I’m a professional home stager, not a real estate agent, but I know what makes homes sell. There may be more than one reason why you house isn’t selling, but it usually boils down to price (too high), poor marketing (not enough exposure) or presentation – your home doesn’t show well (it hasn’t been professionally staged).
Pricing – I’ll leave this to you and your listing agent to decide, but I do have a few observations based upon my experience in the current market:
If your home is priced too high, you won’t get many showings after the initial “real estate caravan for agents” (you’re priced out of your market). No real estate agent wants to waste time showing a house to their buyers that is overpriced.
Homes that are overpriced when they first hit the market usually sit unsold longer and sell for a lower price than homes that are realistically priced from the outset.
Homes that are overpriced often generate a lot of “low ball” offers, often from real estate investors. Real estate investors know your house isn’t going to sell for anywhere near what you are asking. They hope to take advantage of your lack of offers to sneak in below the market to snatch up your home.
It doesn’t matter how much you’d like to get for your home. Your home is only worth what someone will pay for it.
Homes that are priced slightly under market often sell very quickly, with multiple offers, over asking price, if they are well marketed and show well.
You don’t want to be the most expensive home on the block. You want to be the best value.
Marketing – The best real estate agents have a well thought out marketing plan that includes some or all of the following:
Listing the home on the MLS from Day 1. If your listing agent suggests not putting your home on the MLS for a few days or weeks, JUST SAY NO! “Pocket listings” benefit no one but the listing agent and their Broker. They are hoping to sell your home without having to share the commission with another agent or brokerage. You want your home exposed to the greatest number of people possible, as soon as possible.
A strong internet presence. Your listing agent should have a well established and easy to navigate website. If they’re not good at marketing themselves on-line, they probably won’t do a good job of marketing your home on-line.
A single property website. A single property website (www.123MainStreet.com for example) is a great showcase for your home. Buyers can see photos and all the features your home has to offer without being distracted by all the other homes that may be listed on a site that aggregates homes for sale.
Syndicating the listing on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Movato, Estately, etc. The more people that can find your listing, the more likely you are to find a buyer. Over 90% of home buyers are looking on the Internet before going to see homes.
Marketing that targets the neighbors. Many homes are sold to friends or family members of neighbors.
A professional looking sign in the front yard with contact information. The buyer might be cruising a neighborhood she/he finds attractive and spot your sign.
Professional photos of your home, and lots of them, to be used in marketing. Your home has to stand out amongst the sea of other homes for sale on the Internet. If the photos of your agent’s other listings look like they were taken by an amateur, insist on a professional photographer.
Moving Mountains Design provides you and your listing agent with 10-20 beautiful professional quality photographs to use in marketing your home.
Presentation – When you put your home on the market, you are entering it in a beauty contest. The best looking homes sell faster and for a higher price:
Hire Moving Mountains Design for a comprehensive home staging consultation. We’ll work with you and your listing agent to figure out why your home isn’t selling. A Moving Mountains Design Market Ready™ home staging report will tell you everything you need to know to get your Los Angeles or Pasadena house in top selling condition. We’ll look at your home with only one goal in mind – selling it quickly and for the highest price. Our suggestions will be cost conscious and outline the most effective solutions.
Follow the recommendations in the staging consultation report, or hire Moving Mountains Design to do all or part of the work. Our services are a la carte and customized for each client, so you can choose how much you want to do yourself and how much you’d like us to do.
If other homes for sale in your neighborhood are staged, then your unstaged home is helping to sell the competition. Make sure your home is the standard by which all other homes for sale in your neighborhood are measured.
Make your home easy to fall in love with.Los Angeles home buyers are very picky. They want a move-in-ready house that looks like it was ripped from the pages of a shelter magazine or a high-end furniture catalog. Everyone has a dream to live in a house that looks perfect, has plenty of space and is well-organized. Moving Mountains Design can help achieve that perception and make your home easy to fall in love with.
In the words of Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams Real Estate, “Price brings you interest, staging brings you offers”.