HELP! What To Do When Your Property Just Won’t Sell…


Of all the surprises I encountered as a new investor, one of the biggest “shockers” was the fact that it was WAY easier for me to buy properties for cheap than it was for me to sell them fast.

Most investors can probably relate to this problem on some level. If you do more than a few transactions per year, it's only a matter of time until you get a property under contract that just won't freaking sell.

I Know The Frustration

When I started my real estate investing career, I had a lot of things going against me…

  • It was late-2008, which was closely followed by 4 solid years of a major recession along with some TERRIBLE selling conditions.
  • My primary focus was on vacant land – which (in most cases) has a significantly smaller pool of buyers than almost any other type of real estate.
  • All of my properties were located in Michigan, which at the time was the #1 hardest-hit state by the recession.
  • I wasn't a licensed real estate agent (and I'm still not, btw), which limited my access to the largest pool of buyers (aka – the Mainstream MLS Machine).
  • I frankly wasn't born with the gift of salesmanship. It wasn't easy for me to “put myself out there” and drum up new business.

Believe me when I tell you, I've dealt with my fair share of properties that were difficult to sell. I know from experience that it is a very helpless and discouraging feeling to be “stuck” with a property that nobody seems to want. When you pour a lot of time and money into the deal that nobody seems to care about – it can really create some mental setbacks for an investor…   to the point where you find yourself questioning everything.

As you can imagine, it makes for a pretty miserable experience and this is not a place I want you to be.

What Does This Mean?

When you have a property that just isn't selling, this should tell you something. In almost all cases, there is at least one key message (and possibly two key messages) you should be taking away:

Message #1. The buyers in your market don't agree with your asking price.

Keep in mind…   this doesn't necessarily mean your price is wrong (although this is a possibility), but it DOES mean that in some way, you are failing to communicate this value to your buyers in a way that they can believe.

Sometimes it's because your pictures are terrible, sometimes it's because you haven't provided enough basic information, and sometimes you just haven't conveyed WHY your property is so valuable (location, comps, features, potential uses, etc.). In short, you are failing to connect the dots in the minds of your buyers. You're either asking too much (because the value truly isn't there), or you're not providing sufficient information for your buyers to say, “YES, I want to buy!”

Message #2. IF there is a buyer with the means & desire to buy your property, your promotional efforts haven't reached them yet.

In many instances, it all boils down to a simple lack of promotion. You've said all the right stuff, you've clearly communicated the value and you've provided all the right information – but you're not using a big enough loudspeaker.

For all intents and purposes, if your message isn't reaching the right people, it doesn't matter what you say or how good your listing is. If you haven't figured out how to get in front of your ideal buyers…  it's all for nothing. For this reason, it is imperative that you put the necessary effort into promoting your listings thoroughly. Getting your property in front of the right eyeballs is a big deal. If you fail to do this, all of your other marketing efforts are literally wasted energy.

10 Proven Selling Remedies

With these things in mind, I wanted to give you a few ideas to fall back on when it seems like all hope is lost. I've been in this place myself – and in those moments, I've used all of these tactics and ideas at one time or another. In many cases, they have provided precisely the change/improvement/fine-tuning that was needed to generate interest from the right people and get my properties SOLD!

Let's jump into it…

1. Create a Better Property Listing

The quality of your property listing can have a monumental impact on the “sale-ability” of your property. In many cases, you will have one shot at making a first impression people, so if you aren't putting your best foot forward when your listing is first published – you can lose A LOT of would-be buyers. I've already gone into great detail about this in this blog post, but essentially – the components of a great real estate listing boil down to a few key things:

Use Photos That Are HIGH QUALITY (and pay a pro if you need to)

It really should go without saying, but for some reason – a lot of sellers just don't get this.

Have you ever shopped for properties online and seen listings with no pictures whatsoever? If you're like 99.99999% of the population, you probably scrolled right past them without a second thought – am I right?

Images are extremely important to a listing. We all know this…   so why on earth don't we all use the best possible images we can produce?? If anything is worth a little extra time and money, this is it.

emotionWrite a Powerful Property Description

I could go on about this for hours, but it all boils down to your ability to tap into people's emotions. Understand which aspects of your property are truly remarkable and elaborate on those features in great detail. Remember – at this stage of the game (when people are getting their first glance at your property) you're selling a dream, so write about your property in a way that makes it sound like a dream come true.

