There are many reasons why a home doesn’t sell or sits on the market longer than average, compared to other homes in the neighborhood. Some of these factors are preventable, so as a seller you definitely want to understand the landscape.
Here are the most common reasons home sellers struggle along with tips on how to avoid being “that house”:
1) Price, Price, Price.
I mention it 3 times because it is 3 times as important as every other reason listed below. Price is the single most common reason a home doesn’t sell. Every property is sellable at the right price, but we constantly see listings toiling away with an inflated sales price attracting no attention.
Helpful Tip: Purposely pricing your home higher than you think it will sell for, in order to make room for negotiations, will backfire more often than it will work. We live in an age of automated searches. Which means if you price your home at $310,000 with the hopes to get $300,000, the buyers who capped their search at $300,000 on ListingSpark.com, Realtor.com, Zillow.com or Trulia.com will never even see your listing.
If you want to garner the most interest possible, leading to the most qualified buyer possible, you need to be everywhere a buyer might be looking online. This is especially important for home sellers banking on Zillow’s free For Sale By Owner listing service. If you’re relying solely on Zillow, you are missing a huge pool of buyers that rely on their Realtor to send them listings directly from the MLS, as well as all those buyers who relied on other real estate websites more than Zillow.
Helpful Tip: Do both! As a seller, maximizing your exposure is never a bad thing. You should be on the MLS and every other site possible. When selling with ListingSpark.com, your property will be listed on the MLS and every other important site, including Zillow, where buyers are looking for a small nominal fee.
Make your home as easy to show as possible. If you turn a buyer away, they may never come back.
Helpful Tip: If you require advance notice for showings, try to keep it to an hour or less. Some buyers find your home on the fly or even pivot their criteria in the middle of an appointment. Trust me, you want them seeing your home rather than turning them away due to a strict 24 hour notice requirement. Remember that inflexibility can cost you a buyer.
4) Property Condition.
Too many sellers have gone “nose blind” to their own home. Before you list your home, walk through it and be very critical and think like a buyer. What about your home would turn you off if you were thinking about buying it?
Helpful Tip: The best analogy I have ever heard is make your home look as much like a hotel as possible. Clean, well put together, inviting, with no unnecessary clutter anywhere.
5) Know your shortcomings and understand how they will affect you.
If your property has challenges (like being on a busy street, a strange floor plan, converted garage or a very dated look), you need to understand how that may affect you.
Helpful Tip: Expect higher than average days on market. I would also anticipate offering a price break in order to entice a buyer to make a move. Hopefully you got a good deal when you bought it, because it will likely have to be a good deal to sell it.
My final parting words of wisdom, look at the hard data found in the comps and stop listening to your friends who don’t know what they are talking about. It is all too common to hear a seller say that they expect to be under contract within the first few days because their friend told them the market is hot. The reality is that average days on market not only differs between neighborhoods but it will differ between different size and style homes in your neighborhood. The real estate market is not “one size fits all”. The data doesn’t exaggerate, but your friends might.
Home Pricing Summary: Rely on experts and market data rather than your friends.
Unless someone has hyper analyzed your home as it compares to the comps, don’t pay much attention to what they have to say because their “off the cuff” advice will end up hurting your more than it helps.
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