The Nebraska market is currently very healthy, with values up 7% over the past year. Omaha has been outpacing the national average with millennial home buyers looking for affordable cities. So why is your client’s perfectly fine house sitting on the market as weeks go by with few offers?
Your clients are fretting, inundating you with questions about why their house isn’t selling. Many agents face this stressful situation. There are times a listing doesn’t go as planned.
Smart agents set realistic expectations, carefully read the market, and price the house right in the beginning to get the best and quickest offers. But sometimes the market changes and sometimes there are other things preventing buyers from making an offer.
If you’re getting few visitors, it could be that the house is overpriced. If there are plenty of visitors at showings and open houses but few offers, it may be that something about the house is turning them off. Maybe there doesn’t appear to be anything special about the house to inspire good offers.
There are some things you can do to generate new interest and elicit attractive offers.
It may be time for a staging revamp.
With experience as a seller’s agent and buyer’s agent showing properties, preparing houses, and hosting open houses, you’ve observed and talked to a lot of buyers. You know what they want and how they’ll view a house. It’s time to use that expertise to take a new, objective look at the house like a buyer analyzing the house as a potential home.
Clean and Declutter, Part 2
Cleaning and decluttering was probably done when the house was first listed, but it could use more or it may have accumulated dirt and clutter over the weeks.
Ask the sellers if they can move more non-essential items, personal things, toys, and furniture into storage. Make sure the house is spotless and suggest hiring a professional cleaning crew and landscapers. Have the landscaping trimmed and tidied again.
Now that you have clear view of the house, its elements, and the layout, consider a few strategic upgrades like fresh paint, updated cabinets, and new handles and fixtures.
Go with the Flow
In the major rooms, create open spaces so traffic can flow easily. Rearrange furniture to generate more space. Thoughtful placement of plants and decorative elements draws the eye through the room and out the windows.
Minimalism allows the buyers to see the features of the house instead of the seller’s style. Keep tables and counters nearly empty and bookcases half full. Unused white towels should be set out for showings and open houses.
Create Lifestyle Vignettes
Think of it as selling a specific lifestyle. You’ve seen lifestyle vignettes in design magazines: a stylish little scene, uncluttered and inviting with a few pieces of thoughtfully selected furniture. Two armchairs and low table, a healthy plant, vase or ornament, and perhaps a large mirror on the wall.
Establish one focal point. For example, put a large plant in a corner with a spotlight behind it and set up a conversation spot in front of it. Place small accents, like succulents, glass lamps, and a tray with candles on a few end tables.
Arrange bits of color with small pillows and candles in purple, teal, and light yellows. Potted plants and flower arrangements bring the garden into the house.
Consider getting new photos and a 3D virtual tour of the redesigned rooms to post online, renewing interest and attracting more visitors. Tell a story with the images and video you choose. You want the best photos with tons of light that make the rooms look spacious. You may also be inspired to revise the listing copy with more evocative phrases.
Home staging is the fun, creative part of being an agent. Use all that knowledge you have about the house and local buyers to restage the house. The goal is to show the house at its best and inspire buyers to fall in love with it.
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