Author Topic: When to Drop the Price on Home  (Read 6047 times)

Zero Degrees

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When to Drop the Price on Home
« on: July 19, 2017, 02:56:35 PM »
Hey All,
My house has been on the market for nearly two weeks. I had very few showings the first week and none the second week. I really feel I should drop the price even though I am priced at the bottom or below of what similar homes have sold for.

Do you think people believe that prices should be dropping because it is no longer spring?  I am listed with a realtor who did a CMA. Houses that closed last week that are smaller and not as updated sold for MORE than what I am asking. 

How can I get people in the door besides a price reduction - which is supposed to be the answer to every issue in real estate.  My realtor says my price is good and there are not as many buyers for my type of home, vacation, etc.  If so, then why did all those other homes sell so fast at or above asking price only just a month ago.

Feeling discouraged.  Any advice? 


marty998

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 03:51:53 PM »
Hey All,
My house has been on the market for nearly two weeks. I had very few showings the first week and none the second week. I really feel I should drop the price even though I am priced at the bottom or below of what similar homes have sold for.

Do you think people believe that prices should be dropping because it is no longer spring?  I am listed with a realtor who did a CMA. Houses that closed last week that are smaller and not as updated sold for MORE than what I am asking. 

How can I get people in the door besides a price reduction - which is supposed to be the answer to every issue in real estate.  My realtor says my price is good and there are not as many buyers for my type of home, vacation, etc.  If so, then why did all those other homes sell so fast at or above asking price only just a month ago.

Feeling discouraged.  Any advice? 

What's the usual time period for houses to be on the market in your area? In some places around here 1 week is normal. In others, 3 months can be the norm.

Your home is a holiday rental? That will turn off a lot of potential buyers who want to be owner-occupiers... it won't suit them because they won't be near work, and they'll be disturbed by the holiday crowd.

Hard to know without you giving more details of location etc...

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 07:07:29 PM »
The market here seemed to be on fire until I listed.  Funny how that worked out. Houses are (were as of 2 weeks ago) closing between 34 and 63 days from list date (most 50 to 60). Realtor said days on market is 15 right now.

I found an interesting activity that I completed. What it tells me is there is not a lot of houses like mine that have sold over the past 6 months in my city (suburban, population about 70,000).

In the past 6 months, 23 homes were sold in my price point (I used the range 320K to 330K)

In the past 6 months, 17 homes that meet my attributes were sold (I used town home, 4 bed, 3 bath, sq. feet 2500-2750 (although the number was the same when I took out the sq. footage.) My town home is detached, but I compared with attached and detached.

In the past 6 months, 1 home that meets my attributes AND price point were sold (see above)

EEK.  I was doing my research based on what had closed in the past month here (as did my realtor).  Many of the homes are smaller than mine, but have sold for more than my asking price in the past month (a lot of them outdated too). For example, a house exactly like mine, but 1,000 sq. feet smaller locked in an offer within 24 hours. I listed mine 3k less than that one closed for. 

I am not sure what to think of this information.  The exercise states that I should expect 10x the number of showings of homes sold per month. I am only at 4!

The homes can be easily compared as they are the same builder with similar finishes. My house is 10 years old, updated, has all new appliances (laundry and garage door opener too) and new flooring.




CowboyAndIndian

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 08:16:37 PM »
Everything you have written leads me to believe that the sales material about your house is poor or incorrect.

How good are your pictures and house info on Zillow and other sites. Also, look in detail at the MLS listing

Some cheap realtors use a personal camera (read as crappy pictures). There is a visible difference (pun intended) when  a professional takes pictures.

Go thru your Zillow listing (or Realtor.com/Redfin.com) and see if the details are correct.  The number of bathrooms/bedrooms? The square footage is right?

Knowing the house and location, what would you put in the description of the house? Is there some thing missing?

Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer, what information is missing that is causing them to filter out your property?

waltworks

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 10:04:33 PM »
Occam's razor says your price is too high.

-W

GuinnessPhish

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 09:15:31 AM »
let's see the MLS listing, OP, so that we can really make a call on this question.

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 07:17:05 PM »
I appreciate your replies. To respond to some of your questions/statements:

- I know price is the great equalizer no matter what my comps say. That is why I was asking for other opinions. 
- I had a professional photographer who also did a virtual tour.  I saw the bill and it was not cheap.  I was at home when she did the shoot and she used all her fancy equipment, tripod etc. My agent did not skimp here. 
- Everyone I showed my pictures to tell me they look good and I think they do too. I even showed my realtor friend and she did not understand why there was no traffic either.
- I combed over every listing to check the details and they are correct.
- Part of my problem is I am a town home and there are less buyers, especially in my price point.

