“If your property is spending months and months, or worse, years on the market, it’s time to rethink your strategy,” says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties, an exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. “ Consider the fact that many buyers start looking for a home months before they actually make an offer to purchase, so if your home has been advertised in the same way week after week, buyers tend to start ignoring it,” adds Greeff. He suggests making use of new photographs to highlight completely different angles; “Show some interior shots if the outside shots are not causing a stir. Find a higher angle or a lower one, or shoot the house from a different angle. Try an evening shot as opposed to a daytime image.” Greeff advises sellers to approach the exercise with the view to marketing a lifestyle as opposed to a house. “Let your agent know what you enjoy most about your home, so he or she can add emotive impact to a sales pitch, and ideally rewrite the advertising blurb,” says Greeff.
Greeff also suggests taking a month’s break from the market, then re-introducing your property in a fresh way to attract the interest of a new set of buyers. “You want to avoid a scenario in which potential purchasers use the extended length of time your property has spent on the market as a leverage point to make lower offers based on the assumption that you are desperate,” says Greeff. He explains that no matter how many times an agent tells a seller that his/her property is overpriced, a seller might not be willing to accept the prevailing market sentiment until he or she does a little personal research. Greeff suggests sellers work with their agents on researching similar homes in the area, and in particular the same street, in order to compare selling prices. “Focus on comparing accommodation, erf sizes, facilities like eco fittings, security, proximity to amenities or a green belt and of course the general state of the property,” says Greeff. “You should also visit showhouses in your area to see what’s on offer and how the homes are being presented. Take the opportunity to chat to would-be buyers at these showhouses to get a first-hand view of how they perceive the showhouse and you might even be able to get some insight into how much they’re prepared to spend,” adds Greeff.
He believes that this kind of research might lead sellers to decide to renovate, tidy up a garden or even get home stagers involved. “Comparative research could also reveal the need to reduce the asking price, and this needn’t be a terrifying thought, as even a minimal reduction in price can be used to gain a psychological edge from a marketing perspective. A property ad with the news flash indicating a price reduction is bound to gather renewed buyer interest,” says Greeff.