by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and Google+.
What will it take, what does it take, for a Realtor to give up on you home?
A Lack of Activity
A lack of buyer interest will cause a real estate agent to give up on your home. Because if they are really good agents, they are doing everything they can to generate interest. And if the home isn’t generating interest it’s probably because…
You Are Not Responding To Your Realtor’s Requests
Ignoring your Realtor's requests can get you tuned out faster than a teen on an Ipod. Image by Symic (Andres Rodriguez).
In a perfect world the only thing a Seller has to do is get paid at closing.
Your Realtor is putting their time, money, and rolodex on the line in order to get your home sold. But you home is on the market and it is generating zero interest. Or, it is generating plenty of showings but your Realtor is getting negative feedback about some aspect of the home, which is effecting the sale.
Your Realtor is hearing comments like: “The buyers hated the orange garage door;” “The place smells like smoke (dogs, cats, etc.);” “There are cheaper homes on the same street in better shape.”
So your Realtor asks you to:
“Paint the garage door.”
“Have the carpets cleaned.”
“Let’s take a look at price.”
And you ignore their requests. Guess what? Your Realtor will start shifting their resources to other sellers who they feel are making an effort to sell.
Paint the garage door, clean the carpets, whatever the buyers are asking for via their feedback. The fixes are generally low cost. And if you key on what the feedback is, chances are you will sell your house to the next buyer.
But even if you have zero money to make even the most superficial repairs, you can still lower the price.
The Elephant in The Room: the Price of the Home is Too High for Its Condition and / or Location
You’ve priced your home higher than the Realtor recommended because you wanted “wiggle room,” and now that extra padding is costing you a sale.
You don’t have to be a military-grade numbers analyst when it comes to figuring out if the price on a home is too high.
If it’s getting plenty of looks but no offers, or if it’s not getting any looks, it almost always comes down to price. Or to be more accurate, the buyers in the price range that you’ve placed your home in are finding either nicer homes, better locations, or more value (or a combination of the three) than your home offers at its current price.
Smoking or smoke odors excepted, even a home with bad pet odors will sell at the right price.
Now you are refusing to lower the price when the showing feedback, lack of offers, and market data (i.e., buyer comments, or black-and-white numbers on paper) indicate you should lower the price.
And since the Realtor can’t do it for you (and he or she can’t shoot you), they will probably just give up and let the listing expire.
Take a deep breath, even if—especially if—you’re the emotional type that doesn’t care what numbers say on paper. Pay attention to what the buyers aren’t doing. They aren’t making offers.
Sometimes buyers give feedback, a lot of times they don’t. But if they aren’t making offers that’s about the strongest feedback they can give.
The homes that are selling…where were they priced at? Were they older, newer, in a better location? Are they newer and upgraded to the hilt while yours is 15 years older with an aging roof?
At that point take a realistic look at price.
You have to adjust because your home just won’t sell and your Realtor is going to give up on you.
You Bug Them All the Time
You should always check up on your Realtor’s marketing effort after the home is first listed. You do this by plugging your address into Google or another search engine to see what comes up. You want to do this for no other reason than to make sure the photos look nice.
If your Realtor does nothing else than place your home in a single MLS with a single photo, it should show up at least once on a search for the address. If the photo is bad, bust your Realtor and make them take a better photo. And if it really is a weak marketing effort, stay on their butt.
But calling them up every day asking why your home hasn’t sold is going to get you tuned out fast. In fact, get used to hearing their voice only on voicemail.
For example, if you live in a neighborhood where only 5 homes will typically sell in a 12-month period, where there are already five homes on the market and your home is only the 4th best priced, you should already realize you’re in for a long wait.
Don’t call them asking why your home hasn’t sold. Instead, take a vacation to Australia because, trust me, your agent isn’t going to need to get in touch with you anytime soon. Bugging them about the situation will only make them avoid you.
Make sure when you talk to them it’s two partners working together to try and sell a property. Don’t call to crack the whip and then not listen to buyer feedback or issues about price.
You Bug Them with Crazy Talk
As I stated earlier in this post, “your Realtor is putting their time, money, and rolodex on the line in order to get your home sold.” They are doing this upfront, at no cost to you, so you can sit back and get paid when the home sells.
The upshot is that the real estate agent is doing everything they can, on their dime, at no cost to you, to get your home sold.
So don’t call and ask them, “Why isn’t my home on ‘FabulousFloridaHomes4U.com’” or one of these other crazy websites (btw, I don’t know if there really is a FabulousFloridaHomes4U website…but it sounds a lot like the ones we hear about).
Chances are if the website has a “4U” (my opinion) in it, or a character string that’s stuffed with over 30 different keywords that might apply to your home, it’s not a relevant way to sell your home. Many “real estate” sites are “scraper” sites…they scrape the data off relevant sites like Realtor.com and then try to repackage them as their own, hoping that a desperate seller or newbie Realtor will give them a credit card number which can be charged and charged and charged…
Also, we get this a lot: “I want to know what you’re doing to market my home in New York,” with a subtle hint that we buy print advertising in “New York” (city, county, Long Island, we never know).
The truth is, if someone is looking (for example) for a commercial lease at 4475 US 1 South, or Plaza South in St. Augustine they’ll probably just Google the address or the subdivision / plaza name.
Or if they’re after something a little more specific, like a home in Royal St. Augustine, they’ll go onto Realtor.com and punch in a search that looks like “location: 32084, bedrooms: 3+, baths: 2+, price range: $154,000 to $155,000″ and then see what pops up (our listing at 1737 Keswick will because it’s still available as of this morning).
If you’re a good Realtor like me, you already know buyers search this way. The magic isn’t in showing up on a Realtor.com, it’s how it shows up on Realtor.com so that a buyer will see the home as fast as possible, hopefully before they see other competing homes, and make an offer on your home first.
You hired a Realtor to sell your home…let them do their work. If you find one of those crazy websites or have an insight on how a home can be marketed, do shoot your Realtor an email.
For example, for the commercial lease I referenced above at 4475 US 1 South (currently available at $1000 a month for $1000 square feet, and available, by the way) we’ve targeted some of the marketing for and to potential business that already find Plaza South a good fit: real estate, attorneys, phlebotomists, etc. A good insight from a seller or landlord might be something along the lines of, “You know, I just read the bylaws and cash-for-g0ld, churches, and or insurance may also be good targets.”
The thing is, don’t demand that your home be on one of those crazy websites. If you feel it strongly enough that your Realtor should risk their money or resources on it, do it yourself first to prove that it works, and they might even reimburse you for it.
Hire St. Augustine Team Realty when you go to buy or sell a home. Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.
Has a Realtor ever tuned you out? What happened…was it fair or not fair…we’d love to know! Just email us at the address above and put “Tuned Out” in the subject line.