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Old 01-24-2018, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
7,773 posts, read 6,128,244 times
Reputation: 6898

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get professional photos. if these were done by a 3rd party pro, get a new one.

maybe it's just me in lower-priced NC ... but I'd expect new photos taken in the summer. If there's a beautiful sunny day after a snowfall in the next couple weeks, get a few exteriors then, too.

Beyond that - it's going to be price. It's a beautiful property. Personally, I think you mis-timed your price reductions. Certainly there's enough seasonality that your primary market time was before Sept 1. You kept the same (possible high) price through then, then reduced it as the weather turned. Then dropped it Jan 3, before now taking it off the market. With a high price going forward of $1.4MM.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:08 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 727,401 times
Reputation: 2062
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2houses.oh.no View Post
The listing price was $1,349,000.
I imagine that you got some feedback from viewings/agents so you just want our initial reactions untainted by real feedback?

Any issues with the usual massachusetts things:
Oil tank underground?
Septic?
Water?
lead?

Lots of fireplaces and at least 2 chimneys - maintenance costs, drafts, and could need immediate work?

I know someone who recently sold a home just west of Boston also in a top suburb. The pool (very beautiful but unheated) turned off many people.

Quite spread out for a 1800s home. Lots of glass. Plus the separate barn house. Might give the perception that it costs loads to heat? Legal for inlaws/family, full rental?

I like the layout but it's not typical. Might not be what many people have in mind.

Small thing and probably not picked up by many people but I would get rid of the ivy on the house. It's nice to look at but bad for a house, especially an old house. i would fear what's lurking behind vegetation that traps moisture like that. It's likely to be mentioned in the inspection anyway.

Central air?

Massive lawn to have mowed or mow, although not that unusual.

Pool is a big distance from the main house with a building in the way - not much you can do about that. It seems like it would be a pain to entertain out there and parents would worry...even with older kids. Doesn't look like the pool is fully fenced which might concern parents (might just not be visible in the pics).

I'm really scraping here as it's a very lovely home and I struggle to see any big show stoppers but I can imagine a lot of young families seeing it and thinking it's interesting but seeing it as a handful and not meeting their perceived needs.

You also had it for sale over the summer which would reduce focus on heating it, feeling the inevitable drafts, etc. And of course seeing the grounds and the pool (and Hingham) at their best.

Last edited by just_because; 01-24-2018 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:18 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 727,401 times
Reputation: 2062
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLinderman View Post
I have a few ideas of why it hasn't sold.

At that price point, buyers are limited. They are further limited because a ton of areas of Boston are hard to commute to from Hingham, further limiting the buyer pool. Most of the people dropping that amount of money on a home want to be reasonably close to Boston (since they most likely work there).

Hingham is also very insular and provincial from my experience as Weymouth peasant . It's a great place for older folk (50+) but why would older folk want a house that size?

On top of that, while it looks very pretty from the photos, I guarantee you it shows significantly smaller than the pictures lead you to believe. It looks to me that at least a couple of the bedrooms are glorified closets, and the ceilings look super low. For a huge house, I bet you feel cramped in most of it.

It will sell, and it's not a bad house by any stretch of the imagination (quite the opposite!), but the house, and the town itself are unique enough that there is a limited number of people this house would appeal to that can afford it. It will definitely sell, it just needs the right buyer, which may take a while, or at a lesser price.
My apologies for surmising that it might be too close to Weymouth. I didn't mean to be rude.

I think Hingham is a popular commuter town for Boston. Not as convenient as the W suburbs to the west for example but less expensive and highly desirable as a commuter town and many do commute. Personally, I would not want to commute from there but many do. And Boston has relatively few ultra convenient *top* suburbs. Most are west and there are not very many on the South Shore. The commuters that I know in Hingham are on the water closer to town so easier to get the boat into Boston. And they like being on the water so worth enduring less convenience for them.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:40 PM
 
308 posts, read 195,289 times
Reputation: 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_because View Post
My apologies for surmising that it might be too close to Weymouth. I didn't mean to be rude.

I think Hingham is a popular commuter town for Boston. Not as convenient as the W suburbs to the west for example but less expensive and highly desirable as a commuter town and many do commute. Personally, I would not want to commute from there but many do. And Boston has relatively few ultra convenient *top* suburbs. Most are west and there are not very many on the South Shore. The commuters that I know in Hingham are on the water closer to town so easier to get the boat into Boston. And they like being on the water so worth enduring less convenience for them.
I was kidding, no offense taken! Just trying to play up the age old Weymouth-Hingham banter a bit.

