Monday, April 28, 2008

I'd like to sell your condo, but ...

Wonder why your condo hasn't sold? Here is my list of top five reasons you're not getting more showings.

Reason Number 5: Poor MLS photos. If a condo has a good view, there had better be a photo of the actual view in the MLS listing. Absence of a photo of the view suggests that there isn't one. Many condo buildings have units with views and units without a view. Unless the buyer's agent knows the layout of the building, she may skip over your listing because your listing agent didn't include a photo of your view. Also, low-res cell phone photos can make your condo look just bad enough to not make the cut.

Reason Number 4: "Appointment required." With many properties vacant and easy to show, having to pin down a time that is convenient for the tenant or owner to show the property is just enough of an impediment to kill some showings especially if there are similar properties that are vacant.

Reason Number 3: Buyer's agent can't get showing instructions. Try calling your listing office next Sunday morning or even next Saturday morning. These are the two busiest showing days and also, remarkably, the days that many real estate offices choose to open late or not at all. I often have last minute additions on showing days and find myself calling Saturday and Sunday mornings for showing instructions from the listing offices. If the office is closed and your listing agent didn't include his cell phone number in the listing, 'Voila', no showing.

Reason Number 2: Keys in listing office. If your listing office chooses to keep the keys in the listing office rather than spending the money on a lockbox, the time required to pick up and drop off keys may be just enough of a hindrance to push your neighbor's property with a lockbox into your slot on the showing list. I know that sometimes it is impossible to place a lockbox but some offices never provide one.


Reason Number 1 your condo is not getting any showings: Your price is too high. None of the juicy rationalizations that you keep repeating to yourself matter to the buyers. Our market is in decline and buyers demand (rightfully) a price at least at the last comparable sale or lower. If you're not priced close to that number, you're not in consideration.

On a side note; if you're priced above $500,000, don't expect many showings no matter what you do. Only eight units above $500,000 have closed since January 1. You had better be priced aggressively and do everything right if you're competing in that market segment.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
__________________Rudyard Kipling