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How to Relist Your Home for Sale

How to Relist Your Home for Sale
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s interview agents in preparation for your listing expiring or being canceled.

How do I relist a FSBO?

If you’re selling for sale by owner, you don’t have to follow the rules of officially relisting, since your home wasn’t on the MLS to begin with. You’re free to take your home on or off anywhere you have it listed, at any time.

One thing you should keep in mind is that, depending on the website you listed on, buyers may be able to see your listing activity in the property history. Many real estate search sites track listing and delisting dates as part of the home’s profile.

If you’re selling FSBO and your home hasn’t sold, you might consider hiring an agent who can help you identify why your home might not have sold the first time around and give their professional advice to help you correct for the relisting. You can start working with an agent at any time, since you don’t have to wait for a listing agreement to expire.

2. Assess any listing and property weaknesses

Consider these reasons your home many not have sold the first time:

  • Overpriced: A compelling listing price can sell a house, and overpricing is a common reason homes take longer to sell. How do you know if your house was overpriced? If you had a few dozen people visit and nobody made an offer, it was probably overpriced. According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019, 60 percent of sellers in the last 12 months made at least one price cut, so if you need to consider changing your price, you’re not alone.
  • Bad time of year: With very few exceptions, January is not the best time of year to list your house.
  • Slow or buyers market: In a buyers market, there are more houses for sale than buyers shopping. While market trends can be long-lasting and you can’t control them, reducing your price can help motivate buyers.
  • Difficult to show: If your home is tenant-occupied or there’s another reason you had to restrict the showing hours, you could have deterred buyers.
  • Low buyer’s agent commission: Buyer’s agents may be hesitant to show your listing if you aren’t offering a full 3 percent commission — this is a relatively common pitfall with FSBO listings.
  • Bad photos: Buyers today start their search online, so listing photos are your home’s first impression. If your home got very few showings, it might have been because the photos didn’t show your home well.

Listen to the feedback

Don’t make the same mistakes twice. Listen to what past buyers and their agents had to say about your property and the reasons why they didn’t make an offer.

It’s also important to consider your current agent’s perspective. Your agent should be an expert in real estate trends in your area, so if they make recommendations on the best time to sell, improvements you should make while your house is off the market, or the price you should list at, listening could help improve the outcome the next time around.

3. Reconsider representation

It’s also possible that your agent could be the reason you had a hard time selling your house within your desired time frame. If you chose an agent that wasn’t well-versed in your area, or you went with a part-time agent who was a friend, consider switching agents. Here are some tips for finding the right agent the second time.

How to hire the right agent

  • Always interview multiple agents before you settle on one.
  • Check reviews on Zillow, Google, Yelp and Facebook.
  • Ask family and friends for referrals.
  • Check to see if they have a social media presence, especially if they live in a city.
  • Make sure the agent you chooses has a comprehensive advertising strategy, including a plan to list on the MLS and sites like Zillow.
  • Make sure they offer professional high-resolution photography as part of their listing package.
  • Ask if they offer videography or 3D tours.
  • Ask about their showing strategy — open houses, private tours, lockbox showings or a combination.
  • Ask if they offer staging — sometimes it’s part of the package at a certain price point.

4. Thoroughly prepare the home to sell

One thing you’ll definitely want to do with a stale listing is freshen it up. It will attract new buyers and could also make buyers who have seen the home before take a second look.

Outside the home

  • Add curb appeal and clean up the landscaping.
  • Paint the exterior.
  • Plant flowers.
  • Powerwash walkways and steps.
  • Repair broken items like screens, mailboxes or lights.

Inside the home

  • Deep clean the surfaces, including nooks and crannies.
  • Steam clean carpets to get rid of stains or odors.
  • Paint rooms a neutral color that will appeal to a wide range of buyers.
  • Remove personal items like family photos and mementos.
  • Float the furniture away from walls to make rooms look more spacious.
  • Consider packing up your belongings and hiring a staging company.
  • Replace light bulbs, especially before pictures are taken.
  • Air out the house and focus on getting rid of odors.

5. Rework your marketing strategy

Whether you wait to relist until your DOM resets, and whether you’re selling with an agent or FSBO, you want to freshen up your listing before it goes live again, with new photos, a compelling description and incentives.

Lower the listing price

If you received feedback that your house was overpriced, or if you think it may be overpriced based on other comparable houses selling sooner, you may want to lower your price before you attempt to sell again.

  • Tip #1: Getting an appraisal can be a great way to get an unbiased, professional perspective on the value of your home. If your appraisal comes back much lower than your original listing price, you should consider lowering your price for your new listing.
  • Tip #2: Get a Zillow Offer to better gauge your home’s fair market value. After seeing what Zillow would pay you in cash for your home, you can either relist, using that offer as helpful research, or sell your home to Zillow Offers and avoid the hassle of relisting altogether!
  • Tip #3: If you do decide to lower the price, set it at a number that will appear in the most search results. For example, if a buyer is searching for homes under $300,000, and you price your home at $305,000, they’ll never see your listing. But if you price it slightly lower at $299,000, it will show up in search results for a broader group of buyers, without sacrificing much profit.

Invest in new photos

Professional photography is a must these days. According to the Zillow Report, 76 percent of recent buyers say that viewing professional photos was extremely, very or somewhat important to their home-buying decision.

If you use a real estate agent, they may include professional real estate photography as part of their services. But if it’s not included or you’re selling on your own, you can get real estate photos taken for only a few hundred dollars — a small price to pay for showing your home in its best light and enticing potential buyers to schedule a showing.

Provide incentives for both buyers and their agents

Most listings on the MLS offer a full 3 percent commission to the buyer’s agent, so you should do the same if you want to compete with other listings. In addition, you’ll also want to include any buyer incentives you’re willing to offer — like closing cost credits or including furniture — in your listing description.

Highlight new improvements

If you’ve done any renovations or upgrades to your home since your last listing, make sure to include those in the description. Common additions include:

  • Fresh paint
  • New HVAC
  • Roof repair
  • New carpets
  • Landscaping

Share your listing

Make sure as many people as possible see your listing. The more people that see your photos, read your listing description or take a tour, the more likely someone is to make an offer.

  • Post on social media, especially in neighborhood groups.
  • List on real estate sites like Zillow or Trulia.
  • Put a sign and flyers out front.
  • Use word of mouth — spread the news to family, friends and coworkers.

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