Not getting interest in your home as quickly as you were hoping to? That’s okay – we can help you figure out what’s causing your slow start. There are four main areas to consider if your home isn’t seeing much buyer activity: seasonality, unique traits, marketing and pricing. Let’s take a closer look at each one to see how they impact your home sale.
In highly seasonal places, the average marketing time is typically over 180 days – more than double the average listing to sold time in non-seasonal areas.
Generally speaking, warmer weather stirs real estate activity. But seasonality isn’t necessarily about warmth; it’s also about 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.
If this scenario applies to you and you listed your home for sale in the off-season, you may need to reset your expectations and wait it out. If that’s not an option and you need to sell quickly, you may need to lower your price.
Listing activity can be slow if your home has unique characteristics that only a buyer with taste or needs similar to your own would appreciate.
For example, if you’ve remodeled your home as an artistic statement, then your buyer pool may be limited to similarly creative-minded home seekers. As another example, perhaps you renovated your home to include solar panels, a gray water system and a food garden in the back yard. While some buyers would love to have these amenities, others might pass because it’s unfamiliar.
The bottom line is: uniqueness can shrink your buyer pool and limit the activity you see on your listing. In this circumstance, patience may be your virtue. But you can optimize your exposure and increase the number of eyes on your listing by going through the marketing guidance below.
To reach the maximum number of buyers, make sure you have incorporated the following marketing tasks:
- MLS Listing & Syndication:
If your home is only listed with a local real estate agent or office and isn’t on the national sites (or vice versa), your exposure will be limited. You need to make sure your listing is displayed across as many local and national real estate sites as possible.Start by getting it listed on your local MLS. Once you’re listed there, your home will be syndicated across national sites like Zillow, Redfin, Trulia and Yahoo! Homes. It will also be picked up on independent real estate agent sites in your area. Want to simplify this process? Home Bay can do it for you!
- Great photos:
Your photos are the first thing potential buyers see, so they have to be great. Read this post to learn how to take fantastic photos that will help improve the sales activity on your home.
- For Sale sign:
Potential buyers often drive around the neighborhoods they like. Chances are, you did this yourself before you bought the home you’re in now. Having a For Sale sign in the yard can improve the activity you see on your home for those driving by, and also by neighbors who see your home and tell a friend.
- Social Media:
A growing number of buyers find their homes through social connections. Post a quick note about your sale along with a great photo on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to help spur activity. Need some posting ideas? Check out this post.
Price and good pictures (see above) are typically the biggest driver of sales activity. There are a number of online tools and resources that can help you to properly price your home, but if you’re not comfortable with it, you can hire an appraiser for a fee.
If your home was priced correctly and the above mentioned problems do not apply to you, you should have requests for showings in the first 30 days and you should be receiving some offers.
Use this chart to determine how to adjust your price if interest in your listing is lacking.
It’s wise to review your pricing every two weeks for non-seasonal areas, and every month or two in highly seasonal areas. Be sure to compare your list price to other homes for sale in your neighborhood, and make adjustments based on your activity level.
One last thing to consider is whether or not you’re offering an appealing buyer agent commission. If you’re not, consider offering 2.5-3% to increase activity on your listing. Buyer’s agents are incentivized to help you sell your home when they know there will be a good return on their time investment. If you choose not to offer a standard commission to save money, just know that you will be putting your home at a significant disadvantage. Have questions? Check out our post on agent commissions.
Consider each of the above factors and adjust your strategy to start attracting buyers to your listing!
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