I know, appreciate, and sympathize with seller's concerns about the current market. I am also a home owner and we are all in the same situation. Here are some ideas:
1) Lower Your Price. I know, I know, you don't want to hear it, but every house on the market should have lowered its price in the last 3 months. If you have not done so then you are most likely overpriced, period. We all wish we could sell our houses for the peak prices we had 2 years ago (me too!) Unfortunately, those days are over and unlikely to return in the near future. That is not doom and gloom, its just reality (big difference!) It is unlikely that a buyer will walk into any house these days and pay a premium because they just have to have it. If you want to sell your house, you must be realistic about price. If you really NEED to sell your house, then you better make sure you are the best thing out there in your price range. This is a time where it is crucial that you detach your ego from your house price. Talk to your broker, and then listen to what they say! I am often asked for advice but then owners disregard it if it is not what they want to hear.Sellers are defensive and still hoping for a better outcome. Every day I talk to sellers who refuse to lower their price, but then say they will negotiate once they get an offer. I can not stress this enough: that this is not the way to go, its not working right now! You need to attract buyers to come look at your house with a price reduction. Every buyer is asking if prices have been reduced BEFORE they come to look. They dont want to see houses where sellers are not realistic and negotiable and the only way they have proof that a seller is realistic is by seeing a lowered price. In general, brokers have sent all the current listings to their buyers. Brokers are looking for price reductions as the only way to reach out with a fresh approach to their potential buyers right now. The brokers want to see something that has a Wow price on it, and then they will make calls and try to get people to come up and look. Here is a recent example: I just lowered the price on this amazing house over 10%, from $2.6mil to $2.3mil.
It originally started at $3.3mil (with another broker). When I reduced the price, I got 4 showings last weekend! Several of those have indicated interest or asked for more information. Thanksgiving weekend is usually slow and the only listings of mine that were shown last weekend are those that have had recent price reductions.
This week I lowered the price for the second time on this fantastic house down to $2,795,000. It in Roxbury on 36 acres surrounded by land trust:
Just after the price reduction, a buyer I had been talking to about the house has called an booked an appointment to see it today.
2) Private Price Reductions. Another alternative (though an inferior one) is to have your broker call all the people who have had positive showings on the house and offer a private price reduction for those clients. (Of course, you have to hope your broker keeps good records of who has seen the house, many don't, but I do!) I'm making calls like this for one of my clients now.
3) Consider Renting Your House.Many area sellers (including several of my clients) have locked up good tenants for 1-2 year periods recently. This helps the general market, as it takes inventory off the market for sale. It helps the homeowner to cover their costs and wait it out until the market turns, and more imprtatntly, renters often become buyers and maybe the tenant will make an offer to purchase the house during the lease or at the end of it!
4) Offer Owner Financing. This really works best when the current owner does not have a mortgage, or has a smaller mortgage that they can afford to pay off in order to attract a buyer to their property. Most of my land offerings now are offering owner financing. Seethe land listings on my website! www.staceymatthews.com