In the varied lifecycles of individuals, selling a home doesn’t come about as an everyday occurrence – and any homeowner who eventually does decide to sell his (or her) residence normally wishes to be done with the matter in the shortest time possible.
No one wants to keep arranging house-showings that seem to go nowhere, and homeowners’ worst nightmare is when their properties don’t sell fast enough to suit their immediate interests; ultimately being relegated to the ‘expired listings’ category.
On a contrasting note, houses or residential buildings that stay on the market for too long lose their habitable attraction (a negative signal which may indicate to potential buyers that there is something wrong with the construction).
Now with all the modern-day technological conveniences that are nowadays available to the global public demographic (thank you, Internet!), real estate buyers in the U.S have largely become very aware of what their local property market has to offer to them. So when they visit a particular real estate site for investment or homeownership purposes, their decision is usually half-formed already.
But if a particular, well-advertised, home does not attract any buyer interest within the first two months of its popular unveiling, then this might be a cue for the owner to make some adjustments.
If you’re faced with such a predicament, worry not!
This blog post is your guide to some of the most common issues that can determine why your home may not be selling – and it provides a lot of useful takeaways on how to resolve them.
1. Your asking price is way too high
Yes, we know – but this point is difficult to overstate because all expert realtors agree that if a listing in adequate condition continues to resist sale after the elapse of a long period, then this is probably due to the unreasonably high price that is being demanded for it. Eight times out of 10.
Overpricing a house, in fact, is such a common a mistake that a recent survey reported that over 51% of real estate agents consider it the primary reason behind a lackluster property sale prospect.
Don’t go three weeks without reducing the price a bit. Yes, it will be hard for you to realize that your property isn’t worth what you thought it was. However, you should know that most sellers are forced to reduce their asking price at least once prior to a deal’s attainment of the purchasing party’s approval. A small but significant price cut at just the right time might stand a better chance of getting the job done.
2. Your listing is too unique (iconoclastic much!)
Not all houses are alike, but if your house defies the mould too much, it might take you a while longer to fetch the right buyer – and that’s perfectly normal. Your house, for one, might be designed after a rare architectural trend that may be too outlandish for some tastes.
For instance, there might be variations in the room divisions and ceiling heights that don’t suit every family. You might even have added or removed certain sections to accommodate your needs.
Although these peculiarities introduce character to a place; more often than not, they also tend to limit the number of interested parties who choose to consider it.
First of all, you will need to accept that your home isn’t the kind of place that most people will want to reside in. Once you’ve admitted this fact, you will (have faith) find the patience to come up with a new strategy to publicize your home or to apply to a new market.
Moreover, you will need to find the RIGHT people who will appreciate the unusual features of your house. For this end, you might think about getting your property featured in real estate publications, consider solutions like Airbnb, or post an advertisement on popular online property portals like Trulia in the US, Viva Real in Brazil, Immobiliare in Italy, or Prop in Pakistan to widen your potential buyers net – depending on your earthly location.
3. You haven’t considered ‘staging’ your place
No – this concept is not only relevant to the theatre.
One of the other usual reasons why your house may not be selling might be because all the interested parties aren’t able to imagine themselves actually living in the place.
So as a remedy to this problem, all seasoned real estate agents will tell you that staged homes sell faster and offer a higher profit margin. Most people are so deeply accustomed to the flawed conception of their homes being ‘pristine and universally accepted’ spaces that everyone would like they don’t even notice the extent of the repair work required – an issue that leaps to the fore when any stranger comes to visit.
So staging matters. Period.
If your house is too cluttered, or you have overlooked some very obvious – and very ‘loud’ – flaws like worn floors, bad plumbing, or chipped paint, then you can be pretty sure that it won’t appeal to any newcomers.
It’s been established that you need to stage your house if you want to put it on the market.
Now there are certain professionals who can do this for you at a reasonable fee. Or you can do the work yourself; with some help from friends, of course.
Ask people you trust to come over and ask them of their first, unbiased, impression of your home. Everyone will have a different perspective to share, so look for the issues that the majority tends to pinpoint, and see to their resolution.
Once the repairs are made, a few beautifying touches will do your listing a great deal of good. Allow the sunlight in the house, add a few plants to give life to the place, de-clutter and remover personal touches (so the visitors can imagine themselves in the place). You can also ask for the feedback from the visitors who came to place but didn’t want it and use their opinions to better stage your listing.
4. Your home’s curb appeal needs some work
‘Curb appeal’ is the real estate term used to describe the appearance of your property – its aesthetic appeal (measured, sometimes, in monetary terms).
You might not always be able to help how your house looks from the outside, but you should know that this factor has a definite impact on your sales success.
If your house has a haunted-movie-place like look, you cannot really blame the buyer for being put off. If a shabby front yard greets them, they will not be inclined to consider the place; not unless they’re desperate.
In all such cases, there might be some small touches that you can give to the place to make it more appealing. A few touch-ups to the front lawn or landscape will definitely increase your property’s return-on-investment (ROI) potential.
You need to pull off a decent curb appeal but within a reasonable budget. Plant a few flowers, manicure the front and backyard, water your greens, and fix any broken fences or sheds that may be too conspicuous. And if you’re up to the challenge, paint the front to transform the look of the house. You might even contract the services of a professional landscaper to do your work for you – should you feel inclined to dispense with the cash.
5. Your listing photos are of poor quality
Another common reason why your home may not be receiving frequent visits may have to do with your online listing photos being of poor quality.
As an observed statistic, almost half of the interested parties only consider looking up a place on-site if the property’s digital advertisement is catchy – and comes (ideally) with high-resolution images. Your poorly-lit mobile photos might not be helping your house-sale at all, so it’s best to put some work into the process.
Sometimes – and you should follow up on this suggestion only sparingly – it’s even wise to resort to some Photoshop touches.
If you have arranged for a realtor, chances are that s/he might have already thought of getting a professional photographer to snap the required images. If this isn’t the case, you should try doing this yourself – but do make use of a professional-grade (preferably DSLR) camera.
One word of caution, though: don’t overdo the pictures.
Because doing so might off-put buyers when they come to visit and get to see less than what they’ve been led to expect. This concern is a slippery slope, because you want your pictures to be good enough to push your property in a way which highlights its best features, but humble enough to not communicate something that it doesn’t offer.
As a parting piece of advice, you should, most importantly, never lose patience when you’re engaged in a selling your home. Know that every property has a potential buyer out there; you just need to make a few adjustments to get him/her up to consider it. And if your sales attempt doesn’t work out the first time around, you can always re-list your home, get a new agent, or even try out a different marketing strategy – it’s all good!