trying to sell house = so frustrated

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by ELLE-TN, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. ELLE-TN

    ELLE-TN DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2007
    :headache: We put our house on the market a little under a month ago...I have been a fanatic about keeping everything spotless clean...Now that school is out it is literally driving me crazy since I have three kids under foot and I am constantly going behind them trying to keep everything perfect:laughing: Anyway, thing is no-one has came to look at it yet. :confused3 I think I would feel better if we had some lookers come by at least it wouldn't seem like such a waste of effort (yeah , yeah I know it's not a waste of effort since we do live here) I've had my husband do all of the honey do jobs that have been waiting years and years so even if our house doesn't sell and we stay put we have accomplished something... but I WANT SOMEONE TO COME CHECK IT OUT!!!

    Anyone have any advise? Do open houses really work? How many families generally come to open houses? Should you serve cookies & drinks at an open house? Shoot I think I could even advertise "free" hot dog lunch and Open House maybe that would draw a few lookers!
  2. sara74

    sara74 DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2005
    We did find our house through an open house that was just an ad in the paper - actually the house we went to look at was on a different street and there was a little sign pointing to another street...when we looked at that house we fell in love with it. So we got our house through someone else's open house!

    The open houses we went to were run by realtors. The family wasn't home, there was a printed sheet with info about the house on it sitting on the table and that was about it. DH was a little disappointed that there wasn't food :lmao: and I know you were thinking about it, but I wouldn't do it if it were me.

    Are you listed with a realtor or going it alone?

    I know what you mean about keeping the house clean. One reason we decided not to move this year is that we have 3 kids 5 and under that make keeping the house that clean near impossible! Next year when DD is in K and DS is in preschool I might have a fighting chance!

    Good luck!
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  4. me again

    me again Mouseketeer

    May 12, 2007
    Really you should ask your realtor. That's what she's getting paid for--to market your house!

    I hope you just signed a 3-month contract, or the minimum contract you could. I've found if you sign a 6-month contract they usually don't start working for you until the end of the contract, they work harder for the more time-critical listings. If you feel she's working for you you can always renew your contract.

    have you tried having someone "shop" your agent? Get a friend to call the number on your yard sign, express an interest, see how she responds? How much is your house listed for compared to other listings she has? Don't know how you could determine that, try looking at ads from her company. If your listing is towards the lower end of her listings she's probably just not as interested in pushing your property.

    This is prime selling season. Mind if I ask where you're located? It is still a buyer's market, but you should have had at least some lookers by now. I'd have a serious chat with your agent. You can cancel the contract early, I did so once with an agent I just felt wasn't working for me. Well, it has to be mutually agreeable, otherwise you run into her collecting her commission regardless, but I just told my agent I felt she wasn't working for me and I wouldn't be renewing her contract, she flounced off in a huff and said I could have the listing back. Make sure its all in writing. BTW, it sold in 2 weeks with another agent.

    Good luck--selling a home is such a strain, especially with 3 kids!

    Actually, I never sold a property while occupied. It just worked out that way, but most agents willl tell you it shows better furnished. Last move we decluttered/stored much of our stuff, but left it furnished, fixed it up with all the nice designer touches, etc. We figured it beat storing our stuff, then just moved it when sold. It really showed nice, and since we had two cats at the time we were able to just take them with us, eliminate the pet food, kitty litter, remove the pet doors, all that does turn off a buyer. We might be in your shoes soon, hoepfully dh will get a new job soon, but it will be out of state, so we will be doing the house selling thing, too.

    Good luck & keep us posted!:flower3:
  5. CarolA

    CarolA <a href="

    Aug 21, 1999
    I gather from your name you are in Tennessee, what part?

    Now I agree that if no one has looked somethings wrong.