I asked my agent about a price adjustment today.  I dropped it 10k.   It brought me below one of the major search cutoffs, so hopefully will provide some more buyers.

I hope I get some traffic this weekend.  It is not that I was expecting an offer in the first week.  I just need people to get in here and look at it, so I have opportunities to potentially receive an offer.  I can't sell a house if nobody looks at it! 

I am not comfortable posting my MLS # here, but if I do not get any traffic this weekend and someone truly wants to give me hard, cold feedback I can send it to them privately.

Thank you!


srad

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2017, 08:55:00 PM »
In your research, you are comparing to townhomes not detached?  Single Family Detached housing is a different market than a townhome.   


Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2017, 09:49:36 PM »
In your research, you are comparing to townhomes not detached?  Single Family Detached housing is a different market than a townhome.

Yes, I am aware they are different types of homes and are priced differently. To clarify, my house is a detached townhome.  It is considered a townhouse, but has its own four walls. They are quite common around here. When I compared comps, I used other townhomes (attached, aka rowhomes/shared walls) and I also used other detached townhomes.  I did not use any single family homes to price my home. 

After sending my earlier post, my phone started going off. I have showings tomorrow.  Dropping the price helped!


CowboyAndIndian

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2017, 05:49:37 AM »
After sending my earlier post, my phone started going off. I have showings tomorrow.  Dropping the price helped!

Good news! Now you know what was filtering out the potential buyers.

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2017, 09:23:36 AM »
Yesterday, I had two scheduled showings. One cancelled.  Nothing scheduled for the weekend, which is not a good sign.  I was also taking a deeper dive into townhomes sold in my neighborhood (regardless of size/price/upgrades) and it is one townhome per month, aside from May which was 16!  I need to stop comparing to my neighbor (with the smaller same house) who went under contract in 24 hours in May.  I realize now, THAT house was the exception, not mine.  There was also a lot more buyers in May than there is now.

I just took a look at the single family home listings and they are flying off the shelf in a matter of days. It pains me because I look at these outdated, smaller homes that are selling for 50K to 100K more than my townhome. Things like formica counter tops, ugly outdated cabinets and appliances, green matted carpet.  No upgrades. Just hideous looking homes in my opinion.

I just have to realize many people (MOST) do not want a townhome. They want their own tiny yard and they do not want an HOA.  The buyers here prefer an outdated ugly single family house over my updated house. I understand why. They cannot change the outside of my home. They CAN update the inside of the ugly house. OK, now that I have accepted that I feel better and I feel worse. 

I will just need to be patient and my buyer will come. I am not going to give my house away though.

It is a good thing I have decided that I want to be a renter for life. I will never purchase another townhome in my life. I never wanted this house, I caved to the husband at the time and now he is gone and I am stuck selling the damn thing.  They clearly do not hold value and are very difficult to sell and get your money back out. Did I mention that I am taking a huge hit on selling this home? 

Edit to add: Just got feedback from last showing.  Rating the entire house "outstanding" in every area.  Rated price at market.  Reason they are not interested:  it is too big!  That is the same reason why I am moving and the same reason I did not want to purchase it in the first place. lol.  Also, this was the common feedback at my open house last weekend. The interested people all were concerned it was too big! 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 09:52:39 AM by Zero Degrees »

Dicey

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2017, 10:04:14 AM »
Also wondering how high your HOA fees are. Are you only comparing to others with similar fees? Also does your listing clearly show/state that you are a detached unit?

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2017, 10:09:48 AM »
Ask realtor to also list it as a SFH.

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 10:19:09 AM »
Also wondering how high your HOA fees are. Are you only comparing to others with similar fees? Also does your listing clearly show/state that you are a detached unit?

HOA is $185/month.  This includes snow removal, lawn care (landscaping, mowing, in ground irrigation and all the treatments), sanitation, resort style swimming pool, splash pad, playgrounds, volleyball courts, basketball courts, putting green, endless trails.

My HOA is very low for the area and is the lowest one that is listed for sale currently.  The attached (rowhomes) pay an even higher fee for the same development/amenities because their insurance is included for their building.   

The listing has the word TOWNHOUSE plastered on it.  The outside pictures clearly show a detached unit.  By all accounts it is a single family home and that is how the builder marketed it.  It is considered a townhome because it does not have a yard you have to take care of. All the detached homes have a bit different elevation and floor plan, but it is still cookie cutter. All new builds in this area are cookie cutter.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 10:21:27 AM by Zero Degrees »

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2017, 10:24:55 AM »
Ask realtor to also list it as a SFH.

