Author Topic: Why won't my house sell?  (Read 20268 times)

lukebuz

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Why won't my house sell?
« on: July 27, 2015, 11:19:36 AM »
So, I've listed my house back in Iowa several weeks ago.  Beautiful house, nice location, all that.  Listed it for $163k....no showings.  Listed for $158k...no showings.  Listed it for $150k...no showings.  WTF man.
I hate this house more than anything in the world...it was my pre-mustachian money-pit.  I dropped $40,000 in upgrades, plus $8,000 more for a new septic system (required before selling).  I spent 5 solid YEARS of my free-time working on this thing.  While I did learn many new skills, I also stressed myself way more than I should have, and lost out on prime years of my life, all for "building sweat equity".  Now I know that is a lie.

I paid $146k for this 7 years ago (kinda pre-crash, but not peak prices), and have about $200,000 total into it.  I can't even get someone to look at it at $50,000 off.  What am I doing wrong?

Check out the listing, what turns you off about the house?  Why wouldn't you at least call for a showing?

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2741-Pickering-Dr_Marshalltown_IA_50158_M73579-80989?row=59


Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2015, 11:34:57 AM »
You bought pre-crash.  Most houses purchased pre-crash are worth less now than they were when you bought.  I get that you have put money into the house.  No one will care what did you did to the septic because that was a requirement.  Since you couldn't sell without it, it really doesn't add value in the literal sense.  What's the $40k in upgrades? You usually don't get much of an ROI on some of the standard upgrades - (carpet to wood, laminate to granite, stainless appliances.)  We bought in 2005 at $174,900 and tried to sell from 2009 to 2014, renting it out for periods in the middle.  It finally sold at $159,900.  We also had replaced flooring, painted and appliances.  According to our realtor, that's just routine maintenance that buyers expect and we probably wouldn't have anyone looking at all if we had kept the junk carpets and didn't repaint.

MissStache

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2015, 11:36:24 AM »
I was expecting you to have bad picture or it be filled with creepy dolls or something, but it looks pretty great from the listing photos!  The only thing I can see that is kind of off-putting is the colors in some of the rooms, especially the oranges, yellows, and greens.  Neutrals tend to be better wall colors for selling.  But that doesn't seem like enough to keep someone away. 

What's the market like in your area?  Is $150K reasonable for a comparable house or are things selling for much cheaper?

MDM

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2015, 11:43:00 AM »
Depends on the local market.

The "Agent's Other Listings" that appear on your house's web page are
3,024 sqft for $194,900 ($64/sqft)
1,750 sqft for $134,750 ($77/sqft)

Your listing:
1316 sqft for $149,900 ($114/sqft)

There could be some confusion about the size of the house: the ad has 2632 but the public records say 1316.  The part about upper/main/lower areas appears where bathroom information is supposed to go.

lukebuz

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2015, 11:45:23 AM »
Yeah, I thought it looked pretty great too.  It's now vacant, but not that it matters, as no one is looking at it anyways...

$150K is probably on the lower end of the price scale for this type of house.  There are similar ones priced higher, maybe a few a bit lower.  $150K is also probably the upper 25% of houses in this town, 75% are priced less.

As for the upgrades, yes, it was everything from all new plumbing, a new bathroom, all new paint on every surface, tile over cat-pee carpet, refinished hardwoods, new appliances and sink, new bathtubs with tile surrounds, new toilets, basement support beams, building a huge fence, replaced leaking double pane windows, new A/C unit, new fancy thermostat, added ceiling fans, on and on and on....


grettman

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2015, 11:47:32 AM »
I agree with were MDM is going with this.  I am currently looking at houses and in neighborhoods I am interested in the first thing I look at is price per square foot.  I also make sure I am making apples to apples comparison between upper/lower sq footage.  At first glance, and without detail analysis, your home could be over priced.

matchewed

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2015, 11:49:18 AM »
I'm confused. This -

$150K is probably on the lower end of the price scale for this type of house. 

Does not agree with this -

There are similar ones priced higher, maybe a few a bit lower.  $150K is also probably the upper 25% of houses in this town, 75% are priced less.

Am I missing something?

lukebuz

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2015, 12:10:38 PM »
I'm confused. This -

$150K is probably on the lower end of the price scale for this type of house. 

Does not agree with this -

There are similar ones priced higher, maybe a few a bit lower.  $150K is also probably the upper 25% of houses in this town, 75% are priced less.

