Time to reinvigorate your stale listing

Industry Observer with The Real Estate Solutions Guy

It's not what anyone expected. Everyone thought the home would sell quickly. But after several weeks on the market, all you have to show for all of your work, is a stack of Realtor business cards on the kitchen counter. Each week there's fewer and fewer home showings. Your home just isn't attracting any attention from buyers. You have what the real estate industry calls a "stale home listing".

In this super hot real estate market, it's hard to believe anyone could have a house that isn't selling. So what do you do when your house isn't selling and you have a stale listing? Before you lower the price of your home, you need to look at these ways to attract new buyers

Listen to buyer feedback before you do anything else

Sellers and their agents shouldn't assume they know why a home isn't selling. Jason Gelios, a Realtor from southeast Michigan, and founder of It's All About Real Estate says, "Listening to potential buyers' feedback can be invaluable. Home owners selling a home should be reviewing any feedback they receive from potential buyers and then implementing those change", says Gelios.

Three reasons why your home listing has gone stale

Jody Moody, a Realtor® in Lenoir City, Tennessee says, "When a home doesn’t sell or becomes stagnant it is one of three problems: Price, Condition or Location. These three variables MUST work together." Moody continues, "If a home has a poor location, the other two must compensate by being in great condition and an enticing price. "

Unfortunately sometimes it is the price. Many sellers will insist on listing their home higher than the market, just daring someone to bite. They have the attitude of, "If it doesn't sell for what I want, then oh well". But, "if the price is too high, then the location better be desirable and the condition top notch or it will never happen" says Moody.

When a home needs repairs, fresh paint or simply dated, then the price or location can attract a buyer. "If two conditions are weak, like an 'unsellable' location and truly poor condition, then the price really will matter. Your price will need to be low enough to attract an investor or someone willing to overlook the poor conditions to be a home owner", says Moody. Each of these factors are like part of an equation. If you change one the values, then the other two values must change.

Reinvigorate your stagnant listing by staging your home and taking new pictures

Almost every agent we interviewed suggested sellers stage their home and hire a professional photographer to take pictures. Deidre Woollard with Millionacres.com suggests that after you have listened to buyers' feedback "it's time to consider reintroducing [your home] to the market. Some agents take a property off market for a short period of time to reset days on market. During this time off market, you can bring in a home stager, refresh the curb appeal (landscaping and painting the front door) and reshoot photos and video."

Is it time to reconsider the price of your stale listing?

Finally, if your location and condition are good, then it's time to reconsider your price. "

Often the price issue is the thing that the owner least likes to hear", says Woollard, but you have to "you have to look if [your home] is overpriced vis a vis recent sales". Of course, seller's rarely want to hear that their home isn't selling because of price. Sellers and their agents need to look at the comparable sales in the neighborhood see how compare your house compares with other homes in the area. Is it getting similar traffic as other listings both online and off? Are the open houses well attended? Were there a lot of showings? If you're getting a lot of showings, and your condition and location is good, it's time to reconsider your price.

Crush that stale listing and push your home to the top of the pile

Each day, newly listed homes are pushed out to various websites and web portals. Most multiple listing services will syndicate your home listing with other websites like Zillow automatically. However, as there are more homes added to the list, older listings are pushed further and further down. To overcome this, Sarah Bandy, with Engel & Völkers, suggests taking your home off of the market and "place back on as a fresh listing so that it's at the top of the search engines as a new listing. The older the listing is, the further it's pushed to the bottom of the search query so this will make it show up first and possibly revive any interest."


If you have a stale listing, it's time to go back to the feedback you've received from potential buyers. Is it price, condition or location? Or maybe buyers can't picture how to use the floor plan. It may be time to take your home off of the market and make corrections. Then relist your home with staging and professional photos. Don't settle for just lowering the price, if you can fix the problem buyers are having.  


This story was condensed from Crush Your Stale Home Listing.

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