Price Reduction Alternatives: Are Cutting House Prices a Cop-Out?
Many homeowners want to sell quickly, but if their house continues to sit on the market, it can be tempting to lower the price. Especially if your seller is anxious for offers, cutting the home price is an enticing way to try to move things along.
In October and November of 2022, the share of homes in the United States that reduced their price were 20.9% and 19.6% respectively.1 Although reducing the price may get houses sold faster, it may not be the best option. There are home price reduction strategy alternatives.
Cons of Reducing Home Price
It may seem like a good strategy to reduce the price of a home that isn’t selling, but there are some cons to this approach. In some cases, it may even backfire.
Reducing home price speaks volumes to potential buyers, and not everything it says is good. Especially if the home price is dropped multiple times, it can be a red flag. Buyers may wonder what is wrong with the house and why it isn’t selling. This alone may deter some buyers from looking at the property. In some cases, this approach may also decrease a buyer’s sense of urgency. Why put in an offer now when the price may decrease again?
Not only can reducing home price hurt the seller, but it may also be bad for you. Sellers who walk away with less money may not be happy. They are likely to point the finger at you and as a result, less likely to recommend you to others.
6 Alternatives to Price Reductions on Homes
If a home isn’t selling it doesn’t necessarily mean it is because of price. While it can get be tempting to just reduce the asking price and move forward, this approach may not be the best. Instead of slashing the price just to get it sold, these home price reduction alternatives may help.
Rethink Your Marketing
A good alternative to a reduction in selling price is to update your marketing. Homes are no longer flying off the market, so the marketing you were doing last year may no longer be sufficient. Even if you are doing a fair bit, you may be targeting the wrong buyers or neglecting to highlight the best parts of the home. Especially if your listing is unique, you want to make sure you are reaching the right people and emphasizing the right features.
Ask colleagues for their opinions and research recently sold houses in the same area. You may find a new angle to help sell the property. Even just jazzing up the listing description could go a long way.
Stage the Home
Another option other than dropping the price of the home is to have it staged. Because of clutter, personal knickknacks, or poor furniture layout, buyers may have a hard time envisioning themselves in the house. All these mistakes can have buyers turning away, but a little staging can help them see everything the house has to offer. Staged homes not only spend 73% less time on the market, but also they may increase home value anywhere from 1-10%.2
Make Basic Updates
Outside of just using a staging service, the house may need a little TLC to be up to par with other homes on the market. Some deep cleaning, a neutral coat of paint, and hardware changes are all basic pre-listing updates that are good alternatives to cutting the price of a house. Do some research on modern trends or what other recently sold homes in the area look like to ensure you are making the right updates.
Relist the House
In some cases, a good price reduction strategy alternative is to take the house off the market for a bit. This approach not only helps reset the number of days on the market but also may help sellers wait out a slump in the market. It also allows time to spruce up the curb appeal, do some staging, or make necessary updates before putting the home back up for sale.
Take New Photos
Especially if there were updates or the house was staged after the initial photos were taken, it is important to take new professional photos. Even photos in the wrong season can be a hint that the house has been on the market for a long time and can be a turnoff for buyers. If nothing has changed, photos from a new angle or perspective could give the listing the refreshed look it needs.
Make Repairs or Renovations
If the listing just won’t sell, one of the alternatives to reducing home price is to take some time to make repairs or changes to the house. In one survey, 80% of Americans said that they would prefer to buy a move-in ready home over one that required updates. The majority also said they would sacrifice space for a house that is closer to move-in ready.3
Start with addressing any big issues that stand out or that potential buyers noted as a reason they decided to walk away instead of making an offer. Next, look for any home improvement projects that could help increase the value of the home or that other recently sold homes in the area have in common. These projects could range from flooring updates to renovating the bathroom before selling again.
Next time you are about to cut the asking price for the sake of a quick sale, think about these price reduction alternatives for homes instead. If you think other home improvement projects or basic updates would be beneficial for your listing, we want to help. At Curbio, our free home improvement estimate could give you and your sellers some insight into changes that could not only make the house more appealing to buyers but also help it get off the market.
- realtor.com (2022). November 2022 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report
- The Zebra (2023). Home Staging Statistics
- Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. (2020). “Guiding You Home” Survey Key Findings