Am I missing something?

$150K for this size/condition of a house....right in the middle of the pack for similar houses.
However, if you take the whole city/town into account, it's on the higher end (most houses in town are about $110-$120).

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2015, 12:11:40 PM »
Median per capita income in Marshalltown was $19k/yr from what I read on wikipedia.....that might have something to do with it.

lukebuz

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2015, 12:12:12 PM »
Here is a side question - it seems everything boils down to $/sqft.  Does anyone even care about the condition?  Should i have left old grandma peeling wallpaper up, along with cat-pee carpets?  Did I just burn my money stripping, painting, and laying tile?
I mean, a wall is a wall, and a floor is a floor?  Is that all it boils down to?

grettman

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2015, 12:16:30 PM »
Condition matters but it is expected.

Poor condition drives lower price expectations.

Good condition meets expectations.  Good condition doesn't justify a higher price.


rpr

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2015, 12:17:33 PM »
Any reason for the discrepancy between the public records and the ad? If I were a potential buyer, this would be a red flag for me. For example, appraisals usually only go by public records. Anything that does not match is treated as unpermitted.

justajane

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2015, 12:22:48 PM »
If your house is on the expensive side for the area, you're already ruling out most buyers right there. If 75% of houses cost less, then 75% of buyers aren't going to look at your house. A couple weeks isn't that long on the market if you aren't living in a seller's market, which it appears you aren't. You have two choices: either you lower the price so that it sells more quickly, or you keep the price where it is and expect that it will take longer. It's really up to you. I know it sucks.

Our house is really nice, but it sat on the market before we bought it for 12 months. It was the price. Nobody cares what you put into the house or what you paid for it unfortunately.

forummm

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2015, 12:24:05 PM »
What does your realtor say?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2015, 12:27:21 PM »
Your first picture makes it look like you have really wavy siding. Your last picture, also of the front of the house, doesn't.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2015, 12:31:02 PM »
From what I saw looking at the rest of the neighborhood and the surrounding areas, you over-improved the house and now are priced way over what would sell in that area.

Don't get me wrong, looks like a very nice house. I don't think there is anything wrong with it, but when most of that immediate neighborhood is in the 80-110K range and your house and maybe one or two other are in the 140-150K range... you really don't have hardly anyone out there that is going to be interested.

What does your realtor say? Because when we sold my dad's house last year, our experience was that the realtor told us the house was worth something like 110-115K, but we would be lucky to sell it for 90k (sold for 93K) because the market was slow and houses in the area just weren't moving.

I was also told by some of the real estate geniuses on here (Another Reader and many others) that price is the one thing to look at if you're not even getting showings. You won't even get a looky-loo if you have it too high, so that's pretty much the answer. It sucks because you've put so much into the house, and it's a nice house, but the area and the market just aren't going to pay what you want to get for it. If you really want it to sell, you'll have to discuss with the realtor a realistic price that will get it sold.

Otherwise, the only option I could think of is you might look into renting it out to see if the market comes up any further?




lukebuz

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2015, 12:44:48 PM »
The appraised vs listing price - don't worry about that.  It's a county taxes thing.  All houses have that discrepancy.

As for over-improving, I think that was my mistake.  There are probably only 3 other houses out of 40 in the area that are higher priced.  Others go for $99-$120's.  I should have never poured money into it, thinking I was "flipping it" and would be that money back out at the other side. 
Woe is me!  I make so many mistakes with my finances.  I could be nearly FIRE by now if I wouldn't have been stupid and blew 10's of thousands on new cars, car upgrades, piddly shit on my credit cards, racking up student loans, and now home improvements.  Everything financial I do is a fuck-up the first time around.  At least I'm blessed to have a good job and salary to help cover for these, but even with that, I can't get ahead.  I take full responsibility for all these, but I wish every once in awhile, one of these things could turn out in my favor.

At least with this new house I bought, I learned my lesson, and won't put money into it, unless I'm fully aware I won't see a dime back out of it.  If by some grace I do see a return, great.  But don't expect it. 

lukebuz

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2015, 12:47:36 PM »
What does your realtor say?

She actually recommended I leave it at $158K...but my anxiety of no showings made me drop it anyways...
Lot of good it did.  Nothing.

BlueHouse

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2015, 12:58:26 PM »
What does your realtor say?

