How to correct your listing so that it sells.
Before selling your home, it takes time and effort to get your home in its more marketable condition. Then you have to find a suitable agent and the right price. If you’ve done all that, when you list your home for sale, you expect to sell right away. When I say right away, I think most people expect to sell their home within the first two weeks. Right?
But what if your home doesn’t sell in the first two weeks? What if it is still on the market after six weeks (the critical mile marker)?
The best advice as always is found in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, more specifically on the front cover of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in a yellow starburst.
Take a step back and consider the following. There are things you can do which will lead to an easy sale.
Six things to look at if your listing isn’t selling
Don’t blame the agent
It is natural to look for blame and blaming the agent is a common reaction. On this website, now with more than 1,000 posts, a post I wrote years ago is still one of the top 20 most read posts. It’s called “how to fire your real estate agent”. Hmm. This isn’t going to end well.
But now is when you most need to be on the same side as your agent. Assuming your agent priced the home correctly and is communicating with inquiries and marketing the home properly, you need their insight into current market trends, similar homes selling and sold in the neighbourhood and other knowledge they know.
Improve the listing
If you are having showings and open houses, then you have received feedback. What does that say? Is there anything that can be improved upon? Are there any cosmetic improvements or small or large repairs holding your home back from being sold.
You may want to consider taking your home off the market for a couple of weeks to make some minor improvements. Home staging may also be a cheap and easy option, to better show off your home.
Lighten up when selling
Homes with closed curtains and heavy window treatments, dark walls and floors might be your style, but you want your home to be as inviting as possible and that means lightening things up.
Put in high wattage lightbulbs. Take those blinds and curtains off the windows. Paint a light neutral colour. Turn that cave into a bright open garden.
We often forget about the outside but you can tell about about houses and neighbourhoods from the street. Double check to make sure your yard and garden is well-maintained and free of clutter. Maybe you could power wash your eavestroughs? Maybe the recycle box does not have to be on the front porch?
Price and other listing details
Of course, the right price solves all your problems. Many buyers will overlook even the most obvious of flaws if the price is low enough.
Maybe the price was right before you listed, but the market shifted. Maybe you just have to adjust to a changing market.
And you may want to adjust the listing description so that you are marketing toward the most likely buyers. There is a tendency to think, “this would be a great home for anybody”. That may be true, but when you write your text, it should target your most likely buyer.
Make your home easy to buy with incentives. For example, if you are marketing toward first time homebuyers you could throw in the lawnmower, snowblower and gardening tools. They are going to need them.
You can also incentivize the buyer’s agent with a larger commission.
I’ve written about this topic before. It is not uncommon for things not to go as soothingly as expected. Here are some other readings…