Your search results

The Dirt on Why Your House Did Not Sell

Posted by John Hathorn on May 18, 2017
| 0

While radio station surfing recently I stumbled upon a segment between songs where the radio host began talking about how her house has been on the market for a while and how her realtor suggested that she drop the price since she has not received any offers.  The host goes on to say that she did not agree  to lower the price and instead accused her agent of  just wanting a fast commission, and that the house just needs a “specific buyer.”

This is not uncommon thinking with some Sellers.  In regards to “specific buyers” that term usually means that the property’s features are not widely desirable and not easily fixed. Most of the time it has to do with the floor plan. Some remodeling and room additions are just too unique for the largest general group of Buyers.  “You can only do so much with a 60X150 lot” is an explanation one architect gave me when I told him that some Buyers have complained that many of the 90402 floor-plans are the same. Builders North of Montana have come to know that most Buyers want the majority of bedrooms on the same level. If a home in the area has bedrooms on several different levels it is usually harder to sell.  Not all pockets of Los Angeles have Buyers with the same needs. Generally, Buyers looking in a specific area want what all the other buyers in that area want and need. In the north Santa Monica area, Buyers tend to want 4 bedrooms upstairs, each with a private bath, the master bedroom should have his and hers closets and toilet rooms, a media room, a gym, a wine storage room, and a big kitchen-family room combo. If the home you are trying to sell does not have these features, the price will have to be adjusted downward. And I’m sorry to say, if your property hasn’t sold in six months and it has been exposed in the MLS, it most likely is overpriced. Within the first 30 days, especially North of Montana, if you have not received a purchase offer, you probably won’t without a price adjustment. Of course this assumes you’ve hired a respectable listing agent. A truly established agent isn’t going to just tell you what you want to hear regarding price. They will instead back up their suggested list price with a comparable market analysis. An out-of-area friend of mine interviewed five different top agents from his area. All but one agent suggested a price that was far less than the seller wanted to hear.  When the last, far less experienced agent promised to get it sold for hundreds of thousands more than the others, the seller was thrilled and hired her, but after about 90 days, and while other nearby homes were selling, my friend’s house was languishing on the market with barely any showings, let alone offers. Great marketing and photography and catered open houses are nice but all the cakes and cookies in the world won’t out sell an overpriced home.

Having a problem finding a specific buyer for your property? Call me for a no obligation discussion and my recommendations as to how to get your property sold.


Two new listing has come to the market:

333 17th StreetModern farmhouse. Approx. 4,730 sqft with today’s most requested floorplan- 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths. Listed at $6,395,000. Completed in 2017.  Last sold November 18, 2015 for $3,550,000. Listed by Pence Hathorn Silver.

514 9th StreetTraditional New England style home with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Nice backyard with pool, spa and BBQ, perfect entertainment area. Listed at $4,850,000.  Last sold June 12, 2012 for $3,500,000.


Four homes went under contract last week:

835 San Vicente– 5 bedrooms and 7 baths, $5,750,000. This rare 20,000+ sq. ft. lot value has been off and on the market since late 2014. Once asking $9,450,000; went back on the market for $4M less than originally offered. Bankruptcy Court Approval and Overbid date was May 16th. It will be interesting to see which of the dozen usual suspect developers won this one.  Last sold in 2002 for $2,200,000.

528 16th Street – Listed at $4,250,000. Traditional two story home with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, approximately 3,411 sq ft. 50X150 lot with a pool and spa. Last sold June 6, 2008 for $3,410,000. Only 2 weeks on the market!

415 23rd StreetOnly 1 week on the market!  Traditional 3 bedroom and 3 bath home, listed at $3,795,000.  Nice private backyard with tall hedges and swimming pool. Last sold December 31, 1985 for $545,000.

628 20th Street – Located in Gillette Regent Square, listed at $3,695,000.  Developer opportunity. Property has 5 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, also includes a swimming pool. Last sold August 5, 1992 for $1,065,000.


No closed sales to report:


Call me for a couple of upcoming attractions that are not yet listed in the MLS, priced from $1.9 million to $16 million.  And….here are a few that we have listed in the MLS:

920 Alta Avenue – 6 bedrooms and 6.5 baths $6,395,000

323 Adelaide Drive – 4 bedrooms and 6 baths $6,195,000

1309 Pine Street8,213 sqft. lot, $2,049,000

426 Mesa Road – Vacant Land, $1,440,000

1238 12th Street #4 – 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths $899,000

435 Arnaz Drive #101 – 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths $877,000

Compare Listings