She actually recommended I leave it at $158K...but my anxiety of no showings made me drop it anyways...
Lot of good it did.  Nothing.
I think your realtor was right.  When I look at the Property history and see:
Listed
Delisted
relisted
Delisted
relisted
Delisted
relisted
That makes me immediately think that there is something wrong with the house.  Is there some way to remove all of that history?  It just calls attention to a problem.

I think the house looks great overall, but I agree about the colors.  You've used warm colors throughout and all of the wood is a warm color.  That gives some of the rooms a feeling of being smothered.  In the kitchen, I would paint a cool grayish/taupe color to tone down the warm tones of all the wood.  The kitchen is overwhelming to me. 

Good luck. 


dandarc

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2015, 01:02:32 PM »
I think your house is smaller than you think it is.  Looking at the property-appraiser's footprint, and the pictures, it sure looks like someone decided "1316, but it is split-level, so X2 = 2632.".  Actually your house is more like 2000 square feet - only the one side has 2 stories.  The price per foot in your neighborhood seems to be more like $50-70 / foot.  So your house is worth no more than $140K, more likely closer to $120K or lower (particularly if you want to sell fast).  Sucks, but that's the reality of the situation.  Asking at least 10-20% more than other houses have been selling for is why you are not getting showings at $150K.  Not like the lot is particularly large or desirable compared to others in the neighborhood.

Either that, or you need another realtor.  But looking at the recent sales on Zillow in your neighborhood, I'd say you are just asking too much.  The neighborhood itself could be holding you back - you are a ways out from town, literally on the other side of an expressway, and the next neighborhood down the road is a trailer park.

hdatontodo

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2015, 01:07:34 PM »
How about rent to own with crediting 100% of rent payments to the price.

SnackDog

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2015, 01:28:32 PM »
The Wolf Lake area appears to be depressed in price relative to the area north of the highway.   I would guess most buyers are ruling that out of their area of consideration. Apparently it is less desirable.  Your competition probably mostly has four beds in that sq footage as well.  How close are you to those power lines?  Are they high voltage? 

What does your real estate professional tell you?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 05:26:34 PM by SnackDog »

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2015, 01:33:29 PM »
What does your realtor say?

She actually recommended I leave it at $158K...but my anxiety of no showings made me drop it anyways...
Lot of good it did.  Nothing.
I think your realtor was right.  When I look at the Property history and see:
Listed
Delisted
relisted
Delisted
relisted
Delisted
relisted
That makes me immediately think that there is something wrong with the house.  Is there some way to remove all of that history?  It just calls attention to a problem.

I think the house looks great overall, but I agree about the colors.  You've used warm colors throughout and all of the wood is a warm color.  That gives some of the rooms a feeling of being smothered.  In the kitchen, I would paint a cool grayish/taupe color to tone down the warm tones of all the wood.  The kitchen is overwhelming to me. 

Good luck.

While I agree that can look bad, the usual explanation is they put it on the market until they found a renter.  The Realtor can put explanations in the MLS that other Realtors see.  An explanation like that usually takes care of it. Most renters don't want to move into a house still on the market.

Also, I think the price you paid for it in a sense does matter.  Often "how will they go" depends on what is left on a mortgage.  When I'm buying, I usually look at the registry info to see when a mortgage was taken out and what is left on it to figure out the minimum my seller could accept to walk away without a short sale.

Terrestrial

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2015, 01:52:36 PM »
I paid $146k for this 7 years ago (kinda pre-crash, but not peak prices), and have about $200,000 total into it.  I can't even get someone to look at it at $50,000 off.  What am I doing wrong?

In short this is probably your problem.  To you it's '50k off'.  The buyer doesn't care how much you have in it, that doesn't mean that's what it's worth....to them it might be 'still 30k too much'.  Plus, money spent on stuff like septic tanks is just hard to get back out.  You had to drop 8k into a septic system...this raises the price of the house exactly $0....it's just a general expectation that a house will have a working sewer system when people buy it.  People generally care very little about a new vs 10 year old septic as long as it works.  All of the 'boring' stuff in a house seems to be like that.

First step:  What do the comps say, that's how you need to go about pricing it.  I didn't look through your neighborhood but I did zillow it and it said 120k.  Zillow is by no means gospel or sometimes even 'close'...but it's computing that value from somewhere.  Long story short, look at the comps.  This is something your agent should be doing anyway when telling you what to list at, that's part of what you are going to pay him for.

