Have A Property Sitting On The Market? Expert Tips On How To Revive A Listing


New year, same listing? For properties that didn’t sell in 2019, it might be time to give them an update.

Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint inside the apartment or new photos for its online posting, a revival can attract attention from a buyer, even if the property has been available for a while, experts say. And if you’re going to revive a listing, now is the perfect time to do it, before the market heats up for the summer.

Halstead broker Matthew Cohen recently relisted the penthouse at 120 W. 58th St. in midtown Manhattan after giving it a mini-makeover. He had the walls repainted, had the home staged by Hovey Design, replaced the light fixtures and ripped out most of the built-ins, and had a new round of professional pictures taken.

“Many listings expire or get taken off the market before the December holidays,” Cohen says. “However, “new buyers are in the market after New Year’s, and buyers that were already looking have different perspectives after New Year’s.”

In addition to lowering the price tag, here are other ways to give your listing a new energy for 2020:

What’s the simplest way to revive a listing?

“Reviving a listing, in my opinion, always includes staging, painting, new photos, and new angles,” Cohen says. “It’s like a face lift without going under the knife.”

Updating the lighting inside a space is another simple way to update its appearance, adds Nick Gavin, of the Gavin Doyle Team at Compass. “It’s a relatively inexpensive way to make the home look brighter and more refreshed,” Gavin says. “Even changing the light fixtures themselves can really enhance the overall aesthetic of a room.”

How can you update curb appeal to refresh a listing?

“We swoon over the classic charm of old homes, but they are often homes with unsightly window unit air conditioners,” notes Compass agent Cindy Scholz. However, a split-unit HVAC system can be installed in one day, she says.

And, should a client be lucky enough to have outdoor space, you should call in a landscape designer, Scholz adds. “Gardens in New York City pose logistical concerns that a designer can help navigate to make the space practical and beautiful,” she says. “In my experience, you always see a good return on investment when enhancing outdoor space.”

Does it help a listing to take it down and re-post it again?

“Listing systems begin tracking a property’s time on the market from day one,” says Barbara Fox of Fox Residential. “To refresh or revive a listing to appear new again, it would need to be taken off the market for a period of 90 days and then re-listed.”

Ninety days may seem like a while to wait, but it could be worth it as relisting a property “puts it in front of the broker community again,” Warburg Realty broker Claire Groome adds. “Sometimes I will virtually stage a photo or two to give it a new look online or rewrite the description that people read.”

How can you attract new eyes to a listing?

“We try to keep an open mind to do creative things,” Douglas Elliman’s Lindsay Barton Barrett notes. “If you can partner with a social media influencer or get somebody to host an event there, that might get some press. All these strategies put the listing in front of a new audience.”

What’s the best way to tell a client that a revival is needed?

“We keep our clients updated on all buyer and broker inquiries, as well as sharing metrics on affiliate site clicks and our proprietary search results,” says Nadine Adamson, a broker with Brown Harris Stevens. “The key is to keep our sellers informed and involved with the process so they aren’t blindsided if we need to take action.”

How much does it cost to revive a listing?

Whether it’s painters, stagers and/or designers, Cohen likes to offer high- and low-end options to his clients. “They appreciate seeing the difference in quality and offering, as well as the price of course,” he notes. That being said, “It’s not so much, ‘the more you put it into it, the more you get out 0f it.’ It’s actually, ‘the more you put into it, the more likely it will sell.’”



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