Sellers: What to Do When You Don't Get Any Offers on Your Home

What’s a smart home seller to do if you don't get any offers or just lowballs? Drama-Free Real Estate expert Tara-Nicholle Nelson shares her tips and tools.
By: Tara-Nicholle Nelson
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If you put your home on the market and hear nothing but crickets, you might feel the Ralph Lauren custom color painted walls begin to close in on you. The fear that you might not be able to unload your house can spark panic in the hearts of even the hardiest homeowners. And a lowball offer is even more of a slap in the face. At least when you had no bites you could convince yourself that lots of buyers loved your house, but felt unworthy!

I Know the Feeling. Getting no offers can make you feel like you’re being rejected. Lowballs feel like an insult to both your taste and your hard work. Both might cause you to second-guess your own purchase of the place, making you feel like you overpaid or were suckered into buying something no one else wants.

Your Mindset Reset. Remember that India.Arie song, “I am Not My Hair?” Well, you are not your house! When you poured your heart and soul into making your home an extension of you and your family, you might have lost sight of the fact that it is just a building, especially in the eyes of the hard-core homebuyers that are brave enough to face today’s tough market. So when buyers don’t flock to the place, they are not rejecting you personally or making a statement about how you live. But they are communicating with you in another way.

What feels like rejection is, in fact, the market’s gift to you of education. It’s like the would-be buyers who see your place (and even those who don’t ever come) are trying to tell you something. Their message? Your place, as great as it is, is overpriced for this market. What you paid is irrelevant, because you bought at a different time. That was then, this is now.

Look at it this way, you’re really just trying to hang with the wrong crowd. At a different (read: lower) price point, you’ll find a whole new set of folks who’ll respond very differently to your home. Think about it -- a place that’s just so-so at $300,000 might seem like a palace for $274,000. And if you reduce aggressively enough, you might just find the pricing sweet spot that gets you multiple offers and overbidding. It happens every day.

Your Drama-Free Real Estate Rx. Before you get verklempt, make sure there’s a real issue to address by asking your Realtor whether your market time has been longer than average in your area. (You might already know this. If, for example, your Realtor has been begging you to reduce the price for six months. That’s a good sign.) If your home is diagnosed with Stagnant Listing Syndrome, drop your pride -- and the price. It’s the most surefire way to pique buyers’ interest and get your home sold.

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