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DawnM

Open house today......give your thoughts, prayers, juju, whatever

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We need it.

We knew this would be a tough house to sell.  It is in a prime area and is one of the lowest priced houses for this area (top schools in the entire region, new neighborhoods going up around us with very expensive homes,  no apartments or townhouses at all, all single family homes), but our house is quirky.    We knew that.  It is large and in good shape and we have done a lot to it, but everyone leaves feedback of, "Layout won't work for our family" or "funky layout" or "odd layout."

In many ways I feel vindicated.  I have told DH that since before we bought it.  He doesn't think it is a big deal.  Sigh.  23 people agree with me! (that is how many showings we have had.) . 😜

All the feedback is 4 or 5 out of 5 for well kept home, very nicely decorated, beautiful property, shows well, and good price.   But with a quirky home you need a particular buyer.    And we have 2.5 acres, which is very hard to find in our area/school zone.  So someone who wants the land might "put up" with out house layout.

Today is an open house.  I will wait to get feedback from my realtor.   I am also going to encourage her to mention that we are motivated sellers.  I don't mind taking less, although we do have a price point we can't go below and still get what we need.  

It has been on the market 40 days.  I know that isn't horrible, but with college kids coming home for the summer, it is going to be harder to keep it staged the way it is staged.  Let me rephrase that.....the current staging will be completely undone.  We will need to use the office as a bedroom and move the office back down to the rec room in the basement on May 31st. 

 

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Having just been through all this with my dad’s house and knowing how incredibly stressful this process is, I am praying for the right buyer to walk through the door today and for a successful open house!!!

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I'm hoping your house's new owners walk through the door today! Good luck! Selling is so stressful.

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16 minutes ago, WendyAndMilo said:

Now I’m really interested in the layout!! 🙂

Praying for the right buyer!


I maybe can draw it later, I was looking for the layout but apparently don't have it.

It is not the current trend of an open floor plan.  Kitchen is between the sunroom and the dining room and then has another open doorway to the living room.  No family room, although we use the sunroom as a TV/hang out room as it is fairly large.

The upstairs has 3 bedrooms technically, but you have to walk THROUGH one room to get to the other, so we have staged the first one as a hangout/game room rather than a bedroom, and the back room as an actual bedroom.  Master is on the main.

When we bought the house we had 2 kids, and they wanted to share a room.  They took the front bedroom and used the back as a playroom.  We used the other upstairs bedroom as our bedroom and the downstairs master as a den.  It worked great for a long time.    Then we got a 3rd kid (adoption) and they got bigger.  😂

Edited by DawnM
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Good luck! Are you going to have nice weather today? If so, maybe do a little something outside to draw the buyers outside more since that is what makes your home stand out. 

We just did this a few weeks ago - simple stuff - a pitcher of lemonade and a few glasses on a tray left on the table. If you have a fire pit, put out a smore's station. I have little garden bench and left a pair of gardening gloves and trowel there with a plant that was still in the pot. If it is chilly today, you can put a blanket over a chair in the backyard and leave a book open. If it is really sunny, maybe a towel and sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.. Hope it is not raining. 

 Really just anything to make the buyers linger outside longer since that is something no other house can offer them. 

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1 minute ago, lmrich said:

Good luck! Are you going to have nice weather today? If so, maybe do a little something outside to draw the buyers outside more since that is what makes your home stand out. 

We just did this a few weeks ago - simple stuff - a pitcher of lemonade and a few glasses on a tray left on the table. If you have a fire pit, put out a smore's station. I have little garden bench and left a pair of gardening gloves and trowel there with a plant that was still in the pot. If it is chilly today, you can put a blanket over a chair in the backyard and leave a book open. If it is really sunny, maybe a towel and sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.. Hope it is not raining. 

 Really just anything to make the buyers linger outside longer since that is something no other house can offer them. 

 

Nope!~ . Rain and thunderstorms all afternoon.  UGH.

Did you get yours sold?

Edited by DawnM

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Just now, DawnM said:

 

Nope!~ . Rain and thunderstorms all afternoon.  UGH.

Sorry. Be sure to have a good spot for the folks to dry their shoes off, or ask for them to take them off. 

