1. What was the feedback from the 11 showings you had in the last 4 months? What was it about your home that didn't spark the interest of the buyers? Take the feedback seriously and try to address any issues that may have come up.
2. Why did you purchase your home? Chances are, the next buyers' profile may be very similar to yours in terms of what attracts them to the home. If possible, focus your efforts on attracting those buyers. For example, I once had a listing that was in a neighborhood with lots of kids. While driving through the neighborhood, they took notice of all the basketball hoops and chalk drawings on the driveways. This is what attracted my sellers to the house initially. As a Realtor, I must be very careful how I market homes so as not to discriminate, but what my clients did however, was create a flyer showing all of the wonderful neighborhood activities (block parties, Bunco parties, etc..) that made the area so special to them. This didn't run afoul of any Housing laws, and it pointed out the best reasons for living in that neighborhood.
3. Really take a look at how your home is staged. Homeowners sometimes get so used to looking at their own living spaces, that it is difficult to look at it subjectively. As mentioned in the previous answer below, bring in fresh eyes to offer insight.
Open Houses may not sell your home, but it's certainly an avenue worth pursuing, especially if your agent is doing all of the other appropriate marketing activities. I would however, disagree with your Realtor's point of view about Open House visitors. Many buyers these days will actively visit Open Houses on their own before selecting a Realtor. This doesn't make them any less serious or unqualified.
I'll say it again--It's priced too high. The original question already addressed presentation and questioned marketing. Yes, marketing is important, but marketing an overpriced home is an exercise in futility.
I don't know anything about your home, but I bet there is some very nice, very well priced competition within about 15 minutes of your house, some of it new construction. (I just sold a house in Lacey--My buyer and I looked at a lot of homes but he finally decided on new construction, because it was cheaper than buying and remodeling an existing home.) Don't just compare your house to others just like it--Think about who your buyers are and compare your house to what else they'd buy instead of your place. Then all you have to do is figure out how to make your house the better choice! Maybe...price?
There are no "hidden" properties any more with the internet. Search for property and see if yours comes up. Sometimes there's a glitch, so go to different sites and look as if you are a buyer,not by your mls #, and see how your home presents itself among the competing properties. If you find something that is "off" relatively speaking, then change that.
Gary mentioned a 800 number where he can capture numbers to call back...we use this in all of our marketing and it has proven to be very successful. You hire me to sell your home...and if I am not talking to people about your home I am not doing my job. If they called the 800 number...chances are there was at least something small that peaked their interest about your home. If they did not then contact me directly for a showing I have the tools now to contact them back and see what objections they had...then, it is up to me to handle these objections and eventually get your home sold. That's what you pay me to do...
Sorry your home hasn't sold...if you have to sell keep grinding it out and keep on your realtor to consistently and aggressively market your home. Good luck!
Different direction: The slowest months in real estate are December, January & February - the HOLIDAYS. So 2 of your 4 months would have been slow anyway, regardless of the status of our economy. Yet MARCH has always been the biggest inventory turnover month (Absorption rate â€“ see p2 in LINK). This year, I would have also recommended you LIST in January â€“ at least by February anyway. You did. That was a good move. So much for taking advantage of getting out there before the crowd. You have had 14 showings in 4 months. Many agents in my office have had homes on the market during the same time period with about the same result, some less. Frustrating. So you say â€¦.â€well, they can always make an offer?â€ If they havenâ€™t yet, they wonâ€™t â€“ not in this price sensitive market. Mailing home flyers is almost hopeless â€“ peopleâ€™s mailboxes are already full.
What can you do? First, is your home priced right? Not $ 50,000 over your agentâ€™s CMA comparables (assuming they did not give you a high price so you would list with them). Assuming price is ok, what about curb appeal? Flowers and grass help street appeal. What about the condition of you home (e.g., paint, clutter). Is it a show place? Is it easy for agents to get in and out of your home (key box + message to show) or is it a struggle (limited hours, all calls through listing agent)? Ease of access â€“ logical. Is the COMMISSION being offered buyerâ€™s agents attractive (85% of all real estate transactions INVOLVE a real estate agent)? We are an â€œincentive drivenâ€ society and 49% of sales come from other agents showing your property. Be nice to other agents. Not hard to see the VALUE in these points.
