The spring selling season – such as it was – has quickly faded away. Homeowners who want to sell are now pinning their hopes on the third quarter of 2009.
With a strong buyers’ market in place, many sellers are bound to be disappointed, as buyers skip over their homes for others nearby. Why do some houses sell? They will ask “Why my house won’t sell?”
Here’s my list of 6 reasons why your home won’t sell:
1. It looks drab in photos.
Since the vast majority of home buyers start their search for a home on the web, your house had better look fabulous in print. If it doesn’t track well online, no one will take the time to see it in person.
Hiring a landscaper to trim your bushes and trees, plan some fall color, aerate your grass, and edge your flower beds is a smart use of cash. But you’ll also want to power wash your exterior and perhaps repaint trim to make it jump out in photos. Having your home look picture perfect online just makes home buyers want to see how good it looks in person.
2. It’s overpriced for the neighborhood.
If your neighborhood is filled with foreclosures and short sales, you’ll be hard-pressed to get top-dollar, even if your home looks better than all the rest. However, if you have just a few foreclosures, you may be able to overcome any objections by pricing your home correctly.
In this case, correct pricing means figuring out at what price point buyers are looking in your neighborhood. If everyone is looking at homes priced at $250,000 or less, that’s the price point you want to be at. If your home looks great, and is priced right, you’ll get traffic through the front door.
If you can’t afford to sell at that price level, then you should consider removing your property from the market and renting it or simply taking your home off the market until the economy improves.
3. There’s no “Wow!” factor inside.
Once you get buyers inside the house, you need them to be wowed by what they see. Hiring a professional stager can work wonders, turning a “blah” interior into one that looks sleek and polished. Remember, the closer your house looks to the homes featured on HGTV and Bravo, the more likely you’ll be to attract an offer.
If you don’t want or can’t to spend the money on a professional stager, consider watching a few staging videos online. You’ll find out that you need to clear out the clutter, clean off the countertops, clean out closets, get rid of things you don’t need or use and make your home clean looking, spacious and attractive. I have posted several before/after staging videos at ExpertRealEstateTips.net that you might find useful.
4. No one knows it’s there.
Your agent isn’t getting the word out, either because the property isn’t listed properly on the multiple listing service (MLS), or because he or she hasn’t posted it on Craig’s List, Zillow, or other online search engines that don’t feed directly from her MLS posting.
These days, your property needs the widest possible exposure in order to sell. Online marketing should include a website that has the property’s address as the URL (you can sell it to the buyer as part of the house deal) and as many photos, floor plans and video as possible.
Offline marketing needs to be top-notch as well. You’ll want to spread the word in the neighborhood, at the office, at your children’s schools and through friends and colleagues. This isn’t the time to be shy.
5. Your commission isn’t high enough or the agent isn’t splitting the commission equally.
Agents will tell you that they won’t push a buyer to make an offer on a house simply because it has a higher commission. But many agents seen no harm in making sure their buyers see as many properties that are in the right price range – and offering a generous commission helps you get a spot in that line up.
But you need to make sure your agent is splitting the commission equally with whoever brings the buyer. Some listing agents will take 60 percent of the commission instead of sharing it 50/50, which won’t help you.
6. Your house won’t pass inspection.
If your house looks great, but the faucets leak, the windows don’t lock, the ceilings have water stains, and the furnace is on its last legs, buyers may decide to make an offer on the next house. If you are lucky enough to secure an offer, failing a professional home inspection is one way to lose the only offer you may get.
Hire a professional home inspector to give your home a thorough inspection before you list it. That way, you’ll know in advance where the trouble spots are, and can take care of them before the first buyer crosses your threshold.
If you know what your home’s problems are, you should try to fix those issues well in advance of listing the home for sale.
For more articles on why your home won’t sell read Selling Decisions In This Housing Market.