It’s difficult for a seller and an agent when a Windsor Ontario real estate listing expires without a sale. Naturally, sellers want to know why their property hasn’t sold, especially if they went into the contract full of enthusiasm that their property would generate lots of offers.
Before a listing expires, it’s important for the agent and seller to sit down and discuss any issues that may have prevented a home from selling. It could be a number of things or it could be the real estate market in general. Often, there are no easy answers, but other times it’s a problem that may be staring at you in the face.
In my real estate experience, I have discovered that there are a few reasons why home listings expire.
1. Seller’s motivation:
Sometimes, sellers are not motivated to sell their homes. They may be curious to see if they can can get a certain price on their property and refuse to negotiate. Sellers can make the property difficult to show, by requiring appointments and 24 hour advance notice or they may refuse a lockbox.
2. Bad marketing:
A home that is not properly marketed to its target audience, or promoted heavily on the Internet may not get the buyers it needs. Also, a seller must determine if their agent took excellent photos, created brochures and virtual tours and advertised the property regularly. Putting a “For Sale” sign in the front yard simply won’t do it anymore.
3. Bad Condition/Location:
Buyers want homes that are move-in ready. Does your home have too many costly repairs or updates that need to be made? Maybe your home’s best features are not being highlighted. If you have a great family room with a welcoming fireplace, but the room is overwhelmed with large furniture or maybe painted a bold colour, then buyers can’t focus on the positives, but rather the negatives. The same goes with a home’s location. If your property is set on a busy street or near commercial buildings or a bad part of town, it will take longer to sell and must be priced accordingly.
4. Speaking of price….
If a home is priced too high, buyers will walk away. This is the number one reason why homes don’t sell. Many real estate agents won’t waste their time showing a property to their clients if a home is ridiculously overpriced as it’s simply not worth it.
5. Buyer’s feedback:
Finally, sellers must take into consideration what buyers are saying about their home. Of course, there are things you cannot change, like location and style of architecture, the school district, etc. But if buyers are saying the home is messy, cluttered and needs too many repairs, then sellers must take note and make the changes or lower the price.
Once your listing has expired, you will be overwhelmed with real estate agents wanting your business. If you feel a change is needed and would like to be represented by another agent, now is the time to do it. Interview three professional, well recommended agents who have experience with your neighbourhood. Ask the following questions:
1. What will you do differently than my previous agent?
2. How will you market my home? Do you have a website?
3. Who is my target buyer?
4. How many homes have you sold in this area in the past year?
Stay away from agents that insist on keeping your high listing price and promise you the lowest commission. Remember, you get what you pay for and if you must sell your home, you must find an agent that is aggressive and willing to promote your home nonstop.
However, if you have had an agent that has worked hard, marketed your home well, yet an offer never came, then it usually means it’s time to lower the price of the property. If you respect your agent and feel that he or she is doing a good job, then ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I losing money in the long run by not pricing my home correctly?
2. How much better would I feel if I could sell this house, even at a lower price?
3. Can I afford to keep this house for another six months?
With new pricing, your agent can start a new marketing plan that will focus on the lower price. If the seasons have changed, new photos are needed as well as buyers don’t want to see a photos of a home shot in the summer when it is in the middle of winter. They will correctly assume that your property has been on the market for too long.