Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"It Still Hasn't Sold"

MSN Money has an update on the Stockton woman who advertised her home on the radio. (prior post here)

Margot Ray, a radio-ad saleswoman in Stockton, Calif., put her five-bedroom, three-bath house on the market in February for $480,000. There it sat, along with about 3,000 other homes for sale. She dropped the price to $465,000 in April. Nada. "We'd have an open house and maybe one or two people would come by. I had an open house where nobody came," Ray says.

In July, she had a brainstorm: Why not advertise on the radio? The ad put the house on the map. Now agents remember the address. The price is down to $427,000 and, at a recent open house where Ray raffled football tickets and a spa day, 15 groups of potential buyers showed up on a 107-degree day.

But it still hasn't sold.

Ray has two kids in college and a new house with its own mortgage. "Am I to the point of desperation? Not yet," she says, "but I want this house sold."

Was it only last summer that houses sold in a day, buyers were bidding up prices and sellers in some markets haggled down real-estate agents' commissions? Nationally, 39% more "existing" homes -- not new ones -- are on the market than last year this time. Real-estate agents are giving stunned sellers crash courses in marketing. Agents now command the full traditional 6% commissions -- sometimes more -- if only to use most of it as bait so they can offer up to 4% or 5% to a buyer's agent for a successful sale.

In the toughest markets -- including the Florida cities, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Stockton, Sacramento and San Diego -- incentive is the name of the game. One Florida agent offered a Mercedes-Benz with a house sale. Others dangle vacations or gift cards with thousands of dollars in gasoline.
Tip of the hat to Ben Jones.

7 comments:

norcal ray said...

Cut the price lady if you want it sold.

Agent Bubble said...

Stats on the house:
MLS #60074350
2/3/06 Listed for $480
3/29/06 Loweredd to $464,500
7/4/06 Expired (150 DOM)
7/5/06 Relisted (different company) for $449,950
7/10/06 Lowered to $440,000
7/12/06 Lowered to $439,000
7/28/06 Lowered to $427,000

Owners bought the house for $132,000 on 6/19/87

Owe somewhere around $180K on it give or take.

They paid nearly $600K for their current house (5/06) with 100% financing.

Happy in SF said...

Whoa! Not too bright.

Anonymous said...

I recently sold a home. I saw what was going on with the market and jumped right to low point. It sold. Sure I made a few bucks but I'm not a greed SOB and when I look back on the neighborhood. Most still haven't sold...the message has yet to get there.

~Caddis

drwende said...

Caddis, the only way to sell in a declining market is to jump to the lowest price and cut the other sellers' throats. That keeps the market going down -- but if the other houses had been priced where buyers wanted to buy, they'd have sold already, so it was going to go down with or without you.

If you managed to make a few bucks, good for you. I have nothing against people making money in real estate; my distaste for the bubble was how it set up so many people to lose money through hysteria.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to pay $480,000 for a house in StockTown, AKA Dodge City?

The seller is out of her freaking mind.

On the other hand, the house is large enough to house three immigrant families with 20 people and 7 cars.

drwende said...

And it will.

Both of my parents' neighbors in Moh-des-toh are extremely extended families; at least one set seems to throw beer bashes to pay the mortgage.