Are you unhappy because your home has been on the market week after week without an offer or showing? Here are the most common reasons why homes do not sell and what you can do about it.
Is your home overpriced?
The fact is that buyers, not sellers, ultimately determine the market value of a home. You can ask for the moon and set your listing price well above comparable properties in your neighborhood, but at some point it will be up to you, the seller, to accept what the buyer thinks your home is worth.
Overpricing is the most common reason homes don't sell. When you ask an unrealistic price, it sets in motion a process that often works against you. Here's why:
Most real estate agents, and hence most qualified buyers, will see your new listing within 30 to 45 days. If it is overpriced by as little as 5%, it will be duly noted and interest in your property will wane, especially if you show no intention of coming off your asking price. You likely already priced out buyers who might have qualified for financing at a more reasonable price. Even if you manage to find a buyer at your inflated asking price, the property may not appraise at that figure and the financing will fall apart.
"If you have a house that really should be priced at $200,000 and you've got it listed at $260,000, you are trying to compete against homes that really are worth close to $300,000 and all of a sudden your home really is not competing well, You want to compete with what is available out there among homes similar to yours."
If your home remains on the market for too long, agents and buyers may begin to wonder if there are other, perhaps more serious reasons why it isn't selling.
"It becomes shopworn, the same as a jacket hanging in the store week after week. People are aware that it has been on the market a long time and agents stop showing it."
When your home first goes on the market you will see the most interest and activity. New listings always capture the interest of the real estate agents and current buyers, especially when they are well priced.
So, it is essential to price your home realistically at the start and not count on reducing it later if it does not sell. Don't miss the peak of interest, the first 6 weeks; optimize your window of opportunity.
Does Your Home 'Show Well?
Your home is competing against shiny new houses in those pristine subdivisions out in the suburbs with their attractive prices, incentives and community amenities.
Face it: Even the best old house needs a little makeover if it hopes to attract a qualified buyer.
The good news is most of the work will be cosmetic and relatively inexpensive: a new coat of paint, a few attractive window boxes, a thorough cleaning of floors and carpets. Voila! The place may look good enough to reconsider.
Price and condition are two things that the seller can do something about. Paint is probably a seller's best friend because it makes things smell fresh and look fresh. If it's time to paint, it's time to paint. It's a good return on investment.
Ask me about a "Staging Professional".
Is your home is in a bad location?
Nothing has a greater effect on your home's value than its location. Your humble abode might be worth a king's ransom if it were located in Palm Beach, Aspen or San Francisco. It might even jump thousands in value just two streets over in the next (and far superior) school district.
The point is, location rules in real estate. If your home's location is less than desirable, your options are somewhat limited. The best way to compensate for a poor location is to reduce your asking price or offer attractive incentives such as seller financing or a lease option with rent credit.
Do you have the right Listing Agent?
Yep, they exist: Real estate agents who mislead, misfire and misbehave.
Their bad advice can cost you plenty in time, money and the sheer hassle of keeping the place show-ready 24/7.
The agent from hell will allow you to overprice your home ("Here's what I can get for you if you list with me!"), not market it properly, fail to screen for qualified buyers, be unresponsive to interest from other agents (if they sell their own listing, they don't have to split the commission) and keep you totally in the dark throughout the process.
What's more, if your agent is abrasive, arrogant or otherwise difficult to work with, other agents may not want the hassle of showing any of their listings to prospective buyers.
You are battling competition or market conditions?
We've all heard the terms "buyer's market" and "seller's market." In real estate, market conditions are affected by any number of external forces, some of them predictable (the weather, sort of), some of them unpredictable (the local economy, interest rates, public optimism or pessimism).
In a "hot" or seller's market, homes go fast. Inventory (homes on the market) may be low, meaning less competition for you. Chances are better that you will get your asking price in a hot market; in fact, it is not uncommon to even be offered more than your listing price.
But in a "flat," "cold" or buyer's market, sales slow to a trickle, inventories grow and buyers can find bargains, especially when they know the seller is motivated (i.e., paying on two mortgages).
Specializing in Grosse Pointe, St. Clair Shores
Harrison and Chesterfield Twp, Harper Woods