So, you chose a real estate agent and finally listed your house. BUT, no one seems interested and you haven’t had any showings. Is it that no one is buying? No. Your neighbor’s house sold in 21 days. So what could it be?
Let’s look at this from the buyer’s side.
Buying a house is a lot like buying a wedding dress. It’s usually a one-time deal. AND, first impressions are EVERYTHING. The bride-to-be already has a type of dress in mind, and if her salesperson (in this case, the buyer’s agent) is good, she has asked 100 questions and narrowed down the search to a handful of gowns that match what the bride wants. When a bride walks into a bridal shop, she doesn’t see the thousands of dresses in the back. She is shown just the top matches of what she wants.
Now, take that to next step. The bridal consultant walks to the back and from the inventory, she chooses the top five dresses let’s say, maybe less! Imagine if the ones she didn’t choose were damaged, dirty, stained or ripped. Those would NEVER be shown to any customers.
There are thousands of houses on the MLS that the buyer’s agent could choose to show his or her customer. Maybe the buyer’s agent is ignoring your listing. But why??
1. The Obvious: The commission to the buyer’s agent is too low. Why would the buyer’s agent bother to show their client a house that they aren’t going to make a decent commission on? Who works for free?
Let’s look at the listing for the bulk of the issues…
The listing is a mess. Listing a house for sale takes a bit of time and a lot of creativity. Sometimes an entire community is made up of houses that seem almost identical to the one next door. So, an agent needs to discover and describe all of the unique aspects of this particular house.
2. There are agents who write nothing about the house. Does that mean the house isn’t worth writing about? Maybe it sucks. Or the agent is lazy. Either way, it doesn’t entice the buyer’s agent to want to know more or even bother to show it.
3. There are spelling errors. Between the “formal dinning room” and the “lamnate floors” there is enough evidence to imagine that the seller’s agent might not be able to perform the tasks necessary to close the deal. Usually spelling errors are just the tip of the ice berg.
4. No one said a real estate agent needs to be a brilliant writer, but there are certain words that actually hurt a listing. “Adorable” is great for a baby, but implies small for a home. Same with “charming” and “intimate” — rarely do you want to emphasize the lack of space. Better to avoid the topic altogether and emphasize other, more desirable qualities of the listing.
5. There are discrepancies in the listing. It says pool, but the photos show no pool. It says first floor but you see balcony views and lower down, it shows floor number five. What is going on here?? It says pets are accepted at the top description but then NO PETS at the bottom. No one wants to figure out the puzzle or play the game.
6. The listing information is flat out wrong. Or, the schools listed are wrong. Or the address is wrong, so no one sees the listing. (This is awful and it actually shows up in a different location on the map, so people searching in a specific neighborhood wouldn’t ever find this listing. And this happens a lot!)
7. There is one photo. Just one. One bad one. Or 25 horrible photos that are too dark, or too small, or sideways or upside down. The best is when there are no photos of the house, just the community front entrance sign. What does that say to the buyer’s agent? This house is not worth showing in a photo. Move on. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Awesome selling agents post amazing photos. No excuses. Savvy buyer agents pass by listings with crappy photos.
8. Complicated order! The listing is decent but in order to show it, the buyer’s agent needs to do 12 things at least 24 hours in advance and provide information, call or text three different people and all of the sudden, it’s easier to not show it. Next!
Back to the selling side for the last two BIG reasons no one is coming to see your house:
9. The price is too high. Who came up with the price? What is it based on? Too often, a seller thinks they have the most incredible house in the neighborhood and they do not take into consideration that buying the most expensive house in the neighborhood is not a wise investment. Furthermore, smart buyers and their savvy agents have all the tools available to find out what every other house is selling for, has sold for, could sell for, should sell for and even what the seller paid for this house. Inflating the selling price only hurts the seller. A smart selling agent helps guide the seller to a price that is both competitive and acceptable to all parties.
10. It’s awesome to have a perfectly priced house for sale, but what if you can’t post any signs and the only people who know about it are agents searching on the MLS? That rules out a lot of people (neighbors, people looking in your area, potential buyers from other markets) who won’t know about your house for sale. A real estate agent is a multi-faceted job. It’s a lot of work and most of it is marketing. A selling agent who is aggressively marketing your house is doing their job right. Have you seen the same selling agent’s face all over your neighborhood? In snail mail, email, online, in person… It’s a big commitment to cover all the bases and get the word out.
These are just 10 of the reasons no one is coming to see your house. There are so many more like “pets on the premises” and “limited showing hours” that make buyer’s agents swipe left on your listing. Sometimes it seems like every one is a real estate agent. However, not everyone you know sells houses. Choose wisely and you will be a happy seller.