In the book The Life of Fuller Purpose there’s a story about a boy on a bicycle pedaling against the wind up a rather steep hill in London.
He hadn’t made it far from the foot of the hill and yet was already struggling to make much progress.
Just as he was pushing the pedals as hard as he could, and straining with all his might, along came a trolley car going up the hill in the same direction.
The trolley car was going faster than the boy was, but not too fast for the boy to get behind it, and with just one hand reach out and grab a hold of the railing on the back.
Suddenly he was gliding up the hill effortlessly!
Sometimes all it takes is one simple thing to completely change your momentum.
If you feel like you’ve been doing everything you can to get your house here on The Space Coast sold, but it just keeps lingering on the market without any offers, you might be just one simple step away from something that sends you sailing straight to a closing.
Here are 5 tips to help you jump start a stale listing.
Make your listing photos more appealing
In today’s digital age over 90% of home shoppers begin their search online. So you’re home’s web appeal is crucial to attracting a buyer.
Studies show that first impressions are formed within 7 seconds. This happens with the online listing of your home too. If high resolution photos weren’t used or the photos don’t present your home well, due to clutter or poor lighting, buyers will just move on to the next listing and you’ve lost your 7 second window of opportunity to make a good first impression.
A lack of photos can also have the same effect. When you only have a small number of pictures in your listing there’s just not enough to grab a buyer’s attention. And what’s worse, when there aren’t many photos, buyers tend to assume there must be something you’re hiding, so they just move on to the next listing.
Make sure there are lots of high quality pictures in your listing. If you feel like you already have lots of high quality pictures in your listing and you’re still not getting any showings try changing out some of the pictures.
Consider a different angle. Or try taking the pictures with and without using a flash and see which ones look better.
Make sure you’ve included pictures of any amenities your neighborhood might have such as a play ground, community pool or tennis court. Help prospective buyers visualize what life would be like in your home and neighborhood.
A simple change like this might be all that’s needed to spark interest from a buyer and land you the offer you’ve been waiting for.
Spruce up your home just a little bit more
The pictures in your listing might be great and you might even be getting some showings. But when buyers come to view your home maybe they’re seeing things they don’t like that didn’t show up in the pictures.
Little things like a corroded front door knob or a rusty door bell button can be making a bad first impression before buyers even enter your home.
When they come through the front door what’s the first thing they are seeing? An old, outdated ceiling light with a burned out bulb or two? Dirty base boards or caulking gaps where the board meets the wall? A hole in the drywall where the front door knob keeps hitting the wall? If so, you might be sending out all the wrong signals.
These things might seem minor to you but they start adding up in the minds of buyers and can quickly chase them away. Most buyers are looking for turn-key homes that require little or no work at all.
You may not need to perform a complete renovation on your home. Often times just a minor makeover does the trick. You can address little things like this for a few hundred dollars. Focus on simple, low cost fixes you can make such as paint, caulk, light fixtures, door knobs and a deep cleaning.
It won’t cost you very much but it just might be the difference between no offers and multiple offers.
Make your home a little less…you
This can take a couple different forms. Your yellow submarine back porch and purple, peace sign painted bedrooms might be a bit much for the typical home shopper.
When preparing your home for sale, use neutral paint colors and décor similar to what you’d expect to see in a model home. Buyers have likely walked through the “New builds” too and if yours is along the same lines they’ll be able to relate.
The smell of your house can also make a big difference. There’s an old saying in real estate: If I can smell it, I can’t sell it. This one can be tricky too because when you’re living in your home you really don’t notice the way it smells.
Febreze television commercials do a pretty good job of explaining this phenomenon.
You think you’re kitchen smells fine:
But you’re guests smell this:
You get the idea. A few scented candles or plug-ins throughout your house will completely change your buyer’s impression during a showing.
And speaking of showings — when you, or your Realtor, are showing your home you should make yourself scarce, if not completely absent. Some home sellers make the mistake of following buyers around from room to room during a showing. You might think you’re just being friendly but it’s not creating the right environment for buyers to feel comfortable.
If they rushed through the showing because you were hovering around them they might not have had a chance to really picture what their life could be like if they owned the home.
If they purchased your home it wouldn’t come complete with you following them around all day would it? Don’t interfere with their experience.
Lower your price
If you’ve tried all of the above ideas and still aren’t getting a buyer then you may be priced too high.
Determining the best asking price for your home is one of the most important aspects of being able to get it sold. If you’ve priced it above market value you’re almost certainly missing out on qualified prospective buyers.
Remember to keep in mind what really determines the value of a home. You’re real estate agent doesn’t determine the value of your home. You don’t determine the value of your home. The market determines the value of your home.
Your home is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. And to find that person you may need to lower the price.
And you may need to lower it quite a bit to stir up some interest. Consider lowering it 5% or even 10%. Lowering the price will bring out a whole new batch of buyers, particularly if your price reduction crosses a major threshold, like going from $314,000 to $299,000. Buyers with a $300,000 budget wouldn’t have seen your home before. But they will now!
Lowering the price doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be taking a hit. If you slash the price enough to create a frenzy you could end up seeing a bidding war that drives the price right back up to where you started.
Reassemble your team
Another possible mistake is that you simply hired the wrong real estate agent, or maybe you didn’t hire one at all. If you’re not seeing eye-to-eye with your agent on the pricing or sales strategy then it might be time to find another agent.
You want an agent that’s got your back and that’s on the same page you are. If you’re not working as a team you’re only making it more difficult than it has to be.
Be sure to let your agent know what your goals are and listen to the feedback they give you based on buyer’s comments after showings. Your agent will be another set of eyes, ears and nose to help you with any of the above mentioned items that may be keeping your home from attracting a buyer.
If your house has been lingering on the market a good listing agent will follow up with interested prospects and let them know you’ll entertain offers below the asking price. You may not need to lower the advertised price if prospective buyers know you’re willing to negotiate.
Every real estate scenario is different and it’s important to team up with an agent that’s in sync with you and can help you adapt to the changing conditions of the market.
If your house isn’t selling it might just take one simple thing to turn the corner. Like the bicycle riding boy in London…find your trolley car and grab onto the rail.
You too could suddenly find yourself gliding effortlessly…right to your home sale closing.
Want some help grabbing the rail? Click here to schedule a free strategy call.