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Old 04-25-2009, 08:58 PM
 
161 posts, read 484,652 times
Reputation: 247

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We are in San Antonio TX. House has been on the market for about 50 days, which I know isn't too terribly long these days, but we are leaving town in June for a relocation (not corporate) and so are eager to sell. We live in a nice gated community in a desirable part of town with excellent schools. Our small neighborhood is a mix of homes ranging in size from 2000 sq ft up to about 3900 sq ft, anywhere from 3 BR 2 bath to 5 BR 4 bath. Lot sizes are 1/4 acre to 1/2 acre. So prices of sold homes have ranged from a low of $225000 for 3BR small lot to most recent sale of a 5 BR, 3 bath 1/4 acre DOM 250+ for $289900. (discrepancy in sizes is because one builder started the development with large houses and large lots, and two others finished it with smaller houses and smaller lots. The smaller homes are also newer by as much as 10 years.)

Our home is, perhaps unfortunately, one of the largest in the neighborhood, with one of the largest lots. House is about 12 years old, we are second owners. We have lots of trees (rare) and a sport court usable for basketball or tennis. We have 5 BR and 4 FB, and while I know this doesn't matter to many buyers out there as far as what is considered an 'upgrade', in the past 6 years we have put in all new flooring, new kitchen, screened in porch, new A/C units, new water heater, repainted every surface a pleasing buff color guaranteed to go with everything, etc etc. After consulting with our agent, who used not only sold comps in our little 100 house neighborhood, but also comparable homes in comparable neighborhoods--lots of little gated oases just like ours-- feeding into the same desirable schools (as there really is no other house exactly like ours in this neighborhood), we came up with $315000 as listing price. Per sq ft, this puts us as the 4th CHEAPEST house in our neighborhood out of 13 for sale, but as list price goes, we are the 2nd most expensive (mostly because the others are smaller--still they are listed at over $112 per sq ft).

Let me add, for those who will ask about the Sold houses--they sold for between a low of $72.00 sqft (this was a short sale, i believe) and a high of $102 sqft all for about the same sqft as mine, which is currently listed at $89.

We have had 18 showings. One offer came on day 3 (some of my past threads detail this and most agree I was right to pass it up). No second showings since, though we have been in 2 buyer's 'top 3' and another indicated they would put in an offer as soon as they sold their own house. Of the 9 agents who left feedback, 3 commented on the fact that there is road noise in our backyard (it is a moderately busy road, but by no means a highway--this is city living after all--, and we have a grove of live oaks and pecans that blocks view of it). Otherwise, all feedback has been positive--house is great size, shows beautifully, nice floorplan.

I read somewhere on here that if one is getting showings but no offers, drop the price 5%. This would put us at about $299250 ($85sqft). We have figured that for us to walk away breaking even (we've got three kids and a new life to start elsewhere, sorry, won't do less), the least we can sell for is $275000 or $78sqft (well below the last sold comp just down the street--this is factoring in our closing costs as well), and that is WITHOUT paying any buyer's closing costs or making any repairs. Our agent says she would like to drop the price May 1 but only to $309000 ($88sqft), as she REALLY thinks it SHOULD sell for $300000 and we should leave ourselves negotiating room.

There is a lot of inventory at our price point in our zip code, and I am getting a bit nervous because traffic to our listing on the internet has really slowed down and our showings have also slowed from a high of 4-5 a week down to 1 or 2...I am also tired of living in a constant state of readiness with my kids and animals--DH gets upset with me for "living my life around the possibility of a showing" but from everything I read and hear if there are dishes in the sink and unmade beds and cats lurking about and Legos underfoot the house WILL NOT SELL (especially at this price, people seem to expect clean and pristine condition as well as hidden bathrooms--don't ask) so I have to be obsessive...

Sorry this turned into a bit of a rant, maybe I shouldn't have had that second glass of wine. But can I get some opinions on if/when/how much I should drop my price? Interested in hearing from buyers, sellers, realtors--bring it on, please!
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:11 PM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,987,556 times
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I think you have demonstrated a VERY solid understanding of why you should you reduce your price and how much to reduce it.

In my neck of the woods about the only time $/sq ft comes into discussions is when talking about a lot for land value, so that sort of think is not in my mind, but the other data is EXACTLY what I would be looking at.

