Why Homes Do Not Sell
Drive through a neighborhood or do a quick online search and you will that some homes sell and some homes don't. From one block to the next there is a home that sold for over asking and one that has been on the market for over 100 days.
All homes that get listed for sale have one thing in common, they need to create demand for the property. A Real Estate Agent's primary objective should be to create a lot of demand for the property with the goal being to sell the home and for the best terms for the seller (price, contingence dates, etc...).
In order to create demand for a property the listing agent needs to have a custom tailored plan to market that property. A "one size fits all" approach is ineffective, it relies on luck to generate an offer. With the different classes of property, different conditions, and various locations cause certain buyers to be "real buyers" and others to be window shoppers looking at homes that they are not really interested in. Simply putting your home on the MLS and syndicating out to the major real estate listing websites is not enough.
If there is not a clear and well thought out marketing plan in place then you will not be in front of the buyers that are interested in your home. This in turn will cause the listing agent to ask for a price reduction because he was not able to get in front of your home's target demographic. Lowering the price does generate more interest, usually by increasing the pool of potential buyers, but its at the cost of the seller's bottom line. A marketing plan solely based on factors such as price, syndicating to Zillow, and a few open houses is not a complete marketing plan. Selling a home for the highest possible price requires an agent with a proven track history and a well thought out marketing plan.
If you are interviewing agents or considering selling here are 3 points to consider.
Overpricing a home is the most common mistake. By over pricing your home you often putting it against homes that offer more for the same price, making the other home a better value. Your goal is to compete with similar homes in your market.
The condition of your home drives the marketing efforts. If your home needs a little TLC the buyer will leverage that in negotiations. Putting a little time and effort to give your home a cosmetic facelift will go a long way (even in the photos which is what the buyer first sees).
Good marketing drives demand and more demand means higher prices (as well as not sitting on the market). Think of your home as a product, do your best to make it the most desirable home in the neighborhood (by condition, price, and hiring the right realtor).