Morning Headlines: Why Don’t Some Suburban Homes Sell?

Homes can linger on the market for three years without a bite.


The Inquirer’s Al Heavens reports today on the less sunny side of the Philadelphia-area housing market’s street: towns like Trevose, Oreland and Warrington. There, Heavens spoke with three would-be sellers who haven’t had any luck in a market that’s supposedly on the upswing.

The Trevose owners have had their home on the market for more than three years, even at the very low asking price of $92,000.

The three-bedroom Oreland Tudor has an asking price of $450,000.

“It’s a nice house with no deferred maintenance issues and several upgrades,” [the owner] said, adding that “after a small flurry of showings immediately post-listing, there’s been radio silence.”

In Warrington, Wirsch’s 1949, three-bedroom, 21/2-bath house on 2.93 acres in the Central Bucks District has been listed since April for $355,000. There have been just two offers, both in the low $300,000s.

The realtors Heavens speaks with points to a few factors that could help or hinder sales for these folks:

– Size of the firm. Bigger firms have more listings, therefore drawing more eyes to websites, and more experience in social media and marketing.
– Flexibility. If one kind of approach isn’t working, agents need to switch it up, possibly changing the way a home is categorized in the MLS, target-marketing, altering the price structure with a higher ask plus seller assist.
– Appropriate pricing. This is an obvious one, but one seller seems to have been bedeviled by a too-high ask. Prices should be comparable to other homes in the area.
– Reliance on Zillow/Trulia. The two sites don’t have the most up-to-date information, but sellers use them anyway.
– Accepting the right offer. In the Warrington case, realtors felt the seller should have accepted one of the offers, which were probably on target.

Area real estate market is recovering, but not for everyone [Inquirer]

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Four of Eight Homes Are Up on Race Street [Naked Philly]
Trump Plaza Confirms Plan to Close in September [Philly Mag]
Strange Odor Sends 100 Montco Residents Fleeing Homes [NBC Philadelphia]
Changing Skyline: Is ‘over-success’ in development hurting Phila.? [Inquirer]