Expired listings are a frustrating reality in real estate. If you want to change the outcome, you may have to make some changes. Following are some options and tips on what to do if your listing has expired and you want to sell your home:

Consider re-listing with your current agent, but insist on a new approach. Your current agent is already familiar with your property and can update and reactivate the listing very quickly, which spares you the time and effort of interviewing other agents, who must start from scratch with questions, paperwork, photographs and marketing.

If you’re open to giving your current agent another try, ask for an updated CMA (comparative market analysis). The housing market is dynamic, ever-changing, and a value estimate from six or more months ago is dated, like a newspaper from six months ago. Also, be sure to ask what he or she is going to do differently to market and sell (not just list — there’s a difference) your home this time around.

We’ve all heard that the definition of insanity is “trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different response,” so if your home hasn’t sold, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect a new approach in order to achieve a new result. If the agent doesn’t have satisfactory answers to those questions, you might…

Give another agent a chance. There are advantages to bringing in fresh eyes, especially if your previous agent wasn’t proactive and responsive in their communications, or was limited with regards to marketing you home.

When interviewing a replacement Realtor®, be sure to ask: “Will you put a lock box on my property?” Lock boxes don’t sell homes, they just let people in. Further, lock boxes open real estate professionals and home owners to a lot of potential liability. For example, what if something is stolen during a “showing” where no one was there to represent you?

Also ask what type of technology their firm uses. For example, can they offer aerial drone photography and videos? Do they offer Matterport 3D virtual tours, which give prospective buyers an online showing of your home’s interior? (Visit lakesregionhomeseller.com/marketing-your-property for examples.)

Finally, ask if they practice real estate full-time or part-time. A part-timer may get the job done, but if the agent is busy with his or her primary job and can’t show your home and respond to questions in a timely fashion, vital sales momentum can be lost.

Further, real estate requires a steep and constant learning curve. Someone who is not 100 percent committed to the business may not be current with the latest training and techniques to make sure your property sells for an appropriate price with minimum legal liability.

When a listing has expired, one way to sell the house is to lower the price. If fact, if your home hasn’t sold in this market, there’s a good chance there’s an issue with the price. The collective wisdom of the market trumps what the owner thinks, hopes or feels the home is worth, so be open to adjustment. Another approach is to improve how the property presents.

You might need to take some steps to improve the perceived value of the home. Here are some tips to help your home sell in the shortest period of time, for the greatest value:

Make it sparkle. If you were selling a used car, you’d take it to the car wash, right? Why not do the same thing for your house? You can, with pressure washing. Pressure washing does a number on the staining, moss and mildew that can do a number on the curb appeal of a property’s decks, patios, siding, roof and gutters.

Clean and cut clutter. A clean, clutter-free interior makes an amazing difference when showing a property to buyers. Prospective buyers can be easily distracted by clutter, so clean and declutter as though you are expecting very important visitors … in this case visitors who may want to give you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) for your property!

Pay special attention to cleaning windows so your property looks great from the outside looking in and inside looking out. Open or remove drapes, curtains and valances so every possible ray of natural light penetrates the interior of your home. Just as lighting is important when filming actors, models or products, proper lighting will help your Realtor® take the best pictures and give the best showings possible.

Paint for profit. Zillow's new 2018 Paint Color Analysis examined more than 135,000 photos from homes sold across the U.S. to see how sales prices compared for homes with colored walls versus homes with white walls. Here are some findings:

• Homes with charcoal gray or black doors sold for $6,271 more than expected. A black front door could increase the price of a typical U.S. home by 2.9 percent.

• Houses with “tuxedo kitchens” (dark cabinets and islands with light wall colors) sold at a $1,547 premium. The most popular color combination was dark, navy blue or black contrasting white.

• Homes with warm tan or light taupe living rooms, particularly with peach or pink undertones, sold for $2,793 more than expected.

• Bathrooms with light blue or periwinkle blue paint, specifically with a gray-blue tint, increased average selling price by $2,786.

• Homes with raspberry, brick or barn red in the kitchen sold for $2,310 less than expected.

If your listing has expired and you want to change the outcome, it might be time to make some changes in personnel, promotion, price, or property presentation. It might be the difference between a successful sale and another expired listing.

Brent Metzger is a Realtor® with Roche Realty Group. Contact him at 603-229-8322 or www.LakesRegionHomeSeller.com.

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