Before you get involved in any deal, it is important to have an exit strategy. Not only do you need an exit strategy, but you need to have plans A, B, C and sometimes D ready in waiting. What you will find is that these backup plans come in handy when you least expect them. You may have done your homework finding the best comparables and putting the right work in, but your home still isn’t generating interest. It is at this juncture when you need to act. Without a plan, you can end up making a decision that you regret. If your home isn’t selling as quickly as you would like, here are a few options you should consider:
1. Examine The Marketing: You will have a good idea of the interest in the property after just a few weeks. If you are not getting the offers you expected, you need to take a hard look as to why. Start with how your property is being marketed and promoted. Even if your real estate agent is handling the listing, you still need to do your part. Don’t be afraid to ask where your listing is and what other marketing options are available. On your end, you need to make sure the property looks perfect for every showing. Put the time and effort in to remove leaves from the front walk or to check out how your property shows at different times of the day. You can also post a link of the listing or updated pictures on your social media outlets. The more people that know about your property, the greater the chance you can find a buyer. Before you do anything else, examine how the property is being marketed and what you can do to improve it.
2. Lower The Price: In a perfect world, you would have researched the area and listed at the right price. Sometimes this may not be enough. Markets change all the time, and as a seller you need to change with it. You can tell if you are overpriced if there are multiple showings without any offers. A lack of showings can be a marketing issue, but a lack of offers speaks to the listing price. If you get the sense you have priced too high, you need to act as soon as possible. The longer your home stays overpriced, the more damage that may be caused. Buyers will start looking at other homes and won’t even consider yours. The key with a price reduction is to make is sizable enough that it has an impact. Nibbling your way down will do little to no good. Once you commit to lowering, try to go under the key thresholds. If you are at $209,000 or just over, lower it down to $199,900. Think about your price from a buyer’s perspective instead of as a seller. Lowering your price is never easy, but make it worth it for the buyers if you do.
3. Staging: The work you put into the house may be spectacular, but even that may not be enough. One of the ways to show your property in the best light is by staging it. This does not work for every property in every area, but for the right one it definitely has an impact. Staging is the process where you add furniture and other accessories to give buyers an idea of what they can do with the property. Sometimes it may be enough to get your property sold. Regardless of the property, buyers need to envision themselves living there. Updated amenities and new construction are always nice, but if the house is vacant it may be difficult to show. Staging comes at a cost, but is far less expensive than lowering the price. After the staging is complete, you should talk to your agent about an open house. A new look to the property may inject new life to your listing.
4. Explore Rental Options: There are times when everything you try still doesn’t have the impact you would like. After lowering the price and staging your property, you need to think about the alternatives. Every day that your property goes unsold is costing you money. At this point, you should look at the local rental market and see what your rental options are. Take a look at comparable rentals with similar bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage in your area. Run the numbers to see if renting for a year or two gives you positive cash flow. If the numbers work, renting for the short term will allow you to make some money on the property while waiting for the market to turn. As long as you keep your leases to one year at a time, you will be able to sell whenever you like. Renting may not be for everyone, but in a pinch it can be the best thing you can do.
Before you even purchase a property that you intend to sell, you need to consider all of these options. You should have a worst case number you would accept if offered. You should glance at the rental market to see if it would be a viable option. The more prepared you are as early in the process as possible, the better decisions you will make.