Use a Headline That Will Get Noticed

When you're advertising on websites like Craigslist, the importance of your headline cannot be emphasized enough. The name of the game with headlines is to catch your buyer's attention (to the point that they will actually click on your ad). If people aren't enticed to look at your listing in the first place, what's the point of creating a good listing in the first place?

RELATED: SOLD! How To Write Real Estate Ads That Sell Properties Fast

Consider Paying for a Promotional Video

Videos are becoming a major player in real estate sales. Take a look at this example below and tell me – would this kind of drone video help you to see the value in a property? Does it help you envision some of the possibilities? I'll let you be the judge.

2. Promote Your Listings In More Places

I've found that in many cases, the calls don't start pouring in until I've posted my property listing in multiple places. When you have your marketing hat on, it's all about letting the world know what you have to offer. Think about it…   if only 1 in 1,000 people will be a REAL, viable buyer for your property, this means you need to get your listing in front of thousands of people in order to talk with a few serious buyers.

In most cases, this usually isn't going to happen just by posting one ad on Craigslist and calling it a day. You need to post your ad EVERYWHERE. Be relentless! Get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible!

RELATED: 50 Websites To Post Real Estate Listings For FREE

3. Promote Your Listings More Frequently

When you're dealing with websites like Craigslist, Backpage and eBay Classifieds (where ads get pushed off the front page pretty quickly), you MUST renew these ads on a regular basis in order to stay in front of people. If you don't keep this information near the top of each list, a lot of people aren't going to see it – this is just a fact of life. I hate to say it – but most buyers aren't going to scroll down to page 50 just to see your listing…  if you're not front and center, you won't be seen by the masses – so be sure you're staying on top of this whenever possible.

4. Offer Seller Financing with Attractive Terms

In my experience, seller financing has been by far the most powerful money-making tool in my toolbox because:

a. It allows me to make a lot more money from the exact same sale price.

b. It allows me to create multiple streams of passive income for years into the future.

c. It gives many more buyer access to my property who never would have been able to obtain outside financing.

For more information on the power and benefits of seller financing, you can learn more about it here and here. Seller Financing doesn't always make sense for every deal – but if you're willing and able to accept installment payments for your property over a set period of time (which will multiply your revenue in the process), why not sweeten the deal for everyone in the transaction?

RELATED: Supercharge Your Profitability With Seller Financing

5. Make Improvements to the Property

Regardless of the type of real estate you're trying to sell – there is almost always the outside chance that someone would be willing to pay your asking price (or even more) IF it came with just one additional feature… the trick is to simply figure out what that additional feature would be. Whether you want to go as far as building an attached garage, or maybe just install some updated water-efficient plumbing fixtures in each of your bathrooms. Need some other cool ideas? Check these out.

6. Offer a Home Warranty

If you're selling a property that comes with a lot of uncertainty (e.g. – If you're selling a 100-year-old house with a 30-year-old roof that needs to be replaced soon), a Home Warranty will allow you to eliminate these kinds of mental roadblocks from the minds of your buyers. If you're getting the sense that your buyers aren't comfortable with some aspect of your property – figure out what that is and see if a Home Warranty won't resolve the issue.

7. Are Buyers Saying “No”? Ask Them Why!

The word “Why” can be immensely powerful when you're trying to assess the needs and wants of your buyers. A lot of companies spend millions to understand what their customers want, so take it from the pros – it pays to know the needs and greeds of your buyers! When you understand what your buyers want (vs. what you're currently able to provide) – you can get to work on filling in this gap and giving them an offer they can't say “No” to.

8. Build a Buyers List

A Buyers List is a major component of some real estate investing operations. I know of some investors who literally don't even list their properties publicly – they simply send an email to their buyers list and as a result of their vast connections with cash buyers, they're able to sell their property in less than 24 hours.

Can you imagine being able to sell your property that easily? It's certainly possible, but you need to put the effort into creating your Buyers List first (and building a solid Buyers List can take a lot of time and effort). If you think this would be a helpful tool to have at work in your business, I'll show you how to create one right here.

