As a homeowner with a house on the market, your dream scenario is to have the house sell within days and with multiple offers. If you are selling during a housing boom, that can very well be the case. But under current market conditions, the buying-frenzy scenario isn’t as likely, especially if you are inadvertently making any key selling mistakes.
If you’ve had your home on the market for several months and haven’t seen much activity or any offers, you might want to step back and identify the reasons why the house isn’t selling.
Price is too high
The most common reason for a home not selling is that the list price is too high. Enthusiastic real estate agents who are eager to win your business may suggest a too high asking price. Or often times, you as the seller have high expectations given your history with the house. Whatever the reason, if a house is priced too high, it will limit traffic to the house and hinder buyers from making an offer. Make sure when selecting an agent to work with, that you don’t necessarily go with the agent that suggests the highest price. Agents wishing to win your trust should have a lengthy comp list of recent sales to justify their suggested price. The fact is, your home is in competition with other homes in the neighborhood, and what buyers are willing to pay will determine the final sales price.
The condition of your home
If there’s healthy inventory on the market, your home could be in a decent amount of competition. What sets your home apart from the competition is its condition. The more you can do to make your house appealing to a broader audience, the better your chances are for a quick sale. That means de-cluttering the house, de-personalizing the space, and neutralizing the rooms. If you make upgrades to the house prior to listing, don’t get too personal with finish selections. Other easy and cost-effective fixes that make a huge impact would be paint, flooring/carpeting and curb appeal enhancements.
Location, location, location
So cliché to say, but so true… location is king. Buyers want homes zoned for good schools, in a safe neighborhood and have great community amenities. If your house is in a less than ideal location, your real estate agent might offer up some improvements to minimize the home’s shortcomings. But the only reliable way to overcome a difficult location is with a lower price that adjusts for the less-than-ideal location.
Soft marketing campaign
With 90% of buyers starting their home search online, you need to make sure that the pictures of your house are appealing. Online first impressions are very important in this day of age of real estate. Beautiful pictures lead to appointments with interested buyers. Flat, lackluster photos will leave your home with few showings. Additionally, an aggressive listing agent should be touting your home to the greater agent community and running ads in numerous publications. As the seller, make sure you understand the extent of the marketing campaign and ask for marketing updates from your realtor periodically.
Limited Home Accessibility
To get your home sold quickly, it’s important that the home is widely exposed to other agents and potential buyers. That means the house needs to be easily and frequently accessible for broker’s open, showings and open houses. While highly inconvenient for you as the seller, being flexible and making the house accessible for potential buyers can help reduce your days on market.
If your house is languishing on the market, make sure you take a step back and survey your home from a buyer’s perspective. Ask yourself if your home is priced appropriately amongst the competition. Verify that your real estate agent has a comprehensive and strategic marketing campaign in place. And make your home available for as many showings as possible. If what your home needs is a quality rehab, take it off the market and make some updates to give it a fresh facelift. A break from the market is often necessary to give a new lease to the listing.