Selling a home is stressful. It’s almost always a task that is met with at least some anxiety by homeowners, investors, and realtors. Selling a home is a major upheaval for daily life and often emotional as well. When a home is put on the market, there is always hope that it will sell quickly, which is pretty common in today’s market. I’ve been a part of sales that went under contract the day of listing, the weekend after listing, and on the flip side… months after listing. You just never know what buyers will see or not see in your particular home that will make them take the plunge and make an offer.
I know that is not necessarily comforting, but it is realistic. However, there are certainly things you can do to make your home as appealing as possible to as many buyers as possible. Go back and look through my articles focused on staging, curb appeal, and valuable home updates for more advice than I’m sure you want regarding preparing your home for sale. Now, what if we do all of that and after listing, days, weeks, and even months go by without an offer? What then?
My focus in this blog is sharing five strategies that have worked for me and my clients when something about the property just isn’t clicking with buyers. It’s so hard to take a step back and reevaluate a listing. Everyone involved puts a lot of time and energy into the preparation for the sale, and when it doesn’t happen as quickly as anticipated, frustration, doubt, and of course more anxiety can result. My advice is to stay positive and concentrate on what you can do to make a sale happen.
- Offer a selling bonus to the agent who brings the buyer. This is a great motivator for agents who might have overlooked the property or showed other properties ahead of yours. Depending on the market, price of the home, and length of time for sale, determine a monetary amount you’re comfortable offering. Locally, we see bonus amounts from $1,000 ̶ $5,000, and agents are always very willing to bring clients in to tour the homes for which the bonus is offered.
- Price reduction. This strategy can be painful. We always try to price a home competitively and net the sellers as much as possible. However, if a home is not getting offers, it might be priced too high. Agents typically ask for feedback on the listing from other agents who bring clients for a tour, so that is a great way to gauge whether the price is right for market conditions. Reducing the price will open the listing to more buyers and potentially bring buyers back who toured and considered the home previously.
- Offer an allowance for updates. This strategy is only effective for properties that are older and maybe a bit outdated. I have written many times about the plight of buyers who are unable to see beyond what the home looks like at first glance. If you know the home needs fresh paint, new flooring, new fixtures, etc., then offer an allowance instead of reducing the price. I have even seen sellers get the work started prior to closing, which is great. Always allow the buyers to choose the contractor, and simply set a budget. This tactic could really help buyers see what the home “could be” with them as the owners.
- Go “old school” and get your agent to make sales calls. There was a time in real estate when agents actually had to get on the phone and call other agents to share property information about a new listing. There was a time when all of our wonderful real estate websites didn’t exist, and these sales calls were critical to get the word out about a listing. These sales calls are kind of a lost art, but I’d be willing to bet your agent would be happy to call and chat with his or her colleagues about the home to reignite interest. I’ve had to do this, and as silly as I felt during the first call, it got easier and was actually very effective. It’s certainly worth a try!
- Get creative with marketing. There are certain markets that showcase listings with an event or party. This idea can be risky and ineffective in a lot of places, but hear me out. In big cities, it’s common to invite agents, investors, and certain clients to a cocktail party, dinner, or brunch at a listing. If you’ve ever watched Million Dollar Listing, you’ve probably seen the most extravagant events of this type. It’s basically a glamorous open house. A scaled-down version might be a nice broker’s open or marketed luncheon that serves as an open house by invitation or for the public. The point is to garner attention for this listing that is not selling for whatever reason. Do something different. Get new people in the home to increase the potential of a sale.
I hope these ideas have both eased your mind and given some realistic options to try if you are struggling to sell a home. I’ve been there, so I understand how difficult this process can be. Again, I encourage you to do what you can to take action and see what happens in time. As always, feel free to drop me a line with questions or comments!