You're probably feeling pretty disappointed and disgusted right now. You had plans that had to be put on hold because your house didn't sell - and that puts your entire life "on hold."
Nobody likes to be put on hold - not on the telephone, and certainly not with your entire life. So let's look at what went wrong.
First, at what point did your plans to sell fail?
- Were there no "lookers?"
- Did you get plenty of showings, but no offers?
- Did you get offers, but none you could accept?
- Did you get offers that fell apart during negotiations?
- Did you accept an offer that fell apart before closing?
Was one of the "Big Three" at fault?
If you had no showings, or if you had showings but no acceptable offers, the reason probably lies in the "Big Three" - the three basic components of selling a home:
Of course these three work together. While pricing and presentation come first in order of tasks to be done right, without good marketing no one will even see your home.
Marketing is your agent's responsibility. It begins with the way your listing is entered in the Multiple Listing Service - if it attracts other agents - and goes on to how it is presented on your agent's website and his or her printed materials. It also depends upon the pro-active steps your agent takes to promote your listing to the buying public.
Presentation is the seller's responsibility. If this is done poorly, those buyers who do view the home will either make no offers, or will make low offers.
Pricing is a collaborative effort between the seller and the agent. It's the agent's responsibility to prepare an up to date market analysis and advise the seller of the correct price. But agents do not make the final decision. A top agent, knowing that marketing will be a waste of both time and money, will simply not take the listing if it is priced too far above market.
Negotiation and follow-through. If you had an offer that fell apart at some point, the reason probably boils down to either poor negotiation skills or lack of agent "follow-through."
Negotiation is, again, a collaborative effort between the seller and the agent. Your agent can advise and will act as a buffer between you and the buyers so that anger or hard feelings can't cloud the negotiations, but final decisions rest with the seller.
As your agent, I'll help you weigh the pros and cons of buyer requests, so that you can come to a reasonable decision before responding to offers or to counter offers.
Follow-through may be the most vital piece of the selling puzzle. Interestingly, it is also where too many agents fail. They leave the most important part of the process to the buyer's agent, the lender, the title company, and possibly an attorney. And then they cry because so many of their transactions fail to close.
Staying on top of a transaction after the agreement is signed often means the difference between closing and not closing. Dozens of problems can crop up - and the majority of them can be solved by an agent who acts quickly and efficiently.
These can range from solving unexpected title issues - such as tracking down an old deed that wasn't recorded, to meeting deadlines by hand-delivering documents or checking to be sure electronically delivered documents were received, to helping you re-negotiate the terms of the agreement.
Quite often negotiations do need to be re-opened after you've come to an agreement. After seeing the results of a home inspection or after starting their mortgage loan process, buyers do sometimes ask for more concessions. As your agent, I'll be there to assist you with those re-negotiations.
Some problems can't be solved. If your buyer loses employment or goes out and buys a new car during the loan process; if a the buyers suddenly decide to divorce; or if someone has a life-threatening illness or injury, there's not much a seller's agent can do about it.
But for the most part, staying in touch with the lender, the title company, the closing attorney, and the buyer's agent from agreement to closing - and taking fast action when needed - will assure that the sale does close. You can count on me to do just that.
More insight to come...
Because each of these points deserves further explanation, I'll be sending you more detailed information about pricing, presentation, marketing, negotiation, and follow through.
Look for messages from XXXXX...
Of course, you can opt-out from receiving these messages at any time, but since these letters will help you avoid whatever mistake caused your house to expire off the market unsold, I think you'll want to read them.
If you have questions - about the messages or about our real estate market in general - please feel free to contact me. I'll be glad to talk with you at your convenience, and with no obligation.