Selling a Tough Listing

Even in a hot market there will always be properties that are challenging to sell. Sometimes the reason can be obvious – the list price might be completely out of line with market expectations, for instance. Sometimes a great house can linger on the market and there’s not really any one thing that seems to be holding it back. Then it starts to sit too long and buyers get shy and sellers get frustrated. So what’s an agent to do when a listing doesn’t sell like it should and feedback hasn’t provided any clues? Try some of these ideas to see if they help.

Appropriate Staging

Make certain rooms are furnished for their intended use or in a way that makes sense with the flow of the house. A formal dining room should feature dining room furniture, not exercise equipment. When rooms are staged counter to their purpose, the effect can be jarring. Buyers can get the impression that the house lacks function, or that there is wasted space that they won’t know how to use.

Tell a story with video

Create a video, either with the help of your photographer or with your phone. Videos can be short - focused mainly on the lifestyle elements of the area and sprinkling in a few highlights of the house. These are great for social platforms like Instagram. Longer videos and live streams can provide a more in-depth and intimate experience with the property. In these, you can showcase the big standout upgrades, the updates made to the home, how well maintained it is, or the brand names. Emphasize lifestyle here, too. Things like, “imagine entertaining in this great open space” or “if you love to cook, this kitchen will amaze you. Check out this eight burner range.” You get the idea. Talk about walking to the local park or which great new restaurant is nearby, or what people do for fun in the neighborhood. If you’ve got a showing booked, send the video or link to the buyers’ agent in advance.

Become Part of the Community

Using one of the great online groups like NextDoor, Meetup, LinkedIn Groups, or Facebook Groups, host an open house of a different sort. Invite the neighborhood over to share their suggestions to improve the neighborhood, or to plan a community event (like a Sunday family picnic at a local park). If you can get a local city council member, parks and recreation services or school board member there as well, it will add to the impact of the event. Try to ensure at least 10 people confirm they will attend prior to the event. If you can’t get that number, then create an online conversation instead, asking for recommendations. In all of the discussions, whether they are in person or online, make sure that any prospective buyers are included. This early involvement in the neighborhood allows your buyers to quickly get to know their potential neighbors, and it allows them to gain an innate knowledge of the highlights of the neighborhood and the people in it. With so many people relocating to the area, encouraging that feeling of connection to place can help buyers make a decision faster and more comfortably. From a marketing standpoint, you may also find that once the neighbors are comfortable with you and have seen the house, they may be willing to help you with word-of-mouth referrals.