Selling your home in a changing market can be challenging to say the least. You have to get your presentation just right, keep it tidy for weeks on end, be ready for viewings at the drop of a hat, and basically put all your plans on hold until the right buyer falls in love with your home. And you have no idea how long this is going to take.
Sometimes, even after doing everything right, houses just don’t sell. So the question naturally becomes, “What’s going wrong?”
If a property isn’t selling, it generally comes down to one of three reasons: presentation, promotion, or price.
Your presentation has to be as good as can be. Repairs and maintenance should be completed where possible to maximize your chances of passing a building inspection. Any outstanding consenting issues need to be rectified. Rooms need to be clean and de-cluttered and it needs to be easy for buyers to schedule viewings.
But the best presentation doesn’t mean much unless your promotion is right, too. You can have the coolest house in the world, but if buyers don’t know it’s for sale then they simply can’t buy it.
This is where your salesperson comes in. Every potential buyer in your marketplace should be aware your home is for sale. The advertising should be compelling and inspire action. Ideally, your chosen real estate agent should also have a plan to reach buyers with the right budget who might not have considered your home or location directly. This can be achieved through marketing methods like databasing, print and social media and phone / SMS campaigns targeting buyers actively looking in nearby areas, or with a slightly different wish list.
Tip: If your salesperson gives you options to invest in extra promotion for your home, you should consider them, especially if those marketing channels have a decent reach and shelf-life. Leave no stone unturned!
Also considered part of the overall presentation is the service level provided by your salesperson. They need to be available to prospective buyers and respond quickly to all inquiries. Open homes should be professionally run with all key property info easily available to interested purchasers.
Above all though, the most important factor is price. You can have the best presentation in the world and the best marketing money can buy, but still struggle to sell if buyers don’t see value at the price level your salesperson is quoting (which should be based on your expectations).
Let’s consider a few practical scenarios.
Scenario 1. No one is visiting your home:
Answer: Your promotion isn’t working. Your salesperson should proactively suggest changes to your online marketing asap. Your online presence should be reviewed on a regular basis (ie. every 2 weeks). Keep adjusting the photos, advert and/or price until the inquiry starts to improve.
Scenario 2. Buyers are visiting your home but no one is offering:
Answer: The price expectation is putting buyers off, or some aspect of your home presentation is putting buyers off once they visit. Discuss this honestly with your salesperson and agree on appropriate changes.
Scenario 3. You’ve been on the market for a few weeks. Buyers are visiting and making offers but you feel those offers are too low:
Answer: Price expectations could be too high and you may need to consider reducing the goal price or hanging on to your property long term.
Is it the salesperson’s fault?
It’s easy to blame the real estate salesperson when a property doesn’t sell, but try to take an objective view before you presume the responsibility is all theirs.
Have you done everything possible to make your home attractive to potential buyers?
Are you confident your price expectation is still in line with real market value?
Tip: Visit other properties around the same price range that your potential buyers are considering to see how your home compares with the competition. Try to be objective in your evaluation. Ask your salesperson what potential buyers are choosing over your home and why.
Your salesperson should try everything possible to secure the price you want. They should promote your property to the best of their ability, and make regular changes to the marketing to increase buyer inquiry. But if the marketing is right, and the presentation is right, keep in mind…
It all comes back to price.
There’s an old adage in real estate that goes like this: Every home would sell tomorrow if price didn’t matter.
Of course, price does matter, and maximizing the result is key. When you get your price, presentation and promotion all in sync at the same time – that’s when the magic happens and you walk away with the best possible outcome.