Second step: If you are in line with the comps, the house itself looks nice enough....perhaps your agent is not agressive. I have had to fire one before for not really generating any traffic and his replacement was much better, got more showings the first couple weeks than the last guy did in 3 months and got the place sold.  If the market is slow where you live  it makes it all the more important that the agent get people in the door. 

Third step:  I know nothing about Marshaltown Iowa but it sounds small/rural...what is the buyer pool like.  Even if the house is priced well, if only 3 people in town have the income to buy it it's not doing you much good in moving the place.

Good luck...having just sold a house I know how trying it can be.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 02:03:09 PM by Terrestrial »

index

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2015, 02:25:54 PM »
Repaint that green bathroom and move those couches out of the pictures! You also are probably listed too high and it looks like there were a bunch of foreclosures around you (sales around 40k?) Do you have any comps for split level houses? 

lukebuz

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2015, 02:28:00 PM »
Yeah, it's a fairly small buying pool in a not-super-great town.  Which...is why I moved away!  In the end, even if I have to take more of a loss, I'm glad to be out of that area.  I wasn't truly happy there, for, oh, the entire 12 years I was there.
But, for now, I want to get the most of my money back (as would anyone). 

I agree, I now realize I overbuilt for the 'hood.  Comparables are right on, as per the RE agent.  She is the one who determined price.  We started on the high end of her estimate, and are now below her lowest estimate.
I understand things like the septic are just bad luck, and add no value to the house.
I really don't want to move down further, maybe I should just wait.

How many showings should you expect in a town of 25,000?  It's been 3 weeks, since the last peep.  I picked the biggest, best (I think?) agent in town, with the splashiest ads and coverage.  Perhaps I was wrong.

These dreams I had of getting 75% of my investment back are laughable now, I guess.  Argh.  So many lessons, so little money to learn them with.

Terrestrial

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2015, 02:57:10 PM »

How many showings should you expect in a town of 25,000?  It's been 3 weeks, since the last peep.  I picked the biggest, best (I think?) agent in town, with the splashiest ads and coverage.  Perhaps I was wrong.


Something to maybe consider (I had the same thought process when I selected the agent I ended up getting rid of)...in hindsight I now realize that it wasn't that he was a 'bad' realtor, quite the opposite he was reasonably successful...it was more that this particular house I was trying to sell was on the lower priced end of what he normally handled and not in his main 'area of focus' in town, and I highly suspect that's why he really wasn't putting in a ton of effort.  To him it was likely just a convenience listing, something he had that if it hit, great, but he wasn't going to spend a lot of time marketing it when he had houses 2-3x as expensive (and 2-3x the commission potential) to work on.  The guy I ended up using second was younger/newer but had a ton of enthusiasm and was very knowledgable about the specific neighborhood my house was in.  Just something to mull over.

Someone probably mentioned this above but it sounds like you no longer live there, can you rent it out for a while and cover your costs or perhaps even make a bit of money while you wait for things to improve, if it's just that the local market isn't great.  I ended up doing this with a house that I just sold a couple months ago and it worked out well.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 03:00:07 PM by Terrestrial »

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2015, 03:12:35 PM »
Been in your position, lukebuz.  There's only 1 reason why a house doesn't sell: the price is too high.

I disagree. In order to sell your house first has to have showings. It's your realtor's job to get potential buyers to view your property. Unless your list price is outrageously high-and, without knowing your market, it doesn't appear to be- it seems to be more of a marketing problem.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2015, 03:31:09 PM »
Yeah, it's a fairly small buying pool in a not-super-great town.  Which...is why I moved away!  In the end, even if I have to take more of a loss, I'm glad to be out of that area.  I wasn't truly happy there, for, oh, the entire 12 years I was there.
But, for now, I want to get the most of my money back (as would anyone). 

I agree, I now realize I overbuilt for the 'hood.  Comparables are right on, as per the RE agent.  She is the one who determined price.  We started on the high end of her estimate, and are now below her lowest estimate.
I understand things like the septic are just bad luck, and add no value to the house.
I really don't want to move down further, maybe I should just wait.

How many showings should you expect in a town of 25,000?  It's been 3 weeks, since the last peep.  I picked the biggest, best (I think?) agent in town, with the splashiest ads and coverage.  Perhaps I was wrong.

