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Adjusting Your Approach: How to Deal With Listings That Aren’t Moving

Posted by Al Villegas on November 3, 2016 at 1:31 PM

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One of the most frustrating experiences you will encounter in the real estate business is dealing with a listing that just won’t sell.

Whether you are the seller yourself or just the listing agent, no one wants to waste their time month after month promoting a house that either isn’t generating enough foot traffic or isn’t doing enough to impress the people who do view it.

However, there are often a few things you can do to make sure that you are maximizing your effort and giving yourself the best chance for success. And the first step in that process is always to determine exactly why the property isn’t moving.

Listings-That-Wont-Move.jpgDetermine the Source of the Problem

Determining why a particular listing isn’t moving as fast as you expected is often an easy task. It is almost always the result of either light foot traffic or that the house itself cannot convert browsers into buyers.

Take a hard look at how many people are showing up to your open houses and how many people are making appointments to look at the property, and that will give you a pretty good idea of where to start dealing with a listing that won’t sell.

Explore Other Marketing Options

If foot traffic is where your listing is struggling, you can attempt to create more traffic by exploring different types of advertising. This is often the case for listings that are a bit further off the beaten path than most people travel.

In addition to common approaches like advertising in the local paper and making sure your listings are available on the major real estate sites, you can also explore ideas like advertising your listing with local blogs, running Facebook ads, and even posting flyers in local restaurants and coffee shops.

Hold a Different Type of Open House

Another creative way to increase the foot traffic to your listing is to hold a different type of open house. This is a great way to really get some fresh blood into a stagnant listing.

We have previously discussed ideas like holding a summer BBQ at a listing with a great backyard or hosting a holiday party at a listing with the perfect kitchen for entertaining. These would be great options to get a unique type of foot traffic exploring your listing.

Revisit Your Listing Price

One final way to address the amount of foot traffic that is coming through your listing is to revisit the listing price. If your house is priced too high, that is likely to scare off a lot of potential buyers. The same can be true, however, if the house is priced too far below the market, leading potential buyers to think there is something wrong with it.

Address the Negatives

If your listing is getting a decent amount of foot traffic but struggling to convert that traffic into a sale, the problem is likely something else.

Begin to figure out what that is by talking with the people who are walking through the home. Listen to what they say, and also try to get a feel for what they are thinking but won’t say.

Little things like unattractive paint colors or small carpet stains might not seem like a big deal to you, but can make a big difference in the first impression someone has of a property. Addressing some of the negatives that people are pointing out about your listing will mean there will be less issues to scare off the next person to walk through.

Add More Compelling Features

In addition to fixing some of the negative features with your listing, you might also want to consider adding a few compelling features that people who buy houses in your price range are looking for.

Depending on what that price range is, this could mean anything from installing new light fixtures for a couple hundred dollars to adding granite countertops in the kitchen for a few thousand, but feeling out the people who aren’t pulling the trigger is a great way to find out what those types of people are really looking for.

Update the Pictures

No matter what changes you make, you should be sure to update your listing’s pictures with your local MLS or whichever real estate sites you have your listing advertised in as soon as those changes are complete. New pictures will breathe new life into any listing, even if the changes are minimal.

Dealing with a listing that isn’t moving is never a fun experience, but the best way to handle the situation is to stay positive and focus on the things you can actually control. The rest will take care of itself.


Whether you’re looking for the latest real estate news or just want a few tips from the experts at Carrington Real Estate Services, our blog is your one-stop destination for everything real estate related.


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