Saturday, February 17, 2007

"My House Is Listed, but No One's Looking!"

Does this quote put your thoughts into words? There are several possible factors that can affect the amount of activity your property receives.
  1. The first and most important thing is the list price. If your home is over-priced for the neighborhood, you may not receive many (if any) viewings. Make sure you have asked your realtor for a current market analysis, and that he/she explains what it means & how he/she would price it. There are many variables that should be considered when determining a sale price (i.e. are you on a premium lot with a view, or do you back up to a busy street; do you have standard/dated items in your home or did you upgrade/replace items recently; do you need to sell quickly (1-3 months) or do you have time to wait (4+ months)?
  2. The next thing you want to be concerned with is the number of homes for sale in your neighborhood. If you list your home at a time when it is 1 out of 25 homes for sale, and only 2 homes sell in an average month, then you need to realize that the inventory is high and demand is low. If the amount of homes for sale doesn't increase, you can expect your home to sell in the next 12-13 months. If this is not satisfactory, then you need to decide whether you would rather sell at a reduced price or stay until the numbers are in your favor. If your home shows well, and is priced competitively, your home will sell sooner.
  3. If price & inventory don't seem to be the issue, perhaps it's the advertisement. First & foremost, your home should be placed on the MLS (multiple listing service). With the ability to reach tens of thousands of agents who are actively looking for homes for their clients, there's no mistaking the value of your home's placement on the MLS. On the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, each realtor is given a maximum 6-photo layout per listing. I can tell you that on the 35 custom searches I have on my MLS account, nearly 25% of the listings come up with 3 or less pictures. Especially in the (buyer's) market we have now, pictures are very important! Surely there must be 6 things that can be pictured to show off the best points of the home. With many homes fitting the criteria of my clients, I have to pick the ones I think fit their needs the best. If the listings with pictures seem to fit their needs, I may not even consider showing them the ones without, until we've exhausted the list and haven't found the right home. You could be losing potential buyers simply because there weren't any/enough pictures to best advertise your home properly. There are many other forms of advertisement that realtors choose based on their success (newspaper, 800 numbers, websites, radio, etc.) and used in addition to the MLS listing, but the majority of homes sell due to their MLS listing.
  4. If the above items have already been addressed appropriately, perhaps it is the ease of showing. If you deny the use of a lockbox, some realtors may be driven away from showing your home. The lockbox allows realtors to use a digital key to access a house-key to your home in order to open and show your home to potential buyers at their convenience. This lockbox & the digital key used to access it both record the showing. The owner of the lockbox (the listing agent) is able to determine - via the internet - who has shown the home. The digital key owner (the buyer's agent) plugs his/her key into a source which uploads the showing information as well. If you are concerned about safety & strangers in your home, having a lockbox is the best choice. With the information recorded there is no risk of human error. If you choose not to have a lockbox on your home, the realtor MUST contact the listing agent (who may or may not be available) to request a showing. If he/she has a housekey, but is not available to show the home when requested, you've just lost another opportunity to sell your home. If you have not given a housekey to your realtor, and you must open the home for the visiting realtor in order for the showing to take place, but you are at the grocery store or running an errand, you may have just lost another opportunity to sell your home.

While any single item or combination thereof, can severely impact the number of showings your particular home is experiencing, you must be in contact with your realtor and share your concerns. In a buyer's market, you can't expect your home to sell to the first person who walks through the door. Buyers have the advantage... thus the term "Buyer's Market." They want to be sure that they are getting the best home for the best price in the best area. This can only be achieved by researching what's available. When determining which realtor will best market your home, ask questions to find out what will be done to promote the sale of your home. Don't be afraid to ask to see samples of listings (including pictures), flyers, etc. If you know what to expect, you won't be disappointed.

If you have not found a realtor you trust, I would encourage you to research the Butterworth Group realtors. Any one of us will strive to exceed your expectations! As a group, we are better able to serve our clients using our collective knowledge of the entire valley. You are sure to be satisfied with our service!