37 days listed. No offer. Should I stage? - Loma Linda, CA

31 Replies

Hi,

Summary :

  • Our Loma Linda home listing has been active for since June 21 with no offer yet.
  • House is in decent shape overall but is rough around the edges ,
    • Front lawn dead.  Previous tenant did not maintain well.   I will re-grass.
    • Fence around house needs paint (how much I can't tell) per feedback of open house visitors.  Looking into re-paint.
    • Master carpet stained by previous tenant.  You can see in listing photos.  Will try to find a carpet company to replace in master bedroom carpet if beyond repair.
    • 2nd story window above garage has "grid" damaged.  Trying to find handyman now.
    • Listing price started off at $459K but was reduced to $446K about over a week ago but no offers yet.  There have been price reductions in the Loma Linda, CA area.  Agent is going to re-do comps and potentially suggest price adjustment again.

I think at a minimum, we will do the first four bullets and potentially the fifth.  With that said, I am wondering if we need to amp it up and stage our home too?

I googled "to stage a house or not" and read the reasons why a house should always be staged.   They make sense to me.  I received a staging proposal for $2800.  Do you guys think I should do the first four bullets above as well as stage the home?   I really want our home sold by end of August and I am concerned maybe the first five bullets above may not be enough?

Thank you for reading !

Warren

My agent feedback 

"I honestly do not see any benefit in staging a 2200 SF property. I think it will look cramped and for that much money? Homes show better vacant and they appear bigger when empty. I am sending a detailed report for your review. The highest solds in Mission Creek are all 4 bedrooms.

I suggest grass, window, carpet, possibly fence paint ( I am sure they can do the fence also). I can get an estimate from the handyman for the grass."

He also ran comps and is suggesting to reduce price to $429K"

"There are 7 sold properties at $430000- $465,000- All are 4 bedrooms not 3 bedrooms.

The most similar property sold for $429,000. This is 3 / 2.5 2116 SF and was on the market for 6 days/ 309 days (315 days) House for sale for 309 days then price reduction and sells in 6 days

$446,000 (current List price of Bybee)- $429,000 = $17,000 difference between most similar 3 / 2. 5 recently sold property in Mission Creek.

26387 Santa Andrea St- $429,000. Price should be at $429000 in my opinion based on the data provided.

The days on market for 3 bedrooms in Mission Creek is: 73 days and 309 days. There is clear evidence that 3 bedrooms are sitting longer than 4 bedrooms." 

When selling to owner occupants the house needs to be “move in ready”, period....unless you want to take a big discount.  Looks like you may be overpriced even after it is fixed up..

IMHO, a light staging of a house, the common areas, and the master... is HUGE.  Women especially LOVE to see their prospective new house set up looking like HGTV...

the front yard looks like cr*p... spend the few hundred bucks to sod it... first impression!  People pull up and their first thought is a negative.  You are giving them reasons to hate your house... vs reasons to love it.

@Warren A. - You’re thinking of solutions. Smart. Can you be present at an open house after a price drop like a potential buyer? And listen to conversations? Or go spend an hour with your agent touring the properties your potential buyers are also looking at within 1 mile (your comps)?

As a real estate agent, I host open houses every weekend for my sellers. It pops your listing to the top of real estate platforms like Zillow and drove 3-4 more groups weekly when there were limited agent showings before. However when the price dropped to the sweet spot, then we got a lot of agent showings and offers. Remember agents are usually putting in search criteria like under 450, under 425, under 400.

Generally condition seems to determine whether a buyer is going to make an offer or not. If paint / stained carpet are present, I unconsciously think a lot more hasn’t been maintained. For cheap you can replace carpet (Home Depot removes and reinstalls free for about $2 psf for a $1000 minimum job). For cheap you can repaint ($100-150 for the day for a guy off Craigslist). $30 for a gallon of paint. $10 for a brush.

You just want it so obvious disrepair doesn’t catch your eye. Clean. Bright. Not obviously paint peeling etc. Fix the big / first impression things.

