I think we’ve all seen it: the home in the neighborhood that’s been up for sale for what seems like forever. Week after week drags by, the for-sale sign still in the front yard. At first, the home had lots of showings, with almost a constant stream of potential buyers either driving by and grabbing a flyer or, with agent in tow, viewing the interior. Slowly, that parade of buyers dwindled until the home was rarely shown.
Imagine yourself as the owner of the home. How discouraging it must be to want or need to move on in life but be unable to because your home is languishing on the market. Why isn’t it selling? There are a number of reasons a home may sit on the market for far too long – chief among them is that it’s overpriced. Let’s take a look at four ways to regain traction and get more feet through the door.
1. Drop the price
When a home isn’t selling, the first thing to consider is that it’s priced too high for the current market. This may have been done deliberately, either by the homeowner or his or her agent, or accidentally. Markets change quickly, so it’s important to reevaluate what’s going on in your corner of Billings. Check the sold prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood (or within a 1-mile radius) to determine what buyers are willing to pay in the current market. Lowering your asking price may give your listing a fresh lease on life and get the necessary traffic flowing.
2. Spiff it up
If your agent isn’t soliciting feedback from other agents on what their clients think of the home, he or she is falling down on the job. Ask your agent to follow up with every agent who has shown your home to buyers.
Then, use the feedback to make changes in its condition and presentation. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders but be prepared to switch out old floorcoverings or to update window treatments and lighting.
We have an amazing staging program here at Realty Billings but if you aren’t listed with us, consider hiring a stager. Or, try staging yourself by getting ideas from other homes for sale in the area.
3. Beef up the marketing plan
Ask your agent to show you, in detail, what he or she is doing to market your home. If all that’s been done is a sign in the yard, lockbox on the door and an MLS listing, consider firing the agent. Depending on the price range of your home, even the best sellers’ market requires a robust marketing plan. You’re paying the listing agent a big chunk of your home equity. Demand that you get the service you deserve.
If you’ve followed number one and two, above, new photos should be taken so that buyers who search online can see that your home has been updated and priced according to market value.
4. Are you flexible enough?
Our listing clients tell us that the worst part of having a home on the market is maintaining a model-home appearance, despite having a family, pets and. . .well. . .a LIFE. It’s tempting to put restrictions on when a home can be shown to potential buyers, but it’s not wise, especially if you need a quick sale. Try to remain flexible in the hours when the home can be shown and when buyers’ agents call for that last-minute appointment at dinner time.
Even in the best of sellers’ markets there are slow periods so if you’ve done all you can to ensure a competitive price and the home is in good shape, relax and give it more time.