Before our first showing, we had a ton of rain. We have two spots in our yard that just drain really slow. I went outside (in the rain) and a bucket to get the standing water out of those puddles. Then the next day it rained all day again and after the first showing there were so many footprints on my nice shiny floor - grr! I had to run in between showing to reshine everything. 

Have you used the product Quick Shine on your floors? I put two coats on and even our realtor and the photographer who took our home's photos could not believe how great our floors looked. It even made the slate floors look so good. 

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17 minutes ago, lmrich said:

Sorry. Be sure to have a good spot for the folks to dry their shoes off, or ask for them to take them off. 

Before our first showing, we had a ton of rain. We have two spots in our yard that just drain really slow. I went outside (in the rain) and a bucket to get the standing water out of those puddles. Then the next day it rained all day again and after the first showing there were so many footprints on my nice shiny floor - grr! I had to run in between showing to reshine everything. 

Have you used the product Quick Shine on your floors? I put two coats on and even our realtor and the photographer who took our home's photos could not believe how great our floors looked. It even made the slate floors look so good. 

 

A little late to go out and buy any new products and do that, showing is in a couple of hours.

But our floors are very nice, we have gotten compliments on them.  I don't know what DH uses, that is his thing.

The realtor said she is going to ask people to take off their shoes.  

 

Edited by DawnM
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Good luck Dawn! Real Estate is such a process - buying and selling. We've just been through this ringer.

40 days on the market does seem like it's lingering a bit - well in our area it would as things are selling within days of being advertised.

Around here, people take their property off the market and relist if it goes beyond a certain number of days so it doesn't look like it's a "shelf warmer." Of course, those who are actively looking online or in person may recognize properties that are being relisted.

 

Edited by Liz CA
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3 hours ago, Liz CA said:

Good luck Dawn! Real Estate is such a process - buying and selling. We've just been through this ringer.

40 days on the market does seem like it's lingering a bit - well in our area it would as things are selling within days of being advertised.

Around here, people take their property off the market and relist if it goes beyond a certain number of days so it doesn't look like it's a "shelf warmer." Of course, those who are actively looking online or in person may recognize properties that are being relisted.

 

 

We sold our houses within hours in CA, but this is not a CA market.

AND, our websites have "listing history" lists to show when it went on and off the market.  No way to pretend it is new.

Edited by DawnM

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It is over.  It did not go well.  Only one person showed and they didn't seem interested.

We went to 3 open houses while ours was being shown and they didn't seem to have much traffic either.  One actually told me they had had only one other couple come today.  It is raining, and it is college graduation for most state colleges, and it is Mother's Day weekend, so who knows......but I think this isn't a good sign.

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Oh no! I’m so sorry! 

But don’t lose hope! This is a terrible weekend for an open house, and the bad weather made it even worse. 

Also, if someone is interested in your large property, they probably won’t show up for for an open house on a rainy day, because they will want to walk around your property, and not just see it from the street or from looking out the back windows of the house. 

Will your realtor do another open house next weekend? 

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The way you describe your house with the kitchen between the sun room and dining room plus the walk through room upstairs is basically describing part of our layout.  We just bought this house and we LOVED the layout.  Luckily for us other people didn't because it did sit for a bit, but not more than 3 months.  You will find your buyer soon enough

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Two things...

(1) Between graduations and Mother's Day, I would not have expected much traffic. Try another day.

(2) It only takes one buyer to get a house sold. Yours is coming. Just make sure you’re priced right. 

 

Edited by Seasider too
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We did have a showing today that wasn't part of the open house.  Apparently they have been asking some questions and showing some interest.  That doesn't necessarily mean anything, but we will see.

No, the realtor is going to be out of town weekends until after Memorial Day, so we are a bit out of luck with open houses for now.  We did tell her to lower the price.  We are already one of the lowest priced homes around, but maybe that will pique some more interest.

 

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Can the realtor get an associate from her office to run the open houses for her? 

I don’t think it’s reasonable for a realtor to be out of town every weekend during the busiest selling season of the year. She is shortchanging you and all of her other listings. 

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2 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

Can the realtor get an associate from her office to run the open houses for her? 