Hingham commutes into Boston can be done for sure, but for it to be simple you need to work in an area where the ferry or the commuter rail works, and is in sync with your general hours or you need to know how to do the backroads, which can be a bit challenging for many people.

My greater point is that this house would be a perfect fit for someone like a middle aged doctor from Brigham and Women's and his or her family, minus the whole fact that Longwood is really tough to get to from Hingham. It's a bit more difficult for the bio-tech director who works in Somerville though.

The house is beautiful in my opinion, but it has a unique list of particulars that the buyer pool will be smaller than it would be for a comparably priced house in Belmont.

Next open house, maybe they can order Buffalo Chicken Calzones from Crow Point. There would be dozens of offers after they ate that food!
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:49 PM
 
70 posts, read 78,744 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_because View Post
I imagine that you got some feedback from viewings/agents so you just want our initial reactions untainted by real feedback?

Any issues with the usual massachusetts things:
Oil tank underground?
Septic?
Water?
lead?

Lots of fireplaces and at least 2 chimneys - maintenance costs, drafts, and could need immediate work?

I know someone who recently sold a home just west of Boston also in a top suburb. The pool (very beautiful but unheated) turned off many people.

Quite spread out for a 1800s home. Lots of glass. Plus the separate barn house. Might give the perception that it costs loads to heat? Legal for inlaws/family, full rental?

I like the layout but it's not typical. Might not be what many people have in mind.

Small thing and probably not picked up by many people but I would get rid of the ivy on the house. It's nice to look at but bad for a house, especially an old house. i would fear what's lurking behind vegetation that traps moisture like that. It's likely to be mentioned in the inspection anyway.

Central air?

Massive lawn to have mowed or mow, although not that unusual.

Pool is a big distance from the main house with a building in the way - not much to do about that. It seems like it would be a pain to entertain out there and parents would worry...even with older kids. Doesn't look like the pool is fully fenced which might concern parents (might just not be visible in the pics).

I'm really scraping here as it's a very lovely home and I struggle to see any big show stoppers but I can imagine a lot of young families seeing it and thinking it's interesting but seeing it as a handful and not meeting their perceived needs.

You also had it for sale over the summer which would reduce focus on heating it, feeling the inevitable drafts, etc. And of course seeing the grounds and the pool (and Hingham) at their best.
The oil tank is in the basement.
New septic system less than 20 years ago and it's massive - 7 bedroom. No issues with it.
Town water - perfect. Also have deeded rights to the well next door. Could add irrigation.
3 fireplaces/2 chimneys - all in perfect working order.
The barn was used for a business. Can have up to 3 employees. The was a propane heater which we removed when we bought the house. Can be added back in. The first floor is finished w bath and kitchen area to the left near the pool.
Pool is far from house. Good and bad to that. Sun all day total privacy, no leaves. Has a fence.
You can't supervise teens unless you stay out there. It's a lot of real estate to manage.
No central air. We use window units. It's actually cold in the summer. Pita putting the units in every yr.
Lawn is designed to mow in under an hour. I pay $80/wk in summer INCLUDING spring and fall clean-up and they maintain all the bushes, beds, etc. Trimming/clipping included. (Johnson Landscape/abington)

Weymouth - I thought you meant the section of Hingham that is adjacent to the super busy congested area where they meet. It's less desirable (to some/not all) because cars go fast and not safe for pets/kids.

Do you think it's overpriced at $1,349,000?
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:52 PM
 
70 posts, read 78,744 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLinderman View Post
I was kidding, no offense taken! Just trying to play up the age old Weymouth-Hingham banter a bit.

Hingham commutes into Boston can be done for sure, but for it to be simple you need to work in an area where the ferry or the commuter rail works, and is in sync with your general hours or you need to know how to do the backroads, which can be a bit challenging for many people.

My greater point is that this house would be a perfect fit for someone like a middle aged doctor from Brigham and Women's and his or her family, minus the whole fact that Longwood is really tough to get to from Hingham. It's a bit more difficult for the bio-tech director who works in Somerville though.

The house is beautiful in my opinion, but it has a unique list of particulars that the buyer pool will be smaller than it would be for a comparably priced house in Belmont.

