How to Sell a Home in a Difficult Market

Unique Ways to Increase Exposure for a Hard-to-Sell Home

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Do you have a property that, no matter what you do, just won't sell? You've tried the normal tactics of Facebook marketing and sale price slashing. Perhaps you've even hosted a private broker's open house. But nothing moved the needle. The clock's ticking. Your homeowner client is getting anxious and calling you more often. And secretly, you're losing faith.

What if you can't sell the home in this market?

Perish the thought!

Don't give up yet. There's a lot that you can do in the next few days to increase your chances of finally making the sale. Now's the time to do something (or things) drastic.

Here are some out-of-the-box ways to help you finally sell the home.

Create a Page on Your Website to Market the Property

House hunters head online to search for properties. This is why you should create a dedicated page on your website for each listing. Don’t just rely on sites that you don’t own, like Zillow. Those websites do offer a lot of traffic, but they can also funnel traffic to other agents. In addition to being present on those pages, you need a website for yourself where you can control the visitor’s experience.

Create and Distribute Flyers

Flyers are an old school marketing method that's been around for decades, but it's fallen out of vogue as modern agents have taken their marketing online. But don't be so quick to disregard those old school methods, because they do work. Distribute flyers at local events, like festivals and trade shows. Or pin up flyers at community bulletin boards, like laundromats, grocery stores, libraries, apartment elevators, and more.

Post the Property on Free (But Popular) Listing Pages

You've likely posted your listings on Zillow and Trulia, but what about Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist? Serious house hunters typically broaden their searches to include free marketplaces. Craigslist remains one of the most visited websites on the Internet (it places number 20 on the list). And Facebook has almost 3 billion users worldwide. To expand your reach, your listing needs to be on those sites, too.

Check out this post: How to Generate More Leads on Zillow

Offer a Referral Reward

Ask the seller to solicit their friends and family to sell the home. But, to sweeten the deal, offer a cash referral reward.

Another option is to host a gift card drawing on social media. First, ask your social network to share the home's listing post on their feed. Then, enter those who've shared your post into a gift card drawing. A quick social media contest can incentivize people to share your post right away. Plus, sharing is easy for them to do. This contest may only cost you $50 for a gift card, but it will effectively spread the word about your listing to others.

Invite Buyers to Spend the Night in the Home

This is a totally unconventional way to sell a home, but it can work. If you have a serious buyer who's not sure whether or not the home is right for them, give them the keys and allow them a chance to sleep in the home (or at least take an extended period of time at the property). This allows the buyer to get a feel for the home, without the pressure of an agent pushing them to make a decision.

Network With Local Employers

Do you have a large employer in your area? These corporations (ranging from warehouses to hospitals) typically hire people from out of the area. And when those people move to town, they'll need a place to live. This is why it makes sense to strategically partner with these companies. Reach out to the Human Resources department to share your listings. Also offer them a referral fee if their referral leads to a sale.


Do Virtual Property Tours on Your Social Media

Due to the pandemic, some people are still reluctant to visit open houses. That’s why you need to grab your smartphone and take your social media followers on a virtual tour of the property. Don’t just wait for people to reach out to you. You can also post this virtual property tour on the property’s listing page on your website.

Reach out to the neighbors

Include the neighbors in the selling process? Absolutely! The neighbors are probably interested anyway. Why not involve them in the selling process?

Hand deliver a special flyer to these neighbors where you play up the features of the home. End by asking neighbors to share the listing with their friends, family, and co-workers who they may want to live close by. This way, you turn neighbors into active referral sources for your property and your business. Be sure to include several business cards with your flyer so that the neighbor can hand them out freely.

Offer a Special Incentive

When people purchase a home, they don't expect anything extra, such as the furniture. But if your seller is so inclined, consider adding furniture to the deal as a special incentive.

This freebie will especially appeal to buyers who are moving to the area from another location. Moving into a fully furnished home without needing to purchase a lamp, sofa, or television can be an answer to prayer for a buyer who doesn't want to furnish a place from scratch.

Another special incentive you can offer is to pay for the buyer's moving service. In the grand scheme of things, a moving service will only cost a few hundred dollars, but that translates to added value for the buyer. It's one less thing they'll need to worry about, and it can definitely incentivize the deal.

Some homeowners have even included their car into the sale of their home. This idea is just crazy enough to work. It definitely raises eyebrows and separates the listing from others out there. If you don't want to part with your car, you can throw in something else of value, like gym equipment.

Try Multiple Stagings

Some buyers may like a modern look. Others are drawn to farmhouse chic. Why not appeal to them all with your staging?

Oh, that's right. Staging is expensive and it would be impractical to have multiple stagings for one home.

But there's a way for you to stage the home without going broke in the process.

Use virtual staging.

Companies like Box Brownie and Styldod, offer virtual staging for dramatically less than traditional staging companies. While the property itself may be empty, the pictures from a virtual staging can give prospective buyers an opportunity to imagine the possibilities. And since the service is so affordable (you can get a room virtually staged for less than $20), you can afford to have the same room staged in several different interior design styles.

Reach Out to Real Estate Investors

Investors aren't just interested in commercial properties, like multi-family buildings. They will also purchase single family homes to diversify their investment portfolio. Instead of narrowing your focus to individual buyers, reach out to companies who may be interested in a home in that area. To find real estate investors, get active in your local organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce. You can also reach out to real estate investor groups directly.

Final Thoughts

When a home isn't selling, it's time to try something totally different. Use the above tips to increase visibility for a hard-to-sell property and finally close the deal.

Before you go, check out these related posts:

Help Your Buyer Clients Win in a Seller’s Market The Elements of a Successful Real Estate Agent Website How to Work With Unrealistic Home Sellers

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