Can I Revive a 'Stale' Listing?

As the late, great Tom Petty once sang: “The waiting is the hardest part.”

Now, he was singing about love, but the sentiment holds true for real estate. For sellers, there’s nothing more frustrating than putting a property on the market… Only to have it linger there for days, weeks, or months, growing "staler," and more exasperating, with time. 

In situations like this, many are quick to ask questions. Most are along the lines of:

“Why can’t I find a buyer?!”

That’s a broad question – and it may not actually get to the root cause behind your slower sale.

Instead, ask yourself these three questions to really understand the factors influencing the sale of your home – and what you can do to work around them, for the sake of your bottom line:

1.) “Do I Really Have a Problem?”

While it’s understandable that you’d like to see a sale happen as quickly as possible, it’s important to remember that it’s not all up to you and your real estate team. Instead, the state of the local market will have a huge impact on how quickly your home sells. Is your neighborhood market sluggish or hot? Does it favor buyers or sellers?

In particular, real estate agents look at median time on the market for comparable homes to determine whether or not it’s time to adjust your selling strategy.

You may be surprised by just how long some properties sit on the market, even in Chicagoland’s hottest neighborhoods. For instance, single family homes typically spend well over a hundred days on the market in North Center, Roscoe Village, and Lakeview, some of the most buzz-worthy parts of the city.

It’s important that your agent is open and communicative with you about how long it will take, realistically, to sell your Chicago home. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that it’s not just up to you; buyer attitudes, the state of the economy, and a bevy of other factors will all affect whether your sale is “hot” or not.

2.) “Is It Time to Adjust My Mindset?”

While your sale will ultimately be subject to the whims of the market, there may come a time when it’s important to step back and reassess your homeselling strategy – particularly if you’re not happy with how long your property has been on the market.

In practice, recalibrating your strategy will likely come down to adjusting your mindset.

For instance, some homesellers are reticent to professionally stage their home, or to bring in a professional photographer to create high quality images for listing sites. If you’re not seeing the level of buyer activity that you’d like, it may be time to rethink your agent’s suggestions when it comes to staging, marketing, and otherwise giving your home over to the market.

Being flexible with your time and money now could actually benefit you significantly in the long run. Staging your whole home, for example, may cost a few thousand dollars, but it will be a one-time expense – one that could speed up your sale significantly, helping you save on carrying costs and allowing you to go into negotiations with confidence and financial leverage.

3.) “Should I Lower My Asking Price?”

Most sellers – and the agents who represent them – want to avoid lowering the list price if it can be avoided. After all, everyone wants to secure as much as possible from their sale. And, what’s more, studies have shown that homes that undergo a price reduction tend to sit on the market for longer and sell for less than comparable homes.

With that said, there may be circumstances when it’s right to lower your list price. If average closing prices are significantly lower than your list price, or if other comparable homes around yours have undergone price reductions, you may need to lower your expectations. 

Similarly, if you’re getting a lot of visitors but no buyer interest, the price may be to blame; the reality is that your listing may be overpriced in comparison to other, comparable homes currently on the market.

There is an expression - price overcomes all objections. It isn't just a cop out by an unwilling agent or a dissatisfied seller, if you aren't in control of the things that are being objected to (primarily location, age of the home, size of the closets, etc.) there is little that can be done to beat those complaints other than appeal to a pool of buyers in a slightly lower price range. 

Ultimately, the most effective way to sell your home quickly and lucratively is to price your home correctly from the outset. This will come down to working with the right real estate team – one that knows the market for your area, and is willing to frankly communicate with you about the ins and outs of the homeselling process.

Ready to get started selling your Chicagoland home? Real Group is here to help! Drop us a line today with any questions or concerns!

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Chicago, IL 60614

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