I don’t think it’s reasonable for a realtor to be out of town every weekend during the busiest selling season of the year. She is shortchanging you and all of her other listings. 

 

Agree - I’d just clarify that it isn’t ok for her to be unavailable during peak selling season without having a partner who can handle anything any of her clients may need in her absence.

Of course realtors can take time off, but like any other working professional or stay at home parent, bases need to be covered!

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Wishing the best for you. Not knowing what makes your layout "quirky," you must make it work for you. Is there something that you can do to show multiple ways the layout can work for others?

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20 minutes ago, linders said:

Wishing the best for you. Not knowing what makes your layout "quirky," you must make it work for you. Is there something that you can do to show multiple ways the layout can work for others?

 

It is already staged the way the stager and realtor thought best, which is not the way we have been using the spaces.   

I have listed earlier what was quirky about the house, but the biggest issue is that you have to walk through a bedroom to get to another bedroom.  So now the front bedroom is staged as a game/hangout room.  

That will mean that in 3 weeks we will be putting college boy in the office and moving DH's office back down to the basement/rec room.   I warned her that once the college kids came home, all bets were off as to keeping the house staged as is and keeping it as clean as it has been.  That is why I wanted to house on the market Jan 31st.  It wasn't listed until March 31st.    Not all her fault, but still very frustrating.

College son coming home in June is ASD and he hates people touching his things or going through his things......it will be difficult.  

If we can get an offer in the next 3 weeks, that would be ideal.

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So we did have a showing yesterday, scheduled, unrelated to the Open House, and apparently they are asking a few questions about the house, so maybe?

Their realtor told our realtor that all of the houses they are choosing are older and have property.  And they want our schools, which means if they want property and have a lower budget, our house would be almost it for their choices.

They asked if we could leave a few things if they buy the house (asked if we could leave the exercise equipment.....UM, it is all old, so please TAKE it!) . 

And they only have 2 kids, so the bedrooms wouldn't be an issue.  The kids liked the pool (above ground with a very nice deck.)

 

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Here are 2 pics of our pool and some of our backyard

Screen Shot 2019-05-12 at 7.45.58 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-05-12 at 7.47.16 AM.png

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6 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

prayers for you today.  I know it's such a pain to sell a house.  I love quirky too, but not everyone does.   

 

 

We talked about a couple of houses we have looked at that we liked and DH said, "You know the houses you are talking about have kind of quirky layouts too, right?"

Sigh.  But they would work for us.  And I plan to stay there 15 years.  Then we will retire and buy our retirement house.  Right now we are still tied to the schools (high school and state colleges) for the next (probably) 8 years.

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Sending prayers and selling thoughts.........I hate selling houses while living in them!

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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

So we did have a showing yesterday, scheduled, unrelated to the Open House, and apparently they are asking a few questions about the house, so maybe?

Their realtor told our realtor that all of the houses they are choosing are older and have property.  And they want our schools, which means if they want property and have a lower budget, our house would be almost it for their choices.

They asked if we could leave a few things if they buy the house (asked if we could leave the exercise equipment.....UM, it is all old, so please TAKE it!) . 

And they only have 2 kids, so the bedrooms wouldn't be an issue.  The kids liked the pool (above ground with a very nice deck.)

 

 

Their asking about you leaving stuff is a very good sign! Hope you get an offer soon. 

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If they liked the pool could you sweeten the deal with some pool supplies, pool toys, patio furniture, etc?

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This happened to us twice - a reverse offer. This is when the seller gives the potential buyer a contract with a great price and terms. It would mean that you do not have to lower price right now, only this potential buyer would see it. You could also list what furniture or stuff stays with the house.  or You could also offer an incentive for the house to close by a certain date.  Like, if the buyer can close by June 8, we will pay all closing costs. It just keeps the conversation going. 

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Doesn't matter, just got word they aren't interested.  They too said the price is great for our area, but the layout won't work for them.

DH and I just got into a huge argument over all of it.    This stinks and now 25 people have confirmed what I have said for the last 13 year of living here......THE LAYOUT SUCKS!

We are looking at how to possibly put up a temp or semi-permanent wall to create a hallway and much smaller bedroom so that you walk through a hallway to the bedroom instead of walking through the bedroom to get to the bedroom.  

