n Middle Tennessee, especially in several highly desirable neighborhoods, our market has picked-up substantially. In fact, well-priced homes are whizzing with offers while other, beautiful homes sit. And sit…and sit.
One home-seller I recently met at a dinner party commented she felt like the proverbial bridesmaid in the home market. Her home was clean, professionally decorated and was receiving lots of showing requests yet no offers. None. After 3 months on the market, she was exhausted with quick-home-pick-ups for last minute showings, constant cleaning and her kids were over it. However her husband was being relocated so they didn’t have a choice. She wanted to know what more she could do.
Respectful of the Realtor Code of Ethics, as her home was listed with a colleague at another agency, I asked her about her home price–how did she feel it was priced. She responded they are at the price they have to have and won’t go below it.
Not the first time its been said nor the last, so I asked a few other questions.
How many showings per week had she had? At first there were a lot and two came back for second showings. Then it slowed.
Had they changed their price during that time? No.
Did her husband’s company offer a relocation buyout? No.
How did she, her husband and agent come up with the price? It gave them enough for a downpayment on their next home.
How many homes in her neighborhood or that are in competition with her home has she looked at from buyers eyes? …..What?
Similar homes to hers, same features, similar price, how many Open Houses had she seen? We don’t believe in Open Houses. And we are relocating, I thought you understood. Why would I look at homes here.
**Pregnant Pause**I hadn’t intended to irritate but find out why her home hadn’t sold though I, and likely any other agent, knew the market diagnosis at this point, she just needed to see.
Weeelll, you wouldn’t… unless you wanted to sell here. …..Oh.
Clearly that wasn’t the end of our conversation, but for blog purposes its a good stop.
What happens when a home has been on the market for 3-4 months and hasn’t sold? What do you think about it?
What’s wrong with it? Why hasn’t anyone else bought it? It’s priced too high. It needs updating.
A home-for-sale is like bread in the pantry- it has a shelf life. When first offered it’s extremely desirable; then it becomes stale and finally when no one else offers and buys its simply a discard.
(tons of showings if priced reasonably, if none-to-a-few showings its priced out-of-category; then second showings no offers-the buyers choose other homes; after 90-120 days on the market its old-news and waiting for price reduction.
With that in mind, how do you turn a stale listing into the Prom Queen:
1. If you’ve had offers but considered them too “lowball,” try revisiting your goal. Why are you selling (this isn’t the market to just “test”, be honest)? What is the lowest price you find acceptable, and consider anything more as icing on the cake. Take (almost) every offer seriously. Counter-offer if its unacceptable. You don’t want to alienate a potential buyer who has solid financing because you’ve set your sights unrealistically high.
2. Go to Open Houses in your neighborhood if possible. Keep yourself educated on your competition.
3. Ask your listing agent to talk to buyer agents who have shown your home or ask your agent to host a Broker Open House. The feedback from their clients/colleagues can guide you in making home repairs, toning down your décor, making landscaping improvements and the like.
4. Do whatever it takes to be away from your home during showings and open houses. The presence of sellers makes it difficult for prospective buyers to take their time or talk openly with their partner and agent.
5. You belong in pictures...Videotape your house, inside and out. Watch the tape as if you were a prospective buyer. Is the lawn weedy or the garden bare? Is your home uncluttered and spotlessly scrubbed? Sparkling-clean houses sell faster than those that look too lived-in or show an abundance of the owner’s personality.
The market is turning and homes are selling. If you have a question, I’ll be happy to (try to) answer, even outside Tennessee. Shoot me an email or post a comment.
Happy home buying and selling,