Profile picture for Mblittle12

Small town home--showings but no offers. How do I get this house noticed??

I'm selling in a small town...only 3 miles west of the larger city.  I've adjusted the price down. (please don't offer that as a comment.  had it appraised and have compared to others).  It shows great----every person who has come through has said as much.  Only a few have had comments of little things but they were personal preferences like "i wish it had wood floors".  

There are some things I can't change---location (obviously) and the fact that it is 2 bedrooms.

The only thing I can come up with is that its not getting noticed enough.  It's a very small town, so unless you know it's here or know the area, you're not going to search for it.  When you search the larger city just 3 miles away, this small town doesn't come up.  So how in the world do I get people to find it?!?!?!  My agent has is listed on all the major sites, but they're all the same.  If you search "town x", then you don't see any other towns.

It's been listed for 7 months, and i'm just starting to get very frustrated.  It's a great home, no problems, good price, good location (even though it's 3 miles out of town)....just no offers.  Someone will love and want this house...I just need to get more people's attention.  I've had 3 of "I love it and really want it...I just need to sell mine first" and at least 2 that decided they'd rather be "in" town.  A few that wanted 3 bedrooms (even though mine is clearly listed as 2).  And then the typical slew that come, like it, positive and then you never hear from again.

Anything???  Ideas for broadening the exposure???
  • September 17 2013 - US
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Answers (6)

Profile picture for Mblittle12
Thanks for all the great ideas Elise!!!  If you'd like to check out the listing on here, by all means.  search Bondville, IL.  I'm selling 511 S Market.

I've got the full amount of pictures allowed on there--my realtor has them professionally done and I think they are pretty good.  Wording is good I think.  

I don't know if it shows up on here, but I did a youtube walk through video because I read somewhere that that was a helpful little extra.  I DID, however, go into youtube and add some keywords like you suggested.

We are already offering $1000 cash at closing and 3.5% to the CC.

I guess what I'd like to know is further on your "Marketing is about creativity. Creativity in types of promotion, places you promote, ways you promote."   What creative ideas have you used??  Or places you've promoted??  We're on craigslist, trulia, zillow, realtor, mls, etc.  Where else could we advertise or promote??  Short of putting fliers up at Target or one of those signs that flies behind planes, I was running out of ideas. 


  • September 19 2013
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OK. You're trying to find solutions that don't include lowering the price. It sounds like you know that that is what would definitely get it sold, but feel that it isn't a possibility for you.

The other component in your control is condition.
How close to "model home" condition is your home? It's important but often difficult for sellers to accept that when their home is on the market, it ceases to be their "lived in home" and is now a high end "product". Like any high end store or seller of more expensive items, it is important that your home be maintained in top condition regarding cleanliness, good repair and appeal.
Let's assume that your home is sparkling clean without any clutter, stained carpets or furniture, heavy drapes blocking sunlight, old worn bedspreads, marks on walls, tall furniture in front of windows or fireplace, clutter on kitchen counters or fridge, massive collections of personal knick knacks or delayed maintenance like leaky faucets, etc and it smells good to all.

From there, we look to the advertising. First stop is the MLS. There should be a maximum amount of good photos that are clear and bright highlighting our home's best features and answering any questions about size of yard, type of flooring, spaciousness of kitchen, size of bedrooms, etc. The majority of today's buyers are searching for homes on the internet. They are using sites that are fed directly from the MLS. Whatever pictures and descriptions your agent put on the MLS is what they'll see. Most buyers on the internet skip over listings that don't have lots of good pictures. Personally, I like views. Nothing is more senseless to me than describing a fantastic panoramic view and only showing pictures of the back of the house, leaving me desperately looking at the windows for reflections, or describing a completely remodeled kitchen and showing no pictures of the kitchen. Digital photos are free...must have been a lousy remodel....

Illiterate, uninspired and misspelled descriptions dull the effect of the desireablility of your home as well.The description should read as a clear,  exciting, promotional advertisement of your home. According to the MLS, I live in an unusual area. Homes here abound in "quite" neighborhoods with "walking closets" and "moving conditions". Quite a mental picture with all those closets walking around and shifting conditions. Quite. Many homes are apparently so unremarkable that all they could say about them is "2 BR for sale, submit all offers"

Some really serious buyers will search far and wide. There is a free site where you can easily build a kind of website for your home and upload it to several sites including Craigslist. It's called Postlets dot com (close the spaces and put a period in place of the dot). You can also get a link to your site and put it in your emails.

Another often overlooked place to include your home is YouTube. There are many free video creator programs out there where you add pictures and music and voila. A video that you can upload to YouTube. That can be linked into the Postlets website. On YouTube and Craigslist, if you add "keywords" at the end of the listing, seperated by commas, it will come up in more searches. Examples of this are: "realty, homes, house, mls, for sale, 2 bedroom, kitchen, large yard". Just let your imagination run wild and think up as many possible words and phrases that could lead to your home as possible including city names (nearby cities as well). When someone searches the site, the computer will compare the search words used by the searcher to the words in your listing and return your listing in their search.

Marketing is about creativity. Creativity in types of promotion, places you promote, ways you promote. You're looking for something out of the ordinary that catches the attention.  A little humor helps too. A feature card saying "My owner gave me a new 30 yr dimensional roof last year"..... Humor can be charming and make something stand out in the memory.

Lastly, here are some things agents in my area have done in slow markets. They will offer a trip to somewhere to the buyer or agent (Hawaii), a new lawnmower, first mortgage payment paid, giftcard, etc. Again, use your imagination. If you are able to finance a part of the sale, that is also something that could attract a sale without reducing the price.

Another consideration is how much commission you're offering the buyer's agent. If it compares favorably with commissions offered on other competing homes, you may get more effort on their part to sell yours. The opposite also applies. If it is lower than others, their efforts on your behalf may be minimal.

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas. Ultimately, a home will sell when theese 4 things are in perfect balance: Price, Terms, Location & Condition. When it doesn't sell, something is off. You must make adjustments to the things you have control of.

  • September 17 2013
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Profile picture for tinahare

Have you or your agent tried social media? I find that Google + ranks very high on google searches. Maybe make a video with all of the photos of the house, and make sure to use google adwords to find appropriate keywords so the search engines will find it quickly.

  • September 17 2013
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Profile picture for Mblittle12
I do agree with you on price...I see your point.  BUT, if you drop anything low enough, it will sell.  However, like most people, I can't drop it dirt cheap.  As it is, i'm already priced 5k lower than what I owe and what it is appraised for.  I don't know what else to do really....

None of the feedback from people has had anything to do with the pricing.  Actually, we've had a few of the opposite where they have told my agent they thought it was priced right, but it just wasn't the right house for them.  

Maybe i'm missing something???  Any other tips to get people out to small towns??  I'm having a showing every other week it seems... 

  • September 17 2013
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Sorry but with all that you have already done, the amount of time on market, and the fact that you are getting people to see the property, what else could it be, except price for what is being offered.   Contrary to what many believe, selling residential real estate is pretty simple - price it right for what is being offered and for where it sits and it will sell.   If your average time on market in the area for similar homes is much lower than the amount of time you have been on market, it's time for a harsh reality check.   Sorry, but you asked.
  • September 17 2013
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It sounds like you are getting people there to see it. It also sounds like they are coming to see before they find out they are not interested in it. Something there is turning them off.

There are some things you can not change, location, bedrooms, design, neighbors, etc. When you find an objection that you can't change or fix there are two things you can do:

Wait for that person it is not an objection for

Price adjustment (just being honest with you)

tim
  • September 17 2013
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