Even in this fast-paced, low inventory market, it is possible for homes to sit for sale longer than expected. There are many potential reasons for this, and several (like the location and condition of the property) are out of your control as an agent. But there are some things that you can do to revive a listing and generate new interest from buyers. Here are 9 practical things agents can do to breathe new life into a stale listing.
- Refresh the listing photos – Photos are perhaps the most important element of a listing, and they can make or break a sale. If you did not invest in professional photos of the property, this should absolutely be your first step. If you are already working with professional photos, it’s time to look at them with a critical eye and see if there are some tweaks that could be made to improve them or if a reshoot is in order. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do these photos look good? Are they crisp and well-lit? Do they present the property in the best possible light?
- When a potential buyer looks at the listing, what order will they see the photos in? Do they have to scroll through 5 photos of the front of the house before seeing the main living rooms? Be thoughtful with the order of the photos in the MLS and organize them in a way that makes sense to a buyer and gives an idea of where all the rooms are located.
- Can buyers imagine themselves living in the home based on these photos? If the rooms are empty, consider getting them virtually staged. If there’s too much furniture or décor cluttering the photos, it might be beneficial to consider a reshoot. Make sure to advise your clients ahead of time to get things cleaned, depersonalized, organized, and prepped so things look their very best on photo day.
- Do the photos reflect the current season? Out-of-season photos can turn off potential buyers by making them think something must be wrong with the house if it’s been sitting on the market through past seasons.
- Update the listing description – Hopefully you didn’t make the mistake of NOT including a description for your listing. It’s a critical piece of marketing for the property, so take some time to write or rewrite the description to give it new life. Be sure to mention the main features and write it in a way that paints a picture of life in this house for the prospective buyer.
- Add additional elements to your listing – There are elements that potential buyers have come to expect from top-notch listings. Consider adding features such as a 3D tour, video walkthrough, or floorplans to your listing to give the buyer extra insight into the property.
- Schedule an open house – Open houses can bring in a fresh crop of potential buyers who are at the early stages of their search. Be sure to update the MLS and consumer-facing websites (like Redfin and Zillow) with the correct date and time. Use the open house as an opportunity to get feedback on the property and drive new energy into the listing.
- Leverage social media – Be sure that you are promoting your listings on your social media profiles. Post photos, talk about the features of the home, do a video walkthrough, advertise your open house, and even feature the neighborhood in a video or in your stories. Your posts could snag the interest of a buyer. And the best part? It’s free!
- Ask for feedback – One of the best ways to figure out why a listing is not attracting buyers is to ask for feedback from buyer’s agents. What was holding their buyer back from making an offer? This is great actionable intel. You can also ask a trusted, experienced colleague to look at the listing and give you their perspective and advice.
- Explore staging options – There might be something about the layout of a room or the placement of a tv or sofa that makes it feel awkward, too small, or unusable. Sometimes all it takes is a little rearranging to change the feel of a room. However, if the home is empty, it might be beneficial to hire a professional stager or get the photos digitally staged.
- Recommend improvements & repairs – Sometimes the thought of having to make a repair or update right when you move into a new home takes it out of the running for potential buyers. If there are repairs or improvements that could be made now, it is worth discussing with your sellers. Switching out appliances, fixing an aging driveway, repainting, adding additional lighting, or refreshing landscaping can go a long way in overcoming buyers’ objections.
- Adjust the price – Of course one of the most effective ways to generate new interest in a listing is by adjusting the price. This can be a tough conversation to have with your sellers, so be sure that you come prepared with data. Run an updated comparative market analysis, and share insights into the clients’ micro market and feedback from buyers’ agents.
When trying to revive a stale listing, make sure you’re observing best practices and have done everything in your power to present the property in the best light. Then come up with a list of recommendations to present to your client for next steps to take. By implementing some of these strategies, you’re sure to generate renewed interest in your listing.
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