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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Argh!!! House selling blues...

    My house is for sale. I am in Hell.

    My DH is now my very-soon-to-be-EXDH, and I didn't need a 3000 sq.ft. house for just me and the DD (with the associated mortgage and utilities). I also just wanted to start "fresh" alone in a cute smaller house.

    The housing market, unfortunately, could not be more in the crapper. We have the house (which had over $20K in improvements between granite counters, landscaping w/irrigation, custom wood blinds, etc.) listed for $15K LESS than what we purchased it for about 5 years ago, and it is a good $25K less than others in the neighborhood that are similar in size/quality.

    Yes, the yard is awkward in shape--it's the same size as everyone else's, but it's "pie" shaped, so large front and smaller back yard. But it's landscaped to the 9's, low maintenance, color almost all year long, etc. And we are walking distance to 2 parks and the community pool (like 2 blocks).

    However, while the lack of a rolling back 40 is the major comment from those that do come take a gander, the biggest thing is that there are just.no.showings. And it's not just us--realtor pulls stats every week and people just are not looking in our neighborhood, maybe anywhere.

    It's now been on the market 5 months. There is another smaller house (same price, 800 sq.ft. smaller) that has been on the marked 1.5 YEARS. Holy Guacamole, Batman!

    Whaaaaa! I just want out so I can start my life over....
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
    Posts
    7,023

    Default

    people need jobs that pay a living wage and won't disappear in order to buy houses.....
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,673

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pony Fixer View Post
    listed for $15K LESS than what we purchased it for about 5 years ago
    You do realize that 5 years ago was the very TOP of the housing/credit bubble right? And that house prices are down on average 35%++ since the top of the bubble?

    Homes priced correctly will sell, and sell quickly. If you are getting divorced you might want to go with a short sale and unload it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    3,373

    Default

    Can you take some matters into your own hands? Take great pictures, advertise on Craigslist, etc?

    I see a LOT of under marketed houses.

    Soooooo many listings have crappy photos, a bad description and aren't advertised enough. Those are the top three things I would work on.

    Make SURE that your description plays up the $$,$$$ improvements that have been done to the house recently and talks about the positives IN the ad. Don't assume buyers will just figure it out on their own.
    Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
    Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Ocala
    Posts
    1,222

    Default

    The housing market is so scary right now that if you think you have it priced right, you probably dont. It has to be priced so low that people just have to come and look at it. If people arent looking, its probably not priced low enough. Think what you paid for it 5 years ago, and knock off 35%. You're probably closer to the price it will sell at.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,696

    Default

    Yikes. Well, this was really more of a vent/rant, but OK.

    Our house is priced aggressively for this area. We ARE $25K lower than all our comps. My realtor appears pretty aggressive with marketing as well, and the photos of our house were professionally done and are fantastic.

    I've not heard the 35% number that 2 of you mentioned, but that is out of the question. Neither of us (me or XDH) has that kind of money (basically, 15%--we put down 20% initially) with which to come to the table.

    We have had a slow trickle of showings, with the comments always about the house is awesome, the yard is too small (And again, it's not any smaller than anyone else's--it's just laid out differently and so must appear smaller, and even with a small child she finds endless amusement out there.)

    We are priced where the houses in the neighborhood that are 800-1000 sq. ft. smaller with NO yards (cottage homes) are priced, so I'm not sure it's necessary to go much lower. There is just a complete dearth of buyers out there right now, le sigh. I mean, yes, I could slash the price another $50K and sell in a week (maybe, still debatable I think) but then I would have to come to the table with $40K and who has that kind of money lying around?
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
    Posts
    7,023

    Default

    There is just a complete dearth of buyers out there right now, le sigh. I mean, yes, I could slash the price another $50K and sell in a week (maybe, still debatable I think) but then I would have to come to the table with $40K and who has that kind of money lying around?[/quote]


    You are in the same boat as everyone else, and just answered your own question
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,673

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pony Fixer View Post
    I've not heard the 35% number that 2 of you mentioned, but that is out of the question. Neither of us (me or XDH) has that kind of money (basically, 15%--we put down 20% initially) with which to come to the table.

    I mean, yes, I could slash the price another $50K and sell in a week (maybe, still debatable I think) but then I would have to come to the table with $40K and who has that kind of money lying around?
    It's called a short sale, I would seriously look into it if you are getting divorced and need out of this house.

    btw, do some research into the Case-Shiller stats in your area.

    http://www.housingwire.com/2011/05/1...until-mid-2011



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,360

    Default

    Might want to think about leasing it out. My RE Agent sister has been keeping busy with leases recently. Seems people are nervous about the economy or their job security and arent buying. Yet some will rent, paying about what would have been their mortgage payment monthly. Stinks for her comission, but many homeowners are able to cover their mortgage this way.
    Of course, if you are staying in the area, the best idea may be to stay put in the too-big house and hope things improve!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2008
    Location
    At the office
    Posts
    711

    Default

    You are competing with all the distressed inventory out there, and some people think there are at least 2 more years worth to get through, as banks drag their feet, hoping to wait it out. Distressed inventory is the market right now, and non-REO properties are frequently priced too high to compete, depending on your area.

    Anyone with a pulse who wanted to buy, could, 5 years ago. Anyone who thought prices were unreasonable didn't. And they still have the same view.
    Fear is the rocket sauce.
    Jack Black



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,696

    Default

    I'm not sure we really qualify for a "short sale", since we can easily make the payments. I am only in a hurry to be out to "start over" not because I can't afford the place and NEED to get out (I would not be able to save much while owning it, but I would not be over my head either), but just because I WANT to get out. The house is lovely and easy to live in--great neighborhood, amenities (community pool is awesome, great elementary school <2 miles away, etc.).

