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Open house feedback

14 years ago

We had a realtor open house today. The feedback was worrisome. House is listed at $599k which is higher end in this area. We did a lot to get it ready for sale (recarpeted, repainted, replaced vanity, new appliances, staging, etc). Market here is reasonably OK compared to most places. However, house is custom house on acreage and these can take a while to sell even in good markets.

We have already bought our new house so wish to sell this house asap to eliminate the carrying costs. One problem is that it is very very difficult to come up with comps since houses in this area vary so much in acreage and amenities. Our house has a guest house which may be very valuable to the right buyer or virtually meaningless to someone else. HOwever, I don't want to have the house on the market for a year waiting for the right buyer.

We have had about 6 showings in the 2 weeks on the market, with one second showing. Second showing people really like it but they can't buy until they sell their home. Another buyer also liked it but has been looking at a lot of houses and not ready to buy without first selling. A couple of people didn't like layout or would have to make too many changes. Other feedback was good or non-existent.

I already felt I wanted to lower price since I really want to sell this summer (house is 5 bedroom and most likely to appeal to people with children). The difficulty is figuring out how much to lower it given the comps that are never actually very comparable.

The open house gave good feedback in some areas (overall condition, lot, area, design, layout). Negatives were mainly 3 areas:

1. Several people commented on pet smell in entry. I posted about that in another thread. We had our cat litter box in a large closet under the stairs. We have cleans it repeatedly (cats have been gone for 6 weeks to our new house). Area has no carpet (concrete). We are having the floor cleaned and sealed tomorrow and the closet repainted with a view to getting rid of pet odor. If that doesn't do it, we are at our wit's end. The odor is faint but is noticeable when coming in the house.

2. Flooring. This is one that I think we have to deal with through lowering the price. The first floor has 4 different flooring. The dining room, kitchen, hall way and office all have ceramic tile (sort of a orangish brown). The foyer and formal living room have hardwood (we did have this refinished before listing). Sunroom has a different brown ceramic tile. The family room, master bedroom and master bath have a natural slate tile. Replacing that tile with carpet is really cost prohibitive at this point. See link to see pics of flooring.

3. Price. This is the one that has us flummoxed on what to do. I am totally willing to lower the listing price. Houses here usually sell for about 97% of listing price.

Each agent was asked what they thought it would sell for. Four gave no snwer. Eight gave numbers that ranged from $495k to $575! There was also one that said low $500s and another that said $570. The others clustered in the $535 to $560 range.

So that makes it very hard to know where to drop to the price to particularly given that comps and other listing are that helpful since nothing is really all that similar. The houses in the area are custom so there is no cookie cutter subdivision. Also they are on acreage which varies from 1 to 5 acres. Also with that acreage there is a variety of different outbuildings. Some have elaborate pools (we have a plain pool). We have a guest house. Another one might have a gazebo or a barn or a workshop. We have 2 double garages and so on. I think that one reason there is so much variance in agent's suggested prices it would sell at is because comps are so difficult.

I am really struggling with whether to reduce it to $560k or more or less. Carrying costs are $5k a month so I really want to list it at an attractive but realistic price.

Any thoughts?

Major negative

Here is a link that might be useful: House pics

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