9. Pick Up the Phone & Seek Out Buyers

Drucker1I used to work with an investor who was excellent and handling himself on the phone. Whenever he got a new deal under contract – he wouldn't sit around and wait for the buyers to come to him, he would go out and find the buyers himself.

How did he do it? He would start with a simple Google search! Step 1 was to look for any/all of the potential buyers in his area (preferably, those who will be repeat buyers). He would call Builders, Developers, Realtors, Appraisers, Contractors, Investors, and other real estate professionals – because he knew that ALL of these people had tons of connections with the buyers in the area (and many of them are buyers themselves).

If you want to take control of your selling process – don't be afraid to pick up the phone and start reaching out to people. Be proactive and take control of your sales process! The sales are virtually guaranteed to happen sooner if YOU are making the calls (rather than waiting for the calls to come to you).

10. Lower the Price

You'll notice that this is the last item on this list. That's because lowering the price is oftentimes the easiest thing to do, but it's also LAST thing you need to do.

Lowering the price is easy because it doesn't require much thought or mental energy. In many cases, it will allow your sale to come sooner rather than later, but it's also a great way to shortchange yourself before you've exhausted all your other options. Just because it's easy to lower your number doesn't mean it's in your best interests to do so.

It's true – sometimes you really are asking too much for your property because and the value just isn't there, but there are also plenty of scenarios where your property can easily sell for every bit as much as you think it should, but it will only happen if you find the right button(s) above and push them.

If you're able to look a few levels deeper and focus on getting your buyers to see the value, I think you'll find that many people are more than happy to pay your full asking price IF they truly believe they're receiving value in excess of the amount that you're asking them to pay (and don't forget, “value” means different things to different people).

RELATED: Deadly Pricing Mistakes Most Real Estate Investors Make

11. Donate Your Property (Bonus!)

If you're at the end of your rope and nothing else seems to be working – it may be worth your while to consider donating your real estate.

As this article explains, donating real estate isn't always the right fit for every situation, and it's important to find the right type of non-profit that is actually willing to consider your property as a donation (like this one, for example), but if you can make the right connections, it could be a viable alternative to simply write-off the value of your property and take it as a tax deduction, rather than going through all the effort of finding a buyer who will cash you out of your investment.

Be Ready to Adjust Your Expectations

Getting a property to sell doesn't always require a complete overhaul of your selling strategy. Sometimes it's as simple as changing ONE of the variables listed above.

On the other hand, sometimes you really do need to reassess everything...  so be flexible and don't rule anything out. If you keep an open mind and keep ALL of your these loose ends tied up – you could very well end up selling your property this week (instead of months or years from now).

It's also important to recognize that selling real estate doesn't always happen at the speed of light. I hear from a lot of people who get frustrated when they haven't found a buyer after having their property on the market for one month…  and I think it's worth noting that some properties just take a few months to sell and that's okay. There are many factors that can affect the speed (or lack thereof) of your selling process – especially when the market is sluggish in your area – and sometimes you just need to have patience.

I agree it can be frustrating when results don't materialize immediately but don't lose hope! Selling is a skill that needs to be developed over time (I'm still developing it myself). The whole concept of getting into the heads of our buyers doesn't come naturally to most of us – we aren't mind-readers after all… but once you learn the basic fundamentals of how to generate interest and move your inventory quickly, you'll find that this is a very helpful and profitable skill set to have.

Closing Thoughts

Believe it or not – I have never encountered a property I couldn't move eventually. On some rare occasions, the price wasn't exactly what I had hoped for, but it's important to recognize that EVERYTHING will sell at the right price (even if that price is very, very low).

The truth is – any property will sell at the right price, and every property has a buyer out there IF you can get that buyer to see the value. The key is to be flexible, to be honest about the situation you're in, and to always be willing to learn from each individual situation. If you bust into your market, convinced that you somehow have all the answers – you're doomed (because let's be honest – nobody is a mind-reader).

I've been in this business for the better part of a decade now and I'm still learning new things from every property I sell. People change, markets change, economies change, everything changes – so be ready to change with the times and do what is necessary to stay on the cutting edge of the selling process.

Free Webinar With Seth and Jaren

You are invited to an exclusive webinar with Seth Williams and Jaren Barnes on Wednesday, October 24 at 8:00pm EDT (5:00 PDT).

