HELP! My House Isn’t Selling
Every once in a while I get a panicked call from a Seller asking what we can do because their house isn’t selling. I take a lot of things into consideration. Of course, location, price, and condition are the three major reasons why a house isn’t selling. If those three are good, I ask deeper questions. If it’s my listing, I have the answers to most of these. If it’s not my listing, I want to know these things.
- Is the house listed in the local MLS and all the major online “real estate” websites?
In the rare case that a Seller is trying to be on the “DL”, this can have a major effect on how many people see the property. Also, some real estate offices do not allow their company listings to automatically be uploaded to Zillow and its affiliates. Like it or not, the more sites that the property is on, the more chance it will be seen and sold.
- Is the information accurate?
I had a past client call me recently. Her parent’s house was listed with a family friend but it was not getting any showings. She wanted to see if I would take a look at the listing and give my feedback. Right away I knew why there hadn’t been any showings recently. There had been a price “reduction” a few weeks prior but what should have been a reduction to $1,200,000.00 was typed in as $12,000,000.00. The house didn’t warrant twelve million dollars and there certainly are a lot less buyers in the market for that price home. Be a second set of eyes for your agent. We all make mistakes. I send the listing to my clients and ask them to look it over. You know the property better than your agent. They may have not included a quality or feature that you feel is very important. I’m not saying do their job for them, but it is a team effort to get a house sold so don’t be shy about making suggestions or asking them to make changes.
- Are the photographs of professional quality?
I have seen hundreds, possibly thousands, of house photos that are taken with a poor quality camera. They often have people or animals in them, or the agent’s image in the mirror. The angles are bad. The color is terrible. And a lot of times, they showcase things that should not be highlighted. Make sure the photos are great quality. As a Seller, make sure the house is as “picture perfect” as possible.
- Are you allowing showings?
If there are too many restrictions or the showing requests are consistently being denied, you have a lot less chance of the property selling. I understand if people work from home or have small children that nap, however, the idea is to get people in the door if they want to see your home. If they can’t see it, they probably won’t buy it. Some Sellers have the idea that if they say, “No,” the prospective buyer will come back. That is not always the case. Yours may be one of 5 they wanted to see on the only day they were available. They may have chosen one of the other 4 and never thought of yours again.
- What time of year is it?
I don’t like excuses. If a client calls me, concerned about their house not selling, I take it seriously. I try to come up with a solution. Can we do more marketing? Can we do a different kind of marketing? Can we do an open house? Sometimes, though, you have to look at the market as a whole. Is it a slow time of year? It could be that families are getting ready to put the kids back in school. It could be a holiday season when a lot of buyers are focusing on other things. It could be that there have been snow storms, flooding, or power outages.
Sometimes, all that’s needed is a little patience. The real estate market is a moving thing. It ebbs and flows. If your agent has addressed all these things, chances are, you don’t need to jump ship, you just need to breathe and wait for that right buyer to come by.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.