Last month, I asked for your well-wishes, good karma, and a few prayers to help me and my family finally sell our house. Obviously, ya’ll don’t have a lot of pull with the Big Guy upstairs because one month later, our house is still on the market. That said, I’m starting to feel some positive karma of my own. I’m not sure what to credit with this sudden boost in my real estate mood, but there’s something deep inside of me that is feeling more optimistic about selling our home than I have in months.
- Asking Price: $159,900
- Online Views (at my Realtor’s website): 208, including a whopping 120 in a single week, thanks to a featured listing promotion that boosted us to the front page
- Showings: 2
- Offers: 0
What We’ve Done
In my month four update, I mentioned that we were working on decluttering our home in anticipation of our eventual move. Doing so has had an unintended, but very welcome affect on our home. For one thing, it’s far easier to organize our house in advance of showings, which – for some reason – always seem to be scheduled at the very last moment (note to potential buyers: give sellers more than 45 minutes when making an appointment!). As a result, it looks as if we’ve used a home staging service, because there’s now a place for everything – and that place is no longer in a corner or stuffed in a closet! It appears as if we have more room in our garage, attics (yes, we have two of them), and closets thanks to the purging. Plus, it’s great for the soul.
- Comparable #1 (Comparable #1 in my month four update): No change
- Comparable #2 (Comparable #2 in my month four update): No change
- Comparable #3 (Comparable #5 in my month four update): No change
- Comparable #4 (Comparable #6 in my month four update): Sold after two weeks on the market; well, technically it isn’t sold, as this is a short sale, which can take up to several months to finally close. This house’s listing says it is sale pending, accepting back-up offers. No word yet on what the pending sale price is
- Comparable#5 (NEW!): This is yet another distressed property, which is sad, because the family that bought it three years ago did so as a short sale, meaning this particular home has been through a foreclosure and now a short sale in a very short period of time. The asking price is $150,000. Square footage and acreage-wise, this house is very similar to my own, but my Realtor – who toured it – said it has a haphazard floor plan and looks decidedly more “lived in” than ours
Increasing Our Traffic
Late last month, our Realtor came up with an idea to increase traffic, not only into our house, but also into our neighborhood. The problem was that none of the listings in my neighborhood were getting a lot of showings or visits during open houses. The problem, he thought, was a tract-home neighborhood down the road that offered ridiculously large homes for insanely low prices (we’re talking in the $40/sq. ft. range). But this neighborhood – and its cardboard houses (often put up in less than a day!) – lacked the established feeling, larger yards, and nicer upgrades that mine did. So, our Realtor sponsored a neighborhood-wide open house geared to agents; during the lunch-time event, he brought in agents to view the properties, give feedback, and hopefully show them that they might be a good fit for some of their clients. We had 12 agents come through (which resulted in two showings in the immediate aftermath), and they all gave the same feedback – lower your price. Fortunately, they loved the house, our upgrades, and our de facto efforts at home staging, and had no other suggestions (unlike some of my neighbors, who were told to rip up dirty carpets or completely repaint).
My Realtor is currently on a missions trip, but when he returns, we’ll likely drop the price again – this time, down to $154,900. This likely won’t change how much we see at closing, as we’ll eliminate virtually all of our offered seller concessions from the listing.
On the Realtor-front, we’ve come to an agreement about Realtor fees. My agent has agreed to help make sure we get a certain amount of money out of the house; he’ll take the difference out of his own commission, meaning he may get 3% or 1% (no less than 1%). He’s really shown us in the past month that he IS worth what we’ll ultimately pay him, and his ultimate willingness to take a pay cut if necessary means a lot.
Reader, how did your perspective on selling your home change as the process lagged on?