Agent

What ‘levers’ to pull when trying to get an offer: Part 2

If all else fails, reassess the price

Takeaways:

  • Obeo, PlanOmatic and the like help the buyer see the flow of the home before ever setting foot inside, and it’s great for sites that limit listing photos.
  • Set a professional appearance in everything including your yard sign because it advertises you, the agent.
  • Pricing a home is not rocket science. Listening to what buyers and agents are telling you and your seller takes an ear and a will to make changes when necessary.

If you list homes for sale, eventually you will get a question from a seller regarding what can be done to motivate an offer outside of a price change.

This article is the second part of my recommendations on variables to look at before examining a new price.

How does the house show online — lots of hi-res photos? Are the photos professionally done?

This one is a big one for me. I have used Obeo for years and started using PlanOmatic this year, as well. From these two services I usually get between 45 and 100 high-resolution photos, plus PlanOmatic does an interactive floor plan of the property.

This technology helps the buyer see the flow of the home before ever setting foot inside. I have paid for professional photos on listings from $150,000 and up just to set them apart.

The statewide MLS lets us put only 25 photos on the MLS. Even realtor.com is limited to 36 photos, which is another reason I love these services’ virtual tours.

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FMLS, for example, just pans the same 25 photos across the screen. With Obeo and PlanOmatic, I can put that nonbranded link for the MLS into FMLS and show potential buyers a lot more.

Do your yard signs fit the property, or have they seen better days?

I always like to make sure those signs are clean — new, if possible — and never broken. I was riding through a neighborhood the other day and saw a yard sign just placed on a listing that had seen better days.

Set a professional appearance for everything, including your yard sign, because it advertises you, the agent. If the listing is a luxury home listing with your company, make sure any special signage or bells and whistles are added.

Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com

Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com

You should include that listing within marketing materials geared toward the luxury home market. Every company has them.

Are you utilizing feedback from agents and buyers?

This one is difficult sometimes. No offers coupled with doing all the usual steps to market the property fully in this digital world tells me that the sales price on the listing is probably too high.

Today, I see buyers not making offers on homes that are 3 to 5 percent above where the market is because those buyers don’t understand the local market.

For example, it seems that most buyers in our market know that homes are selling at 98 to 99 percent of final or current list price. Instead of making an offer today, they wait for a price reduction before jumping in.

A year or two ago, it wasn’t like that. We saw more buyers making offers in 85 to 90 percent of list price — not in 2015, and not in our market so much.

If a seller is pricing high to wait for a “lowball” offer, it might not come. Look at all feedback and understand why that offer has not come.

I have a listing currently with polybutylene plumbing and synthetic stucco. That can be a hard sell. As a buyer’s agent recently, I showed another listing that was sitting beside major power lines. There was no way you could avoid those power lines in a photo showing the front elevation of the home.

Negative perceptions or an issue regarding the condition of a home will lessen the ability to sell that house for the same price as the most recent sale down the street without those problems.

There are many circumstances of the location and setting of the lot, including flaws in the house or condition issues, the age of the mechanical parts, heavily stained carpet and more. Those might warrant price reduction.

Unless the seller can make changes or improvements, the best solution might be to make allowances on the price to get the house sold. The key thing there is to listen to what the market is saying.

Does the property show at its best?

Including staging, cleanliness and keeping the yard up, the listing must be maintained.

I showed a house the other day that looked like a “grove of crape myrtles” with a house hiding behind it. It had no curb appeal at all.

The house has been on the market for a year. It would sell if some landscaping had been done or if the seller hired someone to clean the house up on the inside.

Pricing a home is not rocket science. Listening to what buyers and agents are telling you and your seller should take an ear and a will to make changes when necessary.

I hope this information helps when you have tough conversations because it really shouldn’t have to be difficult.

Does this apply to all listings? No.

I have seen homes go under contract within days for close to list price.

These are simply suggestions and thoughts about listings where — due to circumstances beyond your or the seller’s control — feedback shows a hesitation about making offers.

In that case, the only lever left to pull might be adjusting the price to compensate for shortcomings and move that home.

Read “What ‘levers’ to pull when trying to get an offer: Part 1.”

Hank Bailey is an associate broker and Realtor at Re/Max Legends. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Hank Bailey.