Top 6 Reasons And Considerations Why Your Home Isn't Selling, And Ways You Can Improve
Published 2/1/08 (Modified 3/8/11)
There's no denying that we are in a major real estate funk right now. Housing prices have plummeted and the real estate housing successes enjoyed by many in years past are long gone, despite the blinded and self-motivated views of some. But yet, home sellers are still putting their homes up for sale and there are still buyers roaming the streets looking to snap up their future homes. If you are a seller, here are some reasons why your home may not be selling well, and some things you should look at to ensure you are truly maximizing your home's value and chances. Some factors like broad housing conditions are beyond your control, but others you can personally change to improve your selling advantage.
1) Your Home Asking Price May Be Set Too High
As much as you'd like to think that you or your real agent determine the market value of your home, at the end of the day, it's the market and the buyer that set the price. They determine how much your home is worth and how much they are willing to pay for it. Overpricing your home is the number one reason why homes don't sell. Much of the interest in a home is generated within the first 30 days it is placed for sale. By overinflating your asking price, you price out many prospective buyers, particularly if they feel you have no intention of budging or negotiating lower.
Remember to price your house similarly enough with the other comparables in your market as you are competing with these other houses. You want to generate buzz - so pricing it slightly below market may help generate sufficient interest to encourage higher bids later on. Houses that sit too long on the market tend to turn off potential buyers and make them wonder if there are other hidden reasons why the house isn't selling.
2) The Real Estate Market Is Very Slow And Conditions For Selling Are Bad
When the housing market is slow, there is usually an overabundance of housing supply with too many sellers and not enough serious prospective buyers. The real estate market tends to operate in local pockets, but frequently the national housing sentiment can put a drag on valuation and drag down prices. In such a slow bear housing market, the only way to sell your home fast is to price it at a slight discount and sell it at a lower asking price. Buyers during a slow market want bargains or seller concessions such as waived fees, upgrades, or freebies like plasma TV's. However, if you are simply unwilling to drop prices, one ultimate solution is to wait it out, although that can last months or even years.
3) Your Home Is Located In a Poor Location
When it comes to selling your home, price and location go hand in hand. Homes located in low crime safe neighborhoods, with easy access to public transportation and highways, proximity to job abundant city hubs, and located near good schools will always be easier to sell. Particularly in a slow housing market, homes located in comparatively less convenient and attractive neighborhoods will find stiffer competition from better located houses. Your recourse is to try lowering the home price further to match the market perception, or to spend more money on additional home improvements to make it more attractive.
4) Your Home Isn't Maximizing Its First Impression Through Curb Appeal and Home Staging
First impressions are important as buyers need to be wowed and be able to imagine themselves living in the house they are looking at. Try putting yourself in the perspective of a potential buyer and dress up your home accordingly. Repainting your home is the easiest, most cost efficient way to get the most bang for your buck. A new fresh coat of paint does wonders to improve the interior of any home. Putting out new carpet, cutting the grass, and trimming the hedges are also very impactful ways to maximize curb appeal.
Your objective should be to make your house look like a model home - filled with pleasant furniture but not actually lived in. It's best if you aren't living in your home while it is being shown to the public if you can help it. But if you must, be sure to hide and clean up all trash containers, random boxers, and junk clutter. Keep your beds made and all dishes washed. Keep your lights on and stock your home with fresh cut flowers to enhance its appeal and impression.
5) Your Home Is Not Easily Accessible Or Convenient Enough For Agents And Buyers
To maximize the speed and price of your home sale, you want as many agents in the area to show the home off to their clients as possible. Thus you want to make it easy and convenient for them to do that. Make sure your home entrance is equipped with a real estate lock box that holds your house key for agents and prospective buyers to use. Try not to make agents have to call you for permission to enter as that only creates delays and hassles, and makes them turn elsewhere.
The best thing you can do is not to be around when your home is being shown. If you are home, let the prospective buyers and agents in but take yourself out of the picture by staying out of their way - I suggest staying in one room. Let them roam freely on their own but make it known you are available later on for questions. Your hovering presence in your own home only crowds it, making the home seem smaller to buyers. Being around will only make your prospective buyers feel like they are intruders - instead you want them to freely envision themselves one day living in the home. Besides, if you are tagging along with the buyer and the agent, they will feel uncomfortable and unable to talk freely among themselves. Even if they don't exactly know their way around your house, let them wander on their own.
6) Your Real Estate Agent Isn't Doing A Good Job Of Marketing Your Home For Sale
These days, selling a home goes beyond simply having your agent place your home in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If your agent isn't actively going out there promoting and marketing your home through networking with other agents, or posting advertisements in newspapers and on the web, then she or he isn't doing a good particularly good job for you. Today the internet is a great source of marketing as many computer tech savvy agents use housing newsletters to promote their properties.
A real estate agent is essentially a sales job that requires an appearance that conveys a pleasant, honest, and responsible demeanor. Make sure your selected agent has these positive qualities and is attentive to your needs and isn't abrasive or constantly feeding you with erroneous advice when it comes to pricing your home. If all your real estate agent does is stick a For Sale sign on your front lawn, while that might have worked years ago when the housing market was burning hot, that's a clear indicator today that you might want to find a more pro-active real estate agent.