I'm a Castro Valley agent with Re/Max In Motion. Also, I lived in Castro Valley for 20 years, so I'm highly familiar with all of the neighborhoods. If you'd share your home address with me, I'd be happy to take a look at your expired listing and give you some honest feedback as to why your home hasn't sold, and what corrective action you'll need to take to change that.
As previous writers have stated, with a lot of competition, your home has to stand out in some way. In a tough market, price alone is not usually enough to differentiate your home from the others. Your property has to be fully marketed on the internet and should shine like a jewel. If it doesnâ€™t show well on the Internet, people simply wonâ€™t show up. In addition, once they make it to your home, you have 30 seconds to impress them. If their first impressions donâ€™t resonate on an emotional level, your chances of getting an offer are slim. Work with your Realtor to ensure that:
1. Your home does not have any glaring flaws that have not been addressed.
2. Your home is fully prepared for the current market.
Things like fresh paint make a big difference, however, in a tough market you have to be prepared to do more. We prepare an extensive â€œProperty Prep Planâ€ for our sellers that identifies, in writing, every potential issue. We then sit down and develop a plan for getting the home ready for the market for the absolute lowest cost. We have a huge list of economical service providers we use to provide necessary improvements at great prices.
3. Your home has been professionally staged.
Staging is critical in the current market. Many Realtors cover the cost of professional home staging as a part of their commission structure. If your Realtor wonâ€™t cover the cost of staging, find one that will.
4. Your homeâ€™s Marketing Plan is â€œstate-of-the-art.â€ Nice brochures and a bunch of open houses donâ€™t cut it anymore. Neither does just putting it on the MLS and waiting for something to happen. To ensure that your Realtor is meeting the MINIMUM requirements for marketing a home in todayâ€™s market, a few questions to ask your Realtor would be as follows:
* Will you be providing a dedicated website for my listing with the property address in the URL that has at 20-30 pictures of my home taken by a professional photographer?
* Will you ensure that this website is linked to all of the major search engines?
* Will you be providing a virtual tour with at least 6 moving panoramas and at least 20 pictures?
* Will you be posting 9 pictures on the MLS along with the URL for the virtual tour?
* Will you be posting basic craigslist ads IN ADDITION TO Postlets type ads? Will they be linked to all major search engines?
* Will you be producing a video tour for my home and posting it in places like YouTube? Will it be linked to all major search engines?
* Will you be setting up â€œVirtual Open Housesâ€ on the Internet?
* When you have an actual Open House, will it be listed on H.O.T. (HomesOpenToday.com)? What other websites?
* Will my home be featured on Comcast Spotlight?
* Will you be sending out targeted emails to Realtors and potential buyers in the area?
* Will you be sending out E-Flyers to all the local Realtors?
* Will you be spending the extra money for Realtor.com to showcase my listing?
* Will you be reporting back to me on a weekly basis as to the number of web hits on all of the various websites so that we can proactively monitor the market and make any corrections as needed and in a timely fashion?
If your Realtor is not doing all of the above to market your home, Iâ€™d ask, â€œWhy not?â€ Donâ€™t accept â€œnoâ€ for an answer - your home has to stand out from all the others with respect to property condition, price and marketing. Itâ€™s like a three legged chair â€“ without one of the legs, it wonâ€™t support itself and most likely wonâ€™t get sold for a decent price.
Lastly, choose a Realtor with a lot of listing sales in the past 12 months. Make sure the number of sales they give you is for closed listings (not buyer sales) and donâ€™t include office totals â€“ you want their personal production numbers. And the number of years theyâ€™ve been in business is nowhere near as important as actual sales in the current market. You want an agent who knows how to get it done and is making it happen on a large scale.
I'm not an agent, but I have been a buyer and seller, and currently 'browsing' homes thinking of moving, and looking at my own neighborhood comps (with much pain! lol) to price my own home if I do sell. As a buyer, I'm looking for 'a deal' of course, especially in this market, and that doesn't necessarily mean the lowest price, but the most value for the price compared to the other homes in the area. Like "Bay" said, your home needs to stand out from its competitors. If it can't stand out with features like the largest yard, the most updated kitchen, the biggest rooms, then it needs to stand out by being the least expensive (by more than a tiny bit). You said yours is the lowest price, but is it the best deal? You probably already know all this, but I just encourage you to look at your house as objectively as possible and say, "If were a buyer, is this the house I would buy based on what is avalable?" Not just in your neighborhood, but in surrounding comparable areas s buyer might also be looking into. If you can find another house other than yours that seems like a better "deal", then that's what buyers see, too. It doesn't matter how great your Realtor is if buyers don't see why your house is "a great deal" that's going to finally halt their searching and make them salivate over the possibility of getting your house. With 20 homes for sale near you, you have a lot of competition, and a small price difference between yours and the others may not be enough to make it stand out to buyers. If your house is already priced well-below others and truly is the best deal around, then it will sell (assuming it is properly marketed so enough people come to see it). That's just my perspective as a buyer (and seller). I wish you all the best on selling your home in this tough market.