Being a real estate agent isn’t always easy. And it’s even tougher when you’re working for a homeowner that won’t listen to your advice. Maybe they have unreasonable expectations and are pricing their home too high. Or maybe they haven’t done enough to make it look presentable to prospective buyers. Or maybe the house just needs so much work that it’s scaring off prospective buyers. It could even be all of the above. The question is, what do you do when you’ve got an unsellable house?
As a realtor, your time is valuable. You want houses that are new or recently renovated and have great curb appeal. And you want sellers who will make your job easy by keeping their home show-ready and trusting you to set the right list price. But you don’t always get what you want. Sometimes the house isn’t in the best shape, and sometimes the homeowner can be difficult to work with.
Situations like these can mean a lot of wasted time an effort. The house sits on the market, the homeowner becomes increasingly frustrated, and you’re probably getting frustrated too. After all, if the house isn’t selling it means you’re not getting your commission.
Selling the Unsellable House
If you’ve got a house that just won’t sell and find yourself thinking about dropping the client or wondering why you took on this house in the first place, it’s time to re-evaluate and consider your options. Here are some things you should consider, and then address with the homeowner if they apply to your situation:
1. Reinforce the Importance of Curb Appeal
We all know how important curb appeal is, so make sure they understand this could be a big reason their home isn’t selling. Point out the cheap, easy and quick things they can do to get more people interested, like making the grass is mowed and the bushes are trimmed, and getting rid of any debris or junk. Suggest renting or borrowing a power washer if they don’t have one, and cleaning any hard surfaces, including driveways, sidewalks, patios, and the outside of the house. All in all, half a day’s work making the home’s exterior shine can make a huge difference.
2. Help Get the Interior as Show-Ready as Possible
When a potential buyer walks into a home, they need to be able to imagine living there. That’s hard to do if the house is cluttered or dirty. If they’re finding it difficult to remove the clutter or keep the place clean, offer some helpful suggestions, like using a garage or unfinished basement or renting a storage unit where they can put certain furniture pieces to help rooms look bigger and less dated. Going one room at a time and enlisting the help of friends and relatives can also make the process quicker and easier. Packing up items they rarely use or even starting to get rid of things they no longer want or won’t fit in their new place will also give them a head start when it comes time to move.
3. Get Your Camera Ready
Once both the inside and outside are in better shape, it pays to swap out the old photos with new ones on any website or app where the home is listed. It might not be worth hiring a professional photographer, but you want good photos with the right lighting that highlight the house’s best features.
4. Revisit the List Price
If you suspect the list price is too high and turning off prospective buyers, take another look at the selling prices of other houses in the area in similar condition. You need to be able to show sellers what they can realistically expect to get for the condition their home is in, and convince the seller that they need to lower the list price if their home has been sitting on the market for a few weeks or more without getting any serious offers.
5. Discuss Home Improvements and Renovations
If the seller is adamant about getting a certain price for their home, ask if they’ve considered making any improvements or renovations. Explain that things like replacing carpets or putting in hardwood floors, adding a fresh coat of paint and renovating kitchens and baths are often worth the investment if they have the time and money and are willing to take the risk.
6. Ask If They’ve Considered Alternatives Like Selling to a Home Investor
When you work in real estate, you become pretty good at figuring out how much effort it’s going to take to sell a house, how much effort the homeowner is likely to put in, and how much you’re likely to make at the end of the day. Sometimes you may decide a house isn’t worth the effort, or sometimes you make take on a house despite your best judgement. But when it becomes clear that a house just isn’t selling and the homeowner doesn’t have the time or ability to make their home more sell-able, there is another option – ask if they’ve considered selling to a real estate investor.
Why Work With Home Cash Guys?
Whether you took one look at a house and decided you didn’t want to work with the homeowner, or you’ve realized it’s time to cut your losses, you still want to make sure the seller had a positive experience with you because that can mean getting good referrals. In these cases, recommending they consider working with a trusted real estate investor like Home Cash Guys may be your best option. We buy houses in any condition, so they don’t need to worry about making their house look presentable or doing renovations. We also offer a little more flexibility than other buyers, and because we make all cash offers, we’re able to close quickly. And we cover the closing costs and don’t charge commission either, which helps put more money in their pocket.
Some homeowners may be skeptical at first, but when everything is said and done, many people find that selling their home for cash really is the best option – especially if they have an older home in need of renovation. And if we end up buying the house, we’ll even pay you $100 for the referral…which is a lot better than wasting a lot of time and effort on a house that won’t sell.
If you know of anyone looking to sell an unsellable house in the greater Philadelphia area give us a call or use our referral form to put us in touch. If we buy their house, you get $100.