While the market is shifting, many still consider it to favor sellers. Luxury property sales have begun to slow, but many affordably-priced homes are still moving quickly.
However, some agents are finding that this isn’t the case for them. When a home sits on the market for too long, sellers begin to dread that it will not move at all. If you have a listing that isn’t receiving any offers, even in a seller’s market, it’s time to re-evaluate what’s happening and see what you can change. Here are three tips to help you get started.
Often, the reason a listing isn’t moving is due to poor pricing. Setting the right price is one of the most important factors of selling a home. Too often, sellers will set a price based on what they feel their home is worth or what they want from it. This can cause an issue, especially if they’re investing emotional value into the home instead of looking at the actual value. To make sure you’re pricing in the right bracket, review comparable listings in your area. You should also see what previous homes have sold for to make sure you’re not overpricing.
This can become a challenge when sellers refuse to see that their home isn’t worth as much as they think. If the property needs serious maintenance (like a new roof) or the kitchen looks like it’s from a 1970s sitcom, buyers will be expecting a lower price. While it is possible to reduce the price as the home sits on the market, prospective buyers will think there’s something wrong with it and avoid it altogether. Instead, your best bet is setting the right price from the beginning and sharing the importance of this with your clients.
- Listing Photos
Because the majority of real estate sales start online, listing photos are usually the first thing prospective buyers will see. In fact, 86 percent of buyers believe viewing a property online is the most useful part of their home search. If the pictures don’t present the home positively, viewers will automatically exclude it from their search. Suggest sellers hire a professional photographer to make sure they’re getting the highest quality pictures for their listing.
Let clients know that they only have one chance to make a first impression, so these photos are important to get right the first time. If they haven’t done so, staging could be a great addition to show off the assets of a home to potential buyers. If homeowners show resistance, show them a before and after photo from another property you’ve staged and ask them which home they would rather see. Chances are they’ll start to understand the importance of presenting the best side of their home.
- Uninsurable or Unable to Lend
If the home doesn’t meet the standards set by insurance companies, it can be very challenging to sell. Similarly, the Federal Housing Agency and many other lending companies will not issue a mortgage if the proper guidelines are not met. This means that the only qualified buyers will be those who can pay with cash and are willing to make all of the necessary repairs.
Another option is for the homeowners to make the necessary repairs. This can often turn into an uncomfortable conversation, but there is a way to engage with the seller to talk about repairs without being confrontational. For example, take a walk with your clients through the house, and if you see a stain from a leak or a faulty switch, say “huh.” They will likely ask, “Do you think I should fix that?” This is your opportunity to approach the topic of repairs by simply stating, “I would.” If the repairs are bigger and the home has been sitting on the market for a while, you can also bring this up to sellers as being a reason their home isn’t receiving any offers.
To make sure that you are selling those listings, you should try out programs such as Homes.com’s City Sponsor Ads that allow active buyers searching for a home online to interact with you. By prominently displaying your listings among the first search results in your city, your listings will be in a great position to sell.
Mark Mathis is vice president of Sales for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.