The year has drawn to a close, and the property you were trying to sell in 2015 just hasn’t budged. What now? Naturally, you may be disappointed or frustrated, but don’t despair; you still have multiple options. In this article we’ll cover some expert advice on what your next step should be. We will clearly outline your options to help you make the right decision in 2016.
Taking Your House Off The Market
This is a common knee-jerk reaction to a home not selling: “It’s just not working, let’s wait until the market improves.” While in some cases this may be a sound strategy (e.g. you have a beautiful pool or professional landscaping which would show better in the spring), remember that your home will always be in competition with other homes.
The reality is that, in most instances, a property will sell if priced right. So, if you are serious about moving, you and your family may benefit from re-evaluating your current list price before you consider taking your house off the market.
However, if you are considering making some improvements to your home in order to increase its desirability, then taking it off the market for a few months can be a good idea. Put some money into minor repairs or design improvements that will really boost the appeal of your house. While searching online for inspiration can be beneficial, your Realtor should have a list of recommendations based on the feedback they’ve received and knowing the competing homes in the market.
Re-Listing Your Home
If you’ve already taken your home off the market, you may opt to re-list with your existing Realtor. The key here is to not repeat the same mistakes made the first time around. Again, your Realtor should have a list of recommendations prior to re-lising. This could be pricing, small renovations – or perhaps just a coat of paint and a thorough cleaning. Listen to their recommendations.
In addition to making changes in terms of pricing and/or home improvements, you NEED to make sure your home is marketed properly: professional photos (and you’ll want new ones if the season has changed so that your listing looks NEW rather than just re-listed), virtual tours, a convincing write-up, newspaper ads, online ads, social media, MLS – your home needs to look great and be in front of as many prospective home buyers as possible. Your Realtor should have a comprehensive action plan to get your home sold. If they don’t…
Do You Sell It Yourself?
If you don’t feel like your Realtor is bringing much in terms of a marketing strategy, you may feel like you’re done with real estate agencies altogether! Fair reaction: they didn’t sell your house, so you don’t want to pay them for another year of failure. Perhaps you think you can do a better job yourself. For sale by owner (FSBO) is an option available to you.
However, while this option may seem appealing, the time, effort and money that go into planning a marketing strategy to sell a home are actually pretty hefty. You will need to do the following:
- Construct the whole campaign yourself
- Pay for professional photos and virtual tour (expensive)
- Pay for prominent advertisements online and in newspapers (more expensive)
- Be available to show your home (you don’t want to decline ANY showings)
- Host open houses on weekends
- Negotiate your own deal, while taking care to protect yourself with appropriate clauses
- Knowing what information absolutely needs to be disclosed to prevent lawsuits
- Following up with lawyers and banks to ensure your deal goes through
While the stats are against you selling you home on your own (fewer than 10% of FSBO homes actually sell), and you’ll likely need to pay the buyer’s Realtor a standard commission, if you have lots of time to spare and the expertise to carry this out, it’s feasible. Otherwise…
Find a New Realtor
Your best bet for selling your home may be to find a new Realtor to help you. A seasoned Realtor will be able to review the aspects of your old campaign and make it better this time around. They will work with you to improve the listing and give their expert advice on how to increase chances of a sale. They will protect your interests throughout the process. Even if you have been disappointed by a real estate agency in the past, using a GREAT Realtor is always the wisest course of action.