doors are! BTW, always put a full roll of TP/PP before taking photographs!
#6 Bad composition of the FR - back up, turn to left (skip the entry room - it adds nothing)to the shot. Show the lay-out. BTW, one of my suggestions was going to be to include the wall-mounted TV - glad to see that you already have!
#7 You have a beautiful LR with those great windows so it is sad that this is just so bad. Is the wood fireplace in here? Just as an aside, that is one more example of your listing confusion - it says a wood stove and a wood fireplace - do you have both? Haven't seen the fireplace if so.
I think your LR is probably spectacular but it doesn't show in this photograph - lighting is so flat and composition is bad. I know it rains a lot there but surely there are times when this room is special - take your own photographs when the sun is out. BTW, as usual the photographer is all off - I suggest you consider hiring a professional photographer to catch the rooms at the best time of day for each room which will require multiple shoots.
#8 What is this - a hallway? Adds nothing to the presentation and you need at least 6 others to present the property properly. This is one you can lose but, if you keep it? Get rid of all of the photographs and maybe hang a colorful blanket on the walls to add some color.
#9 Now, this is just so bad... you have NO photographs of any bedrooms besides the MB so you decide to add one showing stairs and just how much wood is there? Not smart... eliminate it and add one of the shop.
#10 Master sitting room - again, bad light and bad composition. Your agent sure does think shooting the long and narrow is the way to go, doesn't he? Bad idea.
#11 Master Bedroom - I actually like this shot and would like the lay-out as well IF it was explained properly.
#12 Full Bath - great shot - keep it - BUT IT IS TOTALLY OUT OF PLACE! Belongs on the main level, doesn't it? Along with a bedroom shot or two of the rooms it serves that are curiously absent?
#13 Master Closet - Great shot - perfect!
#14 Master Office - another great selling point! Just need to roll those blinds up and re-photograph on a sunny day OR when the light is good!
#15 Good shot of the master bathroom!
#16 Good shot of the half-bath (except I would replace the TP roll with a full one ) BUT what is it doing here? It should be back on the main level with the LR/FR/DR pictures UNLESS it is next to your master bedroom, is it?
#17 Back of house - BAD - never seen junk or clutter (what are those against the back wall? Old appliances?) sell a house yet. How about a photograph of the "shop" instead? I noticed your listing contained a barn, shop, tool shed and NO PHOTOGRAPHS of them - something wrong? Why aren't you showing them?
(Now this is where most people say, "well, we can't show everything - right - but don't waste your limited number of photographs showing stairs, a kitchen cabinet and leave out major items like outbuildings...)
#19 Road - adds absolutely nothing - better if you went down to the "pasture with fence" and take a photograph early in the morning.
#20 Creek - nice but add the others suggested first such as the outbuildings, pasture and fences to at least give potential buyers something to desire..
#21 Really, really bad! A bunch of cars parked here and there implying you have NO PRIVACY despite the fact that you have 4.17 acres? What were they thinking?
I know you have already gone through 3 agencies and have been on the market for 3 years so your back is against the wall BUT you can still make this work. Clean up some of the things mentioned (mostly outside), get new photographs done - eliminating the unimportant and adding those that are important like the bedrooms, make sure the order of presentation makes sense, emphasize the acreage and the wonder it will hold for anyone lucky enough to buy it!
Hope I haven't been too harsh on you but I really think you have a beautiful home and land - just have been shooting yourself in the foot by pricing too high and accepting sub-par photographs to date. Hopefully that will all change soon.
To answer your question re re-signing or finding another agent next month when your listing is up? I would insist on new photographs and order of presentation INCLUDING a professional photographer if necessary AND that the agency spend the **$ to spring for the maximum number of photographs on realtor.com for the duration. Are you aware that your current agency has you at the bottom of the budget? Meaning only 4 of your photographs are being shown there? Not good...
Good Luck - Keep us posted! This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
As you can tell by the posts, it takes a special buyer for a log home, particularly since it is the trend to look with disfavor upon any wood in a house.
But I do not know what you expect an agent to do. To advertise in a magazine that appeals to people interested in log homes would be expensive with very questionable results.
I know it is hard to hear but you may just have to wait until the right person comes along. In the meantime make the outside of your home as appealing as the inside. It is probably putting off some people.
I agree with all the other posters, and it is confusing that the information is different on your house depending on where you look. I'm not a log home experienced person, but maybe if you could put a few colorful rugs in the dining room, etc - it might break up all the brown. I would also take the Crockpot (or whatever that black appliance is) off the counters before you photograph. Maybe put some fresh flowers around (again, for the photos). It will just add little pops of color....
I am a log home person. Have looked at many & considered several to build...but didn't.
The others are right...tooooo much wood & toooo dark, no color.
The other main turn off for me is absolutely no landscaping. It makes the whole house look dreary & uncared for to me.
One look at that first picture of the outside front turned me off completely right away.
I agree about the pic of the stairs...why???
If you have been "on the market" for 3 yrs. and you haven't moved, I guess you aren't in any hurry. Then you need to spruce up the whole outside to even get me or anyone like me to the front door!
I would hate to have to clean that place! I've had beamed ceilings before & know what a job those were!
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Well, Lainie, hope you haven't been scared away by the posts so far but please know that everyone here wants to help you get your house sold! After 3 years on the market, you want the same! So give the comments a thought and let us know what you think about them.
