1) Did you initially price the home based on the SOLD price of comparable homes? If the past sales were of homes that were not identical to yours, did your agent know how to make pricing adjustments in order to calculate the best price range for your home? Those adjustments should be made based on size, condition, amenities and location. An agent who ignored those issues and just handed you the price that you wanted to hear did you no favors.
If you selected a price that was higher than agent suggested and there were no comparable sales to justify that price, that’s exactly why your home didn’t sell. Don’t blame the agent’s marketing—even if he or she had taken out an hour-long infomercial during the Super Bowl, they couldn’t sell a dollar bill for $1.01.
Sorry to keep harping on pricing in blog after blog but it IS the most important part of marketing your home. Price cures all. Bad location? Home needs TLC? Price accordingly! Today’s buyers are educated and even if they don’t do the research themselves, their agents and their lawyers won’t let them buy an overpriced home. Neither will the bank, which will reject their mortgage application if the appraisal doesn’t mesh with the price you’ve agreed on for the home sale.
2) Did the agent keep on top of the market and make adjustments based on new homes entering as competition? Did you listen to those suggestions and make price adjustments accordingly? If you price a home when nothing similar is on the market, the pricing is likely to be different than if 10 other homes are competing with you. It’s vital to keep abreast of what’s changing in the market—something that’s unlikely to happen if you’re trying to sell on your own or have an agent who lists and then sits.
3) Did your agent provide you with feedback after every showing? Feedback is crucial because unless you know what your potential buyers are thinking, how can you make the changes necessary to nail down a sale? For Sale by Owners have a real disadvantage here—the potential buyers are NOT going to call you and honestly tell you what’s wrong with your home or your marketing. They don’t want to insult you or hurt your feelings. Instead, they’re just not going to come back and make an offer. With agents however, it’s a totally different story. No one really has an issue telling their buyer’s agent what they didn’t like about a home and the buyer’s agent is happy to share that information with the listing agent. The agents are the buffers (we don’t own the home) and a great agent will always uncover you the real reason why a buyer walked and suggest changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
4) Was your home easily accessible? If you or your agent weren’t able to show the home when the buyers wanted to see it, you could have lost a possible offer or two. That’s why having a lockbox and keeping the home in “showing condition” every day is so important.
5) Was your home marketed correctly? Professional staging and photography go a long way to making the home look the best it can on the Internet—where almost everyone is looking; it’s your 24-hour open house! For Sale by Owners often overlook this crucial step—and even if they take great pictures, they can’t get them onto Realtor.com, as well as hundreds of other Internet sites that Realtors alone can use to post their listings.
6) Did you have a pre-inspection? For less than $500 in most cases, you can have a home inspector uncover the issues that buyers are likely to use as negotiating chips to get your price down. A pre-inspection lets you remove those issues before they even come up.
7) Were you flexible on terms? As an agent, 80% of my job comes in holding the deal together. It’s very difficult for owners to negotiate effectively on their home sale because they’re too emotionally involved in the sale. An agent who’s studied negotiating techniques can often facilitate a win-win compromise that ultimately leads to the sale of the home.
8) Was the home exposed adequately? Did the agent canvass the neighborhood to see if any local residents had family, friends, co-workers who wanted to pick their neighbors by suggesting a buyer? Was the home advertised on all the important websites, on social media, via broker and public open houses, emails to the other brokers in the MLS? Were they innovative in their approach? Maximum exposure leads to increased interest and that increased interest can foster an auction mentality, potentially creating a bidding war that ultimately can maximize your return on equity.
9) Did your agent’s company support the marketing of the home? At some real estate companies, it’s every agent for themselves. But at other companies—such as Keller Williams, where there’s profit sharing—agents all support each other and try to sell each other’s properties because if the listing agent succeeds, all the other agents in the company profit as well.
If none of these reasons apply to you, there’s something you’re missing. Let’s talk about it. Call me at 917-267-8811 and I’ll be happy to provide you with a free, honest home evaluation—either with me or with a top agent in your local area--to analyze why your home didn’t sell and what you can take to reverse that.