Jaren will be hosting a live presentation addressing some of the most critical elements involved with finding deals and motivated sellers in the land business.

In this live webinar, you’ll get the scoop on how to choose the right market, how motivated sellers think, where to find them and what to say ( including some of the best tips, tricks, stories and lessons you’ll need to know as you start pursuing cheap land deals on your own). You won’t want to miss it!

Space is limited, so register now to hold your spot!

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About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor and residential income property owner, with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

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  • Joyce says:

    Hi Seth. Your article is wonderful. I am glad I came across it. I have tried most of your suggestions. High end photo’s, professional staging, writing and editing the listing comments, lowering the price, changing realtors.
    This home has now been listed for over 3 years with never an offer on it. It is a 5 bedroom, 4 bath, excellent condition in a gated golf course development in Central Oregon. We have provided information about the excellent vacation rental income we receive. There is a lot of competition throughout the area for second home purchasers. The home is owned by 6 partners, and all are ready to move on to other parts of the world.
    But we just cannot get this home sold. My first question is….should we be using a real estate firm that focuses on commercial property as we are told this will most likely sell to someone who will also rent it out partly as a vacation home…..rather than a realtor who focuses on selling “homes”? Second question…..if the home has been on MLS for 3 years, isn’t it already on Zillow, Redfin, etc? Should be remove it from MLS and market it ourselves with some of your ideas?

  • I found the article interesting. We got caught up in a “Post and Pray” situation with an agent….we were encouraged to list too high..when we woke up to what was happening we lowered our price actually below appraisal. Our pictures are okay and the description of house is fine. We have the house de-personalized and neutral soft colors bright and no clutter. The house is spotless and the curb appeal we have been told is beautiful. We live on a lake, have a dock and fire pit area and it is so nice….why can we not even get an offer?? The market here is slow, yes, but there are million dollar homes selling in and around our area…Our house is high range, but well within reasonable…..Did we get royally screwed permanently by listing too high in the beginning, now everyone thinks something is wrong with it due to the major drop in price ?? Our agent’s only solution was for us to spend $400 on a drone tour…..not happening, cannot afford that. We are retired and need to move soon. This feels like a nightmare we cannot wake up from. Never give your house away, but never price it too high either…find a decent agent with your best interest at heart…good luck with that, they are few and far between….

  • NB says:

    My husband and I have a small commercial building on a highly visible corner that just will not sell. We have been through three realtors over the course of two years and continually lower the price. We have even thought of tearing the building down since it costs us $5000 a year in taxes and insurance! Problem though is that if we tear the building down the city will raise the taxes even more! Short of giving it away, we are at a loss on how to get rid of it. So frustrating!!!

  • Angie says:

    So glad I read others woes. A bit encouraging to know I’m not the only one with a stubborn property. Had it listed with several agents. It’s not your typical house – it’s in Hawaii, off grid , a cabin and orchard. My Q is- I see what you’re saying about the owner financing – everyone wants me to finance- BUT if you’re trying to move to mainland and you need the $ for buying something else AND you don’t want to have to fly back here to deal with a potential delinquent – is it still a good option ? I’m at the point where I’ll do Anything to sell his thing. It’s also my main “residence”. Wasn’t a good investment (long story) but I really need to move on .

    • Hi Angie – I can see your dilemma, and dealing with a potential delinquent is one drawback to consider. However, if you do adequate screening on whoever ends up being your borrower, you can probably mitigate most of the risk and significantly reduce the likelihood that you’ll end up with someone who stops paying you. It’s actually really easy to do, as you can see in these two blog posts:

      https://retipster.com/creditcheck
      https://retipster.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report

      Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed – but I would be inclined to think that doing this kind of research (and verifying their income) would definitely help lower your risk… and if seller financing is what it takes to get it sold, then do what you’ve gotta do (and maybe require a hefty down payment, so you’ll have some money for your next place)!

