Selling Your Home PART THREE: After 30 Days
Posted December 23rd, 2015 by Moving Station

So your home has been on the market for about a month now. In the first couple weeks, you probably had several showings, and by now there have probably been a couple open houses as well. However, we don’t have any offers, or any buyers who look like they are seriously considering making an offer. What do we do now?

The first step is to talk to your agent and your PRM. We need to take another look at the feedback we’ve received from buyers and agents who have been through the property so far. What objections did they raise? Maybe there are some minor cosmetic fixes to do – a fresh coat of paint inside or a little landscaping outside may make a big difference in perception. If buyers have had concerns about the roof or the mechanicals, it might be worth showing the receipts from when you last had it serviced/replaced.

Or, perhaps the objections are over things that we can’t fix – proximity to the expressway, the school district, or the style of the home (a colonial as opposed to a ranch, for example). Buyers might also feel like the home needs a lot of updates to be brought up to a more current standard. When we are faced with these objections, the best tool we have to overcome them is by adjusting our price to make our property seem like a better value even against the objections. We want the buyer to think, “Well, the kitchen really needs to be renovated, but for this price, I can take on that work myself!”

We should also consider what is going on in the general market area right now. If other properties are still seeing activity and selling, then we need to take a serious, objective look at those properties as compared to ours. What do they have that we don’t? And then, how do we adjust our price so that we are more competitive against those properties? Our goal is to be the next house sold.

When it comes to price reductions, bigger, bolder moves are always more effective than tiny cuts. For example, if your home is listed for $495,000, a buyer might not really notice if you reduce the price to $490,000. You dropped it $5,000, which is a lot of money, but it doesn’t do anything to compel a buyer to give you another look. However, if you drop your price to $475,000, buyers are much more likely to take notice and see you as a seller who is serious and willing to negotiate to sell the home. You’ve dropped your price by $20,000. It may be painful, but in truth, you’ve reduced your asking price by less than 5 percent. And if it gets an offer for you sooner, then it will be worth it.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Do I really need to reduce my price after 30 days? After all, I know that homes in my neighborhood are on the market for an average of 3 months. Can’t I wait until then to reduce?”
Sure, you can wait. That’s your prerogative as the homeowner. However, the “average of 3 months” is somewhat misleading. It does not necessarily mean that most homes are on the market for three months – just that the average is three months. Let’s say, for example, that you have four neighbors who sell their homes in 10, 25, 150 and 175 days. Well, the average days on market is 90 (10+25+150+175=360; 360/4=90). However, none of those people will tell you they had a three-month experience!

The truth is, there are really only two types of homes on the market: those that are priced appropriately and sell within the first month or two, and those that are not priced correctly, and linger on the market for months – sometimes doing several small, ineffective price cuts along the way. You want to be one of the houses that sells more quickly, even if that means making an adjustment to the price that feels a little painful. Remember, our overall goal is to sell the property, so you can move on to the new home and lifestyle you have chosen for yourself.

This is Part Three of a Four-Part Series we are writing about the process of selling your home. In our final installment, we’ll be discussing what happens once your home is under contract.

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