Over Exposed: How Long Should It Take To Sell A Home?

By Craig Lowe


During the marketing of any home there is a very strong relationship between the time it takes to sell a home and the price that will be achieved. Generally speaking there is a window of around 2-4 weeks during which the most offers and the highest prices will be achieved. If a property hasn’t sold within 4 weeks and preferably less, the market tends to think that something is wrong with the property. Nobody wants to put large amounts of money into a seemingly illiquid asset. Open home attendance rates are a good example of this phenomenon – the first week of marketing always generates the largest attendance record with the amount of attendees dropping by about 50% every week until it is just a tiny trickle of buyers that have just started looking. These buyers are unlikely to buy a home for at least 3 months while they “get a feel” for the market. This is why the home becomes more and more difficult to sell as time goes on.

Good salespeople understand that the key to selling homes successfully is casting your net as wide as you possibly can through an excellent marketing plan that is designed to attract the most serious buyers. Competition amongst buyers needs to be created quickly and efficiently. Done properly your home should sell within 1-3 weeks and you can be satisfied that you got top dollar. Unfortunately this does not always happen.

I am often approached by motivated sellers who have had their properties on the market, sometimes privately and sometimes with another company, for many weeks and have not had any success. Properties like this are deemed to be “over-exposed” to the market. This situation can be quite serious, especially for people who may have looming settlement or transfer dates.

In fairness to real estate salespeople it may not be their fault that the property hasn’t sold to date – there are many reasons this can happen even to the most successful agents – but the truth is that the property must be given a new breath of life to ensure a successful outcome.

The most important thing to do at this stage is to find a new real estate agent preferably from a new company to resurrect interest. The reason for this is absolutely no reflection on the current salesperson or company, but is simply essential for giving the property new and fresh exposure to ensure that renewed interest and competition amongst the buying public is achieved. New photos will be taken and used, new advertising copy will be written and it will be surrounded with the new companies branding and possibly even shown in different print media. All this will help enormously in achieving fresh exposure. Here are a few tips:

  1. The first step is to give the property a break from the advertising. Ask your salesperson to remove all advertising media and take down the signs. This is crucial, the longer it is advertised for the less interest it will generate and the more over exposed it will become.
  2. If necessary revisit things like the presentation of the house and grounds.
  3. Choose a new real estate salesperson, from a new company.
  4. Make sure that new photos are taken, as different as possible to the old ones.
  5. Ensure that your agent understands what target demographics will be interested in your home and writes new and fresh copy that will attract these buyers.
  6. Hit the market with the fresh exposure after a small break and sell the home!

It is important to note that you will have signed an exclusive listing agreement for a period of days with your salesperson and you must abide by the terms of this contract so check this before signing up with someone new.

I have personally put together a fantastic “rescue” package for overexposed properties that is proven to work, so please contact me at anytime on 021 764 647 if you would like to discuss your situation or have any real estate needs.


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