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The 5 Reasons Why a Home Does Not Sell

Reason 1) -The marketing is incomplete or ineffective. 
Not all real estate agents are alike and unfortunately, some do a minimal job in marketing the property once they’ve obtained the listing. 

I often research properties as part of my commitment to my craft. I’m frequently surprised by the number of incomplete property descriptions, lack of multiple attractive photos, and many times, just incorrect or incomplete information reported in the listing. In most situations, once a listing is entered onto the internet and the REIWA website it will appear on many sites on the internet, as well as the agents own sites and national real estate sites they may participate in. 

Those properties with limited information, or worse, just a few photos or unflattering photos are eliminated by buyers and their agents without the buyer ever setting foot on the property. There are three groups of people your property must appeal to: agents, local buyers and out-of-town buyers. All three are influenced by the computerized representation of your property. If your property’s online and printed marketing isn’t appealing, you will have no physical showings. 

While a very small percentage of homes are bought "sight unseen," the general rule is if the buyer doesn’t step inside your home, they won’t be buying it.

Reason 2) - The home shows poorly.
Let’s face it; your home has to compete with all the shiny model homes going up in every corner of the city. You are competing with professional decorators and landscapers who are experts at creating emotional appeal. These model homes don’t have real families living in them while being on the market. 

Thankfully, this is one of the easiest things to fix. A good cleaning, de-cluttering and cosmetic facelift is pretty inexpensive compared to the return in a higher sales price and faster sales time. Sparkling windows, kitchens and bathrooms, professionally cleaned carpets and fresh paint make a world of difference. 

Curb appeal from an attractively-maintained yard and an inviting front door doesn’t require a professional or large amounts of money.

Reason 3) - The property is in a bad location.
This is one thing that can’t be changed. A good real estate agent will be able to maximize the positive aspects of your property while trying to minimize the negatives. It may be possible to screen an adjacent property with landscaping either to lessen the visual impact or the sound impact of a busy street.

If your home is located in a less desirable school district or close to perceived nuisances, the best way to compensate is usually to reduce the sales price.

Reason 4) - The market is the market. 
It’s all based on supply and demand. All real estate markets are cyclical, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, and sometimes just in balance. They are affected by any number of things that you have no control over, such as interest rates, the economy, weather, national or local disasters, consumer confidence, and sometimes the time of year, such as the winter holidays.

If there are many buyers for a type of property and there is a limited supply, the market will be faster and sellers won’t need to pay as much attention to condition, marketing and proper pricing. If there is a large supply of inventory, with little buyer interest, homes will languish on the market and buyers will choose the best of the available inventory. 

That’s the time that paying attention to the items mentioned above makes a real difference in terms of how long it will take to sell your property and ultimately the price you’ll receive.

Reason 5) The home is overpriced.
I’ve seldom met an owner who doesn’t think his/her home is "better." I’ve been told many times about specific features that "should" make the home be worth more money than comparable homes. No matter how much you may appreciate your home and its particular special features, the buyers ultimately set the price by what they are willing to pay for the property. Overpricing, either by you or by an agent willing to suggest a higher price in order to obtain the listing, begins a chain of events that often works against you.

Real estate agents and qualified buyers currently in the market will see your listing within the first two to three weeks, and if it’s overpriced they will note that and move on to other properties. After those important first few weeks on the market, the only buyers who will see your property are those that are new to the market, and your property will be labelled as "overpriced." Buyers and their agents always look for "days on market" when searching the REIWA member website listings.  

Day-old bread, leftovers, and overstocks are always discounted. The longer your home is on the market, the lower the price you will eventually be offered. Every property will sell, if it is priced properly. I have said it all of my career, the way to get the highest price is to price the property correctly at current fair market value.

Thank you and see you in the market place.

Don’t be the first to walk away

In what is a tough, difficult period in the local property market where we continue to see large gaps in expectations between buyer and seller alike, the ability to get the deal together is often a case of how the negotiation is handled?

I have found recently several sales occur where the dates between first offer and final offer, for the same buyer was anywhere from 7-90 days.

The large gap in expectations is due to many factors.

1. Newspapers

2. Internet articles

3. Doomsayers predicting the sky falling

4. General fear and uncertainly

5. Global factors

6. Agent has not educated seller properly

7. Opportunism

8. Seller and/ or buyer with unreasonable expectations

Sometimes, early offers come in and the seller is yet to understand or accept the reality of the current market. Often, once the seller is certain that they are in fact dealing with what may indeed be “highest fair market value” in many cases sellers will do a deal with a genuine buyer, even though the offer may be lower than what is ideal.

Sometimes buyers might try on a low or cheeky initial offer, only to realise that a property they want might not be available at a certain level, so increase their offer as they realise that they need to pay more in some cases to get what they want. (Not all sellers will take any figure that is offered).

My advice in this market for buyers and sellers. - “Never be the first to walk away.”  Often, good agents need time to "nurse" the offer through as each side comes to terms with what is the actual situation. Rejecting an offer achieves nothing in most cases. I have sold properties to buyers that had offers "not accepted" only to represent and repackage them later in terms agreed by the seller. In other words, the sellers did not walk away first.

Buyers need to understand that many sellers may be “shocked” by some of the market feedback in relation to expectations and need some time to take all of that in, especially new listings. (Despite how much factual information the agent may have provided the seller).

Sellers need to understand that buyers will obviously be in this market empowered and in many cases do not fear prices going up in the short term, and will often try a lower offer to see how genuine the seller is. (Riskiest when the seller sets overly optimistic or aspirational prices).

I believe that if the initial asking price is about right on day one, the seller has the best real chance of a premium sales price as the buyers will know that the seller is very genuine, very serious and therefore will have some fear of loss. They usually then make their first offer a serious one.

Recently we sold 2 properties at the $1M market segment in 44 days and 32 days respectively. This was in my opinion due to, through appropriate motivation by the sellers and the right asking price strategy, caused by being able to communicate to the respective buyers that the sellers were very pragmatic, reasonable and motivated in relation to price. The buyers therefore had no reason to wait and procrastinate waiting for the price to come down.

Net result:

  • Buyers get a good property at a fair price.
  • Sellers get a result and can move on and at what I think it usually a higher price than the poorer cousins (other properties) that sit on the market 3 months to 2 years as some sellers are praying for better times past that are now gone.

Moral of the story, get it right the first time. Price right to sell, and you will. Buyers love it and sellers do to, as they get more and can actually move on. 


What Qualifies a Real Estate Agent?

Everyone says they have happy clients.

I learnt long ago in my career, by a famous man called Lee Woodward, the only thing that qualifies a real estate agent is "testimonials".

Not once listed either. After the sale. It only matters afterwards, what does the client think? Otherwise, how do you know if the listing was obtained by lying, or overpromising or by "smoke and mirrors"? (Common in real estate).

We started collecting them and have 100's today.

This is a small sample of some recent ones all dated. It reads like fan mail; please have a look for yourself.

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