Second Chance

There are many reasons to relist a home— new price, new representation, new attention. Maybe the buyer pool has dwindled, there’s holiday interference… So while it’s true that we never get a second chance to make a first impression, tactical planning goes a long way. Here, top real estate agent Alison Clay-Duboff of RE/MAX Estate Properties Manhattan Beach shares her golden rules of relisting.


Long days on the market can be a negative distraction for buyers. It’s essential, therefore, to address issues that initially worked against the sale. “Attack issues head on,” advises Clay-Duboff. “Deal with repairs, cosmetic issues or pricing that made the property less desirable. Why hasn’t the property sold, what’s wrong with it—these are common buyer questions. So sellers must ask of themselves, am I willing to make changes that make an impact when their properties reappear on the market?”


To help root out the reasons for relisting, consult the expert—your Realtor. Pose intentional, results-oriented questions, says Clay-Duboff. 

“What didn’t I do with the first listing that I can do this time to sell my house?” “What is your plan to help sell my property?” “What is your ratio of days on the market?” Will you hold my open house or an assistant?” “Will you be interactive with your Realtor community?” “What is your web presence?”


“If after two weeks on the market with a full marketing strategy in place the home has lots of showings but no offers, the listing price is 5 percent too high,” says Clay-Duboff. “A seller must recognize that we are operating in a global environment to be competitive. Depending on the property, sometimes a print ad campaign with foreign press is a powerful tactic, as is advertising locally. Drone footage and aerial photography are dynamite tools for buyers. Three-dimensional walk-through videos are amazingly successful. Buyers start their research most often online— sellers must grasp that.”


“Mindset is crucial,” says Clay-Duboff. “Sellers need to think like buyers,” so cultivate a warm, compelling sense of lifestyle. Be unique. That  includes advertising. “Does the home feel bright and welcoming? Does it look easy to clean? Floor plans are very useful for buyers and Pinterest is wildly popular, so spend a few moments and see what buyers like—a pet bed, a crazy plant, a chalkboard wall.”


Use the 91 days a home must spend off the MLS before it’s relisted wisely. “Make the property pop, be it price or physical appearance,” says Clay-Duboff. “Look around. Is the carpet worn? The paint color out of date? The home cluttered? Does landscaping support curb appeal? Is pricing on point?” Another ace in the hole: staging to sell. “Home staging is a psychological tool that is proven to help sell property,” she adds. “A home for sale needs to be stripped of the seller’s personality. Buyers mustn’t be distracted by adorable baby photos or beautiful wedding shots; they should be able to visualize themselves sipping a glass of wine in their new home. So trust your Realtor, do the staging; get that fresh coat of paint. A home coming to market is like opening night at the symphony; the players practice for weeks, the critics are the audience and it’s showtime!”

Embrace the encore.

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