How Long Should a House Be on the Market Before You Reduce the Price? | Redy

Zak BrethertonAugust 14, 2023

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How Long Should a House Be on the Market Before You Reduce the Price?

In real estate, sellers often need to make a crucial decision: determining the right time to reduce the property price. As an industry expert, Redy understands the significance of this decision and its potential impact on a successful sale. This comprehensive guide will dive into the intricacies of pricing strategies, market dynamics, and the art of timing when reducing the price of a house.

Understanding Market Dynamics

The first step in this journey is to analyze local real estate market conditions closely. Doing so gives you valuable insights when preparing your pricing strategy. Key indicators, such as the number of homes listed, completed property sales, and average days on the market, provide a holistic view of buyer activity and competition. Monitoring comparable sales (comps) also allows you to gauge pricing trends and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Setting an Initial Asking Price

Determining the initial listing price is both an art and a science. Our seasoned real estate agents play a pivotal role in this process, leveraging their expertise to strike the delicate balance between attracting potential buyers and avoiding the pitfall of overpricing. Factors like property size, location, and unique features are meticulously considered to arrive at a competitive and appealing price point.

Monitoring Listing Performance

In the digital age, data is your ally. Utilize real-time information to track your listing's performance. Pay close attention to the metrics, such as how many views, inquiries, and showings your property garners. If these numbers fall short of expectations or your property lingers on the market longer than the average time frame for similar homes, you may need to consider a price reduction. 

Assessing Buyer Feedback

Feedback from potential buyers is an invaluable asset. You can fine-tune your pricing and marketing strategies by actively seeking and addressing their concerns. Common objections, such as perceived overpricing, can be skillfully tackled to improve buyer interest. This iterative process not only enhances your understanding of market perception but also positions your property as an attractive proposition.

Recognizing Stale Listings

Time is a critical factor in the ever-evolving real estate landscape. A property that remains on the market for an extended period risks becoming stale. This can negatively impact buyer perception and even lead to reduced negotiating power. Understanding the signs of a stale listing empowers you to proactively reinvigorate buyer interest. Signs to look for include: 

  • Reduced Visits: Your home experiences fewer visits compared to properties of similar size and location.

  • Interest Without Offers: Despite significant interest, you're not receiving any offers. This often indicates that potential buyers perceive the price as misaligned with the property's value.

  • Online Listing Struggles: Your listing's online engagement, including clicks and saves on platforms like Zillow and Facebook, falls well below comparable properties in your market segment.

Why Your House May Struggle on the Market

Seeking a Rare Buyer

In the past, low interest rates led to exceptional offers and intense bidding battles. These seller-centered situations have dwindled alongside mask mandates and other pandemic quirks.

Certain local markets may remain fervent, but targeting unicorn buyers isn't always the wisest approach. We advise against banking on these rare cases, as they can lead to counterproductive pricing strategies. Anchoring your price on outlier examples may reduce foot traffic and offers in line with your expectations. Prolonged market presence can also diminish buyer motivation to meet your asking price.

Navigating Price Brackets

While pricing tactics like $9.99 might entice shoppers in retail, this strategy doesn't translate well to real estate. Real estate search engines often use fixed price ranges, such as $100,000 to $1.8 million.

Last year, nearly half of all buyers began their home search online. Understanding these pricing brackets is crucial for making your listing visible to the broadest array of potential buyers.

For instance, pricing your home at $299,999 could exclude those searching in the $300,000 and above range. Buyers tend to explore properties within $25,000 increments, such as $300,000 to $325,000.

Optimal Timing for Price Reductions

When determining how long your house should remain on the market before a price reduction, we suggest considering a price adjustment after about ten days of listing. This timeline allows for two consecutive weekends of open houses, optimizing your property's visibility. Waiting too long to reduce the price can signal to potential buyers that they have room to negotiate, potentially affecting their offers. That said, if you haven't had any decent viewings in 4-6 weeks, it's time to reduce the property's price. 

As a general guideline, consider a reduction of at least $5,000 and potentially up to $10,000 for properties with higher values.

For a more comprehensive assessment, we also suggest a thorough reevaluation by your broker at the 30-day mark. Striking the right balance is crucial; while you can delay a price change, waiting too long can decrease your listing's appeal to buyers. 

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Ensure Your Home Is Ready for a Successful Sale

It's vital to align your marketing efforts and home presentation with potential buyers' expectations. Collaborating closely with your agent will position your home advantageously as it enters the market.

To maximize your chances of a sale, consider the following:

Accessibility for Buyers

Since a home represents a significant investment, buyers often prefer firsthand experiences through property visits. If limited showing hours or a premature listing are causing accessibility issues, it may impact your potential for a successful sale. Even in a seller's market, properties with restricted access due to factors like tenants, owner health concerns, or pets may experience reduced foot traffic, extended days on the market, and fewer offers.

Move-in Ready Appearance

Overgrown landscaping, outdated features, or peculiar paint choices can discourage buyers, as these may indicate additional renovation expenses after purchase. To attract the best offers and appeal to a broad buyer base, consider basic touch-ups, such as painting with neutral colors, replacing worn carpets, thoroughly cleaning and decluttering your property, and enhancing the landscaping. Upgrades that resonate with buyers, such as modernized kitchens and bathrooms, can also boost appeal.

Professional Listing Visuals

Collaborating with professional stagers and photographers can elevate your listing's online appeal by making each room inviting. High-quality photos are essential for effective marketing online. 

Showcasing Neighborhood Charms

Your listing should not only spotlight your property's strengths but also highlight the neighborhood's attractions, schools, parks, theaters, and dining options that locals cherish.

Emphasizing Trending Features

Real estate trends can substantially impact buyer interest. Incorporate popular amenities such as spacious patios, pools, outdoor living spaces, and well-designed home offices as a selling point in your listing. 

Targeted Marketing for Unique Properties

Properties with distinctive layouts, features, or locations may require a tailored marketing strategy. Ensuring your outreach reaches the right audience through digital, phone, or other channels is critical for all properties – especially when selling an unconventional home. While unique properties might take longer to sell, finding the right niche buyers can lead to success.

By optimizing your home's accessibility, presentation, and marketing strategies, you can increase the odds of attracting potential buyers and securing offers.

Partnering With a Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent's guidance is invaluable at every stage of the selling process. Their ability to leverage market insights and interpret data will ground your pricing decisions in industry expertise, significantly improving your chances of success. 

Bottom Line

Pricing is an art form in real estate. The decision to reduce the price of your house reflects your understanding of market dynamics, buyer behavior, and your real estate agent's expertise. As the adage goes, timing is everything. By meticulously assessing market conditions, responding to buyer feedback, and embracing expert guidance, you can position yourself for a successful sale. 

At Redy, we're committed to helping you find a trusted partner on this journey, ensuring that your pricing decisions align seamlessly with your goal. Whenever you're ready to start your home selling journey, let us help you find the right real estate agent for the job.

To learn more about selling your home, visit our Home Seller Resources >

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