Does this question sound familiar? Somehow everyone learns to ask this of the agent when they see a home they have an interest in buying. It’s great for us because it’s a sign they may be ready to talk turkey. For our seller clients it can be a tough question though – how long is too long?
Buyers all want something fresh, a home new to the market, inspecting and securing before everyone else, capturing that prized sparkling gem that hasn’t yet been handled, tossed around and rejected by the masses.
And with a “safety in numbers” or herd approach, home buyers get nervous if it’s been for sale for some time. More than a few weeks on the market and it can lose its ‘sheen’. Doubts creep in, small negatives about the property start to take on new life, the green laminate in the kitchen suddenly seems even uglier!
Suddenly a premium price is not so easy to achieve.
With email alerts and easy web access most buyers know how long a home has been for sale and, unfortunately for sellers, even if the price has been reduced the market may still turn its nose up. Once it’s considered stale buyers ask themselves what’s wrong with the home, why no-one else has wanted it. And if they do inspect their offers may start lower.
The early few weeks of the sale campaign are critical. Buyers do often ‘lie in wait’, screening their alerts for fresh offerings. It makes sense that the best offers are often achieved early.
The challenge is setting your price where its capitalises on any pent up demand, drawing the absolute most the market will pay, but getting a result before that probing time question becomes uncomfortable to answer.
Some properties can take longer so don’t panic. But do have a plan. Consider taking it off the market for a time, ask your agent to reload it onto the web, consider an auction campaign, ensure it has fresh headlines and there’s a change to hero images regularly. Advertise to attract a new pool of enquiry. And do have an agent whose advice you trust. There’s a lot of money at stake.