I do tend to agree that a 5% price cut is on the smallish side, but if you can't / won't sell for less there is not much else to do. In my area the MLS is OVERRUN with price cuts and you might want to think about working with your agent to increase the exposure with new marketing brochures or post cards or targeted emails or SOMETHING to break through the background noise...

If your agent has evidence that $300K is the right price there has to be a PUSH to get the number out to other agents and the buyers they are working with or the price cut is wasted effort.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: GA
2,738 posts, read 9,346,691 times
Reputation: 1085
If I were in your position, I would price it below YOUR true comp in the neighborhood. When I was selling, several neighbors did that to me and they sold way before I did. Every time I lowered my price, someone else listed lower. I wouldn't chip away at the price. I would drop it to the lowest price possible that will still give you some "wiggle" room. Good luck!
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
2,771 posts, read 5,417,320 times
Reputation: 601
Your agent wants to drop the list price ... by 2% ? What purpose does that serve ? Is there a sleeper cell of potential buyers out there who will enter a bidding war for a place that is listed at 309 but are so offended at a price tag of 315 that they bite their tongues ?
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Lake Oswego, OR
30 posts, read 114,237 times
Reputation: 41
leaving in june? i'd drop it to 280K. now.

as a buyer, i only notice houses that have been around for over a month when they drop below an inflection point. for your house, that point would be 300K.

if i see a drop of tens of thousands of dollars in a house in your price range, i take notice, and figure that the seller is serious.

as a seller, i lost 20K when i sold my house last march. i sold it the day before it listed, after 3 people dropped by to see it, and i priced it below all the sold prices in my neighborhood. same deal as you, relocation was on the very near horizon.

do what you have to do. you don't want to deal with a house thousands of miles away from where you live in this market.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:52 AM
 
3,576 posts, read 5,906,790 times
Reputation: 1431
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazurkr View Post
as a seller, i lost 20K when i sold my house last march. i sold it the day before it listed, after 3 people dropped by to see it, and i priced it below all the sold prices in my neighborhood. same deal as you, relocation was on the very near horizon.

do what you have to do. you don't want to deal with a house thousands of miles away from where you live in this market.
Great point!

I think if people have the financial means, they should just unload, take a lost and move on.

Too many people think they need to "break even". Well if they are breaking even, than that means they've lived in home for X amount of years "rent free". Living rent free means you are actually making money.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
2,771 posts, read 5,417,320 times
Reputation: 601
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
In my neck of the woods about the only time $/sq ft comes into discussions is when talking about a lot for land value, so that sort of think is not in my mind, but the other data is EXACTLY what I would be looking at.
Right, comparisons on $ per square foot basis only matter if the buyers are comparison shopping on that basis.

If they are comparison shopping on the basis of list price and you're the second most expensive listing, and listed nearly 10% above the most expensive sold comp, you're not going to sell it until you find a buyer who's willing to pay a premium for the extra space.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:03 AM
 
982 posts, read 809,695 times
Reputation: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by aneftp View Post
Great point!

I think if people have the financial means, they should just unload, take a lost and move on.

Too many people think they need to "break even". Well if they are breaking even, than that means they've lived in home for X amount of years "rent free". Living rent free means you are actually making money.
I doubt she was including living there for 12 years or so in her "break even" price. I rather think she was saying that she needed to sell for X, which would include paying off her mortgage and all her closing costs.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:04 AM
 
930 posts, read 2,122,028 times
Reputation: 1000
We have figured that for us to walk away breaking even (we've got three kids and a new life to start elsewhere, sorry, won't do less), the least we can sell for is $275000 or $78sqft

Dude there isn't a buyer on earth that cares about that. And therein lies the problem. Every seller has their "bottom" break-even or "satisfy me" number, and every seller is far more concerned with getting the best deal possible. That short sale counts as a comp.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:10 AM
 
982 posts, read 809,695 times
Reputation: 249
Lucy isn't a "dude." She is a lady.

Secondly, she knows (b/c I've read her other posts) that buyers don't care about what she needs to break even. She was giving that by way of background to her post.

Third, I think both parties want the best deal possible, not just the seller.
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