  • anonymous says:

    my wife and i bought this 55+ community home around 950 sq ft and now we can’t sell it about 10 prospective buyers have seen it and only one offer far below our asking price and now we’ve been forced to lower it to that persons price. they bought another home. had i known 55+ homes were hard to sell i would have never bought this one. our independent agent is with re/max and he’s is we just found out lazy and isn’t a go getter but rather he waits for offers and then sais yes or no and we gave him an ultimatum, close sale on next prospect or we shut down out listing.

    for someone who has been in business more then 3 decades he is not motivated and this is not salesmanship. i’m a retired salesman and know how to sell any product or service once i’ve learned the product or service. i’m what is called a straight shooter and don’t believe in falsehood. too many agents and brokers are only after commission and could care less of their clients needs for we’ve ran into this many times and fires many $$$ hungry ones in past. you can be diligent but be forthcoming and straight forward.

    buyers are too picky and want perfection and if you went into their current homes their often worse than yours and your trying to sell them.

    main problems are:

    1 price too high
    2 needs work like ours is why we had to lower price to rock bottom
    3 market is not active
    4 55 + community is restricted to 55+
    5 area isn’t what they are looking for so they claim

    biggest reasons are price and condition of home and even if your agent lists your home like our home, for sale is not fixer-upper but needs some work they automatically think it’s a junk home. 2x we’ve had to sell to an investor for much lower that home was worth.

    i don’t know why buyers are so picky when their own homes suck most of time.

    anonymous

  • Katrina says:

    Hi Seth. I really appreciate you sharing your experiences and helpful tips. I’m at that place of frustration and discouragement. My property has been listed for 14mos with three offers, needless to say, all of which have fallen through for different reasons.

    We previously used the property as a business for a group home since it sits on 3 acres in an unrestricted/mixed use area. The property is 4100 sq. ft. and built in 2007, unlike the surrounding homes that are much older, smaller and valued a lot less. Which I believe is the primary reason we’re having such a difficult time selling…the value is well over the median range for the declining area. Nevertheless, I must remain hopeful!

    Since we’re in the process of changing agents to one with optimism and hopefully the endurance to see this through, I will try your tips. I firmly believe that just as this property was the perfect fit for our need at the time, it will also be for someone else. Thanks again for the insight!!

    • Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for reading Katrina! I’m glad you found it helpful and I wish you all the best with getting that stubborn property sold. I’ve been there before and I know how it feels – don’t lost hope!

  • Hannah says:

    I have a home in the high desert of southern Arizona. 15 minutes from Tombstone.
    I have 36 acres. Totally upgraded everything.
    Horse property. Guest house.
    One problem. It’s far from everything and it’s gated. 10 miles of washboard road.
    65 miles to a major city. 25 miles to the military town.
    20 minutes to get mail.
    How do I market this property?? Been listed awhile.
    My husband died. I have to get rid of this property. It’s a dingleberry on my life.

  • Joy Butler says:

    I had never thought that my promotions weren’t reaching potential buyers. My home is currently on the market and I have been confused why it isn’t selling. I had thought that I had priced it incorrectly so I had spoken with several professionals to make sure my valuation was correct. It is good to know that I just need to revamp advertising.

  • Pat says:

    Hi Seth,
    Did you find selling land in Michigan that you had a huge dip in interest during winter season when snow was on the ground? I feel like I am running into that. Trying to sell some land but stalled in December and January. Huge amounts of snow in these spots. Frustrating but confident it is weather related.

    • Seth Williams says:

      Yeah, I think there is a little bit of that that comes into play (although it doesn’t completely stop all transactions from happening). Probably has something to do with buyers being unable to see properties in their best light, because the trees all look dead and the ground is covered with snow. :/ Stay patient though, it’ll happen in time.

  • Jordan Buys Houses says:

    I am in a situation just like what you are talking about, I have an investment property that is taking a little longer to sell then I would like. But thanks for the information about some tricks to try and make it sell just a little bit faster!

  • allen scott says:

    Fantastic discussion . I learned a lot from the analysis – Does someone know if my business might be able to acquire a template KY Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement example to work with ?

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Allen – good question, I’m honestly not sure… that sounds like a fairly specialized template and I’m not sure exactly where you’d go to find this. I find most of my templates from RocketLawyer these days (so you could try that), but I have a feeling you’d have to work with someone in KY to find what you’re looking for. Good luck!