Next open house, maybe they can order Buffalo Chicken Calzones from Crow Point. There would be dozens of offers after they ate that food!
Thanks for the tip and taking the time to comment. Now I'm hungry!
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:58 PM
 
70 posts, read 78,744 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBromhal View Post
get professional photos. if these were done by a 3rd party pro, get a new one.

maybe it's just me in lower-priced NC ... but I'd expect new photos taken in the summer. If there's a beautiful sunny day after a snowfall in the next couple weeks, get a few exteriors then, too.

Beyond that - it's going to be price. It's a beautiful property. Personally, I think you mis-timed your price reductions. Certainly there's enough seasonality that your primary market time was before Sept 1. You kept the same (possible high) price through then, then reduced it as the weather turned. Then dropped it Jan 3, before now taking it off the market. With a high price going forward of $1.4MM.
Agent advised against price reduction in summer because a lot of people have second homes and the season is short so they really take advantage of the good weather. They thought it would have more impact in the fall. I don't really know because this is out of my area of expertise. I relied on the broker. She is top rated/well respected. But still no sale yet...Almost 9 months with 2 mortgages!!! It's killing us!
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,621 posts, read 55,349,802 times
Reputation: 30183
Quote:
Originally Posted by hingham-x View Post
Agent advised against price reduction in summer because a lot of people have second homes and the season is short so they really take advantage of the good weather. They thought it would have more impact in the fall. I don't really know because this is out of my area of expertise. I relied on the broker. She is top rated/well respected. But still no sale yet...Almost 9 months with 2 mortgages!!! It's killing us!

I know nothing about the area.
I do think that the property setting and the lot are lovely.
As is the exterior of the house.

Unfortunately, what you are experiencing is that the pool of buyers is not seeing value commensurate to your price.
In a nutshell, that is solely why the property has not sold.
You can lower the price until they do, or invest in building increased perception of value in the buyer pool. Or a combination of both.

Also, unfortunately, the photo viewing experience on Realtor.com is terribly disjointed, with different size photos in a random order.
And, the photos really don't tell me much about the house, but lead me to believe that the floor plan is also disjointed.
Nothing about the interior photos makes me curious, let alone desire the property, yet I believe in all likelihood that it is a gracious and comfortable home.

A couple of thoughts that may help:
Get a great professional photographer to shoot the house, so the windows aren't blown out, so viewers see the rooms in full, and without flash reflection off surfaces.
Pull the furniture out and have a few rooms digitally staged.

Get some color in the kitchen. Bananas. Towels. Something.
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
6,324 posts, read 9,036,414 times
Reputation: 5324
First, I'm going to guess that this is your house based on your comments and your screen name. The good news is . . . unlike the real estate agent you hired the folks on this forum have no need to pull their punches so you'll get honest answers. I'm sure you love your house and think the world of it so your agent may not want to offend you and lose the listing.

I more specialize in the Metrowest area but I've dabbled in Hingham and know it somewhat well. So keep that in mind. Here are my thoughts (having not actually stepped foot in your house) . . .

1. The marketing your agent is doing for you is lackluster. The photos which are just about the most important piece of the marketing plan and the item that basically all other marketing pieces are based off of as others have mentioned are of low quality. You should insist that your agent hire a professional photographer or you should find yourself a new agent.

2. While your house is lovely, it does not appeal to a broad range of buyers. Here's why . . .

a) I see in MLS it was built in 1825 and I noted in some of the photos low ceilings and a general antique feel. While all the other folks who post in this forum from around the country seem to think every house in New England is an antique and every New Englander desires to live in an antique that's just not the case in my experience. It's a smaller percentage of buyers who find antiques more desirable in my experience. Antique houses usually have other issues like lead paint and cast iron plumbing to deal with as well. At this price, the majority of your competition are relatively new homes.

b) You have a one car detached garage. At the $1.3M price point in Hingham, the vast majority of homes have an attached 2 to 3 car garage with direct entry into the house. Having this setup at this price point limits you to the smaller number of buyers willing to put up with this inconvenience or the smaller number of buyers willing to rebuild the garage/barn so that it's attached and/or has more spaces.

c) While your house is being marketed as a 6 bedroom house, most buyers are going to see this as a 3 bedroom house. I noted one bedroom is on the first floor and two are on the third floor. New Englanders tend to place a much higher value on bedrooms on the second floor (as long as we're not talking about a ranch style house). You have 3 bedrooms on the 2nd floor and according to the floorplan your agent had done one is very small especially for a house at this price point. So, your floorplan and number of bedrooms will limit buyers.

d) Your house is not in a neighborhood/development. I'm sure your neighbors are great and you love the location but the majority of buyers in my experience are looking for a neighborhood feel like you would get in Conservatory Park for example. You're definitely competing for buyers with houses in these neighborhoods at this price.

e) You have a pool. The majority of buyers in the Boston area see this as a negative.

