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House sitting on the market longer than you’d like? Here’s what to do

by Kelly Leighton on

Your seller has read all about how it’s a “seller’s market” right now, so they expect to have at least one offer within a week of listing their home.

Instead, despite your best efforts, the property sits. And sits a little longer. And the seller is starting to question why their property just isn’t moving when their neighbor’s is. What do you do?

“No one really wants to talk about this subject, it’s a hard pill to swallow,” said District 1 Vice President Heather Petrone-Shook. “If I have a property sitting, I will ask some colleagues to take a look at the listing and give me their honest opinion and ask them to run comps. I may re-shoot the property if the photos are seasonally dated, like snow is on the ground and it’s now June.”

Petrone-Shook also said she sometimes shuffles the photos for online listings to give it a fresh look.

“I may suggest to the seller to take it off the market and relist after the days on the market are reset,” she said. “There are a number of reasons why a property might not be selling and it isn’t always the price, but that could be a contributing factor. I find that if you keep the sellers updated that when you need to have the hard conversations that it makes it easier.”

District 3 Vice President Eric Rehling stressed the importance of communicating with your seller from the start. “Discuss the ‘what if’s’ should the home linger a bit is really important in the beginning of the listing relationship. Knowing what to expect reduces our stress. The same goes for a listing agent. We should be trying to provide a forecast of sorts so our clients can begin to prepare.”

Rehling said if a home isn’t selling, he will bring in a professional stager to spruce up the place for photos and showings. “Maybe we will pick up a few things we can change with the home in order to showcase the space better. We will also utilize open houses, hopefully in conjunction with a price reduction. We will also create a new digital advertising campaign using new pictures or new angles to help create renewed interest,” added Rehling.

While it’s been a seller’s market for a few years, District 8 Vice President Adam Conrad said sellers should be adjusting their expectations for today’s market.

“Sellers could list their home and expect good showing activity and sometimes, even multiple offers. Now that we are moving to a buyer’s market, sellers will have to change up their strategy with fewer buyers available and rising interest rates,” said Conrad.

“When prices are moving downward due to drop in demand, the smart seller initially prices their home to sell rapidly,” added Conrad. “This strategy makes the seller’s home more attractive, and the buyers choose it over the alternatives on the market. All things being equal, the lower priced home will always sell first. Small incremental drops in price will make no difference in the marketing of your home. You will need to make drastic 8-10% price drops for your home to be more attractive to buyers when in a buyer’s market. Remember, you can’t test the market with a higher initial price in a buyer’s market, it will spell disaster for your selling price.”


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Comments (1)


  • Linda Walters    August 19, 2019 | 7:10 am

    Nice article with excellent suggestions!

    Reply to Linda Walters

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