@Natalie Schanne - thanks for the reply.  No, I live in Northern CA and can't be present at open houses.  Right now we are addressing bullets 1 - 5.  Agree with your comment re: obvious disrepair.   Casually looking at other recent homes sold , it seems like they are more turnkey.

@Carson Wilcox - thanks for the input.  $2800 is for the common areas + master.  Kitchen, living, dining, loft and master + master suite.   I'm still on the fence.  But if my goal is to have the house sold by end of Aug, i may have to bite the bullet.

Ask your agent, who did you no favors letting the condition issues with this house linger.... and listing it in that condition... to kick in on the staging.  Too often we look past these small things because we like the house...  But a dead front lawn...?  No agent I know would have let that pass... especially that size...  Or boot him or her and get a new one.  Tell them you will give them the house to list after you fix the couple things, but you want it staged and sold.

House looks fine. Only Hoi Polloi buyer needs a 🏡 in perfect condition. Don't worry about a loose doorknob for example. 

It seems you Agent is competent. 

SellerS often think their🏡 is worth more than it actually is. 

Could be you just missed the sizzling 🔥 market. 

All this to say you need to lower price again. 

Staging works on HGTV. Don't know if it's value in mid level. 

Don't stage if you are getting advice from a designer. They will tell you to stage. a D class Sanford n Son hoarder 🏡. 

@Warren A. It seems odd to me that your agent did not recommend carpet cleaning or replacement, a yard, and the other changes you mentioned before listing the house. It makes me wonder about the competency of the agent since they are relatively minor and inexpensive changes. After these changes are done I would be sure to have new professional pictures taken. If the house does not sell in a few weeks then consider staging. I think the other problems problems probably turned off buyers and staging would not of helped. Also lower the asking price a bit.
@Warren A. Forgot to tell you I have started to see the California housing market softening. Houses are taking a little longer to sell and prices being lowered. This started when the interest rate went up.

@Warren A.

Hi Warren,

I agree with the above comments questioning your agent. Selling with lack of curb appeal, stained carpets, needs of repairing, etc, should directly insinuate that you are not getting retail top dollar. Which is fine, if that is what you are going for. Did your agent discuss this with you?

Staging is a plus in my mind, even if just the common area is done. It’s true, it can start to look cluttered at some point if the staging Co is trying to overcompensate for the less than ideal repairs that need to be made, but a good company could make it happen. Professional photos are also a plus, but not to the same degree since the house is not a top of the market listing. Meaning you can get away with a little more most of the time.

As also mentioned above, the housing market has started to turn slightly since the raising of the interest rates, but a house that shows well should still have no problems selling within 30 days in CA

I’d honestly talk to a new agent. I am licensed or could give you a referral to contacts I know in the area. Feel free to reach out.

Every time I see "Sold "AS IS", I get worried about the property and expect a huge discount.  Why bother putting this in the listing?  Put it in the agent private remarks section.

@Warren A. without running comps. I would say just from a quick look here are my comments 1. Curb appeal is lacking due to the yard 2. Suggest spend the marketing money on a photographer who specializes in homes 3. Carpet stains need to be corrected 4. Old window drapes, removed. 5. In regards to staging. Their is a reason why model homes are staged. It helps sell the home. 6. If funds are a concern, only do a partial stage of the living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. I have a reference if needed. 6. Another option is virtual staging. 7. Marketing marketing marketing. Exposure is key 8. Lastly, list price may be too high. List price is not always the sales price. If comparables don't support your list price you may be above most buyers threshold for your area. Has the same model sold recently? If so what for?

If I see "staged" and stained carpet, I wonder what the staging is supposed to hide or make me not notice.

And I've always wondered why people think the yard doesnt matter.  I see flipped houses here, with thousands invested in the interior and zilch on the yard.  One I looked at last week, they had orange mulched the whole front yard.  I won't even get out of the car if the yard is pathetic.