Yes, the fact that it has so much wood is difficult but, facts are fact, it is a log-style house so that can't be changed. So work around it to make it appealing! As I said, I am familiar with the area and this type of house w/h acreage is highly desirable but not as it is being currently marketed. I know that you feel your agents haven't done much in the way of "marketing" BUT the truth of the matter is that "marketing" now days is done via your listing on-line - especially the photographic presentation so let's work on what YOU can do there!
First, need to clean up the outside - get rid of all of junk, debris and clutter. Next, I agree that some landscaping is in order and I know most "landscaping" there is simply natural BUT there are some basic necessities even in Oregon.
So, consider painting the concrete foundation, putting down some "rock beds" with back-fill to add some varying degrees of height and planting small evergreen bushes all around the house and, if you don't have one, a walkway from the driveway to front door. Doesn't have to be expensive and, if beyond your physical ability, hire it done. Might cost around $2000 but that sure beats another $10,000 drop in price.
Secondly, we can work around the "too much wood, too dark" problem by using color in a select way throughout the house. Let us know if you are willing... yes, your agent needs to market your house but he/she needs to have something to market! And that is up to you!
Okay, let us know if you are willing. In the meantime, since I detailed what was not appealing about your existing photographic presentation, I'll take some time and post back later with some suggestions for a new presentation! This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
The exterior photos look unappealing. The ladder propped against the house, the lack of landscaping...
And, it's super taste specific. That might be why it's taking so long.
I don't know if the OP is going to post back but I hope he does because he's gotten some fabulous free advice!
I think the inside of the house is great! It's definitely a specific taste but I would think that Oregon being a rugged, woodsy state that there would be a lot of people interested in this type of home.It looks to be in very nice condition and it's obvious you've taken good care of it.
I can picture it done in lots of warm plaids and colors...think Raulph Lauren or Eddie Bauer style.
Please don't take this wrong but the outside pictures scare me. They definitely need to be retaken. Put a concrete stain on the exposed area in front as others suggested. It really is a turn off. Get rid of any debris and the ladder out back. No pictures of dirt! Dirt doesn't sell. Pressure wash and stain the lattace work in front, or replace it. Add some nice foundation plants. Stage the outside just like you would the inside.
I would take it off the market for 3 months while you do what you need to the outside. Then I'd re-list it taking into close consideration what the comps for the neighborhood or area are.
Price it to sell.
I know it's frustrating to be on the market so long but you aren't alone. You might want to just stay put for another year or so, do some yard word and enjoy your home. Then, try again in a better market.
~Jean~ in garden zone 6b
When you house expires from the marketplace, if you have not sold it, take a breather...and give your home a good hard look like a buyer.
Take down the lattice work for starters.
Lainie, I see that you haven't posted back even once and that this thread was your first post ever here in the message boards so maybe you have forgotten that you even started the thread? It happens, I know.
In case that's the situation, I'm going to try to send you a PM to your e-mail which you may or may not get depending on how you have set your preferences. I'm really hoping that you will post back as I think you have a great house that just needs to be shown in a better light - literally!
But, unless you post back, I am going to assume that you no longer wish to discuss the matter so I won't spend any further time developing a new photographic presentation. Up to you...
I've lived in two different log homes and indeed they are taste specific and can appear dark.
First of all...there are agents that specialize in selling log homes and there are specific MLS sites for that.
In my log houses, I brought in color/texture with hanging quilts...if you don't have any, you can pick some up for $20 or so at many stores; they don't have to be heirlooms. Hang them on a simple dowel or buy a special rack.
I for one don't like the tv over the fireplace as it comprises too many focal points.
For other texture, shop around for lots of good-sized house plants to bring life to the house. They also clean the air naturally. Have some in corners with an uplight/canned light to showcase an otherwise dark corner.
Could you work with a staging company to maximize the things you have?
Overall, I think your home is beautiful; just needs a fresh eye to re-stage perhaps...especially the yard.
When mums are available in your area, buy dozens of them for inside and out.
Perhaps some candle, large pillars in glass hurricanes for added softness.
BTW...it took us well over a year to sell each of the log homes we had. People either love/hate all that wood.
hang in there...hugs
You need good pictures, very good pictures, being a log home it will appeal to people that like log homes.
I don't know the market in your area for such houses,
But the pictures don't really show your house, it is difficult to make sense of what's there.
I did send the PM and OP received it - she responded that she was a "tech moron" (just like me - ) and couldn't figure out how to get back to the posts.
I tried to help but, hey, it's like the blind leading the blind - I know, probably not the best phrase to use. But hope she will be able to find her way back and read all of the good advice already posted. (I am actively involved in raising funds for service dogs - so, please, no back-lash here.)
I tried - all I could do and wish the best for
OP as she enters year four of trying to sell her house. Lots of good ideas here - OP, are you even reading your own thread and the many helpful suggestion to get it sold? This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
You know, it IS really hard to find your way back here at first. Not only do you have to log on to tthe site but you then have to log on to the message boards.
I think that happens a lot with new people.
~Jean~ in garden zone 6b
I am so glad you PM'd her, Idaho. (Is it a him?) Anyway, hope he or she can get back here.
If you want to increase your home value, you must upgrade your home renovation.
1. You must upgrade your kitchen and kitchen appliances...
2.you use natural decoration material on front of home.
3. A well_appointed master suiteThis message has been edited. Last edited by: schell,
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