Our House On The Market: Month Four

by Elizabeth on June 27, 2012 · 5 comments

I never thought we’d get to this point. Really, I never did. It’s now been four months since we put our house on the market. When we first listed our home, I naively thought, “Well, certainly we’ll have a full price offer by the end of the month.”Wrong.Then, after the first price drop, I thought, “This will do the trick! Our house will be sold in no time!”Wrong again.Now, here we sit four months into the selling game and, well, you get the idea.

(Want to catch up on my prior real estate updates? You can check out months one, two, and three by clicking on the links.)

The Stats

  • Asking Price: Last month, we dropped our price from $163,900 to $159,900, which is where we remain right now
  • Online Views (at my Realtor’s website): 192 (this is the most online views in any single month since our house went on the market)
  • Showings: 3 (more on this later)
  • Offers: 0

What We’ve Done

Well, we held a garage sale last weekend… does that count? Actually, we’ve started the process of trimming down our possessions and streamlining the functionality of our house in anticipation of our eventual move. Yes, I did say eventual. Even though the house hasn’t sold yet, I’m working on staying positive. I’m trying to build karma, a la Field of Dreams (“If you clean it, they will buy”), and the approach seems to be working. We’ve had lots of positive feedback in the past month… just no offers.

Comparables

I’d read about the so-called “shadow market” in the world of real estate, but this was the first month in which I experienced its effects firsthand:

  • Comparable #1 (Comparable #1 in my month three update): They’ve dropped the price from $158,900 to $154,900. Actually, they originally dropped it all the way to $149,900, but brought it back up to the $154k number a few days later – I’m guessing the first, more-drastic price drop was the result of a typo?
  • Comparable #2 (Comparable #2 in my month three update): No change.
  • Comparable #3 (Comparable #3 in my month three update): The sellers – friends of ours – took it off the market. They are considering renting it.
  • Comparable #4 (NEW!): This is one of the two new listings in our neighborhood, and it is one of those shadow properties. If you’re not familiar with that term, it refers to the glut of properties that are currently bank-owned. Banks know they can’t put all this inventory on the market at once, or it would send the real estate market grinding to a halt. Instead, they keep them in wait behind the scenes – hence the shadow reference – and list them gradually. Anyway, this property is in an adjoining neighborhood and was listed for $159,900, just like us. Note that I said “was” – that’s because this property, with an appraised value of more than $180k, went into due diligence in just six days.
  • Comparable #5 (Comparable #5 in my month three update): No change.
  • Comparable #6 (NEW!): This is another bank-owned property. The previous owners tried to do a short sale last year, but never got any offers. Now, it’s a foreclosure, listed for $150,000. The problem? The same builder still has lots available in that neighborhood, where they are building brand new houses for $135,000. I highly doubt this property is going to move quickly.

Thinking Happy Thoughts

Remember how I said that we’d had three showings this month? Well, two of them were from the same family. This family is moving to our area from out of state, and is looking to buy… but not until the end of the summer. We’ve hinted (more than hinted!) that we would be amenable to a prolonged closing period, but have yet to receive an offer from them. I am hopeful – the family seemed to really like our style and floor plan, and commented on the upgrades we did, saying, “They have the same tastes we do!”

Moving Forward

Our contract with our current Realtor expires in two months. I am prepared not to renew our contract for another six months. We spoke with our existing agent about dropping the realtor fees, but that didn’t go over very well, not that I was surprised. We said that the only way we’d continue on with him would be if he agreed to lower his realtor fees from 3% to 2.5%. I’m not sure if we’ll move on to another agent, or if we’ll try to sell it on our own for a few months.

Reader, this month I’m not asking for any advice – just some well wishes and good karma sent our way that I have good news to share with you at my next monthly update!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 krantcents June 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

Good luck! I went through a similar situation in 1976 in a hot seller market. We ended up switching agents.

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2 Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter June 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Mmmmmmm….I am sending great brainwaves your way. Tons of positive!!! Good luck!!!

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3 Dannielle @ Odd Cents June 28, 2012 at 5:57 am

I’ve heard that people in the USA usually look to buy homes in the warmer months. Good luck and I’m sending you positive vibes.

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4 Roshawn @ Watson Inc July 2, 2012 at 9:07 am

I definitely send you well wishes. It is perfectly within your right to request an abatement in your realtors fees. You really have to look out for your own interests; no one else will in this situation. I went through something similar. Ours closed on May 31st.

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