What To Do If Your House Is Not Selling

Posted on Mar 18 2014 - 9:53am by Joel Mayer


A property off Brisbane’s shores has the opprobrium of being the most difficult place in Australia to sell property.

Based on the SQMreport “Top Ten Most Discounted Properties Nationwide,”4 Edgewater Place in Lamb Island has remained on the market for nearly three and a half years. It now sells for $249,000—41 percent less than its original price of $425,000.

Does thissound familiar? Wipe away your tears, as there’s still so much you can do before you raise the white flag and make a statement that mine house is not selling:

1. Price must be right

If your listing stays put for one month, yet the market is comparatively hot, there is a good possibility you may have overpriced it. What you shelled out for the housedoes not always equal the selling price.Also, buyers may not fork extra for your home improvements if other houses in the neighbourhood don’t have them. If your house has a nice layout but falls in a raucous neighbourhood, it may be priced the same as a house with a bad layout yet situated in a quiet cul-de-sac. To know the fair, true market value of your house, see comparable sales.Look around; visit nearby open houses. Better yet, request an appraisal or comparative market analysis from a realtor.  A buyer’s market may compel you to deign to a lower price, e.g. 2 percent less than a recent comparable sale. If your listing is too drawn out, racking up many days on market (DOM), adjust your original offer already.

2. Be gracious, even if the offer is ‘lowball’

A lowball offer is not an assault on your house’s dignity and should not be taken personally. It’s simply a business deal, subject to negotiations like any. You wouldn’t want to blow off a buyer who has solid financing. Just rebut with a counteroffer. Buyers’ second offers give a better insight into how much they’re willing to spend for your property.

3. Get the right listing agent

Friends and relatives can direct you to an adept local agent with a proven track record. A full-service real estate broker can put you in touch with several agents for your consideration. Get the agent with the best-sounding marketing plan, and don’t select one merely on account of his commission rates or suggestions on your house price. In a cold market, be open to increasing his or her fees just to ensure he or she pays special attention to your listing.

4. Make your house presentable

You should reckon with the competition not only in price but in appearances. Heighten the curb appeal, by painting the front door anew, manicuring the lawn, clearing the gutters, trimming the bushes, etc. Make a good first impression by fixing loose handrails and wobbly knobs. For the interior, focus on the ceiling, walls, and lighting fixtures, as buyers’ eyes tend to go up. Caulk up cracks. Shine the floor. Rectify leaky faucets. Avoid clutter.

5. Be invisible at showings

Stay away from the propertyduring open houses and showings. Buyers want to converse with the agent freely, and don’t want to be encumbered by potential defensiveness on your part. Just leave a four-color flyer on the kitchen countertop if you want to make a point.For the same reason, take down anything that reminds buyers of your personal imprint on the house. Insteadof leaving portraits, leave food and beverages for them. Since you want buyers to feel this property is theirs to own, make the space appear neutral. That pink wall? Paint it white. Speaking of open houses, hold them on weeknights, when the competition is lower.

6. Disseminate good photographs

Your realtor can engage a professional photographer to put your property in the best light. Let the shutterbug capture the house in daylight, ideally when the trees are green and flowers are blooming. In any case, buyers prefer listings with lots of pictures, around 30. A single photo, on the other hand, is a turnoff.

7. Use every marketing option in the book

Even if your agent has the marketing strategy down pat, go the extra mile by advertising online and on print. Don’t limit yourself to classifieds. Consider putting ads on newsletters, trade magazines, etc. Dangle such freebies as beach holidays. Mail postcards to buyers out of your neighbourhood. Go on YouTube to talk about the good life in your property, or get professional videographers to make a virtual tour of it. Think out of the box.

About the Author

Joel Mayer is a professional freelancer who writes about investment trends, rental properties and about companies like Taylors Estate Agents.