Jon Mand, a licensed Louisville Realtor from Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, is here to discuss expired listings. An example of an expired listing would be if you were to put your house on the market and it didn’t sell with the first agent you hired by the end of the contract term – a very depressing scenario if you’re the seller. It could be that the marketing isn’t up to snuff, the house was in poor condition for showing, the price is off, there was a poor fit between agent and seller, or it’s just plain bad timing. Whatever the reason may be, it’s natural to feel emotional about the whole ordeal and wonder, “Why didn’t my house sell?”
In his experience, expired listings almost always boil down to price and marketing, says Jon Mand. There are ways of overcoming many common obstacles to a sale, of course. For instance, bad condition can be overcome with a price adjustment. Even so, the house still needs to be in a condition that gets potential buyers excited. Homes that come with pet odors or stains, or smoking odors, may need to steam clean their home, and especially focus on cleaning the carpets as best as possible.
On the flipside, you can have an immaculate house, but if it’s not marketed to let people know about it, it can be a tough sell. Active marketing means not only putting it on the MLS, but also pushing it through social media outlets, online paid advertising, print ads and old fashioned salesmanship, hosting open houses and the like.
All too often, Mand has people come to him after a tennis partner or childhood best friend who “does real estate on the side” failed to sell the property. “The primary residence is one of the biggest assets a person can have, so it’s surprising to me that people don’t hire professionals from the start. It’s a harder profession than a lot of people think it is.”
Mand says you can tell a lot about how good an agent is by his or her marketing. If you receive a high-quality postcard and something like a handwritten note, it’s probably a good sign the agent is viable. “This is the agent’s best first impression to gain your business as a client, so if they’re sending you a flimsy note printed on their home computer, that should tell you something,” he explains.
From there, he advises: “Do your research on them, spend time on Google, look them up on Facebook.” Scrutinize their posts, he adds. Are they active on all social sites? Are they actively involved in the local market or just reposting general articles from CNN Money? You also want to find someone who is active in your price range and your part of town.
One last item to consider is the cleanliness of the property. Many sellers get used to living in homes that need to be professionally cleaned and think that buyers will be fine with the property in whatever condition it may be in. Sometimes that’s true, but other times it’s not. It may be in everybody’s best interest to have a Louisville cleaning expert come through the house and offer suggestions on what needs to be cleaned and to give an estimate of what it might cost.
An expired listing is not necessarily the end of the world – and it doesn’t mean you need to drop the price necessarily. Mand says there are many cases where they were able to maintain a home’s price and reposition the property through marketing efforts. In other instances, they’ve made some paint changes, staged the house, and ended up raising the price.