1. Am I happy with how my agent communicates with me? This includes the method(s) of communication, frequency and information provided.
2. Have you received feedback on all 8 showings? Were there any similarities? Are you considering changing anything because of feedback you received? Is your home always ready to show, even on short notice? Does it have a lock box? Do you leave during showings? Making your home as easy as possible to show helps. There is a large inventory of homes on the market and buyers do not want to wait. They will move on to other homes.
3. Has your agent offered to do a new CMA quarterly to account for recent sales? Buyers set the price. Past values are not relevant. Historically homes have gained value. Recent trends are making adjustments for past over inflated prices. Is your home priced correctly?
4. Does your agent send you information about the houses your house is competing against? Does your agent review these properties and provide you with feedback on them? How does your house compare to the competition?
5. How is your agent marketing your property? What is their marketing plan? If your agent tells you their plan is to put it on the local MLS - this is not a marketing plan. Every agent is required to post it on the local MLS. What does your agent do that is different than other agents?
6. What do your photos look like? You mentioned your home has been for sale for 7 months. Houses look different in different seasons. Updating your photos can breath new life into your listing.
7. Have you made changes to your home since you listed it? Has your agent updated your listing to reflect these changes. Changes and improvements will help sell your home. Photos and description should be updated to reflect these changes.
8. Have you had a home inspection? Sellers can often have their homes inspected at a discounted price. Inspections often reveal small minor repairs that are easily fixed. In the current market many buyers are not interested in "the fix-it-upper." Structural repairs should be addressed immediately. If you are not prepared to do any repairs price your home accordingly: get some estimates and reduce your price. Use the inspection to market your home. Buyers want to know what they are getting.
9. Updates & Staging! A fresh home sells faster than a dated home. When was the last time you painted? Do you have paint colors and wall paper that date your home? Most realtors can suggest professionals who can remedy these issues at a reasonable price. Do you have so much stuff in the house that people cannot see the house? Is the house organized? When people come to your home they want to see your home - not your personal possessions. Consider removing collections, personal photos and mementos. Storage is something everyone wants. If your closets and cabinets are overflowing, you are communicating a lack of storage. Buyers want to buy homes that have been well cared for. Organization conveys this message. When was the last time your home was cleaned top-to-bottom? Consider having your home professionally cleaned, including the outside. Nothing conveys fresh and well maintained like a clean home. Does your home have curb appeal? Consider having a lawn maintenance company edge your lawn, mulch around shrubbery, trim trees and shrubbery, and fertilize your lawn. A well maintained yard is inviting. Buyers are attracted to homes that are well maintained inside and out.
10. Have you given your agent permission to tell you the truth? Sometimes truth is hard. Sellers often have a personal attachment to their homes. They have trouble seeing their home thought fresh eyes. Don't take it personal. Ask for a second opinion. You have friends you trust and love. Ask them to honestly tell you if they have suggestions about what would make your home more appealing. You have loved the things about your home but now you are selling it. You need to make it endearing to potential buyers.
In the end some agents work harder than others to get the job done but home owners are also responsible for the sale of their homes. Remember that no one gets paid until settlement and that we are all working to get there. I have tried to include information about both agent and seller responsibilities. I encourage you to review my suggestions and act on those that apply. Small changes can equate to favorable sales for sellers, buyers and their agents. In the end price is the equalizer. If the price is low enough someone will eventually buy the home without making any changes and/or changing agents.
If all the feedback is they don't like the paint color ... then paint.
If all the feedback is like the house but the yard is too small or I like the house but the bedrooms are too small. Then you need to change the marketing to target pbuyers who ONLY want small yards or small bedrooms. Stop advertising to the masses and advertise to the folks who would be attracted to the features.
Example: Bedrooms have been shrunk for your convenience so you can spend more time in the amazing yard in a fantastic neighborhood.
Great home with .... fantastic features in the heart of town. Back yard has been minimized to fit your active lifestyle.
Stop getting showings from buyers who will never buy.
1. Poorly marketed
3. shows poorly
The Raleigh market is slow, but not dead. There are more houses for sale than buyers in many areas and price ranges, so you have to stand out from the competition in marketing, price and condition in order to get sold. I would be happy to discuss options with you. My focus is on structuring services and fees geared toward accomplishing your goals. Some agents look at listings as a way to generate leads for other business.
As for your agent...do you feel that they are actively working for you. Is your home getting the personalized exposure that it needs. You should talk to your listing agent about your concerns and hopefully you can come up with a solution.
Did you set the price for your house or your agent? If you set the price and did not listen to your agent, the fault may be yours. Your agent should have looked at what has sold and not what others are listed at to give you a Fair Market Price.
Now, having said all that, you pretty much answered your question: The market is slow. In fact, NC was ranked next to the bottom from fhfa.gov. You can't judge this market according to Florida, GA, and the western states, whose markets were red hot.
Good communication and your agent should be able to show you figures of the current market. If he can't get that information, you may need a new agent. However, changing agents may not be your solution. Get the facts and force them to show you what they have done to market your property (em campaigns, advertising in mags, postcard campaigns, etc).
It's not always the agents fault that a property doesn't sell, but it can be.
Hope this helped.
The second factor is advertising. Even if your home has a great price if the market does not know about the home it cannot sell. Ask your agent to show you how he is informing the market (buyers and other agents) about your home. These days many of the best advertisements are free. Throwing money at the home is not necessarily the answer. Have you had a broker's open house?
Look at your home with objective eyes. What price would it take to make your home the next home sold?
As far as price goes, ask the agent to do another CMA. Maybe you're in a declining market and you need to adjust your price down.
Look at the feedback you've received so far. There are things that you can change, and those you can't. If the feedback is for things you can't change (like bad layout, bad location, small yard), then your only option is to drop the price to accomodate for the negatives.
However, if there are things you can change then do it. I have worked with sellers who get offended by negative feedback on things they can change! But they take it so personally, they can't get past it. Try to look at your home objectively. If the feedback is that the paint is ugly then paint it a more neutral color. If the feedback is that it is cluttered and shows poorly, then declutter and clean and clean and clean.
Market conditions have been very frustrating for many sellers but you have to know that being Real Estate Agent right now isnâ€™t much fun.
Good luck with the sale of your home
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group