4 Ways to Revive a Stale Real Estate Listing

There are several reasons why a listing might sit on the market for too long without any action. Usually, it boils down to market conditions – either it’s a buyer’s market and the property in question isn’t a match for the competition, or the property is priced too high for the local market’s needs. For example, pretend you’re listing a luxury 7-bedroom home in a small farming community where the average household income is $40,000 per year. While you might have the most beautiful home in a 100-mile radius, finding a buyer with the pocketbook and need for a home like yours will present a challenge.

When a listing sits on the market for too long, the seller has four choices:

  1. They can do nothing and hope that the right buyer comes along.
  2. They can terminate the contract with their listing broker and find someone more qualified to sell their specific property type (if they have cause).
  3. They can wait for the listing to expire and, again, find another listing broker.
  4. They talk to their real estate broker about reviving the stale listing with a different sales and marketing approach.

Creative Ways to Market Difficult Properties

As a real estate broker in Western Colorado, I love the challenge of acquiring a stale or expired listing and tapping into my creative marketing arsenal to find its most intriguing selling point. In this article, I’m sharing four of the best ways to understand a failing real estate listing and how I like to revive it. Whether you’re a frustrated seller or a defeated real estate broker, hopefully, these tips can help you.

Run a Comparative Market Analysis

A comparative market analysis provides valuable insights on recent property sales in your locality similar to the property you are selling. By comparing your property to similar properties that have sold, you can evaluate whether yours is priced too high and if that’s the reason it hasn’t sold yet.

Design a Better Real Estate Marketing Strategy

Even a beautiful and perfectly priced property won’t sell without a tailored marketing strategy. Perhaps what you think is the most attractive selling point of the property isn’t the same as what prospective buyers want.

Say you’re a real estate broker hired to sell a 40-acre horse property in Western Colorado. The seller assures you that marketing the 4-bedroom house is the key to a quick close. You conduct market research and determine that the four most recent horse properties in your area have sold to out-of-state investors who do not use the property as their primary residences. Therefore, you decide to pursue a different real estate marketing strategy that focuses on the property’s investment value.

Refresh Your Listing Photos

Perhaps your property isn’t selling because prospective buyers aren’t clicking on it. If this is the case, updating your listing with fresh property photos and search-engine-optimized listing copy can do wonders for visibility.

Property photos are the key to making a great first impression on prospective buyers. Your photos should tell a story about the property and highlight its best features and use. Before taking property photos, reduce clutter, ensure proper lighting, and make the property look inviting.

Taking property videos makes your listing even more discoverable and illustrates the story more interactively.

For more ways to refresh your listing photos and videos, check out these blog posts:

Pack Your Listing Copy Full of Keywords

The final key to revitalizing a stale listing is to ensure that people can find it. For this, your listing copy should include keywords and key phrases that match what prospective buyers are searching for online. For example, if you’re selling a hunting cabin on the Grand Mesa, you’ll want to optimize the listing copy with phrases like “hunting cabin in Western Colorado,” “hunting lodge for sale in Colorado,” or “cabin for sale near Colorado National Forest.”

For more information about real estate SEO, check out this blog post, “How We Win The Internet.”

When Changes are in Order

Having a stale listing is frustrating for sellers, real estate brokers, and prospective buyers. If you’re currently dealing with a listing that doesn’t seem to move, take yourself out of the seller’s mindset and walk in the buyer’s shoes instead. Once you see the problem from a different perspective, you can make your listing more appealing.