March 02, 2011

Your House Didn't Sell. What do You do Now?

You hired an agent, got your house on the market and waited on the big day when a good offer comes in on your property and you can move on.  Except, that day never came and your listing expired.  What do you do now?

Your house not selling is a frustrating, disappointing, upsetting emotional roller coaster ride.  The absolute first thing that you need to do is...STOP!
Stop Sign
Get a grip on the emotional reactions and focus on the details.  This is much easier to say than do (trust me, I've been there!), but it is vital if you really want to get your property sold.  Once that's done, you need to sit down and go over some things to find out what your next step(s) should be.

The property didn't sell, so obviously there were some issues somewhere that prevented that from happening.  In order to move on to a successful sale, you have to figure out what the problem(s) were and fix them.
The first thing you should do is review your current agent's performance.  This is where most sellers whose house didn't sell start anyway.  But before you starting blaming the agent outright, review what the agent said and did.  You did, afterall, choose them for a reason, right?
Did the agent give you a detailed pricing strategy from the start?  Did they market the property as they said they would?  Did you receive updates on the market at regular periods?  Did the agent maintain contact with you throughout the listing?  Did the agent provide you with guidelines for showings, staging, etc.?  In short, did they do what they promised to do in order to get your property sold?

Now, the second thing you need to do is probably the hardest thing oGirl Looking In Mirrorf all.  You need to review YOUR performance.  Yes, your performance.  How, you ask?  Review these questions and be honest with yourself.  Did you follow the listing agent's suggestion on pricing strategy or did you insist on a higher starting price?  Did you keep the home in 'show ready' condition?
  Did you refuse any showings?  If so, one, two, ten?  You have to show to sell.  Did your agent make suggestions about painting, repairing, etc and you didn't do them?  If they didn't, does the house need any repairs or updates that haven't been done?  If you had showings and no offers, what feedback, if any, did the buyers leave?  Was it something fixable?  If so, have you done it? Finally, and probably the most important question to ask yourself, did you get any offers that you didn't take, or didn't even counter?

And last, take this time to interview other agents.  You may hate all agents now, but every agent is different.  Some are great, others may fall a bit short.  Don't reject the whole profession just because you've had a bad experience with one.  That said, especially after reviewing steps one and two, you may decide that you still want to go with your current agent on the sale of your home.  Even so, this is the perfect opportunity to get "fresh eyes" on your home and maybe get a new perspective on it.  Before you commit to anything, interview 2-3 more agents and see what they say about your property.  At the very least, you've gotten more agents that have seen your home.

And above all, DON'T GIVE UP!  A properly priced, properly marketed, properly prepared home will sell.  Just make sure you give it the time necessary.


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