In my past life as a real estate developer, I’ve had listings that died on the vine. Buyers stayed away in droves; weeks passed with nary a phone call or whiff of interest. Even in a good market, some properties are a beast to move. Maybe your house is one.
That’s why I asked “Million Dollar Listing” stars Ryan Serhant (New York) and Chris Leavitt (Miami) how to raise properties from the dead. The Bravo brokers offered this advice.
Serhant, who moves top-end properties in Manhattan, says massaging the sales price is the best way to revive a listing.
“It’s always about pricing,” Serhant says.
Sellers mistakenly think that lowering a price from optimistic to realistic is a sign of desperation that turns buyers off. In fact, Serhant says, adjusting pie-in-the-sky prices to match the all-important neighborhood comps, signals that a seller finally is serious about moving his property.
“Wherever the market price is, that’s where your property is,” Serhant says.
In rapid-fire Manhattanese, Serhant offered these additional home-selling tips:
- If it’s filled with knickknacks, declutter.
- If it’s green, paint it white.
- If it smells like cat, Febreze it.
- If it doesn’t look like “House Beautiful,” stage it.
Leavitt, who holds the record for the largest condominium sale in Florida’s history — $34 million for a Miami Beach triplex — says raising a property from the dead is all about changing the energy that agents, sellers, and even the property gives off.
“Make sure your agent is really excited about your property, not burned out,” Leavitt says.
Your frame of mind also affects the way buyers feel about your property.
“Positive thinking: My house is selling!” is the key, Leavitt says, reminding me of the “American Beauty” scene where real estate agent Annette Bening self-talks, “I will sell this house today.”
“This stuff really works,” Leavitt says.
More tips from Leavitt:
- Get rid of dried flowers, which put dead, negative energy into the house.
- Don’t over-stage the house — table settings for meals you’re not eating — which signals desperation.
- Never attend a showing: Your nerves are catching.
And like Serhant, he cautions: “Price your house in line with comps, or you’ll seem too attached to the home, which discourages buyers.”