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Perhaps the price is not right!

Dear Heather,

I have had my house on the market for about three months. Only a couple of people have looked at it and I haven’t had an offer, but my friend in real estate says the price is right. Why isn’t it selling?

Home Seller

Dear Home Seller,

If your house has been on the market for three months and you haven’t received an offer it is almost without doubt, priced incorrectly and too high for the market.

Properties are actually selling quite quickly at this time IF they are priced correctly for our market conditions in Bermuda.

So no matter what your “friend in real estate” says, it is listed at the WRONG price to attract offers.

Did you follow your real estate agent’s advice, or the appraisal value, or did you arrive at the price yourself?

Price reductions, price improvements, price adjustments - it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s never really a good idea and is always a slow, painful process.

It is much better to come onto the market with all guns blazing so to speak: grab the buyer’s attention, get lots of showings, create a buzz and get some offers. In weaker markets and buyers’ markets it’s not unusual for sellers to point fingers at the agents and ask, “Why don’t you do more to sell my property?” That is an extremely good question to ask your agent. Your agent should be able to tell you the following:

1. How much exposure has your listing received on their website? How many hits?

2. What brochures and marketing material have been produced and have you (the seller) approved it?

3. What kind of direct mail campaign has been launched?

4. Has an open house been held?

5. How does the house show online? Do you (the seller) like the pictures?

6. Is there signage in a prominent location that displays a phone number?

7. What kind of feedback have you received from agents and buyers?

8. Is there a consistent comment coming up that you should be aware of?

9. How many enquiries and showings have you had?

10. How many offers have you had? Why didn’t they work out?

If your property is overpriced it doesn’t matter what your agent does, it will miss the market. Most people now look online and will do a price search.

The people looking in the price range that your property should be in, won’t find it or see it; the people in a higher price range will disregard it as it doesn’t offer the features they are looking for.

It makes no sense to put an overpriced home online.

After an initial buzz, the buying public will realise that although it is priced at the point in which they are looking, it falls short of the size, location, condition and amenities that they are looking for. This is known as “missing your market”.

Motivation

Maybe you don’t have to sell. This is not the time to “test” the market.

There are a limited number of qualified buyers in your price range and not all of them will want your property so you cannot afford to exclude them. While your listing agent will work hard to do the best job possible, they need co-operation from you.

Agents work only on commission and do not get paid unless they sell a property. Therefore, agents will be motivated and use their time and resources to push properties that they believe are “saleable” ie within a sensible margin of the true market value. If you’re not motivated you might be better off renting your house or staying put for a couple of years until the market strengthens.

A famous realtor once said: “If a seller does not conform to the marketplace, that person is not a seller. That person is just somebody with a sign in the yard.”

•Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 27 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate

Wrong price: if your house has been on the market for three months and you haven't received an offer it is almost without doubt, priced incorrectly and too high for the market