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When to have ‘the talk’ with sellers

CHICAGO – Jan. 10, 2016 – Is a listing lingering on the market or failing to generate offers even after multiple showings? If so, it may be time for a Realtor to approach the homeowners to discuss changes. While it may not be an easy discussion, a few questions can help lead owners to a wise decision:

1. Why are so many buyers visiting but then walking away? What's turning them off? "If 35 to 40 buyers have passed through your home and not a single one has placed an offer, it's time to seriously consider a price improvement," New York Realtor Brad Malow told®. Also, what feedback are buyers and their brokers giving about the home following private viewings? Are they complaining about the price?

2. How long has the home been on the market? Is it within the average time a home stays on the market in that neighborhood? If so, you may want to keep the price as it is. But homes set at the right price usually begin getting offers "within the first few weeks," Malow says.

3. How are comparable properties faring? Are they selling quickly or lingering? What was their closing price?

4. How many other homes in the neighborhood required a price reduction? How long did the sellers wait until they reduced the price? Did they then sell it once they reduced the price?

5. Are comparably priced houses selling quickly? If that's the case, you may want to actually take the house off the market for a short while and do some touch-ups and relist it again later, some real estate professionals say. "Once you've been on the market for five weeks or so, you're chasing the market," say Mike King, a real estate sales associate in Brentwood, Calif.

6. Are sellers afraid the home will be underpriced if the asking amount is reduced? If so, reassure them that it isn't likely.

"It's almost impossible to underprice, because the market will bring it back up," King says. Buyers will start bidding and you'll likely have more offers to work with than if you had overpriced it. "It's called leveraging power," King says. "If I'm a [motivated] buyer and I know there's only three offers, I'm going be less aggressive than if you had 10 offers."

Source: "When to Cave: How Long Should You Wait Before Lowering Your Asking Price?"® (Jan. 5, 2016)

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Related Topics: Seller services