Q: Our home has been on the market for 4 months and we need it to sell. It is priced below market value. Are those companies that offer to buy your home worth looking into? What if we already have an agent?
Also, I have heard of a way to have the bank purchase your home but I can’t remember what it is called or how to go about looking into it or if it is even a good option. Any suggestions?
A: I have some bad news for you — If your home was really priced at the market value, someone would have already made an offer for it. While the market is slowing in some areas, four months is a long time to go without having anyone express any solid interest.
Has your agent done a recent comparative marketing analysis (CMA) to see what properties that are similar to yours have been selling for in the past few weeks? The answer could surprise you.
If your house is unusual, very expensive, or in a difficult or very rural location, then it could be priced right, but it might take months and months to sell. And, you have to be willing to hang in. Again, doing a new CMA may be helpful in figuring out how long the average home in your neighborhood is sitting on the market.
You should also look at your agent’s performance. How is he or she marketing the home? Has the agent held open houses for brokers and the public? Is the home being advertised in the local paper? Is there a sign on your front lawn and does the house have a great web presence? All of these things are part of the marketing effort a good agent will construct in order to sell a house. It’s why you pay a full-service agent a commission.
There are companies out there that buy homes. But, they won’t buy every home and they won’t necessarily pay your list price. Before you go there and before you see if your bank will take your home instead of repaying the loan you owe them, I’d like to see you interview other agents to try to figure out why your house isn’t selling.
Keep in mind that a sale to your bank is not a good thing. It’s something people do as a last resort. If you have fallen on hard times and can’t afford to make the loan payments, your lender might be willing to take the title to the home instead of having the loan paid back to them. You generally will lose all of your equity in the home and your credit will be badly damaged if you hand the title of your house to the bank.
Try to keep some perspective. While these may feel like they are the four longest months of your life, it’s isn’t a terribly long time to sell a house. You just want to do all that you can to get your house noticed by the right set of eyes.