We recently thought of that too and my agent is looking into it.  However, it might not be legal, even though my builder did it.  One of the THs in my development did initially list their home as SFH, and after a couple of weeks it was changed. I am guessing they got in trouble.  However, by that time it had already gone under contract.

Dicey

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2017, 11:07:37 AM »
Also wondering how high your HOA fees are. Are you only comparing to others with similar fees? Also does your listing clearly show/state that you are a detached unit?

HOA is $185/month.  This includes snow removal, lawn care (landscaping, mowing, in ground irrigation and all the treatments), sanitation, resort style swimming pool, splash pad, playgrounds, volleyball courts, basketball courts, putting green, endless trails.

My HOA is very low for the area and is the lowest one that is listed for sale currently.  The attached (rowhomes) pay an even higher fee for the same development/amenities because their insurance is included for their building.   

The listing has the word TOWNHOUSE plastered on it.  The outside pictures clearly show a detached unit.  By all accounts it is a single family home and that is how the builder marketed it.  It is considered a townhome because it does not have a yard you have to take care of. All the detached homes have a bit different elevation and floor plan, but it is still cookie cutter. All new builds in this area are cookie cutter.
IMO, that's a lot of value for $185/mo. Can you spell out what the HOA is and what it includes in the listing?

For laughs, we were in Aspen last week and saw a listing for a cute little condo in Snowmass. The HOA was $1385/mo. WTF?

I think providing as much clarity as possible and a little dash of PATIENCE should do the trick. Maybe your buyer is just away on vacation right now.

I've done some a lot of listing photography in the past, so feel free to PM me a link, but it sure sounds like you're doing everything right.

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2017, 11:31:54 AM »
Dicey - I sent you a pm.  Yes, that is an insane amount for an HOA fee.  I've seen those on HGTV shows too.  Where they buy a condo for 200K and then pay 1k/month in HOA.  Unbelievable. 

I do think my MLS description could be spruced up to mention all the updates I have done in the past year to my place.  I do have a sheet that all visitors get outlining them, but those details are not on the MLS.  I am thinking those should be pointed out. Sometimes I wonder why I am paying a realtor.

Shinplaster

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2017, 05:37:14 PM »

The listing has the word TOWNHOUSE plastered on it.  The outside pictures clearly show a detached unit.  By all accounts it is a single family home

Have the listing changed to Detached Townhouse, or Stand Alone Townhouse.  Sell it as the best of both worlds -  a detached home, with none of the outside maintenance, etc.   If we were going to buy a townhouse, that is exactly what we would be looking for.

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2017, 08:14:30 PM »

The listing has the word TOWNHOUSE plastered on it.  The outside pictures clearly show a detached unit.  By all accounts it is a single family home

Have the listing changed to Detached Townhouse, or Stand Alone Townhouse.  Sell it as the best of both worlds -  a detached home, with none of the outside maintenance, etc.   If we were going to buy a townhouse, that is exactly what we would be looking for.

Thank you. I am going to find out if that is a category for our MLS here.  That would sound more appealing and it would not be lying like say SFH would. Again, why is my realtor going to get 6%?  I feel like I am doing all the work here.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2017, 01:05:04 AM »
There are only two reasons property doesn't sell.  Over-priced or under-marketing.

An average sale probably takes 45+ days.  How much of a hurry are you in?  The prime selling season (May-July) is coming to an end, do you want to sell before sales start to slow?  How much lower can you go?

I would lower by $1,000 each week, or more if you want to sell.

MayDay

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2017, 06:12:53 AM »
We are in a hot market and it was insane in the spring and even by May had cooled a bit. I attribute it to all the people who decided to move over the winter want to buy as soon as the snow melts. So by June they've all found houses and you are down to a trickle of new buyers.

I'm no expert though.

We sold a wierd house and we just had to wait it out until the right buyer came along.

I can tell you in terms of why people buy older ugly houses instead of yours: anyone who wants to garden, or hang laundry out, etc will run far away from an HOA. Anyone who has lived in a crappy HOA will not be interested. Etc. We owned in an HOA briefly and never again, I don't care how good of a deal it is. So a huge chunk of buyers will never even look.

Does your area do agent open houses? I wonder if your agent can better market it to other agents, so they convince their SFH clients to come look at it?

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2017, 08:24:57 AM »
We are in a hot market and it was insane in the spring and even by May had cooled a bit. I attribute it to all the people who decided to move over the winter want to buy as soon as the snow melts. So by June they've all found houses and you are down to a trickle of new buyers.

