For six months, you’ve lent me encouragement, support, and advice on how to sell my house. You’ve given me suggestions on how to improve our curb appeal, boost our marketing campaign, and get top dollar for the property. But now, after a grueling 182 days on the market, my husband and I have decided to take down the “for sale” sign in our front yard.
Our house is officially off the market.
Why The Un-Move?
When I wrote my month five update, our asking price was $159,900, down from our original listing price of $163,900. Over the last month, three more properties in my neighborhood came on the market, all with asking prices below $150,000. My husband, Realtor, and I realized all at once that we weren’t going to be able to sell in the $150s, no matter how much we’d all hoped that would happen. As several of you have said to me, you have to separate the emotions from selling a house from the realities; after all, even if an appraiser says your house is worth $161,800 (that’s the actual appraised value of mine from a recent valuation), it may not be worth that much to a buyer.
With that in mind, I decided to take the Financial Samurai’s advice left on my month three update:
What is the lowest you are willing to sell for? When I list, I plan to put it up for 30 days max, set an offer date, and that’s that. If nothing good, then I’m keeping b/c I think housing will continue to get better over the next 5 years.
So, my husband and I looked at our remaining principal balance, determined exactly how much weneededto get out of the house, and told our Realtor we wanted to drop our asking price to the absolute basement: $146,900. We figured if we couldn’t sell it for that – the same price we paid for it six years ago,beforethe recession and before we put on a $20,000 addition – then we didn’t want to sell it at all right now. We gave the market 30 days, and when there were no buyers, we told our Realtor to take it off the market.
Our Neighborhood Is Stagnant
Our Realtor wasn’t surprised by our decision; in fact, he suggested we consider taking a break before we initiated the major price drop. (We did an intermediate price drop to $154,900 for about 10 days, and didn’t even see a blip on the traffic.) Home sales in our neighborhood are just plain stagnant; not a single property has sold in the last seven months, despite the fact that virtually all of our neighbors with properties on the market have taken their list prices well below tax/appraised value. There’s a large tract home community down the street – we call them “cardboard boxes on postage stamp lots,” as they’re 3,500 sq. ft. houses constructed in (no joke) 36 hours from foundation to roof on 1/10-acre lots – that’s getting all the traffic in our area.
It came down to exhaustion for me and my family. We simply needed a break from having that sign in our yard; it was bogging us down emotionally more than anything. We’re going to let our kids be kids – in other words, messy – for a few months, since houses normally don’t sell all that well in the fall and winter anyway while we watch what the housing market does for the remaining homes in our neighborhood that are still for sale. Then, if things look good, we’ll try putting the house back on the market in the spring; if things don’t look good, we’ll start shopping around for private schools (you may remember that searching for a better public school was our main motivation for listing the house in the first place) for my daughter, who should start kindergarten in 2013.
Thank you for all your help over the past six months! Do you think we made the right move?