Having your house stagnate on the real estate market can be a very frustrating ordeal. In particular, if you’ve owned the home for a while, there’s an emotional attachment that says, “This house is awesome. It should sell really fast!”
If you’re under contract to purchase another home or you are relocating there is added urgency to sell your home fast.
There is no reason, with the current sellers market, that a house in good condition and in a desirable location shouldn’t sell quickly. Homebuyers are lining up for these homes.
There are several common reasons that homes don’t sell and one of these may just be the solution to your problem.
1. The home is overpriced
The most common reason a house sits on the market is due to it being priced too high. Asking too much for the home could be a result of you ignoring your real estate agent’s pricing advice, an error on the part of your real estate agent or because the market corrected and your agent didn’t notice.
Whatever the reason why, if you aren’t getting offers and the house is being shown, you’ll need to drop your price as soon as possible to get it sold.
In a nutshell, homes sell for what buyers are willing to pay, not what sellers hope to get. The only way to know what a buyer is willing to pay for a home like yours is to check the sale prices (not the asking price of active listings) of homes similar to yours.
If the comparable sold properties are showing a lower price per square foot than what you’re listed at, you should lower the price to put it in line with the local market. The price drop may just be the key to getting more interest from serious buyers and to getting your home sold.
2. Your home needs work
The reality is that the homes that sell the fastest are priced right and are in good condition. What do I mean by “good?” They have curb appeal – the exterior reflects pride of ownership, not necessarily opulence. The trim is painted, the siding is in good condition and the landscaping is tidy.
Inside, the paint is fresh, the carpets clean and the house is neat. The buyer should get the impression that the house is move-in ready, We don’t want them thinking about the work they’ll need to do to make the home livable.
Since we’re used to our homes and don’t always notice things that we’ve long lived with, the ideal way to get feedback on the buyer’s opinion of your home’s condition is for your agent to solicit feedback from the buyers’ agents who’ve shown the home to their clients.
If your agent isn’t doing this, he or she is doing you a disservice. Ask your agent to do the follow-up – you are, after all, paying him or her. Which leads us to reason number 3 that your home isn’t selling.
3. You have a lousy real estate agent
Your real estate agent’s primary job is to market your home. If it’s priced right and in good condition, the next biggest reason it’s not selling is because you have an agent who is failing at the marketing game.
Get together with your agent and find out what is being done to market the home. If the only marketing that’s been done is a sign in the front yard and an MLS listing and, perhaps, a blurb on the freebie websites, consider finding another agent.
It’s a lesson many homeowners learn the hard way: Never hire an agent that doesn’t consistently make enough money to offer a powerful marketing plan. It’s the essence of what you’re paying for and you should demand the service you deserve.
If you follow numbers one and two, above, and you are convinced your agent is doing a stellar job, ask yourself if you’re flexible enough in showing the home.
We know from our own listing clients that the worst part of selling the home is having to keep it in model-home condition despite life continuing to happen – kids, pets, guests and all of that.
Buyers work too, and often the only time they have to look at homes is in the evening or on weekends. Accommodating last-minute requests to see the home earns bonus points (at least with us!) and gets you even closer to selling the home.
Even in the hottest sellers’ markets there are slow periods, so if you’ve done all you can to ensure that your home is competitive, relax and give it more time.
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