I'm no expert though.

We sold a wierd house and we just had to wait it out until the right buyer came along.

I can tell you in terms of why people buy older ugly houses instead of yours: anyone who wants to garden, or hang laundry out, etc will run far away from an HOA. Anyone who has lived in a crappy HOA will not be interested. Etc. We owned in an HOA briefly and never again, I don't care how good of a deal it is. So a huge chunk of buyers will never even look.

Does your area do agent open houses? I wonder if your agent can better market it to other agents, so they convince their SFH clients to come look at it?

Yep, all of the above.  Where I live, because the market was so hot houses were going in hours with multiple offers in May and early June. Now all the buyers have their house or gave up.  I understand my buyer pool is small, I am just going to have to be patient.  If it doesn't work out by early fall, I will try again in Feb/March.  Or maybe I should stay on and snag a relocator.

The people who bought my neighbors house moved from a SFH nearby because they didn't want to do yard work and WANTED an HOA.  So I know those people are out there. My HOA is great and I have never had an issue, but prospective buyers don't know that and many don't care.

Thanks for the help!

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2017, 08:30:40 AM »
There are only two reasons property doesn't sell.  Over-priced or under-marketing.

An average sale probably takes 45+ days.  How much of a hurry are you in?  The prime selling season (May-July) is coming to an end, do you want to sell before sales start to slow?  How much lower can you go?

I would lower by $1,000 each week, or more if you want to sell.

I am realizing there is some marketing issues after getting some feedback from Dicey.  I am going to get those corrected.  It has only been 2 weeks, so I really should not be worried yet.  My main concern is no traffic and having potential for offers. People need to get in the door first.   I've heard stories where people had very few lookers and the third looker bought it - like 2 months in.  So I am trying to stay calm and leave emotion out of it.   

I really cannot go any lower for list. I am guessing the buyer will want me to pay some of their closing costs.  This is why I did 10k drop initially instead of doing a bunch of tiny little drops.

Thank you for your feedback!

Dicey

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2017, 08:47:40 AM »
I would lower by $1,000 each week, or more if you want to sell.
I strongly disagree. This reeks of desperation. If I saw a listing like that, I'd assume there was something wrong with the house, a divorce, or some other crisis afoot.  Per our conversation, none of these reflect your situation accurately. Patience, and improved listing information are your best next steps.

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2017, 01:13:05 PM »
I got another showing request for tomorrow and then they canceled it within one hour.  WTF is going on?  Why would somebody do that?  You change your mind before you even see the place?  People should be sure they want to look at a house before they schedule it.  That is so rude!!!!  It has happened twice this weekend.



« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 01:15:49 PM by Zero Degrees »

Dicey

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2017, 01:33:56 PM »
I got another showing request for tomorrow and then they canceled it within one hour.  WTF is going on?  Why would somebody do that?  You change your mind before you even see the place?  People should be sure they want to look at a house before they schedule it.  That is so rude!!!!  It has happened twice this weekend.
Don't take that personally. There could be a million explanations. Their kid got sick, it's too hot, its too cold, they can't qualify for that much home, there's a game they forgot they want to watch, their MIL called and she's on her way over, blah x3. If they changed their mind before looking at it, they most likely did it for some other reason. At least their realtor was professional enough to call and cancel, which is not always a given. Patience, ZD!

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2017, 01:55:18 PM »
Right, at least they did cancel, which is nice.  I am trying to not be emotional over the whole thing.  Reasons were given:  buyer no longer interested, and schedule change - but they didn't reschedule, so that means they are not interested either. I am certain two of my showings were no shows, so I have really had only 3 visitors.

I've been dealing with the lesson of patience for many months concerning this house. If you knew half the stuff that has gone on around here (I think my house might actually be cursed) you might be surprised that I have not gone off the deep end and been committed. LOL

I shall carry on and I am just going to head out and get out of here so I stop obsessing about the stupid thing.

Thanks!

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2017, 02:19:06 PM »
Hang in there Zero.  Right now people are on vacation, and not inclined to house hunt.  We've had great luck selling in the fall (4 houses) - the buyers pool isn't as big, but you get serious lookers, not tire kickers.  Don't give up yet.   I agree with Dicey - don't drop the price every week.   You've dropped it now, so let it percolate for a while.

It's funny - we live in another country, and had the same frenzy in April and May.  Then poof!  Sales dropped sharply, and ones that do sell are taking a long time.

Finallyunderstand

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2017, 01:38:34 PM »
How is the sale going?

