Selling a home doesn’t always go smoothly from start to finish. In fact, there are a handful of common situations that can slow your progress. Be proactive by learning how to overcome three common seller hurdles.
HURDLE # 1: Slow Buyer Volume
There are a number of reasons why you might have low traffic coming to your listing.
- Is your home on the MLS?
- Do you have great photos?
- Do you have a For Sale sign?
- Have you shared your sale with your connections on Facebook and elsewhere?
- Are you offering a buyer’s agent commission?
Make sure you follow all of the MLS listing best practices to drive consistent traffic. Also, don’t post your listing and forget about it. Make it a point to revisit your listing after you’ve started to see (or not see) traffic, evaluate your content and make changes as needed to get more buyers interested in your property.
HURDLE # 2: Price is Too High
If your pricing is off, your ideal buyer may never see your home! Why? Because most home shoppers are looking for properties that fall into a fairly narrow price range. If yours doesn’t show up in search results because it’s priced above other similar homes in your area, you’re going to have a hard time connecting with the most qualified buyers.
Also, consider your location. If you live in a highly seasonal market like Lake Tahoe, you’re going to be able to sell for more in the crowded summer months than in the shoulder season between the end of skiing and the onset of summer. Keep all these things in mind when pricing your property.
Here’s a great tool that will help you determine if your property is priced too high (for non-seasonal markets):
- If you’re getting offers, your price is good.
What to do: Keep your price as-is.
- If you’re getting showings but no offers, your price is too high.
What to do: Lower it by 4-6%.
- If your not getting many showings, your price is too high.
What to do: Lower it by 6-12%.
- If people are driving by but no one is reaching out, your price is too high.
What to do: Lower it by 12% or more.
Note that people who come through an open house aren’t as indicative of your listings success as those who schedule individual showings. Why? Because the crowd at the open house is likely to include a relatively high proportion of neighbors and not-so-serious browsers.
HURDLE # 3: Dealing with Indecisive Buyers
Sometimes the issue lies with the buyer. You may be dealing with first time buyers who are trigger shy or repeat buyers who are slow to respond or who are getting hung up on little details. In any case, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open so you can work through issues quickly. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and politely ask what’s up.
Once in escrow, it’s important that you know how to react when buyers are dragging their feet or are slow to send in required paperwork. If you’re working with a transaction coordinator, they will manage this process for you, doing things like sending a Notice to Buyer to Perform. If you’re handling the sale without a coordinator, work with the buyer’s agent as best you can to keep things moving along.
If there’s a stalemate, focus on the big picture. Be willing to compromise on things that will end up a wash in the end. For example, it’s not worth losing a sale over repairing or replacing an appliance if your buyers are well qualified.
Knowing what kinds of hurdles may pop up in the selling process and being prepared to deal with them will help you get through escrow and closing smoothly.
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