No matter what the market conditions are...there are homes that sit on the market for days, weeks, even months longer than the area average.
And there's a pretty short list of reasons to explain why.
I'm sure you have heard a couple of them before. Maybe from your broker. Maybe from another agent. Maybe from that little voice inside your own head.
1. THE PRICE. Let's address this one first, because a too-high-price is the culprit most of the time. If your listing has been sitting on the market for significantly longer than average, if other homes like your listing have sold during this time and worst of all...if you have never had an offer... then the market has spoken and the price is too high. Period.
Since the price people are willing to pay equates to the value they perceive, you either need to increase the value or adjust the price.
Don't take the position that "If they like it, they will make an offer" because the possible buyers for your listing will never see the home. Instead, what they see is an unrealistic seller that is out of tune with the market (and an agent that is allowing this to happen too long).
2. WEAK MARKETING. Today, 94% of home buyers look for homes on the internet before they connect with a REALTOR. If your listing's marketing plan does not include an aggressive online strategy, chances are good that your listing is lagging because the target buyers for your listing have no idea it is on the market!
To effectively expose your listing to these BUYERS, you must be listed in the Multiple Listing Service and be listed on the major real estate search engines like Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and Homes.com. There are a few dozen other web sites as well that will expose your listing to the masses and the niches. Work with your broker to integrate an IDX connection to Listhub.com and syndicate your listing to as many other web portals as possible. NOTE: My listings are syndicated to 94 different web sites within 24 hours.
Other caveats that fall under the heading of "weak marketing" include a listing that is difficult to show (i.e. limited available times or by appointment only) and poor quality photos. R.A.R.E. Agents always use a professional photographer (not an iPhone) to take the marketing photos and encourage their sellers to always be ready to show their home. It only takes one buyer and you will never know if the showing you could not accommodate was the one.
3. YOUR LISTING HAS AN ISSUE THAT NEEDS RESOLVING. Many times, there's a condition (that's a nice word for an issue) causing your listing to sit on the market too long. When this occurs, the seller needs to either (a) fix the issue, (b) offer a credit or incentive to offset the issue or (c ) reduce the price so low that a buyer thinks the bargain price offsets the issue. Think about the Nordstrom sale rack...nobody wanted the purple and green striped turtleneck at full price, but they will literally fight for it when it's on sale!
Some situations might be too costly for your seller to fix (e.g., major roof repairs) and others are not fixable at all (the home backs up to a super-busy road). In these situations, reducing the price might be the only resolution.
Homes that are dirty, dated or painted different (that's a nice word for weird) colors will appear to the buyer as a fixer-upper.
A listing with few showings or no offers is a wake-up call. Take it seriously and fix the problem areas...or lower the price. If not, you will continue to sit on the market.
4. YOUR SELLER IS NOT REALLY READY TO SELL. If you approach your seller with the items listed above and they think you are crazy, then ask them this question: "Are you really, truly ready to sell your home?"
I talk to a lot of sellers that are not really sellers. They say things like "If I can get my price, I will sell". Well, you know what? EVERYBODY has a price that if they could get it, they would sell! Hey, I love my house and have absolutely no plans or desire to move, but if you offer me $xxx,xxx for it, I am out of there!
It takes a commitment to the process to sell a home. Sellers will have to pick up, clean up and clear the clutter. Buyers will want to see your listing at inconvenient times and you will sometimes need to make magic happen in order to accommodate them. You will (sometimes) have to present insulting, low-ball offers to your seller and beg them not to get so mad they refuse to counter. Sellers will have to fix a few things that they have been procrastinating about. The nosy neighbors will get a little nosier. And so on and so forth.
If you want to sell your listing...you'll need to deal with all of these things and more.
That's what RARE Agents do.