I own a home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (actually on an island in the Chesapeake Bay)…it is a beautiful, 4 year old, 2,650 square foot end unit townhouse. It is the largest and nicest townhouse in the newest development on the island. We have it listed with a Realtor with a good reputation that ‘talks a good game’. My wife has held an open house every Saturday and Sunday since the first week of September. The Realtor doesn’t do open houses (at least she hasn’t since the first week). She has scheduled “Realtor Open Houses” for the local Realtors to preview. So far we’ve not had a single Realtor/customer showing - none, nada, zilch. I think it’s priced right and we did lower the price once to garner interest…I don’t really have any room to reduce the price further.

Any thoughts/suggestions?


I would want to know what the sales velocity was in the neighborhood, and average days on the market, so I knew what to expect, if my house was priced at retail.

Of course, there’s the retail price, and then there’s the “sell it yesterday” price.

Evidently, you’re not offering the “sell it yesterday” price. So, you wait.

BTW, having the biggest, best, and nicest in the area, just means that everything else looks cheaper, and more of a bargain, by comparison. This, I can only guess, will be a pride of ownership sale.

Otherwise, if you can’t lower the price, and still pay the agent, then perhaps offering financing is the better route. This way, the price can be just about anything, as long as the terms cover the underlying terms.

I don’t know the price point of your house, so I can’t use actual numbers, but I would offer no-qualifying, seller financing at 10-15% above retail, and finance for at least 60-months, and get 10% down.

I would offer a discount for early payoff, and charge an interest rate that continues to motivate the buyer to refinance the deal.

There’s lot of details to add here, like loan servicing, and whether to sell on a Land Contract, or not. And how to properly insure the property; document the buyer’s payments; report interest to the IRS; and set the buyer up to succeed in refinancing you out of the deal.

Otherwise, lower the price, until the thing sells, and consider paying an agent out of pocket …or pay the buyer out of pocket, if the price is less than the mortgage.

There’s other “options” I’m sure, but most require tearing up your credit, six ways from Sunday.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for the input Jay…I can’t afford to take too big a bath on this…

Like I say, the Realtor talks a good gain but ZERO showings?

We are strongly considering a new Realtor but I’m not convinced that will help. It will ‘refresh’ the listing, though.


Hi Keith,

        We have done a lot of marketing and advertising to help supplement MLS. With that said we have offered real estate agents a $10 dollar Visa card to cover gas or expenses for realtors to bring and show qualified buyers. We used the honor system and if the lock box was opened by "Jane Smith" and Jane stated she had qualified clients with a mortgage pre-approval we mailed Jane a $10.00 Visa gift card.

The agent will have to sign a clip board and leave their phone number so you can call and get their address and verbal statement they brought qualified clients through your house. You might get some feed back when you call them and you should be pretty diligent about sending the cards fairly quickly as word spreads in real estate offices about incentives.

This actually picked up showings significantly and because more buyers had seen the property we had an offer within 17 days of starting this offer. We generally figure we would spend $300 to $500 dollars on the program which also gave the agent incentive to tell about the nice house they walked through to other agents in their office. (That’s 30 to 50 additional showings)

The agent can’t offer this but you as homeowner can. Your agent should be able to send an email blast to realtors within a 20 or 30 mile area and announce your incentive plan.

Good luck,


What does your realtor suggest? Nothing?

Fire them and come up with your own marketing plan.

What are the demographics of your island? Retirees? Work from Home? Commuters?
What is the average DOM?

Craigslist ad to all the nearby metro areas. Even some distant metro areas.

Does Maryland have better taxes then surrounding states?
If yes, market to those states.

Send a mailer to realtor offices offering 10% commission.

You also need to consider the timing of the listing. This is the slowest time of the year in real estate. People are focused on getting their kids back in school. They are building up for the holidays and they rarely want to move during winter (if it is in an area with snow). That is probably the reason you have not had any showings. Just give it time, they will come - even if you have to wait until spring.

I’d second offering more buyer’s agent commission. But, I would structure it a little different since the OP said there isn’t much wiggle room. Find a flat fee realtor to list it on the MLS for $1,000 or whatever they charge. Then offer a 6% buyer’s broker commission instead of it being split 3% to the buyer and 3% to the seller. I’ve tried that before and have gotten better responses on higher end properties from buyer’s agents.

Realtors don’t sell houses people buy houses. All houses sell in 30 days or less unless either the price or buikding condition is not right. Don’t focus on the realtor. If you can’t lower tbe price make the house worth the higher amount.

Pricing is more than just establishing what you need to pay off the mortgage. Homes do not have a value of $X. Homes have a range of value. Not all buyers will offer the same price for your home, but when you throw out the highs and the lows, all the numbers in the middle (of lets say 100 credible buyers) would establish the range.

Where your home is priced in this range makes all the difference. For example, lets say the range of a home is $498,000 to $551,000. Anything in this range would represent a fair price for the home. This home has 3 price points when it comes to funding. $500k, $525k and $550K thresholds.

Where to price the home? Look at the competing listings within each pricing bracket. Look at their features, amenities, quality of construction etc. Where does your home fit in? Should it be priced at the low end offering buyers the most bang for their buck? Are there less properties in the $550k - $600k price range than in the $500 - $525k range. If so, then even if your home is not as good as the high range, you could create a quicker sale from these buyers.

I have seen homes that sold much quicker when the home was priced HIGHER rather than lower. Crossing pricing barriers made all the difference.

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