    If the house has not sold by the time the divorce is finalized (November), I think we'll either take it off the market or rent it (we've had several rental offers, but would rather not go down that route).

    Sigh, you are all only telling me what I already know--the market sucks, so I best be getting over it!
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,646

    Default

    Yep. You can rent, and whatever doesn't get covered by the rent, say your mortgage is $1500 and you can only rent for $1000, then that extra is a "loss" when you do your taxes.

    We may do that in a few years depending on the market. I bought two years ago when the market was already in the toilet, so I got a steal of a deal, and I still don't think I'm going to get out from under it...
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    2,641

    Default

    or you could both just make other living arrangements - buy house, rent apt, etc... move out and then just walk away from the house. Yes, your credit will be dinged for a while, but if you have a place to live and good income, what difference would it make? depending upon the laws of your state and whether or not you have refinanced since your original purchase, they might not even come after you for the deficiency.

    Heck, corporations are doing that right and left.. individuals might as well look after their own financial interests too. (and some are.)



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2010
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    4,168

    Default

    Careful of the terminology - I'm not sure the article is correctly stated. The term 'short sale' means you are selling a house for less than the mortgage as arranged with the bank. The bank has to approve it, approvals are usually considered for those already heading towards foreclosure, and to top it off, the banks take forever to approve them. But a true 'short sale' is a huge credit issue - takes fewer years to be dropped than a foreclosure, but still an issue.

    It is tough everywhere - you are in good company. I've been divorced 5 years and have hung on to my place, can see my savings dwindle, but am reminded of those in much worse scenarios. I am packing up, too.

    I still see some kind of cooperative horse farm with all these small houses, and shared accomodations - but of course, it's really only in dreams.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Ocala
    Posts
    1,222

    Default

    Im a big Dave Ramsey fan. This from his forum:

    https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com...&enterthread=y



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,696

    Default

    Thanks, halo! I'm not nearly as desperate as those poor folks.

    The house is neutral--all fresh "beige" paint. Nothing on the walls. Nothing. New granite CT with nothing stored on them, new hardwood floors (we had a leak, insurance paid for entire lower floor to be redone), professional landscaping, deck, fence, etc. The house is pristine whenever there is a showing (there have been about a dozen or so in the 5 months), and I did away with extra furniture, etc. (I like the minimalist look anyway, so that wasn't hard).

    According to the realtor, we are priced a bit below all the comps. There are a few "new sales" homes left in the neighborhood, some people will pay $25K more for "new" even though ours has more "stuff".

    Basically, it is what it is, and I'm just frustrated about it. All of it. The divorce I'm not happy about, the life that I didn't envision, the house not selling, etc. I realize I just have to sit tight, but I reserve the right to bitch about it once in a while!
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
    Location
    All 'round Canadia
    Posts
    4,623

    Default

    I just sold my condo the previous week. It was on the market 11 months, although I had accepted 2 previous offers - both of which fell through because of buyer financing issues.
    I was so desperate I was considering renting it, and I did not want to become a landlord!

    Good luck to you!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,273

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RainyDayRide View Post
    or you could both just make other living arrangements - buy house, rent apt, etc... move out and then just walk away from the house. Yes, your credit will be dinged for a while, but if you have a place to live and good income, what difference would it make? depending upon the laws of your state and whether or not you have refinanced since your original purchase, they might not even come after you for the deficiency.

    Heck, corporations are doing that right and left.. individuals might as well look after their own financial interests too. (and some are.)
    Don't screw up your credit for years getting a foreclosure on your record.

    I own quite a few rental properties and for the record, if I pull a credit app on someone with a foreclosure and I find out the reason wasn't a job loss/illness with resulting medical expenses, or some other valid reason, but instead, they were just out of equity, so walked away, I would refuse to rent to them. It tells me that contracts and integrity have no meaning to them. I don't want that kind of person as a tenant. And I'm not alone in that, so you could put yourself in a situation where your credit is screwed because of the foreclosure so you can't buy, and people don't want to rent to you either (unless they are dives in a lousy area/run down/etc.)



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,205

    Default

    Years ago I bought a townhouse, and six months later realized it was a mistake and I needed to house with a yard (for the dog), and needed to be much closer to work. The townhouse took 10 months to sell, and the realtor told me that in retrospect (I used the same realtor for a few other deals too-and would again) that we should have offered more % commission. Apparently the builder who was charging more for the new units was paying a premium percentage of commission (1 or 2%) so realtors were steering their clients towards those units, over my unit with a better layout and had better ground slope and views. Apparently the commission price is what did it. So look at that factor also, and try offering more commission.

    There was an article on MSN Real Estate the other day about the top 10 markets for loss of value, and it was stunning (some places are 88% down from 3 years ago), and if you can get someone in the door who doesn't want a big backyard then you could be in business. What you need is the for the realtor to emphasize the curb appeal, and the lack of maintenance on the yard. Not all of us want to do a lot of lawn maintenance or keep up a big yard-maybe empty nesters or singles instead of a family with kids? And I hope there are tons of pictures on realtor.com, since that is the first place people usually look when moving to a new area. And that doesn't mean a minimal realtor.com listing with a bunch of pictures on the realtor listings. If I am house shopping I don't even look at something without pictures or bad pictures. Also, you should take the listing off realtor.com, and relist in a week or so to get rid of the 'days on market' comment that realtor.com puts on there. People think something is wrong with listings that are too old, and don't even come and look (it doesn't make sense to me either, but buyers and realtors are a little strange in this market). ANd tell your realtor that you want to see all offers, not just decent ones.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,646

    Default

    Don't worry OP, there are people who will come for landscaping. My front yard is mostly rock and beauty bark, and that was a huuuuuuge selling factor. Thank you, less mowing.
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



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