Lots of Showings, Reduced Price, Still No Offers...What Can Be Done?

Small cute craftsman American house wth green and white.

Dave,

I have my house on the market since January 2, 2019. Lots of showings but the potential buyers do not stay long 5 or 10 minutes then they leave. My home needs masonry work in the basement and floors are sloping. My home is 100 years old but I sunk plenty of money into the house, new bathroom, new kitchen. I reduced the price by $15,000 and still no offers. The feedback is too small, sloping floors. I asked my listing agent if she knows any contractors as I want to unload my home asap. I want to relocate and I am not getting any offers at all. What can be done?

Linda     


Linda,

I am going to break this down almost line by line. There is a lot of meat on this bone, so let’s get right to it!  First, patience is the one thing this time of year requires. Remember that you listed in what is traditionally considered the slowest (from a sales perspective) time of year and it is always hard to interpret showing traffic and feedback so moving with a bit of caution might be prudent. “Lots of showings” is somewhat relative and can depend on your definition of “lots”, but nationwide statistics on the number of showings before you should have an offer is somewhere between 8 & 13 depending on the market, time of year, etc!  Clearly this is not an exact number or science, but it does provide one statistical guideline to have some guardrails that will help keep you on the road! Along that line, there really is no typical length of showings.

From years of experience I would say that the average showing is somewhere around 20 minutes, but keep in mind that is an average, meaning some look quicker and some take longer! As a Realtor, everyone loves the buyer who is a quick looker, but some people need to look in and under every nook and cranny, even if they know they are not interested! Much depends on how large the home is etc. I have seen statistics and studies over the years that indicate that a buyer will internally “know” if the house is a contender within a minute or two, which shows that the final determining factor has a lot to do with having a gut feeling. All that to say that 5-10 minutes is probably a bit light. I even wonder if they are there long enough to get to the basement to see the area in need of masonry work? 

Regardless of if they are making it to the basement or not they are bailing quickly and the reason is most likely the sloping floors. They should be aware of the size before they come to see and the fact that you have had showings tells me that the sloping floors are expediting their exit.
Empty House.jpg

Regardless of if they are making it to the basement or not they are bailing quickly and the reason is most likely the sloping floors. They should be aware of the size before they come to see and the fact that you have had showings tells me that the sloping floors are expediting their exit. These two issues are even outweighing your kitchen and bathroom updates, which I am sure makes it more disheartening.  Remember sometimes it takes patience to find the right butt for the saddle. Finding that butt can take longer when you have significant hurdles and a sloping floor would check the significant hurdle box. To overcome significant hurdles it generally takes one of three things, time, just the right buyer or price reduction(s).

Your price reduction of $15,000 is a significant move in the right direction. It’s not clear when you made the price reduction, but you need to give it at least 2-4 weeks to season and see if it brings any new buyers to the table. If this price change does not bring in serious new lookers then you will need to decide between time and money! Sounds like time is very important, so you may need to keep adjusting your price until you find the right value that makes accepting the sloping floors an attractive choice for a buyer. With every significant hurdle, there is a price that makes a buyer believe it is an acceptable risk. You will likely need to find that price if you need to sell asap. Your other option is to evaluate what needs to be done to correct the problem and get it fixed! This would significantly increase your buyer pool and appeal.

For your average buyer, the cost to correct sloping floors would loom large in the decision making process because fixing it would require cash they would likely choose to spend elsewhere and expertise that most don’t have. Fixing it would be a great option, depending on cost and timeline to correct. With every home sale there are two lines (price and time) that start off parallel and eventually meet. Adjusting your price is your quickest (notice I did necessarily say best) solution to speeding up the process! Sorry I don’t have a magic bullet, but these options should help you sort it out…best of luck!

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team

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