Putting a house on the market can be a stressful time for many sellers, even during the height of a seller’s market when everything is working in your favour.
You consult with your real estate agent to come up with a price – a price that, in your mind, may not accurately reflect your home’s value – but actually reflects the house in which you’ve lived. You bite the bullet, accept your agent’s insight, put the house on the market and then…
No interest. No showings. No nothing!
What did you do wrong? The house where you’ve created so many memories – your home – isn’t only not valued by others in the same way as you but isn’t even worth seeing.
Why? Let’s take a look at six reasons why your house isn’t getting showings:
1. It’s Overpriced
Let’s get straight to the biggest issue: In almost every case, the reason your house isn’t getting showings is because it’s priced too high.
Again, the lack of interest has nothing to do with your home. It has to do with the price of the home compared to similar properties within your market.
Did you and your agent consult local market stats to see what comparable properties in the area are listed and sold for? Did you check out the “competition” and see how your house stacks up?
As more and more prospective buyers begin their home shopping online, the process is becoming more and more like, well, online shopping.
The price is the biggest number and, most likely, the first reason shoppers select or scroll by the listing.
The Fix: With your agent, review local market stats, check out comparable properties in the area and, most importantly, remember that you’re selling a piece of property – not your home.
2. You Rushed into Listing
The real work begins after you decide to put your house on the market.
Did you address any lingering issues, such as a leaky roof, holes in the wall or much-needed lawn maintenance?
Is the house clean and free of clutter, with all personal knickknacks out of sight – and was it that way for your listing photos?
If the answer to one or any of those questions is no, then you skipped important key steps in putting your house on the market.
The Fix: Clean and declutter for listing photos and make sure the lawn and flower beds are well-kept for maximum curb appeal.
3. Poor Marketing
Building off the above, listing photos are perhaps the most important aspect of proper marketing. Humans are naturally drawn to images, after all, and we all know the importance of first impressions.
If your house was cluttered when photos were taken, or the images turned out dark, the house’s first impression online, in the newspaper or on flyers is unwelcoming.
Also, where is your real estate agent promoting your house? Is the listing only in the MLS? Or is it on every thinkable online resource, such as on websites, social media and kijiji, etc., as well as being posted on your agent’s own website?
And while visuals are key, don’t underestimate the listing description, as it’s hard for many to overlook numerous grammatical mistakes.
The Fix: Ensure your home is ready to be photographed. When deciding on a real estate agent, check out how they market their current listings and ask what their plan would be for yours.
4. You’re Providing Limited Access
Hey, we get it: Leaving your house in short order – and always keeping it show ready – is difficult, especially for busy families with young children and/or pets
But if your house isn’t getting showings and you truly want to sell, you need to be welcoming and flexible when it comes to granting showing access.
The Fix: Sick kids and other emergencies happen but do your best to be as flexible as possible when granting access to your house for showings.
Note: Real estate agents using automated ShowingTime products and services are able to set up "Rules and Restrictions" for their listings, which eliminate some of the back and forth when it comes to scheduling showings.
Sellers can also play a bigger role in the confirming/declining process by being granted access to the ShowingTime mobile app by their agent.
Providing access via an MLS compatible lockbox is also key. No buyer wants the seller or the seller's agent present during their viewing of the home. They want the ability to have a quick private discussion with their own agent about the strengths and weaknesses of each home they view – as they view it. Every agent has access to these lockboxes – yes, even the limited service real estate agents can provide an MLS compatible lockbox to you at no charge. Local real estate board rules prohibit our use of "builder-grade" lock boxes on listed property – we only use high-tech, proven lock boxes for your safety and enhanced security.
5. Buyer’s Agent Commission Isn’t Competitive
Every homeowner wants to make as much money as possible when selling their house. It’s a fact, and nothing to feel greedy about.
That said, it’s your money and you have a say in how the commission is split between the listing agent and buyer’s agent.
The Fix: Check with your agent to see what the market norm is for the buyer's agent's fee. Then, talk with your agent about increasing the buyer’s agent’s fee to slightly more than the market norm. This could make them more likely to recommend your house to their clients. While most buyer's agents will rebate the additional amount to their buyer clients, it may be the incentive that brings in the buyer. Too low a commission and you run the risk of repelling buyers and their agents as the shortfall would have to be made up by the buyers. The larger the shortfall from the market norm, the greater they are repelled.
6. You Chose the Wrong Agent
Sellers choose real estate agents for a variety of reasons: from referrals, memorable marketing pieces or the simple connection felt during the first meeting.
There’s nothing wrong with those reasons, and it’s important to know and trust someone you’ll be working so closely with.
However, try to stay away from family friends or a friend of a friend who just received their real estate license.
It can be difficult and sometimes heart-wrenching to turn down a friend or family member’s services, but selling a home is a huge financial decision and can be a source of great income for whatever comes next.
The Fix: Do your homework and think with your head, not your heart.