Real estate agent Beth Catrone helped a client revamp this...

Real estate agent Beth Catrone helped a client revamp this Port Washington home’s listing with nighttime photos. Credit: Susan Auriemma Photography

A five-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Oceanside hit the market last July, but didn’t sell until December.

"There was nothing wrong with the house," said its listing agent, Jovanni Ortiz, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. "It was a great house, priced fairly in a hot area."

Despite a market with low inventory, high demand and record-breaking prices, this can still happen on Long Island. When it does, it can stem from location, price points or a marketing issue, experts say. Poor photography, a description lacking key information or low visibility on social media can torpedo a listing, requiring a fresh approach.

As for the Oceanside property, it closed for $715,000 following a new approach involving networking and new photos.

Ortiz specializes in previously listed properties. Whether the houses are for sale by owners or being re-listed, he helps his clients find different ways to publicize their homes and garner more interest.

" 'Expired listings' is what we call them, but I don’t love that term," he said. "It makes people think of something like expired milk, which means it’s no longer good. But with homes, just because it’s expired, doesn’t mean it’s not good. Sometimes it just means that there’s a new approach or strategy to try."

Making sure the listing includes high-quality photos is key, he said, to ensure that the property is being presented in the best way. And the description should be thorough, while leaving a prospective buyer wanting more — for example, mentioning a skylight could entice someone to come see it in person, to observe how the light pours through.

"So much of how the buyers navigate this market is done online," Ortiz said. "We want to try to get them in the door, so if the pictures or description aren’t great, it ends up being a disservice to the seller."

Beth Catrone, an associate broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, had an experience like this while helping a client sell their home in Port Washington. It had been on the market for nearly a year.

"It’s very hard to rebrand a house when it’s been on the market for so long," she said. "There’s almost a stigma attached to it. The key is to make it stand out from all the other homes."

This could mean taking care of minor details before showings such as cleaning the windows and maintaining the landscaping, but sometimes re-staging the house could also help, Catrone said.

For the Port Washington listing, Catrone worked with a photographer to take exterior photos at night "just to make it look different" for prospective buyers scrolling through, she said.

Social media can also get new eyes on a property, as long as you know how to engage your audience.

"Having a video of a house is very interactive," Catrone said. "And it’s certainly a great way to put your house front and center."

Of course, there are some harder sells that can hinder interest, such as the location and price point.

"The higher-end listings seem to sit on the market longer," Ortiz said, "like some North Shore properties [and] multimillion dollar homes, because the buyer pool is smaller."

But patience is key, these agents agree.

"There’s a buyer for every house," Ortiz said. "You just have to go out and find them."

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