    1. Are you sure your agent put you in the MLS? If not, no one knows your home is even on the market.

    2. Don't serve food at your open house. It's not a picnic and you want SERIOUS lookers not folks looking for a handout!

    3. Did you agent give you the comparables for your home/neighborhood. Generally if no one is coming it's because you are priced too high (not always but most time)

    IMHO the newspaper is pretty useless. My last house sale, the agency listed it in the paper for $100,000 LESS then the asking. It would have been the DEAL of a lifetime LOL! No one even called about it, as my agent said "I always knew the Tennessean was uselelss" LOL! (We did sell the house in about 3 weeks)
  6. famofsix

    famofsix <font color=darkorchid>For $40 Elmo should sing, l

    Apr 3, 2006
    There are good suggestions here.

    We finally have a buyer. We had several people look but it was not until we lowered the price that we had an offer and it came right after the OPEN house.

    However....I wish I had decluttered more before the first people came. Things like making more space in the cabinets in the kitchen by packing up kitchen clutter and having as little as possible in the closets do work. Also, I tried to downplay how many kids we have by literally hiding toys and packing some away in my sister-in-law's garage.

    We have four kids but after 59 days our buyer has an approved mortgage and the offer approved with no more contingencies.:woohoo:

    I thought I would go crazy in the process though.;)

    Honestly, get a big rubbermaid tote and before you show the house put all the daily clutter in there and put it in your car. We even put our laundry baskets in the car:)

    Fresh or fake flowers in a vase and a nuetral decor work. Take down your nick nacks and family photos. You can always put photos back after a showing.

    Also...declutter the linen closet and create as much floor space as possible.

    Try posting on and your open house on craigslist if you have one in your area.

    Don't serve food. You want to highlight your house so people make it their own house. Serving food makes them feel like company. You want them to feel like they could live there and imagine their stuff in the house. Maybe making your home smell nice like baking a pie before and open house would work but hide the pie!

    Hang in there!
  7. pooh101

    pooh101 Mouseketeer

    Jul 2, 2006
    An Open House is a good idea--that way you get some serious lookers in at the same time. DO NOT serve food or drinks--you don't want strangers messing up you house with crumbs or spills. Warm up some vanilla and cinnamon sticks in a pot to make the house smell "homey". If you have a real estate agent, ask him or her to give you some notice before a showing--24 hours is the norm in our area; if you don't have a real estate agent, tell prospective buyers over the phone when scheduling an appointment that you need some time,most people will understand. Try to stay very tidy on the weekends in case an out of town buyer needs to get through right away.
    Good luck!
  8. ELLE-TN

    ELLE-TN DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2007
    Thanks for the advice. I have decluttered as much as possible. We do have to live here. What toys we do have stay neatly stored in drawers & toybox hidden in closet. The floors are kept clean and free of junk (getting harder to do with the kids home it is a constant). Trying to keep the laundry done and all the dishes is a real pleasure :rotfl2: all closets are cleaned and orderly I even remove empty hangers everyday after everyone is dressed also all clothes are hung in order dresses, pants, shirts, that everything looks neat. Now I have never been OCD or neurotic about housecleaning but I am afraid that by the time this is over I might turn out that way. Just keeping the toilets and sinks WIPED down 50 gazillion times a day is driving me crazy! Oh, and I insist on keeping the toilet lid shut unless in use. I have some nice smelling candles that I burn just because I love candles and I also bake on a regular basis so there is almost always cake or cookies fresh at my house. So basically what I need is some lookers..... My best friend told me to just let it go and not be fanatic about cleaning and that's when they will come. Oh well, wish me luck!!!

    BY THE WAY - I do have a realtor and he said that our house should be an easy sell. He did the walk through and didn't have any suggestions on anything that needed to be changed. Before he came I had already prepared the house for showing so that if there were things that he thought would be a problem or needed to be changed he could tell me then. So, here I sit day after day hoping!
  9. rentayenta

    rentayenta DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2007
    If you have a realtor they need to do a walk-thru. If you don't, then you need to call the local agencies and schedule one. They will walk-thru and suggest what they think would make it more appealing.

    Once you do that and get some traffic, here's what I did. My home sold in 6 days in a neighborhood with 6 other homes for sale.

    1. Declutter. Declutter to the point that you think it's looks bare and declutter some more. It was very hard for me to take down family momentos but it was the best thing I ever did. People want to imagine their family in that home, not yours. Decluttering includes kids room and their toys. Buy the big bins and store their stuff neatly away.

