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  • Writer's pictureKira Witherwax

Revitalizing A Listing

What if your house hasn't sold in 24 hours?


24 hours is a bit of an exaggeration, but we've all seen many houses that have. So, what can you do if that is not your experience? Ideally, when you and your agent present your property to the market, it creates a sense of urgency. It smells good, looks good, shows well and is priced in a way that makes buyers feel that if they don't move quickly someone else will and they'll miss out.


But what if buyers don't jump on it? In real estate, as in life, challenges are just a part of the process. How you work through those challenges, however, is what determines success. Suppose your challenge happens to be that you didn't quite captivate potential buyers in a way you'd hoped and now you've lost that sense of urgency. It could be for many reasons, it was priced a little too high, you didn't finish as many projects as you had hoped and you weren't able to put your best foot forward, or maybe it's just a unique property with a small buyer pool. Or maybe it's none of those. Or perhaps everything was in place, but the buyer for your house just wasn't looking at the time. Do not determine the "why" yourself. You are not objective if its your house. Consult your real estate professional for this step.


Reigniting Urgency


Creating a sense of urgency for a property that has been sitting on the market for months (or weeks in the recent market) is more of an art than science. The goal is to quite literally present it to the market again. A rebirth, if you will. Does that sound dramatic? Maybe, but rebranding a house and presenting it a second time requires a little pizazz.


We are trying to get the existing buyer pool to not only see it, but to visualize it in a new light. Buyers that have been scrolling daily for houses start to not see the ones that have been on the market a bit and subconsciously just scroll right on by. Buyers' agents do it, too, it's not on purpose but we need to present it in a way that makes them take a second look. It can be as simple as changing the main photo, rewriting the description, or posting a live video tour of the house on social media. If there's a favorite spot, maybe it's the backyard or the cozy fireplace, or the fantastic den in the basement, highlight that on social media. Pointing out a specific feature can draw people in again.


Usually, this is because a seller (or their agent) knows that one of the three above items are not on or functioning. If, for example, the house has been winterized and the seller is not willing to get it up and running for the bank appraisal, there are still a couple of options. Depending on the pride of the house, it may be feasible to get a home equity loan on a property the buyer currently owns in order to then make a cash offer on the fixer upper. Then once they've fixed it to a condition that can be financed, they can get a traditional mortgage on it.


Additional Strategies


Of course, in addition to sparking urgency there are paid advertising options available as well and should be included in your strategy. These best work when done in conjunction with those above. Some include online ads, postcards mailed to the neighborhood about the house asking them to "help" you find them a new neighbor, local newspaper ads, and real estate magazine ads.


And then there's the infamous open house. I hear stories from faraway places where people line up for open houses and then the seller gets fifteen offers. Maybe you have too? Here is not that place. I would consider a local open house successful if it secures two groups of people coming to tour. And almost never does someone that comes to an open house purchase that property. Especially in a neighborhood. Having an open house (and advertising for it) causes buyers and agents to "see" it again. And that is the goal. I think an open house can be a useful tool in our toolbox if we are on the same page about expectations.


Decide a Game Plan


Overall, don't forget the first step is discovering what factors you can and should change. If one of those factors is price, it needs to be addressed prior to, or in conjunction with, this rebirth. In order to create a renewed sense of urgency, the property must have a competitive price. And none of us have a crystal ball. So maybe the price made sense when you listed the house and now it doesn't. Or maybe you always knew it was a stretch. Or maybe for the right buyer the price is just right, but that buyer isn't looking right now. So, you need a price that appeals to more buyers.


It's a collaborative strategy and should be an ongoing discussion. But with a little effort, your house might get the attention it deserves.



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