Editing because I am not thinking straight......the part we need to divide, where we need to divide it, IS regular square floor to ceiling shaped......it is the additional room, which does not need dividing, that is not shaped like a reg. room.

 

 

Edited by DawnM
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5 minutes ago, DawnM said:

Doesn't matter, just got word they aren't interested.  They too said the price is great for our area, but the layout won't work for them.

DH and I just got into a huge argument over all of it.    This stinks and now 25 people have confirmed what I have said for the last 13 year of living here......THE LAYOUT SUCKS!

We are looking at how to possibly put up a temp or semi-permanent wall to create a hallway and much smaller bedroom so that you walk through a hallway to the bedroom instead of walking through the bedroom to get to the bedroom.  

It isn't as easy as it sounds though because the bedroom is shaped like below, so putting in most square simple dividers or barn doors or whatever won't work.....but if you have any suggestions for a TEMP wall that covers the entire space let me know.

image.thumb.png.49a82e828669fb4f81dafba5be00b9d9.png

So the room behind would be behind the window if this were an actual pic? If so, that's gonna be tough because there isn't enough headroom on the edges to make a hallway. Is the house only 2 bedrooms - master and the double room? If there's a 3rd bedroom (and the room behind a room would be the 4th), I don't know if it would be worth it. Maybe get an estimate or two and give an allowance? We did that on one house that the previous owner had combined two bedrooms and we needed to move ASAP so didn't have time to put the wall back in. 

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1 minute ago, beckyjo said:

So the room behind would be behind the window if this were an actual pic? If so, that's gonna be tough because there isn't enough headroom on the edges to make a hallway. Is the house only 2 bedrooms - master and the double room? If there's a 3rd bedroom (and the room behind a room would be the 4th), I don't know if it would be worth it. Maybe get an estimate or two and give an allowance? We did that on one house that the previous owner had combined two bedrooms and we needed to move ASAP so didn't have time to put the wall back in. 

 

No, this isn't the actual room, this is just showing the shape.  I will try to get a picture of the actual room because I think describing it isn't working.

 

The house is 4 bedrooms.  

Edited by DawnM
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How much of a hit would it be if you listed it as 3 bedrooms (just giving up on the idea of counting the walk-though bedroom as a bedroom)?

I know it will take the right buyer, and we're not in NC or looking to buy, but we'd love a setup like that.  There's a lot of season left, right?  You might still find the right buyer.

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I have just emailed her and asked her to have an open house even if she can't be here.  I will see what she says.  

 

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1 hour ago, moonflower said:

How much of a hit would it be if you listed it as 3 bedrooms (just giving up on the idea of counting the walk-though bedroom as a bedroom)?

I know it will take the right buyer, and we're not in NC or looking to buy, but we'd love a setup like that.  There's a lot of season left, right?  You might still find the right buyer.

 

I agree with this. The folks who come expecting four fully enclosed bedrooms are seeing something that, in their minds, doesn’t match the listing. Try marketing as a 3 bedroom with sitting room. 

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It still technically has 4 bedrooms plus that walk through room.  We use one of the "bedrooms" as an office.  But it has a door that closes and a closet.  So the bonus/walk through is a 5th bedroom.

 

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3 hours ago, moonflower said:

How much of a hit would it be if you listed it as 3 bedrooms (just giving up on the idea of counting the walk-though bedroom as a bedroom)?

I know it will take the right buyer, and we're not in NC or looking to buy, but we'd love a setup like that.  There's a lot of season left, right?  You might still find the right buyer.

 

It is more about having all 3 kids home for the summer, one being my Aspie who gets completely stressed out when people go through his stuff and, if he has a bad day, has a very hard time cleaning up and leaving the house for hours.

I was trying desperately to get a contract before he comes home.

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44 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

It is more about having all 3 kids home for the summer, one being my Aspie who gets completely stressed out when people go through his stuff and, if he has a bad day, has a very hard time cleaning up and leaving the house for hours.

I was trying desperately to get a contract before he comes home.

 

I think it’s time to get tough with your Realtor and insist on weekly open houses for the rest of the month. She hasn’t been doing her job. She needs to prioritize her clients over her fun weekends away from home, or arrange for another agent to host the open houses.

