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happysmileylady

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Well, construction on the house is finished. Done, paid for, over with. The check I sent them has been cashed, I have a receipt stating everything is paid for, yay! So, that's one hurdle down.

 

DH's car is currently in pieces in the garage. It's been that way for a week and a half and he's been taking the van to work. Which means I have been stuck at home with the kids all day every day and I am about to go crazy. No splash pad, no library, and to top it off it rained quite a bit last week, so they couldn't even go outside, and I couldn't take them to the McDonalds PlayPlace. AND, since the car is IN the garage, they couldn't even run off energy in the garage. If that's not a recipe for heading to the looney bin, I don't know what is.

 

And, speaking of the car, we dropped over SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS on the stupid thing. Which means every single step forward we were on saving for a new van that we made in the last month, is now all over the floor in the garage. It started out at $365. Then, he couldn't get some piece apart to replace something. So, off to buy a new tool for $40(which not only resulted in the cost of the tool, but also used up quite a bit of gas and time since he had to go rather out of the way because we live in darn near BFE *sigh*) The new tool didn't work. So, off to get a different new $40 tool. It didn't work either. So then, he had to find a mechanic shop that had some special huge press to get this thing apart, which cost another $100. Finally get the piece apart, replacing the new one was no trouble, on to the next part of the problem. He managed to bust another part pulling something else out, so he has to order another of those parts, for another $57. In the end, like I said, over $600. Now to be fair, the problems he was having in this repair job are apparently common to this type of work...which is probably why the job would have cost 10 times the cost of the parts had we had a shop do it. So, it's not that he doesn't know what he's doing, It's just that whatever it is exactly that he is doing is....a pain in the butt.

 

The last part has come in, he's going to try to get it fixed tonight. He has to go out of town for work again tomorrow, and is taking a company car, so I will have the van tomorrow, regardless. Splash pad here we come! And maybe a library visit too, because the kids have reached their first prize milestones. But even if he can't get it fixed tonight, he should be able to finish it tomorrow.

 

For the future, we are going to budget $100 a month to car maint sinking fund envelope. And whatever we don't spend we will just roll over to the next month, with a cap at $500. It's just a fact of having old cars that they require funds to repair them so we are going to just keep a repair fund, separate from the emergency fund.

 

Going back to the house for a bit, it's still not sold. There have been no showings for weeks. There has not been an open house. I did ask about it, was told it was being done, and then when I asked again, was basically told he mixed up and had the wrong house. I sent a couple emails last week asking what else could be done to get more people in the house but didn't hear back. I was going back over a couple emails and am now thinking that I misread them and that he said he was going to be out of town. So I emailed his partner today. I can't sell it if I can't get people in to see it.

 

So that's where those things are. It's tough to wait and it's tough to get knocked backwards when it takes so long to make each forward step.



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When I bought my new car in 2012, my payments were less than what I'd spent on maintenance of my old car.  At some point throwing good money after bad just doesn't make sense.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that you can get the savings for a new vehicle accumulated sooner rather than later.

 

Talk to the manager of your real estate broker.  If your agent isn't performing, can  you to threaten to cancel the contract due to lack of performance?

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When I bought my new car in 2012, my payments were less than what I'd spent on maintenance of my old car.  At some point throwing good money after bad just doesn't make sense.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that you can get the savings for a new vehicle accumulated sooner rather than later.

Yeah, we actually talked about selling as is before we did the repairs, but at that time we were only looking at about $300 in repairs.  And we didn't want to spend money buying a car, then find out we needed that to bring to the table on the house.  We are sitting right directly on the bubble as far as needing to bring some money to closing.  Plus, what kept running through my head was "better the devil you know."  I just knew if we spent what little we had on a new car , we were just goig to end up with a different set of problems.

 

 

Talk to the manager of your real estate broker.  If your agent isn't performing, can  you to threaten to cancel the contract due to lack of performance?

I actually just got off the phone with the agent.  His partner emailed me back saying it's often easier to get a hold of them by phone and gave me both their phone numbers.  So I called and got his voicemail, and he called right back.  He's going to schedule an open house for July 12th.  He's also going to do a couple extra marketing things, like craigslist posts and such.  He also said the market is still pretty strong and that people are getting out there to look and that they often see surges and dips like this.

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July 12th? That seems very far away. I don't think you have a good agent if you are getting ZERO traffic. I have a house on the market and we've had probably over a hundred people look at it and have had 2 offers (fingers crossed this second one goes through). Our agent has done 3 open houses already, and is scheduling them every 2 weeks. I actually am almost as excited about her getting her commission check as I am about selling the house. She has worked her tail off. She also sends reports on how many people have seen the house each week and never has she not answered a call or email! Surges and dips are one thing but ignoring emails for a week makes me question how hard he is actually working to get traffic to your house.