These dreams I had of getting 75% of my investment back are laughable now, I guess.  Argh.  So many lessons, so little money to learn them with.

When I sold my first house in a town of 2500 (and a county of only ~15,000), I had two showings in the first month, and the 2nd showing resulted in an offer. (And no, I wasn't priced especially low, bought for 37.5k in 2010 and sold for 60k in 2013.) It obviously all depends on your market. I wouldn't say the town's size is a major factor.

TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2015, 03:45:04 PM »
I love that house, it looks amazing, especially the yard.  I'd move the exterior pictures to lead the listing, and at least re-arrange the room with the couches.  The narrow gap between the couch and the easy chair was an instant turn-off, makes the whole house seem crowded.  Temporarily re-arrange the furniture throughout to make the house seem as open as possible, then take a couple thousand pictures with all different camera settings.

Also a firepit looks better if there's a fire in it.

And don't let a few weeks bother you too much.  You only need one buyer.  Real estate agents wait far longer when they list their own properties than they do for their clients, so even if an agent says to lower the price I wouldn't necessarily listen.  You can knock ten grand off and their commission is still about the same, but you just lost ten grand.

Good luck!

b4u2

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2015, 09:33:28 AM »
I've tried to sell my rental twice in the last six years in Cedar Rapids with no luck. We had a few viewings but never any offers. I even went all the way to my "break even just to get out of the house" price and could not get any bites. I hate having only one rental but I can't afford the 3-4 more that I would like to have. Shoot I can't even get any bites on my suburban.

totoro

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2015, 10:06:29 AM »
Can you take it off the market and rent until conditions improve?  What would it rent for?

If not, your house seems very nice but the pictures could be improved although I'm not sure that would make a difference in a poor market if the price is high.

1.  Kitchen - put all the stuff that is on the counters away and take the apron off the back of the door and potholders (colours clash) and take down the kitchen pic that highlights the ceiling fan/light.
2. Couches look haphazard and green cloths on them clash.  Table in front looks cluttered.
3. Curtains should be adjusted in all pics so they are hanging evenly.
4. Remove baby gear but not crib from photos.
5. Some of the angles in the photos highlight the ceilings too much.
6. Your green bathroom backsplash and flooring clash.  Neutral shower curtain might help.
7. Shower curtains should be open in photos.
8. Put neutral bedspread on beds and adjust curtains in all shots.
9. Remove yellow power cord from exterior shot.
10. Remove fire pit shot (looks lonely and exposed) but mention it in the listing.


Roboturner

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2015, 11:24:43 AM »
Get rid of the clunky couches, and replace with staged light an airy seating, the living room is small so you'll want to avoid any big furniture

FIRE me

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2015, 08:43:22 PM »
Check out the listing, what turns you off about the house?  Why wouldn't you at least call for a showing?

You have a very nice house and at under $60 per square foot, it should sell well. I would not lower the price further. If repos are selling cheaper, let them. The repos will not have the nicely done improvements that yours has.

Looking with a critical eye, I agree with totoro that the photos could be improved. Also, the cover photo, as already mentioned by another poster, at certain resolutions makes the siding look wavy due to a unfortunate moire effect.

Last thing about the house itself, I think that particular tri-level design has not stood the test of time well. It may turn off a few potential buyers, but it won't be objectionable to all.

One other thing might be that your Realtor is a jerk. I saw a neighbor of my Mother's put their house up for sale. They were in over their heads financially, and they really needed to sell.

Said Realtor did little in the way of showings and open houses until her contract (90 days or six months, I don't recall which) was just about to expire. Then the house miraculously sold just before it was about to be listed with a different agent. I hope that isn't happening to you.

 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2015, 07:24:54 AM »
Last thing about the house itself, I think that particular tri-level design has not stood the test of time well. It may turn off a few potential buyers, but it won't be objectionable to all.

Yes, it's a stupid way to build a house and you restrict your pool of buyers (I sold one a year ago). Everybody's willing to look at a center hall colonial, but not everybody is willing to look at a split-level. After living in one, I wouldn't either.

Stachetastic

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #35 on: August 12, 2015, 01:18:35 PM »
I think it looks like a lovely house, but I agree with some previous posters that a tri level can be a hard sell. I sold one a few years ago, and they seem to appeal to a narrow range of buyer--young family that needs the space, no older adults who may be concerned with stairs. Ours also had the double whammy of completely lacking in storage space. There was no unfinished space in the lower level, which was obvious to buyers even after we rented a storage unit to de-clutter.  Also, we lived there three years and hated it. Climate control was always difficult with three different floors. One was always too hot, one always too cold.

