How to Refresh Your Real Estate Listing

Updated June 22, 2016
yellow ranch house
There are a few things you can do to make your house more attractive on the MLS. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Debbie K., of Marietta, Ga.)

Has your home gone stale on the MLS?

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Yes, the real estate industry has bounced back, but that doesn’t mean houses are flying off the shelves in every city. If you have a real estate listing on the market and you’re not receiving any offers on the property, don’t panic.

Your first instinct might be to lower the price, but before you do so, try some of the following ways to make your house more attractive to buyers and be a rock star on the MLS.

Be flexible

Selling a house is inconvenient if you’re still living in it. Still, it needs to be show-ready at a moment’s notice. And as the seller, you need to be prepared to vacate the family and pets from the premises for those last-minute showings.

“Make it easy to show, and leave the house each day with it ready to be shown,” says Deb Agliano of Re/Max Andrew Realty in Medford, Massachusetts. “Also, try for a neutral scent in the house. Air fresheners make it seem like you’re trying to hide a smell.”

Tips to sell your home

Take the house off the MLS

Real estate agents advertise homes for sale to the public and to other agents on the multiple listing service (MLS). When a property sits on the MLS too long and becomes stale, potential buyers often assume there's something wrong with it and won't pay it any mind.

“Withdrawing the listing from all MLS and rebranding it as a new property with different pictures can breathe new life into it,” says Erick Monzo of Keller Williams — the Monzo Group in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. “You’ll get those buyers that ignored it before because of its days on market.”

Confer with your Realtor

If you’ve hired a real estate agent to help sell your house, you may need to follow-up to make sure he or she is doing all they can to market your house to the right population segments.

“Agents should prepare great marketing pieces using professional photography, video and floor plans,” Agliano says. “I make an individual website for every listing highlighting both the house and the area amenities.”

Ask your agent what type of budget they have for including their listings on popular real estate websites, such as Zillow and Trulia. “Our listings stand out and are populated at the top of the search results, increasing exposure by ten times,” Monzo says.

Photos remain a key element in selling a home. With nearly every buyer looking at properties online first, a bad photo can keep them away.

“The agent cannot skimp on photography,” Monzo says. “If an agent shows up to your home and starts taking pictures with a $60 digital camera, tell him to open his wallet and get serious. A wide-angle camera is a must; poor quality pictures will turn off even the most interested buyers.”

Focus on the details

Home staging and de-personalizing your property is important. You want the house to look like a model home (well, as much as possible) and offer a welcome environment for anyone who steps through the front door.

“The biggest problem is clutter and cleanliness,” Monzo says. “Buyers want to envision everything they own in the home, and if your seller has country ducks and Grandma’s blender on the counter they can’t do that.”

Luxury requires patience

If you’re selling a home in the million-dollar-or-more range, patience is going to be a necessity. The more expensive the home, the smaller the pool of potential buyers and the longer it’s going to take.

“The same rules apply; the house needs to be staged, easy to show and have great marketing,” Agliano says. “If it’s not getting offers in the time frame where similar houses in the same price range are selling, then it’s time to look at the price.”

What do you think of a home for sale that sits on the market for too long? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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