We've lowered our home's list price, but it still won't sell. What now?

Real estate investment

Dave,

We placed our home up for sale almost 3 weeks ago. Our Realtor started out $10,000 higher than what we had suggested and what the community comps had shown. We have had 8 showings and one open house, of which she said had been one of the best she had had in a long time. After much discussion and listening to reviews, we lowered the price and even added a $2,000 concession for counters. Ours have not been updated and we wanted them to be able to pick. That was after it had been on the market for two weeks. Our Realtor has brought no one in to see the house and we are just really frustrated as to how we can help ourselves.

Debra, Grand Junction


Debra,

I understand your angst, but you must realize that pricing can be more difficult than one would think. It’s not always hard, but sometimes the right price can prove to be quite elusive! This is the classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” pricing scenario and I can totally relate with your agent. It’s our job to get you (our sellers) as high a price as we possibly can and still remain within the limits of the market. We each do our best to read the tea leaves and come up with a price that will sell quickly (I generally try to anticipate no more than 60 days on market), but also maximize your money! Keep in mind that our real estate market is, depending on the price point, moving rapidly and prices are climbing!

The scenario you have laid out is actually quite common. Your Realtor starting out $10k above some of your community comps may very well be understandable and actually responsible depending on your price range and how old the community comps used were. Let’s say your home comps out at $250,000. Let’s also assume that price range is appreciating 10% each year (this is very realistic, if not a bit conservative, given our current trend) then your home is gaining nearly $2,100 each month in value. If the comps were 3 months old and you calculate a market time on your home of 60 days, then you have 5 months or $8500 in added value...which now makes a list price of nearly $260,000 quite reasonable given the time of year and the activity in the market. And let’s be honest, as agents we run into very few sellers who are not interested in maximizing the price on their home when selling and we are clearly in a sellers’ market. Let me point out the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” aspect of pricing. Had you put your home on the market and received 7 offers the first day (and this has also happened to me) you would likely be writing in (or at least thinking it) about pricing the home too low and leaving money on the table. No agent likes to be the one that gets 7 offers the first day and no agent likes to have only 3 showings in the first 2 weeks. It’s a fine line that we walk! 

From what you are describing you and your agent are working together to be proactive and stay ahead of the curve on this one. You are counting your showings, listening to your feedback and reacting promptly and decisively and that is what matters at this point.

From what you are describing you and your agent are working together to be proactive and stay ahead of the curve on this one. You are counting your showings, listening to your feedback and reacting promptly and decisively and that is what matters at this point. Your agent has already done an open house and that shows she is willing to work to get your home sold. Remember open houses are great at generating traffic, but not great at generating contracts. Also, try not to hold it against her that she has not brought anyone to see the home, you hired her to generate traffic (regardless of who shows it) and 8 showings in 3 weeks is not great, but not horrible traffic. Sometimes my team will show one of our houses 4 out of 10 times and sometimes 0 out of 10, it's just how the numbers work out sometimes. You are on the right path!

Try to focus on what is in front of you, not what is in the rearview mirror. What has happened over the past 3 weeks is in the past, let it stay there. You have made proactive steps to get your price more in step with the market and offered a good incentive to entice potential buyers. Everyone assumes that if it does not go under contract in 3 days that something is wrong. Sometimes it just takes a little time to find the perfect butt for the saddle and a little patience, a couple deep breaths, and a good night sleep make things look better. Average days on market this year is right about 90 days! That’s average from list to close...21 days is still early in the game. Hang in there! I bet an offer is just around the corner. Remember, your outlook can change in just one showing! Best of luck.

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team

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