Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why Hasn't My Home Sold?

Delicious house, but no one's biting? 
Are you getting antsy to move? Has your home been on the market and not getting the showings or offers you expected?

If so, here are some questions you can ask yourself to test possible reasons. 

Money, Honey  

"Is my price fair?" 

Unrealistic expectations or an over-zealous listing agent can cause poor pricing. Work with your realtor to list your home’s assets and liabilities, then do the comps to see if your price is on target. An inflated price is usually the cause of a home that sits too long.    

Your Point Person

"Do I have the wrong listing agent?" 

Re-examine your Realtor. If FSBO, consider calling a real estate company and discussing the commission and other conditions.

Look closely at the way your home is being marketed. The online listing should be tempting and accurate. The MLS photos should be clear and complete without being repetitive. Today’s homes need to be marketed in a variety of ways – the front yard sign, yes, but also flyers, Internet sites, open house showings, email blitzes, communications with other real estate agents.

Choosing a Realtor is an important decision. Choose one with whom you have good rapport. Your listing agent has to be well-connected with other agents, not a loner or someone unpopular in the industry. If you have qualms about your agent, talk to the firm’s broker or owner. 

Problem Attitude

"Am I being cooperative enough? "


Make sure your home is easy to show. There should be a lock box on your property to make showing easy for all area agents. If your realtor has to give unrealistic advance notice to show your property, because you have pets or medical problems, or the house isn’t always tidy enough, then find a way around the problem.

A lock box won't ruin your curb appeal when your entrance is this pretty.   

Have a frank talk with your realtor and ask for feedback. You could also solicit advice from a friend with good decorating sense or a home stager. Double check your motivation and reasons for selling. Are you a foot-dragging, reluctant seller? 

Quirkiness

"Is there something off-putting about my home?" 

Does it have too much personality, or problems that are a turn-off? Does it smell of untended litter boxes? I’ve seen homes with paint colors only an aging hippie could love and a back yard that only a pack of dogs could love. 

When people see a group of homes, yours may be remembered as the one with poor lighting or the pool with stagnant green water or low ceilings or 1970’s shag carpeting. Find solutions to these problems or expect low ball offers or no offers. People want homes ready to move into. 

If you decide to make major changes to your property, remove it from the market, do the repairs, cleaning and staging, and then relist. New listings get attention.  

No Temptations

"Have I done what I can to make the house desirable?"

Buyers should feel like they are entering a boutique hotel suite when they enter your home. If you haven’t been able to deep clean the house, consider hiring a cleaning service. A house can’t be too clean! Make sure all small and distracting décor items have been replaced with open space or attractive accessories.


Clean, functional and luxurious -- that's what buyers want in a bath. Photo: BHG

If necessary, update some of the fixtures like lights, faucets, shower heads, window treatments. Study my Pinterest boards to see what décor trends make sense for home staging.
                                                                                      
The Economy

"Is my market too sluggish?" 

Major metropolitan areas are bouncing back from the recession. Other areas, not so much. If your area has way too many homes for sale and not enough buyers, your response might be patience. wait for a better season ahead. You can always rent your home until the market improves. 

If you just want to move on, lower your price to counteract the cold market. Calculate the costs of staying put -- your taxes, mortgage interest, maintenance, and utilities, then factor them into your price considerations. 

Buyers often won’t mention price as an obstacle to making an offer because they don’t want to appear cheap, rude or unappreciative. Instead they will say, “The bedrooms are too small,” or “I didn’t like the neighborhood,” something that can’t be changed. A low price compensates for all kinds of things, including obstacles like dated appliances, ugly flooring, poor curb appeal, or a bad view. 

Meanwhile, make your home irresistible. You can encourage buyers to make an offer by helping with closing costs, owner financing part of the price, or letting things like window treatments, big televisions, outdoor furniture, and laundry appliances convey with the sale.

Motivated buyers will find a way to justify your asking price. Photo: reddoor-re.com

Looking Ahead

It’s an introspective time of year, a time when most of us review the hits and misses of the past 365 days and sets some goals for the year ahead. So, it’s a natural time to examine why your house hasn’t sold. Here’s to a prosperous year ahead, when your home will sell and you’ll find another home that your love. 

Be sure to download my $4.99 eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and for Top Dollar. I've helped hundreds of people stage their own homes to make them sell faster. My book tells you how to ready your home for a quick and profitable sale, no matter where you live or what kind of home you have.  

Top Photo: http://www.theredheadbaker.com

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