This is the tale of how we got a Realtor (and the homeowner) to change their mind about pricing, stage, and reap the rewards. The results? 3.5 months on the market: NOTHING 18 days staged: MULTIPLE OFFERS
When I got the call from a friend who I knew from Coldwell Banker, that he ex-husband’s house was sitting, unsold, on the market for over three months, I couldn’t help but wonder:
- Why hadn’t she called me sooner?
- Why hadn’t he called me sooner? (He also knew me from another source.)
- What was wrong with this house, in today’s market, that it has sat so long?
- How overpriced could this house possibly be, to be sitting so long?
Within a few days, I met my friend, and her current husband (also the Realtor for the listing) at the house. I took a look around the house, which gave me a clear indication on why it hadn’t sold yet, then started discussing their pricing strategy.
After 90+ days on market, with only one low ball offer, and almost no showings anymore, it was time to get real with this listing to get it sold.
Taking a look at the MLS photos. Is this what buyers are really looking for?
When I initially saw the house, I noticed that it was very mustard yellow – everywhere. It felt dated. This was the old Tuscany look that was popular when the house was built, back in 1999. Believe it or not, that’s almost 20 years ago! I recommended painting, but unfortunately, the seller had already spent money repainting, the same color! Still, I know that staging can be effective, even in less than ideal conditions.
“I had a property that had been on the market for just over 90 days that was priced correctly but not showing well. The owner was giving consideration to making large price reduction to renew buyer interest in the property. After a consultation with Rave, the seller realized that staging was a better solution to change buyer perception rather than taking a price reduction. The marketing advice given by Rave allowed the Seller to position the home, with a small price increase, to be seen by the target buyers at the appropriate price point creating new interest in the property. Two weeks after the staging and change in pricing strategy, the property was in a multiple offer situation. Thank you to Rave for both the excellent staging, but more importantly, the marketing insight that helped this seller realize an optimal return.” Scott Bresnahan, Coldwell Banker Vanguard
Rethinking pricing, to get a better return.
When I say return, I’m not actually referring to better offers. In this case, I’m talking about a better return on the investment. Since this house was originally listed at $420K, and when viewing comps, seemed to be in the right price range, a price reduction wasn’t necessarily in order. This was, however, the recommendation of the broker. Instead, I pitched a strategy that I first learned in Charleston, SC, by a very good client of mine. Instead of dropping the price, our goal was to get as many NEW people into this home as possible. We wanted people who hadn’t seen it before to pay attention. Since we know most buyers, and their agents, search in ranges between $25K increments, a $5K or $10K price reduction, from $420K wouldn’t necessarily give us more buyers. Buyers who were shopping from $400K – $425K had already viewed the house.
Our strategy was to RAISE the price to $425K. This would keep the house in the $400K – $425K price range, but also include any buyers that were looking from $425K – $450K, where the house would be at the very low end of their search, potentially creating more value.
The result from new staging, new photos, and this new pricing strategy was swift. Within 18 days, the seller had multiple offers, and believe it or not, the end buyer was the couple who initially made the low ball offer! The pricing strategy brought several new showings, and a new offer from a new set of buyers. The Realtor, being savvy, contacted the initial offering party, and let them know about the new offer. They submitted a new offer, with an escalatory clause, driving up their initial offer within an acceptable range.
This story ends, as almost all of our staging stories end. When sellers listen to our advice, no matter how contrary it may seem to the mainstream process, our customers win! The most successful Realtor in Jacksonville rarely works with more than 200 properties a year. Rave Home Staging typically works with more than double that amount. We have a clear understanding of the market, and ways to overcome nearly any obstacle.