8 Reasons Your Home Probably Isn’t Selling
U.S. homes are selling at a furious pace. New records are being set for sales prices, and home sales volume. Many properties are being snapped up within hours of going up for sale. Yet, there are a few houses that just seem to refuse to sell. What’s their deal? What is stopping your home from selling? How do you overcome the challenge and get it sold faster?
1. Pricing & Value: The number one reason that homes don’t sell, or at least take too long to sell, is asking price. Just because it is true that homes are selling faster and for more money, in general doesn’t mean that every home has rocketed to new highs. Make sure you accurately compare your property to other recent actual sales. Don’t just look at asking prices. Asking prices mean nothing.
What are similar homes selling for? What price per square foot are they selling for? How do other home listings compare in terms of location, view, age, features, etc.? You can’t just go based on what you bought the property for, what improvements you’ve made, or what someone told you it might be worth when you bought it. There is also a gap emerging between what a home may be worth as an investment versus to live in. You may have bought based on a cap rate or as a turnkey rental, but will a higher resale figure work for someone looking for a personal residence? Make sure your perception of the value is in alignment with what others view is, if you want to sell it fast.
2. Underwater Homes: Despite the media heralding the foreclosure crisis being over and new real estate highs being hit, the truth is that there are still many out there. For those with these homes, it means either listing them for sale above market prices and hoping for the best, or betting on a short sale. There are so many other options today that many buyers are ignoring short sales. Some banks may be less interested in helping too. Prices are heading up, and if they foreclosure the chances are they may get more for the property. Fortunately, there are other creative options for those that are still in this box.
3. Ugly Houses: Is your house ‘ugly’? Ugly houses are becoming less and less attractive to regular home buyers. They can still be viable for real estate investors, but normal homebuyers are trending towards new and freshly remodeled homes. With financing becoming easier to get, many find it more appealing just to finance in an upgraded house rather than attempt DIY. Then there is the real fear and uncertainty of how much it is going to cost to fix up a home. Maybe you have already done some remodeling or upgrades, but is it up to par? Does the house present well. Spending $30,000 on adding a pool, but leaving a roof that looks more like a patchwork quilt than a sturdy shelter may not be the wisest move.
4. Out of Date: With instant sharing online and the need to Facebook, Instagram, and Pin everything, buyers are more conscious of trends than ever. Is the house up to date in terms of functionality, design layout, and design trends? How long will major appliances and structural components last? If it is a long time i.e. you just put in a new AC unit, are you declaring that? Are colors and layout up to date? What about internet connectivity? Instead of a ‘den’ should that room be labeled a ‘home office’ or ‘gamer room’?
5. Lack of Visibility: A home seller might have the price right (now), and a great property, but can anyone see it? Is this really a property that is going to get a lot of drive by traffic and can be sold with just a yard sign? Is a newspaper ad really going to attract enough views? Is your listing just being drowned out on big listing sites due to sheer volume? Is your listing aged on the MLS, and just not being looked at any more? In order to sell a house fast and get the best price, your home has to have visibility, and is has to get in front of the right buyers.
6. Incorrect Listings: One of the biggest issues recently has been faulty listings. The big online real estate listing platforms have become overwhelmed with bad listings. Many are no longer for sale, others contain incorrect data, etc. So maybe your property isn’t being presented right. Check it out online. Also check out any competing properties, and make sure they aren’t being presented in a way that incorrectly makes them more appealing than yours. What if your property still shows up as actively for sale for a lower price or in worse condition on another website?
7. Not Getting the Leads: Failing to sell is more about failing to receive the inquiries coming in. Are people asking about your property for sale ending up in your email spam folder? Are they just not being forwarded online? Is your Realtor really sending you all inquiries and offers? Make sure you tell your agent to present you with all offers, even if they don’t match what you originally hoped for.
8. Perception of the Neighborhood: Some great deals are being missed out on because of incorrect perceptions. The real estate landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years. Some may be struggling to sell homes at 50% of their potential value because they aren’t conveying the benefits of the neighborhood. Maybe a new mall is being built close by. Maybe the next street over has become a trendy hipster haven. Perhaps crime has dropped. Did you just get a new Starbucks on the corner? Let people know.