Does she own the office, or does she work for someone else? If she’s not the one in charge, I would visit that office and speak with the broker to let him or her know how displeased you are, and to make sure they know that if they don’t start actively promoting your house, you will be changing realtors as soon as your contract expires. I would also let them know that if that happens, you will also be using a different realtor when you purchase your new home.

 

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I agree with @Catwoman  if she isn't in charge speak to her broker.  Sometimes you have to say enough is enough.  At the very least they will have a talk with your realtor. 

 

We got out of a contract by going to the broker.  

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37 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

I think it’s time to get tough with your Realtor and insist on weekly open houses for the rest of the month. She hasn’t been doing her job. She needs to prioritize her clients over her fun weekends away from home, or arrange for another agent to host the open houses.

Does she own the office, or does she work for someone else? If she’s not the one in charge, I would visit that office and speak with the broker to let him or her know how displeased you are, and to make sure they know that if they don’t start actively promoting your house, you will be changing realtors as soon as your contract expires. I would also let them know that if that happens, you will also be using a different realtor when you purchase your new home.

 

 

1 minute ago, PrincessMommy said:

I agree with @Catwoman  if she isn't in charge speak to her broker.  Sometimes you have to say enough is enough.  At the very least they will have a talk with your realtor. 

 

We got out of a contract by going to the broker.  

 

It is a little tricky because she is a friend of a friend.  She will just say, "Well, I did have an open house and no one came, so you can see that open houses aren't working."   

Trying to fix this without making too many waves.....it will ripple out quite a bit and I am trying to avoid that.  DH says we should just have our own open house, but I am not sure if that is even allowed.

We may end up just pulling it off the market and relisting with someone else.  We are in a contract with her until Aug. 31st.

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My dad made a deal with his realtor (who is a friend of his) that she would advertise an open house every Sunday, and that he would be there himself to staff it. I thought it was unusual and a little strange, but it worked for them.

As a buyer, I find it a little uncomfortable to have the owner there, because I feel I can't speak freely and observe things as I go through, even if they are not following me around.

I'm sorry you don't have an offer yet. We had a house that was an unusual layout, and one of the people who viewed it said it had "all of the square footage in all of the wrong places." We've sold five houses over the past twenty years, and it has been a hard experience each time. You have my sympathies.

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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

 

 

It is a little tricky because she is a friend of a friend.  She will just say, "Well, I did have an open house and no one came, so you can see that open houses aren't working."   

Trying to fix this without making too many waves.....it will ripple out quite a bit and I am trying to avoid that.  DH says we should just have our own open house, but I am not sure if that is even allowed.

We may end up just pulling it off the market and relisting with someone else.  We are in a contract with her until Aug. 31st.

 

Make waves.

Seriously.

If anyone should feel awkward, it’s her, not you. Your mutual friend recommended her to you, and if she does a lousy job and you tell your friend how awful a realtor she is, your friend will probably never again recommend her to anyone else she knows.  The realtor should be very embarrassed to have done a poor job after having been personally recommended by a friend. I know I would be mortified if a friend recommended me to do an important job for another one of her friends, and I ended up dropping the ball and really messing up. Your realtor is really messing up. And if she says she had one open house and no one came, point out the obvious facts — it was BOTH Mother’s Day and graduation weekend, and it rained. Also, your house isn’t a new listing any more. If she had started having open houses right away, your house would probably be sold by now.

This is too big a deal to let it go just because you feel awkward. It’s also too much money. And think of how much time you have lost on the market because of that irresponsible realtor! 

If she argues with you about having more open houses, I think it’s time to ask her to release you from your contract with her, and if she refuses, you should complain to her broker. 

When this much money and this much emotional stress are involved, it’s time to stop worrying about the realtor’s feelings or your friend’s feelings, and do what you would do if this realtor was a total stranger to you. This is business, and your realtor is taking advantage of your good nature because she figures you’re nice and that you won’t complain because of your mutual friend.

And for what it’s worth, if I recommended a friend to someone and she did a terrible job, I would be very angry with her! Your friend should be angry with this woman, too!

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Realtor friend? Sure, I'd care and try to work with her.

