It’s a time to measure success. All those expectations. All those hopes. The sense of urgency. At times, the days seem to be more like weeks and patience can run very thin.
Not unlike the presidency timeline, the first 100 days in real estate can be the period when the opportunity to sell is at its most powerful. It’s a time when a listing is believed to have the most influence in a buyer’s mind.
During that 100 day period, the panic is elevated, sometimes exponentially, for both the agent and the seller when a listing goes unsold with no offers and limited showings. For some homeowners, 100 days on the market signals the threshold of increased uneasiness. “What have you been doing? Why aren’t buyers flocking to my door, and where have you been marketing my home?” the agent is asked via a flurry of phone calls, texts or emails.
All legitimate questions, right? Maybe not. It may be time for honest reflection instead.
Let’s start with price, as this is always a driving factor in marketing. Homes are placed in the Multiple Listing Service which are then syndicated to many popular (and often inaccurate) third party sites. Since 92+% of buyers start their search online, this is where it all begins.
Buyers searching for homes in your neighborhood/area are provided with photos and estimated values. Unfortunately, this might not show a complete picture of your market. How your home is priced compared to the sites’ estimated value could immediately eliminate your home from a buyer’s search. It is critical to trust your experienced agent’s assessment of value. Buyers will always have access to alternate evaluation tools. You stand the absolute best chance of selling if you are priced correctly from day 1.
A picture could cost you the sale. How does your home show on MLS and alternate sites? Using online search methods, buyers can view many homes side by side and make comparisons without ever entering your home. Did your agent use high quality professional photos or did you/ they take quick snapshots with a cellphone? If it’s the latter, proceed with caution. What do buyers see? Great curb appeal? Neat and tidy space? A buyer isn’t going to be sold on that “lived in” look. That said, even the best photographer has limitations! Make sure those pictures show your home in a brilliant light. Put away the dirty clothes. Make the beds. Organize the closets. Repaint dirty/dingy walls. Put the toilet seat down.
If in 100 days, you haven’t seen much movement, it’s perfectly fine to reevaluate your situation. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for your agent to re-examine the most recent sales and pending transactions. If a price correction is needed, make it. Take the time to spruce up that curb appeal and re-take those critical photos. If there’s a Christmas tree visible and stockings hanging by the fireplace in your living room shot, there’s no way for a buyer to imagine their next summer family barbecue! Second-looks and brand new buyers are entirely possible (and probable) when you take extra measures to keep the listing fresh.