21 Marketing strategies to freshen up a stale listing

Ideas for marketing your listings

A home that might have sold for over-list price in less than a day with multiple offers a few months ago — even with bad iPhone photos and monstrous dust bunnies under the coffee table — is going to need a little more love now that we are feeling a market shift, seeing increased days on market and inventory is growing. 

Here is a list of action items that might give your listing that extra little oomph (or a little magic) that it needs to get a few more showings and hopefully find its new owner.

Not everything on this list will be appropriate for every property in every market, but even if you can take one or two of these ideas and give them your all, it’s better than avoiding your seller’s phone calls and watching those days on market pile up, right? 

1. Bring in someone with fresh eye. Can you rearrange the staging or furniture to change the energy of the house? Does it need some fresh or seasonal elements to attract a new demographic? Is it feeling dusty, tired or too mature or young at this price point in this neighborhood? 

2. What does the feedback say? If buyer agents are mentioning that the layout is awkward, there isn’t enough light, their buyers are hoping for more closet space, etc., there may be an easy way to overcome these objections with a little work or money and a bit of creativity. 

3. Add floor plans to the listing photos. This will give potential buyers an idea for the flow of the rooms. This is especially important if you are competing with new construction or have a floor plan that is unique or has been changed through remodeling that might not be obvious from the photos. 

4. Add neighborhood/lifestyle photos. This will help those viewing the property online to understand the vibe of the community. There’s plenty of space to include photos in addition to those of the property itself. 

5. Be honest: Are the property photos really the BEST that they can be? Or, did you cheap out thinking that the home would sell quickly? If you need to order seasonal, twilight, daylight, or drone photos, do it. There is nothing more important than awesome photos when it comes to real estate marketing. 

6. Rewrite the property description. Tell a story. Don’t just list the features and restate the specs — convey how it feels to live in the home and in the community. 

7. Don’t skimp on signage. If it’s possible to install a second yard sign, a window sign, or a banner on a fence facing a trail or busy street, do it. It’s easy to think that all homes are seen first online, but it’s not true. People are walking by, driving by, riding their Lime scooters by —make sure they know the property is for sale!

8. Change the main photo on the listing to something completely different — and do this every day. Sometimes consumers who have been browsing the listings daily and passing yours by will take another look if they see a new photo pop up! 

9. Add your listing to local and national agent-only Facebook groups. Make sure to market the listing in as many places as are appropriate. Submit it to news organizations and other platforms, too – they’re always looking for great content, so make it easy for them!

10. Decorate the exterior of the house for the season. Pumpkins for Halloween, holiday lights for winter, etc. Go over the top so that people will stop and notice. 

11. Write blog posts, develop social stories and other posts. These should be about the neighborhood, local restaurant reviews and upcoming community events, and find ways to tie in links back to the listing post on your blog.

12. Dig into your own database to find a buyer. Go through each name on your list and picture them moving into your listing. Would it be a good fit for them? If so, reach out and start a conversation about whether they are thinking about making a move! (Hello, multiple transactions!) 

13. Holding more open houses. Are you holding open houses regularly? You should be. It’s amazing how many people don’t bother to schedule a showing, or who aren’t working with a Realtor, but who might be interested in your property. Pro tip: Partner up with a newbie agent, lender or title rep for safety and company. 

14. How about a broker open or an open house special event? Coordinate with other nearby listing agents and give away a gift card, Airbuds, Apple Watch or some other item of value. Invite local agents using targeted prospect lists and Facebook ads. Message the agents you know and beg them to attend; they need to see the house to sell the house.                                                       

15. Create a lifestyle video. Highlight this amazing home’s best features with a lifestyle video that can also serve as a long-term marketing piece for you. Pro tip: Create an Instagram reel for a fast, low-cost turnaround and even more exposure on social platforms!

16. Is it time to start thinking about possibly renting the house out? If this is a possibility or necessity? Start listing it as for sale or a possible lease and list it on all of the rental sites. You never know, someone who is thinking that they need to rent first might fall in love with it and buy it anyway. 

17. Readjust seller expectations. We have seen a drastic change in the majority of markets over the last 30-60 days. Average days on market have gone up, showings have slowed, and prices are no longer dramatically increasing month over month. Make sure your seller is aware of these factors. 

18. Take a fresh look at the comps and your pricing strategy. Now that many markets have hit a seasonal slowdown in addition to being impacted by the hikes in interest rates, it’s not surprising that homes are taking a bit longer to sell, and it’s more important than ever to price your listings strategically.

19. Send out a strategic, comprehensive reverse prospecting email. Ask agents why they aren’t showing the property to their buyer match customers, and make sure to provide all of the information needed to set a preview or showing! 

20. Bury a St Joseph’s statue. Burying a statue of St. Joseph is a traditional and popular practice people often resort to when trying to sell a house. The exact placement of the statue can vary depending on who you ask, but instructions are usually included!

21. Clear the energy of the property. Smudging is a symbolic exercise found in Feng Shui practice, many Native American traditions, and alternative healing practices. It involves burning selected herbs, usually sage (which is easy to find at stores like World Market or Whole Foods), or other materials in a manner that fills the home or other space with the fragrance of the smoke. It’s thought to clear negative energy. Sometimes the house just doesn’t want to let go!