So, that leaves facilitated VISABILITY. If no one comes into the home to see it, everyone has gone to a lot of work for nothing. You have to overcome that. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 9% of sales come from newspapers and 17% from signage (not JUST the very important yard sign with the flyer box). Now YOU have a problem. You are NOT doing open houses. As you noted, MOST Realtorâ€™s dislike (maybe a better word is HATE) open houses -- it takes their Sundays (family conflicts or loss of the best day to SHOW buyerâ€™s homes). Discounterâ€™s wonâ€™t do them. Everyone claims SALES from this effort are dismal. According to NAR surveys, 48% of all buyers walk through open houses? Hmm. But NAR surveys also suggest only 1-3% of sales can be pinned to open houses. Nuts. (Q) Were do these statistics come from? (A) Surveys of Realtors (Hmm) and buyers.
Letâ€™s analyze this 1-3% statistic. Letâ€™s look at what happens during most OPEN HOUSES. First, I place an ad in the paper. I put out 5 + SIGNS directing people to the home. I put a notice of the open house on the listening on the Internet (surveys show that 85% of buyers surf the net for homes (but only 10% of those viewed lead directly to home saleâ€“Nuts). Say later on, the buyer is surveyed. In the buyerâ€™s mind, what did they do? Well, they saw the home on the Internet, went to an open house, followed signs, SAW a great beautifully appointed home they believed to be properly priced, later returned with THEIR agent (at least 49% of all sales) to see the home again, fell in love and purchased the home. Where does the statistic for this sale go? Survey says: â€œAGENTâ€ was cause of sale. Hmm. Regardless, letâ€™s add this up. 1% + 9% +17% + 10% (37% subtotal) + saw inside of home a second time with agent (49%) for an 86% total. What about the other 14% of potential sales sources (real estate magazines, mailing & lookiloos)? I think you get the point.
So, what can you do to promote the sale of your home? Itâ€™s about leveraging visibility-nothing beats the naked eye.
I strongly believe that if a home is not selling then it is directly correlated to their price. In some neighborhoods it is challenging to find the right price, this is why there needs to be scheduled priced drops (10K drop after 2-4 weeks, another 5-10K after 60 days, etc.).
Remember this strategy while your home is for sale: â€œIf you are getting showings on your home, you are priced in the ballpark, if you are getting competitive offers in, you are priced correctly. If you are not experiencing either, then you are priced too high.â€
When I take listings in rural areas or small towns, I go so far as to post fliers at grocery, hardware, feed stores and the like, and beauty and barber shops.
Also, did you front-load any marketing features into the listing agreement. If the house is priced within the range that first-time buyers are looking, offering seller contributions to buyer costs will help make a listing stand out--and put the bargaining chips on a seller's side of the table at the outset. If you have not yet done this, you may want to consider amending your listing agreement.
Don't get drawn into offering agent incentives. It will just unnecessarily cost you. Most of us ignore them unless they just happen to be part of a listing offer on a home that appeals to our buyers. We love bonuses, but cannot afford to focus on them or depend on them if we are serious about serving our buyers.
You can do so much!
Send a link to your listing to everyone in your email address book, and ask them if they know anyone who might be moving to your area.
Take a flyer or postcard with your listing info on it, and knock on your neighbor's doors. Ask them if they would like to choose their new neighbor! Do they have a friend or relative that they would like to see move in? If you don't want to knock on your neighbor's doors yourself, ask your agent to do it.
I once sold a house before I listed it, by knocking on the house next door! It turned out that their best friends wanted to move into their neighborhood. It was one of the smoothest, quickest, transactions I had ever had--and it was in a small town where homes usually sit on the market.
Good Luck! - Sat Mar 22 2008, 16:21 - Yesterday, 21:17
Oh, I thought of more stuff!
Have a business card printed up with the picture of your house, MLS#, and some basic information. Everywhere you go, leave a card. When you leave a tip at the restaurant, leave the card. When you pay for a book or magazine, tell the clerk "by the way, my home is for sale...do you know anyone who might be moving?" Do this with co-workers, friends, relatives, people at gas stations, the golf course, the spa, the barrista at the coffee shop.
A little secret...even though your friends and neighbors know your home is for sale, most of them won't think about who is going to buy it--until you ask them! Many Real Estate agents pay hundreds of dollars to attend seminars to learn that trick. Very few of them ever apply it.
Hang a card or flyer at any and all bulletin boards in your area. Give one to your builder!
Mail flyers or postcards to homes in areas that are about 15% less in value to yours--most people move up about 15% in value when they upscale. Choose a neighborhood of about 30 homes to mail to one week, then mail a few out every week.
Another thing...make sure your home is priced right. Listings expire for 3 reasons--price, condition, and marketing. When all 3 of those factors are in line, you should get showings, and an offer should follow.
Warm wishes & good luck! Let me know how it works for you! - Sat Mar 22 2008, 16:35
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I hpe these ideas help you to achieve your goals. Let me know if they work for you!
