I often hear from frustrated sellers who wonder why their home hasn’t sold yet. In one case, a seller had interviewed myself and another agent and ended up hiring the other agent because her office was slightly closer to the seller’s home and she felt that might be important. After a month, she called me and said her Realtor hadn’t communicated with her, hadn’t much advertised her home, and she wanted to list with me instead, and she subsequently fired her other agent. Now her home is getting showings and is on the way to being sold soon.
There are generally 5 reasons why a home doesn’t sell:
4. Listing Agent
5. Marketing Plan (which includes ease of showing)
Let’s look at each of these issues in a little more detail:
1. Price. In our market, we are in what I often refer to as a “price war and beauty contest”. Price and condition are of the utmost importance. But above all else, price is what motivates most buyers in our economy – finding a value. When listing a home, it’s important to meet with a few Realtors, not only to compare their marketing plans but to view their CMAs (Comparative Market Analysis) and see what they feel is a fair price for your home. Sadly, some Realtors in our market will just tell a Seller what they want to hear. Meaning, a price that is higher than what their home will actually sell for, to get the Seller to list with them, rather than telling them the truth upfront and risk disappointing them with the news that perhaps their home is not worth as much as they thought. In fact, some agents just want the buyer calls that come in from the yard sign so they can sell them other homes. It’s important to compare and make sure you are working with a Realtor who is honest with you and tells you the truth, even if its not always what you want to hear. I always give my Sellers my honest opinion on market value, despite the fact that they may not list with me afterward, or may decide to rent it or stay in it awhile longer. Honesty is always, I believe, the best policy. I would rather tell you the truth upfront and get your home sold fast at market value, rather than have to beg and plead for a price reduction later and have the Seller feel lied to about what their home was worth in the first place.
2. Condition. As I mentioned, we are in a price war AND a beauty contest. Buyers want the best house in move-in ready condition at the best price. Wouldn’t you want it all too?! Try to look at your home through the eye’s of a buyer when preparing your home for sale. Are there lots of personal items around or can the buyer picture their items in your home? Is it de-cluttered? Magnets off the fridge? Think minimalist and put what you can in storage – after all, you are moving soon! Do the things you can to straight up your home and give it a bit of curb appeal. Oh and that purple room? You might want to paint it beige – any little thing could turn a potential buyer off so make it as neutral and pleasing to the eye as possible. When you choose not to paint that wall or redo the gardens, a buyer will look for any reason to deduct thousands off the price they are going to offer you for your home.
3. Location. When we talk about location, we are not just talking about whether its on a busy street or a cul-de-sac, we are also talking about things you might forget about – like is it near a train station, power lines, a cell phone tower? Recently I had a client who wanted to sell her home that was in a “D” rated high school district. It’s important to realize going into the sale that buyers with school aged children may not want a home in her area and it may take longer to sell.
4. Listing Agent. If the listing agent is rude, has a bad reputation for being difficult to work with to other agents, it could cause fewer showings on a home. Does your listing agent communicate with you as the Seller and call you back? If not, he or she probably doesn’t call back other agents either. Shocking, but true. For more on the listing agent and their duties, read on to number 5…
5. Marketing Plan & Ease of Showing. Your listing agent’s marketing plan should be comprehensive and include more than popping a For Sale sign up in the front yard. At Jamason & Associates, we have a complex internet marketing plan – where 90% of buyers are focusing their home search. We also use a variety of other techniques to advertise and sell our listings including high resolution digital photography, virtual tours, Featured listings on Realtor.com, and more. I can’t tell you how many times I hear from sellers “my agent didn’t advertise my home at ALL”. I have a degree in marketing and this is what I LOVE doing – it’s fun to me! Now let’s talk about ease of showings. Always I request notice for my Sellers when a buyer wants to view a property, but it does happen sometimes that a Buyer’s Agent will be in the neighborhood showing homes and call me and say “We were just driving by…can we see this home right now?” Yikes! This throws my Sellers into a panic when they are not prepared for showings. Again, you are moving, so its important to keep your home within 5 to 10 minutes of being “showing ready” at all times. Of course you have a right to say no, you’ll have to reschedule – but will they? Maybe, maybe not. Do your best to accommodate them whenever possible. What about a lockbox? Lockboxes are a Realtors best friend. They mean that if a Seller is at work or not home, we can “go and show” – which is great for everyone. If you put too many restrictions on the times and how your home can be shown, you may find that many agents just skip it all together and show the homes that say “Call listing agent to show – on lockbox!”
Still confused about why your Tampa home hasn’t sold? Call us today and let us help be the solution to your real estate needs.