No one wants their home to languish on the market or become an expired listing so it is important that sellers avoid certain pitfalls to give their property its best opportunity to sell. If your home is already on the local market, and activity is sparse, here are 6 reasons why your home is not selling.
The Price is Too High
Nothing scares buyers away quicker than a seller who has overpriced their home. While everyone looks for a deal, most buyers understand they will have to pay fair market value for homes. As a seller, what you have to remember is, your love nest is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it!
If your home has not received any offers, and showings have tapered off after the initial blitz, chances are your home is priced too high for the market. If your agent let you set the price (how is that working out for you?) or they did not do their homework and overpriced it themselves, you need to have a serious discussion about re-pricing your home. Make sure that discussion includes statistics by your agent showing recent comparable sales (and expired listings) in your area to give you an idea how the market is performing.
There are times when life takes over and you just do not have the time or resources to take care of home maintenance. It happens to many homeowners. The thing you cannot let happen is to try and defer the maintenance completely, expecting buyers to take on those tasks. In a competitive market, your home will quickly get the once-over and consumers will move on to homes that do not require any work be performed.
If time is short, hire someone to take on the handy-man duties to keep your home looking its best. If funds are not available, perhaps a home equity loan, favor swap, or family/friend assistance is an option that will work. You want your home to give a great first impression, help it do that by ensuring all maintenance items are resolved before listing the home.
Having a pre-listing inspection can help identify areas of concern and will give you time to assess where you need to concentrate your efforts. You can bet buyers will be coming through looking with a critical eye looking for issues...make sure they do not find anything wrong worth thinking twice about.
Clutter Rules the Roost
One of the most important things buyers can do when they walk through your door is visualize themselves and their belongings in the home. If they do that your home is typically on its way to making their short list. One of the best ways to ensure that does not happen is to make sure your home is too cluttered. While some buyers can look past your belongings or messiness, the reality is that many cannot. The bottom line is that a clutter-free home typically shows better!
If you have too much "stuff", give away, sell, or store as much as you possibly can. An uncluttered room/home looks bigger, shows better, and gives buyers a more clear idea of how their possessions will look and fit in the home. A few simple things you can do include ensuring counter-tops are clear of items, your closets are neat and tidy, oversized and/or excessive furniture is kept to a minimum, and the yard and garage space are free of debris and junk.
You Insist on Being Present During Showings
Trust me, no buyer wants you hovering while they are looking at your home. You trying to show them all the features, upgrades, or cool stuff will almost always get them to speed up their viewing and get out of the home as quickly as possible. Buyers like to look at their own pace without hearing a sales pitch and they never want to feel pressured.
Also, you may say too much. The buyers agent is a professional and will pick up on small details that may give their buyer an edge when negotiating the sale of your home. Mentioning money issues, moving away, family changes, repairs you made, etc. can all have an adverse affect on how much you are able to sell your home for. Your best option is always to make sure you are not at home during showings. You can always ask for feedback later.
Outdated is Never In
Nothing cries "this home will cost me money" to buyers quicker than walking into a home that is a blast from the past. If your home has floor-to-ceiling wallpaper, shag or brightly colored carpet, paneling, old appliances, etc. it will be very difficult for buyers to look past those things and picture themselves in the home. Unless they are looking for a project, most buyers want a move-in ready home, not one that requires a lot of upgrades (expensive or not).
Occasionally, taking care of minor things like painting rooms, replacing lights/switches/handles, and refreshing cabinets will give your home a fresh appearance that looks inviting to new buyers. Other times, you may need to consider doing major upgrades like new flooring, counter-tops, or appliances to pique the interest of consumers. One of the easiest ways to see what is trendy is to visit a few open houses in your area in the price range you are expecting to list at. That will quickly tell you if your home needs to be spruced up or should undergo an overhaul.
You Chose the Wrong Agent
It is easy to get swayed by a likable agent who says the right things and quickly agrees to list for whatever price you want. A better option is to take your time and research each agent thoroughly (including asking family/friends their opinion). With over 92% of buyers (according to the National Association of Realtors) starting their home search online, the agent you choose should have a varied and robust online marketing plan to include blogging, video, and social media. If you cannot find what they offer online you can bet buyers will not be able to find your home when they start searching online for properties to visit.
The agent you choose should be able to backup the price they want to list your home for with comparable recent sales. This will show you the price range your home is most likely to sell in. If they are unprepared, cannot adequately answer questions, and do not have a solid price in mind, you may not get quality service during the listing period.
You want your agent doing everything in their power to get your home seen and sold. The days of "effective marketing" by putting a sign in the yard, posting in the local real estate book, and having an open house every weekend are long gone. Those methods are archaic and are not effective marketing solutions on their own to help your home get found by new buyers.
If you identified with any of the 6 reasons your home is not selling listed above, do not despair as there is still time to correct the issue and get your home under contract and on its way to a closing.
This article was written by Anita Clark who serves both buyers and sellers in the Warner Robins GA real estate market. Follow Anita on Google Plus.