Selling your home is naturally a stressful period of your life. But what happens when that period passes and your home has still not sold? Your likely first reaction will be to go from stressed out to panic mode. That being said, your next move should be to take a step back and put the situation into perspective. Whether your listing agreement was for 90 days or a whole year is the least of your concerns. What matters is preparing for—and anticipating—what happens next.
Expect a flood of calls…
…and unfortunately not a lot of the ones you’re looking forward to. While you’re locked into a contract with your agent, other agents are unable to compete for your business. That hands-off mentality goes out the window the moment your listing expires. You can expect prospective Realtors to reach out to you and try to convince you that they can do what your last agent failed to do, and avoid whatever caused them to fail in the first place. Before you experience agent interview déjà vu it’s best to first assess what might have caused you to get to this place.
What did you and your last agent do?
What exactly was your agent’s plan for getting your home sold? Reviewing what you and your agent did to market your property to prospective buyers can help you understand what needs to be addressed should you opt to relist. First, look at the marketing methods your agent implemented—what piqued buyers’ interests and what received no attention at all? The important thing to deduce from this is who dropped the ball. Considering your plight, you may not opt to work with this agent again but you should figure out what it is that they did that didn’t work so your next go around will be different—ultimately, successful.
Take buyer feedback and run with it
Leveraging prospective buyer’s feedback is a must moving forward. If you plan to list your home again, be sure to heed buyers’ feedback. Even the most disinterested buyers will provide insight into what detered them from purchasing your home. Perhaps the façade could use a bit of sprucing up? Maybe eccentric or oversized furniture in a bedroom kept buyers from envisioning the bones of the space? Or what if the other two houses for sale in the neighborhood are comparable to yours but more aggressively priced? Whatever the case may be, hearing why prospective buyers are no longer prospective is key to positioning your property to sell the next time.
Determine if going back onto the market is the right thing to do
Think about what motivated you to put the property on the market. Is it a financial necessity to sell right now? Is the market prime for what you’re offering? If you must sell ASAP then you will want to move forward with interviewing new agents, and assessing a new marketing plan. However, if you do not need to rush onto the market again take a step back and really consider if quickly re-listing the property is the right for you and the home itself. The longer a property is on the market the less likely you will receive offers and move it off your hands—of course that much you know from experience now. If you have the luxury of taking the property off the market for a bit you may find you benefit from renewed—if not new—interest when you are ready to list again. Additionally, buying time may afford you the opportunity to make minor improvements as needed to help appeal to buyers in the next round.
Use a fine-tooth comb this time…to pick your agent
No matter when you decide to list the home again it is imperative that you find a seasoned Realtor with a defined marketing plan. A new agent should understand and address any issues from your first listing. Interview several agents and ask that they share their strategy for your property and explain why it is better than the last approach. Your best shot at selling the home will depend on how well your agent works for you and with you!
Be the taskmaster
You should also reflect on your part of the agent / client relationship. Did you hold them to their original promises, require feedback, and keep them on schedule? Probably not. Remember, you’re not the customer, you’re the boss, and they’re the employee. Don’t accept excuses, and stall tactics. Be the boss. Of course a boss also needs to know when to listen to his/her employees. Did you agree to your original agent’s listing price or did you want it priced higher than they were comfortable with? Did you create a showing bottleneck, preventing them from scheduling showings? Sometimes the problem lies within.
While an expired listing is never ideal the end is not nigh. Once you take a breather to assess the losing elements of your last listing and address them before going back to market you just might find that success is just a new listing away!