When a house on the market isn’t getting any offers, price is typically the problem. If a home is shown 10 times without an offer, the National Association of Realtors says it’s a sign from the market to reduce your price.
And lowering the price of a home isn’t unusual—research shows that 41% of homes listed for sale undergo a price reduction before they receive an accepted offer.
Persuading a homeowner to agree to a price decrease can be a hurdle of its own. And once you’re in agreement about a price reduction, you need to not only craft a home price reduction announcement but also market it effectively. Read on to learn how to do just that.
3 Tips to Write a Home Price Reduction Announcement
The main challenge with writing a home price reduction announcement is framing it positively. Just ask luxury real estate adviser Melinda Goodwin. She asked her colleagues what comes to mind when they see a lawn sign that reads “price reduced” and received the following responses:
- Why is the seller desperate to sell?
- What’s wrong with the house?
- What’s wrong with the neighborhood?
If you aren’t careful, your announcement might give the impression that the property isn’t valuable.
Another issue agents can easily run into is making a home price reduction that’s done for publicity but doesn’t actually generate authentic interest from buyers.
“Agents may choose to make small price changes in order to refresh the visibility of the property in the MLS (multiple listing service), but this is, in essence, a gimmick,” says Shawn Kelsey of Red Key Realty Leaders in St. Louis. “Price changes of $500-1,000 can be effective as a marketing tactic to get fresh attention on a listing, but they are generally not enough to stimulate action from potential buyers.
To avoid the common pitfalls, use the tips below to craft a home price reduction announcement that works.
1. Use Positive Language
The words you use in your price reduction announcement matter, both in how you make the declaration of the lower price and in your description of the property.
To keep the announcement positive, avoid phrases like “reduce” or “lower.” These words emphasize that the property is worth less. Instead, use terms that signal change.
“Whether I am recommending we change a price to a client, or announce to the public, I always use the term ‘price adjustment’ or ‘price improvement’ instead,” says Atlanta real estate agent Kasey Prince of The Prince Group. “No one wants to feel as though they got the value wrong.”
You can also add specific words to your listings to help them catch homebuyers’ eyes. A Zillow analysis of 24,000 home sales picked out key phrasings that, when used in listings, are associated with higher sales. For example, home ads that use the word “luxurious” sold for 8.2% more on average, listings with the word “captivating” sold for 6.5% more, and listings using “impeccable” sold for 5.9% more.
Carefully wording a home price reduction announcement is clearly beneficial, but how you frame the deal in your posts or ads is also important.
2. Frame the Price Reduction as a Discount
Instead of just lowering the price, Goodwin recommends emphasizing the amount of money that’s being discounted. She suggests putting a specific dollar amount on the price reduction. “Maybe offer a $20,000 discount if under contract within 30 days, or $25,000 discount on all offers,” she says.
Why? She cites the case study of a business owner who struggled to encourage sales by handing out 25% off cards. When the business owner changed the wording on the card to read “$25 off” instead of “25% off,” store sales increased exponentially—even though consumers would have actually saved more by taking advantage of the 25% off deal.
With positive language and the proper framework for your home price reduction announcement, you’re on the right track. However, you don’t only need to write for people, but also for bots. That’s where SEO comes in.
3. Write with SEO in Mind
Many homebuyers initially stumble across home listings through a search engine. In fact, 99% of millennials and 90% of baby boomers begin their home search online, so it’s vital to employ good search engine optimization (SEO) practices when crafting home price reduction announcements for the web.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to get organic—or unpaid—traffic from search engines like Google, and it can be extremely beneficial in attracting potential home buyers to your website to view properties for sale.
New to SEO? Check out this comprehensive guide from Alexa to help you get started optimizing your site and home listings for search.
3 Tips to Market a Home Price Reduction
When you reduce the price of a home, you open up the property to all of the budget-conscious buyers who dismissed it when its price was higher. Reach these customers again by making your price reduction widely known with these marketing tactics.
1. Tap Into Your Sphere of Influence
Every real estate agent has a unique network of family, friends, neighbors, fellow agents, and business associates. While these people may not be in the market for a home, they often know someone who is, and word-of-mouth marketing is powerful. In fact, 65% of real estate agents’ business comes from their sphere of influence.
“When one of my sellers decides to do a price reduction, we use it as another reason to ‘blast’ the listing out to our sphere of realtors and buyers,” says Tiffany Thomas of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Thomas Group.
How can you make your network aware of a property’s price reduction? Email agents you know when your property’s price is lowered. “We also email all agents in our association and then contact any agent who’s shown the home to ensure they’re aware of the reduction,” Thomas says. You can also craft organic social posts about the property and share them on your personal and professional social media accounts.
Want to spread the word offline? Get involved in community events where you’ll have opportunities to share your expertise and listings, as well as expand your network.
Check out this post for more tips on how to nurture and grow your sphere of influence.
2. Use Social Media Ads
Social ads are one of the most powerful ways to promote your property’s price reduction. After all, 47% of real estate businesses say that social media brings in the highest quality leads.
“Once the price reduction is made in our MLS, we promote it on various social media platforms, websites like ThomasGroupRealty.com, realtor.com, and Zillow.com,” says Thomas.
The force driving social ads is targeting. You’re able to direct your ads at users based on their location, age, gender, interests, and much more. With this targeting, your ads are likely to reach your ideal demographic and encourage them to come and view the property.
And if you have a video of the property, put it in the ad for your price reduction.
People love watching videos on social—45% of people watch more than an hour’s worth of Facebook or YouTube videos a week—yet few agents take advantage of the medium. Only 9% of agents create video listings like those above.
3. Don’t Overlook the Power of Print
People often say print media is dead, but print works when it comes to marketing and selling homes. In fact, 79% of households say they read direct mail. Based on that stat, a print campaign of 5,000 postcards advertising your price reduction will be seen by 3,900 potential buyers.
Print marketing can include newspaper brochures, flyers, postcards, and newspaper ads. Many agents keep the print design in-house for cost-saving and may use templates like these to easily create effective print materials for their home price reduction announcements.
Develop a Winning Home Price Reduction Strategy
The longer a house is on the market, the lower its chances of selling at its original list price. So don’t hesitate to employ a price reduction strategy if a property isn’t garnering interest and offers.
The amount of time you wait before reducing depends on your housing market. In Chicago, for example, only 33% of houses sell at or above list price within two weeks. However, in San Francisco, one in five homes on the market for more than 90 days will find a buyer willing to pay the asking price—or even more. Keep an eye on how quickly homes sell in your market, so you’re able to strategically time your home price reduction.