Have you ever listed a home for sale that didn’t sell? Not only didn’t sell, but it was rarely shown. Or perhaps it was shown many times, but you STILL never got an offer. If you have ever experienced this, you probably were very disappointed and wondered ‘why’. And probably blamed the Realtor too, right?! Each home is different and there could be a hundred possible reasons why yours didn’t sell. In my experience however, there are usually two common denominators when a home doesn’t sell.
First, was your home priced to sell? And by this I don’t mean what you wanted to net from the sale. Priced to sell means your home is priced at a realistic number that will compete favorably with the other comparable homes on the market. The goal here is that your listing is perceived as the best value in your price range. In a second-home market like Cape Cod, Buyers that come to look at properties don’t have an unlimited time frame. They choose the homes they want to see in the allotted time they have. If there are many listings for sale in your price range and yours is not the best value or even close to it, your home will get scrapped before anyone even sees it.
Along these same lines, today’s Buyers are shopping for a home online first. Their computer is their window as they scroll through all the available listings for sale. If you don’t have an attractive lead photo that grabs your attention and a complete, compelling description, the Buyer will just click ‘NEXT’! You absolutely HAVE to have great photos, and they should also be changed out often to keep the listing fresh. If it’s the middle of winter when the house is listed, your agent should be out there taking new pictures as soon as there are leaves on the trees. It really aggravates me to see snow pictures in a listing in June. So many Sellers never follow up to see how their home is being represented online, I don’t understand that.
Speaking of photos, there also should be the maximum number of photos allowed on each website. If 30 photos are allowed, there should be 30 photos. And unless your property needs MAJOR renovation and does not show well inside, there should be a virtual tour or slide show too. I don’t care if your list price is 300K or 3 Million dollars, you deserve equal treatment. Your ad copy should also be the maximum allowed, well-written and descriptive with no spelling errors. Some of the descriptions I see are nothing less than pathetic!
Those two things are usually why homes do not sell. Their list price is not realistic, and/or the listing is not well-represented online. I don’t care what your house needs in the way of updates, whether it’s a new roof, landscaping, new bathrooms – you need to price it with this in mind. That is why it’s important for you to interview a number of Realtors and get their suggested list price and projected sale price for your home before listing. Once you do this, DO NOT choose the one who quotes you the highest list and projected sale price! This is called ‘Buying a Listing’ and unfortunately, it’s common in the industry. Study the comparable sales offered in your market analysis and try to be as open-minded and unbiased as possible. I know this is not easy as nearly every Seller has some type of emotional attachment to their home. Every Seller also WANTS a certain price for their house. But, IT IS WHAT IT IS, numbers don’t lie! Do you really want months (or years) to pass while you hold to an unrealistic price? Waiting for the right Buyer to happen along who will pass up all the other homes in your price range, and pay YOUR price that is way above market value?! Would YOU do this as a Buyer?
Price, location, and condition all need to be in-line when selling a home. That’s first. Second, your listing needs to receive the very best representation and presentation possible. Do these two things, and you won’t have another house that lingers unsold on the market.