While the real estate market shifts and fluctuates, one thing is always true: having a listing sitting on the market is not good. Although interest rates, neighborhood size, and buyer demand all influence inventory availability, the listing agent can take steps to avoid stagnation and improve their chances of finding a buyer. Let’s discuss eight reasons why listings might not sell and how to solve the problem.
1. Bad listing photos
Quality listing photos are essential for making the all-important first impression on potential buyers. If photos have poor lighting, low resolution, or show surfaces containing clutter and mess, buyers are highly likely to turn to the next home — especially in a higher inventory market. Acquire as much natural light as possible by opening blinds and turning on lights. and invest in a high quality camera or photographer. For tips on how to successfully capture a home on photo or video, watch our Daily ListRapport video with Rod Shiva, REALTOR® and ListReports’ Director of Customer Growth.
2. Illogical MLS photo order
On real estate websites that feature listings, buyers only see the first photo of each property. The first photo must be compelling enough to incite curiosity and prompt them to click for more. Choose the best image of the front of the home for the first photo, and order the rest of the photos in a way that makes sense, for example: front of property, kitchen, dining area, living room, bathrooms, bedrooms, den, and backyard.
3. Underwhelming property description
Remember, a home is a lifestyle — not just a house — and the power of a well-written property description should not be underestimated. You have the opportunity to inform and excite the buyer by highlighting key features and attributes of the home and surrounding area! Try to consider what makes the listing unique, and what features are desirable to a variety of buyers. Need tips on how to write better property descriptions? Check out our detailed blog posthere!
4. Poor curb appeal
Optics matter. Potential buyers’ first impression of a home is from the street, so it’s critical that it looks well-kept, as it is often taken as an indicator of what’s inside. A front yard overgrown with weeds, peeling paint, and a collapsing roof will force faint-hearted buyers to turn away almost immediately. It might seem obvious, but taking care of these before listing the home is truly essential in drawing more traffic through the door.
5. Optimistic pricing
Overpricing is the number one reason sellers have difficulty finding a buyer. If the listing looks overpriced compared to similar properties in the area, buyers won’t bother checking it out! Is the average price per square foot in alignment with the area? Are value-boosting features clearly and prominently called out?
6. Amorphous rooms
Some homes have unique floor plans that are desirable to a smaller percentage of people, which can make for a harder sell. Staging the home to help buyers visualize the potential for each room is helpful, as is making recommendations on how to personalize the space.
7. Non-existent staging
Showing an empty listing is challenging, but so is showing a home cluttered with family magnets and memorabilia. A balance must be struck between having enough furniture in the home to indicate how the space can be used, but not so much that it distracts the buyer from imagining their own lives in the home. A well-staged property can actually increase the perceived value of a home (NAR). In fact, more than half of listing agents report that staging helps homes sell faster (Housing Wire), so it can be well worth the investment — especially if the sellers are in a hurry.
8. Lack of networking or use of social media
One of the benefits of using an agent when selling a home is their large network of local buyers’ agents at their fingertips. Attending a local broker’s open house is a great way to pitch a listing, mingle with other agents, and learn more about the buyers they’re working with to see if any are a match. Additionally, posting about new listings on Facebook or Instagram, accompanied by relevant hashtags, is a great way to connect with potential buyers. Need social media content ideas? Try our Listing Shareables to create something beautiful in seconds!