Anyway, I don't mean to be a Debbie downer, but just wanted to say that I've been there and it's not fun. Our house eventually sold after 6 months on the market. We had a ton of showings in that time, with mostly positive reviews, but it took time to find the ONE buyer we needed.  I wish you luck!

jooles

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #36 on: August 12, 2015, 01:38:08 PM »
It shows well, but it could show even better.  I would take it off the market and hire a new realtor. 

First hire only realtors who are in the top 1%.  The top 10% of realtors sell about 75% of all properties.  The other 90% of realtors sell almost nothing.  You want to work with a realtor who makes A LOT of sales and is willing to pay for (or split the cost with you) of a professional stager. 

The professional real estate stager will make your home look like a magazine.  Your home looks good, but it could look significantly better.  You want your pictures to create emotion.  You want everyone who looks to say "I want that". 

I just sold a tri level for above asking price.

http://www.zillow.com/homes/17928-117th-ST-SE,-Snohomish-wa_rb/

Bearded Man

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2015, 07:59:16 AM »
Man I can't believe you can't sell a house like that in IA for 150K. A house like that in my area would cost 400-500K and sell within two months.

Another Reader

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2015, 08:23:03 AM »
There's a saying in real estate - price fixes everything.  The rule of thumb is that if you are not having showings, you are at least 10 percent above market value.  If you are having showings but no offers, you are at least 5 percent above market value.

You are at the end of the summer selling season and have not had an offer.  It's time to decide if you are willing to take the loss and sell, or if you want to hold this property until next spring.  If you decide to do what it takes to sell, sit the agent down and ask what price does this house need to be to get it sold in 60 days.  My guess is that it is a lot less than what you are asking.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #39 on: August 13, 2015, 08:32:13 AM »
Man I can't believe you can't sell a house like that in IA for 150K. A house like that in my area would cost 400-500K and sell within two months.

You'll be even more depressed when you see what high end new construction sells for. 


I'm not certain about Marshalltown (not knowing exactly where it is), but the Iowa City-Coralville-North Liberty area (which has a very HCOL compared to the rest of Iowa) one major problem selling homes is there is so much NEW construction. Unless you've got one of the historic homes, buyers seem to want new if it costs the same price as old.  Is that a problem in Marshalltown?  If you are competing against cheap-ass foreclosures for a quarter of the price, or something brand new for the same price- selling is going to be really hard.


Good luck.

Terrestrial

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2015, 08:36:26 AM »
There's a saying in real estate - price fixes everything.  The rule of thumb is that if you are not having showings, you are at least 10 percent above market value.  If you are having showings but no offers, you are at least 5 percent above market value.

You are at the end of the summer selling season and have not had an offer.  It's time to decide if you are willing to take the loss and sell, or if you want to hold this property until next spring.  If you decide to do what it takes to sell, sit the agent down and ask what price does this house need to be to get it sold in 60 days.  My guess is that it is a lot less than what you are asking.

This is good advice.  There's almost always a buyer at the right price...you just need to figure out what that is and if it's something you can deal with or not.  Holding has costs too...mortgage, insurance, maintenance, taxes, utils kept on so it's ready for showings, stuff still seems to randomly break and require fixing...if it boils down to writing a bigger check now or a series of smaller checks, the latter may feel better but isn't always the best call.  At the end of the day no ammt of staging/nice pictures/etc will fix a too high price in a slow local market.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 08:38:38 AM by Terrestrial »

Alchemilla

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #41 on: August 13, 2015, 12:07:18 PM »
It looks beautiful.

Only two comments about the listing
maybe have the photos taken again without the toys in view
Get the agent to name the photos with which room they are of.

Good luck.

MayDay

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2015, 01:20:49 PM »
Grew up in Ames.

I think the split level is part of it.  We have looked at them but expect them to be considerably cheaper than a ranch of comparable size, to make up for the suckitude of the split.

Part of it is that you should have listed in Feb-April.  Too late now.  No one buys houses in snow country in August.  Which makes no sense because its not going to snow yet, lol.  But is seems universally true, unless the house is a bargain or you happen to get someone relocating into the area. 

