How To Sell A Slow Moving Property

How to sell a slow moving property

Have you ever been in a situation where you list a property and it doesn’t sell?

Normally, my rule of thumb is that if it hasn’t sold in 6–8 weeks,
either the price is wrong or
market conditions have changed.

I co-own a property with my brother Gerard in Rochester, Victoria
which we listed for sale in January.
It hasn’t sold.

I wasn’t too worried in the beginning, as Rochester’s average days on market are 84.
Unique properties often take a very long time to sell.
It has now been on the market for 140 days.

Rochester was severely flooded in 2022,
all but 8 houses were flooded.
As a result, the market has been flooded (pardon the pun) with listings.
Of 1500 dwellings,
100 are on the market.

There has been a significant change in the average market value (down 28% in 2023).
Which on face value looks worrying
however, you need to look a bit deeper to understand what is going on.

Many residents have taken the insurance payout and listed their properties in uninhabitable condition at a dramatically reduced price.

Putting our property back on the rental market is not an option
It has been rented for several years.
The tenants were not kind
and it took a lot of work just to get it back to scratch
We are unwilling to go back down that track.

Our problem seems to be that Rochester is just a bit on the nose thanks to the floods.

We have now taken a more experimental approach.
I don’t know what the outcome will be but I have decided to share the journey with you.

So here are the steps we took to improve the performance of our listing:

 #1 Review the Price

Price is top of the list when a property is not selling.

We pitched the price below two recent sales on the same road.  (See images below)

 Both had more substantial buildings
 but ours is double the size of one and has subdivision potential
(a detail that only recently made it onto the listing)

We had an offer very close to the asking price however it had some onerous conditions that made it unacceptable.

The two recent sales on the same road: Left. #313 Land size: 1 Hectare Sold $685K Right #10 Land size: 2 Hectares Sold $1.395K

 #2 Upgrade The Listing Copy

The listing is the shopfront for your sale so it is the first place we look to improve.
‘Copy’ refers to the words in the listing.
Our copy was a large , uninspiring block of very generic text.
It did not reflect the opportunities the property presented.

I asked the agent for permission to rewrite

1.Headline first  

“Country Gem”
became…
“Charming Rural Property With Potential For Further Development”

2.Body text next.

I looked at the copy in city listings
and noticed they used bullet points rather than blocks of text.
This enables readers to scan the list and easily absorb the relevant points.
I also thought about potential buyers and what they might want.

  •  A 5 acre block is likely to attract a hobby farmer
    so mentioning the fertile Timmering Sandy Loam soil was important.
  • The block also has the capacity to subdivide (STCA)
  • And it’s over the road from the golf course

With each bullet point we are casting a line to capture the attention of a potential buyer.

#3 Upgrade the Photos

If your listing is the shop front to your property,
the photos are the shop window
Our original photos were taken during a very dry spell
As it is now in prime condition, it seemed like a good idea to order new drone shots.
The result was a much more lush image

#4 Increase the Lead Flow

Lead Flow Method 1: Resort to Religion!!

My mum was devout Catholic,
Her fix for a slow sale was to bury a statue of St Joseph on the block.

Gerard has taken on this tradition.
In his last property sale he ordered the statue online,
When it turned up it was so big it took half a day of digging to bury It!!

Our silent but holy salesman was installed on the block.
I have to report so far his results have been underwhelming

Leadflow Method 2: Facebook Ads

In the 140 days we have had 9 enquiries and 2 offers.
One subject to a court settlement and another low ball offer.

I decided to buy some facebook ads .

I am fortunate that I work with the best paid ad agency in the country,
Vahler Media who agreed to take on the challenge.  

We set a budget of $50 per day expecting to attract one to two leads per day.

The ads have gone ballistic.
Instead of 2 leads we are getting between 10-15 enquiries each day.

Our agent is overwhelmed!!
In 7 days we have amassed a list of 83 enquiries

So far, so good.

The paid ads story has opened up a whole new story
and if you are interested I will write part 2, just let me know.

She Renovates Free Facebook Group

If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators. I would say come over and join She Renovates Facebook Group. It’s a completely FREE Facebook group and it is growing at the rate of knots. We hit over a thousand members just recently, and now it seems to have picked up momentum. They are all savvy renovating women and men working their little hearts out to live a better life through renovating.

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Bernadette Janson

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