How to Revive a Stale Real Estate Listing in NYC

The most immediate methods for reviving a stale real estate listing in NYC include making a price adjustment, considering staging and aesthetic upgrades, decluttering, taking new photos and conducting broker outreach. If your asking price is slightly above a key search threshold such as $500k or $1 million, going below such a level will unlock an entirely new set of buyers who may not have seen your property originally.

Staging can also enhance your listing’s marketability, especially if you make changes which directly address the feedback received by buyers and brokers at showings. For example, replacing a Twin bed with a Queen or King may address concerns that a bedroom is too small to accommodate a larger bed.

If all else fails, hiring a new listing agent and relisting your home can help revive some of the energy and optimism surrounding your listing.

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Revisit Your Pricing

Making a price reduction is a bitter pill to swallow for any seller in NYC. A price reduction is especially painful when you consider that the typical seller closing cost bill in NYC is 8% to 10% of the sale price. However, the truth is that buyers in NYC real estate rarely overpay. Overpriced listings take longer to sell because they receive less traffic and fewer offers, and this gives all the leverage to the one smart buyer who decides to submit a lowball offer to a desperate seller in hopes of landing a deal.

Ironically, reducing your asking price is more likely to result in a higher sale price compared to sticking with your original pricing for longer. This is because a price adjustment can bring fresh pairs of eyes and renewed momentum to your listing. This is especially true if your price adjustment brings the asking price below a key search threshold, such as $750k, $1 million or $2 million.

For properties priced below the Mansion Tax threshold of $1 million, it’s fairly common to see a price reduction which brings your asking below a key search threshold result in a sale price above that level.

For example, reducing from $435k to $399k may be the catalyst for a bidding war that encourages buyers who were originally capping their search at $400k to step up in the heat of the moment and make offers above $400k.

Pro Tip: Estimate your seller closing costs in NYC with Hauseit’s Interactive Closing Cost Calculator for Sellers.

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Consider Restaging

Restaging your home is a very effective way to rebuild momentum, especially if new staging addresses specific feedback received from buyers and buyer brokers who have visited your property. Common shortfalls which can be addressed by restaging include perceived space and layout issues, especially in the bedrooms, living room and dining areas.

One common area of feedback specific to New York City apartments is small bedroom size. If buyers and brokers see that you have a Twin or Full size bed and express doubts about the ability to use a larger bed, it can be advantageous to restage with a larger bed.

Strategies for reviving a stale real estate listing in NYC include a price reduction, staging, aesthetic upgrades, decluttering, new photos or relisting.

If you receive feedback that your living room is small, it may advisable to restage with more slender furniture that will make the living room feel more spacious. Similarly, removing overly cumbersome end tables, coffee tables and other bulky items and replacing them with leaner furniture can enhance the appeal of your home’s space.

If you’ve already moved out, virtual staging is a very effective tool for enticing foot traffic and helping buyers understand the functionality of your property. We suggest virtually staging the living room, dining room, bedrooms as well as any private outdoor spaces.

Pro Tip: Estimate the net proceeds from your sale with Hauseit’s Interactive Net Proceeds Calculator.

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Aesthetic Upgrades

Some of the most cost-effective methods for reviving a listing include repainting with more neutral colors, improving lighting and refreshing any obvious eye sores such as cracked grout and deteriorating caulking in bathrooms.

These minor changes can subtly change your apartment from somewhat of a ‘fixer upper’ to a practically ‘move-in ready’ place in the minds of prospective buyers.

Similarly, swapping out visibly dated appliances or bath vanities can give your kitchen and bath the feeling of being renovated but for a fraction of the cost.

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Declutter Living Areas

While it may be hard to upend your life and move stuff into storage when selling your place, there’s obviously no other alternative if you home gives off the appearance of being cluttered. Keep in mind that the small cost of storing a few things can pay you back multiple times over when it comes to a higher sale price (or simply selling vs. failing to sell altogether).

Pro Tip: Estimate your buyer closing costs in NYC with Hauseit’s Interactive Closing Cost Calculator for Buyers.

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Rent it Out

Listing your home for rent while the sale listing is still live can be a good hedge for many sellers who aren’t necessarily required to sell. In many cases, you can increase your leverage in any negotiation with a prospective buyer by alluding to the fact that you prefer to rent vs. sell below a certain price. The rental listing itself almost emulates the presence of another buyer when it comes to creating a healthy degree of pressure on the buyer to submit an offer and negotiate expeditiously.

Pro Tip: Calculate your Mansion Tax bill in NYC using Hauseit’s Interactive Mansion Tax Calculator.

A Full Service Listing for 1%

Sell your home with a traditional full service listing for just one percent commission.

Broker Outreach

Another effective way of revitalizing a listing is to have your listing agent conduct additional outreach to listing agents of comparable properties in the area as well as buyer agent who’ve recently closed similar transactions nearby. This strategy can be very effective if implemented right after a price adjustment, as it gives fellow brokers a legitimate reason to ‘pitch’ the listing to prospective clients even if some of these buyers have seen the listing before.

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Take New Photos

Reordering your photos and/or taking fresh photos can help rebrand your listing in the eyes of buyers and possibly increase traffic levels. The general consensus to use a photo of the main living space (facing the windows) as the listing ‘cover photo.’

If there’s something unique to your place such as a private terrace or a garden, leading with a photo of this space may draw additional attention to your listing. Keep in mind that using a view shot as the lead photo is generally frowned upon, especially if you are selling a more expensive property.

Our Discretion, Your Advantage

Our traditional partner brokers never openly discount which means less disruption and better execution for you.

Relist Your Home

If all else fails, hiring a new listing agent and relisting your home can help revive some of the energy and optimism surrounding your listing. Most importantly, hiring a new broker will generally result in a ‘reset’ of the day count for your property. While this won’t fool buyers who have seen the place before, it will draw attention from newer buyers who entered the search phase during the latter stages of your initial sale attempt.

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Published: 11/7/19
Disclosure: Hauseit and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, financial and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. The services marketed on Hauseit.com are provided by licensed real estate brokers and other third party professional service providers. Hauseit LLC is not a licensed real estate broker nor a member of any multiple listing service (MLS).

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