“Why is my home not being shown?”
This is a question The Belt Team gets a lot when we are called upon to list & sell homes that have already been on the market with another agent. Now, you may be wondering why we weren’t asked to sell the homes in the first place. And that’s a great question, so let’s address that first.
Sometimes, it’s because the first agent “bought” the listing. What we mean by that is that the Seller interviewed several agents and then listed his home with whichever agent gave the highest price. And that price did not correlate with the market. Hence, the home does not sell, the listing expires, and the Seller calls The Belt Team.
Why do agents “buy” listings?
- It can happen for several reasons. One – the agent did not really know the market – either this is not their primary area or they don’t sell very many homes each year – so their market knowledge is lacking and as a result, they give a price that does not match what the market is willing to pay.
- Another reason could be that the Seller listed the house with a friend, relative or some other agent they felt an obligation to. And the same thing happened – the agent was part-time, not familiar with the area or just doesn’t do much business. So the Seller paid the price by being over the market and not in the market. Result? No sale. Call The Belt Team.
- Some agents “buy” listings because they don’t have much business and they really want the listing – figuring that if it doesn’t sell at the higher price, they’ll just reduce it and sell it later at a lower price. This strategy is NOT in the Seller’s best interest (the longer a home is on the market, the lower it sells for) and often backfires when the home doesn’t sell at all. The Belt Team chooses not to do this. We always present an honest picture of the market. Even if it’s not what our Sellers want to hear, it’s still in their best interests for us to be straightforward & honest. And if they still want to hire us and choose to price their home so outrageously above the market, we choose not to “buy” the listing. It’s not in their best interest to pursue that strategy and we’d rather turn them down now than let them down later.
A Seller may have listed with another agent first because she offered a reduced commission and the Seller thought he would save money. But if your home doesn’t sell, you come out behind. If an agent is that willing to negotiate away their own commission, how well will they do at negotiating for YOU? Probably not very well, and that’s another reason why they end up calling The Belt Team.
Our recommendation to Sellers is that you select an agent based on his/her credentials & proven experience – NOT based on price.
- How well does he negotiate?
- What is his average list to sell price ratio?
- How do his listings fare in terms of number of days on market versus the average?
- How many homes does he sell every year?
- How good of a team does he have to back him up & handle the myriad of details of marketing & more.
Price is a separate issue. The market is the market. Realtors do not control the market. Buyers do. So you need a Realtor who can navigate the market & make it work to your advantage so that you maximize your return.
Hire the best Realtor and THEN, only then, set the price.
SO – back to the original question. “Why is my house not being shown?”
Well – here are some real examples that we’ve come across in our market:
Upside Down Photos:
Where is the first place today’s consumer starts looking for a home? Yup – you got it – the Internet. And as the saying goes, “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”. This week, we were looking through listings and came upon one where all the photos were loaded UPSIDE DOWN. Our guess is that this home was listed with an agent who doesn’t do much business. Technology changes quickly and they obviously were not familiar with how to upload photos correctly. Could this really keep your home from being shown? YES! Today’s consumer is impatient. It’s likely that they will just click on to the next listing and skip this one.
Poor Quality Photos:
This goes right along with upside down photos. If the photos being used to market your home are not professional, then you are decreasing the chances your home will be shown. While some buyers may be able to look past the poor quality photos, others may not be able. We at The Belt Team pride ourselves on being the best of the best at what we do – especially when it comes to market knowledge, negotiation & creative problem solving. But we also know what we are NOT. And we are NOT photographers. So while some agents try to save themselves money by taking their own photos, they are actually costing their clients showings and doing them a disservice. This is why we have all our listings shot by a professional photographer.
Over the past years, we have taken on listings which were previously listed with other agents that had the following errors in the MLS:
- Listed as a 1 bedroom – when it was really a 2 bedroom
- Wrong address
- Wrong directions to the home
- Wrong county/city
- Wrong # of percs
- Incorrect utility information (electric heat instead of gas)
Do you think this affects the home being shown? ABSOLUTELY! How many more people do you think would have look at the condo that was incorrectly listed as a 1 bedroom, if it was correctly listed as a 2 bedroom? No wonder the home was hardly ever shown! We are all human and we all make mistakes. But it is up to the agent ensure the integrity of the data in the system. This is why we ask all of our Sellers to review our brochures and sign off on them prior to going on the market. And why we send them a copy of the listing once it gos “live”. We take data integrity seriously.
Easy Access Not So Easy:
Sometimes your home is not being shown because what you think is easy to arrange as far as access, really isn’t so easy. Unless you’re in the multi-million dollar price range in our area, it is customary for a lockbox to be put on your door. Agents normally call first and if you are not home, they go ahead and show the house by getting the key out of the lockbox. Any arrangement other than this decreases the likelihood of your home being shown. It’s just a fact. You may have plenty of reasons why it should be otherwise – multiple pets, a new baby, an elderly aunt, valuables in the house, But Buyers just don’t care about that. Agents & Buyers are often on a timeline – ready to go from house to house – sometimes only in town for one day. So if they have to wait for a phone call back to set an appointment, or they cannot show your home on Saturdays, or during naptime, or they have to wait until the listing agent can meet them. They will just SKIP IT.
Required showing arrangements other than lockbox also raise a red flag to the buyers and/or their agent that this Seller may possibly be difficult to deal with. And that’s a bad way to start off a negotiation. Some Buyers/agents just decide it’s not worth seeing the house in that case.
Priced Out of the Market:
Buyers typically search in set increments. For example, a Buyer may be looking in the $650,000-$700,000 price range. If your home should really be priced around $675,000 – but you decide to “try the market” at $710,000 – you may be missing a whole section of potential Buyers – especially in a marketplace like today’s where we are seeing bidding wars again. Some agents are cautioning Buyers who want to end up buying between $650,000-$700,000 to look at homes from $575,000-$650,000 in case they have to escalate the price to get the home they want. So if you’re priced at $710,000 – not only will you not get any offers from people who might think about negotiating, you won’t even get Buyers in the door to see your home becuase you’ve priced yourself OUT of the market.
Back in the day, wallpaper was “it”! When you moved into a new home, the first thing you did was wallpaper & window treatments. Well . . . those days are LONG gone. So if the photos of your home show rooms with wallpaper – and you’re thinking “we lowered the price a little to compensate” or “we don’t have time or don’t want to pay to take the wallpaper down. And if the Buyer does it, they can choose their own paint color.” – that just doesn’t fly. And it may be why your home is not being shown. No matter how great the floorplan, how wonderful the location, how fabulous the lot – today’s Buyers don’t have the time (or the money) to fix up a house before they move in. They expect move-in ready. One agent I know saw this photo when she was previewing homes recently and posted it on Facebook. Her comment was “Not even Wonka’s Lickable Wallpaper could save this room.”
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Hiring the best, most qualified, most professional Realtor when selling your home doesn’t cost you any more than hiring an “average” Realtor. And it could save you time & money – two precious commodities. Get it right the first time. Here are 43 questions you should ask when you interview a Realtor to sell your home!
Contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you would like us to sell YOUR home!