Friday, January 4, 2008

House For Sale

We've been trying to sell our house for about 10 months now. We only have it "For Sale by Owner" for now, but I'm starting to wonder if that's gonna work. We sold our last house that way, but it was during a healthy market. At first, in the Spring, we got quite a bit of attention. Now, I don't think I've had a call since August. That's why we are doing almost constant home improvements right now. When the market picks up, hopefully, in the Spring, we want to be competitive with the 20 other houses for sale in our neighborhood. Since I'm due to have the baby early March, it will be good timing to kick it up a notch. Until then, we will continue to do projects and nest. So, here are the latest...

My husband installed the bead board in the powder room, and I painted it a nice Tapestry.

In this picture you can kinda see all the moulding we put around the windows and the judges paneling my husband put up. This is the formal dining room.

We also put crown moulding in 10 rooms upstairs that didn't have it (including the halls) and we repainted all the halls a nicer and more washable paint. We dressed up the columns with lots of moulding and tiled the back splash in the kitchen. I stained the deck. We put in a custom closet system that rocks. We have a few more projects then we are gonna stop. I can't think of much else to do. And it doesn't seem to matter anyway because I can't get any buyers in to see it. That's why I'm gonna have to consider hiring an agent toward the end of summer. I'm hoping we've increased our value enough that we can pay one now and still get what we need from the house.

If you're really curious, you can check out the website I made to put on our info sheet in the for sale sign.

More projects are planned for the weekend, so I'll post pictures when I can.


Coffee Lover said...

Awesome photos of your house! It's beautiful! I can't wait to get back into all of the house stuff.
We have gone on some home tours here cking out what's available and at the top of our price range was a COMPLETE DUMP for $800,000!!! A DUMP!! It would have had to be gutted completely and wasn't even very big in size. The cost of living here is just terrible, but the schools are top in the country. So I try to tell myself that I'll save by putting kids in public schools. (so far it's not making me feel any better.)

Leah said...

Your house looks great....and obviously a BIG part of what you're experiencing is the low market. I also think part of what you're probably suffering from is exposure. People really use the internet to search for houses now....and for sale by owner doesn't give you nearly as much traditional exposure as you need. Your last house was also in a much more central location where people would drive by and see it. Another bonus when you're a FSBO.

Have you thought about putting the house up for sale in a flat fee MLS service? Basically, it's still a FSBO situation, except that you're paying a fee to have it listed on the MLS. My understanding is that it will then show up on the BIG real estate sites like My realtor was telling me that the guy she bought her house from had done that. Here's a link to one of the places that does it.
I'll ask her and see if she has another recommendation. If that doesn't work, then you could always list it with a traditional real estate agent.

My last thought is that you need to make sure you focus on the selling points of your house that people want to see when creating a flyer and/or putting the pics on the MLS. You're limited to 12 photos, and I definitely think you should put a pic of the front, back, and view. Then obviously one or two great shots of the kitchen, master bath, etc. One thing you can try is getting on top of a chair or ladder and getting a higher/larger perspective on more things in the house. Then....another thing I suggest is sizing down the photo to a small size and looking at them all again. Is the photo confusing to someone who doesn't know your house? If so, maybe you remove some things from the picture or add some things so that people understand it. Focus on the selling features of your house and not your decorating.

Hopefully this will help. I have a gal who saw my house online and is driving down today from NYC to see it. Hopefully we'll getting another contract soon since the last one didn't work out.

Leah said...

Update on my house: The gal who drove down from NYC didn't like the neighborhood and therefore is passing on my house. Very frustrating.

Johnna said...

Thanks for the comments about the house. I feel like it is right in there with the competition, and the price is really good since I'm not trying to build in an agent's commision. But...we'll just have to see what happens during the spring/summer. Thanks for all your suggestions about the pics, Leah. I actually have considered the flat fee service. There are some companies here that do it. Century 21 has that service. We felt like people would get our flier as they are out here looking. In fact, our flier gets taken pretty regularly. But I know the agents push the houses that are actually listed, and I'm sure I can't blame them. I do have written on my For Sale sign (I had it made custom) "agents welcome" so they know I'll pay them the 3% they'd get if they sold any other house.
It stinks that she didn't like the neighborhood your house is in. Looks like we're both gonna be stuck for a little while. I find it easier when I don't dream too much about where we'll move next. Which is hard because we've already bought the lot, and we LOVE it!