A home languishing on the real estate market is one of life’s more frustrating ordeals. Especially if you’ve owned the home for some time, there’s that emotional attachment that tells you, “Hey, this is an incredible house. It should sell really fast!”
If you’re under contract on another home or if you need to relocate there is also the need for speed.
There is no reason, at least not in the current market, that a home in good condition and in a desirable area shouldn’t sell. Homebuyers are clamoring 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 home sits on the market is because it’s overpriced. 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.
Regardless of the reason why, you’ll need to drop your price, as soon as possible, to renew interest in it and 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 it’s less than what you’re currently asking, I urge you to drop the price. The price reduction may just be the key to getting more buyers through the front door and, thus, to the home selling.
2. Your home needs work
We’ve noticed that the homes that sell the fastest are priced right and they’re 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 has the impression that he or she can move right in and not have to work to make the home livable.
Because we tend to be “married” to our homes and don’t notice their flaws, the ideal way to get feedback on its condition is for your agent to solicit it from the buyers’ agents who’ve brought their clients to the home.
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.