So Your Grand Rapids House Hasn’t Sold? Advice for 2016

Jamie Krier
Jamie Krier
Published on January 1, 2016

The year has drawn to a close, and despite the hot housing market in Grand Rapids the property you were trying to sell in 2015 just hasn’t budged. What now? You may naturally be a little disappointed or frustrated, but don’t despair; you still have multiple options. Today we’re bringing you the expert advice on what your next step should be. We will clearly outline your options to help you make the right decision moving into 2016.

Taking your House off the Market

You can easily justify this decision, sometimes it’s important to understand that the market just isn’t quite right at the moment to sell your home. Of course in most instances at the right price, any property will sell. With the housing inventory around Grand Rapids as thin as it has been, a home sitting on the market for a long time is more than likely an indicator that it’s overpriced. So if you are serious about moving, you and your family may benefit from re-evaluating your current list price before you consider taking your house off the market. However, if you are considering making some improvements to your home in order to increase its desirability, then taking it off the market for a few months can be a good idea.

Put the money you would be paying for your listing into minor repairs or design improvements that will really boost the appeal of your house. Sometimes just one more unique feature is enough to sell a property, so use your imagination (or the internet) to come up with an idea that will set your property apart. We always have good ideas on this as well, so give us a call and pick our brains for free. It could be a clever storage concept or a feature wall. Be aware however, that making improvements doesn’t mean you can suddenly bump up the price. There was a reason your house didn’t sell previously, so keep that in mind.

Re-listing your Home

If you are considering re-listing your home with your existing real estate agent, it is worth asking for their advice. They may have a good idea why the home didn’t sell. Again, this may be going back to pricing, which is always a tricky aspect of the home selling process. Your agent will work with you to improve your campaign and bring buyers along.

You need to convince your buyers that your home is worth having. Make sure the pictures on your listing are clear and good quality, really showing the home at its best. If you don’t have the resources it is worth paying a professional photographer to come in and photograph your house. Choose someone with experience in the field who knows how to use light and composition to make rooms appear big and inviting. Make sure the description of your home is detailed and tells the potential buyer all the great features of the property. Describe the advantages of the location and mention the things that drew you to the house in the first place. Include the neighborhood you’re in or near, school districts, attractions, etc.. Remember that in your listing, you are not just selling a house but the lifestyle that comes with it as well.

If you’re worried about the constant foot track of half-serious buyers and nosey neighbors requesting to walk-through your home too frequently, consider spending a few hundred dollars to get a high-quality 3D virtual tour of your home (we spotlighted this a couple weeks ago here). That way you can request that interested parties first complete the 3D tour and only schedule showings for serious buyers.  We offer this service for free for most of our clients, but we can set you up with the service provider we use — just give us a call.

Sell it Yourself?

Maybe you feel like you’re done with real estate agencies altogether. They didn’t sell your house, so you don’t want to pay them more money for another year of failure. Perhaps you think you can do a better job yourself. For sale by owner’ (FSBO) is an option for you.

However, although this option may seem appealing, the time, effort and money that go into planning a marketing strategy to sell a home are actually pretty hefty. You will need to construct the whole campaign yourself and find all the places to list your house. In order to get wide enough coverage to find a buyer you will need to put a lot of effort into running your home selling campaign efficiently.

If you have the time to spare and the expertise to carry this out, then it certainly is feasible. But remember that you are paying an agent to put all the time and effort in for you, as well as dealing with the negotiations with the buyer.

Find a New Agent

Your best bet for selling your home may be to find a new agency to help you. A good agent will be able to review the aspects of your old campaign and make it better this time around. They will work with you to improve the listing and give their expert advice on how to increase chances of a sale. Even if you have been disappointed by a real estate agency in the past, using an agent is always the wisest course of action.

Even if your last agent was your cousin or friend, it never hurts to get a 2nd opinion. Real estate transactions are too serious of a life event to only get one opinion from someone you selected based on personal relationships rather than professional expertise. They’ll get it over it, trust me.

If there is every anything we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to call us.