You listed your house and it didn’t sell. There is probably nothing more frustrating! What do you do next? Just stay put in your home forever or try again?
First things first, figure out why your house did not sell the first time around. Why do some listings expire and fail to sell? Here are the 10 top factors that influence whether or not your home sells:
Did your agent suggest the list price or did you think you knew better? When your agent suggested a price reduction did you refuse? If your house is overpriced, no one will look at it and even if they come through you won’t receive an offer.
Even if you finally agree to a price reduction, if it’s too late you may have a stale listing. If buyers see a house that has sat on the market for too long, they may begin to assume that the home has big problems and cross it off their list without ever entering the home.
92% of buyers start their shopping online. Before they physically walk through your door, they have already walked through your home online. High quality photos are so important. If you have bad photos or no photos online, you are limiting the number of people that schedule an appointment and walk through your front door.
Previous Agent’s Listing Photo
Previous Agent’s Listing Photo
My Listing Photo
3. Lacking Listing
In addition to not including photos with your listing, I’ve also seen listings that lack a description of the home and/or do not include room dimensions. Realtors should take the time to write descriptive copy about your home. They need to call out the important features that make your home stand out from the rest and draw special attention to any items that have been updated and are superior to the competition. They should also take the time to measure the rooms and include dimensions online for interested buyers. No room is 0’x0′ – if you see this, your real estate agent is being lazy.
4. Difficult Seller
Yes, you could be the reason why your house did not sell.
Did you refuse showing appointments because they were not convenient for you? You are trying to sell your home, so you need to make your home available for people who want to look at it. You will not receive an offer from someone who could not get inside to see your home.
Did you insist on being present for all showings? This is a major turnoff for buyers and their agents. Buyers tend to spend a lot less time in a home when the seller is present because buyers feel that they are imposing. They rush through the home, don’t look at the fine details and don’t share their opinions of the home with their agent. You want buyers to spend as much time as possible in your home. You want them to open doors, look in cabinets, talk with their agent and plan out where they would put their furniture in this home. Get out of their way and leave your home during showing appointments.
What they say in real estate is true – one of the most important factors is location, location, location! You can always remodel your house, but you cannot move your house. What constitutes a less desirable location? A house located in a commercial/industrial area, on the railroad tracks, on a busy road, under a flight pattern, in a high crime area, etc. So if the location is not great, you need to price the home accordingly.
I’m sure your listing agent syndicated your listing on multiple websites, but what else did he/she do to make sure your listing received the most exposure possible? We live in an ever-changing world and you need a technologically savvy Realtor® who stays on top of the latest trends and has a visible online presence.
You need to be able to get your listing in to the hands of your potential buyers and technology is the key! 47% of the people searching for homes online only log in from mobile devices. Buyers want to view mobile friendly sites, virtual walkthroughs from their smartphones and videos with the click of a button. They want their experience to be easy, user-friendly and immediate!
47% of the people searching for homes online only log in from mobile devices.
In addition to using technology to gain the most exposure of your listing, it also helps to ensure a smooth transaction from start to finish. Technology allows for easy access to documents from anywhere – home, office, car, vacation, you name it! With technology at your fingertips, there is no excuse for massive delays or slow response times.
How and where did your previous agent market your home?
On the MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com? That is typical, but are those the only places? What about on social media?
People check their social media accounts 17 times per day.
Did you know that people check their social media accounts 17 times per day and are spending 28% of their time online engaged in social networking? You need to get in front of potential buyers where they are – online and on social media. I am active online via my personal blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and YouTube, as well as, within my local community.
Did your agent use photos and video in your listing?
High quality professional photos do a lot for a listing and increase buyer interest, but what about video? Believe it or not, video increased listing inquiries by 403%, according to a study by international listing website domain.com.
Video increased listing inquiries by 403%!
A pan through of the listing photos played to music does not count as video in my book. It may take more time, but you want a real live-action video showing potential buyers all the great features that make your house unique! You need to stand out from the competition, not blend in. Therefore you need a Realtor® that helps you differentiate your house from the rest on the market!
Did your agent provide you with a virtual tour of your home?
Again, a pan-through of the listing photos played to music does not count as a real virtual tour – it’s not even close! We do not live in a 2-dimensional world and looking at flat pictures does not give buyers a good feel for how a home is laid out.
My exclusive 360 degree virtual guided tours allow buyers to walk around a property from the convenience of their computer or smart phone. Buyers can use www.LookInside.house to walk around a home, to go outside, to visit every corner of a house to better assist them with their decision-making process. Check out 360° virtual tours of some of my listings at www.LookInside.house.
8. Messy House
Remember, you are trying to sell your home…so CLEAN IT UP! Buyers are looking for their future home and you need to make them want to move in to this one. It’s not too much to ask that you keep your house neat and clean.
Every day when you leave your house, you should treat it as if someone may want to come and view your home. You want your home to be ready to be shown at all times. Make the beds. Empty the sink full of dishes. Clean the bathrooms. Flush the toilet (yes, I’ve seen this). Put away bills and personal items. Take out the trash. Keep it clean.
9. Stinky House
The sense of smell a powerful one. Smell can invoke deep-rooted memories or can be a major turnoff.
A house that stinks from pets, smoke or mold will turn off a buyer before they get two steps in to the home. I’ve had buyers walk out of a house within seconds of walking through the front door. It does not matter how nice the home is or how many updates it has, if it stinks they’re usually gone!
Having a conversation with sellers about a bad smell in their house is not easy and many agents avoid this conversation at all costs. When listing a house for sale, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation may be, I have it with my sellers when we first meet. Smell is something we need to address up front before the home is ever listed for sale. You only have one chance to impress buyers and first impressions matter! Even if you address a smell after buyers complain about it, you have lost their interest and they are not coming back through your home.
If you are lucky enough to have someone look past the smell of your house, you better be ready for an offer that is much lower than your asking price. The buyer will be sure to factor in the cost to clean the house, replace carpets, replace drywall, etc.
10. Bad Real Estate Agent
Not all agents are created equal. I have worked with many real estate agents during my years as a licensed Realtor® and I have found that this field is home to all types of agents and personalities. Did you know that approximately 1 out of every 220 adults in the US is a licensed agent (or was at some point in time). Yet despite the high number of Realtors® and real estate agents, not all offer the same attention, expertise and high quality services. The fact is 20% of the real estate agents do 80% of the business. Some are just better qualified to get your house sold than others.
20% of the real estate agents do 80% of the business.
Although both real estate agents and Realtors® are licensed to sell real estate, there are differences between them. You need to understand the difference before you hire someone to sell your home. Just because you know a friend or family member who is a real estate agent, does not mean that they are the right agent for you. Make sure your agent possesses the 3 traits that I find most important and avoid any agents that possess any of the 6 warning signs. Even if you simply hired a bad agent the first time around, it’s now time to hire the right one!
I’d like to encourage you not to give up and to try again. Just like no two houses are the same, no two Realtors® are the same. If you would still like to sell your home, please consider the services that I can offer you to ensure that your home gets the attention that it deserves.