When a luxury home does not sell the feelings of frustration and confusion can overwhelm and cloud the reasons for the lack of a home selling. This article examines the six most common reasons why a luxury home failed to sell and how to address those issues so the same result does not happen again. Sometimes it is one reason only whereas at other times it may be a combination of reasons the resulted in no sale.
One of the quickest ways to make sure a luxury home does not get sold is to price it higher than it should be. While pricing a luxury home takes some more effort due to the possibility of fewer data points for a comparative market analysis (CMA) that does not mean luxury home sellers should relax once a price is set. Especially since luxury home pricing is harder to come by home sellers need to pay attention to buyer feedback with regards to their home for sale. If there is no buyer feedback due to no buyer showings then that can be a telltale sign the luxury home is overpriced. If there has been plenty of buyer showings to the home but no offers have been made then the price is can be a problem or the condition of the home could be a problem which in turn could be addressed with the proper price.
Home sellers need to realize regardless of the value they put on their home, homebuyers will be comparing similar homes and pricing and determining whether a home’s price is too high or just right. While homebuyers are not necessarily looking to get a great bargain that does not mean they don’t want value for their home buying dollar. As a result by overpricing a home or not paying attention to pricing feedback home sellers will put themselves in a bind since larger price reductions will be needed the longer the home sits on the market unsold.
Communication or lack thereof can be a deal killer. When homebuyers have questions that they want answered prior to making an offer on a home the lack of an answer or a good answer could cause them to move into a different home. While everyone has plenty going on in their life there is no excuse for a real estate agent to not be communicating fast enough with their home sellers. In this day and age of smartphones emails and texts can be sent from many places around the world. For the home seller’s real estate agent to not forward questions to home sellers for their input means they are costing their client’s money.
As a home seller if you know an offer is soon to be presented you should make sure your agent is delivering that order in a timely fashion and that you are aware of the deadlines associated with the offer. Often times homebuyer’s real estate agent use short time frames in order to put pressure on home sellers to make a decision quick. Miss the deadline and the offer is no longer valid. Lack of communication by the home seller or seller’s Realtor can result in an offer that never comes forward or expires due to a missed deadline.
An inability for a homebuyer to access and tour a home for sale means your home may not get seen by the buyer who is ready to buy. A perfect example of this are buyers with a limited schedule or relocating buyers coming in from out of town to see homes for a few days. If those buyers never get to see your home for sale during the limited time they have then no offer will come from them. While showings are inconvenient to have your home on the market for a long time with no offer is more inconvenient. Also inconvenient is the fact that the longer a home stays on the market the more likely price reductions (and large reductions at that) will be needed in order to get buyers interested enough to make an offer.
With luxury homes there is sometimes the desire to have accompanied showings where the Realtor who represents the home seller, their team member, or assistant be at the showing with the buyers and their agent. One of the main reasons for accompanied showings is to have the home seller’s representative keep an eye on things due to valuables being present in the home. Regardless of the reason for an accompanied showing if your Realtor, their team member or assistant is causing appointments to fall through because they can’t arrange to be at your home when the buyer is there then you may have picked the wrong agent. Agents who hold themselves out as luxury Realtors need to be ready to accommodate the needs of their clients which in this case also includes accommodating buyers when they want to see the luxury home they have listed for sale.
While improper pricing of a luxury home is one of the main ways to hurt the marketing of the home there are other ways that poor marketing will result in a home being left unsold. Many luxury homes are a sight to see in person and unless experienced in person most buyers won’t know the quality of the home, let alone see the attention to detail and exquisite amenities present. Cell phone level or poorer quality pictures of a luxury home do just that. They deliver a poor expectation of a home in the buyers mind making it less likely they will want to visit in person. A luxury home needs high quality photos from high quality photography equipment.
Luxury homes also need to be captured in their full glory using video as part of a strong marketing plan. Just as with photography for video high definition quality cameras should be used for recording the video. Cell phone cameras just don’t have the ability to give a great video image, especially where the lighting is not perfect. As a result, video taken with high definition quality cameras mean the videos are viewable and enjoyable to the buyers who will then be ready to take the next step and visit the home in person. A video serves as a type of trailer to the main event movie which is viewing the luxury home in person.
Depending on the layout and landscaping of the property a luxury home marketing plan should include aerial videos and photographs taken from a drone. Aerial videos will help buyers see the wide open land, the layout of the extra amenities (pool, tennis court, etc.), where the house sits in relation to the road and more. Of course, if the luxury home is in a city with very dense housing then aerial photos and videos may not add much to the marketing message and could instead be distracting. So use aerial photos and videos where it makes sense.
Offline marketing should also be paid attention to. While the videos and photos of the luxury home need to shine online, there still needs to be offline marketing as well. Offline marketing for luxury homes includes using high-quality color brochures that buyers can take with them to remember the home after they visit and ads in local magazines and publications where luxury buyers are likely to see the ad. Selling a home involves using multiple channels so while online marketing is critical so too is offline marketing to help attract the right buyer.
A show ready home means than when buyers come in through the door there is no clutter, large quantity of collectibles, exotic art, family photographs and other items that make the home yours. The idea is to present the home in a neutral light as possible so that the homebuyers have no trouble visualizing themselves living in the home. Distracting décor, personal pictures, clutter and more can distract buyers and prevent them from seeing the real house and imaging their stuff in the home instead.
A home must not just be show ready at the time of taking the marketing pictures and videos of the home. A home must be show ready every time a buyer is wanting to view the home. Clutter should be put away, the house should be vacuumed, dusted, floors mopped and more to make the house look clean. While it is inconvenient to clean a home each and every time a buyer wants to visit it is much more inconvenient to have a home on the market for longer than it has to due to buyers not being interested enough in a home to make an offer. When it comes to selling a luxury home the looks and presentation do matter.
While motivation is listed last it is probably the most important one since if a luxury home seller is not motivated to sell the above-listed items don’t matter. If you are not motivated to sell your home then, by all means, remove it from the market and continue to enjoy you have lived in for some time. On the other hand, if you are indeed wanting to sell the home then revisit the reason for selling your home and understand those goals again. By knowing the reasoning behind the goals for selling your home you can refresh your motivation and move ahead with your plans to sell.
While your luxury home may not have sold the first time you had listed it for sale if your motivation to sell is still there then understand the areas noted above where improvement can be made. By addressing the issues that will prevent homebuyers from falling in love with a home the home marketing can be restarted with the goal of selling and moving onto the next stage.