Is The Third Time the Charm for Homes That Didn't Sell?
Often in rural America, the homes in the higher price ranges struggle to find buyers, especially in this economy. With most of the jobs in the Metropolitan areas, and most small rural communities not having as many buyers who can qualify for the $500,000 + price range homes, homes can languish.
In pulling comps and helping a family evaluate market conditions I found that many of the homes had been listed one, two and even three times and had not sold. Some of these have been on the market for nearly five years! In trying to figure out what was wrong with these properties, many of which were in excellent condition, I found some very interesting things:
- Pricing: It doesn't matter what you paid, how much you owe, what the insured replacement value is, what debts you would like to pay off, or what the new home you plan to buy will cost. What does matter is what are the comparable sales and how competitively priced are you with them? How long did they take to sell? Your home must be priced better than the other homes on the market, preferably considerably better when there has only been 1 home sale in your county in the last two years between $400,000 - $3,450,000.
- Condition: If the property needs a facelift, feels like it's right out of 1985, you might need to bring it "Back to the Future." Older homes, even in nice condition can't compete well with modernized,updated homes. Clean it, de-clutter it, paint it, landscape it.
- Pre-Inspection: When you aren't likely to get a lot of offers, the few prospects you do have must really feel confident in your property, having an inspection performed by a licensed home inspector, and then showing how you step by step fixed each issue can really make buyers confident in your property. Do the same with Termite Inspections and go ahead and get a bond on your property.
- Think Outside the Box: If you have listed with a local agent before, but didn't have success, and you tried the mid major city 45 minutes away, if there is a big city within 1.5 hours, try an agent that can market the property in that big city. Finding buyers who can telecommute and drive to the office once a week may be a strong possibility for the agents in the big city. Also, many agents in the big cities may be able to target those who are sick of the hussle of the city and might like to get away.
- Pictures Matter: If your agent left the same old tired pictures up on your home for all seasons, the home looked stale in the summer with winter pictures, and looked over priced in the Fall with the previous Winter's picutres, and by Spring many buyers might have wondered what was wrong with the house?
- You Need Both MLS Systems: If you are in a market that has more than one MLS system, make sure you are with an agent that lists your home in both systems. To only list in one means that the first two times you missed big sections of the market.
- Internet Activity: 90% of buyers start here, so know where your agent is going to market your property!
- Auction: Auctions, when marketed properly can get a lot of people to see your property, so partnering with an agent that has the ability to work with an auction company can be a huge bonus.
If you have listed with someone who couldn't sell your home, and the listing has expired once or twice, the third time may be the charm if you try making sure your agent follows some of these tips. Many of them will be reliant upon you, because a great marketing plan for an overpriced property or a property in poor condition will make little difference.