Six Months on the Market and Still for Sale.

Sound familiar?  You are not alone.  Days on the market have increased due to fewer buyers in the market place and more inventory to choose from.  A nasty combination, I know!  Couple this with foreclosures and short sales and the lower prices that occur as a result, and selling has become a real nightmare.

You like your agent, but they’ve had the house listed for six months without many showings and certainly no offers except the one that was $75,000 under asking!!  Do you stick with that agent, or try someone new?  That is a very good question!

Your agent has spent considerable time and energy, not to mention money, marketing your property.  An agent’s cash outlay is considerable when beginning the marketing process.  If your agent has been marketing your home and working to expose it to the brokerage community as well as to buyers, then they probably deserve to continue marketing your property.

Does your agent keep in touch with you?  Are you discussing market conditions a couple of times a month?  You should be.  As the market fluctuates, sellers need to know their competition.  Insist that your agent set you up on an MLS search.  This is easy to do and a great way to keep abreast of what is going on in your community.   Know the homes that are new to the market and know the ones that have offers on them.  Is your home priced accordingly? Many sellers don’t want to hear it, but, it is ALL about price.

Selling a home in a good market is challenging.  Selling a home in our current market is unbelievably stressful!  First of all, prices are considerably lower than they were 5 years ago.  Be realistic when pricing your home.  Don’t forget, Buyers buy by comparing properties.  Check out your competition!

If your agent has exposed your home all over the web, helped staged your home, returned your calls and emails promptly, provided showing follow-up, had broker’s opens, held open houses, sent out post cards to the neighborhood, taken great photos of your home, kept in contact with you, in other words, has done the job you have hired them to do, stick with them!   There haven’t been a ton of buyers out there for the past couple of years.  It is time to reevaluate.  There is a reason your home hasn’t sold.  Take a good long look at the competition, the answer is there.

Your agent has been working for you!  Agents can’t make a buyer appear out of thin air.  They can, however, help you by doing all in their power to get you the exposure you need in order to be the next home that sells in your price range.  It’s a team effort.  You and your agent must work together to achieve this goal.  Best of luck!  Our Spring market is here!!

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Do open houses REALLY not work?

So, you’ve listed your home and your agent says, “I don’t do open houses”.  Hmmmmmmm.  What is that all about?  Isn’t that part of selling houses?  Yes!  Absolutely!!

Open houses are always a great source of business for me.  Not only do I pick up potential buyers and sellers at open houses, the home that is being held open gets amazing exposure.  How is that possible if only 2 or 3 groups of people walk through the house?   That is simple.  By, “word of mouth advertising”.  Let’s say 4 groups of people walk through the open house.  Those casual lookers mention the property to 3 of their friends.  Now 12 people know about the property.  Those people may casually mention your property to someone else.  Do you see where I am going with this?   Without that open house, no one had any firsthand knowledge about the property.

Many times the buyers walking through your open house will already be working with another agent.  That is great!!  We know these people are serious buyers.  Most likely their home is already on the market with their agent.  Finding the home of their dreams may just encourage those buyer/sellers to lower their asking price so they can purchase your property.  I routinely contact the agent that that particular buyer is working with.  That agent needs to know that their client showed interest in my listing.

Pictures on the internet are great.  But, if you ask me, we have to go back to the old-fashioned way of selling houses.   Putting a buyer in a house is the very best way to get a home sold.  There is a certain feeling that a person experiences when they walk into a house that could potentially be “their home”.  It is impossible to expect photographs to convey that “certain something”.

People love to talk about houses!  They love to look at houses.   Let free “word of mouth advertising” work for you.  Insist that your agent hold your property open at least once every 6 weeks.  I do opens more frequently than that.  There are always new buyers coming in to the market.  Those buyers need to be able to physically walk through your home in order to get a good sense of the house.  Holding open houses is a great way to get additional exposure for your house.

As always, feel free to contact me at fwallace@firstweber.com with any real estate questions.

~Fran