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May 2, 2011

The house Didn’t Sell. Keep Calm and Do Your Job

by mark mclean

ARGH, ten days ago you listed a great property. All the research you did showed the wonderfully renovated detached home was worth between $799,000 and $835,000. You laid out a plan to list at the lower number in order to generate some great interest. You spent time helping the owners clean up and de-clutter. You have sweat equity in this home. The agent open house was well attended. All your sandwiches were gobbled up and the feedback was terrific. Some agents were worried that they couldn’t get their clients to view it in time. All of them commented on how competitive the price was. That weekend everything was looking great for the public open house. The weather mostly cooperated and the traffic was consistent. On Saturday you hoped to be out of there by 4:15pm but the last person didn’t leave until 5:15pm. By the end of the open house on Sunday you were literally spent. There was a grand total of eighty seven people through  the property. Signs were pointing to a multiple offer situation on Tuesday. Monday you called around and talked to a bunch of agents who had shown the house. You answered some questions and sent the survey to one agent. You have been in constant contact with the sellers who are appreciative of your efforts. Finally the big day arrives. You have asked for agents to register with your office by 5pm and plan to present by 7pm. At noon, all is quiet. At 2pm an agent calls to see if anyone has registered. By 4 pm you are starting to sweat. No one has registered their offers yet. 5pm….still nothing. By 6pm you have to pick up the phone and make the dreaded phone call to the seller to tell them that there are no offers but to stand by just in case. Then you frantically call everyone who showed the most interest. Nothing. The hours tick past. 7pm, 8pm, 9pm……and still nothing.  

Now what? You spent a restless night wondering what went wrong. You are pretty sure you did everything according to plan. So what happened? Well, the short answer is that sometimes a house just doesn’t sell. Please don’t tell the sellers that though. Most likely it is a combination of a bunch of things; the weather, the stock market, a full moon, you name it. The point, however, is to not lose your composure. The first order of business is to keep communicating to your clients. Remind them that the house is well priced and that some houses just need to have more exposure than others. Now it is time to get back to work and do what you have been hired to do. Push the home out there, get back on the phone and call everyone that came through. Get an ad in the paper and start preparing for next weekend’s open house. Rinse and repeat is the old adage! The market is hot, and the property will sell.

Like so many of my blog posts the material comes from real scenarios that get played out  around my office. Would you like to know the outcome? The agent held another weekend of open houses. She met a couple who walked in and fell in love with it. While she was typing their offer another agent called to register an offer. By Tuesday night the house sold firm…in multiples…..and over asking.

mark mclean


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