The fear of stale home listings is very real. You’ve listed your home for sale and you’re feeling full of hope. But after several weeks (or months), all the initial excitement is dying down and you still don’t have a contract. At this point, every week is bringing fewer and fewer prospects.
Stale home listings are any home or property that has been on the market for a long time without an offer. Even listings that started out strong can go stale, and there are a few reasons why this happens:
One of the top reasons a listing goes stale is simply a pricing issue. If you price your home too high initially, even if you plan on leaving room for negotiation, you could turn off buyers that are scooping up more affordable properties. This is why a comparable market analysis is so important. By pricing your home attractively in the first place, you can capture more of the prospects who are shopping in that price range.
Likewise, pricing your home too low could make it seem like there is something wrong with it. That can be a huge red flag to buyers, as most of us are taught that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Even if you are desperate to sell your home for reasons that aren’t related to the home’s condition, you still need to price it at what it’s worth.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Even with a strong written description, you still need quality photos (and even videos!) to capture the essence of your home. Photos set strong expectations for prospects, and research shows that having photos of the home helps get more buyers through the door. Investing in professional real estate photography may help to revive your listing, especially if you have few or no photos or the photos you have are of poor quality.
If you’ve experienced waning interest in your home, it could be because the novelty has worn off. Maybe your listing failed to capture attention the first few times a buyer saw it. And now that they’ve seen your listing several times, they’re still not interested because your listing is no longer new or exciting. Relisting your home or refreshing your images can help to bring back some of that initial curiosity.
People take notice when homes sit on the market for a long time. Many people wonder if there might be something wrong with it, such as a structural issue. Others may believe the home just isn’t worth the price or something else (like the location) might affect its appeal. When people start speculating, this can affect your home’s reputation and cause it to linger for longer.
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