You have received a lot of very good advice. Here's my two cents. There are 4 things that need to happen in order to sell in today's market.
1) Product must be in "Better Homes and Gardens" condition.
2) Price must be at or below market value. Preferably below in this Buyer driven market.
3) Advertising must be comprehensive and aggressive.
4) Incentives should be offered to Buyers and Realtors with the Buyers.
If you do all of the above you are going to sell quickly. If you do 3 of the 4 you are much less likely to sell. If you do 2 or 1 you will always be beaten out by the competition. By the way Product and Price (or the relationship between the two) must be right or forget about it.
I've heard this question a lot recently. While there is no clear cut way to tell if your agent has been derelict in their duties, or if fickle buyers are seeing something that you are not, I generally give people the following advice:
1. Trust your agent. If you do not 100% completely trust the Realtor you are working with, you should not be working with them. The reason I say this is because of the position you are in. You never want to walk away from something as major as the sale of a home and wonder is you could have done it better with a different agent.
2. Take a realistic look at your home. With an objective eye, look at your home, how it presents itself, and how other people might see it. Make sure there are no reasons that someone would walk away without at least putting in an offer. Reasons can vary a great deal, and include weird smells, scuffed walls, stained carpet, chipped tile, etc. Buyers can take these as signs of bigger problems, even if there aren't any.
3. Use every marketing tool available. Hopefully you and your agent have had a sit-down or two and discussed how and where your property is being marketed. If you have had a paucity of showings, this may be a symptom of an under-marketed property (It could also mean many other things as well). You and your agent should agree on how and where your property is marketed.
Now, for a more direct answer, you or your agent should be calling the Realtors who represented the buyers of the properties you identified to see what made them pick the other homes over yours. If the deals are closed, the Realtors should not have a problem letting you know if your house was in the running or not, and if not, why. Also, you can look at how those properties were marketed and see what, if any, differences there are from your marketing plan. In addition, ask your Realtor for feedback on the showings of your home (i.e. what people said during the showing, and what the other Realtor said after the showing) to let you know if there have been any negative features that have been repeatedly noted.
Good luck! Hope this helps!
If you are getting showings and your agent is following up for feedback, as good agents normally do, you should consider this information as advice.
Evaluate your marketing plan relative to these three basics:
1. Price-price it so that people feel they can't afford to walk away
2. Visibility-How is your home being presented to the public? advertising, open houses, internet presence
3. Curb appeal-Does your home catch the eye of people passing by? It should have the kind of appeal that causes people to want to get inside the home to see more....................
In the current market serious buyers have so many opportunities they can afford to be very selective. As previously said, you are not in this alone and the common response of a frustrated seller is to...............
blame the agent. The reason your home has not sold is more then likely because of a number of factors that need to be understood and hopefully resolved.
The "Eckler Team"
Bottom line, I suggest sitting down with your agent and discussing all sales of similar properties during the past year. Usually I find that a pattern emerges for homes that sell. Something like, they all had finished basements, or they all had brick exterior, or similar amenities that your home may not have.
We see quite a few posts like yours, so know that you are not alone.
Your agent may be part of the reason, I don't know from my standpoint. Most sellers are frustrated due to unmet expectations. To what did you and your agent agree?
Let me give you some food for thought. Know up front that I am not trying to seek a referral or in any way disrupt the agency relationship with your Realtor.
First, in order to sell a home we need to market it. That's your Realtor's job. Expose the features of the home that buyers and their brokers will find of interest and value. So the rest of this post assumes competent marketing.
Second, once a property is listed and goes into the MLS we expect a properly priced home to receive "showing activity', specifically 10-12 showings in the first two weeks of market time. If we do not see that activity, we adjust the price, usually 5%.
The goal of showings is to get offers. The average is 10-12 showings should produce an offer. So, no showings, lower the price. No offers, lower the price.
Third, we want offers. We negotiate the offers with the goal of selling the home (opening escrow) within the first 30 days on the market. That may vary, but the bottom line is that listings that sell in the first 30 days sell closest to asking price. In my MLS listings that sell after 120 days on the market (DOM) are selling at 93.6% of asking price. Listings that sell within 30 days sell for 98.6% of asking price, so you can see why a listing that sells quickly sells for more money.
The market is divided into two parts: 20% of listings sell within the first 30 days, the rest sell in whatever market time is (in my market, over 100 DOM). You need to be in that 20% to sell for the most money. We are in a buyer's market, so buyers rule.
Selling a house is like playing chess. Once your home hits the market we meet weekly to discuss the competition. We know that the average buyer looks at 10-12 homes before they make an offer, so my job is to point out to you our competition and if they lower their price, offer a buyer incentive, then I need to make you aware. I had a listing that was listed for $599,000. Another listing hit the market down the street, it was a bigger, better home, for $595,000. We lowered our price to $565,000, went into escrow in two weeks.
So knowing which homes are selling, new listings, price reductions, etc. is all part of the game. If there are other homes comparable to yours that are selling, ideally your Realtor is telling you what you need to do to get your home sold, usually it is going to be a pricing issue. If your Realtor is not educating you on the market, then you need to be asking them:
Who is my competition?
What are they doing?
You job is to sell my house. I need to move, so if you cannot sell my house in two weeks then I am going to need to find someone who can.
That happened to a client of mine. The first agent tried for three months. My client HAD TO MOVE. New agent, new price, sold in two weeks.
I would check out my site and go through all the discussions there.
Are you being a cooperative seller?
Is your home showing as it should?
Is it accessible?
Is your home being marketed in the right way? Is your home easy to find online?
Did you ask the right questions when you selected your agent?
Are you getting feedback from showings?
Are you making the changes to your home that you can based on that feedback?
Are you chasing the market in terms of price?
Are you educated about the trends in your neighborhood?
Have an honest conversation with your agent. Make the adjustments necessary. Blind trust in anyone in a transaction of this magnitude is not a good idea. Be an educated and involved seller. It is rarely solely an agent's fault that a home doesn't sell. You have power in the process. Find out what you can do differently and make the changes necessary with your agent. Ask them for honest, straight forward advice.
Best of luck to you Chris.
There may be any number of reasons your home has not sold, which doesn't necessarily point to your realtor. For instance, it may require staging, it may be location, it way lack desired features / amenities, etc.
If you would like to email me the address, I'd be happy to take a peak for you. Sometimes freshening things up, again staging, new photos, etc. may do the trick. Regular retail homes are competing against all of the bank-owned properties, so we can't compare a 1,200 SFT Ranch for $125,000 to a bank owned 1,900 SFT Colonial with a finished basement for the same money.
Have a safe holiday weekend!