Best wishes, Linda
You are so right that you need the Buyer's agents--ready, willing and able Buyers are working with agents.
I agree with Daniel. In promoting listing I first focus on targeting the prospective buyer. Most
likely the person(s) who will be most interested in your home have similar needs and desires
that matched yours when purchasing. Something I have found helpful after identifying the
target buyer is to have the seller write a short script "what I(we) most love about our home"
and put this on the back of the flyer in the flyer box. Many buyers will be attracted to a home
but people with similar desires and needs will really see the advantages your homes offers
over similar properties. Pricing is always critical and will cure any defect in a home. You
are aware that staging (best done by a professional stager), exposure (internet is the highest
exposure level in our area) , condition (I suggest having a pre-listing building inspection done
by the seller and correcting any flaws in the property) and location will net you the optimum
price for your property. Pricing slightly below the competition will also make your home stand
out combined with the above. Proving to a buyer (by a building inspection) that your home is
in tip-top condition will draw a higher offer and put you in control of your sale with no surprises
after a purchase and sale agreement. I focus 90% of my marketing toward the target buyer.
I find that print advertising in not very effective in this marketplace. Internet exposure is key
and changing comments about the house on the internet keeps your home fresh. Color
brochures in the flyer boxes. Homes with easy access to showing. I also believe in open
houses but if that is not your agent's niche then might not be as effective. Many great agents
do not do open houses and are very successful. I agree with Daniel that many neighbors
who come to see the house may have friends who might be interested. I just had this
happen on one of my listings but the friends called to look at the house anyway. What
works best for me is advertising it open in the internet on several sites. An open house
without exposure is not very effective and your agent is correct in that many times few buyers
show or people at the beginning of their search that are not prepared to purchase now.
Each of us has our own special niches that we excel at and I'm sure your agent has theirs.
I am not a big fan of financing incentives and believe the money is better spent reducing
the price. I also agree that open house feedback and agent/buyer feedback is critical. There
is a reason that each person who looked at your home did not make an offer. If any of
these reasons can be corrected, do so. It is imperative that feedback is obtained as quickly
as possible, hopefully within 24 hours. I hope any/all input helps and that you move forward
to a quick sale on your property.
We use open houses extensively. It keeps the dust stirred up in your neighborhood and keeps the neighbors thinking about your home and who they would like to have as a neighbor. I just spent an hour and a half walking around the neighborhood with my co-agent handing out flyers and inviting the neighbors to the open houses this weekend.
Are they using an IVR system. We use this for followup contact with people who call about the 800 number.
Do you have an actual movie type of Virtual Tour. We use this all over the internet to get people to look at your home.
As the others stated staging is critical, price is most important, Brokers open always. Internet is huge, not just the MLS. We market to the major employers in our area, because it just makes sense to let all those folks know about our homes.
Hope this is all helpful, good luck. There is more, but this should help.
What a great question, you are sure to get all kinds of wonderful ideas, Although I am on the opposite side of the state I have a few ideas that might be helpful, Have your Realtors done a Brokers Open? This time of year is a great time to host an afternoon or evening brokers open house, where area Realtors come by invitation to see the house, I suggest having food and beverages and possibly a door prize. This works well for us in Spokane. The more Realtors you get to see it the better the likelihood that one of them will have a buyer looking for a home like yours!
Another possibility is to take a really critical, buyers eye look at your home and see what you could do to improve the appeal. I suggest getting non involved friends or neighbors to come take a look and or make suggestions. Another great thing is having feedback forms filled out when your Realtors office tours the property. This can give you a whole lot of input.
In a huge surplus market we have to roll up our sleeves and market everywhere we can. Gimmicks typically do not sell a home so don't be fooled by some of the edgier marketing ploys of the "buy now and get a flat screen TV" types. Price, location, and market conditions are the mainstays you need to focus on to get your home sold in a timely manner. If location is only so so, price is the main mitigator and will cancel out the other two problems.
I believe heavily in marketing to out of area buyers also, it's amazing how many people are moving to our great state. See what options your Realtors have available to you to market in other areas.
I hope you get lots of great ideas and if you find one thing that works for you...I sure hope you will write us a post and let us know of your success!
Very best Wishes
Not approaching from the Real Estate side, my business partner and I have been offering a flat loan fee for potential qualified buyers. We have sign riders that are on displayed for potential buyers who are interested in your home. This is a nice incentive for a buyer to know they will have the opportunity to save money instantly.
BUT if you have had very little activity, its probably the price. Yes the market is slow but the number of pendings have increased. Other agents on this post can add to that.
Do a new CMA, market comparison, pendings homes close by, possibly the value has dropped and you need to readjust your asking price.
