House been on on the market a long time? Maybe just a few weeks without any bites? Perhaps you’re just setting yourself up for success when you do list? Whatever the reason is that you’re selling, you certainly don’t want to be on the market any longer than you have to.
In doing research yesterday I came across several houses that have been on the market for more than a year. That’s very unusual in this hot market. Even most markets around the US are seeing a four-month absorption rate, meaning that if no new listings hit the market today, it would only take less than four months to completely eliminate every listing on the market. So, what is up with these houses that have been on the market 300 – 400 days or more?
In my experience it really only comes down to three things:
Let’s break these down.
Did you notice that I did not include the condition in this list? Because at the right price, it doesn’t matter the condition of the property. It can be a total dump, hoarder-central, or major fixer-upper, but if the price is right, somebody will buy it. Investors are always looking to flip property so if the home is priced correctly, it doesn’t matter the condition. If you’ve got a home that needs major cosmetic or even structural repair, you cannot price it like a similar, move-in ready home in the same neighborhood. It just will not sell. To get more money for your home, you have to be comparable to similar properties around you.
The best way to price the home is to find similar properties and then price just slightly lower than your closest competition.
This is the one thing the property owners and sellers cannot change. Maybe you live right next to the city dump, in the flight path of one of the busiest airports in the state, or right underneath major power lines. These are things that you cannot change so you have to price accordingly and be very flexible.
If your home is right next to the freeway, consider a privacy wall or better windows to seal off the noise. Find out what the detriment for your neighborhood is and try to compensate by pointing out better features.
Sometimes it literally comes down to the seller. Are you a flexible seller? I have found that sellers that only show properties during a certain time of the day or the week, are inflexible with buyers, need to have their own listing agent present during a showing or other restrictive showing requirements simply have fewer showings and therefore less or no offers.
How flexible are you with buyers? I compare this to people having garage sales; you can tell the people that are really trying to make money versus the people that just want to get the stuff sold. Are you selling an old couch for $300 or $50 to get it out of your life?
I’m not saying that you have to give away your home, but if you’re making it so difficult for buyers to see the property, make an offer, or you simply are insulted by a lowball offer rather than trying to negotiate, you’re just going to push everyone away. It is very possible to get what you want with a flexible, appreciative attitude. Having a real estate agent that understands the negotiating process will help you get the terms you want but also get the home sold fast.
I find that homes sit on the market because the owners refused to listen to their agent. My goals are your goals. I want the home sold for just as much money and as quickly as you do, but if you refuse to listen to my expertise and seasoned advice, you may find yourself frustrated, blaming me, rather than the real issues.
So whether you are preparing to list and you do want to make any mistakes, or you’re tired of sitting on the market too long and just won’t listen to the voice of reason, these are probably the three main reasons your house isn’t selling.
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