Has your property been sitting on the market? You’re not the only one. In the Greater Baltimore Area, we are coming out of the slowest season in real estate – Thanksgiving through the New Year. Buying activity slows during this time. Now it’s time to get serious and get your property sold for top dollar and fast! Here are my top five ways to revamp your listing (and it does need to be revamped if it’s been sitting) and reignite your showing activity!
I've been in the Baltimore real estate industry since 2008. I specialize in representing home sellers in the Greater Baltimore Area and showing them how to sell quickly and earn the most profit possible. I'm often hired to list a property that could not sell under the care of another Realtor. In fact, I visited a house today and earned a listing after the seller's prior Realtor was unable to get the home sold. Here are the top five actions I will take right away.
#1 - Take Action If Your Property Tax Assessment Is Inflated
If you live in Baltimore City or Baltimore County, the county performs a property assessment on your home every three years. This assessment is the basis for your property taxes. If your property is one of the properties that was reassessed for 2024, you recently received a new assessment in the mail. If the assessment is more than the list price of your home, I'll push you to take immediate action to appeal the assessment. You only have 45 days to do this from the date the assessment was issued, so you need to take action now. Otherwise, your new property taxes will look inflated to a prospective buyer, which could be a deterrent. The appeal process can be done online and is relatively simple.
#2 - Order New Listing Photos From A Professional Photographer
We need to update your listing photos. Your listing should be an accurate reflection of what your home looks like today. Being in the North East, our surroundings change significantly between October and January. Is it possible that your listing still has exterior photos evidencing green leaves or fall foliage when today, in January, we have bare trees? Consider that the right buyer for your home may have just started their housing search in the new year. When that buyer sees your home online and sees that the pictures are clearly from several months ago, it will signal to that buyer that your property has been sitting on the market for an extended period of time. The buyer may wonder why and assume that there is something wrong with it, and pass on scheduling a showing. Let's not give a prospective buyer the opportunity to jump to this conclusion; I will order new listing photos from a professional photographer so they look like they were just taken this week. Not only will this prevent the previously mentioned scenario from occurring, your listing will now also look fresh to the buyers who have seen your home online many times before.
#3 - Do An Overhaul On Your Listing Description
I will update your property description. Does it say “you’ll love hosting here this holiday season”? This is another signal to prospective buyers that your listing is stale. I'll update the description and talk about how much a prospective buyer will enjoy the outdoor space this coming Spring instead. Also, if your property was on the market for awhile, you should have received some feedback from prospective buyers. What did they like about the house? Let's make sure to play up those attributes.
#4 - Perform A Current Market Analysis And Stay On Top Of Market Movement
When your property is actively on the market, you should be looking at new listings contracts and sales each and every week. The market is always changing. I'll do a fresh comparable analysis. Has another similar property recently sold in your area that suggests a higher price? Or, is there another similar home on the market now that’s listed below your price? You need to be aware of exactly what your property is worth today and make sure that it’s reflected in the listing price. I won't just do the analysis now, update the price, and use the “set it and forget it” approach. I will continue to monitor market movement each and every week so that you earn every dollar that you deserve but aren’t overpriced.
#5 - Scrap The Old Listing, Enter A New One
Withdraw the current listing and enter a fresh new listing. If you're switching Realtors, your prior Realtor can withdraw the original listing and I'll enter a new one. When a buyer tells their agent the criteria they would like in a new home, the agent is able to use our MLS system (where all properties "on the market" are entered) to input that criteria and set up an alert every time a new listing matching those specifications comes available. As the agent receives alerts, the agent shares those listings with their buyers. If your property has been sitting it’s time to get it in front of buyers again. For the system to alert the buyer’s agent of a new listing, a new listing has to be entered. And when I put up that new one, I'll make sure it’s with a fresh set of photos, updated property description, and an accurate price as mentioned above. Even if you aren't switching Realtors, you can have your Realtor take down the current listing and enter a new one to spur new attention.
Selling Your Home Is An Active Process
The most important thing I can stress is that selling your home is an active process. I won't just put your property on the market and wait week after week for someone to come along and make an offer. I will continuously track market data and keep your listing fresh. It is work but it makes all the difference in achieving your selling goals.