I'm guessing the thumbs downs are because you absolutely squash the effectiveness of open houses!
My very first Open house, I had a negative attitude, becuase many experienced agents were telling me that Open Houses Don't Work.
I was a little late getting there. There was a young family waiting at the door. They walked through without saying much to me, and left. I had a few lookie-lous, and some curious neighbors stop in after that.
When I took my signs down, and was locking up, the young family came back in and said "we want to write an offer on this house. We've talked to our lender, but we don't have an agent yet."
WOW! Talk about an attitude adjustment for me!
So know, whenever an agent says that any particular method of selling a home doesn't work, I just smile and remember that occasion.
Now, I don't say that an Open House is going to solve this Seller's problem! But I do think that they may need to use every means possible to draw Buyers--
and I do agree with you, if the price isn't correct, NO amount of marketing will sell it.
Price, Condition, and Marketing all have to be in line to sell a home. The agent has control only over the final item.
Best wishes, Linda
So what is another way to get agents into a listing? I belong to an association of 150+ agents and affiliates who meet on a weekly basis and tour each other's listings. Those homes get an average of 20-30 agents through in one morning to see their home, provide feedback to the listing agent and have first hand exposure to all the details of that home for their buyers.
Ask your agent what homes in your area have sold since you listed yours. Then evaluate from there. - Good luck.
Time to think outside the box. Have a yard sale, have a bake sale. Heck have both. Send postcards out to the neighbors and invite them in. I had success last summer by posting a number of items on craig's list and having people come to the house to get them. It wasn't my intent to sell the house this way, but my sellers moved out ofc state and left a number of items that needed to go. They gave me the green light and viola.
Your agent seems to be lacking tenacity & perseverance.
You need ONE BUYER for your house - Why exclude Open Houses from a comprehensive marketing strategy?
Many neighbors tell their friends about what they've seen and one of these people might be the right buyer you're looking for.
You've received a lot of great information for your question. I don't have anything to add to the marketing suggestions, but I would seriously consider a hard look at your pricing. Especially with only 11 showings in four months. Also, since it has been four months, you may want your agent to do another CMA to see what, if any, homes have sold in your area during that time. That could help give you a realistic view of what a buyer will pay for a home similar to yours. And take a look at what is currently on the market, which I'm sure has changed since you first listed. How do you stack up against the competition?
I could go on about why open houses are important but in the Seattle area where I work, if the price and presentation are right, the house will sell. If either of these factors are out of sync, or if the seller is unrealistic or getting unrealistic advice, the house will not sell or will sell for considerably less than the asking price.
Regarding promotion, these days roughly 85% of all buyers find the their home online. So you have heard "location, location, location" - I feel that "pictures, pictures, pictures" is the number 1 mantra for promotion (preferably with descriptive text) - done with a professional photographer and a professional stager. These two things are first and foremost but there are some interesting and effective ideas written below from the other agents.
Best of luck and I hope you will let us know what you try and how it well it works.
There are so many factors that are envolved in selling your home. Yes, price is the most important beside location and staging. It is difficult for me to tell you why your home has not sold within the avg. time without me seeing your home, reviewing the comps, market conditions of your specific area, emplyment, maor job sources, schools, etc. Once I have these in my mind then we can put together a strong marketing plan designed to sell your home.
Open houses are just one part of a marketing plan and I have had success holding open houses for my clients. In fact I sold a home in Renton, Wa. to a couple from Vancouver, Wa. by using the internet and open house. You cannot forget any market effort when marketing your home. How can you tell if a neighbor will not tell a friend about your home? How you tell if someone just drops by your open house that they cannot buy? We have to open minded and give your home as much exposure as possible. The more exposure your home receives in market the more likely it will sale.
I am certain your agent has discuss several of these ideas of promoting your home
1...Have you tried any special financing incentative?
2...Have have contacted local loan officers
3.. Have you contacted local employers in your area?
4.. Have you contacted your neighbors, friends, co-workers?
5. Have you thought about offering a higher selling commission?
6. Have you delivered flyers and etc. to local real estate offices, not just email along.
7.. How strong is your interenet channel? Are you offering your to viewed around the world? How many sites are showing your home?
This is a buyers market and interest rates are low. There are a lot of choices for the buyers today and they are taking a little longer to make their decision unless the home is priced right and is what meets their needs.
There is no simple answer to your questions; except a strong marketing plan, statged home, correct pricing, hard work from a Realtor that is willing to do more than what the average agents does.
I wish you the best and again I am sorry that your home has taken so long to sell. You must be stressed and uncertain.
I hope that I may have helped in some way. If, I can ever be of service to you, a friend, or family member please call me at anytime.