Our last blog post discussed what owners can do if their home has been on the market for awhile but isn't selling. They were pretty simple fixes, and honestly those tasks probably should have been completed before the listing photos were even taken, especially if you're being aggressive with your price. But let's say your home looks spectacular in person, yet you're still not getting any interest. Let's put your real estate agent to work. Here are two things your agent can do:
CHANGE THE PROPERTY DESCRIPTION: Maybe it's because I was a writing professor in my previous life, but I often cringe when I read listing descriptions. I know not every agent has a BA in English, but knowing and following some of the most basic grammar rules makes a big difference. For example, THERE'S NOTHING MORE FRUSTRATING THAN BEING YELLED AT BY AN AGENT BECAUSE THE DESCRIPTION IS IN ALL CAPS!!! Random capitalization is Even More annoying. I used to tell my students that people would often make judgments about them based on their writing. It's not uncommon to "meet" people for the first time through some sort of written communication, and the old cliche that "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" is still true. The same goes for listing descriptions, especially if your property is being marketed as a luxury listing. Many people still know and care about good writing, and a badly written description may turn off potential buyers.
In addition to bad grammar, a boring listing description isn't helping you either. The best descriptions help buyers visualize living in the home. Your agent shouldn't be using the description as an opportunity to describe the facts found in the basic search fields (number of beds, number of baths, square footage, etc.). Instead, your agent should be describing the lifestyle of your home and the community.
UPDATE PHOTOS: Your agent should NOT be taking photos of your home with his or her phone and then using those photos to market your property. This is unacceptable for several reasons, the primary being that almost all buyers start their search online, and cell phone photos are NEVER going to display your home in its best light. Agents who do this usually offer to sell your home at a lower commission, and not paying for professional photos is one reason why they can discount their commission; I'll bet there are other tasks agents are supposed to do that they're also not doing. At the very least, you need professional photos. Aerial photos are necessary in certain situations too, and a virtual 360 tour can also be helpful.
If you've done everything on the list in the last post, your description is persuasive and compelling, your photos look great, and your agent is marketing your home correctly, I have news for you: It's the price. In a seller's market, The A Team advises our customers to review a competitive market analysis and rethink price just two weeks into the listing if we haven't had any interest. After all, the longer a listing sits, the more stale it gets.