Can’t Give House Away

18 Replies

Hello! I put my house on the market back in June and got a full price (341,900) offer with me paying 3 percent closing. Made all repairs requested from inspection and then 3 days before closing buyer finances were disqualified due to debt/income ratio. House appraised at 350,000 for FHA loan.

I had already purchased my new home and moved so I am anxious to get it sold.  I asked my realtor to drop 10k hoping it would move quicker.  It’s hasn't.  Today makes 1 month since relisted/price drop.  We’ve had about 10 showings.  The only offer we’ve had is 310,000 with us also paying closing costs.  We’ve had two others say we were at the top of their list but not ready to buy yet.  The last person to say that we offered closing and 3000.00 for carpet allowance as they did not like our light blue carpet but still no offer.

My relator who is my son-in-law and does this part time has sold about 5 other houses.  He says comps are hard to pull for my house because of age/size etc.  It’s a 3300 sq ft home with 3finished levels/walk out basement,  4bd 3.5 bath and 5th BD (NTC) or office in basement.  I  have always felt my house is overpriced.  Comps I have seen are newer houses with “open floor plans” and bigger masters/closets/master bath. His experience is limited and I worry my house will just sit but on the other hand if he’s right then I loose money or get super inspections cause people are concerned why I’m priced so low :(

 My house is in good condition but 30 years old.  I’ve made major exterior updates over past 4 years (roof,siding, garage doors, porch, front door) have all been replaced and all with high end materials.  Interior has been updated over the years and completed full master update down to studs.  Master bath Beautiful but still small for modern bathrooms.  

Most feedback has been positive, negative comments was light blue carpet upstairs and original wood windows which are in good working condition (still heavy windows)  but some fading of wood and some discoloration.

This would be my second price drop since June and I really don't know if price is the issue. I just want it sold. There is a house directly across from mine that was bought by an investor and that house is in the process of being refurbished so not sure if that impacts anything (lots of construction) I live in nice (older) neighborhood in a desired school district with no HOA yet it's still not sold in what's listed as a sellers market.

I thank you for reading this long post and would appreciate ANY thoughts you have.

@Charlie M.

Welcome to Bigger Pockets...

We are currently in a shifting marketing. We've moved from being a mostly seller's market to one that is closer to balanced. Some areas shifted earlier than others, but in general, things are moving to be more balanced.

Due to the shift, homes are taking a little bit longer these days to sell due to the large number of homes that came onto the market in late Spring. Plus, everyone has been distracted with Summer. But, the interest rates are still very low.

That being said, you have a few options...

If the carpet is really holding people off, change it out. If the property is empty, stage it with some furniture.

Two, hold open houses every weekend until it sells. That has become really popular these days.

Review the marketing plan going forward to get it sold. Do you have professional photography? Do you have a video walk-through? Does it have a dedicated website? Has your agent/son-in-law prospected the neighborhood to find buyers? Has he sent out postcards to the area? Has he run Facebook and Instagram ads? What are the statistics from Zillow (views, saved)? Are you offering a home warranty service to the buyer?

The rehab across the street shouldn't be a big deal. In fact, it shows that people are investing in the area.

Your house size is unusual for most areas and that means it will need to be for the right person/family looking for a house of that square footage. However, since you have been receiving offers, you are probably in the right ballpark for price. Now you need to drum up the right buyer.

From a search engine perspective, changing price does move you back to the top of the search results, so that was a good thing. However, you don't want to take too many quickly.

If you run open houses each weekend, that will keep you in the search results. 

Hi Christopher and thank you for your reply.

I have had professional pictures taken, house is empty and I staged it best I could with my own furniture.  Zillow has about 45 saves, views in the hundreds.  I’ve spoke with son-in-law about open houses, he hasn’t had a lot of success but I think I’ll revisit with him as well as your other suggestions.  Think I need to push more with marketing strategies as not many that you listed.  Sensitive since it’s my son in law but I need to get house sold.

You mentioned size of my house - If I understood you right you meant it’s larger home than typical.  I thought that would be a plus but now that you mentioned it we did move to get smaller home now that kids are grown.  It’s certainly large family type home with large, flat, fully fenced backyard.  But maybe others also seeing it as to big - could that affect price in a negative way?

I think will also revisit the carpet.  It is the first thing you see going up the stairs.  It’s a light blue and seemed like great idea at the time after years of living in military housing with not a lot of color choices, now not so much!  

Again thank you for the time you took!  Greatly appreciated!