I could go on and on with my list, but the bottom line is the majority of buyers will have a preference for other homes offered at this price point. So, your house is priced too high. Also, I see your listing had a 3% commission for buyer's agents. Why? You're probably the only listing in Hingham offering that much. Take that money and lower the price instead of putting it in the buyer's agent's pocket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLinderman View Post
At that price point, buyers are limited. They are further limited because a ton of areas of Boston are hard to commute to from Hingham, further limiting the buyer pool. Most of the people dropping that amount of money on a home want to be reasonably close to Boston (since they most likely work there).
Buyers at this price point seem limitless in this state. Average days to offer in Hingham for a house listed between $1M and $1.5M over the last year is 39. So, that would indicate a healthy demand for homes at this price point. I would also say the hellish commute issue from Hingham to Boston is not what it once was given the much larger percentage of the work force in the are which can work some or all of the week from home and also because of the return of the commuter train service to Hingham.

Quote:
Originally Posted by just_because View Post
I think Hingham is a popular commuter town for Boston. Not as convenient as the W suburbs to the west for example but less expensive and highly desirable as a commuter town and many do commute. Personally, I would not want to commute from there but many do. And Boston has relatively few ultra convenient *top* suburbs. Most are west and there are not very many on the South Shore. The commuters that I know in Hingham are on the water closer to town so easier to get the boat into Boston. And they like being on the water so worth enduring less convenience for them.
I couldn't agree more with you about Hingham's desirability. It's a great town with a lot to offer especially for those who want to be near the water. However, it's not the ideal commuting location. This being said, the data I'm looking at indicates a healthy enough demand where this house if priced right could have sold. In the last year, 45 other houses priced between $1M and $1.5M sold. That's a lot of buyers who didn't find this house appealing at this price.

As someone said though, this is a unique house and there will be one buyer out there who finds it more appealing than everyone else and will be willing to pay more than the general population of buyers. However, you'll have to wait around for that person and it's impossible to say how long they will take to appear. The choice is . . . do you (and can you afford to) wait for that person or do you lower the price of the house to give it greater appeal?

I would also add moving this thread to the Massachusetts forum might net some better answers than what you would get on the national Real Estate forum.
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:59 PM
 
308 posts, read 195,289 times
Reputation: 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePRU View Post

c) While your house is being marketed as a 6 bedroom house, most buyers are going to see this as a 3 bedroom house. I noted one bedroom is on the first floor and two are on the third floor. New Englanders tend to place a much higher value on bedrooms on the second floor (as long as we're not talking about a ranch style house). You have 3 bedrooms on the 2nd floor and according to the floorplan your agent had done one is very small especially for a house at this price point. So, your floorplan and number of bedrooms will limit buyers.
I think this is the most insightful point on the entire thread. Now I'm not the target market for a home like this (first time owners, no kids yet, price point about half as high) but at least in my experience, and in the experience of a lot of my peers, this is absolutely 100% true. I don't mind having one bedroom of 4 on the first floor, but 3 bedrooms on a second floor was an absolute must have non negotiable for me and my wife. It's silly and probably irrational, but as future parents, we weren't thrilled with having to either sleep downstairs from children, or have a kid on the first floor alone.

Quote:
Buyers at this price point seem limitless in this state. Average days to offer in Hingham for a house listed between $1M and $1.5M over the last year is 39. So, that would indicate a healthy demand for homes at this price point. I would also say the hellish commute issue from Hingham to Boston is not what it once was given the much larger percentage of the work force in the are which can work some or all of the week from home and also because of the return of the commuter train service to Hingham.


I would also add moving this thread to the Massachusetts forum might net some better answers than what you would get on the national Real Estate forum.
There's definitely plenty in MA for sure, but naturally there are less people that can afford that type of house as compared to a 600k one. That coupled with all of the other particulars makes it a harder sell.
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