My Home Listing Expired, What Are My Options?
Your home has been on the market for a long time, months even. You had a few showings but no offers to buy. The listing for your home has now expired and you are wondering whether all the headache of preparing your home for sale was worth it. The process of figuring out what went wrong involves you sitting down and determining what is within your control to fix so that you can improve the chances of selling your home. You should also consider the things that may have not been in your control at the time but by making different choices going forward you may get better results. Many of the topics discussed below are linked together so an issue in one area can have impact in another area.
1. Price of Your Home
If you overprice your home there is a pretty good chance no one is going to want to buy it. Real estate agents do not set the real estate market. A great real estate agent will suggest a price at which to list your home based on comparable homes that have already sold in the market. Overpricing a home to ‘see if you can get someone to bite’ is not a strategy employed by someone really serious about selling. Overpricing a home will lead to missed opportunities with buyers that are serious about buying in the range at which your home should be listed.
The first week during which a home is listed will generally be the time that the most eyeballs are on the home and the largest potential pool of buyers will be exposed to the listing. Setting a price that reflects the market is essential to selling! This is exacerbated in a downward trending market. Many a seller has lost thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars chasing a market down after setting a listing price that was outside what the market was willing to bear.
2. Your property Was Not in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
3. Lack of Staging, Cluttered Space
Sellers are sometimes unwilling to either make the effort, or unwilling to compromise how they live in their home during the time the home is on the market for showings. Serious sellers realize that by depersonalizing the home and removing unwarranted clutter, it allows potential buyers to more easily visualize their own things in the house.
When you live in your home day in and day out, you become comfortable with your own ‘things’. In many cases, however, your ‘stuff’ can make a room feel smaller than it actually is and in some more extreme cases, your ‘stuff’ can completely distract someone from visualizing the potential of a room. We know you are proud of your kids as the shrine in the living room displays all of their ribbons, trophies and diplomas from the last 20 years. But for a buyer, this is only a distraction.
Many agents will make recommendations about ways to remove clutter or depersonalize your home. Some will even suggest that a professional homestager be brought it to completely maximize the space and create a setting maximizes the buyers ability to visualize their own things. The key thing to remember here is these suggestions are not personal and you may have to be a little uncomfortable so that your house puts it’s best foot forward.
As a seller, the most important thing to realize is that, yes, your crapola means a lot to you. But it means nothing to anyone else. Especially a buyer trying to visualize their own stuff in your house.
4. Quality of Photography
Studies show that greater than 85% of people are going online as a part of their research for buying a home. Most buyers will probably first be introduced to your home online. Poor photos could be cause for them to disregard your home before they ever set foot in it.
The photos used to market your home are generally the first impression any buyer will have of your home. When picking an agent to list your home, ask to see examples of photos from previous listings. Do their photos make you want to take a look at the home?
Never let your home go on the market without photos! If it means waiting a day or two before listing, wait. A large number of potential buyers in your market will be exposed to your home the first day it goes on the market. Having great photos the first day the home hits the market is a must
5. Showing Availability - It's Difficult to Set a Showing
It’s not uncommon for sellers to see 8, 10, even 20 homes during a showing tour with their agent. If your house isn’t on that list because you only do showings on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm, you will miss out on ready, willing and able buyers.
As a seller, realize that the more people that can see the home in person, the more chance you have to find the buyer that wants your home.
6. Unpleasant Odors in the House
Most agents aren’t going to be this blunt. But in some cases they wish they could be. They’ll take a more tactical approach and say something like…..’During the time your house is on the market, it might be a good idea to smoke outside’.
But what they know is that nothing will stop a potential buyer in their tracks faster than a strong odor of any sort. In some cases this could just be the left over smell from last night’s dinner. In more extreme cases, agents tell horror stories of entering homes that have a bad smell of pet urine or smoking.
The main concern for the buyer is, of course, ‘is the house going to smell like this once we move in?’ Real Estate agents confirm that many a buyer has passed on a home after coming to their own conclusion on that answer.
Your agent isn’t suggesting a fresh coat of paint and new carpet because they don’t like how things look. They are making this suggestion because they realize that the smoke odor in your home is going to be a major turn off for anyone thinking about buying your home.
Homes with bad odors don’t sell because buyers are having intense and complex negative reactions that are beyond working around.
7. Home Repairs Need to be Done Prior to Listing
One of your objectives to selling your home is to make it as appealing as possible to as wide of an audience as possible. If the seller is unwilling to make repairs, and a buyer doesn’t want a bunch of work upon moving in, you’ve shrunk the pool of potential buyers for your property.
Some sellers may want to offer the buyer a credit at closing for certain repairs. Most lenders underwriting guidelines will not allow for repair credits as of late.
8. Sellers Unwilling to Negotiate with Buyers
Price is not the only condition which is open to negotiation. Buyers and sellers can negotiate on dates, fixtures that might stay with the home, repairs and a host of other sticking points. Sellers that refuse to negotiate and are set on digging in their heels are much less likely to find a willing and able buyer.
Don’t be insulted by low offers. Buyers want to get the home for the best price and on the best terms they can. Just like a sellers wants to sell for the best price on the best terms. It’s rare that either party walks away from a negotiation with everything they want. Motivated sellers understand this and are willing to negotiate.
One thing we caution sellers against is being unwilling to negotiate as well as second guessing your original listing price.
9. Playing Tour Guide During Showings
Sellers that hover around during a showing will make the buyer nervous. They won’t feel comfortable discussing things they like or dislike about the house with their agent. In addition, most buyers like to explore a little bit. Interested buyers tend to do things like open cabinets and check in closets to get a better sense for the entire home. A hovering seller can make this very uncomfortable for some buyers.
Bottom line……leave the house when it’s being shown. Your presence there will only make things worse.
10. Working with the Neighbors.
11. No Internet Presence
12. Did you have a professionsl home Virtual Tour?
- According to the NAR home buyer and seller profile, the Internet has tied with the agent for most important information sources used in the home search (84%).
- 79% of repeat buyers & 84% of first time buyers use the internet to search for a home.
- Images are one of the biggest reasons Internet marketing has become so popular.
- 54% of home buyers, who are searching for their next home on Realtor.com, will skip over listings that do not provide virtual tours and multiple images.
- Home Buyers who used the internet as a significant portion of their homebuying experience spent an average of two weeks with a Realtor® looking at homes, compared to those who did not use the internet, who spent an average of seven weeks looking for their home.
- After gathering information online, nearly three-quarters of home buyers reported that they drove by specific properties, and 57% walked through a property viewed online.
- A compelling use of virtual tour technology will keep visitors on your site, and will also keep them coming back.
- We use Narrated voice over tours!
14. Text to Tour
15. Some Properties Just Don’t Always Sell!
16. Just picked the wrong Agent
Real Estate agents will often suggest interviewing more than one agent. You’ll never know if your aunt is going to do a good job of marketing your home for sale if you have nothing to which to compare her.
Don’t be scared to ask a real estate agent questions about why they are a better choice than anyone else you may be considering. Just like with any profession, there are good real estate agents and there are bad real estate agents.