I just returned from a meeting with sellers who have a home to sell that they no longer occupy. They have purchased another home and have physically and mentally moved on. Except for this one small detail...they have a home to sell!
The odds are daunting. In their price range ($500,000-700,000) there are 22 homes for sale in the surrounding area, only 2 have sold in the past 12 months. Of all of the units sold throughout our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the Grand Rapids area, only 2% of the properties sold were in this same price range. That means at the current level of activity we have a 10 year supply!
Our discussion was frank and to-the-point. They have been under contract with a company who charged them a flat fee to have the property on the MLS but did no marketing for them. In fact they agreed to a $65,000 price reduction and it never was reported to the MLS! How's that for getting what you pay for? Six months later they still own their home along with all of the ongoing maintenance costs, taxes, utility bills etc. In today's market it is clear that one needs every advantage possible to expose a property to as many potential buyers as possible. Marketing and positioning need to be aggressive! This is no time for thin skin....it's time to roll up sleeves and get things in order.
The property has lots of wall paper which needs to be removed and walls repainted. While it may have been perfect for the sellers, most buyers can't see past the pattern and imagine their own décor. I suggested the use of a property stager so that the house will show at its greatest advantage and buyers will feel like this is a "home". Remember, most buyers buy what "feels good". It's unfortunate that these things weren't suggested months ago.
Sometimes sellers will push back and tell me that their home is perfect and doesn't need to be updated, neutralized or redecorated. My suggestion then is to suggest they visit the competition which may be staged, redecorated, freshly painted or even brand new. With so many choices buyers become very discriminating and reject homes that don't hook them right when they come in the door. Little details can make a big difference.
I may not always tell you what you want to know but I will always tell you what you need to know! After all, isn't that what you really want?