December 2022

5 things you can do to move a stale listing

Every agent has to deal with the occasional stale listing, especially during the slower winter months. The dramatic rise in interest rates has not helped sellers either. Here are 5 tips for turning that lingering for sale sign into a sold sign.

Photography matters.

Honestly evaluate the quality of your photos. Lighting and composition are key. If you truly believe you can take photos that sell your clients' properties, go for it. If not, bring in a pro, especially for those listings that languish.


Plus, to appeal to frequent browsers, another approach you can use is to change up your featured photo daily.

Buyers read property listings.

Start with a strong lead-in sentence to grab the reader's attention. Tell a story, letting the prospect know what it's like to live in the house. Tap into their emotions. Be descriptive but concise. Don't just list features, take them on a verbal tour through the house.


Also, a buyer is not just purchasing a house but moving into a new neighborhood. Describe some of the notable benefits of living there. If there's a park nearby, a library, a Main Street with quaint shops, unique restaurants´┐Ż whatever those local amenities may be, by all means mention them. An inviting account of the property and area can easily differentiate your listing and even attract agent attention.

Virtual tours work.

A virtual tour allows the prospect to take a walk through the home from the comfort of their kitchen. It lets the viewer step into a room and look around, focus on charming details and get a realistic feel for the flow of the house.


The pandemic gave a real boost to this technology as buyers purchased homes without actually visiting them. Many buyers now expect to see a virtual tour to help them pre-screen a home. By including one, it will give your listings a competitive edge.

Floor plans increase interest.

Few listings include a floor plan. By adding this feature, chiefly to larger homes or those with unique layouts, you're providing an additional perspective on the home. A floor plan furnishes a layout of each level, including the number of rooms, their dimensions, and their relationships to each other. It's a technique that advertisers frequently use to sell New York City's most exclusive high-rise condos.

Staging can revitalize.

If the look of the furnishings and decor are drab or wrong for your intended buyer, consider restaging. Freshen up the premises, remove clutter and add accessories. Simple lighting updates and the addition of plants can reenergize. A few inexpensive changes can transform a tired property into a welcoming one.

Finally, if the property still hasn't sold, lower the price. Only after exhausting other approaches should you consider reducing the sales price. If you choose to, do so deliberately. Rather than dropping the price by small increments over a few weeks, which could send a message of desperation, lower the price just once by a dramatic amount. This should bring in more potential buyers and diminish any tendency to negotiate downward.

Note, too, that these recommendations, if used in advance, could help prevent a listing from becoming stale in the first place.

A note from your lending specialist

Please remind your clients that a preapprovalFootnote1 is the best way for them to be ready when the right house comes along. But whatever you or your clients may need, I am always available.

1 Final loan approval is subject to satisfactory appraisal and title review and no change in borrower credit and financial condition. Preapproval is subject to terms and conditions and timely submission of required documentation; ask your Lending Specialist for details. Preapproval does not commit to the continued availability of the loan program. The interest rate shown in a preapproval is based on our current pricing and is not locked. You may choose to lock an interest rate after we receive the complete and executed purchase contract. Borrower must submit purchase contract within 90 days of preapproval. If the rate at time of lock is higher, or a rate lock expires prior to funding, or for adjustable-rate loan programs when the index value rises, we must determine your ability to repay the loan at the higher rate, which may lower the loan amount or invalidate the preapproval. Not available on all loan products. Not available on refinance loans.


MAP5093224 | 11/2022

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