More qualified traffic increases the odds of selling a homeAlthough the Silicon Valley real estate market remains hot, and generally is a strong seller’s market, not every home is selling in 2-3 weeks.  Most of the time, if the property is unsold after 30 days, it’s time to reevaluate the marketing strategy.  The biggest piece of the marketing effort, of course, is price.  (Please also see Why didn’t my San Jose home sell? for info on other remedies to real estate not getting pending.)  if the home isn’t selling, it may be time to lower the list price or asking price.

Usually, the main reason why a home doesn’t sell is that buyers think that it is overpriced. Sometimes you, the seller, can compensate by improving the condition or some other relevant factor, but often, the solution will be to adjust or lower the price.

How much should you lower it?  Naturally, it depends.  If you’re going to change the price, though, make it worthwhile – not a drop in the bucket.  Too small of a price reduction can actually backfire.

Recently I visited an open house in which there’d been less than a 1% price reduction after 30 days on the market.   That very minimal kind of repricing tells a buyer “I’m not budging”, which the buyer may read as “My price is high and I’m unreasonable; move along, this is not the house you seek”.

It’s all about the traffic

First, how much activity is your property getting? How many showings per week?

If you are getting at least 3-5 showings per week, but no offers, you  are probably close on price. Perhaps a smaller reduction, combined with some other adjustment (restrictive hours loosened up, scary pets removed, alarm disarmed) may do the trick in getting you more traffic to create a viable offer.

If you are getting NO showings, or close to no showings, you may well be way, way high on  your price or have other major issues which need to be corrected.  My general advice, below, may not apply in that case as you may need something more to get the qualified traffic in through the door.  The more qualified traffic you get, the better your odds are of selling. An atractive price is the bait that can attract those buyers.

Here are two old rules of thumb, which I think pretty much still work today:

  • for every week it’s been on the open market, lower it $10,000 (so a reduction in 3 weeks would be $30,000 or a reduction in 5 weeks would be $50,000)
  • alternatively, for every week it’s been for sale and active on the MLS, lower it 1% of the sale price (hence at 3 weeks, a 3% reduction would be appropriate and at 5 weeks a 5% reduction would be indicated)

Every situation is, of course, unique, so it’s important to look at the big picture. If buyers and agents are staying away because the home smells of pets or cigarette smoke, or if there are people constantly home during showings (you should all vacate), or if you demand that the listing agent be present for all showings, any of these things can drive away qualified traffic. But if the marketing is good, the home is clean and reasonably accessible, and all the other basics are correct, it probably is price. Sit down and talk with  your Realtor to get good guidance.  If those who have shown the home have provided feedback, take it to heart – whatever that input is.

 

 

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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
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San Mateo County, and
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Saratoga, Campbell,
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2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
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