Realtor friend of a friend? Nope, out of the give-a-sht- circle.

It's also quite possible that this realtor is now regretting signing the contract because she probably underestimated the effort she would have to do to make up for the quirky layout.  She certainly seems to be putting in the bare minimum, which is generally what "normal" houses require in a market like this.  You may be doing her a favor.  

There is no need to make waves.  Send her a factual email stating that you don't think this is working out due to different expectations regarding marketing and exposure for the house and would like to be released from the contract.  If she says no, take it to the broker.

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7 hours ago, Storygirl said:

My dad made a deal with his realtor (who is a friend of his) that she would advertise an open house every Sunday, and that he would be there himself to staff it. I thought it was unusual and a little strange, but it worked for them.

As a buyer, I find it a little uncomfortable to have the owner there, because I feel I can't speak freely and observe things as I go through, even if they are not following me around.

I'm sorry you don't have an offer yet. We had a house that was an unusual layout, and one of the people who viewed it said it had "all of the square footage in all of the wrong places." We've sold five houses over the past twenty years, and it has been a hard experience each time. You have my sympathies.

 

We have purchased 4 homes, sold 3 so far in our marriage.  The other 3 were in CA and the market was such that no staging was necessary, they sold within days, one of them within hours.

This is just a very different market.

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6 hours ago, Catwoman said:

 

Make waves.

Seriously.

If anyone should feel awkward, it’s her, not you. Your mutual friend recommended her to you, and if she does a lousy job and you tell your friend how awful a realtor she is, your friend will probably never again recommend her to anyone else she knows.  The realtor should be very embarrassed to have done a poor job after having been personally recommended by a friend. I know I would be mortified if a friend recommended me to do an important job for another one of her friends, and I ended up dropping the ball and really messing up. Your realtor is really messing up. And if she says she had one open house and no one came, point out the obvious facts — it was BOTH Mother’s Day and graduation weekend, and it rained. Also, your house isn’t a new listing any more. If she had started having open houses right away, your house would probably be sold by now.

This is too big a deal to let it go just because you feel awkward. It’s also too much money. And think of how much time you have lost on the market because of that irresponsible realtor! 

If she argues with you about having more open houses, I think it’s time to ask her to release you from your contract with her, and if she refuses, you should complain to her broker. 

When this much money and this much emotional stress are involved, it’s time to stop worrying about the realtor’s feelings or your friend’s feelings, and do what you would do if this realtor was a total stranger to you. This is business, and your realtor is taking advantage of your good nature because she figures you’re nice and that you won’t complain because of your mutual friend.

And for what it’s worth, if I recommended a friend to someone and she did a terrible job, I would be very angry with her! Your friend should be angry with this woman, too!

 

5 hours ago, WendyAndMilo said:

Realtor friend? Sure, I'd care and try to work with her.

Realtor friend of a friend? Nope, out of the give-a-sht- circle.

It's also quite possible that this realtor is now regretting signing the contract because she probably underestimated the effort she would have to do to make up for the quirky layout.  She certainly seems to be putting in the bare minimum, which is generally what "normal" houses require in a market like this.  You may be doing her a favor.  

There is no need to make waves.  Send her a factual email stating that you don't think this is working out due to different expectations regarding marketing and exposure for the house and would like to be released from the contract.  If she says no, take it to the broker.

 

I am still mulling it over and DH and I are talking.  She put a lot of effort into getting it ready, she and her husband did.  I just don't understand why she isn't putting more effort into actually selling it.  She is looking things up, and she has followed up with potential buyers, etc.....but she doesn't get paid until I actually sell and then buy another house, so I am not sure why she isn't putting more into some of this.

She has been very good at showing us homes and being available to look at homes.......but most of those have now sold.  We have started doing some open houses but not asking her to show us any homes because it is just too frustrating.

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I'm so sorry, Dawn.  I know how tough it is to keep a house show ready and how emotionally up and down it is.  Hang in there.

ETA:  I agree with the make waves camp.  This is a business transaction, not a social one.  Don't let "friend of a friend" hold you back.  I have found some realtors just want to do the bare minimum once you sign a contract.  I would definitely talk to the broker and even see about getting out of the contract earlier.

Edited by Pink and Green Mom
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