My house is listed for $339,000. We bought it three years ago for $368,000. There is a house directly across the street from me similar in amenities but 1,000 square feet smaller, listed at $249,000. (They bought it for $280,000 around the same time.)

My question is, I see a lot of traffic at that house compared to ours. We listed on Sept. 24, and only have 5 brochures removed from our free info box so far. That house has already received an offer, but it was turned down by the sellers. We would like to increase the traffic to our property. Aside from our REALTOR® posting it on a multiple listing site, what else can we do? Would an open house help?

-Heide Scott

Pricing is an essential part of a marketing strategy. Making sure your home is priced properly is the first and most important way to get traffic to your home. When you listed your property did you and your Realtor use valid comparables and set a realistic expectation for price? This is not a market to set “dream” standards or prices based on what you think your home is worth. Any property is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. That determines the fair market value. Setting a price, and even an appraisal, is not a science and not guaranteed to get you what you expect.

Aside from that, the buyer mentality in today’s market is that they do not want to do anything to a property that they feel they are paying fair market value for, yet for a bank owned property or distressed property they are more willing to make an adjustment and take a risk. This being said, it is hard to determine if the neighbor is fairly priced, or if you are overpriced. Square footage alone is not the only factor you would need to consider. I advise my seller clients that if we don’t have an offer in the first 10-14 days, we need to be quick to make a price adjustment to try to catch the market. I also try to recommend clients price at 1-2% below the current market so that they attract the buyers’ attention.

Another pricing strategy I have been employing is to price at a $25,000 increment so as to catch both ends of a search segment on REALTOR.com®. When you have a home priced at $274,500, you are missing the $275,000-300,000 search range, therefore $500 may well be costing you a buyer. Being smart and aggressive is key. It truly is ALL about pricing. You do need to have exposure too!

Not being in the MLS is not advisable in this day and age. The MLS services across the country have what are called IDX or AVM feeds that provide data to partnering brokerages, services and Realtor sites. This allows your home the maximum exposure and a better chance to sell for a higher value. By electing not to participate, you are truly limiting your market and the chance of getting a good solid offer. Another problem in today’s market is the underpriced, or “fire sale” property. People who don’t care, or banks that just want to unload, are driving prices to below market value and are creating a problem when it comes to appraisal and overall community value and pricing.

You really can’t compete with such properties. Sometimes the only option is to allow them to sell and get off the buyer radar. Or use the opportunity and hope that it will help drive traffic to your home. But if you are priced where you are, you are not even within the same buyer pool.

An open house does not typically sell a house. It helps a Realtor get new clients and offers your neighbors an opportunity to see your home, so it is worth doing, but not the holy grail you may be seeking. There may be no holy grail at all for you. Based on the information you are providing to us, I would deduce the following things. First, condition is also a factor, not just square footage, if your neighbor is priced properly, and traffic would say they may well be, as well as the fact that they received an offer, you may want to review your pricing strategy.

Bringing your price down to $300,000 may be a good first step, but if that is too low, you may want to review your motivation for selling. Do you need to sell or do you want to sell? Are you looking to grab an opportunity in moving to a higher end property? Your dollar is more valuable in an upward move and therefore any loss you take on your home will probably be made up for two-fold on the purchase. Review your goals and choices, reconsider your pricing, and definitely get on the MLS unless you want your home to be the best kept secret in the area. Hope that helps!

 

Maya Paveza is a REALTOR® for Coldwell Banker Preferred in Wilmington, Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania.  She is also a founding member of Twitterqueens, Inc. Social Media Educators. 

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