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Real estate is an art. Here are a few general things I feelings I have.

I'd rather have HSL's realtor than Mira's. Seriously? A hundred showings? There is something wrong with your listing if you have a hundred showings and a handful of offers. Your listing should encourage buyers, and exclude non buyers. My guess: your real or is padding the numbers.

Next, open houses are good for realtors, not sellers. They are a way for realtors to find prospects and act busy for their owners, not sell houses. Open houses are filled with lookielous and nosy neighbors. I'm guessing Mira's realtor showed her the sign in sheet, not people buying houses this summer.

Last time I checked my calendar, I saw this: too late to schedule this weekend, not worth opening 4th of July weekend, the 12th sounds far away. It isn't.

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Clever, with all due respect, you really have no place to question the integrity of my realtor. I am extremely happy with her and do not for a second believe that she is lying. If anything the 100 showings and 2 offers mean that the house was priced a little high, which she advised and we lowered it. It also shows beautifully in the photos but when you get there you realize you can hear the road, which was working against us. Of course, that was out of our control and hers. I now have a signed contract.

 

I maintain that someone who ignores emails for a week is not trying very hard.

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I do agree that the 12th seems far away.  But as Clever said, getting it done this weekend was just not possible, and 4th of July weekend just didn't sit well with me. 

 

I am a twinge concerned, which is why I called.  And he did call back right away, like within 5 minutes.  We have had quite a bit of traffic online, just nothing in person.  That's why I talked to him about some other marketing ideas like CL, or social media and he is going to work some other angles. 

 

Those first five showings we had, we got notification that it was happening, and got the feedback reports with a day (one might have been within 2 days.)

 

I am just not sure what else I SHOULD be asking for him to do.  The obvious basics are all covered-sign in the yard, directional signs in the neighborhood, listing on the MLS, etc.  We discussed other options like CL on the phone, he's going to get that going, we are scheduling an open house, I just don't know what else might be involved in getting a house sold. 

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If people are looking at it online but not actually looking at it in person, there's a reason why.  Either priced too high, pictures aren't good, lack of curb appeal, lack of staging...something.

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Exactly. I know you just put it back on the market recently, but if you aren't getting any traffic at all, something is wrong.

 

You shouldn't have to be giving suggestions to your realtor, he should already know how to sell a house. That's what you are paying for.

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If people are looking at it online but not actually looking at it in person, there's a reason why.  Either priced too high, pictures aren't good, lack of curb appeal, lack of staging...something.

Well, it's empty, so no staging for sure.  I don't think it's priced too high, one of the same floor plan and similar or even fewer amenities just sold for about $5k more than we are asking.  The pictures could maybe be better.  They aren't bad, but they aren't magazine style professional pics either. 

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A friend's mom is a realtor, and she has access to furniture/accessories just for staging (not sure where she gets them, though).  Is this something your realtor could do?  Or does anyone have some extra furniture they could loan to you (in storage maybe)?  A couch/recliner, even a small dining room table, lamps, anything that shows the size of the rooms?

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I have to agree, staging would really help. Perhaps going through realtor they would take the cost into final sale? If it meant selling this month instead of 6, it would be very worth it.

 

I really think people were for example picking out the ceiling fan because there was nothing else to focus on. I know you are so done with the house, I have been therr, but a few touches would help. Is there a neighbor you would trust to add a fake potted plant by the front door, towels to the bathroom, a shower curtain in each bath(to play up the number of bathrooms) a low bowl of fake fruit or something in the kitchen?also there is kind of a cool cast to several photos, the walls almost look greenish in a few. At the very least could they adjust those photos to look warmer?

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Even some small spatches of color could help. Lemons in a lime green bowl, A pretty red silk flower sitting on a shelfor windowsill, a large urn like vase with silk flowers, something that adds some eye-catching areas to the house. Your budget is probably too tight to go to a rent center and rent a few things for a month-like sofa, end table, lamp. The good part of that is they deliver and pick up. Normally this would not be a good idea as the rates are high, but if you can just do a few weeks it might be worth it.

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Great Lakes I agree and I also see no issue having one July 5th.

 

I get that staging helps however, houses sell empty all the time. I'm more concerned that there is no traffic TO the house.

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I would do an open house this weekend around here they are usually advertised in Friday's paper and online so it shouldn't be to late to get it done. If they don't want to I would tell them you'll do it!

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A friend's mom is a realtor, and she has access to furniture/accessories just for staging (not sure where she gets them, though).  Is this something your realtor could do?  Or does anyone have some extra furniture they could loan to you (in storage maybe)?  A couch/recliner, even a small dining room table, lamps, anything that shows the size of the rooms?

