Advice for Realtors




Why Your Listings Aren't Selling


    Have you ever wondered why other Realtors are more successful than you in getting their listed homes sold. There are a number of variables other than just price that drive a home either to be SOLD or to sit on the market with no offers.

    A good place to start is to ask yourself, "Why should a buyer choose this home over all the others on the market," says Rich Stover, Sarasota Florida real estate expert. If you don't know the answer your listing is in trouble. In buyer's markets, it is particularly important to have your listings outshine the competition because buyers have lots of homes to choose from.

  • Less than Perfect Condition of the Home
    How is the first impression it gives a prospective buyer -- the age old "curb appeal" problem. Is the kitchen up to date ? Do the bathrooms sparkle? Not necessarily in absolute terms but in competition with similar homes on the market in the same price range. Kitchens and baths are extremely important to the woman of the house. How about the carpets, are they worn or dirty? If it has hardwood floors are they near-perfect or do they need to be refinished?
  • Less than Ideal Location
    The most attractive home won't sell quickly if it is in a really undesirable location -- high traffic road, industrial area, near railroad tracks, higher than normal crime rate, so-so school district... You will have to adjust the price downward to accommodate these weaknesses to get it sold.
  • Looks Smaller than it is
    Frequently the biggest cause of a home looking smaller than it is is the presence of too much "stuff," says another Florida real estate. Simply removing excess furniture from rooms that "feel small" by storing it in the garage can help. De-cluttering is another approach. you can have lots of counter space in the kitchen but if it's all covered with small appliances, pots and pans, coffee maker, etc, it'll look small. In some cases, it may be a smart move to hire a professional stager who can help your client better present the home.
  • Looks like a "Family Shrine"
    Everyone likes to keep photos of their family around the home, but when it's time to sell, you want the home to be as family-neutral as possible. Remove excessive numbers of family photos, religious artifacts, sporting trophies, etc. from the fireplace mantle and bureau tops. If removing a huge family photo from the wall leaves a mark, repaint that area. Removing all those personal magnetic items from the front of the refrigerator helps, too. You want the prospective buyer to be able to imagine themselves living in this home. That's harder to do when there are too many reminders that it's still "somebody else's home."
  • Ultra-Sharp Decorating - "The Latest Look" the home you're considering listing looks wonderful given how well its decor blends with this owner's furniture, his or her lifestyle, or how "current" the look is. Does it make you think, "What a bold statement it makes about who the owner is." If the answer is yes or even "maybe so," ask yourself how well it will fit the next owner. Or, will they have to completely re-paint and re-decorate the place. If "location, location, location" makes sense to you, buy into this one, too ..."neutral, neutral, neutral." The walls of a home need to be white, off-white, eggshell or another equally neutral color such as real light beige, not pink or blue or rust or magenta. "A prospective new owner won't like having to repaint the home before they move in and even if they are willing to do that, they won't want to have to use three coats of paint to cover the stark colors that the current owner feels are so "today."
  • Less than Optimal Listings Materials
    Look at the text of your listings in the magazines like Real Estate Book or Homes & Land or just newspaper ads and compare them to the wording used on homes listed by Realtors having more success than you are. You may just need to dress up your verbiage with more inviting thoughts. Also, check the photos you're using. If you hire an agency to take photos of your listings, they can range from excellent to absolutely awful depending on the talent and the motivation of the photographer. Some real pros take their own photos to assure they are as good as they can be in presenting the home in its best light.
  • Uncooperative Sellers
    This is a tough one. If the seller isn't going to be willing to do some doll-up work, refuses to leave the home during showings, leaves the home a mess when they leave for work or showings, won't allow you to put a lockbox on the home, or worse, is a heavy smoker or has a smelly pet and won't clean up or at least eliminate the odor before showings, you may be better off letting someone else take this listing. The home just will not sell at any reasonable price and you are going to be constantly badgered by the seller about why it isn't sold when the problem is not you, it's him (or her.)

    If you want to be a top-producer, it is important to realize that selling a home, particularly in a buyer's market, requires more than making a listing presentation, listing the home at whatever price the seller wants and then just hoping some Buyer's Agent Realtor will sell it for you. If it were that easy, everyone would be a Realtor and all of them would be rich.

Information and opinions expressed above have been derived from a variety of sources
and are believed to be accurate and timely but are not warranted.


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