It’s never good to go into the doldrums of winter with a stale listing, which is generally defined as a property that’s been on the market 45 days or longer. And now may be the best time to turn things around. Surprisingly, home sales tend to spike right around the holidays, perhaps for the same reason sales of everything else spike — people are treating themselves by reaching for their pocketbooks. The same is true in the housing market.
Here are 10 ways to get some movement on a stale listing.
1. Get a second opinion
Sometimes, and especially once a listing has gone stale, you’re so close to the home that you’re blind to its imperfections. That’s when you need a second opinion, a new set of eyes. Bring in a colleague to assist you or even a family member or friend. If you want to throw money at the problem, which is sometimes necessary, bring in a professional stager.
2. Get some feedback
Stop guessing at what the problem might be and converse with the buyers’ agents to see what their clients are saying about the home. This is critical information. Be prepared to listen and accept some constructive criticism with open arms.
3. Get the floor layout
Virtual tours can be confusing. You don’t know what size screen people are viewing it on, you don’t know how fast or slow their internet connection is. Even beautifully put together virtual slideshows can sometimes fail to communicate how a home is put together. Add a floorplan to the listing so people can put what they’re seeing perspective.
4. Focus on the neighborhood
Location is king. If you can’t move the house for the house’s sake, maybe you can sell the neighborhood. Highlight the community, the best coffee shops, cafes and restaurants. Think of all your different kinds of buyers and think of things in the surrounding area that would attract each kind of person.
5. Take new pictures
This should be one of the first plans of attack if a listing has gone stale. How much time do you spend on your pictures the first time? Did you take them with your phone? How was the lighting? Was the home stages properly. Go back and do it right if you didn’t the first time, and you may find yourself fielding more leads than ever.
6. Paint the home with your words
Don’t just describe the property. Tell a story. Put some emotion and history into the description. You don’t have to be Shakespeare and it doesn’t have to take all day. Take an hour on the description and you’ll see you’ve made a huge improvement.
7. Reconsider your open house strategy
How frequently are you holding open houses? Try and hold them more frequently, and try and jazz them up with prizes, food, and other perks. And don’t forget to market your open houses on social media!
8. Revisit pricing
It’s the last thing you want to budge on, but you may have to move on the price. If your listing is approaching two months on the market, you don’t have much of a choice.
9. How’s curb appeal?
There’s nothing like curb appeal when it comes to selling a house. People tend to make up their minds pretty quickly, and sometimes that will mean before they even walk in the front door. If you need to, invest in a lawn or garden overhaul. Powerwash the sidewalk and porch, anything to bring the exterior up a notch. Pro tip: do this before you take your new exterior pictures!
10. Go heavy on social media
Whatever you’re doing on social media, do more of it. This is where homes are being bought and sold today.
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