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Six Months On the Market and Still For Sale

Your home has been on the market for six months with not much activity. Is it time to switch agents? The answer is not so simple.

Sound familiar? You are not alone. The average number of days homes are on the market has increased due to fewer buyers and more inventory to choose from. It's a nasty combination. And couple this with foreclosures and short sales and the lower prices that occur as a result, and selling has become a real nightmare.

You like your agent, but they’ve had the house listed for six months without many showings and certainly no offers - except that one that was $75,000 under asking - so the question is, do you stick with that agent, or try someone new?

Your agent has spent considerable time and energy, not to mention money, marketing your property. An agent’s cash outlay is considerable when beginning the marketing process. If your agent has been marketing your home and working to expose it to the brokerage community as well as to buyers, then they probably deserve to continue marketing your property. 

Does your agent keep in touch with you? Are you discussing market conditions a couple times a month? You should be. As the market fluctuates, sellers need to know their competition. Insist that your agent set you up on an MLS search. This is easy to do and a great way to keep abreast of what is going on in your community. Know the homes that are new to the market and know the ones that have offers on them. Is your home priced accordingly?

Many sellers don’t want to hear it, but the truth is, it's ALL about price.

Selling a home in a good market is challenging. Selling a home in our current market is unbelievably stressful. First of all, prices are considerably lower than they were five years ago, so be realistic when pricing your home. Don’t forget, a buyer buys by comparing properties, so make sure you check out your competition.

If your agent has exposed your home all over the web, helped staged your home, returned your calls and emails promptly, provided showing follow up, had broker’s opens, held open houses, sent out post cards to the neighborhood, taken great photos of your home, kept in contact with you - and in other words, has done the job you have hired them to do - stick with them! There haven’t been a ton of buyers out there for the past couple of years. So, if it hasn't sold yet, it is time to reevaluate. There is a reason your home hasn’t sold. Take a good long look at the competition because the answer is there. 

Your agent has been working for you. Agents can’t make a buyer appear out of thin air. They can, however, help you by doing all in their power to get you the exposure you need in order to be the next home that sells in your price range.  It’s a team effort. You and your agent must work together to achieve this goal. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

James R Hoffa February 28, 2012 at 09:31 PM
It's in those situations where an agent is indeed justified, however, I still don't believe that their 'worth' is equivalent to a percentage based share of the sale price - especially on higher end properties. I'd personally like to see more agents moving over to a flat fee type of arrangement with their clients.
James R Hoffa February 28, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Brand new installment of Hoffa's Retro Cinema Club up today - be sure to check it out! http://mountpleasant.patch.com/blog_posts/hoffas-retro-cinema-club-dreamchild-1985#video-9206916
Fran Maglio Wallace February 29, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Dear James, As with all professions, there are going to be some agents that do a better job than others. I am sorry to hear that you had a bad experience, but please, don't lump us all together! There are many agents that take a great deal of pride in what they do and how they do it. We are dedicated professionals that put our job and the level of service we deliver above all else. Plans change quickly when a client or customer calls as they are my priority. I have to be ready to meet with a buyer or a seller without any notice. I do this knowingly and without hesitation, since this is the career that I have chosen. Real Estate Agents are in a service industry. I give my clients and customers the best service I possibly can. Sincerely, Fran Maglio Wallace
Julie Olson March 01, 2012 at 01:41 PM
We sold our home in Riverwest, and bought a home in Fox Point, nearly 4 years ago. It was possibly the most stressful thing I have ever done. Our home was on the market for exactly three months, but it was agonizing. It was hard to leave our 'hood, our first home, I was pregnant with our third baby, and we had a preschooler and an infant at home. That being said, our realtor was AMAZING. She knew when to return my calls immediately, when to call me back the next day, and when to rush over immediately and empty the house of sharp objects ;) I don't know how on Earth we would have sold our house without her. She helped me pack up boxes of clutter for storage. People commented negatively about our small - almost nonexistant, really - yard, so she shifted tactics and marketed to condo buyers. She negotiated with our buyer on our behalf. And finally, she showed up at the old house on our very last day and cleaned out the fridge with me and swept the dining room. Through the process of selling and buying, Sara Jo was not just our realtor, she became a friend!!
Fran Maglio Wallace March 01, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Thank you, Julie for sharing your experience. It is wonderful to hear positive feedback! So often we only hear negative comments. I know there are other positive stories out there...............I hope your comment encourages others to share their experiences.

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