What Should I Do If My Home Isn't Selling?


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Suppose you've been trying to sell your home for months. You haven't had even a nibble from a prospective buyer. What should you do?

Call your agent to request a strategy meeting. Tell him or her to bring you information about current sales activity in your neighborhood, as well as any feedback from agents who have shown the property to prospective buyers.

What are the current market conditions? Is your home the only one of its kind on the market that isn't selling, or is the market just very slow? How long is it taking similar properties to sell? Are you being impatient or does your marketing plan need to be modified?

Find out how many listings similar to yours have sold since your home was listed for sale. What were the asking prices? How did the properties differ from yours in terms of condition and amenities? Why does your agent think competing listings sold and your home didn't?

Ask your agent to give you a summary of the feedback from agents who showed your home to prospective buyers. What was the consensus about your list price? Were there any negative comments about the decor of your home? Did agents mention that your home was hard to show?

Agents need to be able to show your home easily and on short notice. If you have set up a complicated showing procedure, modify this to make it easier for agents to show and sell your home. If other listings in your area have lock boxes, you should too.

There may be something about your decor that buyers don't like. Strong colors and busy wall paper patterns can make a home difficult to sell.

First-Time Tip: In most cases, homes don't sell because they are priced too high for the market. Sellers often wonder why buyers don't make offers on over-priced listings. Motivated buyers usually don't have time to waste, and a high price signals that the sellers may be unrealistic.

In a buyer's market where there's plenty of inventory, buyers gravitate to the listings with the most competitive prices. If prices are flat or falling, buyers usually won't make offers on over-priced listings for fear they might overpay in a declining market.

You and your agent should analyze your entire marketing program, including the list price, and set a new strategy. If your price is too high for the market, reduce the price enough to have an impact.

Usually a price reduction equal to five or ten percent of the list price will be necessary to generate new enthusiasm for the property. So if your home is listed for $250,000, you should reduce it $12,500 to $25,000 in order to make a substantial impact.

You may have to improve the condition of your property AND make a price reduction. If so, make cosmetic improvements before reducing the price. After the home is fixed up, reduce the price and ask your agent to hold another open house for the real estate agents, as well as another public open house.

It's often difficult to get agents back to look at a home that has been on the market for awhile. A cosmetic face-lift combined with a substantial price reduction ought to generate new interest in your home.

The Closing: Sometimes a home isn't selling because the agent isn't doing his or her job. A successful home sale requires teamwork between you and your agent. If at the end of the listing period you are not satisfied with the agent's services, change agents.

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