I recently had the chance to chat with a New Orleans home seller who was, shall we say, less than pleased with the way her previous agent handled the marketing of her home.
He had it all over the internet and we had several open houses, but no one made any offers
As we continued to talk, it became apparent that the marketing wasn’t the issue with this home. It was getting plenty of exposure. That only leaves two factors – price and condition – and neither of those were in the control of her REALTOR®.
Pricing Your Home To Sell
Price is the ultimate factor that determines whether or not someone will even bother to take a look at your home when it’s for sale. Every buyer has a budget, and if your home doesn’t fit their budget, they won’t make an appointment, much less an offer. Smart agents go above their buyer client budgets, looking for homes that appear overpriced and may be more open to negotiation. But at some point, there’s a cut off.
Why correct pricing is critical
- Buyers search online within specific price ranges – price too high and your home won’t show up in their search results
- Agents get excited and are happy to show homes that are priced well, resulting in more showings and better odds of a quick sale
- Obviously overpriced properties tend to generate low ball offers as buyers try to feel out a seller’s real bottom line
- Don’t choose your agent just because they gave you the highest probable price for a sale – it may be that they are willing to say whatever they think you want to hear in order to get their sign in your front yard
Why condition is just as critical
You can have the lowest priced home in your neighborhood, but if the condition is a problem for buyers, you aren’t going to be any more successful than that overpriced house down the street.
Are buyers looking for a bargain? Yes, they are. But a perceived bargain based only on price may not be such a bargain after all. If the work required to bring the house up to the condition of other homes in the neighborhood is either expensive or time consuming, you’ll have to discount the value of your home deeply to overcome the objections of the buyers to doing the work and/or delaying when they move in. It may be worth your while in the long run to take care of some of those maintenance issues you’ve been putting off or even to do some simple updates that will make the house more attractive.
What else can make a difference when selling your home?
- Offering some extras, such as the refrigerator, washer and dryer or a home warranty can help a buyer choose your home over a competing property if all else is equal
- Buyer incentives, such as assistance with closing costs, are a huge factor in making your home more attractive than the competition
- Don’t keep any of these extras to yourself. Be sure that your agent is letting potential buyers know about them via the MLS remarks, blog posts and any other marketing tools they might use.
But, we can’t control….
The only variables to all of this advice are the two things that neither you nor we can control. The market and your location. We can’t change either one of them, so educating yourself on the ins and outs of your local real estate market and your neighborhood market can save you hours of frustration spent wondering “why hasn’t my home sold?”
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