nothing is physically wrong with the property, most of the time
the inability to sell is due to overpricing camouflaged by denial.
A more accurate statement of the situation, for most would-be house
sellers, is "We are unwilling to accept the price the market
tells us our house is currently worth." These homeowners can
sell. They simply won't sell. As long as you choose not to take
the amount that buyers will pay for your house, it will continue
to languish unsold on the market.
Many properties go through a needless series of ineffective price
reductions before ultimately arriving at the correct asking price.
If your house hasn't generated any offers, even though it shows
wonderfully and is aggressively marketed, update your comparable
market analysis and consider the following:
or your listing agent may have given your house's amenities a
much higher value than buyers do. It's tough to precisely establish
the value of attributes such as proximity to bus lines, wonderful
landscaping, and views.
may have put too much emphasis on asking prices or used inaccurate
sales data. Perhaps houses that were on the market when you prepared
the CMA ultimately sold for much less than their asking price.
local real estate market may have gone down the drain. Did mortgage
interest rates skyrocket, or did consumer confidence plummet since
the CMA was prepared? Find out how many properties similar to
yours have sold since your house came on the market. Maybe nothing
may have missed prime time. Every real estate market has peaks
and valleys of sales activity.
Whatever the problem, don't compound it with excessive tenacity.
If you haven't gotten any offers after approximately six weeks on
the market, and other houses similar to yours are selling all around
you, the odds are high that your asking price is at least 10 percent
over your house's fair market value.
Taking necessary steps
these circumstances, correct the problem by cutting the price 10
percent. Here's how to maximize the impact of your price reduction:
the bullet and make a full 10 percent cut. Making a series of
smaller price reductions only prolongs the agony. Don't turn your
house into "That old thing? Something must be terribly wrong
with it. It has been on the market forever."
quantum pricing to fine-tune the new price. Suppose that your
asking price is $169,500. A 10 percent reduction ($16,950) cuts
the price to $152,550, which isn't a smart price. You lose exposure
to all the buyers who instruct their agents not to show them anything
over $150,000. A smarter price is $149,950.
you still haven't gotten an offer after another six weeks or so
of active marketing at the new price, make another 10 percent
reduction. You may have been 20 percent or more over fair market
value when you put your house on the market.
Six weeks isn't carved in stone. In a hot market, four weeks may
be more than enough time to give your house maximum buyer exposure.
In a slower market you may be wise to wait seven or eight weeks
before a price cut. Let local market activity be your guide when
you time price reductions
Signs of Overpricing
When you price property correctly, it sells. Conversely,
even if your property is in exquisite condition and actively marketed,
a lack of offers indicates that it's overpriced. The warning signs
of overpricing may include any or all of the following:
No second showings: Well priced or not, agents and buyers
rush to see new listings. Watch out for a precipitous decline
in showings after the initial flurry of activity when your house
first hits the market. If nobody returns for a second look, you've
got a problem.
showings, but no offers: Switch hats -- suppose that you're
a buyer. Your agent shows you a three-bedroom, two-bath house
for $149,500. Then the agent takes you to a newer four-bedroom,
three-bath home just two blocks away -- with the same asking price.
The agent doesn't have to say anything; the difference between
price and value is starkly obvious. The first house helps sell
the second one.
Your listing agent should help other agents route house tours by
pointing out overpriced properties the agents can show their buyers
before bringing them to your well-priced house. Successful agents
show buyers OPTs (overpriced turkeys) in order to sell well-priced
Next Step: Advertising That
To Seller Services