    2. Fresh flowers in the major rooms; master bedroom, living room, family room, and kitchen. I bought bunches of Gerber Daisies with greens and made small arrangements for each vase.

    3. Try to light a sugar cookie candle about 2 hours before a showing. If you don't have much notice, light it as soon as you can. Leave it on, somewhere discreet during the walk-thru.

    4. Blue stuff in your toilets. One of the things the realtors liked best was the blue water in the toilets. They said it made the house seem very clean. It was very clean but that made it "seem" more taken care of.

    5. Deep clean; baseboards, door handles, windows sills, etc. Once you do it really good once, then you'll just have to touch up.

    6. Curb appeal. Plant some flowers. marigold are long lasting and add some color.

    7. If you have a flyer, church it up, and highlight the high points.

    It's so hard and I empathize with you on trying to do it with small kids. :goodvibes
  10. MrMarv

    MrMarv DIS Veteran

    May 4, 2007
    Where in Tennessee are you located?

    This is indeed prime homeselling season, so your house might be overpriced, as others have said.
  11. Alice28

    Alice28 DIS Veteran<br><font color=blue>I'm Doombah Fricki

    Jun 6, 2002
    We *just* did this and it was probably the most stressful time of my life. I have 3 kids too, 9 and under....ugh, what a nightmare.

    I would have to say that the reason you aren't getting lookers is your price. My realtor, who was a godsend, said 95% of the time, if you're not getting lookers, it's cause your price isn't right. We started our house at $264K; got one person to look. Dropped to $249, a few people came.....sucked it up and lowered it to $239K and a TON of people came. We just weren't sure how to price it- the 'comps' in our neighborhood ranged from $235-$265 and we had a view, so we started high. But our neighbors kept their yards horribly, so it really detracted from our home, even though we kept ours very neat and tidy, planted flowers, whole 9 yards. It's things that I didn't even think about that affected our price.

    We are now in our new, beautiful home, and I'm loving it, but I have to say that Feb 18th (day we decided to sell the house) thru May 22nd (day we moved) were the most stressful 3 months of my life! Pixie dust to you!
  12. rparmfamily

    rparmfamily In paradise

    Aug 9, 2005
    I've always heard to look around your home and remove 1/2 it's contents. You want it to look fairly bare. That way people invision their OWN stuff in your house.
  13. loveabargin

    loveabargin Mouseketeer

    Jan 1, 2007
    My neighbor is in your same situation. Her house is priced too high, that is hands down her problem, though she doesn't believe it. She's working on her 2nd agent, her house is finished being built where she's moving (her husband's already there) and school gets out in two days. She's had it on the market for around 2 months. We have LOTS of houses for sale in our area (it's booming here with new construction and they are priced comparitively to her 15 yr old home). She had two lookers at her open house and one was just a noisy neighbor (word to the wise...ALL my friends in the neighborhood go to open houses to check them out, with no intention on buying...they are just noisy or want to get ideas for their own house). My neighbor has had her house shown once or twice (can't remember) otherwise, so clearly her house is overpriced. I really think that it is, but that's because I know what's on the inside (bad floor plan, needs asthetic updating BAD, etc), but she's not even getting lookers, so in general it has to be overpriced. She's gone down twice for a total of $10k, but it hasn't made a difference...she told me she can't go much lower.

    Personally, if it were me, I would sell it myself, but list with one of those "help you sell" agencies that you pay $500 basically for the sign and MLS listing. You pay the fee upfront. Then, I would market it, market it, market it. I would visit houses in my neighborhood that were for sale, and take a hard look at my own and price it right. I would host an open house on a Sat and Sun and send the kids away with Dad (or have a good friend do it for me so that the "owner" is not there). I agree with the other posters, no food, just fliers about the home, very detailed flyers. Nice flowers on the porch, balloons on the mailbox and at the end of the road, etc. I'd really take the time to put together a nice flyer (or find someone who could do it for me), highlighting exactly WHY someone should buy my home to make it their own.
    Good luck to you! I hope you sell soon!
  14. cocowum

    cocowum <marquee><font color=deeppink>Have <img src=http:/

    Mar 3, 2004
    I agree with the posters who said price is the issue. If you have absolutely no showings in 30 days you're 10 percent overpriced. If you have lots of showings and no offers your five percent overpriced.

