These measures are inexpensive and not terribly time-consuming, but they’ll go a long way in resuscitating your listing and keeping your sellers happy.
With that feedback in mind, you can do the following things to make the property like a “new” listing again.
2. Tour your listing to experience it as a buyer does
How does the listing look and smell? What’s the first thing buyers notice when they come up the walk, open the front door and move from room to room?
Too much Stuff? If the home is jammed with furniture and belongings, the sink is piled with reeking dishes, individual rooms have only narrow paths through the clutter and the bed is surrounded by so much stuff it looks like you’d have to pole vault in and out of it, your problem is too much stuff. And in most cases, too much stuff also stinks. These sorts of properties are nearly impossible to sell unless they’re priced way below market because buyers simply cannot visualize cluttered spaces when they’re empty.
These can be hard conversations to have with sellers, but it might be easier to convince them that changes need to be made if you take them through comparable properties that are clutter free or staged so they can experience the difference between their property and others first hand.
When the clutter is gone and the curb appeal enhanced, make sure your sellers keep it in showing condition every day.
3. Take a fresh look at your marketing
Once the property is in good showing condition (inside and out), ask yourself if your marketing is effectively targeting the most likely buyers?
If, for example, your listing is a one-bedroom condo and your introductory description emphasizes its family-friendly location, schools and nearby parks and playgrounds, you are speaking to families and not to the professional singles or couples the property would most likely appeal to.
That busy group puts a premium on a property’s being in move-in condition: having popular finishes, furnishings, and colors, being low maintenance and located close to commute routes or to downtown technology or financial centers.
4. Pull the latest comps. Your research may indicate changes need to be made.
5. Have new professional photography done New photographs should feature different angles and lighting — inside and out — and highlight different features you know your target buyers will respond to. New professional photos can give an old listing vibrant new life.
This is especially true if you’re one of those agents who takes six shots of a new listing with your camera phone (and you appear in the bathroom mirror).
Professional photography is a must, now that everyone is window shopping online and deciding — based on the photographs -- which properties to visit and which to avoid.
6. Stage or restage the property before the new photographs are taken
If your seller balked at staging and you gave in, staging a property to appeal to your target market is usually cheaper than the next price cut would be. If the feedback you’ve collected tells you the existing staging isn’t working, then change stagers or ask for a restage to better fit your target buyer. Consider altering room colors before the property is restaged. Sellers often don’t understand that their “awesome decorating skills” are not the same as a stager’s ability to merchandise a property for maximum sales appeal.
7. Take the listing off the market while the facelift is going on
You could expire the listing out or withdraw and relist it when the facelift is done or take it off the market temporarily. But, by whatever means, you want the old listing gone, so a “new” listing will pop up on every agent’s daily hot sheet as soon as the property refresh is done and the home is back on the market.
While the listing is down, you should add a note in your confidential remarks stating that the home is being refreshed and will be back on the market soon, so agents don’t besiege your sellers for the listing, and those who have the right buyer know to reach out to you for updates. You don’t need to pull your sign, but adding a “coming soon” rider to it might be worthwhile.
8. Keep the listing active on social media
Once the property goes back on the MLS, keep it in front of prospects on social media and elsewhere.
Consider going into realtor.com, Zillow and other sites that show your listings to craft more extensive descriptions or highlight neighborhood features
9. Engage local residents, especially neighbors, in the sales effort
Send neighborhood invitations or area-wide postcards prior to public or neighbors-only open houses for the newly revived listing. Install a sign rider that cries “Open Sunday,” create open house posts. Instagram is useful for real-time posts about your open houses beginning or nearing their closing hour. Make sure both sites are in “public” mode before you share photos and posts.
10. Offer buyer’s agent incentives or closing cost incentives
If all else fails, offer either a closing cost incentive or a bonus to the buyer’s agent who writes a successful offer by a set deadline.
Though you may have to pay for it out of your own commission, offering a cash incentive is guaranteed to get you more showings by agents with good to marginal buyers. The incentive doesn’t make a sale, but it gets the property extra showings. The property has to sell itself by looking its best at all times.
Source: Inspired by Inman News Article 2/5/19
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