Successful home investors are profitable whether the market is up or down because they have learned to buy and sell properties wisely. But even the most prosperous real estate entrepreneurs have gotten stuck at times with a property that just won’t sell.
1. The first thing to do when a house won’t sell is not panic. Every property sells sooner or later.
Do what experienced investors do with every property they flip, whether a shack or a palace. The sooner you get proactive with these practices, the less you will have to sacrifice in the long run.
2. Follow Up and Get Feedback
How can you know why a house won’t sell unless you ask?
Top marketing experts in any business will tell you the most valuable information you can have is direct feedback from potential buyers and prospects. Follow up with every person who views your property. Ask them what they wish was different about the house or why they are not interested in making it their own.
Every bit of feedback from potential buyers is an opportunity for you to zero in on what needs fixing or adjusting to make a deal happen faster. A common complaint could be as small as ugly tile in the entryway—or as obvious as a freeway running too near the property line. While some issues seem insurmountable, for every problem there are real estate experts who have found solutions. For instance, you could consult with an architect to help design a noise barrier fence situated to create privacy.
Whatever the quirks of your property, unless you ask you might never know what is actually stopping buyers from purchasing.
3. Advertise With a Difference
Experiment with advertising. The right wording in ads can make all the difference in the responses you get. Instead of listing every detail of the property, use specific descriptions to target the types of buyers most suited to your property.
If the home is ideal for a family and across the street from a quality school, say so in the ad. If you plan to offer concessions with financing to attract budget-conscious buyers, then feature those savings in the ad.
Consider all avenues of advertising—from the Internet to newspapers and word of mouth at real estate meetings to flyers in local grocery stores.
4. Reach Out to Real Estate Agents
Many buyer agents, with eager buyers, might not know your house is for sale. Look on the Internet for local buyer agents and email them. Invite them to stop by and see your house for sale or have an open house.
Contact relocation agents all over the country who need to find properties like yours for clients relocating to your area.
5. Recheck the Asking Price
Be realistic about the fair market value of your house or property. Remember, consumers are always shopping comparable properties, which they compare with yours.
An overpriced house can sit on the market for months. But then again, don’t slash the price too much. Often, a better solution for cash-poor consumers is to offer reduced deals on financing rather than reducing the overall price of the property.
6. Keep Networking
All it takes is one right contact to turn into a sale. Spread the word about your house for sale—at local real estate meetings, in online forums or at local retail stores. Carry business cards with you or flyers detailing your property.
Have an open house and invite even those people you wouldn’t imagine to be potential buyers. You never know who might end up buying or knowing someone who is interested.
7. Relist Your Property
If enough time has passed since your first listing or you have made new improvements, get a fresh start and relist your property as a new listing.
Real estate is an ever-changing playing field. Agents might have missed your first house listing—or they might be reminded of features your house offers, which are perfect for a current client.
8. Stage Every Detail to Sell
Houses staged to sell outsell those, which are not staged.
Make your property look spotless, especially from the outside. Concentrate on curb appeal, cutting away shrubbery or debris, which detracts from the structure of the house. Declutter and clean to give the property a facelift. Unless you are trying to wholesale to another real estate investor, fix and repair problems.
Show updated photos of your property. Statistically, photos attract more buyers. Take up-to-date photos of your fixed up property to show in online virtual tours. Enhance the image of your property with photos taken from favorable angles with good lighting.
9. Offer Creative Financing Solutions
Instead of waiting on the bank to qualify your buyer, look at offering seller financing solutions—from lease options to land contracts. By being the lender to the buyer, you can make a deal happen immediately on your own terms.
You can also attract a bigger cross section of buyers with seller financing. Many serious buyers who are hung up with a property they are waiting on to sell can move forward on a deal with you when creative financing options are available.
10. Rent Your Property
When a house won’t sell, you can always rent it out—short or long term. At the least you will generate cash flow while you buy time to sell.
Consider advertising your property as a vacation or corporate rental with nightly or weekly rates.
Practice Makes Perfect
There is no single formula for making a house move—since every property and buyer are different. Practice these moves with every property and soon you won’t even flinch if you come across the more challenging house to sell.
Be proactive with the marketing of every property you sell and soon there will be no house you can’t sell.
Buy a property wisely to make selling easier.
Listen to every person who looks at your house for sale to learn what you can do to attract serious buyers.
Network with everyone from real estate agents to neighbors to generate interest in your property.
Offer attractive seller financing to buyers who are cash strapped.
Experiment with the wording of your ads to target the right buyers for your house.
Remember every property sells sooner or later—all it takes is one right buyer.
Carry business cards and information about your house for sale wherever you go.
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