Home not selling? Do you know why? I bet you have an idea, but you may not be able pinpoint the exact reason. Here are five reasons why your home hasn’t sold and what you can do about it.
1. You’re Overpriced
There’s a buyer for every home! Have you heard this saying? Sure, there may be a buyer for your home, but not at that price. If you’ve been on the market for a long time, chances are you’re overpriced. An overpriced home is the most common reason a home doesn’t sell. When you list your home you’re going to get the most activity within the first 30 days.
If you overprice it right off the bat, you likely overpriced buyers that would have qualified for financing at a more reasonable price. And they aren’t coming back. Sure, you may be able to get a buyer at the inflated price but remember, your home still has to appraise. If your home doesn’t appraise at an inflated price, you will have to reduce the price anyway, or the buyer will likely walk. If your home is overpriced, you're helping your competition sell their homes.
Think about a buyer that looks at your home, then goes to your neighbors home that’s similar, yet priced less. What would you do in those buyer’s shoes? You would put an offer on the home that’s cheaper. An overpriced home is going to be extremely hard to sell when there’s too much competition. If you can’t reduce your price you can try these other tactics.
2. Your Home Isn’t Showing Well
In a buyer’s market, you have a lot of competition. If your home isn’t showing well, you're giving buyers one more reason not to buy it. Buyers today are nit-picky animals, and they don’t have to settle for a mediocre home anymore. Let’s face it. A home with a few cosmetic updates can really get buyers excited. If you add some paint, clean the carpets, and bring in some fresh fixtures, your home will show better. If you’ve been getting bad feedback from your showings, do something about it or your home isn’t going to sell. Also, household odors can turn buyers off faster than a light switch.
Seriously, if your home smells like mold, animal urine, or cigarette smoke, buyers will turn around right after walking through the front door. The first thing buyers do when they walk through the door is take a deep breath. If they are turned off by a foul stench, your house loses.
3. You’re in a Bad Location
The most important factor for a home selling, besides price, is location. Location is one thing you can’t change, unfortunately. If your home was in a better location, it may sell for up to $100,000 more then what you can get out of it in a bad location.
What’s considered a bad location? It depends on the buyers. Some buyers have young children they want to attend certain schools. If your school district is undesirable, it may be considered a bad location. Maybe you live close to a loud highway or the neighborhood is declining in value due to foreclosures. It could also be a smelly neighborhood with farms or industrial buildings nearby.
How do you deal with a bad location? One of the best remedies for a bad location is a reduced price. If you can’t reduce your price, you may need to offer something different from your competition such as seller financing, or add in some furniture to the asking price.
4. You Have a Terrible Listing Agent
Did your agent promise you the moon only to give you a piece of moldy cheese? Some agents will tell you your home is worth more then it truly is using a technique called “buying a listing,” which is an unethical practice. They will tell you they can sell your home for more than other agents just to get you to list with them. They know very well that they can’t sell your home for that price. The strategy here is to get more signs in order to get more sign calls from buyers. And agents that buy listings will hound you to reduce your price after it doesn’t sell.
All real estate agents are not created equally. It’s way too easy to get a real estate license, and some agents just aren’t good enough to make it in this business. You might have a bad agent if all they did was put a sign in your yard and put the home on the MLS. You may have a bad agent if you never get any feedback from your showings. Bad agents don’t return phone calls or emails in a timely manner. Bad agents may be arrogant or abrasive which leads to other agents not wanting to work with them.
If you realize the problem might be the agent, you may just have to wait out your contract. Ask the agent their policy, as most agents will release you from the contract at any time. A good agent wouldn’t work with someone that isn’t satisfied with their services. They would fix the problem or let you move on.
5. You Have Insufficient Marketing
This goes back to having a bad agent. No longer can we just put a sign in your yard and call it good. The listing process has changed drastically over the last couple of years. There are thousands upon thousands of real estate websites out there, and over 90% of home buyers start their search online.
If your listing agent doesn’t have a robust online marketing strategy, your marketing could be lacking. Have you heard the saying, “print media is dead”? Well, in real estate, this is just not true. Many people still look at the newspaper for open houses and your local real estate book still gets decent circulation. Yes, most buyers are online, but you have to be everywhere. The buyer that hasn’t yet moved over to the online world can still buy your home.
Today’s top-performing agents have a multi-level marketing strategy. They will utilize all the tools available: sign in your yard, color flyers on the sign, websites on the sign riders, multiple phone numbers, MLS listing, directional signs on corners of busy streets, newspaper ads, multiple open houses, and it goes on and on.
When hiring an agent, it’s important for you to ask questions about their marketing strategy, and check up on them. If they say they're going to do something, you need to check to make sure it’s getting done.
If your home isn’t selling, I truly am sorry to hear it, and there are many many people out there with the same problem. Today’s market is a whole new animal. It takes an aggressive strategy and time to get any home sold. Give buyers a good reason to buy your home. They know the market is saturated with inventory, and they're looking for the best deal. Selling your home today means making it the best deal in your price range.