  • Shelley Belsky says:

    My house has been on the market for 8 months.
    About twenty showings, b ut still no sale.
    Priced at market value.
    My first broker was a “people pleaser” (would not tell me things that needed to be done to make the property more attractive). This was ironic as I would gladly have done what he asked (I made improvements based on what a second broker suggested).
    Literally all major repairs and upgrades have been made (the home will need no major work for the next twenty years at least).
    But, despite multiple viewings there have been no bites.
    My current broker has been screening buyers, and says that many of them want “something for nothing” as in I hold the mortgage. This is a bad idea, as I am leaving the country and have no wish to deal with a delinquent buyer who will destroy the property (it’s not just renters who will do that).
    I’ve lived here 4 years, so this in NOT a flip, but I’d like some return on my investment.
    I’m also getting tired of vacating my own home whenever there is a showing.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Shelley

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Seth!

    Our house has been on the market for 60 days . We have had 2 open houses and have reduced the asking price as low as we can go. I have had to move out of state and start my new job already and my husband may be coming soon to start a new job as well. Currently I am living with a relative but she wants us to move out within the next month. In the meantime, my house is not selling and so far the only feedback I have had is that because it is on the main road, nobody is interested.
    Any ideas as to what we can do to get people interested? We fell in love with our home because it had a lot of potential when we bought it. It has 4 bedrooms, 1 full & one 1/2 bath. We have put all new flooring throughout the house, updated the kitchen and bathrooms, and painted every room in neutral colors. The town we live in is small, but people are moving there because of the school district (think Friday Night Lights). Although our house is on the main road, it’s a small town so there is not a lot of traffic. People say they worry about raising their kids next to the road, we raised 4 and they are all still alive!

    We are desperate to sell as we can’t afford a down payment on a new house until ours sells. We are open to any ideas you might have!

    Thank you!
    Rachel

  • Malek M. Afshari says:

    Hi,

    I did all items above and did not work. Buyers love my house but up to now I have not get any contract on my house. I do not know why?

    • Amy says:

      I am having the same problem, Malek. It has been almost a year 🙁 I am getting kinda desperate. There are no major complaints from lookers….it is a 75-year-old house in a great neighborhood in Jackson, MS. The only real complaint was concerns about foundation since it is not level (same as all other houses in that neighborhood, built on the local clay soil), so I got an engineering report saying it is structurally sound. I guess it is just not the floor plan that young buyers want. I don’t know what to do. GREAT realtor. Seems to be just stuck. Just wondering how long it can drag on…….

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Malek – perhaps it’s time to go through the list and try them all again. It could be that you just need to dig deeper, ask more questions, try new things, lower the price further, offer better terms than you did in the first place.

      Think about it… why did YOU buy the house? What made you pull the trigger? Think about what the circumstances were and do what you can to recreate those to find a buyer.

  • John says:

    Help, I cannot sell my house. Here is the elevator pitch. My home is in a golf course community with great amenities such as pools, tennis courts, full gym, #1 ranked schools in the state of Georgia, #1 fastest growing county in the state of Ga, #7 fastest growing county in the USA. (Forsyth County) I have had the house completely remodeled and upgraded with hardwood floors, granite counter tops, paint inside and out, landscape overhaul, new AC unit, 3 new showers, etc. Basically flipped the whole house. Looks like something out of an HGTV show. My agent is great, lives in the neighborhood and has sold most of the houses here. Given everything I described above houses sell sometimes as quickly as 48 hours. Max 2-3 weeks. My house is the 2nd lowest price. Not too low to where people think something is wrong because its not, but just low enough to where you think it would be sold asap, but its been on the market for 4 months. Other houses all around me in the neighborhood have sold. Most for more than the market value and or asking price. You just cant keep a house on the market in this area AND my particular house has been completely remolded and its the lowest price. What is going on???

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi John – sorry to hear about. I know that can be very frustrating. Have you tried asking any of the prospective buyers who have said “no” to your property? Why are they walking away? Are there any specific issues with the house (or it’s price) that is making people look elsewhere?

