If your home has been on the market for three to six months without a sale, you’re sure to wonder what’s gone wrong. Especially in a seller’s market, homes that are priced right and show well sell quickly, often within the first 30 days. Examine the full picture rather than jumping to a quick conclusion.
Is Your Home Priced Too High for the Market?
An overpriced home is tough to sell—even if it’s pristine. Buyers compare similar homes that list in their price range. If your price is beyond the norm for location and features, buyers may not even make an appointment to see it. Or they’ll recognize that your home is just as nice as ones they viewed with listing prices of twenty percent less. If your Realtor initially warned your price was too high, you now have evidence that he was right. If your price reflects a certain amount of money needed to sell, then it may be time to reconsider moving, or reevaluate how you can sell in line with today’s market.
Is the House Properly Prepared for Showings?
Most buyers are searching for move-in ready homes. First-impressions must “wow” buyers. The basics of staging a home include modern furnishings, fresh paint, completed repairs, clean carpets, and total home decluttering. Buyers want to see space and function, not all the stuff you’ve acquired over the years. Also, any signs of neglect will bring down the perceived value of a home. This includes needed repairs as well as updates. If a home lacks modern kitchen and bathroom updates, buyers will expect a lower price to reflect the need for improvements.
Is Your Home in a Higher-End Market?
Higher-end homes often take longer to sell simply because there are fewer buyers who can afford them. That’s not to say a high-end home can’t sell quickly, but it’s not unusual to take up to six months or even longer, depending on the season. If you’re such a home seller, ensure your price remains competitive with other similar homes on the market and pay attention to buyer feedback.
Is Your Home Properly Marketed?
Marketing a home well depends on quality photos that present your home in the best possible light, describing its desirable features, proper signage, and listing on MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Compare online photos of your home to others. Do they look professional? Are the rooms presented at angles that give the full picture or are they cut off? Is the lighting too dark? Expert Realtors know that great photos draw in buyers’ attention, so make sure that your agent did your home justice with photography. Your agent should use appropriate marketing language regarding energy-saving appliances, modern updates to specific rooms, charming architectural features, bonus spaces, outdoor living benefits, and anything else that is desirable or unique to your home.
If your agent warned the price was too high, the updates were insufficient to live up to your price, or that you didn’t properly prepare for showings, then it might be time to accept you should do more on your end to help sell the house. In such a case, it’s reasonable to stick with the agent who tried to put you on the right track to sell.
Leaving a home on the market for too long usually hurts its price potential. Buyers naturally assume the home doesn’t appeal to the masses and they’ll expect some kind of “discount” for presenting an offer. For this reason, it’s critical to course correct as soon as possible either with further investment in key updates or with a price that reflects the condition, size, or style of the home.
Real Estate Term of the Week
Expired Listing: When a seller contracts with an agent and broker to sell her home, the listing agreement contains a set expiration date. A listing expires when this expiration date has passed without the property being sold, and without the seller renewing the listing contract with the real estate agent and broker.