My House Didn’t Sell...Now What?
Time to ask the hard questions.
As a Lewiston-Auburn Maine Realtor®, I speak with many home sellers who are feeling the pain and frustration of of being left with an unsold home at the end of their listing agreement with another agent.
The art and science of selling a home comes down to three factors: Price, Condition, and Marketing. These factors must be in sync in order to realize a successful sale. Having gone through this myself before my life in the real estate world, I know all too well the toll an unsold home can have on a family and how annoying it can be to stop and examine what went wrong. Was it my fault? Was it my agent? Do I expect too much?
A year and 2 agents after we first listed our previous home, we were left without a successful sale and facing these very questions. In our case, all three factors were out of line. Our first agent agreed to our unrealistic price and didn’t really do more than list the home in the MLS and plop a sign in our yard. Our second agent was more realistic about price, and marketed the home, but didn’t give us any suggestions for improvements or staging the home.
We took the home off the market and sat down to analyze our attempt at selling our home. The first question we had to answer was “Do we still want to move?” In our case, the answer was an emphatic “YES.” With that out of the way, we had to try and figure out what went wrong.
Next we asked “Is our price too high?” We looked at other listings in our area, but weren’t sure what the homes actually ended up selling for. However, we could see which homes did sell. This gave us some idea and we felt that our price was right (once we dropped it with the second agent.)
Then came the hardest part. “What’s wrong with our house?” After all, we had enjoyed living there for years. We took a tour of each and every room, carrying a clipboard and writing down all the little flaws we noticed. We had lived there for so long, that we hadn’t really seen our home as others might see it. We started to see all of the little things that had always been on our someday list that we had just never gotten around to doing while we were busy living in the home.
The last question, “Did our agent do enough?” This became easier to answer after our little self-examination. We knew the answer was no. The first agent didn’t do us any favors by not telling us the truth about the value of our home. Even if he had marketed the home properly, it wouldn’t have sold. The second agent didn’t help by leading us to believe that our home was great just the way it was. She consistently asked for price reductions, but never said one word about anything we could do to improve the home and make it worth the price. There may be some cases where a home is more unique, taking longer to sell, yet worth the list price. Ours was not. It was located in a large and popular suburban development where other homes were selling.
Does this story have a happy ending? Yes! In the end, we finished our someday list, painted every room a nice neutral tone and staged the house. We ended up spending less than $700 when it was all said and done. Realtor® #3 came into the picture with a detailed market analysis, marketing plan, and staging suggestions. He even stopped us from doing some additional renovations we had planned, letting us know that they were not needed. He came and took quality photos and a video tour, unleashed our home’s listing to the world (priced $5000 above the previous agent) and we received multiple offers within the first week. We were under contract at full price within 9 days.
Your story can have a happy ending as well. If you have a home that has remained unsold, give me a call (207-240-2250) and I’d be happy to meet with you and help you through the questions and answers that will lead you to a successful sale and enable you to move on.
For even more information and suggestions, please feel free to visit my website www.theunsoldhome.com.
My House Didn’t Sell...Now What?