It’s difficult to stay positive and motivated when your home has been on the market for over six months without a single solid purchase offer being made. If you’re in a situation like two of my neighbors who say, “I don’t really have to sell my home, but if someone offers full price, I’ll take it”, well, you can stop reading right now. This article is for those buyers who need to, have to, really want to sell their homes as quickly as possible.
I read a quote early this morning from one of my Facebook, friends (I can’t remember who it was). He said, “If you’re in hell don’t stop, keep moving.” That’s good advice for folks whose home has been on the market for what seems like forever. Realtors tell me the longer a home remains on the market the fewer inquiries that listing gets and the more frustrated sellers become. So if you think you’ve tried everything to sell your home, I have a few ideas that will hopefully stimulate your thinking and reenergize your efforts to get your house noticed.
Start with a fresh outlook: Invite someone from where you work to come and tour your home. The idea is to get someone who has never been to your home to come see your home as if they were house hunting. If you elect to use this idea, put your “thick skin” on. Watch their facial expressions and listen to the tone and inflection of their comments. You can learn just as much from what they say as you can from they way in which they say it.
Change the price: Before changing the price, take the time to tour other homes in your neighborhood to make an honest comparison. Most of us will have a difficult time remaining objective, so consider having that friend from work tour these homes with you. After visiting other homes check your price. If it’s too high, lower it. If it’s too low, raise it. If it’s just right, then leave it alone. The reason I include the option to raise your price is that common wisdom is that if a home hasn’t been shown, then perhaps the price needs to be dropped. When the price of a home listed on the MLS is changed it is picked up on more Realtor searches. The idea here is to generate interest in your home.
Hold a neighborhood open house: Use your neighborhood’s newsletter, website, or just mail postcards to your neighborhood and invite everyone over for a weeknight open house. Provide light snacks and hand out flyers to everyone who drops in. Most neighbors are curious about what your home looks like on the inside and many will come. Consider offering a “finder’s fee” for information leading to a buyer for your home.
Make use of Twitter: There are 170 characters in every Twitter post and with careful planning you can maximize each letter. Consider the following: “We’re moving and can’t take out house with us. Know anyone wanting a great place to live?” “Great home, new carpet, fresh paint inside and out, leaving great karma behind, no extra charge.” “$500 finder’s fee for sending me a buyer for my home” Ask your friends to use a few of their Twitter posts to help you sell your home. You might even make the finder’s fee available to them as well.
Have a candid talk with your Realtor: If your home has been on the market for several months and you’re getting limited or not interest, it’s time to have a candid talk with your realtor. But before jumping to the conclusion that they haven’t been doing their job I encourage you to take the opposite approach and listen to the way they answer this one simple question. “If this was your home and you needed to sell it, what would you do differently than what we have already done?” Be sure that you have both ears on and a notepad; and resolve beforehand that you will not take any of their suggestions as a personal attack.
The idea is to do something different that what you have already been doing. Mixing things up can be a great way to re-energize everyone’s activity and hopefully attract that buyer within the next thirty days.