    This is good advice. I would also clean out your closets. I would store the bins at a friend or relatives house or rent one of those PODS. Good Luck, I know how stressful this can be.
  15. flagdaytwins

    flagdaytwins Mouseketeer

    Apr 29, 2005
    There are 3 houses for sale on my street. One has been on the market for a year, the other for 6 months, and the last one for ONE DAY -- it sold in one day because it was priced right. I'm no expert, but being on the potential buyer side the last few months and my neighborhood experience -- it's all about price.

    I know a house shows better decluttered and yes, who doesn't love the smell of freshly baked cookies or burning candles?.....but IMO, I'm not going to NOT buy a house because of kid's toys everywhere or family photos on the wall.....I'm going to buy it because I feel the price is right!

    I think re-adjusting price is worth eliminating the stress of having to keep the house 24/7 to appeal to buyers.
  16. CarolA

    CarolA <a href="

    Aug 21, 1999

    The condo next to me has been on the market for over TWO years. I can't recall the last "looker" LOL!

    It is overpriced.

    That said, I have sold two homes and I loved my Realtor. I won't even look at FSBO unless they LOUDLY proclaim they will pay the realtor fees. (ie. thier signs and ads say "Realtor Welcome")

    I think the OPs house is probably overpriced. Did you get comps? What are the houses in your neighborhood selling for? Are they REAL comps? (When I bought my condo my realtor had to pull "real" comps and give them to the selling agent to prove the price I was offering was fair. The comps the other agent was using were for "newer" and bigger units with features like a garage that my unit doesn't have) The condo next to me is using my condo as the comp. Mine is bigger and remodeled. (They have had a few offers, but they felt the offers were "too low" and the sad truth is the value is DROPPING every month it's vacant.)
  17. mjbaby

    mjbaby DIS Veteran

    Jun 27, 2004
    Ask your agent about doing an "agent's open house" - this is not on a weekend, but rather on a weekday and may include lunch. Basically, the agent caters lunch at your house and invites other agents to come check the place out. When we sold our last house, lunch was at our place and dessert at another nearby house - about 20 agents came and one of them was the person who ultimately bought the house.

    Also, as someone said, make sure your agent put you in MLS. When we first listed, we discovered after two weeks that the original agent "forgot" to do this. Frustrating!!!

    Do you get HGTV? Watch all of their "designed to sell" shows and check their tips out online. Even if you're not up for lots of demo and redecorating, you'll find things to freshen your home. We sold our first house the day after Christmas, at full asking price, because the buyer thought it was so charming decorated for the holiday and with the new train set, etc., all around. It was definitely cluttered, but there is good clutter and bad clutter - figure out what you've got and work with it!

    If you've got the time and money, make up your own website for the house. It can be very simple, something like or whatever, with copies of your very best pics and some text outlining the features (make sure there are NO typos or coding errors), and linking to your agent's site. Then, send the URL to everyone who loves you with a note that you'll offer a finders fee to the person who forwards the link to a buyer (say, $500 after closing or something - true, this would be on top of any commission and it would eat out of your profit so you need to ask yourself how badly do you want/need to sell?). A simple website can be as little as $10 a month.

    Remember, people buy homes that allow them to aspire to something. If you're trading up, someone else is trading up to your current house. Give them something to aspire to! I kept a "staging box" on a shelf in a closet that had wine glasses, new placemats and a center piece for the dining room and kitchen, as well as other little pieces that added up to a nice setting for entertaining. I think the whole business cost me less than $50 but it gave the living room, kitchen and dining room the look of a little sophisticated and intimate dinner party about to start. Check out the Pottery Barn or Renovation Hardware websites for ideas. You can even stage your play areas with toys that evoke timeless childhood - train sets, rocking horses and dollhouses instead of plastic whatnots. People don't really live this life, but so many of us want it.