Can you provide a link to your home to look at?  I would be curious to see it.  I'm a realtor and maybe I would see it with different eyes.  I know sometimes in the earlier parts of my career it was hard for me to be blunt with my clients about things that need to be changed because I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings if I told them to remove XYZ...  Over 10 years of selling real estate I've realized that if I'm not honest up front about potential hurdles to a sale then it will only create a frustrating situation when the home doesn't sell and I have to bring it up later after losing momentum.

A lot of people have fantastically updated homes but they still use way too many decorations, personal trinkets, etc and it doesn't allow for buyers to envision what they could do with the home. 

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2017, 01:48:37 PM »
This is a minor thing and one I expect you have thought of already, but be sure your price fits well within the drop-down search parameters at major real estate sites. For example, when we sold our town home (attached) we listed it for something like $549,000 because websites let you sort on price at $500K, $550K, $600k, etc. Listing the same place for $560k would rule out a good set of potential buyers who have decided that they are interested in spending around $550 and for whom $600K is too much.

Good luck.

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2017, 04:41:45 PM »
This is a minor thing and one I expect you have thought of already, but be sure your price fits well within the drop-down search parameters at major real estate sites. For example, when we sold our town home (attached) we listed it for something like $549,000 because websites let you sort on price at $500K, $550K, $600k, etc. Listing the same place for $560k would rule out a good set of potential buyers who have decided that they are interested in spending around $550 and for whom $600K is too much.

Good luck.

 Thank you.  Yes, I definitely kept that in mind when I did the price drop!

Car Jack

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2017, 12:01:08 PM »
I've bought and sold several houses myself and have a few pointed questions.....

When a showing is going on, are you GONE well before the showing and away well after the showing?  Please don't say you stay to help show the house.  Owners NEVER help to show a house and in more than one case while house hunting, when we pulled up with the agent and I saw that people were in the house, I told the agent to forget this house, let's see the next one.

Are you comparing your town house to single family houses when pricing your town house?  Don't do that.  You don't have a SFH, you have a town house.  There are people who want to own everything they're sitting on.  The land, the lawn, the trees.  Get off my lawn!  If you re-compare to only town houses, is yours still in the low range or does this now make it less of a bargain.

HOA: As much as you're stuck with this, there are people (me, for example) who would never even look at a house that is subject to the reign of terror called an HOA.  Sorry...a bit over dramatic for a minute.

Pictures and video:  Have someone look at it and before they see the pictures, ask them if they can see any clutter.  Clutter screams "hoarder" and is bad for showings.  You can have every update known to man but knick nacks on every horizontal surface makes the place look like grandma's house and downgrades the looks.  Anything you don't absolutely need should be packed and put into storage.  You should be able to see light between every can in the cupboard, put a hand between every shirt in the closet, look under every bed and see only carpet or floor.  This makes a HUGE difference.  It's called staging.  In both of our house sales (neither took more than 3 weeks), we had cookie dough in the oven.  The agent would call to tell us a buyer was coming to look in half an hour.  We'd crank the oven up to 600, turn on every light in the house, put on very low level music, a plate of finished cookies on the table, quick vacuum, pull the cookies out of the oven and into a box to take with us and vacate.  The house smelled like fresh baked cookies.  There were cookies on the table, everything was decluttered and very sparse.  Although both houses were only 800 square feet, both showed like they were bigger.  Sold one of them in September, the other in January, so the absolutely worst times of the year to sell.

Zero Degrees

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Re: When to Drop the Price on Home
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2017, 06:05:05 PM »
Thank you for your feedback. Not my first rodeo either. Every home I previously sold went in one to 10 days. My agent didn't even call in his stager because I was good to go. I mistakenly thought because all my previous homes sold quickly this one would too.  This will be a very humbling experience for me. Many of the things you have asked have already been answered. I will recap here:

I am an OCD neat freak and practically lived in a stage house before I listed. I do not have any knick knacks or clutter.  My closets are 75% empty.

I do not stay to help show a house, nor do I park up the street and watch.

I had professional photographer and video done. I had someone here on MMM critique my listing and we made some changes to the details and description. Trust me when I say there is no clutter and on any given day not on the market people tell me my home looks like it belongs on the cover of a magazine.  It's an illness. lol

I am comparing my house only to other THs.  I understand why the SFH is coveted. It is sad, but I accept my fate and at one time I felt the same. 

I am just frustrated because earlier in the summer THs exactly like mine were flying off the shelf.  I know my timing is bad and my pool is small due to HOA and the fact my TH is big. I just need to be patient.   
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 06:08:23 PM by Zero Degrees »