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Wednesday, 17 July 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Why Isn’t My House Selling? Five Missteps That Could Be Holding You Back

Written by Posted On Monday, 04 February 2019 18:07

You do your due diligence. You get your home show-worthy, scrub it until it’s clean as a whistle and take care of all necessary repairs. You even spruce up the landscaping for added curb appeal and you might even offer to help cover the buyer’s closing costs to sweeten the deal.

 

Still, your home is sitting with a “For Sale” sign in the yard, and it has been for months.

 

What’s going on? Yes, the market ebbs and flows and what’s hot one season is out the next. Yes, there are some times of the year that are historically proven to be more lucrative seasons for buyers. Yet, if your property isn’t moving at the rate you’d like it to and you’re starting to wonder if there’s anything you’re doing wrong, read on.

 

Chances are, you don’t need to overhaul your entire selling strategy. With a few tweaks here and there, you can get more eyes on your home and generate more interest. Here are a few incorrect turns you may have inadvertently taken along the way.

 

1. Your pictures are sub-par.

You’ve heard the adage that a picture is worth a million words. Consider that, in the real estate business, it’s also worth thousands of dollars. Industry research shows that property listings with professional photographs earn more than their counterparts with grainy, pixley footage.

 

Take a look at your images. Could they be improved? If they consist of smartphone captures, the answer is likely “yes.” Consider hiring a professional photographer to truly showcase your property. Then, ensure your listing is responsive, meaning the photographs look just as good on a handheld device as they do blown up on an oversized desktop.

 

If your budget allows, you can even incorporate video or drone technology to help add a more visual element to your home description. Advances in Virtual Reality (VR) technology can even help buyers around the world “tour” your listing from their agent’s office. The more easily you help them envision a life in your space, the more likely they’ll be to come in for an in-person tour, and this all begins with top-quality photography.

 

2. Your price isn’t correct.

Owning a home is an emotional process, and selling one can be even more so. To this end, many buyers tend to seek top dollar when listing theirs, arguing that in many ways, it’s priceless. Yet, keep in mind that what’s valuable to you might not be to someone else and one of the easiest traps to fall into, especially as a first-time buyer, is putting too high of a dollar sign on your property.

 

Work one-on-one with your real estate agent to conduct a thorough market analysis to determine a realistic asking price. A home inspection and formal appraisal can provide data to backup this figure.

 

When in doubt, remember the top rule of real estate: Your home is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. Yes, you may have brought your babies home to this space, filled every inch with your personal touch and made some incredible memories within those walls. Still, at the end of the day, it’s a physical structure that has an actual value, which may not align with its sentimental one.

 

3. You’re not working with the right team.

A real estate agent is your most valuable asset when seeking to sell your house quickly. Still, not all professionals in this field are created equal. Put simply, some are better at negotiation than others and some have a more robust and far-reaching marketing tactic than their competitors.

 

Though you may save money in the short-run, partnering with an inexperienced agent or someone who isn’t in high demand will cost you in the long-term. Instead, look for one who is a dynamic presenter and respected marketing genius. In reality, most of the real estate transactions are performed by a small percentage of licensed agents.

 

Don’t automatically look for the one who is the easiest to connect with and the most eager for your business. Do your research, read reviews and ask your friends and family members for recommendations on who to hire. You can also access online resources, such as this blog, to point you in the direction of teams ready to help you sell your home as quickly as possible.

 

4. Your home is a walking family album.

No, you don’t have to remove every single family photograph from your home. Yet, if you have an oversized wedding portrait hanging over your mantle, it’s time to take that down. Why? The entire concept around showing your home to an interested buyer or holding an open house is to allow those people to envision their life in your space. How can they do that if there’s a picture of you and the memories you’ve already made there around every corner?

 

Seek to remove a majority of personalization from your home and instead create a blank canvas for them to envision making new moments there. This might mean putting up children’s toys and placing the dog food bowl in the cabinet. Monogrammed towels, gallery walls, and wooden signs with your family’s last name should also be put in storage. The good news? These items are usually smaller-scale in nature, so stowing them away is a quick process.

 

5. Your schedule doesn’t flow with showings.

To sell a home, you have to show a home. Yet, being able to keep the house picked up at all times, then allow someone into it at the drop of a hat can be a challenge. Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home mom at home all day with a few rambunctious children who make a mockery of keeping a tidy home. Or, maybe you’re at work from 9-5 and simply cannot answer agent phone calls during that time.

 

Still, if this is the case, it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Try to remain as flexible as possible and ensure that your home is available when an agent needs to show it. You never know when a showing could turn into an offer, so viewing it as an inconvenience ultimately works against even your best efforts. While you may not be able to accommodate every agent request, seek to align your schedule as best as possible to remain open and ready to meet their needs for accessibility.

 

Selling Your Home Efficiently Today

There’s no magic formula to follow to ensure that your home will sell quickly. Factors ranging from your geographic location to your home’s condition to the state of the market itself will determine how long yours waits for the perfect buyer. Still, in the interim, it’s helpful to ensure that you’re acting as proactively as possible to give your property the chance it deserves.

 

If you’re currently making the above-mentioned missteps, take heart. There is still time for correction and reversal. Moving forward, work closely with your agent to ensure that you’re showcasing your home appropriately. Correct those too-small pictures. Reexamine your asking price. Find an agent who will work for you, not against you. Take down that poster-sized picture of your family playing in the backyard. And finally, be available to meet the myriad requests that will come your way. It just might turn into the question you’ve been waiting to hear: “So when can we close?”

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