The first week your home is on the market, there are two very important metrics which we keep a close eye on:
Number of Showings
Our goal is to have between 5 – 10 showings, depending on the time of the year, the first week your home is on the market. If we don’t have at least 5 showings we have a problem and either the marketing/photography is bad or we’re not priced correctly. If this occurs we need to have an honest discussion about what needs to be fixed. After the first week, our goal is to have 3 – 4 showings per subsequent week. Depending on the feedback we’re receiving at showings and the number of showings, we may need to talk about reducing the price if we don’t have an offer after the first 2 weeks.
The MLS Stats
The other metric we keep a close eye on is the MLS stats. We will send you these every few days the first week we are on the market. Our goal is to have at least 350 people receive your listing via the MLS. This means your home matches the search criteria they are looking for in a property. Anything less than 350 means not very many people are looking for a home like yours and the potential buyer pool is very small. If this is the case, we need to figure out how we can expand the number of people who might be interested in your home. Most people’s search in the MLS are based on eight main criteria which they consider deal breakers: location (which we can’t change), number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, whether the property has parking, whether the property has central AC, whether the property has in-unit laundry, and price. For instance, if your home doesn’t have a parking space, is there one nearby we can rent so we can honestly say parking is available? Can we add in-unit laundry to make it more attractive? Can we create an additional bedroom?
In addition to looking at the number of people receiving your search, we also look at the number of people who have marked your property as Interested as well as the number of people who have marked your property as a Maybe. Our goal is to have 20 Interested markings and 20 Maybe markings at the end of the first week. Generally that’s a good indication that your property will sell in the first 30 days it’s on the market.
So what happens if the metrics on my home are less than the above desired stats?
First, don’t get discouraged; remember our discussion about the average days on market in your area when you start to feel discouraged. This process doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, but eventually we will find the right buyer for your home. Second, keep your home clean and tidy and approve as many showing requests as possible when they do come in. The more showings we have, the better the potential of getting an offer.
Third, we need to take a hard look at what we can do to improve the chances of your property selling. There are four important parts to the selling process: location of the property, condition of the property, the marketing/photography, and finally and most importantly, the price.
We can’t change the location as it is what it is.
For the condition of the property, ask yourself if there is anything you can do to improve the condition/staging of the home to make it more attractive to potential buyers? If the staging/condition is as good as it can possibly be then we need to look at the marketing/photography.
How do the photos looks? Anything we can improve in the description of your home in the MLS, on Trulia, Zillow, etc?
If the above three items are as good as they can possibly be then the only thing we can change is the price. Remember, buyers tend to search in $25K increments so to hit the next biggest group of buyers we need to be below the next $25K threshold. Therefore, if your home is listed at $485,000 we should drop the price to $475,000 to try and hit the next buyer group. $2,000 and $3,000 price reductions aren’t enough. Price reductions need to be substantial (at least $5K – $10K) to make any difference.
Fourth, can we add a monetary incentive to encourage buyers to put an offer in on your home? Perhaps a closing cost credit if the property is under contract by a certain date. Or we can offer an incentive to the buyer’s agent such as a bonus if the property is under contract by a certain date. As sad as it is, these tactics really work.