You might post the address because maybe some of the experts can weigh in with their thoughts after actually looking at the listing. I saw that recently on BP in another thread and local Realtors were able to give great insight.

The house looks like it's in really nice shape and well maintained.  I didn't look at comps so I cant speak to price.

I'm definitely not an expert and my wife would say that I have little stylistic vision,  but it feels to me like there isn't good flow of style choices throughout the house.   

The kitchen looks like it belongs in a different house altogether as does the bathroom with the grey and white modern looking tile.  Other things like the wood trim are dated.  It's very expensive and nice wood, but should probably be painted.

I think if you went more neutral you'd have more mass appeal.  Greys are trendy right now but it feels like things will move on from that soon.  

I hope this helps. 


Eddy - thanks for sharing that perspective.  Yet another thing I hadn’t given thought to as yes, it’s older home/style.   These comments are really helpful especially if it doesn’t sell soon and I end up delisting during winter months and make some changes.  Hopefully it won’t come to that buy I appreciate the fresh eyes as what others see.  There’s a reason it’s not selling so this helps.

A house across the street from me sat and sat- because they had green carpet.   NEw owners put in new carpet and sold for a profit within a year.   No brainer- put in a new neutral carpet,  relist for $10K less and get that puppy sold.

Alternatively, rent it for a year, then do the carpet and try again. 

Hi David and thank you for your response.  We’ve considered that mighty be a solution we have to look at in future.  Really hoping it doesn’t come to that, although a friend did suggest rental properties overall can be good investments.

Thank you all for your suggestions/replies.  All very helpful. Had good discussions with relator/son-in-law and he shared some insightful ideas/thoughts.  Your comments help to add to our conversations and I also realized I’m not being very patient with this process. Again thank you!

@Charlie M.   Find out how much it would cost to replace the carpet.  You don't need to go with an expensive option.  You can give them a credit at closing for the carpet, but a) people can't imagine what the house would look like without the blue carpet and b) many people want a house they can just move into and don't want to do renos (they will say they do, but don't end up doing them).

I know your son in law is your realtor, but did you get an opinion on pricing from another realtor?

You’re kitchen doesn’t match the house, or maybe the house doesn’t match the kitchen. 

    Redo the outdated bathroom, the carpet needs to go and paint the entire house a single color, along with the 1980’s wood trim.  

Hi Theresa - thank you for your reply. Yes, the carpet credit is what we discussed last night, that’s a great option.  Most of our feedback has been house priced “just right” and the appraisal we had with lost sale came in at 350,000 so it seems it is, just taking time.

Your home is lovely. It is never good to do business with family because you can't be as harsh with them as a regular professional. Is it possible that your son-in-law just doesn't have the experience to sell a home like yours? I didn't check your surrounding market but it sounds like you may have a larger than average home with a bigger price on it. Perhaps if he had his broker or mentor help out he would likely learn a lot and perhaps get your house sold?

I agree that actually replacing the blue carpet may be a good idea. People seem to struggle with imagining a different color. I'm not sure I would paint the trim. I personally like wood trim and figure there are likely others out there like that. Maybe go look at other houses in your area to see what type of decor they have.

Not an agent or anything but I can see a couple things contributing to why the house isn't selling.

From a design POV the house looks outdated. The houses that have sold next door, and several around the corner we're all modern on the inside. Now granted those houses we're smaller but looking into the mind of a buyer they're probably thinking they would need to update the carpets/flooring and maybe the paint/trim as soon as they own the property. Make's it a little harder to sell. Good thing is this is easily fixable. The most cost effective thing I would do would be to get a staging company in to set up their own furniture. I know that you have your furniture in there but I think a modern look will help the vision of potential buyers. I'd simply paint that trim and try to a more modern look, currently it sticks out while looking at the pictures. Getting new carpet is also an inexpensive option and could help sell the property. 

The second part of the equation is the house itself. It seems to be the most expensive. That's fine but when you combine that with the fact that it's outdated it might scare some potential buyers away. 

I wouldn't fault your step-son too much with not selling the house right away I can see where he's coming from. Most likely buyer's agents are telling them it's not worth that price and to under bid, like the example you gave above. It might require some combination of a lower price and a small upgrade but you should be able to sell the house. Good luck!!

Thanks Sharon - thank you for your comments.  The carpet seems to be the winning answer.   I also have always liked the wood trim but as I am finding like most things not everyone agree.  

Tyrone thank you also for taking the time to look at other houses.  Yes, house next door was gutted and renovated by and investor last year.  Mine is one of the biggest in neighborhood.  This house selling is stressful stuff.