    (ETA: This is a good time to purchase a membership to a kids' museum or someplace near you or find a coffee shop with a play area - or explore ALL the local library branches, etc., etc.,etc. - so you can get and keep the kids out of the house. When we were selling in late 2005 to early 2006 I was crazy about leaving the house in the a.m. and not coming home until dinner time. Our agent knew to call my cell with appointments and we literally kept two bins in the car with baby supplies and clothes changes and another with bubbles, balls, frisbees, coloring stuff and so on. We spent DAYS AND DAYS at the local kids' museum, mornings at parks (afternoons too hot) and libraries and so on. It was nuts, but worth it in the reduced cleaning aspect.)

    Good luck! I hope to read soon that you've sold for top dollar!
  18. knovak

    knovak DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2005
    If you've had no lookers - it is probably overpriced!

    As far as open houses - we've had 3, 2 of which NOT ONE PERSON showed up. The most serious buyers will come with an agent. Open houses generally draw just lookers. We are in a subdivision where the builder is still building and that is why we do have open houses. Hoping to get someone from the model in and interested. You generally have to be gone for 3 hours and when you have no one come - it's a waste of your time and the realtors. There are no gurantees. I have had my house for sale 1 1/2 years now. Price was orginally the factor - now we are under the builders base price. The market is a buyer's market and they are very picky at least here. Look at your price and make an adjustment if need be. Good luck!:goodvibes
  19. famofsix

    famofsix <font color=darkorchid>For $40 Elmo should sing, l

    Apr 3, 2006
    Oen houses depend on your area. This is a good time for Open houses because people who have children can move in before the school year. Plus you can usually showcase the yard with spring/summer flowers better this time of year.

    We had 3 open houses and all of them ranged between 6-8 people coming through. One couple came through three times (open house and two showings and one guy came close to making an offer (open house and one showing). We lowered the price for the 3rd Open house and got an offer the next day.

    Also, some Realtors will scope your open house out for a potential client so it can be a good marketing tool.

    Have a friend you trust that can tell you what they really think of your home. You may think you have done everything but they may see something you did not even think to do.

    My friend suggested keeping all the tops of dressers clear and surprisingly it did create space.

    It is hard when you have kids in the house but try to simplify your life by packing toys and stuff away and only keep available the stuff they use a lot.

    I took my daughters desk out of her room but we put a roller bin under her bed that had her desk stuff.

    Everyone has to compromise a little when you sell a house. De-personalize it and remember to talk up the next house with the kids. They may be more ready to put toys away and live a little differently if you play up their new room design.

    We went to see Shrek 3 during our open. THe kids were estatic.

    If you do this and have an open with no offers I think it is probably the price.
  20. Tinkerbelle99

    Tinkerbelle99 Mouseketeer

    Jan 6, 2004
    You have gotten some wonderful advise and you seem to be doing what you can on your end by keeping your home neat and clean. Having a home that 'shows well' is half the battle.

    The home market is strained, especially here in Michigan, not sure about your neck of the woods. While homes are selling, but because there is so much available it can seem like nothing is moving.

    If you have not gotten any showings, price is surely the reason. I am sure your realtor is watching your properties progress, but there is no harm in being proactive and approaching him/her with ideas. I would ask for new compariables, sure you reviewed them at the time you listed, but what has happened since then? It is very interesting to see what has actually sold since you listed. Has your price point helped to sell other homes in your neighborhood?

    When looking at sales, have your realtor run a full listing history. how long were those homes that recently sold on the market? how many times did they adjust pricing? what did price did they accept? Did they accept concessions too? If so that drops their acceptance price for all intensive purposes. All important factors to know and think about.

    Most importantly what is your "sellers motivation"? did you need to sell/move yesterday? are you just 'testing' the market'? Are you leaving town in X and dont want deal with selling from another location? According to your situation you may have the ability to ride out the market and attempt to get has much as you can or you may need to price agressively to save your sanity in the long run.

    Good luck!
  21. ELLE-TN

    ELLE-TN DIS Veteran

    Jan 17, 2007


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