House marketing mistakes - caution

It happens eventually: the housing market takes a downturn. When the market slows, it becomes more difficult to sell your home. And the market downturn has hit Southeast Michigan.

It can be baffling for some sellers. Why is your house not selling when it seems like plenty of other homes like yours are selling quickly?

We see this scenario over and over again. The problem has very little to do with the house itself and everything to do with the marketing efforts you are making.

If you are trying to sell your home and are having no luck, take a look at the following list to see if you are making these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Poor Photographs and/or No Virtual Tour

Selling a house is a highly visual endeavor! Sellers often get wrapped up in the other aspects of selling their home without first taking into account that they must entice sellers to look at it.

If you have uploaded bad pictures or too few pictures and you have no other way for potential buyers to browse online from the comfort of their couches, you are losing the bulk of your business.

Most buyers only choose from homes whose pictures are top notch. A preference for quality photos is especially relevant in a housing market where inventory is high.

Do you have to spend thousands to have your home professionally photographed?

It would help, but no. You will be doing better to avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Dark photos.
  • Photos of cluttered rooms, or with pets.
  • Unflattering or uncropped photos - showing either not enough of the room or unnecessary elements.
  • Photos uploaded turned sideways or not scaled to be viewed on the internet.

A virtual tour is also a great way to entice buyers to make an appointment to see your home. If you can market your house in both of these ways, you will be much closer to getting your house sold.

In addition, make sure you have worked out any technical kinks. Providing potential buyers the ability to share photos of your home with friends and family is crucial. However, not having good images is a one-way ticket to having your home ignored.

Mistake #2: Restricting Showings

Showing your home at all hours of the day is a hassle, and we know it. However, if you're trying to sell your home, you have to get used to the idea: you are going to have to show it!

The more showings you have, the more potential for good competition and multiple offers. If you restrict showings, buyers and agents aren't likely to keep trying. They will move on to a more readily-available listing.

Here is what you need to do to make sure you are staying competitive with other sellers:

  • Make sure your home has a lockbox.
  • Don't restrict the hours available for showings! You might want to cuddle up in your pajamas after 7 pm, but many potential buyers may only be available for showings after 7.
  • Don't require 24 hours notice. Commit to keeping your house ready to show at a moment's notice and make a plan for where you will go. Agents and buyers will appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile!
  • Allow showings without an appointment. When buyers take time out of their busy schedules to look at homes, they often want to see as many as possible. You will gain a leg up on the competition if your home is available at a moment's notice.

Mistake #3: Offering Less Commission

Like it or not, real estate agents get houses sold, and they expect to get paid for their hard work.

Think about the last time you used the services of your agent. He or she did their best to be available to you at all hours, right? It will work against you if you are trying to save money by offering lower commission - especially in a cooler market.

It doesn't mean agents are motivated by greed. It's actually illegal for them to avoid showing homes offering lower commissions.

However, what your buyer's agent will see - whether it's true or not - is that you aren't very motivated to sell or that you aren't willing to negotiate.

If buyers and agents have a choice, they are going to work with sellers who are generous and willing to negotiate.

Mistake #4: Not Providing Buyer Incentives

Likewise, when you offer buyer incentives, you are acknowledging market conditions. Providing a buyer incentive doesn't have to cost you any money.

In addition, it can be an excellent way to say "I know you could look at five other homes. Let me show you why this is worth your time."

Your agent can give you great ideas for buyer incentives, but here are a few:

  • A certain amount toward the buyer's closing costs
  • A buy-down mortgage interest rate
  • Pre-pay their first year of homeowner's association fees
  • Offer a home protection plan

Bringing it Home

The reality is that the housing market is changing and it's not likely to snap back to the highs of the last several years. A softer market doesn't mean your house won't sell! With the right attitude and marketing tools on your side, your home will sell in no time.

If you are interested in selling your house, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200