Over the past few months more & more agents have been coming to us for suggestions on how to get a house sold. Not just a normal house, but that ONE house. If you've been in real estate long enough, you all know exactly what I'm talking about. It's the house with the terrible floor plan, on the corner with no backyard, a different paint color on each wall, over-priced &/or in a bad location. And you know, instinctively in your gut, that this may be the one that takes you down. It's you against the house. The BAD house. You steel yourself, get the listing paperwork signed, load it into the MLS & hope that you get lucky. Very lucky. If you're a realtor, it's inevitable, you either have or will come across this house in your career and when you do, bring your arsenal of tricks with you because you will need them. ALL of them.
Recently an agent spoke with us about a house she's had listed for a VERY long time. Every room was a different, blindingly bright color, the rooms were average-sized but filled with oversized furniture, making them look extremely small, with no backyard. Oh did I mention, they smoked in the house? Yep. That's the ONE house. This seasoned realtor has done everything she could think of to get this house sold from email & post card marketing campaigns, constant open houses, price reductions, painting (some of the rooms), broker's opens, constant follow-up with agents that have shown the home, all to no avail.
She came to us to ask what else she could do? And this seasoned agent is not the only one to come to us with this question. We certainly have had those listings & while my team and I do not have all the answers, Sherry's been in the business long enough to offer some sound advice. So here's a few suggestions from an agent who's seen it all & more:
1. Rest the listing. Take it off the MLS & let it rest for 30 days, until the 'Days on Market' clock resets. Buyers always ask "How long has this been on the market?" at a showing. When a listing has been sitting, a Buyer may think that something's wrong with the house if it's been sitting on the market for a long time, otherwise, they think, it would have sold sooner.
2. Freshen it up. Take new photos, use a professional to get the best results & then reload them into the MLS. This can give a new look to the listing & peak some more interest.
3. Offer an incentive. Maybe it's a Seller crediting a Buyer for painting, flooring, repairs, etc. Be sure to check with your Buyer's lender to see what allowances & what the caps are per the bank.
4. Try a targeted Facebook marketing campaign. Paid advertisements can get in front of more buyers & get your listing more views.
5. Price reductions. It's not what your Seller wants to hear, but if it's not selling & you've made all other changes to the home that are in your control, the only other option is a price reduction. Continue reducing until you capture a Buyer.
6. When all else fails, bury Saint Joseph. No, I'm not joking. You can buy a small statue (& whole home sale kit!) online or at a religious store in your area. St. Joseph is known as the patron saint of real estate. And, before you ask, the answer is YES. We have buried these in our Seller's yards & the houses have sold.
(Note: We keep a box of these statues in one of our drawers. The article was written years ago & our managing broker saved it - I found it when I was looking through some of her old paperwork with her.)
Be sure to let your Sellers know that you're working for them and share what you are doing to help get their home sold. Without telling them, they will simply sit & stew on the idea that you aren't working hard enough for them & you could lose the listing.
Give these ideas a try & please let us know if you have any other suggestions to get 'THAT ONE' house sold!