  • Amy says:

    Hey Seth 🙂 this article is terrific. Thank you! My 75-year-old house in an old southern neighborhood has been sitting for almost a year, 3 states away from where I’ve moved to take care of my mom. We’ve gone down to 180k (it appraised at 200k), and I’d take 175K (just enough to cover what I owe and the realtor commission). My realtor is terrific and she really knows the area. She is baffled by why it’s not moving. Very, very frustrating. It is an older home that needs cosmetic work but the infrastructure’s great. I don’t have the money to fix up the inside much (though I did give it a fresh coat of paint throughout). It has new roof, new heat/air, I installed outside irrigation…. The neighborhood’s great; it’s a funky area near the medical school and mod business district. One thing we have NOT done is non-traditional publicity like Craigslist, ebay, etc. So you do recommend this? I’ve never done a Craigslist add but I’m willing (and getting desperate). I also wondered about Trulia, but she is not a fan. What do you think? Again, thanks so much. This article is very helpful and reassuring —–

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Amy – I can’t think of any good reason NOT to give Craigslist (or even a free size like Zillow FSBO) a try. It doesn’t cost you anything, other than a little bit of time and creativity to get your property in front of another huge audience.

      Best of luck!

  • Thomas R. says:

    It could be an option to offer a sales bonus to get more and better buyer leads.
    You could try http://www.bonuslead.com it is a free service made be a seller. Use it to reach the people who might now you buyer and will go the extra mile to get a bonus if the house or apartment gets sold!
    /Thomas

  • Em B says:

    Thanks for these tips! I’m not an investor per-se, but I am in the process of selling my home with a real estate agent/investor. After getting it under contract the first week it went on the market, and that contract subsequently falling through, it’s been sitting for the last 6 months. We get showings, sometimes more than one, almost every week. We lowered the initial asking price, but still no offers except for one significantly lower than what we were hoping to get. Obviously, we passed on that one. How do you suggest working with a real estate agent who is more of an investor (buying his own properties to flip) than a seller? My biggest issue is that I don’t think he asks enough questions after showings to find out why someone may or may not buy the property, or value it at the price we’ve set. I’ve asked him several times what they said about the property and he says that they respond with, “It shows well” but nothing specific.
    Thanks in advance, and thanks for your great insight!

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Em – I understand the frustration. I once had a realtor like this and it was very frustrating. The way I handled things was to take the situation into my own hands. I ended up listing it on Craigslist (with my own pictures, my own description, and I showed the house in the realtor’s absence), and I found the buyer on my own. It was definitely annoying (since it was the realtor’s just to do all of these things), but in the end, I just wanted the thing sold and I was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen.

      I’ve found that most of the time, nobody will work as hard for me as I will, and if the situation is desperate enough, sometimes it just makes the most sense to jump in and get involved.

  • Dixie says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for this bracing post. I’ve been trying to sell my house for almost two years. It’s an immaculate property on a small lake, and priced $50k below what I paid. The problem is that there’s so much new construction in the area that it’s killing the existing home market. I’m so discouraged by the market, and the outright rudeness of real estate agents showing the house. It helped to hear your experience…and that everything will sell eventually if you try hard enough. Thanks. 🙂

    • Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for letting me know Dixie. I can certainly empathize with your situation, I’ve been there before and it’s definitely not fun.

      Hang in there!

  • Tina Schraier says:

    How does one get on buyers list directly with the investors.
    Any tips on this much appreciated.

    Tina Schraier

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Tina, that’s a great question. Ultimately, I think it would take some searching and networking on your end. You’d have to find out who the real “power sellers” are in your area and ask to be notified when their next deals are coming to the market. Every sellers works a bit differently, but once you find these people and show them that you’re serious and ready to buy – chances are, they’ll be falling over themselves to do business with you.

  • Dendy says:

    I love your articles, you really opens my eyes of many opportunities that i usually passed by.
    Great jobs Seth.

  • William says:

    Seth,
    Enjoyed this article and bookmarked it for future. Could you email me the copy of “investor hacks” that I saw on another page?
    Thanks,
    Bill
    Richmond, VA investor
    PS – I also checked out your note on hammock camping – looks intersting

    • Seth Williams says:

      Hi Bill – thanks for checking out this article! I’m glad you liked it.

      To get the “Investor Hacks” book, all you need to do is sign up for my email newsletter (you’ll see an opt-in form on the the right hand sidebar, or at the bottom of any blog post). Once you sign up, you’ll get an automatic email from me with a download link for the book.

      Let me know if you have any trouble getting access to it.

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