Expired Listings - Why Some Homes Sell & Others Don't

Expired Listings - Why Some Homes Sell & Others Don't

Why Some Homes Don't Sell and How To Avoid Four Mistakes That Can Cost You Money

You put your home up for sale and what happened? The listing expired without a sale. Now you're wondering what went wrong.

Like all homeowners, you hoped your home would sell quickly. Some homes do. In fact, the majority of homes sell during the initial listing time agreed to by the seller and agent, usually a period of three to six months, and sometimes even longer.

But as you've found out, some don't sell. In some tough markets, as many as a third to one half of the listings expire unsold.

What should you do now? If your listing has expired and now you really want results, we can help. Don't get spooked by the first listing failure. The home sale you want is still well within reach!

Are You Still Committed To Selling?

Let's first take a step back and review your decision to sell. Do you still want to move? Although you may feel discouraged, if you still want or need to sell, make a renewed commitment to do what it takes to market your home effectively.

Next, find out precisely what went wrong. An expired listing usually reflects a problem in one or more of four major areas: communication, price, condition or marketing.

1. Communication

Why no sale? What did prospects say about price, about condition? What feedback did other agents offer? Teamwork between seller and agent is key to know how to alter a marketing plan for success. Not paying attention to a listing can be a factor as well, but rarely the whole story.

Every seller can boost a property's exposure. Make it easy to show: consider a lockbox, "For Sale" sign where permitted, and showing times convenient to buyers. Also, keep the home in showplace shape, depersonalize furnishings so prospects see themselves at home, and keep pets at a distance. Remember, the next prospect may be your buyer.

Most important, we want to hear from you. Our sellers are a key source about showing traffic, new-on-the-market competition, changes in the neighborhood and property condition that affect the property's saleability. Also, you have our word you will hear from us regularly - the more we work together, the faster a sale will be closed.

2. Price

This is the most common culprit for the lack of a sale. An incorrectly priced home attracts the wrong buyers or even worse - none at all.

Market conditions probably have changed since you initially listed your home. Homes may have sold, additional homes may be listed now, mortgage rates may have moved up or down. We can prepare an up-to-date, competitive market analysis - a review of recently sold homes and those currently for sale that are comparable.

One little known secret is to set your price below other expired listings and overpriced listings languishing 90 to 120 to 180 plus days on the market.

With our analysis, you'll know how your home compares to others offered for sale today. Is your price right? Are your terms and financial incentives competitive?

Your price should be close to what homes like yours have actually sold for recently, rather than to current listing prices of comparable properties. Although your home will likely sell for it's real market value, by pricing it closer to selling prices, not asking prices, it will sell faster.

Activity without offers often indicates overpricing. Remember, any home, no matter what condition it is in, will sell for the right price. What price is "right" depends on market conditions, competition and the home's condition.

3. Condition

Is your home someone else's dream home? When buyers enter, do they think, "I love this place!" A home in move-in condition invites a sale. Have you fixed all the little squeaks and drips, cleaned and painted, decluttered, brightened up and concentrated on outside curb appeal?

Or are you hesitant to take care of major items? For example, did you offer an allowance for the new carpet instead of installing it? While prospective buyers are trying to imagine what new carpet will look and feel like, they likely are discounting the price still further for the worn carpet underfoot. A home in like-new condition sells fastest and gets the best price because it outshines the competition.

We can tour your home and help you see it as prospective buyers do.

4. Marketing

As the old saying goes, "Advertising doesn't sell homes, agents do." Your secret to success is a carefully crafted marketing plan that exposes your property to the widest possible pool of prospective buyers.

Elements often include: direct promotion to other agents and brokers through special tours, fliers and brochures; listing in an area-wide computer network; an advertising program that generates buyers for similar properties in your price range; broker opens and buyer open houses if appropriate; and other unique activities designed to catch attention.

Buyers Are Out There Now

Finally, a word of advice. Don't show off your home until marketing plans, terms, price and condition are set. Buyers are out there right now looking for certain properties. Put your home in buyer-ready condition before listing it again, and it won't go unsold.

If you're ready to re-list your expired listing, or simply want to talk about what to do next, I welcome your call.

Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty: 541-480-7441