OpinionAgent

Why didn’t the house sell? Your marketing might be the problem

A price reduction could be pointless
  • Many houses do not sell.
  • Price reductions are not always the best answer.
  • Effective marketing is critical for generating activity.

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Every house has a price at which it will sell!

Whether that price appeals to the seller is another matter.

Fundamentally, if a house does not sell, there are only two logical reasons to explain why it did not sell.

Sellers establish their competition when they pick their asking price. The price must correlate with the location, the features, the condition, the local market and recent history.

Overpriced houses will often get showings, which can be very misleading for some sellers and some agents. Is the goal to show the house or to sell it? Showings without offers are often a waste of time and very frustrating.

What is the listing agent’s role? We have our responsibilities as outlined in the Code of Ethics as well as our fiduciary duties. We are the director in every sense of the word.

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When it comes to listings, our no. 1 responsibility must be to make sure that buyers and their agents know that the property is for sale. This sounds simple, but marketing has challenges.

We have a product in a fixed location with a specific asking price. Our job is “exposure.” The MLS and internet make this much easier than years ago.

Signage, advertising, social media and word-of-mouth are great, but most buyers learn of real estate listings electronically, which means one irrefutable truth: They must be able to find your listings in their searches.

Many complain about poor pictures or listings without photos, but it is the searchable features that will determine whether people looking for a house can find your listing.

If they cannot find it in their searches, they probably will not see it, and that might lead to what can best be described as a needless and costly price reduction.

If your property is listed incorrectly, a price reduction will not make it any easier to find.

I have seen the wrong number of bedrooms or bathrooms listed, incorrect or missing features, singles listed at twins or rows, and so on. I have even seen wrong ZIP codes used.

While pricing is often the reason a house is not getting offers, it is too easy to overlook ineffective or even poor marketing.

I never ask a client for a price reduction unless I can show them why it is necessary.

Conversely, I have seen many expired or withdrawn listings that did not sell when there were obvious issues with the marketing.

Mistakes are human, and many sellers have to accept some responsibility by not being more engaged.

Regardless, a price reduction is not an effective response when the real problem might well be marketing.

Andrew Wetzel is an associate broker with Long and Foster Real Estate in Havertown, Pennsylvania. Follow Andrew on Facebook or Twitter. 

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