There are a few pockets around the country that have seller’s markets or neutral markets, but for the most part, real estate markets are advantageous for buyers.
What this means for sellers, is that your home has to stand out, and be the best that it can, or buyer’s just move on to the 50 other homes that meet their criteria. I have seen agents in this market, where buyers are scarce, sabotage the sale of their listings.
Homes are still selling, really they are, but your home needs to be a good home that is marketed well. Here are some of the ways that I have seen agents cause really great homes to not sell.
- Really, really, really bad MLS photos. I can’t put any on my blog due to copyright issues, but I had no trouble finding really horrible ones. I saw homes that looked liked the leaning tower of Pisa, dark photos, overly brightened photo shopped photos, photos of things I could not identify, photos of the homeowners, and photos of trees (no house, just a tree).
- No MLS photos, or only one of the exterior. Our local MLS will take an exterior shot as part of our regular dues. With so many homes on the market that are showing the interior why waste time on something you can’t see.
- Not returning phone calls. I do understand that some people want to have their agent make all of their appointments for them. I have had those clients that wanted that as well, but if that is going to be the strategy, you need to call back quickly.
- Not having a lock box on the house. I know different parts of the country do things differently, but out here were used secured electronic lock boxes. Not having one on the house makes it hard to show.
- Agreeing to overprice your home. I know seller’s don’t want to “give it away,” but overpricing in this market…just don’t even list.
- Putting no information on the MLS listing making it hard to screen. I have seen many listings with just the required information on it. What that means is that when agents are screening for specifics, the listing won’t show up.
- Offering a really low buyer agent compensation. I know the desire to save money is great, but homes have to be competitive in this market. I sign buyer agency agreements with my clients spelling out my minimum commission. If your home is below that, they have to make up the difference. There is so much to choose from that many buyers are willing to pass on bringing more closing costs to the table.
- Being cocky. Some agents, in an effort to sell your listing, turn buyers away by telling them “I’ll have this sold by the end of the month at full price. You’ll need to hurry.” Buyers don’t buy that type of tactic in this market.
Just being on the MLS won’t sell your home in this market. In 2007, only 50% of listings in Salem, OR actually sold. You will need a really competent agent to get you the rest of the way there. Make sure your agent is not sabotaging the sale of your home.