When you hear about a home that hit the market and sold two days later, you probably mentally high-five the agent who sold it and think nothing else of it.
But when it’s your clients’ friends, and your clients’ home has been sitting on the market for months, it’s easy for both you and your clients to get frustrated. Trust between agent and sellers becomes strained.
Instead of giving in to frustration, you might want to take a good look at why the other house sold quickly and why your clients’ house has been sitting.
Below are some of the key reasons it takes awhile to sell and what you can do to help your clients overcome this hurdle.
Slow housing market in your area
Before you go comparing the two transactions, consider what the housing market is like in your area.
If the other home in a hot market, like one in the California Bay Area, and your market is in a more rural area like, say, Campbellsville, Kentucky, it’s only natural that homes move more slowly where your market is located.
In this case, patience is the only fix, as well as meeting the other criteria below to ensure the home stands out to potential buyers.
Low desirability of location
Even if your area has a strong housing market, location is important. If the listed home is inconveniently located near an airport, train tracks or other things, those factors can detract from the attraction of the home.
To help improve the desirability of the home despite the location, you can recommend your clients make cost-effective upgrades to their home, such as repainting the interior and modernizing the kitchen. With these upgrades, homebuyers can still be attracted to the listed home despite its location.
House lacks curb appeal
The listing’s exterior is the first thing that a future buyer will see. To start their viewing of the home off on the right foot, it’s essential that your client’s home have a strong curb appeal.
Consider this: If the yard of a home is overgrown, has peeling exterior paint on the house and children’s toys littering the dying lawn, how likely is a potential buyer to think that the inside of the home is in good order? Not very likely.
There are many ways to boost curb appeal, including simply cleaning up the landscaping and adding attractive features like walkway lighting. By recommending that your clients take a few steps, you can help buyers feel less like the home is a fixer-upper and more of a good investment.
Price doesn’t match the value
One of the things that can keep your clients from selling their home faster is the price of the home. Although you don’t need to recommend that your clients undercut themselves severely, you might need to take a critical look at the house and consider a different pricing strategy.
To help your clients see why they might need to change the price, ask them things like, “Are there things in your home that would cause a buyer to balk at the current price?”
Some aspects you can point out — like a small kitchen, older bathrooms and worn carpeting — can be key areas that can affect the price of the home. Also, if there is clear damage that will not be fixed before selling, be sure that the home is priced appropriately as a fixer-upper.
Listing photos aren’t great
Even when potential buyers work with their own real estate agent, they often do some research on homes to find ones they are interested in.
This research means that when your client’s home is listed on real estate listing sites like Trulia, Zillow, relator.com and others, the listing photos of the home will be the buyer’s first impression.
If the photos don’t convey the charm of the listed home and are instead dimly lit and a little blurry, plenty of potential buyers will just skip past your clients’ home. So even if the home is attractive in person, that doesn’t mean anything if no one comes to look at it.
Instead of putting the home at a disadvantage, you should recommend that your clients opt for a professional real estate photographer to shoot the listing photos.
With polished, professional photos to showcase the home, you can draw in more potential homebuyers for your client.
Although you can’t personally change the issues that might be slowing down the sale of your clients’ home, you can recommend your clients take decisive action when it comes to things like listing photos and curb appeal.
Jackson Cooper is a writer and real estate enthusiast at Jensen and Company. Follow Jensen & Company on Twitter or Facebook.