Hi D and R -- Short Answer: Prayers and/or a miracle. Think about what you are saying. We are in the worst real estate slump in the last 20 years. The market is flooded with homes (buyerâ€™s market). We have already lost 25% of our Realtor membership (canâ€™t feed their families). Yet, you are asking the remainder of us how to get the job done. If we knew, we would do it. You are not selling and we are NOT getting paid. OK. First, the obvious. This is a PRICE SENSATIVE market. If your home is OVER priced, you are doomed. Real estate is 80% price and 20% marketing â€“ always has always been. If you are â€œpriced rightâ€, you wait. If you canâ€™t wait, you continue to lower your price. Think about it from the BUYERS perspective. Today, they are absolutely convinced that ALL homes are overpriced. THEY are waiting for prices to DROP - they are hovering. Only those who NEED to move are making offers (relatively small % compared to 2005). They are convinced that THEY should get a deal. Would you buy a home you think is overpriced? That is what your LISTING AGENT and YOU are facing, right or wrong.
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.