Ruthless comments on the photos:
-Red kitchen sucks.  Thats going to be a bitch to repaint.  Get rid of fru-fru curtain.  Otherwise nice.
-I like the light green paint.
-Living room (family room?) tile floor is weird.  That is a turn-off.  Put an area rug over it.  Mirrored column is weird.  Drywall over it.  Orange color is bad.
-green bathroom-n the shower curtain is too busy.  Get something cimple and modern with clean lines, maybe white with one of the tile colors in it.  Or while with the green wall color. 

Overall the condition looks good.  I like it. 

Shinplaster

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #43 on: August 16, 2015, 10:02:57 AM »
Strictly from an aesthetic view point - please don't get offended......  All the photos make the house look sort of "granny".   And crowded.  The kitchen cupboards are nice, but the handles are very 1990's.   You say the house is vacant right now?   Get it staged, even if you just have to borrow modern furniture from friends and family for photos.  Keep it clean and uncluttered, and post the new photos.  Add some flowers that are in bloom on the terraced part of the back yard - it needs color.  Most buyers won't even bother looking at a house if they don't like the photos online.  I wouldn't worry about repainting - I think the colors you have work, as long as you keep accessories neutral.  (white towels in the bathroom, minimal/no patterns on bedding, etc.)   If there are any model homes for sale in the area, go and do a walk through, and see how they are decorated.  That is what buyers will expect to see at your house.

Sofa King

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2015, 04:20:14 PM »
There's a saying in real estate - price fixes everything.  The rule of thumb is that if you are not having showings, you are at least 10 percent above market value.  If you are having showings but no offers, you are at least 5 percent above market value.

You are at the end of the summer selling season and have not had an offer.  It's time to decide if you are willing to take the loss and sell, or if you want to hold this property until next spring.  If you decide to do what it takes to sell, sit the agent down and ask what price does this house need to be to get it sold in 60 days.  My guess is that it is a lot less than what you are asking.

I concur.


Also by the way it is a very nice house!!

adamcollin

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2015, 12:38:21 AM »
You have got loads of suggestions here. See which ones you can follow without spending a dime. Do check the prices of similar properties in your area. If yours is too high, you may have to slide it down a little.

Or, you can just wait for some more time, with fingers crossed!! GOOD LUCK.

Dicey

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2015, 03:38:50 PM »
I agree with totoro and shinplaster. DH and I walk open houses and surf listings as a weird hobby. We are also big DIYers and just flipped our first house for fun and profit. I'm going to cut straight to the chase here. This property looks dated, plain and simple. At this price point, buyers expect bullshit like granite countertops and stainless appliances and there's nothing you can do about it. If you really want to sell it, have it staged, take better photos, and drop the shit out of the price. If you're unwilling and/or unable to stomach a loss of that magnitude, then rent it out. Sucks, but learn from the lesson and profit from it in the future.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2015, 12:08:46 AM »
In my opinion, it's very difficult to sell a house for more than the median price of the town. Your pool of buyers is small.

All houses have a price. I don't think it helps that you moved out. If a house is empty, then I know the person is desperate to sell because two house payments suck.

I'm looking at purchasing a condo close to my work. Most sell around 200K. Someone just posted a similar condo for 325K. Some people bought these condos at the peak of the market in 2006 and paid around 325K. This place will be a foreclosure in about 6-12 months for around 190K. I might buy it then.

ozbeach

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2015, 01:51:08 AM »
Man I can't believe you can't sell a house like that in IA for 150K. A house like that in my area would cost 400-500K and sell within two months.

I don't look at real estate in other parts of the country. It's too depressing.

Wow at these prices. Don't look in another country then. Median house price in outer Sydney reported the other week as AU$1.2M

I'm a red panda

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Re: Why won't my house sell?
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2015, 07:48:13 AM »
Man I can't believe you can't sell a house like that in IA for 150K. A house like that in my area would cost 400-500K and sell within two months.

I don't look at real estate in other parts of the country. It's too depressing.

Wow at these prices. Don't look in another country then. Median house price in outer Sydney reported the other week as AU$1.2M

Do houses cost that much in the relative middle of nowhere in Australia. (Lets not get quite to "true" middle of nowhere; because Australia has that way more than we do!).  Because not only is this house in Iowa (which I personally love, but isn't a state most people desire to live in); it is in fairly rural Iowa.  You just can't compare it to a major international city!