30+ Days on the Market and Still Counting?
So your boxes are all packed and you made an offer for a new home, but there is one thing holding you back—your current house has not sold! When you first signed your listing agreement you had high hopes that your home would have a qualified offer within the week. One week turned into two, and two to three, and now your home has been on the market 30+ days and counting!
You may be asking the question, “Why haven’t I sold my home yet?” Unfortunately, this is a common questions sellers ask. Fortunately, for you there is a small list of reasons and some minor adjustments that can be made to come to a solution that leads to your home being sold at a fair price in no time! According to numerous real estate experts, there are six key reasons your for sale sign may becoming a permanent fixture in your front lawn.
- You priced yourself out of the market. Look, I understand that you love your home; in your eyes it is perfect! You see the sentimental value tied to your home and how convenient it is to the park, schools, mall, etc. Unfortunately, all of those great qualities are relative and do not determine the price of your home. In fact, not the agent, your neighbor, Zillow, nor your ideal payout can determine the sale price of a home—the market does! When a buyer is looking for a home and working with an agent, the price and number of bedrooms are two of the most important search factors. By pricing your home too high—even by $500—qualified buyers will never see your home. Through a customized comparative market analysis (CMA), you will discover what buyers are willing to pay and what the market prices your home for. According to Michele Lerner, an author and news writer on various real estate topics, when developing a CMA, “A knowledgeable Real Estate Agent can factor in similar recently sold homes, comparable homes currently on the market and expired listings all in the context of your local market conditions, including whether home prices are rising or falling and whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market.” Get a free customized CMA today!
- You prepped poorly and your photos are ugly. A picture is worth 1,000 words and the quality of your photos that are published online can make or break you selling your home. I can’t count how many homes have met my buyer’s needs in terms of size, location, and price, but my buyers refused a showing based on the pictures. The market is full of homes, many in your neighborhood, with comparative pricing. The quality of your pictures and staging is what determines if an agent will have the opportunity to show your home or not. IMOTO, a leading professional real estate photography company, conducted an internal research study comparing 350 homes in the same zip code for sale. Their research showed that sellers that utilized IMOTO’s professional photography sold 50% faster and 39% closer to the original listing price than similar homes without professional photos. However, even the best camera and photographer cannot hide the fact that you did not prep your home before listing. Be sure to check out our sellers advice checklist of simple things you can do to make your first impression pictures really POP!
- The house screams your name! So the buyer agrees to see your home, but then they walk in the door and they are greeted by red roosters everywhere! Red rooster clocks, wall paper, dish towels, and decorative plates on the wall. If there is one turn off for a buyer it is the over-personalization of a home. You want potential buyers to see themselves in the home, not themselves in your bed and breakfast. If you want to sale your home, it will be in your best interest to de-personalize your home by choosing neutral colors for wall paint, and going ahead and boxing up all your collectibles.
- Your agent has a poor reputation. If a buyer’s agent has a handful of similar homes to show their clients, but needs to narrow the list, where might they start? If your agent has a bad reputation of not returning phone calls or emails, sitting on offers, being completely non-flexible, or does not stand by the realtor code of ethics, the buyer’s agent may just save their buyers the hassle and frustration and avoid your home altogether. Ask yourself: If you, being a most-prized client, have a hard time communicating with your agent, how much harder might it be for buyers and their agent? Even large teams can fall susceptible to this, in many ways even more so. It is important that you interview your agent very carefully and determine his or her communication methods and ethics.
- The commission is too low. Some homeowners think that a real estate agent simply takes photos, uploads them online, sticks a sign in the yard, and then waits for a sell. The truth is, a seller’s agent works hard, and often a buyer’s agent works even harder. In most cases, it will be the buyer’s agent who selects your home from the long list of other properties to show a buyer. My buyers have the opportunity to search the MLS and set their own search parameters on Keys to The City Group and I will show them any home on the market that catches their eye. However, I cannot speak for all agents and at the end of the day money talks. If the commission you are offering is too low, the buyer’s agent may not bother to show it to the person they represent. Research what the average commission fee is for buyer agents in your area, set yourself above your competition, and consider increasing the commission fee or offering a bonus to entice more buyer agents. A fraction of a percent can mean the difference of having thousands of agents actively working to sell your home.
- Your home needs a lot of work. You may have had several offers only to find that all of them low balled or canceled during the option period. Nine times out of 10 it is because your home turned out to need more work than expected. If your home has poor upkeep, cracked paint, damaged siding, cracks in the foundation, etc., it could keep you from selling it as fast as you normally could. Save yourself a headache and disappointment and hire a pre-listing inspection. You can be proactive by addressing these concerns before a buyer brings it to your attention and drops out of the deal. For a free inspection report click here. Remember what it was like when you bought the home and ask yourself, “Would I buy this home all over again given all the repairs that are needed?” If the answer is a strong NO, make the necessary repairs. If the cost is out of your budget, consider working with a home investor that will offer top dollar for your home.