You know what, I might know a few folks who have some extra stuff, I will check around.  I will also check to see if I can scrounge up some fake flowers or fruit inexpensively, and then see about retaking some of the pics with those things. 

 

They are not going to be able to do an open house this weekend, but I will talk to DH and see what he thinks about trying to push for the holiday weekend. 

 

 

I have certainly had FSBO cross my mind more than once.  It's all the paperwork and closing details that I just am not confident I could handle on my own.  I could *sell* the house.  Taking the pics, writing the description, talking to people, etc. 

 

BUT...for today...I do have stuff to do.  I have a vehicle today, there are errands to run, I have kids to get to the splash pad and library after being stuck inside last week, and need to check into a couple of the things mentioned. 

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Mira, I didn't mean disrespect, I meant actual problems, like the ones you listed. I'm suggesting that the process may have been improved to be more accurate.

Imagine for example a home on a 50+ community. An accurate listing will include this, so that people under 50 won't waste either of your time.

It reminds me of

My manufacturing days comparing alpha risk and beta risk.

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It's a very nice home, a few things to make it stand out in online listings should do the trick. Was thinking about it some more, with curtains from a friend or yard sale, one large wall art piece, and even a comforter tossed over some moving boxes to show a bed for one nice photo per bedroom will get more people interested. I recently helped stage and photograph an older home for and they really made a difference at only the cost of my time. I used a $8 christmas tree shop metal wall art sculpture to update the bedroom. (I had bought it for my house and they are borrowing it lol).

 

Also can you play up the size of the bedrooms? Is there an area for a laptop/ office? It seems you are also up against 4bedroom houses, but perhaps they are smaller bedrooms.

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Imagine for example a home on a 50+ community. An accurate listing will include this, so that people under 50 won't waste either of your time.

OF course something like that should be included, but do you really think an advertisement for a house should say "it's only the 4th house in from the road, so you can really hear the traffic"? I don't think so.

 

When you are selling anything, you talk up the good points. I would never mention the noise because it wouldn't bother everyone, it never bothered me when I lived there. Putting something like that in the description would only insure that no one would come see the home.

 

I knew the right person would come along that loved the house as much as I did, enough to overlook the noise and the small yard. But sometimes you have to get dozens of people there to find the few who really don't care about those two things.

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You're right, negatives don't belong in the listing. But there are ways. Chicago listings would sometimes use the code "convenient to public transportation" when they were saying "in the shadow of the El."

 

Even if it's not in there, these showings are from buyer's agents. It is their job to note the positives and negatives.

 

After having to clean and vacate my house fifty times, only to hear "too close to the road" I'd ask the realtor to tell them about the road before the visit.

I guess 'cast a really wide net' just isn't my style. If a bIllboard ad had a 1% success rate, they'd be considered brilliant.

 

If feel sort of sorry for your realtor, he's probably barely breaking minimum wage based on the time involved.

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We aren't living in the house, it's vacant. And I'm sorry if I wasn't clear earlier, when I say 100 that includes people who other agents have brought to the home. My realtor still gets the report whenever someone looks at the home and her reports to us include those others.

 

She has certainly worked hard and I don't begrudge her a penny of her commission, however, she would have had to work 1100 hours to make minimum wage on my house. That's 27 weeks or half a year of doing nothing but selling my house. Nope, not even close.

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We looked at hundreds of houses before making an offer on ours.  I wouldn't assume that everyone who looks is interested enough to email or that an agent would ignore an email.

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Some ideas I had for staging at minimal expense:

 

Beds ~ Air mattresses propped up on boxes and made with a long bedspreads/quilts so they look like real beds.  I would include a sign on top saying "please stay off bed" just in case people don't notice it's not a real bed.

 

Dining table ~ A folding table with a table cloth and folding chairs.

 

Maybe friends/family in the area can spare a few armed dining chairs that you can use in a sitting room.  Most people have more dining chairs then they need on a daily basis.

 

Sometimes patio furniture (like wicker) can be used as living room furniture.  Just be careful with anything metal; rust can stain floors.

 

Any pieces around your house that you can spare?  Like side tables, end tables, etc?  Maybe have the kids sit on the floor for awhile and move your couch back to the house?

 

I know empty houses sell all the time but as someone who bought an empty house less than two years ago, staging would have really helped me with the scale of the house.  The rooms in my house looked much smaller empty.  That could work against you when buyers are comparing similar houses.  Even if the square footage is exactly the same, if the house appears smaller, buyers will think it's smaller.  I think that's why my house sat on the market for so long.  It worked out well for me as I got the house for a deal but it didn't work out so well for the sellers.

 

Good luck :)

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