Wow so many pieces of great advice. Staging is the cherry on top and staged appriitely for size and confirming to th area really makes a big impact.

You can lightly stage, it'll go a long way to creating a warm, happy home.   It looks like a white cave right now, not inviting.

The yard is blah.  Colorless, dead, even the little shrubs by the driveway aren't trimmed.  Spend some $$ and make it pretty.

Call Flooring liquidators to replace that stained carpet ASAP!  I use them all the time, great price and professional install, and FAST.    You're not doing yourself any favors having that stained carpet in the house, I'm surprised your realtor didn't recommend replacing it off the bat.

If that fence wasn't painted, you can have it pressure washed.  It'll look brand new.  A good handyman can do this, since you're not down there.

The dated 4 bulb bathroom light fixture, gold doorknobs, and the exterior paint looking somewhat faded (choices are probably limited by a HOA), are the other things I spotted. Little things add up to overall discontent with a house, right?

What's your reasoning for the AS IS sale?  Like another person mentioned, that makes me wonder what else is wrong with the house.

@Warren A. you’re trying to sell a half million dollar home with a stained carpet as well as other little handyman cosmetIc projects which can be fixed for a a few hundred dollars That’s highly abnormal

I think the sum up is that people gave you feedback that you didnt want to hear or deal with, and your agent  enabled this because they didnt want to rock the boat.  get a 3rd party, like your open house attendees to give you their thoughts... and LISTEN.

Hi Everyone, thank you so much for the input.   This is the first time I've been through a home selling process so everything you guys have said so far has been extremely valuable.

My agent is addressing the front yard ,  repaint of backyard fence , replace master bedroom carpet, and 2nd story window.  Target date to complete by end of this week.  Price has been reduced on Friday to $429K per comps analysis.   I told my agent last night to remove "AS IS"  on the listing asap.  I'm waiting to see if these seven items items will help first but I am strongly considering doing the $2800 staging (living, dining kitchen, loft, master + master suite) as well based on the feedback here as well as Redfin management.

Regarding the agent, without going into detail, we did have some communication challenges but I am hoping they are resolved now.  We now have a communication plan to check in twice a week at a minimum ( we can call / text each other anytime though) whereas before it was ad hoc.  I also have his management "air support" if needed.   For me, I think some key lessons learned so far is to 1) establish communication plan from the get go   2)  Get the house move in ready before listing.

@Warren A.

1. Pricing is always Key! 

2. "Light & Bright" Sells Quicker and for more Money than "Dark & Dirty"!

3. If you get it "Looking Good & Priced Right" - should sell in a reasonable period of time! If it doesn't look right - it better be Priced Right for condition.!

4. Hard to get Agents & Buyers back for a second showing if you've blown the first impression. 

5. Most retail buyers don't want to deal with repairs, don't have money to deal with repairs, and will pay more in order not to deal with repairs. 

6. Stage Living Room, Kitchen, Bathrooms, and Master Bedroom: You don't have to have full furniture pieces even in all these areas. 

7. All Bathrooms - New Colorful Towels everywhere with a few accouterments on the bath vanities. 

8. Kitchens: Coffee Service, New Kitchen Towels, Some Dishes on the Counters, Cookbooks, etc. 

9. Master Bedroom can get by with some wall art and "Knick-Knacks" objects situated in the corners.

Living Room: Stage the Mantel, "Knick-Knacks" and wall art in the corners. 

Good Luck.

I think you have drawn the right conclusions.  And yes most bad agents just want to sell your house as fast as possible without having you making the repairs that will get you the most money.  They would rather loose 2-3% of a 50k differential rather then upset the seller or delay a sale with a big price reduction.  Most will tell you to drop your price 50k then take time to get buyer feedback and give you a 10k repair list

If you do the first 4 and reduce the price of home 10-30K it has a better chance. Inside very plain looking color wise. I would expect my listing agent to provide flowers and some paintings at no additional cost.