8 REASONS YOUR HOME ISN’T SELLING
While the real estate market shifts and fluctuates, one thing is always true: Having a listing sitting on the market is not good. Although interest rates, neighborhood size, and buyer demand all influence inventory availability…as the listing agent, YOU can take steps to avoid stagnation and improve the chances of attracting a buyer to the home.
Let’s discuss eight reasons why listings might not sell and how to solve the problem:
- BAD LISTING PHOTOS
Quality listing photos are essential and pretty much REQUIRED for making the all-important first impression of the listing on potential buyers. If photos have poor lighting, low resolution, show surfaces containing clutter and mess, and obviously taken by the agent with their cell phone (insert bathroom selfie here LOL) buyers are highly likely to turn their attention to the next home — especially in a higher inventory market, like we are seeing today. If hiring a professional Real Estate Photographer isn’t in the budget (which it should be.. .after all, you are going to be getting a sweet commission, so a few hundered dollars to market your listing should be easy) flood the home with as much natural light as possible. Open up those blinds and turn on all the lights. Put your camera, or even you phone, on a tripod, make sure its level and captures as much of the room as possible.
- ILLOGICAL MLS PHOTO ORDER
On real estate websites that feature listings, buyers only see the first photo of each property. The first photo MUST be compelling enough to incite curiosity and prompt them to click for more. Choose the best image of the front of the home for the first photo, and order the rest of the photos in a way that makes sense. For example: front of property, kitchen, dining area, living room, bathrooms, bedrooms, den, and backyard. The order of the photos should flow and practically walk the buyer through the home in a natural order. Close-ups of faucets, decor, and accessories are a waste of space. With the limited number of photos allowed in the listing, use them wisely.
- UNDERWHELMING PROPERTY DESCRIPTION
Remember, a home is a lifestyle — not just a house — and the power of a well-written property description should NOT be underestimated. You have the opportunity to inform and excite the buyer by highlighting key features and attributes of the home (and surrounding area)! Try to consider what makes the listing unique, and what features are desirable to a variety of buyers. Describe the home as if the buyer is blindfolded and you have to explain to them what they are “seeing”. Use sensory words and details to really explain the feelings, colors, textures and what it would be like living there.
- POOR CURB APPEAL
Optics matter. Potential buyers’ first impression of a home is from the street, so it’s critical that it looks well-kept, as it is often taken as an indicator of what’s inside. A front yard overgrown with weeds, peeling paint, and unwelcoming entry will force faint-hearted buyers to turn away almost immediately. It might seem obvious, but taking care of these before listing the home is truly essential in drawing more traffic through the door. We want the preview to start with oohs and ahhhs, building that anticipation for them to get through the front door, and not the start of a honey-do-list…otherwise they enter the home just looking for more negatives than positives.
- OPTIMISTIC PRICING
Overpricing is the NUMBER ONE REASON sellers have difficulty finding a buyer. If the listing looks overpriced compared to similar properties in the area, buyers won’t bother checking it out! Is the average price per square foot in alignment with the area? Are value-boosting features clearly and prominently called out? Too many times I see homes listed based on a number the seller wants to see or net in the end- but there’s more math to this equation. Knowing the surrounding market numbers and keeping the list price within those boundaries WILL bring the potential buyers. Don’t think that if a buyer wanted to offer less, they would- the idea is to attract them to the home with the RIGHT PRICE, so they don’t immediately go into LOW BALL mode.
- AMORPHOUS ROOMS
Some homes have unique floor plans that are desirable to a smaller percentage of people, which can make for a harder sell. Staging the home to help buyers visualize the potential for each room is helpful, as is making recommendations on how to personalize the space. Don’t assume the buyer, or their agent, will understand the homes layout just by your MLS photos. Stage the home in the way it was architecturally designed to be… If there is a formal dining room, stage it as that! If every room in the home is serving a different purpose, like offices and workout rooms, the buyer will leave confused as to whether or not if finds their needs…4 bedrooms? Let them see 4 bedrooms!
- NON-EXISTENT STAGING
Showing an empty listing is challenging, but so is showing a home cluttered with family magnets and memorabilia. A balance must be struck between having enough furniture in the home to indicate how the space can be used, but not so much that it distracts the buyer from imagining their own lives in the home. A well-staged property can actually increase the perceived value of a home. In fact, more than half of listing agents report that staging helps homes sell faster, so it can be well worth the investment — especially if the sellers are in a hurry. The cost of hiring a professional stager is substantially less than taking that first price drop, and the offers will most likely be at or above the list price. Imaging walking into a builders model home to find it empty and lacking life…do you think they would sell as many homes?
- LACK OF NETWORKING OR USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
One of the benefits of using an agent when selling a home is their large network of local buyers agents at their fingertips. Attending a local broker’s open house is a great way to pitch a listing, mingle with other agents, and learn more about the buyers they’re working with to see if any are a match. Additionally, posting about new listings on Facebook or Instagram, accompanied by relevant hashtags, is a great way to connect with potential buyers. If your agent is not utilizing the power of social media, you may need to consider your representation. You need to meet buyer where they are…and they are on-line on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube just waiting to find the perfect home.
So if your listing is not moving, you may want to consider trying a new approach…