You put your home up for sale and what happened? The listing expired without a sale. Now you’re wondering what went wrong and what to do next.
You were so hopeful. You thought a sign would be plopped in your front yard, and home buyers would flock. You were shocked and discouraged when this didn’t happen.
What should you do now? First, don’t freak out. There are things you can do if you really want results. The home sale you want is still well within reach. Although you may feel discouraged, if you still want or need to sell, make a renewed commitment to do what it takes to market your home effectively.
Here are four strategies to get your home sold: communication, price, condition and marketing.
- Communication – When looking for a new agent, find one who will ask the right questions and listen to you! When relisting, the agent should ask for your feedback on why your home did not sell previously. A good agent will listen to your answer to craft a new marketing plan, and to meet and exceed your expectations. Additionally, they should be able to address your frustrations and concerns.
Teamwork between seller and agent is key to knowing how to alter a marketing plan for success.
2. Price – This is the most common culprit for the lack of a sale. An incorrectly priced home attracts the wrong buyers or even worse – none at all.
Market conditions probably have changed since you initially listed your home. Homes may have sold, additional homes may be listed now, mortgage rates may have moved up or down. You need a new real estate agent to prepare an up-to-date, competitive market analysis – a review of recently sold homes and those currently for sale that are comparable. Your price should be close to what homes like yours have actually sold for recently, rather than to current listing prices of comparable homes. Although your home will likely sell for its real market value, by pricing it closer to selling prices, not asking prices, it will sell faster.
Activity without offers often indicates overpricing. Remember, any home, no matter what condition it is in, will sell for the right price. What price is “right” depends on market conditions, competition and the home’s condition.
- Condition – Is your home someone else’s dream home? When buyers enter, do they think, “I love this place!” A home in move-in condition invites a sale. Preparing your home for sale starts with actually getting your home ready to shine and stand out from the competition for all buyers to see. Have you fixed all the little squeaks and drips, cleaned and painted, decluttered, brightened up and concentrated on outside curb appeal?
Or are you hesitant to take care of major items? For example, did you offer an allowance for the new carpet instead of installing it? While prospective buyers are trying to imagine what new carpet will look and feel like, they likely are discounting the price still further for the worn carpet underfoot, or they are having trouble visualizing. A home in like-new condition sells faster and gets the best price because it outshines the competition.
4. Marketing – To paraphrase an old saying: Trying to sell something “without advertising (marketing) is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.” Your secret to success is a carefully crafted marketing plan that exposes your property to the widest possible pool of prospective buyers.
Elements often include: direct promotion to other agents and brokers; listing in an area-wide computer network; an advertising program that generates buyers for similar properties in your price range; open houses; and other unique activities designated to catch attention.
A good marketer should be able to highlight the positives about your property whether it’s near a park, within walking distance of a café, or it’s a country home sitting on acres. Positives could also be the updated kitchen or extra entertaining space in the basement. Additionally, good marketers should be able to create a sense of urgency and hit on emotion by creating a warm image. Buyers have to be able to visualize themselves living there.
Don’t show off your home until marketing plans, terms, price and condition are set. Buyers are out there right now looking for properties. Put your home in buyer-ready condition before listing it again, and it won’t go unsold.
By Bonnie Marlow, Realtor, Cisco Realty